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Top 10 Things to Do in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

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Discover the top things to do in Old Orchard Beach Maine, from scenic hikes in Ferry Beach State Park to simply strolling the beach. Uncover this coastal town's best-kept secrets!

 

Unlock the Wonders of Old Orchard Beach: Your Guide to the Top 10 Must-Visit Attractions

Old Orchard Beach, nestled along the scenic coast of Maine, stands as a timeless gem among seaside resort towns. With a history dating back over a century, this charming destination has lured summer vacationers to its shores with a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere.

Old Orchard Street in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Since the late 1800s, Old Orchard Beach has welcomed travelers in search of tranquility and fun by the sea. Its fame lies in its seven miles of pristine sandy beaches, where visitors can soak up the sun or take leisurely strolls along the shoreline. The vibrant pier, another beloved feature, offers a glimpse into the past with its classic attractions and amusements.

The town’s allure extends beyond the beach, catering to diverse tastes and preferences. Thrill-seekers can enjoy exciting rides, while arcade enthusiasts will find a range of games to test their skills. Culinary delights await at local lobster shacks, pizza joints, and food stands, offering Maine’s renowned seafood and indulgent treats like fried dough and Pier Fries.

Entrance to Old Orchard Beach

For those seeking a more natural experience, Old Orchard Beach provides opportunities for serene nature walks at nearby Ferry Beach State Park. Overall, Old Orchard Beach stands as a classic Maine coastal destination, where the past meets the present, and families can create lasting memories by the sea.

With its vibrant amusement park, lively pier, sandy seven-mile beach, and hiking trails, Old Orchard Beach has no shortage of attractions and activities to entertain visitors searching for quintessential Maine seaside fun and charm. Here is our recommended list of the top 10 things to do in Old Orchard Beach while vacationing here.

 

A Century of Fun: Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach

Nestled in the heart of Old Orchard Beach, Palace Playland stands as a cherished symbol of classic American amusement. With a history that spans over a century, this iconic park has been delighting visitors with its timeless attractions.

Palace Playland Amusement Park in Old Orchard Beach at night

Opened in 1902, Palace Playland has remained a favorite destination for generations of families. Its enduring charm lies in its wide array of rides and games suitable for all ages.

For the thrill-seekers, the park boasts exhilarating options like the Matterhorn, Drop Zone, Tilt-A-Whirl, and Pirate. These attractions offer heart-pounding excitement and thrills.

Families can also enjoy the fun together, riding roller coasters like the Sea Viper and Wipeout, providing just the right amount of exhilaration for all ages.

For younger kids, there are tamer options like the Euro Slide, Dumbo flying elephant ride, and Kiddie cars. Those wanting a sky-high view can ride the large Ferris wheel called the Electra Wheel which provides breathtaking views of the surrounding park and beach.

Euro Slide in Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Palace Playland’s boardwalk is adorned with enticing games and an arcade, where visitors can test their skills and try their luck to win prizes. There is also mini golf, bowling, and games of skill. You can test your aim throwing balls at bowling pins or squirting water into clown mouths. You can show off hoop skills at the basketball challenge.

With a mix of new and historic attractions, Palace Playland offers entertainment for all ages. Whether it’s the joy of a roller coaster ride or the challenge of a boardwalk game, Palace Playland continues to offer classic, family-friendly entertainment that has stood the test of time. We recommend checking out the Palace Playland website for more information on operating hours, current attractions and rides, and admission prices.

 

Wooden Planks and Seaside Delights: Discovering the Old Orchard Beach Pier

The Old Orchard Beach Pier has been a central landmark for the town since it was originally built in 1898. Stretching nearly 500 feet out into the Atlantic Ocean, the wooden pier provides perfect views of the beach and water.

Entrance to Old Orchard Beach Pier in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Stepping onto the pier, visitors are greeted by a nostalgic ambiance. The wooden planks beneath their feet whisper stories of generations past.

