Maine’s coast offers long stretches of beautiful beaches and rugged coastline. Maine is home to New England’s best beaches, for sure.
During the summer months, you’ll often see sunbathers, children playing in the sand, kite surfers, kayakers plying the waves, boats sailing off the coast at sea, anglers wading among the waves, and buoyant energy of ocean lovers at the beach.
Locals and vacationers who prefer the quiet atmosphere can walk the beach in the spring and fall, and even during the winter for the refreshing wintry air.
Maine has so many beautiful beaches, it’s hard to see all of them in one trip. Whether you prefer sunbathing on a beach chair, surfing or stand-up paddleboarding, crashing through the waves on horseback, a toddler-friendly beach, or walking along the beach sands in search of sea shells and beach glass,
Maine beaches have something for everyone!
The 10 Best Beaches in Maine
Maine is famous for its beautiful beaches. Southern Maine in particular, is often regarded as having some of the best beaches in Maine offering soft white sand with typically gentle surf.
With the right weather, Maine beaches can have waves that surfers crave and dramatic tides, Maine’s tidal range is over 11 feet.
A few Maine beaches are remote, secluded, and remarkable for their dramatic setting succeeding a place among Maine’s best beaches. Other beaches have playgrounds, ice cream stands, lobster shacks, lifeguards, and parking within easy reach.
The beach, located in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island is just 300 yards long, but what Sand Beach lacks in length it makes up for in spectacular scenery.
The soft sand is surrounded by rocky Maine coast on both sides. The views from Sand Beach out to sea are superb. Warning: the salt water at Sand Beach can be bone chilling cold even in peak July and August. Mainers call it refreshing.
Old Orchard Beach
The beach is famed for its 7-mile (no typo – seven miles) stretch of sand, with a centerpiece pier in the middle.
If you like the calming sound of the surf and rustling dune grass, then head north to Pine Point or south to Camp Ellis to get away from the hubbub of typical beach play.
Otherwise, plunk your beach chair and umbrella by the Pier near Palace Playland and all the amusement that is Old Orchard Beach. You can even walk barefoot to buy salty delicious pier fries or a slice of hot fresh pizza.
It’s no wonder why this beach earns a placement among the best of Maine’s beaches.
Goose Rocks Beach
This beach in Kennebunkport doesn’t make everyone’s list, which makes it even more special.
This three-mile stretch of white sand in Kennebunkport near Cape Porpoise offers gentle surf and room to spread out, with great views of the Goose Rocks – hence the name, and Timber Island.
Goose Rocks is located in a protected bay, between Cape Porpoise and Biddeford’s Fortune’s Rocks.
Kennebunkport’s scenic beach is located in front of the namesake grand hotel, The Colony.
From this short but easy-to-access beach you can watch the yachts and lobstermen enter and exit the breakwater that guards the Kennebunk River, and you can see spectacular sunrises, sunsets and fireworks on the 4th of July.
Gooches Beach, Middle Beach, and Mother’s Beach
These are some of Southern Maine’s sandy beaches and offer a playground and tidal pools.
These Kennebunk beaches are all connected by a sidewalk and make for a nice oceanfront stroll.
Long Sand Beach
This beach in York is two miles long, with views of The Nubble Lighthouse – the most photographed lighthouse in the country. Nearby Short Sands Beach is within walking distance of ice cream parlors, shops, restaurants, and The Golden Rod where saltwater taffy is made.
Short Sands is the more happening beach, a playground of sand and sights and sounds, but their proximity to each other makes it easy to enjoy both Long and Short Sands beaches.
Ogunquit Beach is highly known as one of Maine’s best beaches – three miles long from the southernmost section – near the village of Ogunquit where the Ogunquit Rivers flows out to the sea, to Footbridge Beach and Moody Beach at the northeasternmost reach.
Ogunquit Beach has a broad, rather flat stretch of sand, especially during low tide, making it ideal for families or a pickup game of beach ball or Frisbee.
From Ogunquit Beach, you can walk the well-known Marginal Way which is a three-mile path along the coast to Perkins Cove – a charming fishing village with shops, eateries, boats, and a working drawbridge.
Wells Beach and Drake’s Island Beach
Both of these beaches are ideal for sunning, walking, and surfing when the waves are right. These beaches are popular come summertime, with lifeguards on duty.
Scarborough Beach State Park
This beach on Prouts Neck is also a beautiful protected beach, located on Black Point Road. And Ferry Beach, also on Prouts Neck Point offers a protected stretch of sand directly on the Scarborough River.
Higgins Beach, Crescent Beach, and Willard Beach
These beaches are just south of Portland in the Casco Bay Region, and are each almost a mile long with soft sand and extraordinary sea views.
