FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Old-Fashioned Vacation at Old Orchard Beach, Maine

by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers

Sep 20, 2017
Sponsored

Parents and grandparents may feel a wave of nostalgia as they walk down the main street toward the archway entrance to The Pier at Maine’s Old Orchard Beach. Maybe a few of the shops are a bit smarter now, and there are fewer gaudy T-shirts and googly-eyed lobster toys, but the atmosphere is still tinged with anticipation and scented by enticing aromas from Pier French Fries. It’s the classic beach town: an old-fashioned boardwalk, ice cream, saltwater taffy and a merry-go-round that wheezes out old familiar calliope tunes.

The latter is at Palace Playland, the only remaining beachside amusement park in New England. It’s a cheerful mix of old favorites — bumper cars, twirling teacups and bright pink dragons flying in circles filled with squealing tots — and the high-impact thrills of rides with names like Power Surge and Riptide. The fun house challenges reality and balance with its uneven floors and psychedelic lights. The Ferris wheel swings to breathtaking heights right at the water’s edge, and from the top (if you can open your eyes) you can see the entire seven-mile length of Maine’s longest beach.

As remarkable as the beach’s length is that every inch of it is free to the public and easily accessed. And it’s spotlessly clean, patrolled each night by local volunteers who gather up the day’s pitched cans and wrappers. The sloping beach has plenty of towel space even at high tide; waves are fun to play in and gentle enough for children.

A line of low dune grass separates the beach from the row of cottages and hotels that stretch between it and Grand Avenue, where family- and budget-friendly lodging is plentiful. The Edgewater is right on the beach, with porches and sundecks adjoining bright attractive rooms with wicker furniture. It’s a short walk to The Pier and Palace Playland, and Pirates Cove miniature golf is just up the street.

Another good family choice that’s right on the beach is Ocean Walk Hotel. If you prefer camping, Wild Acres is a lively full-service camping resort with tree-shaded sites and a shuttle to take your family to the beach. Close to Wild Acres is Funtown Splashdown USA, another amusement and water park, and Jumpin Jake’s is a casual seafood restaurant.

Dining at Old Orchard Beach is family friendly, too. The rule almost everywhere is come-as-you-are, and that means you can forget the designer après-beach clothes and go to dinner in shorts and a T-shirt if you feel like it. For good seafood without the frills, stop at The Clambake, where you order at the register and wait for it over drinks in one of the big dining rooms overlooking the salt marsh. Worried the kids will get antsy waiting after a long day on the beach? Order online and it will be ready when you arrive. None of the kids’ menu meals are more than $7.95.

Southern Maine’s beach season stretches through September, and Palace Playland is open weekends into early October. Amtrak Downeaster delivers passengers into the heart of Old Orchard Beach, at a station opposite The Pier.

For more articles like this, visit whereverfamily.com.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Dec 6, 2022

Celebrate the Holidays in Riviera Maya with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts invites travelers to celebrate the holidays at any of its properties in Riviera Maya, Mexico. There is no time like the present for you to experience a stay at one of these luxury resorts.

United Debuts New United Club, Its Largest in the Country, at EWR

At nearly 30,000 square feet, United Airlines’ newest United ClubSM now welcomes Newark Liberty International Airport travelers with its modern design, enhanced amenities, culinary offerings, locally sourced art and furniture and Manhattan skyline views. Seek airport solace at the new location in Terminal C3, near Gate C123.

Daily
Dec 6, 2022

Popular Las Catalinas Triathlon Returns After Two-Year Hiatus

After a two-year hiatus from in-person sporting and outdoor recreation events, the seaside, car-free town of Las Catalinas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, recently announced the return of the annual Tri Las Catalinas, an off-road, multisport triathlon, Feb. 15–18.

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

Daily
Dec 5, 2022

Bring Your Christmas Stocking to a French Chateau

Plan a célébration spéciale this holiday season with a stay at a historic French chateau in the Loire Valley. If pipers piping and dancers dancing are part of your dream holiday experience, set your compass for Château de Chambord, where 100 twinkling Christmas trees set a festive tone for Renaissance music and dancing, storytelling, performances, workshops, themed activities and more. Guests can sip mulled wine and nibble on sweet indulgences, or peruse the shops for authentic, artisanal Chambord products crafted from the estate’s own natural resources.

December 2022
Dec 4, 2022

Global Traveler Announces the 2022 Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year

For the 12th consecutive year, Global Traveler recognizes the best of the best in the industry, naming 2022’s Airline of the Year and Hotel of the Year.

Luxurious Adventures Await.

Discover why Global Traveler readers named Cunard® the Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for seven consecutive years. For a limited time, book your voyage during Cunard’s Explore with More promotion and take advantage of lower fares*, up to $1,200 Onboard Credit†, Free Specialty Dining for Two^, 50% Reduced Deposit††, and more. Choose from an array of exciting journeys, including Transatlantic Crossings and voyages to Alaska, the Caribbean and Canada & New England.

December 2022
Dec 4, 2022

Global Traveler Celebrates the Winners of the 19th Annual GT Tested Reader Survey Awards

What a year 2022 has been for travel! It’s not an understatement to say travel rebounded and surged following the pandemic, and airlines, hotels, travel providers and more are ready and waiting to serve the masses returning to the beautiful art of traveling. As such, we celebrate and award those who do it best as we announce the 2022 winners of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, our 19th year honoring the best of the best in the world of travel. Our countdown to year No. 20 begins now.