The pier is home to various shops, eateries, and entertainment options for visitors to enjoy. You can buy souvenirs like t-shirts, sweatshirts, toys, and novelty gifts at one of the pier’s small specialty shops. From beach-themed trinkets to unique mementos, these stores offer a glimpse into the town’s vibrant culture.

When you get hungry after working up an appetite walking along the length of the pier, you can grab a snack like popcorn, fudge, or saltwater taffy. Or sit down for a full meal at one of the pier’s casual dining restaurants. Seafood enthusiasts can savor fresh catches while enjoying the sea breeze, and those seeking refreshment will find a delightful array of beverages to choose from.

Old Orchard Beach Pier in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

If you visit the pier at night, you’ll see the Ferris wheel lit up along with flashing neon signs for the various attractions. Whether you seek shopping, dining, or simple scenic views of the Atlantic coastline, the Old Orchard Beach Pier provides a memorable walk out over the ocean waves.

What makes the Old Orchard Beach Pier truly special is its ability to capture the essence of a bygone era while catering to modern tastes. It’s a place where history and contemporary pleasures coexist, offering a serene and enjoyable experience for all who traverse its weathered planks.

 

From Surfing to Sandcastles: The Allure of Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard Beach, with its rich history and diverse shoreline, beckons beach lovers to experience its timeless beauty. This coastal gem is renowned for its seven miles of soft sandy beaches, making it a haven for those seeking sun, surf, and relaxation.

Beach-goers on Old Orchard Beach in summer

One of its most iconic features is the boardwalk that stretches alongside the beach. This wooden pathway has witnessed generations of beachgoers, providing a scenic route for leisurely strolls and a backdrop for endless photo opportunities. The Old Orchard Beach Pier, an integral part of the boardwalk, adds to the charm, offering dining and entertainment options for visitors.

The gentle waves of Old Orchard Beach are perfect for swimming, and families often gather to build sandcastles and play beach games. Aspiring surfers can take lessons and ride the waves while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.

Strolling Old Orchard Beach in summer

The beach stretches long enough for visitors to explore and find their own tranquil spot to relax on the sand. Beachfront hotels and rental cottages make overnight family vacations easy and popular.

Adjacent to the beach lies Palace Playland, an amusement park that has been captivating visitors for over a century. Its rides, roller coasters, arcade games and attractions offer additional excitement for those looking to mix a bit of thrill with their beachside relaxation.

Old Orchard Beach truly encapsulates the essence of a classic coastal destination, providing a blend of natural beauty, history, and family-friendly fun. It’s a place where the sands of time meet the gentle shores, creating unforgettable moments for all who visit. With plenty of things to see and do steps from the sand, it’s easy to see why Old Orchard Beach has been a beloved beach escape for over one hundred years.

 

Explore Trails and Tides at Ferry Beach State Park

Ferry Beach State Park, a true haven for nature enthusiasts, invites visitors to explore its natural beauty and rich history. This scenic park, spanning 117 acres, offers a delightful blend of coastal charm and tranquil woodlands.

Ferry Beach State Park Beach Entrance in Saco, Maine

Established in 1941, the park, situated just north of Old Orchard Beach along two miles of sandy coastline, takes its name from a historic ferry that once traversed the Saco River nearby. Today, it is better known for its natural beauty, walking trails, and access to gorgeous white sand beaches.

Nature lovers will find solace in the park’s scenic trails, perfect for both biking and hiking. Visitors can hike over ten miles of wooded trails to spot bird species like chickadees, woodpeckers, and owls. Meandering through lush forests, these trails provide opportunities for peaceful exploration. Wildlife enthusiasts are in for a treat too, as the park is home to a diverse range of small animals and woodland creatures like deer and foxes.

Maps marking each trail’s distance and features help guests plan their peaceful walk or bike ride through unique ecosystems. Benches are thoughtfully placed along many trails to enjoy scenic views of salt marshes bordering small creeks.

