Old Orchard Beach, commonly referred to as OOB, is located in York County and is considered part of the Portland – Biddeford metropolitan area of Maine. Established in 1863, Old Orchard has an approximate population of 9,000 people and borders Saco Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. During the summer months, the town’s population balloons to roughly 75,000. Old Orchard is a popular destination for Canadian visitors coming from Ontario and Quebec year after year.
The town’s biggest tourist draw is its seven-mile beach and the busy downtown that surrounds it. Lining the beach are bustling streets filled with restaurants, ice cream parlors, burger joints, and souvenir shops. Whether you’re craving Chinese food, Thai cuisine, Italian or fries and a hotdog, there is no shortage of food options when you’re visiting the beach.
In addition to the shopping opportunities, OOB also features two exciting attractions for visitors: the beach pier and the Palace Playland amusement park. The Old Orchard Beach pier was originally built in 1898 and was once more than 1,800 feet! Today’s pier is roughly 500 feet, and is the third iteration of the structure which had previously suffered from a bad blizzard as well as a fire, and therefore had to be rebuilt. The pier is filled with souvenir shops, snack bars, sit down restaurants and often features live bands. The last room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean can be rented out for private events and weddings.
The Palace Playland amusement park was originally created in 1902 and stretches across four acres of beachfront land. The park features 25 total amusement rides including a Ferris wheel, swings, and many others. The Playland also features an arcade and a nightly firework show throughout the summer months.
In terms of accommodations, there are numerous beachside properties, bed and breakfast locations, condominiums, motels and more for visitors. Old Orchard also has many campgrounds and RV parks for tourists to enjoy as well.
If you’re seeking a quieter scene, Ocean Park in Old Orchard is a great option to consider. Created in 1881 as a summer retreat, Ocean Park is most often used today as a place for summer camps, business meetings and self-improvement lectures. The Park features ‘The Temple,’ which is the only octagonal church in Maine.
5 Fast Facts About Old Orchard Beach, Maine:
- One of the older versions of the Old Orchard Beach Pier featured a large casino that could hold 5,000 dancers. Frank Sinatra once sang at the casino!
- The Pier originally cost $38,000 to construct in 1898 and was made of steel.
- The Ferris wheel in Palace Playland was replaced in 2011 to be more environmentally friendly than the existing structure.
- Old Orchard Beach is the 27th largest town in Maine in terms of population.
- Old Orchard Beach is home to the Old Orchard Beach Surge baseball team, which plays in the independent Empire Professional Baseball League.