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Ocean Park on Saco Bay is so much more than a beach

Beach, family, and fun
Beach, family, and fun
Jane Beecher Russo

Ocean Park is a unique beachside village, full of activities, culture, learning, opportunities for non-denominational spiritual growth, oh- and it's surrounded by 7 miles of white sandy beach. The beach is populated daily in summer by locals and tourists alike, who flock to the quiet community to relax and enjoy the low-key version of sun, sand, and surf.

Beach bliss
Jane Beecher Russo

Although Ocean Park is technically part of Old Orchard Beach, the residents like to call their tranquil streets the quiet end of town. Here you'll find family fun like the upcoming 26th Annual Festival of Lights and Illumination Night on July 31st, family activities like the annual sand castle competition, the annual Ocean Park 5K run, Kids Fun Run, and the weekly summer S'mores and More on the Beach get together's held on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.. Families on the beach choosing to swim or play in the clean and cool Atlantic do so under the watchful eyes of the lifeguards. The typical water temperature range for mid July into mid August is 59 to 69 degrees.

For families who would like to have an occasional foray into more lively fun, just a mile or so to the North on Route 9 is the Old Orchard Beach community with it's world renowned Palace Playland Amusement Park.

The village of Ocean Park is many things to hundreds of people, but a little known designation is that the entire half mile by half mile stretch of land on Saco Bay is a State of Maine Game Preserve, with a variety of walking trails through the pines, and is adjacent to a Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. From the village center, one can visit the library, mail a post card, enjoy an ice cream cone, shop for gifts, or go out for a leisurely dinner.

The Ocean Park Memorial Library, in Furber Park, is open seasonally, and is treasured by many families for its' many varied subjects ranging from great beach reads to books on the history of Ocean Park. The Soda Fountain and Variety Store has been serving up ice cream as well as breakfast, brunch, and lunch in the same location for over 100 years. For a summer dress up night out, Yellowfin's Restaurant serves a full menu of fresh Maine delights, calling themselves a fine dining establishment with a relaxed atmosphere.

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