Ferry Beach State Park Trails

One of the park’s highlights is the beach itself, where the rolling waves of Saco Bay meet the shore. Beach lovers will find quiet refuge on the two miles of sandy beach featuring tidal pools perfect for observing sea life. It’s an idyllic spot for beachcombing and soaking in the coastal serenity.

Ferry Beach State Park, with its fascinating history and serene natural surroundings, offers a chance to connect with Maine’s past while reveling in its scenic beauty. With diverse coastal habitat spanning woodlands, marsh, dunes, and beach, the park provides opportunities to discover natural beauty and serenity just minutes from the popular beaches and amusements of Old Orchard Beach.

Whether one is exploring the park’s trails, admiring the wildlife, or simply enjoying the beach, Ferry Beach State Park provides a tranquil escape for all who visit.

 

Waves, Slides, and Mini-Golf: Aquaboggan Water Park Delivers It All

Aquaboggan Water Park in Saco, Maine, offers a refreshing and thrilling escape for water enthusiasts of all ages. The water park provides family-friendly water fun activities with thrilling water rides, wave pools, and miniature golf. Just minutes from Old Orchard Beach, Aquaboggan Water Park first opened in 1977 and continues to expand its water attractions and rides.

Aquaboggan Water Park in Saco, Maine

Visitors can experience the rush of adrenaline on exhilarating water rides and water slides, designed to cater to different levels of excitement. Brave riders can reach speeds over 40 miles per hour on water slides like the exhilarating Yankee Ripper. Intense drops like Turbo Drop and Stealth 5 also deliver adrenaline rushes. From the twisting turns to the steep drops, these attractions offer aquatic thrills for those seeking an adventure.

When you need a break from heart-pounding water rides, you can unwind floating on an inner tube as you circle around in Aquaboggan’s massive wave pool that generates large waves and crashing surf.

Interactive play areas like Toddler Splash N’ Cove are perfect for children. Here, kids and toddlers can splash around and have fun with features like kiddie water slides, wading pool, and climbing gym in a safe and welcoming environment.

Aquaboggan also features a full snack bar to refuel between rides down steep slides, under tunnel drops, and through seriously swirly experiences you won’t find anywhere else nearby.

Safety is a priority at Aquaboggan, and experienced lifeguards are always on duty to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Aquaboggan Water Park is a place where fun and safety meet, offering a range of aquatic activities to suit every taste. This water park provides a perfect opportunity for families and friends to create lasting memories while cooling off during the hot summer months in the Old Orchard Beach area. We recommend checking out the Aquaboggan Water Park website for more information on operating hours, current attractions and rides, and admission prices.

 

Over 200 Arcade Games Under One Roof at the Palace Playland Arcade

Inside Palace Playland’s massive oceanfront arcade building, you’ll discover rows and rows of arcade games and gaming attractions to keep the whole family entertained for hours. With a variety of games available, it’s a perfect spot for those seeking a break from the sun and sand.

Arcade games at Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Inside the arcade building, visitors can find a diverse collection of arcade games to enjoy. While the exact number of arcade games may vary over time, Palace Playland typically offers a substantial selection of over 200 arcade games which cater to various interests and playing levels.

Visitors can try their hand at skill-based games, racing simulations, and even some modern video games, all while earning tickets for prizes.

For example, Skee Ball, a beloved classic, challenges players to roll balls into target holes for points. Air hockey tables provide fast-paced, competitive fun as players strive to score goals against their opponents.

Skee Ball at Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

You can also play true classic arcade games like PacMan, Space Invaders, or Pong. Or try your hand at the carnival-style games of chance like plucking ducks out of the water, ring toss, or shooting basketballs for prizes.

The arcade games pavilion at Palace Playland provides a fun and engaging alternative for those looking to take a break from the amusement park’s outdoor attractions. It offers a taste of nostalgia while catering to contemporary gaming interests, making it a versatile and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.

