Summer is in full swing and there’s no better way to enjoy Maine’s summer sunshine than by heading to the beach! While all of our beaches are beautiful, there’s only one that comes with am amusement park AND special french fries. Head to OOB if you want to maximize your time at the beach. Here are some of the things you have to do when you’re there:
1. Reminisce about the good ol' days.
Old Orchard Beach was promoted as a tourist destination beginning as early as 1631! This is when the town's first settler, Thomas Rogers, dubbed it a “Garden by the Sea." The history of the town, and the iconic pier area, has been a rich one ever since. Did you know that just about every big band during the "big band era" made a stop in OOB? It was a stop on the tour of acts such as Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie.
2. Spend hours at Palace Playland.
If you only have time for ONE attraction at Palace Playland, make it the ferris wheel. But, if you can't do it, plan on spending a few hours. Between the many rides and the packed arcade, you'll probably want to stay long after they close.
3. Spend the day kayaking.
Once you've spent a quality few days enjoying the actual beach, head a bit out of town and rent a kayak or paddle board.
Sun and Fun Rentals
in Scarborough is a great option.
4. Stroll the actual pier.
The pier juts 500 feet out into the ocean and is complete with all the things a good, old fashioned beach pier should have. Food, booze and lots of fun!
5. Take in the view from under the pier.
Early in the morning, the sound is beautiful under the pier. And, there's something peaceful about hiding away below the action.
6. Stuff your face with the Original Pier Fries!
Some might say they're just french fries, but if you've been visiting OOB all your life you know that there's just something different about these. Maybe it's knowing that our parents enjoyed them as kids as much as we did. Or maybe it's their greasy goodness. Either way, don't go to OOB without loading up on these!
7. Check out the stars indoors on a rainy day.
Despite being called Vacationland, sometimes the weather does not cooperate in Maine. If that happens, head North to the University of Southern Maine's Southworth Planetarium. Public shows take place Mondays through Thursdays throughout the summer school vacation at 11am and 1pm. Click
for more information including a schedule of shows.
8. Camp near the beach.
Enjoy the outdoors by spending your time in OOB at a campground. Motels and cottages can get pricey during the summer. Avoid that AND get closer to nature by choosing a campground nearby. Most even have beach shuttles to take you directly to the sand. Try Old Orchard Beach Campground, pictured here. Click
for more camping options in OOB and the rest of Southern Maine.
9. Cool down on the Cascade Falls Flume!
There aren't many water parks in Maine. While we understand why a state that spends a lot of the time wearing sweaters wouldn't be known for its water slides, we do love them in the summer. Head to Palace Playland for few rides that are actually water-based!
10. Sink a hole-in-one at Pirate's Cove.
The two awesome courses here are both fun and challenging. Kids will love the theme and adults will find themselves becoming more and more competitive with every missed shot.
70 First Street, OOB / 207-934-5086
11. And, you might as well finish them off with some delicious fried dough.
If you're going to do it, overdo it. That's what I always say!
12. Take in the Thursday night fireworks show.
Until August 25th, Thursday night are the weekday night to be near the Pier and Palace Playland. The weekly fireworks show begins at 9:45pm (weather permitting) and is free for everyone.
13. Imbibe in the sun at The Brunswick.
The Brunswick might be the closest you can get to eating on the beach, without actually eating ON the beach. There's an outside bar on the back deck, which makes it easy to enjoy the afternoon with the sand in your toes and a drink in your hand. Come by at night for some fun live music.
39 W. Grand Ave, OOB / (207) 934-4873
14. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Ocean Park Ice Cream Parlour.
This classic ice cream shop has everything from cones piled high to famous lime-rickies! Visit them at 14 Temple Ave, Old Orchard Beach.
15. Do absolutely nothing.
Set up your chair, spread the towel, anchor your umbrella and spend the rest of the day soaking up the Maine coast.