Old Orchard Beach is one of the oldest and most beloved beach resorts in the country. New Englanders have enjoyed this coastal community on Maine’s southern coastline for centuries. Staying at an Old Orchard Beach vacation rental ensures your getaway will be full of warm sun, family fun, and plenty of local attractions. Check out a few things to do in the area.

ferris wheel old orchard beach
Source: Flickr/Devin Young

1. Palace Playland

One of the first places you want to go with the kids is Old Orchard Beach’s resident fun center, Palace Playland. Lots of rides and slides make this surprisingly compact park an irresistible treat for kids of any age. Lots of onsite shops sell concessions for stand-up eating, and cool drinks are available throughout the park for families that can’t stand still near a roller coaster.

2. Ocean Park Soda Fountain

One of the pleasures of staying in Old Ocean Beach is the sense of history that surrounds you at every turn. An old town like this has passed through several distinct periods in its past, and the small town it was in the 1950s is still alive at Ocean Park Soda Fountain, where you and the kids can enjoy an old-fashioned sarsaparilla or root beer float, the way your great-grandparents did when they were kids.

3. The Lobster Claw

Dinner at home in your vacation rental in Old Orchard Beach can be a pleasure, but sometimes you need to get out and enjoy some of the finest restaurant dining in all of south Maine. The Lobster Claw Pound and Restaurant serves up the classic Maine lobster, kept live in a tank until you order your dinner, boiled to perfection and smothered with butter. Seating in this establishment is roomy, and the staff has experience with kids, who love the fried seafood platter.

4. Fun and Sun

Old Orchard Beach has a lot to offer its visitors. Some tourists can’t wait to go into the water for kayaking and paddleboarding, while others like to tour the town on rented bicycles. Fun and Sun Rentals and Tours covers both bases by offering rental boards and bikes, as well as a staff of friendly instructors who can help you learn how to safely use the equipment they rent.

5. Monkey Trunks

Old Orchard Beach may be most famous for its beach, but it’s also in Maine, which means you’re never far from the old-growth forest that still covers much of the state. At Monkey Trunks, you can zip through the treetops on more than a dozen zip lines that run out to 250 feet. Nine challenges keep things exciting at each tree house station, where there’s always something new to try.

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6. Rippin’ Lips

Bring a real sea bass home to your vacation rental in Old Orchard Beach after a day trip spent fishing on the productive North Atlantic. Rippin’ Lips is a local tour company that charters fishing tours for beginners and experts alike, and it even plans special kids’ trips that introduce youngsters to the thrill of hooking their first bluegill.

7. Indoor Karting

Maine Indoor Karting is a sprawling, 42,000-square-foot recreational facility where kids can race miniature stock cars around multiple tracks that run the gamut from safe and short to long and challenging. Special kids’ races are available that cater to kids age 8 to 15, and you might land a hefty discount if you call ahead and ask about the day’s specials.

8. Pirate’s Cove

Mini golf is fun for everybody in the family, and Pirate’s Cove is the place to go for it in Old Orchard Beach. Multiple courses of varying challenge levels encourage novices and experienced putters alike to turn in their best effort. After the course is run, you can all enjoy refreshments at the onsite concessions stands.

9. Dunegrass Golf Club

If you’ve exhausted the potential that miniature golf has to offer, or you’re ready for a tougher challenge, you and the older kids can enjoy 18 holes at Dunegrass Golf Club. Carefully plotted links and a vast green expanse welcome visitors, and cleverly positioned hazards keep you on your toes from one green to the next.

10. Candy Shores

Candy Shores is tucked away behind a small storefront on E. Grand Avenue, which enjoys a conveniently central location in town, not far from your vacation rental in Old Orchard Beach, and it’s easy to miss at first glance. It’s worth the effort to find it, however, because inside is one of Maine’s most enticing collections of candy, caramel, fudge, and other sweets that you’ll have a hard time pulling your kids away from when it’s time to go home.

11. Mocean Surf and Skate Shop

Fully enjoying the great environment of Old Orchard Beach requires you to get out into the surf and out onto the paved trails and dirt paths that lace through the town. Mocean Surf and Skate Shop has the gear you need to make the most of these attractions. Call ahead for availability, and then take your pick from the shop’s surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing gear. You can also book tours for outdoor activities boating trips and assorted water sports.

12. Craftology

A summer trip to Old Orchard Beach isn’t complete until you have a moving box full of souvenirs to cart home with you, and the place to find the keepsakes you’ll love is at Craftology. This rustic-themed curio shop has walls covered with etched and painted wooden signs, vases, baskets, and various woven items. It also features plenty of Native American crafts that will look just as good on your desk back at the office as they do on the tabletop in your vacation rental in Old Orchard Beach.

13. Last Call

Last call is a fantastic local pub that offers live shows, a fully stocked bar, and adequate open space outdoors if you bring the kids with you. Staff is friendly and fast, and guests’ glasses are never allowed to drop below half-full. Enjoy darts, billiards, and all the sports you can eat on several big screen TVs that are strategically located throughout the establishment.

14. York’s Wild Kingdom

York’s Wild Kingdom likes to boast it’s New England’s only combination zoo and amusement park. Either of these would be awesome to visit with the kids, but together they’re impossible to pass up. Tour the zoo area and learn about the wild animals there, as well as the conservation efforts underway to help them thrive in the wild. Finish your day trip with a spin through the fairway and an armload of souvenirs and mementos of a unique Old Orchard Beach experience.

15. Biddeford Arena

Ice skating is as close to an ancient tradition as Maine gets, and you can learn to participate in it with your family at Biddeford Arena. Bring your own skates, or rent your own at the delightfully named Hockey Bob’s Proshop, and hit the ice for freestyle fun, structured skating, or lessons patiently taught by the rink’s resident instructors.

 
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