 

Savoring Seaside Traditions: Pier Fries and Fried Dough in Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard Beach, Maine, is renowned not only for its 7 miles of sandy beaches but also for its classic specialty foods that capture the essence of Old Orchard Beach’s seaside experience. No trip to Old Orchard Beach is complete without trying two of the town’s iconic boardwalk foods: Pier Fries and fried dough.

Classic Pier French Fries in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Pier Fries, a local institution, are thick hand-cut french fries that are fried to perfection, resulting in crispy yet tender potato goodness. These fresh cut fries are cooked to crispy golden brown then topped with vinegar for a tangy, rich flavor. The fries are served in paper cups or cardboard boats for easy carrying as you meander the boardwalk or pier, and along the beach taking in the views.

For dessert, sample Old Orchard Beach’s famous fried dough. Soft pillowy dough is deep fried resulting in a warm, melt-in-your-mouth treat. While original fried dough needs nothing more than a dusting of powdered sugar, you can also get it topped with sweet offerings like chocolate and fruit.

Classic fried dough in Old Orchard Beach

Both Pier Fries and fried dough are best enjoyed strolling the boardwalk, the beach, or the pier – making sure not to miss these iconic food experiences Old Orchard Beach has been serving up for decades. Indeed, enjoying these local specialty foods is a quintessential part of the Old Orchard Beach experience.

So, whether strolling along the boardwalk or lounging on the sandy beach, savoring Pier Fries and classic fried dough is a cherished tradition. It’s an opportunity to indulge in the simple pleasures of Old Orchard Beach’s local summer fare, creating lasting memories with each delicious bite.

 

Double the Fun at Funtown, Splashtown USA Amusement Park

Funtown, Splashdown USA, located in Saco, Maine, is a unique amusement and water park combination that spans over 40 acres, offering a variety of attractions and rides for kids, teens, parents, and thrill-seekers. This family-friendly destination spans a considerable area, providing ample space for both the amusement park (Funtown) and the water park (Splashdown).

Excalibur Wooden Roller Coaster in Funtown, Splashtown, USA Amusement Park in Saco, Maine
Funtown is known for its exciting rides. One of the featured attractions is the Excalibur, a wooden roller coaster that offers thrilling dips and turns. There’s also the Dragon’s Descent, a tower ride that gives a breathtaking view of the park before a heart-racing drop. For those who enjoy a more relaxed pace, the Antique Cars ride offer a leisurely ride around a track.

Adjacent to Funtown is Splashdown, the water park section. It features a range of water slides and pools. The most notable slides include the Mammoth and Tornado, which provide a fun and refreshing experience, especially on hot summer days. Splashdown also includes a wading swimming pool, offering a relaxing way to enjoy the water.

Aerial image of the Splashtown Amusement Park in Saco, Maine

Together, these parks boast over 30 rides and attractions, catering to all ages and preferences. Whether it’s the excitement of roller coasters or the chill of water slides, Funtown, Splashdown USA offers a memorable experience for visitors traveling to the Old Orchard Beach area. We recommend checking out the Funtown, Splashdown USA website for more information on operating hours, current attractions and rides, and admission prices.

 

Experience the Best of Downtown Old Orchard Beach: From Handcrafted Goods to Sweet Delights

Downtown Old Orchard Beach offers a charming shopping experience along Old Orchard Street. This picturesque street is a hub for visitors looking to explore unique local shops and boutiques.

Old Orchard Street in downtown Old Orchard Beach, Maine

As you wander down Old Orchard Street, you’ll encounter a variety of stores showcasing Maine’s local crafts and art. These shops are treasure troves of handcrafted items, perfect for those seeking a piece of Maine to take home. Nautical souvenirs, reflecting the area’s seaside heritage, are popular finds, ranging from decorative items to themed apparel.