Popham Beach State Park
Located off of Perkins Farm Road in Phippsburg Maine’s Mid-Coast Region is a 3-mile-long sand beach at the mouth of the Kennebec River. Many consider this Maine’s finest most beautiful unspoiled beach of course winning a place as one of the best beaches in Maine.
90% of Maine’s beaches are concentrated in the first 30 miles of coastline from Kittery to Portland, but some glorious beaches are further Down East – like Sand Beach on Mount Desert Island – part of Acadia National Park.
Discover a beach in Maine from our guide. From the sandy beaches in Southern Maine with an artsy feel, beachside shops, and amusements to quiet and peaceful beaches in the Mid Coast and secluded beaches in the Down East Region, a trip to the beach surely deserves its place on the itinerary while on your Maine coast vacation.
Southern Maine Beaches
Harbor Beach | York Harbor
The scenic sandy beach with gentle surf in York Harbor offers a great place to enjoy walking along the beach and exploring the rocks at low tide.
Parking is free but limited for this small scenic beach just off Coastal Route 1A at the entrance to Harbor Park.
Portable restrooms are available at the end of Harbor Beach Road. Lifeguards are on duty end of June to Labor Day.
There is a scenic cove adjacent to Stage Neck Inn, a short scenic walk through Hartley Mason Reserve from York Harbor Inn.
Long Sands Beach | York
As the name implies, this is a long wide sandy beach stretching for over a mile and a half with designated surfing areas.
Metered parking is available along Coastal Route 1A for the entire length of beach.
Route 1A serves as a scenic bike ride along the shoreline as well as plenty of small food shacks, motels, and general stores along the strip.
There are restrooms available at the Bathhouse near Oceanside Avenue. Lifeguards are on duty end of June to Labor Day. You can see the famous Nubble Lighthouse from the beach.
Short Sands Beach | York Beach
Short Sands Beach has lovely gentle surf, plus showers, changing area, and toilets. Shorts Sands Beach is obviously not as long as neighboring Long Sands Beach.
Metered parking is available in a lot off Route 1A.
Located right in York Beach, it’s an easy walk to shops, restaurants, Fun-O-Rama, a bowling alley, Golden Rod Salt Water Taffy, and York’s Wild Kingdom Amusement Park.
The kids will enjoy the amusement house and playground nearby and searching for weathered beach glass.
Lifeguards are on duty end of June to Labor Day.
Ogunquit Beach | Ogunquit
Ogunquit offers a long stretch of wide soft perfect white sand and surf. Popular family beach activities are volleyball, bocce ball, or frisbee. Accessible by trolley and several parking areas.
Located at the end of Beach Street just a few hundred yards from Ogunquit Village, there are plenty of food shacks and ice cream shops, restrooms, as well a close vicinity to boutique shops and restaurants in Ogunquit Village.
It is considered one of the prettiest 3.5 miles of peninsula beach in the country. This beach helps Ogunquit earn the name… “beautiful place by the sea.”
Footbridge Beach | Ogunquit
Beachgoers walk across the river and over the sand dunes via the famous Footbridge from which the beach derives its name to get to this beautiful very uncrowded section of Ogunquit Beach, which is lifeguard patrolled.
Located just 1 mile north of downtown Ogunquit Village at the end of Ocean Street Road, you will find this idyllic beach with a wide stretch of perfect white beach sand.
Parking is available which requires a fee, and there is as a small restroom near the bridge. The Ogunquit River is a great place for a beach tube.
Moody Beach | Wells
Moody is a lovely mile-long beach on the border between Ogunquit and Wells. Access this beach from Bourne Avenue in Wells to Ocean Avenue.
Paid public parking is available at the very end of Ocean Avenue with restroom facilities.
There are also numerous access points for kayaks and boats.
Crescent Beach | Wells
A lesser-known, less crowded section of beach located between Wells and Moody. While a little more rocky than surrounding beaches in Wells, this beach is unique for its quieter family-friendly atmosphere.
Parking is available at Gold Ribbon Avenue lot off Webhannet Drive.
Wells Beach | Wells Beach
Wells Beach is a long, sandy beach with a rocky section near the main parking area in the center.
Parking stickers are available at Town Hall for the Eastern Shore parking lot at the end of Atlantic Avenue, off Mile Road.
There are a few free parking lots at Atlantic Avenue (Casino Square lot), Webhannet Drive, and Harbor Road.
This beach has restrooms and lifeguards with nearby restaurants, shopping, and ice cream.
Drakes Island Beach | Wells
Located on Drakes Island, this smooth, sandy beach has great waves for body boarding, skim boarding, and swimming.
There is limited parking at the lot on the southern end of Drakes Island Road near the mouth of Wells Harbor.
At low tide, the Harbor Beach area is a favorite protected sandy area for families. A small parking fee is required.
