Maine's Top 10 Beaches
Maine has so many beautiful beaches, it would be hard to see all of them in one trip. From stretches of beautiful white sand to smaller, rockier shores, Maine beaches have something for everyone - whether you like to simply relax in the sand or swim and surf in the waves. Southern Maine is home to smooth sandy beaches while further up the coast State Parks are more secluded and scenic, offering an array of water sports and campsites.
Maine beaches are also ideal for families due to their soft sand, tidal pools and gentle surf; plus many Maine beaches are watched by trained lifeguards during the summer. So grab your swimsuit and check out some of our favorite Maine beaches.
Chances are, if you're hitting the beach, a fresh baked Maine lobster is on the menu to be checked off the list of things to do in the area. As popular vacation destinations, Maine beaches also offer prime beachfront lodgings.
Old Orchard Beach lays claim to a 7-mile stretch of beautiful sand. The center is home to the famous Old Orchard Pier, an exciting place with lots to do including an amusement park, honky-tonk games and attractions, restaurants, and salty but delicious Pier fries and other summer treats. If you are looking to enjoy the beach in a more calm setting, simply head to the Northern stretch at Scarborough Beach or further south to Saco and Ferry Beach. Old Orchard Beach is consistently voted Maine's #1 Beach by Maine's largest newspaper.
Ogunquit Beach is very popular for families. Easily accessible by trolley or beach parking lot, it is considered one of the prettiest stretches of peninsula beach in the country. It's location at the head of the Ogunquit River offers gentle waves and flat sand, especially at low tide when it is ideal for building sand castles or playing Frisbee. A quieter stretch known as Footbridge Beach is accessible by foot further along the coast. Ogunquit Beach is situated with easy access to the Marginal Way walking path and Perkins Cove - a quaint and charming old fishing village with shops, restaurants and boat tours.
Popham Beach State Park is located at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine's Mid-Coast region. This 3-mile long sand beach encompasses 529 acres of land. At low tides, kids can splash and play in tidal pools or take a walk on the sandbars. The grounds have picnic areas with grills. Many walking trails make Pophan an ideal location for hiking and wildlife watching. Popham Beach is truly one of Maine's most beautiful and unspoiled beaches.
York Beaches offer lots of sun, surf, and family fun on the sand! Long Sand Beach is 2 miles of sand located right along scenic Rt. 1. It offers great views of Cape Neddick "Nubble" Lighthouse, the most photographed lighthouse in the country, on its own island just a few hundred feet off shore. For a more lively beach experience, head to nearby Short Sand Beach, with easy access to York shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and its famous saltwater taffy at the Golden Rod.
Sand Beach is located in Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island and is by far one of the most scenic beaches in Maine. Although it is small in length - only 300 yards long - it's surrounding beauty and ideal southern exposure offer stunning views out to sea. The unique sand is made from crushed shells. But don't be fooled by the beauty of the ocean, even in prime summer months the water temperature at Sand Beach can be a chilly (but refreshing) 50-55 degrees.
Wells Beaches are great for a sunny Maine getaway, with so many hotels, inns and house rentals in the area. Wells Beach is a long and wide stretch of sand ideal for playing, walking or surfing when the waves are right. Crescent Beach is located on the same stretch of sand. The tide pools formed at low tide are perfect for finding starfish and crabs. If you're lucky, you might spot seal offshore at Bucklin Rock so don't forget the binoculars and camera! Drake's Island is a less crowded beach further up the Wells coastline that has great waves for body surfing and swimming.
Birch Point Beach State Park is located on a small peninsula in Owls Head, on the shores of Penobscot Bay. This scenic hideaway tends to attract locals more than visitors, offering a quiet retreat for those who would like to relax or try beachcombing or shore fishing for mackerel and bass. The sandy beach, known as Lucia Beach, has great views of offshore islands. Nearby Owls Head and Rockland are home to a lighthouse, shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Kennebunk Beach features three prominent beaches connected by sidewalk, making for a nice oceanfront stroll. Gooches Beach is the sandiest and largest of the three, with beautiful powder sand. Located at the mouth of the Kennebunk River, Gooches offers great waves for surfing, swimming and splashing. Beachgoers can also watch beautiful boats and yachts travel in and out of the marina by the Kennebunk Breakwater rocks. Middle Beach is a rocky section with pretty black stones, popular with beachcombers searching for sea glass and ocean treasures. Mother's Beach is a short section of beautiful sand and tidal pools with a playground for the kids and easy access by trolley.
Higgins Beach is located in a small seaside community popular for cottage rentals and Inn-stays in the summer. With the Spurwink River located just around the bend, this beach has become popular amongst kayakers. Surfers enjoy the waves and warmer water, while sunbathers can relax on more than half a mile of beautiful white sand. Higgins Beach is also known for its striped bass fishing and historic shipwreck embedded in the sand.
Scarborough Beach State Park on Prouts Neck is one of the best swimming beaches in Maine, with water temperatures reaching the high 60s during prime summer months. But be careful to stay in the designated lifeguard areas since rip currents occur on a daily basis. There are also self-guided hiking trails, fishing and boating charters in Scarborough. The "Shack" is a local favorite that offers a variety of beachside food and rentals of chairs, umbrellas and boogie boards. Scarborough Beach State Park is just a short drive from Portland and Casco Bay.