8 Must Know Tips For Your First Visit to Old Orchard Beach Maine

Old Orchard Beach Maine

Old Orchard Beach is a popular vacation destination on the coast of Southern Maine. The area has been drawing travelers in for years for its soft sand, fun waves, and delicious seafood restaurants. The combination of holiday rentals and places to stay in Old Orchard Beach makes it the perfect place for families and couples on holiday. Here’s all the best things to do in Old Orchard Beach ME and some helpful tips from our own visit.

8 Tips For Visiting Old Orchard Beach ME

1. Getting to Old Orchard Beach Maine

Old Orchard Beach is located in Southern Maine between the towns of Saco and Scarborough. While there is select bus routes available with public transportation, the easiest way to get to Old Orchard Beach ME is by renting a car.

The closest airport to fly into Portland International Jetport where you can easily pick up a vehicle and make the 20 minute drive South. Some travelers even rent a car from the larger cities of Boston or New York and include Old Orchard Beach in a longer New England road trip.

Having a vehicle will not only help you get around to all the best things to do in Old Orchard Beach ME, but also allow you to explore more of the beautiful towns on Maine’s coastline. 

We always use this website to search for rental cars in the United States. It’s an amazing tool to compare different companies and rates to get the best deal.

Car Rental Portland Maine: 10 Easy Ways to Save Money

How to Get to Old Orchard Beach Maine

2. Time of Year to Go

As you may have guessed, the best time to go to Old Orchard Beach Maine is during the summer. Between the months of June and August you’ll find the warmest temperatures in both the air and water. 

This is also a fun time to visit for outdoor lovers who like biking, kayaking, boat tours, or simply strolling the boardwalk. Golfers will enjoy playing at Dunegrass and other popular nearby courses. 

Even though Old Orchard Beach is known as summer retreat, the other seasons can be a great time to be there! The flowers will be in bloom in spring, while in the fall you can use it as a base to see the changing of the leaves throughout Southern Maine. 

The only season we would avoid heading to this area is in the winter. Between November and February is when the frigid temperatures come out and many of the restaurants and hotels in Old Orchard Beach shut down.

Old Orchard Beach ME

3. Places to Stay in Old Orchard Beach Maine

There are so many great places to stay in Old Orchard Beach! You’ll find a range of hotels, resorts, inns, and bed and breakfasts to choose from. Many have great ocean views and are within walking distance of all the best things to do in Old Orchard Beach.

The Beachwood and Alouette Sunrise Suites are two of the highest rated properties to check out. If you’d prefer to be near the pier then The Edgewater could be the perfect spot for you. You can also search websites like Airbnb and VRBO if a house or apartment rental is more your style. 

Old Orchard Beach Maine Hotels

4. Is There More Than One Old Orchard Beach?

Yes! Believe it or not, this is the longest beach in Maine. The 7 miles of coastline which make up Old Orchard Beach ME is actually 9 different beautiful beaches.

Stretching between the towns of Saco and Scarborough, you’ll find several different spots to post up your chairs and umbrellas and take in the scenery. Some actually sit on these bordering towns and have their own unique vibe and feel to them. 

Pine Point Beach is located furthest north and one of the quieter beaches during peak season. Surfside Beach is where you’ll find many nice accommodations and seafood restaurants.

At the very center of the 7 mile stretch sits the official Old Orchard Beach and its iconic pier. A bit further south you’ll find Ocean Park, Kinney Shores, Bayview and Camp Eliis Beach among others. 

So can you swim at Old Orchard Beach Maine? Absolutely. Just know that the Atlantic Ocean in this part of New England is quite chilly, even in the summer months. We consider ourselves avid swimmers, but the water always seems the colder here than destinations like Cape Cod and Rhode Island. 

Old Orchard Beach in Maine

5. Walk the Old Orchard Beach Pier

One of the best things to do in Old Orchard Beach is take a walk on the famous pier. First built in 1898, the wooden walkway once extended over 1800 feet out over the ocean!

Over the years it played host to concerts and even a casino where Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong made appearances.

Eventually, storms broke it down to its current length of 600 feet. However, the OOB Pier still offers plenty of activities and picturesque views of the seaside town. 

Along the Old Orchard Beach Pier you’ll find local shops and fun places to eat and drink. One of our favorite spots is the Pier Patio Pub which sits on the end. Here you’ll have a great selection of fresh Maine seafood, cocktails, and live music. 

Old Orchard Beach Pier

6. Visit Palace Playland

​Directly behind the Old Orchard Beach Pier is New England’s only beachside amusement park! Palace Playland is a great place for families with kids with an abundance of arcade games, rides, and large ferris wheel. This is a nice change up during the afternoon when you need a break from the best beaches in the area. 

