You’ll quickly realize that the number-one thing to do while staying at BillowHouse in Ocean Park is to simply relax. Other things that are part of that relaxation whether you’re here in spring, summer, fall, or winter:
- Watching the sunrise over the bay.
- Greeting the morning with a cup of coffee as you take in the ocean views.
- Going for a walk on the beach—just a few steps from your room, apartment, or suite. (In winter, when the sand is blanketed with snow, you can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing by the sea!)
- Strolling the quiet streets of Ocean Park past the historic buildings of our Chautauqua-by-the-Sea community.
- Gazing at the canopy of stars overhead before falling asleep to the song of the waves.
In the warmer months, you’ll also want to:
- Unwind on your balcony or patio as you survey the panorama of sea and sky.
- Settle onto a big towel on the beach and splash in the ocean.
- Buy an ice-cream cone at an old-fashioned ice-cream parlor.
- Stop and smell the beach roses.
If you’re able to tear yourself away from BillowHouse, you’ll discover plenty of diversions and destinations close by. Here’s a list to get you started.
- Portland is just 12 miles to the north. A delightful small city with a big-town feel, it is constantly included on many Ten-Best lists. The Old Port section is studded with celebrated restaurants and brewpubs, and the many boutiques and galleries are brimming with must-have indulgences. The Portland Museum of Art is especially notable for its Maine-related works as well as a fine collection of Impressionist paintings. For families, the Portland Children’s Museum is a magical destination (ask us for free passes). For a little island hopping, take a spin on the year-round ferry and visit delightful island villages surrounded by the waters of Casco Bay. In the summertime, there are also sightseeing cruises aboard powerboats and sailboats.
- About 15 miles to the south of Ocean Park, you’ll find the picturesque seaside towns of Kennebunkport and Ogunquit waiting to charm you with quaint waterfront shops and eateries.
- There’s lots of antiquing to be done near BillowHouse, including along Route 1 in Wells, where barns and antique malls overflow with nostalgic finds.
- Several beautiful nature preserves await exploration. In the wintertime, the trails are perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and you might just spot a snowy owl. The bird watching is excellent at other times of the year, too, and there are quiet waterways just right for canoeing and kayaking.
In the summertime, you’ll also want to enjoy:
- A full calendar of concerts, lectures, art shows, and films presented by Ocean Park Community. If you’re here in early August, you won’t want to miss the activities of Founder’s Day Week, culminating with Illumination Night, when all the cottages glimmer with candlelight and there’s a candle-lit procession to the beach where the sand glows with clusters of candles. The evening includes a band concert, sing-alongs, and pipers and drummers. There’s fresh strawberry shortcake, too.
- All the fun of Old Orchard Beach is just a mile away with amusement park rides, the bustling pier, and concerts—not to mention the irresistible, oh-so-yummy beach food (Pier Fries are famous for good reason!).