It's called the jewel of the north coast, but this summer it looked like it would be left on the shelf to gather dust instead of being placed on display for all to enjoy.
Just at a time when Portrush was primed to cash in on the exposure from The Open Golf Championship, which drew thousands from around the world to the North Atlantic Way this time last year, lockdown threatened to destroy the summer season.
A multi-million pound spruce-up ahead of last year's golfing spectacle helped the resort look the best it had in a long time. This year, though, there was a real threat of 'The Port' being the town that was all dressed up with nowhere to go.
There had been no fanfare Easter weekend opening of family favourite Barry's Amusements. The caravan parks were shut, hotels closed and apartments unavailable to visitors.
Today there are still no screams of fright and delight, as the doors remain firmly shut on the famous old building that has attracted fun lovers through the decades. There's no ride on the old ghost train. Copper coins will find a different home instead of the slots in the arcade.
But elsewhere in the town the sparkle is starting to return.
The mums are back, tissues in hand to mop up dribbles of ice-cream from small faces. All the seats along the seafront are taken for a welcome breath of fresh north coast air.
If anything, the town is busier than during last July's Open. No golf to distract, no Barry's to chuck 2p coins into those slots in the hope of winning a clatter of copper. Instead, visitors are nose to tail along the main street, and it's come just in the nick of time for the shops and cafes.
Andy Hill has been running Troggs Surf Shop since 1984 and said Monday was one of the best he can remember.
"It's incredibly busy. It's all domestic custom, we've hardly seen a foreign tourist," he said.
"The beaches are very busy indeed. A lot of people were probably going stir crazy at home and just needed to see the ocean and get some salt water therapy.
"We're selling an awful lot of body boards, surfboards and wetsuits. The beach is a natural asset that we have and it's great to see people using it.
"Of course it's a huge disappointment that Barry's isn't open, but people seem to be making the best of it, and thankfully the weather is helping.
"Monday was probably one of the busiest days I've ever had here. If everyone did holiday at home every year it would be a marvellous boost to the whole economy. Some will be quite surprised when they come here. A lot of visitors have been telling us what a brilliant time they're having on the north coast."
Along the street, Alice Rohdich presides over the family jewellers and souvenir shop, which has been in business since 1887 and has never known a time like it.
"We're missing the tourists from further afield, but we're certainly making up for it with homegrown visitors," she said.
"The town has had to evolve this year. We can't change what's happening.
"We did invest in more Irish souvenirs this year as we'd expected more people from overseas on the back of the golf last year, but that hasn't happened.
"But thankfully we're getting our share of what's going and we're feeling much more positive. We would previously have had early morning and late evening trade, but now, with plenty of day trippers, the middle of the day is when most arrive." You can't really visit Portrush without grabbing a stick of rock and Ann Lamont has been selling sweets and confectionery at Wilma's just across from Barry's.
"It has really picked up this last week," she said. "We do sell some Irish souvenirs, but that's not what people from Northern Ireland are after and that's who we've had in the town.
"But they're still able to get their sweets, buckets and spades.
"The weather has been good and usually, especially at nighttime, Barrys would be a big draw for us. Most of my family have worked in there at some stage."
A few miles' drive along the Atlantic coast, Portstewart has always been known as a quieter seaside town than its neighbour, but it has reawakened with vigour over the past two weeks.
There's the usual crawl of traffic along the ocean front. Across the bay the sun glints once again off the cars lining the famous Strand. Orderly queues form outside the many ice-cream parlours. There are smiles again on faces as they take good of the fresh sea air. And customers are like a breath of fresh air, too, for the myriad of seafront shops.
"It's great to have the doors open again and see people out and about again," said Siobhan Farthing at home and lifestyle shop A Broader Picture.
"We're obviously having to keep numbers down in the shop, but it's such a relief to get the doors open again.
"There's a real psychological boost to being by the sea and so many people have told us they're delighted to be back."
Missing out on their day by the seaside, though, were face coverings. Few and far between along the proms, it seems a decent face mask might be considered a hindrance to getting the full benefit of the sea air.