If there's one great thing that came from a strenuous year in 2020, it's that it may have reshaped the way Maine does outdoor dining permanently. Portland has once again adopted the idea of closing off several streets and allowing restaurants to extend their dining space outdoors to enhance the experience for patrons. And now one of Maine's hottest tourist destinations is joining the party with a chance to dine right next to the crashing waves on Old Orchard Beach.

Shared on Facebook by OOB Pier, Hooligan's Pub (part of the Pier family of restaurants) will be getting an outdoor makeover for the 2021 season. As you can see in the photo above, a dozen tables will be available to patrons this summer as a chance to truly dine right on top of the legendary beach. The finished product isn't quite there yet, but many return visitors to The Pier commented at how excited they were for the new seating option right on the sand.

Thomas-john Veilleux
Thomas-john Veilleux

The new beach seating is almost certain to be a massive hit for visitors this summer and could lead other bars and restaurants to consider doing the same. Several other states with seasonal beach communities like Old Orchard Beach have had this place for years. If it works in OOB, other seasonal hotspots in Maine probably won't be far behind with outdoor dining innovations. The time seems right for Maine to continue trying new things and bringing in even bigger crowds year over year. One step at a time and closer to the beach please.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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