Taking a trip to explore the best beaches in Maine could take up a whole summer. Maine technically has more coastline than the entire state of California, so you’ll have to make sure you plot out your beach exploration before your departure. Dive in now with a quick overview of some of the Pine Tree State’s most excellent beaches.
What Kind of Beaches Can You Expect in Maine?
The beaches in Maine are quite special. There’s more to the coastline views than sand and water. Maine beaches consist of craggy, impressive cliffs, jewel-like coves, and a menagerie of historic lighthouses.
The 10 Best Beaches in Maine
We’ve made it easier for you to get your plans together by compiling a list of 10 of the best beaches in Maine. Consider what you want from your exploratory adventures, and take notes as you learn more about what Maine’s beaches have to offer.
1. Ogunquit Beach
Address: 115 Beach St, Ogunquit, ME 03907
What to Expect: You’ll have to pay to park here. The beach has restrooms and showers to spray off the sand when you’re ready to leave. If you want the best experience, head to the beach at low tide.
About the Beach: Ogunquit Beach gets its name from the indigenous Abenaki people. Ogunquit, roughly translated, means “beautiful place by the sea,” and it really lives up to its name. When the tide rolls out, the beach exposes an array of rock pools and sandbars to explore. That’s the best time to explore the beach. When the tide sweeps in, it will also cover up the entire beach, so you don’t want to get stuck out there unaware.
Nearby Attractions: Near one of Maine’s best beaches, there are many eateries to explore. You can also find the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, the Nubble Lighthouse, and even the Seashore Trolley Museum.
2. Crescent Beach
Address: 66 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
About the Beach: Crescent Beach makes the list of top beaches in Maine for many reasons. First, it’s super kid-friendly. The waves are gentle and pose no danger to little ones.
Also, you can fish, bird watch, swim, stroll, and engage in several different water sports here. When the tide goes out, visitors can even set off to explore the offshore island of Richmond. The highlight of the park the beach sits in is the one-mile-long crescent-shaped area of beach where the waters are calm and relatively warm.
What to Expect: You’ll have to pay a fee to enter the park and park here. However, Maine does offer a statewide park pass that will make for a good investment if you’re going to explore Maine’s coastline. Crescent Beach provides a cozy picnic area, public restrooms, and lifeguards for your protection.
Nearby Attractions: You can visit the oldest lighthouse in Maine, the Portland Head Lighthouse. You can also check out the ruins of John Goddard’s mansion by the water.
3. Kennebunk Beach
Address: Beach Avenue, State Rte 9 & ME-35, Kennebunk, ME 04043
About the Beach: Kennebunk Beach is also known as Mother’s Beach. The area has beautiful protected waters and views, and the sand is some of the softest you’ll ever experience. Mother’s Beach is small, but there are several different beaches, all ribbed together going along the coastline in the area. You need a sticker to explore all of the beaches during the peak season, and you can acquire them from the Town Hall.
The beach itself has a different kind of vibe. It’s pretty low-key. There’s a lot of seaweed on the shore, and the water is a little cold through this area of Maine’s coastline. You may want a wetsuit for the kids instead of a bathing suit.
What to Expect: There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles on this beach. There are lifeguards stationed during peak seasons, but the facilities are minimal. The toilets are portable, but there’s a pretty cool playground for the kids to enjoy.
Nearby Attractions: Kennebunk’s attractions are limited, but there’s tons to explore if you’re a nature enthusiast. There’s a nature preserve, several other small beaches, and plenty of walking trails.
Pro Tip: Skip the sand and head to the forest instead. We uncovered What Are The Best Maine National Parks?
4. Old Orchard Beach
Address: Seaside Ave, Old Orchard Beach, ME 04064
About the Beach: Old Orchard Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine because it includes an amusement park. You’ll have a lot of fun visiting this seven-mile stretch of sand, but it’s definitely not for people who like a more secluded vibe.
People have been enjoying the sands of Old Orchard Beach for more than 170 years. The featured pier offers hours of fun and exploration, and the oceanside amusement area has a giant Ferris wheel, a gaming arcade, bumper cars, and more.
What to Expect: You’ll spend money coming to this beach, especially if you bring the whole family. There are plenty of parking options, but it may take some searching in peak months. Bathrooms are also plentiful. The many shops and stops along the shore give you plenty of places to rest and eat a meal or grab a drink.
Nearby Attractions: Aside from the amusement park, the beach sits near resorts, dining, and more. It’s close to all the town offers, including golfing, parks, and walking trails.
5. Higgins Beach
Address: Bayview Ave, Scarborough, ME 04074
About the Beach: Higgins Beach lies sandwiched between Old Orchard and Crescent State beaches. It earns its spot on this list by having the remains of an old shipwreck embedded in its sands. The beach is known for its warmer than usual water, so you can definitely swim. Or go fishing for striped bass.
