Honky-tonk beach towns like Old Orchard Beach are on travel's endangered list. The nearly extinct American beach towns can be easily identified in the wild -- these towns are located directly on a beach, cook fried dough, employ C-list musicians, offer carnival style rides, give away large stuffed prizes, and are usually ghost towns October - April.
Despite their lack of external charm, these towns have an incredible ability to evoke childhood memories in many people.
No, global warming has nothing to do with wiping out these towns, this is all about money. While some honky-tonk beach towns are cherished by their residents, and have achieved historic status and protection of some sort, many of these towns referred to pejoratively as "white trash towns" are suffering an onslaught of condo developers who are selling residents on "upscaling" their not-always-so-beloved beach towns.
This month, we are taking a look at America's best honky-tonk beach towns and mapping them for you. If you want to visit, you better hurry, many of them may not exist in a couple years.
America's Honky-Tonk Beach Town Map :: Old Orchard Beach Story
Name: Palace Playland
Where: Old Orchard Beach Maine
If you go on one ride: The Pirate Ship
Bar Where You Won't Get Beat Up: Mr. Goodbar (seriously, and we think it is just because they usually charge a cover).
Food of Choice: Pier Fries with salt and vinegar
Death Watch: This year a towering "Victorian" condo building was erect and $350,000+ condos went on sale. A "Life is Good" shop and a spa took the place of one of New England's greatest arcades--they had both this game and this one. The opening of this condo/commercial space was a body blow, but the rest of Palace Playland is still very much intact--for now.
New condominium "Grand Victorian".
· Palace Playland [Official Site]