New England has one of the best beach boardwalks in the U.S., according to Reader’s Digest

Visitors experience classic amusement rides, restaurants, shops, and more.

Old Orchard Beach in Maine. Shutterstock / Jon Bilous

A beach boardwalk in Maine with classic amusement rides and a picturesque pier was just named among the best in the U.S.

Reader’s Digest recently released a list of the 20 best beach boardwalks in America, and Maine’s Old Orchard Beach made the cut.

Beach boardwalks are “the heart of a great waterfront getaway,” wrote Reader’s Digest, which said this about its picks: “These fun-filled boardwalks offer gorgeous water views and an incredible array of activities and attractions right next to some of the country’s best beaches.”

Here’s what the publication wrote, in part, about Old Orchard Beach, which it called the best for small-town charm:

“This New England beach is a top choice for families, and its unique boardwalk is one of the reasons. First, there’s the long boardwalk pier that picturesquely extends over the Atlantic and is filled with great boutiques, cafés, and treats. Back on the sand is New England’s only remaining beachside amusement park, Palace Playland, where you can ride a classic Ferris wheel, a carousel, or two speeding roller coasters, all within a few feet of the beach.”

— Reader’s Digest

Benefits of the boardwalk include eating lobster rolls and experiencing the classic amusement rides at Palace Playland (originally built in 1902), though visitors won’t find the “adrenaline-rush” attractions found at newer boardwalks, the publication noted.


To determine the best beach boardwalks, editors created a list of criteria, which included a “stellar location with a sandy beach, as well as water (although not necessarily an ocean).” The boardwalks didn’t have to be made of wood, but needed to be “more than a simple sidewalk” and have plenty to do and see. Editors also considered online reviews of the destinations, as well as recommendations from travel experts.

View the full list of 20 best beach boardwalks in America.


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