What to Expect: Parking is limited, so it’s wise to show up earlier in the day. Also, the parking lot closes at 5 p.m., so most people head out before then. Note that there are no lifeguards on duty, and there’s no on-site food option. However, there’s a place within walking distance of the beach where you can get some grub.
Nearby Attractions: The Portland Museum of Art isn’t too far for a visit after you’re through swimming. You could also hop over to Old Orchard Beach, where there’s a cool pier and a small amusement park.
Pro Tip: Add these 10 Best Maine Lighthouses to See On Your Coastal Roadtrip to your itinerary.
6. Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
Address: Bar Harbor, ME 04609
About the Beach: Sand Beach is located inside Acadia National Park. The sandy reprieve from the rocky surroundings feels special. The beach is just 290 yards long, so it’s definitely a small spot. You can get to the beach through the national park entrance. The water can get pretty cold here, so take it easy if you plan to get in the water.
Some describe the sands at Sand Beach as pink, but it’s not the sand that gives off the pink hues. Years of rough waves crashing into the shore have broken up seashells that mix with the sand for this unique look.
What to Expect: There are onsite restrooms and changing rooms for the beach. You’ll find lifeguards on duty throughout the summer season.
Nearby Attractions: The beach is inside a national park, so hikers will find plenty of breathtaking scenery along the trails that run parallel to the coastline. There are several different drop-off points for those looking for varying difficulty levels.
7. Popham Beach
Address: 10 Perkins Farm Ln, Phippsburg, ME 04562
About the Beach: Popham Beach is known for being somewhat underdeveloped. If you’re looking to get away from the traditional hustle and bustle of some of Maine’s other best beaches, Popham is the place to go. The shoreline is constantly changing, and you’ll notice a shift from year to year. However, the beauty of the beach here never fades.
The waters off the shore of Popham Beach aren’t for the faint of heart. You won’t want your small children swimming here. The currents are strong, and the waves keep rolling, but surfers and strong swimmers can have quite the adventure at Popham.
What to Expect: There’s a lifeguard tower, but you may not have a lifeguard at all times. Dogs are only officially allowed on the beach during the off-season, which falls from Oct. 1 through March 31. There are no public restrooms.
Nearby Attractions: Fort Baldwin and Fort Popham Historic Sites are both nearby. You’ll also find the Fort Baldwin Memorial Park within reach.
Pro Tip: Looking for somewhere to stay while in Maine? Try out one of these 10 Most Beautiful Oceanfront Campgrounds in Maine.
8. Ferry Beach
Address: Saco, ME 04072
About the Beach: Ferry Beach is a good choice if you’re looking for traditional white sands and rolling waters. It sits between Saco and Old Orchard Beach. And it’s family-friendly. Ferry Beach is clean, comfortable, and safe. You may just have to fight with a bit of seaweed as you play.
What to Expect: The tide at Ferry Beach is gentle, and you (or the kids) could have tons of fun checking out the hermit crabs. There are pit bathrooms on site and picnic tables for catching a snack. Parking is paid if there’s actually someone on duty to collect.
Nearby Attractions: There is a nature center on-site and a woodsy walking trail to explore at Ferry Beach. If you’re willing to travel a little farther, you’ll find even more trails.
Address: York, ME 03909
About the Beach: York Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine because it’s in the heart of beach town. This is where to go to get an authentic New England coastline experience. The area comprises several beaches. Long Sands and Short Sands beach hug up next to York Beach. York is a great town to visit with the whole family. The beach is safe. The sand is soft, and the water is calm.
What to Expect: York Harbor Beach has free parking access off of Route 1, and there’s a wheelchair-accessible bathroom for beachgoers. Nearby eateries negate the need for a picnic area.
Nearby Attractions: One might say there’s too much to do here! There’s an arcade and York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo. And don’t forget to stop by Golden Rod to watch the making of some authentic Maine saltwater taffy.
Address: Atlantic Ave, Wells Beach, Wells, ME 04090
About the Beach: Wells Beach is the last of Maine’s best beaches, and the scenery on this stretch of coastline will not disappoint. Kayaking, boating, swimming, or sunbathing, you can easily find a reason to smile. Wells has seven miles of beach, and the shore is lined with gorgeous waterside houses.
What to Expect: Parking is free at the end of Mile Road. There are public restroom facilities, a snack bar, and an arcade.
Nearby Attractions: There are a few golf courses nearby for some relaxation after you’re done relaxing. Or you can take a boat tour of the nearby lighthouses.
Check Out Maine’s Best Beaches
Now you know a good deal about what Maine’s coastline has to offer. Planning your New England beach adventures should be much easier. Whether you want a wild tide, a quiet retreat, or a family-friendly experience, you can find it at Maine’s best beaches.
What do you look for in a beach getaway? Drop a comment below!
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