Old Orchard Beach, Maine. A Family Friendly Destination

Start your trip with books on tape for couple talk time!

Start your trip with books on tape for couple talk time!

What kid isn’t happy with a heated pool, and a sandy ocean beach right in front your motel room door. Upon arriving at the SeaView Motel, we were very warmly welcomed by Christopher who told us we were assigned Oceanfront room #1, but since they were not sold out, he also offered us the option of a suite.

Heated pool with kids

Look for a heated pool, if you have kids – ideal for cool nights and off season!

The oceanfront room was absolutely beautiful and perfect for a couple… but the suite allowed us to put our toddler in her own room, infant in the kitchenette area and we had our own room! This was very convenient when you have a baby who is trying to learn to sleep through the night.

Old Orchard Beach board walk

The beach was meticulous!

We arrived at 4:00 in the rain (60 degree weather in September) and were still tempted to jump in the very warm pool but were not allowed for safety reasons… so we headed off to the “Clambake” in Scarborough. This was an interesting dining experience. It was “fast food lobster and clams!”. The restaurant was as large as a warehouse and seats… They have pictures of meals 1-25 on the wall and you choose your meal by number, get a ticket (there are 20 people at the register taking orders, so it goes by quickly. You make your own salad and wait a couple of minutes and dinner is ready to be picked up. Everything is served in plastic that is meant to be thrown out after dinner. It was a fun experience. Surely, NOT gourmet… but hey… a lobster is delicious and really can’t be cooked wrong. We enjoyed our dinner.

We came back to our hotel room and thought it was nice that there are two large TV’s with a VCR in the kids room, next time I might bring a video for the kids, but it was nice all cozying up and reading books despite the readiness of great channels.

Josephs by the Sea restaurant

Josephs by the Sea was AMAZING – fresh everything, a true gourmet restaurant. An oasis of serenity with amazing views!

Saturday, September 20, 2003 In the morning we headed over to Josephs by the Sea… one of those RARE restaurants, that prepares everything fresh and puts the pride in the quality of the food over the profit margin. We enjoyed large cups of fresh squeezed orange juice. My vegetarian omelet was prepared with fresh mushrooms (unheard of for breakfast) and fresh spinach and onions. It was outstanding. Julia (our three year old) loved the fresh berries pancakes with homemade strawberry syrup with real strawberries in it and a hot chocolate heaped with whipping cream! Large windows offered spectacular views of the ocean.

L.L. Bean Factory Store

Freeport Maine was all we hoped and more!

The morning was foggy, so we headed to Freeport for the LL Bean, Patagonia and North Face and many more outlet stores. My husband claimed he found his mecca. The first time, I wanted to stop shopping before him. There are so many shopping opportunities within 30 minutes of Old Orchard Beach, the shopper in you will not be bored. There are outlets to the south, lots of “beach shopping” in town (bathing suits, souvenirs, etc).

Fast food seafood? Yes and it was actually good!

Fast food seafood? Yes and it was actually good!

After shopping we picked up Pier Fries which were very good and Joe’s Jumbo Pizza, and headed back to our suite. Suited up and took a long walk on the beach, what a beautiful beach, the water was cold but due to the protected bay, it was not as cold as other areas of the Maine coast. We could see a lighthouse and the long steel pier from the beach in front of the motel.

After walking to the pier, we played a few arcade games and headed back to enjoy the heated swimming pool. If you choose to visit Maine in September with kids, make sure you have a wet suit. Kids don’t seem to care but we adults do… OR better yet, stay at one of the many motels with a heated pool.

For dinner, we dined at the Landmark Restaurant. Fine dining set in an old Victorian home, the atmosphere was upscale and loud with excited chatter. This is a popular restaurant, we could not get dinner reservations until 7:30. Reservations are highly recommended. Dinner for two was $90 with one drink each, salad and appetizers. We had the mussels marinara which was delicious, the lobster bisque which was too rich for me, the Caesar salad which was quite good and filet mignon which was good but not fantastic.

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