Barry Tripp here, checking in from Old Orchard Beach where my wife Sherri and I own the Ocean Tripp Inn. We offer surf lessons with rentals and we are nestled right down next to the sand. The weather has been stellar, so I've surfed nearly every day and haven't worn a wetsuit in weeks, which is something I can't say too often. We're lucky to be running our little surf school, sharing a sport that magically connects you to the ocean and provides an unmatched stoke for the soul. I'm always amazed at the excitement folks have when they catch their first wave, and we're proud to be part of their amazing memories. The summer has been just perfect and the beach provides tons of activities in our little corner of Maine. The striper fishing has been great from the beach, kayak and boat – I even tried it from a stand-up paddle board which didn't turn out so well. We have several beach volleyball courts along the beach with one right outside our front door. It's always nice to see the folks getting their morning run in on our 7 miles of shore front, from Camp Ellis to Pine Point. Oh, I can't forget about downtown, where there's an amusement park and pier offering great food, music and games.
The last few nights we've felt a hint of the seasonal change with night time temperatures dropping just a bit. Although we're not giving up on summer yet, it is nice to anticipate our family pilgrimage north to the mountains, where we have a home in Carrabassett Valley on Sugarloaf Mountain. I know it's a little early to be thinking of powder turns, but Carrabassett Valley is the kind of place where you can experience epic conditions and make friends for life.
Before I go, just a little "heads up" – I was talking with a women from Chicago on the beach yesterday. She said, "You would never know about Old Orchard Beach unless you stopped and took the time to enjoy what is offered. You have to experience the beauty of the sights, sounds and people."
I'll check in again this fall. In the meantime, get out here and enjoy!
Old Orchard Beach: Located about 13 miles south of Portland, the southern beaches of Maine are full of soft sand and low tides. With beach gear rentals and lessons available, it is ideal for recreation and family friendly activities. Nearby golf, miniature golf, lobster boat tours, deep-sea fishing, harbor cruises, lighthouses, shopping and entertainment make the surrounding area an iconic vacation getaway. Old Orchard Beach features Palace Playland, which is New England’s only beachfront amusement park. There’s also the century-old pier that stretches 500 feet over the Atlantic with shops, food, games, special events and fireworks every Thursday night in the summer.
Ocean Tripp Inn: A charming beach front inn that offers surfing lessons and rentals from qualified surf instructors. Literally steps from the sand and water, visitors can easily find their desired activity, even if it’s simply reading a book by the sea.
Striped Bass Fishing: Cast off the shore along Old Orchard Beach proper and Surfside Beach, or enjoy one of the many fishing charters available in the area. Family fishing excursions cater to both the novice and experienced angler. For more information see Maine Association of Charterboat Captains, www.mainechartercaptains.org. The striped sea bass season is from mid June until mid October. Getting your fishing license is easy and there are plenty of fishing resources available, including the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
Camp Ellis: Located at the north end of the 7-mile stretch of Old Orchard beach, Camp Ellis is an undisturbed and peaceful 2,000 feet of white sand lined with many seaside cottages.
Pine Point: This is where the Saco River meets the sea. There are plenty of water related activities available here including surfing and surfcasting. Nearby is the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center where you can take a guided or self-guided tour of Maine’s largest salt marsh on foot or by canoe to get a close-up view of its bountiful birdlife.
Kingfield & Carrabassett Valley: About 2 hours northwest of Portland in Maine’s Lakes and Mountains region are the towns of Kingfield and Carrabassett Valley. Kingfield is a quaint village centered around the historic Herbert Hotel. From One Stanley Avenue’s fine dining to the Stanley Museum and the annual Kingfield Pops, the town is an eclectic mix of food, art and history. Carrabassett Valley, just a few miles north, is home to Sugarloaf Mountain and Carrabassett Valley Academy, where a number of Olympic medal winners have trained, including gold medal snowboarder Seth Wescott.
Sugarloaf Mountain: With a summit around 4,250 feet, Sugarloaf is the second highest mountain in the state and the largest ski area east of the Rockies. Views from the top include Vermont, New Hampshire, Canada and Maine’s own Mt. Katahdin. Sugarloaf Resort hosts a number of events throughout the year. Two of the best-known events are White White World Week in January featuring snow sculpting contests, races and theme nights, and the Annual Reggae Fest in April that draws crowds of up to 10,000 people.
The entire Sugarloaf region stretching from Kingfield to Stratton/Eustis, following the Route 27 scenic byway in the shadow of Bigelow mountain range, is a genuine four-season destination with incomparable hiking, boating, fishing, golfing and more.