Among the standout shops, Beachology is a favorite for its stylish and beach-inspired items. Here, shoppers can find everything from home decor to fashion accessories, all with a coastal flair. Maine Country Woods offers an array of handcrafted wooden crafts, showcasing the skill of local artisans. Its collection often includes beautifully carved nautical pieces and rustic home decorations.

Beachology in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Sunsations Beach Department Store is another must-visit, known for its wide selection of beach gear and souvenirs. It’s a one-stop-shop for beach essentials and more. For those with a sweet tooth, Dickinson’s Candy Store is a delightful destination. This store is filled with an array of candies and treats, making it a fun stop for all ages.

Overall, shopping in downtown Old Orchard Beach is about experiencing the local culture and craftsmanship, with each shop offering a unique glimpse into the coastal charm of Maine.

 

Experience the Thrills of Pirate-Themed Mini Golf at Old Orchard Beach’s Pirate’s Cove

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, stands out as a delightful destination for miniature golf enthusiasts. This attraction is famous for its two distinct 18-hole courses, each offering a unique adventure.

Aerial of Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

At Pirate’s Cove, the courses are designed with a captivating pirate theme. Visitors are transported into a world of swashbuckling pirates and hidden treasures.

As players navigate through each course, they encounter creative obstacles like pirate ships, cascading waterfalls, and caves. These elements not only add excitement to the game but also bring the theme to life, making each round of golf a new adventure.

Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

The reason Pirate’s Cove is a favorite among visitors is its appeal to all ages. Whether you’re a young adventurer or just young at heart, the courses are designed to be enjoyable for everyone. The challenges vary in difficulty, ensuring that both beginners and experienced players find fun and excitement.

The popularity of Pirate’s Cove also comes from its location in the charming area of Old Orchard Beach. The combination of the scenic surroundings with the entertaining and thematic miniature golf experience makes Pirate’s Cove a must-visit for families and friends looking for a fun and engaging activity during their visit to Old Orchard Beach. We recommend checking out the Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf website for more information on operating hours and admission prices.

 

Experience the Best of Old Orchard Beach: Plan Your Dream Getaway Today!

Old Orchard Beach, Maine, is a treasure trove of fun and excitement, offering something special for everyone. From the thrilling rides at Palace Playland to the charming Old Orchard Beach Pier, and the scenic beauty of Ferry Beach State Park, there’s no shortage of adventures.

Whether you’re splashing around at Aquaboggan Water Park, testing your skills at the arcade games at Palace Playland, or savoring the famous fried dough and pier fries, every moment is filled with joy. The magic continues with a visit to Funtown, Splashdown, USA, browsing through the unique shops on Main Street, and putting your way through Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf.

This incredible destination promises unforgettable experiences for all ages. Don’t wait! Start planning your escape to Old Orchard Beach now. Visit our website for detailed itineraries and insider tips to make the most of your journey to this enchanting seaside town. Your adventure awaits!

Picture of Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark has an extensive background in the Maine Hospitality Industry, having owned the Ledges By The Bay, a boutique oceanfront hotel property, in Rockport Maine, for 40 years. He sold the property in 2016 but remains well-versed in the Maine Tourism industry and has written a number of Maine travel-related articles for various blogs and publications over the years.

Mark founded the TakeMe2 Travel Guides platform, an online travel guide initiative, designed to promote tourism in Maine, New England and in other key states – by providing in depth, unbiased information to potential tourists and travel consumers. TakeMe2 currently features the TM2Maine.com website.

Mark is also currently a stakeholder in VONT, a digital marketing agency in Westbrook, Maine, where he leads VONT's search engine optimization (SEO) practice.

Mark is versed in a number of digital information technologies including web design and development, digital video, electronic design and digital imaging technologies as well as internet marketing tactics such as blogs, web properties, and other smart media such as AI chatbots for content, image and video enhancement. One of his primary tasks at VONT is to find the successful application of these new information platforms in marketing and then teach VONT's marketers how to use them to create marketing campaigns more efficiently, creatively and cost effectively.

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