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Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
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Just 17 miles south of Portland, Maine, lies the Saco Bay and a large 7-mile swath of white sand. The most popular section of this beach is a 2.5-mile stretch at Old Orchard Beach.

The focal point of this beach is the iconic pier, a commercial boardwalk that stretches 500 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. The Pier is composed of small shops and a few eateries, with a large restaurant anchoring the end with patios and views out to the ocean. The Pier originally extended over 1,800 feet into the ocean, but nature and a couple of fires have shortened its length over time. Neighboring The Pier is the Palace Playland Park, an amusement park that dates back to the early 1900s. The park hosts roller coaster rides and a large ferris wheel, giving riders soaring views of the beach and surrounding area.

The beach is a popular summer destination. The Amtrak train stops just a block away from the beach, allowing easy access from larger metropolitan areas to the south. Whether you want to just lay in the sun, build a sand sculpture, or play in the surf, Old Orchard’s Beach can accommodate. Lifeguards are stationed across the expansive beach in the summer months. Shore fishing is permitted in the southern section of the beach near Ocean Park. Be sure to check the seasonal regulations before casting your line. Dogs are allowed on the beach from Labor Day until Memorial Day. After Memorial Day, dogs are not allowed on the beach or in town between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Dogs should be on leash or under voice control at all times.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Other

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Long sandy beach. Great place for families. Fun options at The Pier.

Cons

Large crowds. Parking can be tough.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Historically significant
Surfing
Family friendly

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Greater Portland + Maine Beaches, Maine
Greater Portland + Maine Beaches, Maine
Greater Portland + Maine Beaches, Maine

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