Baby boomers fantasize about their childhood summers – a time when the world slowed down with never ending days at the beach, playing outside with friends, ice cream cones, parades, time to relax and be silly, time to be a little kid. Summers of the 21st century seem to be burdened with the same frantic schedule that exists during the rest of the year leaving no time for kicking back.
If you long for those childhood summers then a visit to Ocean Park, Maine is essential.
The picturesque village of Ocean Park is nestled along beautiful Saco Bay. Wide, sandy beaches are the culmination for every eastward facing street in Ocean Park. Pine woods mark the inland boundary of town where the Amtrak Downeaster can be seen bringing beach goers from Boston to Maine coastal communities several times a day.
Long walks along the cool Atlantic Ocean at low tide, complete with shell searching can ease even the hottest July days. Children race in and out of the water, squealing with delight as the icy ocean splashes those standing nearby. Older kids and brave adults show off their prowess on skim boards and boogie boards. Some even dare to body surf.
Take a step back in time to the beach days of yore
Ice cream or a lime rickey from the Ocean Park Soda Fountain and Variety quench the appetite and lengthen the beach day until sunset drives you home to your quaint cottage where the rote of the waves is all you hear. Or maybe you prefer to wander into the village center for some shopping at the Cottage Design Gift Shop, which specializes in beach themed gifts.
The Soda Fountain and Variety is housed in one of the original buildings constructed in 1881. The Soda Fountain side takes visitors back decades with its pine paneling and wooden booths. Many young visitors in previous years have carved their names into the windowsills. Were you one of them?
The Variety side bulges with beach toys, penny candy and Ocean Park memorabilia. Everyone needs an Ocean Park tee shirt or hoodie! Broke your boogie board? No worries, you can get another in the Variety.