Camping in South Maine: Saco Old Orchard Beach KOA
Camp Maine: I’m talking with Nancy today. Her and her husband own the Saco Old Orchard Beach KOA in Maine. Nancy, why don’t you get us started by giving us a little bit of history about that particular KOA?
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Nancy: Oh, the Saco KOA. Well, we’ve owned it for 12 years. Before that, a couple, the Kelly’s, owned it for ten years, and they turned it over to a KOA back in what would be 22 years ago. Previous to that it was called Willy’s Hideaway, and it was a campground for about ten years before that.
Camp Maine: So, for quite a long time, people have been coming to that area.
Nancy: That area, our area, is a hopping area. There are seven miles of sandy beach right nearby, and in Maine, there’s beautiful, beautiful rocky coastlines, which are also close to us, but there’s not as much sandy beach as some people expect. So that’s what calls people to our area. There are traditional, sandy, white beaches.
Camp Maine: Okay. And what types of camping do you offer at your KOA there?
Nancy: That’s probably what we’re most proud of; is that we have everything. We have tent sites without utilities. We have tent sites with water and electric. We have nice, little, quaint pop-up sites and smaller trailer sites. We have long pull-through sites. We’re now adding patio sites for RVs. And then, in addition, we have 120 sites altogether. We’re up 39 of those are accommodation units, so we have all kinds of cabins as well.
Camp Maine: Wow, so just about anything for any type of camper. If I want to rough it and sleep on the ground, I’m good to go, or I can stay in a nice cabin. Tell me a little bit more about the cabins and what those offer.
Nancy: Well, like I said, we have all kinds. We start with just basic cabins that have been around KOA for many years, and those don’t have bathrooms or kitchens. No plumbing at all, but they’re comfortable, small cabins with a full bed and some bunk beds in them. Then you go up from that. We have what’s called deluxe studio cabins, which are probably our most popular, and they have air conditioning and a television, and a queen bed, and then bunk beds and the full bathroom, which is what everybody’s looking for. Plus, not a full kitchen, but it has a microwave and a small refrigerator. So, very, very comfortable with really everything you would need.
And then you just kind of go up from there to larger deluxe cabins that have full kitchens, more bedding area, a living room. Some have big decks. So, again, we feel like we have something for everybody.
Camp Maine: They sound great. Now, what are the most popular activities for the guests there in the Park?
Nancy: In our Park? Well, the swimming pool. And it’s heated, so that’s something very nice. And I have to say this is not really an activity, but I would tell you that so many people come back to our Park and come to our Park because of our wonderful pancake breakfast. They’re not your just usual pancake breakfast. They’re just so good, and we have blueberry pancakes and all kinds of other pancakes. And then we also do planned activities in the season, and I would have to say that tie-dye t-shirts is probably the most popular activity. That and outdoor movies I would say would run second to that.
Camping in South Maine: Saco Old Orchard Beach KOASure.
Nancy: But in general, even though we offer activities and we’ve got a game room and playground, and basketball court as well, people really come to our area for the area since there is so much to do and see all around us.
Camp Maine: Okay, I still have an hour to go until lunch, and this talk of blueberry pancakes is killing me.
Nancy: Me too.
Camp Maine: So, you kind of hit on it a little bit earlier, but say a little bit more about some of your attractions in and around that area outside of the Park.
Nancy: So, of course, again, the first thing I would say is the beach and the sandy beaches. And then, secondly, it’d have to be lobster, which sounds fun, but people come to Maine for lobster, and so there are lots of lobster towns and places you can actually see people – fishermen – bring the lobster in from the boats, and then there are lighthouses. Several lighthouses near us, which the most famous one and it’s so beautiful and in such a beautiful setting is the Portman Headlight. So, they come for that. And then there are – well, first, the whole city of Portman, which is a harper front city, so you can spend a couple of days there. There’s also, south of us, what’s known as fishing villages, but they’re upscale fishing villages. Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, Wells, and then if you go on down to York, where there’s more sandy beaches and more lighthouses.
And shopping the (Unclear 5:13.0) and lots of, like I said, places to eat, and there’s also hiking and biking. So it’s a natural area as well with outdoor things to do.
Camp Maine: Sure. So, no shortage of activity at all.
Nancy: None at all. You’re right.
Camp Maine: Two more questions for you, Nancy. If you were just going to spend one hour at Saco Old Orchard Beach KOA, how would you spend your time there?
Nancy: Oh, that’s such a good question. I would take a tour of the cabins, shop in our store because we have lots of neat things, and eat a pancake breakfast. I think you could do that all in one hour.
Camp Maine: Back to these blueberry pancakes. You’re torturing me. And last question for you: if you were just going to spend one night at the Saco Old Orchard Beach KOA, especially given all these different accommodations you have there, which specific site would you stay at, Nancy?
Nancy: Oh, wow. Well, I’m going to go. If I had an RV, I would stay on a patio site, because that just has a big deck or a big yard. The porch furniture is already there. A nice grill is there. So, I would do that. And if I were going to stay in a cabin, of course I would have to choose the largest, best, 37-foot deluxe cabin with a bath and a half.
Camp Maine: Right to the top of the line.
Nancy: Right, exactly.
Camp Maine: Well, great. Nancy, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day today to tell us a little bit about the surrounding area there and to tell us about Saco Old Orchard Beach KOA in Maine.
Nancy: You are so welcome. Thank you.