Old Orchard Beach Palace Playland

7. Eat Seafood in Old Orchard Beach ME

What would a visit to Maine be without enjoying some of its incredible seafood?? Old Orchard Beach ME is home to some of the states best restaurants catering to all different types of travelers. 

Whether you’re looking for lobster rolls, mussels, or even just an old fashion burger, you’ll find so many great places to eat in Old Orchard Beach. Below are some of our favorite restaurants and bars to check out on your visit.

Pier French Fries: An Old Orchard Beach ME staple since 1932 serving fried dough, french fries, and other tasty snacks. 

The Brunswick: Enjoy the massive oceanfront patio with large servings of food, live music, and fun cocktails.

Joseph’s By the Sea: Another great waterfront restaurant with an upscale menu. 

Pier Patio Pub: One of the best restaurants in Old Orchard Beach Maine located right on the end of the pier.

Mainely Lobster Cafe: Your one stop shop for everything lobster! Try their lobster rolls, lobster mac & cheese, and other delicacies at this local seafood shack.

Big Daddy’s Bar and Grill: Great mix of American classics and seafood in the heart of Old Orchard Beach.

Myst Oceanside Restaurant & Bar: Exciting spot for a bite to eat or drink at the entrance to the pier.

Alouette Beach Cafe: Where to go for breakfast or brunch. Note that it is located within the Alouette Beach Resort, but open to all visitors. 

Old Orchard Beach

8. A Base to See More of Maine’s Coastline

Now that we’ve told you some of the best things to do in Old Orchard Beach Maine, you should know that it’s a great spot to stay and see more of this stunning coastline.

We mentioned a couple of the surrounding towns, but know that there is so much more to explore. Check out our own 5 day Maine road trip itinerary for some inspiration!

Aside from its largest city of Portland, you’ll find historic towns like Yarmouth, Bath and Boothbay Harbor to the north. Some of our favorite places south of Old Orchard Beach include Kennebunkport, Ogungquit, and York.

All of these seaside destinations have their own flare, beaches, and restaurants that you will love. This is another reason why renting a car is such a great idea for your visit to Old Orchard Beach. You could stay for weeks and visit so many cool places along the scenic coast of Maine.

18 Fun Things to Do in Boothbay Harbor Maine

Visit Maine

Is Old Orchard Beach Worth Visiting?

100% yes! Old Orchard Beach ME is such a fun town to visit for beach lovers, or those looking to have a relaxing New England vacation.

It’s small enough where you could see it in a couple of days as part of a larger itinerary, or stay for weeks and experience all that Southern Maine has to offer.

Just make sure to book your places to stay in Old Orchard Beach beforehand in the busy summer months. 

Is Old Orchard Beach Worth Visiting 

Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite things to do in Old Orchard Beach Maine? Leave us a comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

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Maine

Maine Travel Tips

 Flights: We always find great flights using Skyscanner and Kayak. This way you can plan your trip around the cheapest and most direct routes.

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld can be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars when traveling in the United States. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic New England road trip! 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all around Maine. Book a Portland trolley ride, take a historical walking tour in Kennebunkport, or go on a scenic cruise in Boothbay!! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Maine Travel

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10 Comments

  1. Jane Alice
    October 19, 2023 / 9:13 pm

    This is a great resource. I’ve been looking for a short vacation in the area and I’m so excited to visit some some of your recommendations.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      October 20, 2023 / 3:16 am

      So glad our Old Orchard Beach guide could help!

  2. October 19, 2023 / 6:03 pm

    Your guide to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, makes me want to pack my bags right now and turn the clock back to the beginning of summer! The range of activities you’ve covered, from walking the iconic pier to enjoying the local seafood, paints a vivid picture of what a trip there would be like. I’ll have to start planning now for next May!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      October 19, 2023 / 7:05 pm

      Thanks for reading and glad this helped you plan your trip! May is a great time to visit Old Orchard Beach Maine

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      October 19, 2023 / 2:26 pm

      Amazing place to visit in Maine

  3. October 18, 2023 / 3:57 pm

    We stopped in Old Orchard Beach last September during a Maine Coast anniversary trip – and absolutely loved it! In fact, we’ve been saying we need to get back, hopefully next year. There’s just something about those small coastal New England towns!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      October 18, 2023 / 4:02 pm

      So true! We can’t get enough of that Maine Coastline! Thanks for reading.

  4. October 18, 2023 / 9:15 am

    This looks like a great beach getaway destination. Thank you for all the local food recommendations.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      October 18, 2023 / 9:16 am

      Absolutely! Old Orchard Beach is one of our favorites in this part of Maine. The food is amazing, too!

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