Up in the far reaches of New England is the great state of Maine. Filled with mountains, rocky coastlines, and pine forest, Maine is a true gem. Especially in the coastal town of Old Orchard Beach. But you shouldn’t confine yourself to just one place. Instead, take some Old Orchard Beach day trips to nearby attractions!
Old Orchard Beach Day Trips to Explore Maine
1. Portland, Maine
Maine’s largest city, Portland, is a charming New England city by the sea. Between Downtown and Old Town, there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and local shops. There’s also a good cultural scene with the Portland Museum of Art, State Theatre, and Maine Historical Society.
While you can easily spend a day exploring the brick streets and alleys, it’s worth it to visit the city parks too. Just across Portland Harbor is Bug Light, a tiny lighthouse featuring great city views. You might also check out East End Beach, which is quite scenic. And definitely head to Back Cove Park, where you can walk or bike on a 3-mile loop trail around the water.
2. Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
One of the best Old Orchard Beach day trips can be found four miles north along the Nonsesuch River. Here, you’ll find the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center. This 3,100-acre salt marsh is the largest in Maine and acts as an important wildlife preserve.
Several trails run through Scarborough Marsh, allowing visitors to walk in nature. But an even better way to explore is by boat. Canoes and kayaks can be taken throughout the marsh’s waterways and give you a good look at the preserve’s incredible ecosystem. You can bring your own canoe or kayak, but rentals are also available by reservation at the Audubon Center.
3. Portland Headlight and Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse
A bit south of Portland is the stately Portland Headlight. This tall lighthouse was constructed in 1791 and still operates today. It’s a part of Fort Williams Park, which features old military bunkers alongside modern park amenities.
Further down the shoreline is the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse. While placed in less of a park, Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse is undeniably beautiful. In fact, it’s one of the most photographed lighthouses along the Eastern Seaboard. And it’s just 30 minutes northeast of Old Orchard Beach.
4. Bradbury Mountain State Park
If you’re looking for more rustic Old Orchard Beach day trips, Bradbury Mountain State Park should hit the spot. Situated 45 minutes north of Old Orchard Beach, Bradbury Mountain features wide views.
The trails on this glacial mountain aren’t terribly long and are very popular for mountain biking. They are also quite good for hiking, though you’ll want to bring bug spray. The summit offers great views and the Boundary Trail also connects to the Mt. Tryon Trail for longer hikes.
5. Mount Washington (New Hampshire)
Surprisingly, Old Orchard Beach day trips can easily extend into the neighboring state of New Hampshire. If you’re up for the two-hour drive, you can make it to Mount Washington, the highest point in the Northeast.
The peak of Mount Washington can be reached by several means. Perhaps easiest is by car, with roads leading right to the summit. You can also take the cog railway, which provides a scenic, steep train trip to the top. And finally, there’s the option of hiking one of the many trails to the top. We recommend the Tuckerman Ravine Trail or the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.
Mount Washington is known for its dramatic weather. That means the roads can be closed during extreme conditions. Use the Mount Washington Observatory website to see the forecast for your visit.
6. Lake Winniepesaukee (New Hampshire)
Another scenic New Hampshire sight is Lake Winniepesaukee. As the largest lake in the state, Lake Winniepesaukee is also a popular vacation destination. It’s great for boating, fishing, swimming, and simply staring at.
The town of Wolfeboro is the heart of the tourist scene with charming shops, eateries, and museums. A couple wineries are also around the area, offering tastings. And if you’re in the region, you should stop at Wentworth State Park for a swim.
Camping in Old Orchard Beach
We’ve talked a lot about Old Orchard Beach day trips. But how about where to stay in Old Orchard Beach? You’re in luck! Four amazing RV resorts are ready to welcome you to the area.
Nestled just one mile from the beach, Hid’n Pines RV Resort places you right near the action. Wagon Wheel RV Resort & Campground is also nearby in a serene pine forest. And just a short ways inland is Saco/Old Orchard Beach KOA, famous for its flapjacks made with wild Maine blueberries.
The crown jewel of our Old Orchard Beach accommodations is Wild Acres RV Resort and Campground. Here, you’ll find wooded hiking trails, multiple pools, a mini golf course, and much more. Best of all is the Aerial Adventure Park. The adventurous can soar through seven zip stations, walk along high ropes, and climb trees.
With so much to do in Maine, don’t just stay in your tent. Instead, embark on some Old Orchard Beach day trips and explore the beauty of the Pine Tree State. Don’t forget to share this post with your camping pals!