old orchard beach maine coast ocean atlantic waves sand tourist scenic prisitne

Photo Essay: Maine Coast Roadtrip – pt. 1, OOB

old orchard beach maine coast ocean atlantic waves sand tourist scenic prisitne

It only takes a few miles of driving along the coast of Maine to realize why people flock here every summer. The ocean splashes against the rocky coastline, lobster shacks alternating from tacky to homey line the beaches and the locals are friendly. Even the tollbooth operators smile at you when you pass.

Old orchard beach oob coast sand sun atlantic maine tourist tourism amusement park
“It’s a shore thing.” Cheesiness aside, OOB can be expected to deliver crowds, traffic, and gaudy souvenirs. It also offers history, beautiful beach, and perfect, blue-green waves.
old orchard beach maine coast ocean atlantic waves sand tourist scenic prisitne
Old Orchard Beach, Maine, or OOB as it’s known to the locals (and the thousands who spend their summer here in the condos that line the beach), got its name from the apple orchard planted by the area’s first settler, Thomas Rogers in 1657. The town’s 500-foot pier has served as a draw for tourists since 1898.
oob old orchard beach coast maine ocean boardwalk pier tourist tourism crowd
I arrive a little early in the season, and can only imagine the tourist hawkers pushing their wares and lines of people forming to buy them. It’s a quieter experience, but not necessarily a better one. Often, it’s the energy of the crowds that makes a place special (or, at least, dynamic.)
oob old orchard beach coast maine wave break surf water bleu green pier wooden
Seven miles of sand stretching north from the pier make this one of Maine’s premier beaches. The active breaks are a draw for east coast surfers who enjoy long rides on waves that seem to stretch in a straight line to the horizon.
oob old orchard beach kids playing children sand waves coast maine surf blue green
OOB has a long history of providing an escape east-coasters. Since it was first promoted as “Garden by the Sea” in 1631, its been attracting people with its expanse of clean, sandy beach, low population, and comfortable climate. Even the chilly water can’t stop the kids from playing in the frothing surf.
oob old orchard beach maine coast surf waves blue green water atlantic pier boardwalk tourist
In the early days, Thomas Rogers’ apple trees were used as navigation by passing ships. Now Palace Playland shines like a beacon on the beach with its lights and ferris wheel rising above downtown. Dating back to 1902, the amusement park had the first carousel in the United States.
oob old orchard beach playland palace play amusement park ferris wheel ride coast maine fun
The new ferris wheel dominates the skyline, but there are two-dozen other rides and arcades. Palace Playland is one of the last old-style beach-side amusement parks left in the US.
oob old orchard beach sand surf shell sea clam coast maine pier wooden tourist tourism
I take a walk along the beach, leaving the pier and amusement park behind. Away from the town center, the natural beauty of the beach comes into focus. Gulls fight over crabs caught at the edge of the water. Surfers dart across the waves. Opportunities for interesting photos present themselves…

2 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Maine Coast Roadtrip – pt. 1, OOB

    1. For most of my photos here, I used a Canon 50D, though there are a few that will appear in the series that will have come from my Canon Vixia HF200 video camera and a few from my Canon XTi. Thanks for the question.

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