There are toilet facilities and a lifeguard-patrolled area.
Mother’s Beach | Kennebunk
Kennebunk’s short but wide sandy section of perfect sand beach is well protected from the surf and features a large playground -hence the name Mothers Beach.
Low tide offers great tidal pools between rocks on either end of this idyllic little beach.
This is a great beach for families with young children. Parking stickers are required and available at Kennebunk Town Hall.
Port-a-potties are available too.
Middle Beach | Kennebunk Beach
This is the rocky section of Kennebunk Beach between Mother’s and Gooch’s sand beaches with pretty black pebble stones.
A Kennebunk Parking Sticker is required and available at Town Hall for spaces along Beach Ave.
This is very uncrowded and a great place to park close and enjoy a quiet day on your beach chair with great ocean views, relaxing to the lapping waves on the rocks.
Gooch’s Beach | Kennebunk Beach
As the largest and sandiest section of Kennebunk Beach, this IS Kennebunk Beach!
Located along Beach Avenue between the mouth of the Kennebunk River and Narragansett Point, Gooch’s offers a wide stretch of talcum powder sand at low tide.
The Beach narrows considerably at high tide. You can walk the beach out to the River Breakwater and watch the boats come and go.
Surfers flock to this beach with its gentle rolling surf year round.
The Seaside Inn is the only Hotel located directly on Kennebunk Beach. A Town of Kennebunk Parking sticker is required and can be purchased at Town Hall. There is no snack bar, but there are portable toilets and in-season lifeguards available.
Colony Beach | Kennebunkport
At the mouth of the Kennebunk River lies this 150-foot gem of a beach. Walk on the Breakwater rocks for harbor views and great fishing. Low tide offers tidal pools for the kids to explore.
A mix of sand and pebbles, this is not the perfect sand beach of Gooches or Goose Rocks Beach, but an idyllic spot of coastline from which to watch the boats ply in and out of the Kennebunk River.
There is limited parking and no lifeguard on duty.
The Kennebunkport area is also popular for kayaking.
A small, secluded, and scenic mostly rocky beach off Ocean Avenue, there is very limited parking with space for maybe two vehicles at the end of Halcyon Way and one space at the corner of Windemere Place and Seaview Drive. No facilities. No lifeguards.
Goose Rocks Beach | Kennebunkport
This may be one of the prettiest beaches in the world! Protected, wide, white, soft sand, great for pulling up a beach towel and spending the day. Enjoy long sandy walks on this scenic and beautiful beach.
Goose Rocks Beach has limited parking and limited access, Kennebunkport Parking sticker is required or access via trolley from some nearby resorts.
Parking stickers are available during the week at Kennebunkport Town Hall or the Kennebunkport Police Station on weekends.
They make you “work” for these limited parking passes but they are worth it! No facilities are available and no lifeguard is on duty.
Fortune’s Rocks Beach | Biddeford Pool
Fortune’s Rocks Beach is a lovely beach for hanging out, watersports, jogging, walking, and sunbathing.
This 2-mile-long scenic beach in Biddeford Pool is uncrowded even during peak summer.
Parking along the beach on Mile Stretch Road requires a permit which can be obtained at the City Hall.
Parking can also be found at the end of Elphis Road where there is a small facility. Lifeguards are on duty on this section of beach in season.
Hills Beach | Biddeford
A small, but lovely 500-yard stretch of sandy beach in Biddeford. Despite its short length, this is a popular area due to its proximity to the neighboring wetlands and its free parking, however, it’s difficult to find along the streets in the area.
Visitors may be inclined to walk or bike on a sunny summer day to Hills Beach, and cool off in the ocean upon arrival.
Visitors should keep in mind that there are no lifeguards or restrooms, so this may not be the best beach to entertain the kids.
Ferry Beach State Park | Saco
Sheltered from wind, and surrounded by natural sand dunes, Ferry Beach State Park is a lovely area with scenic views over the few-hundred-yard boardwalk across the sand dunes to the beach.
There are facilities, picnic areas, and nature trails.
Old Orchard Beach | Old Orchard Beach
This is voted Maine’s #1 beach every year by Maine’s largest newspaper. Seven miles of great sand with the centerpiece Palace Playland amusement park which hosts an arcade area.
Old Orchard Beach has a cluster of ice cream shacks, restaurants, and boutique shops nearby and on the famous pier. There is metered street parking and many private paid lots.
Lifeguards on many sections of the 7-mile beach in season.
Pine Point Beach | Scarborough
Just a couple of miles northeast of the famous pier and the center of town, this northern section of Old Orchard Beach crosses into the town of Scarborough. It’s popular for kite surfers skimming along the coast.
This section of beach is very wide in all tides, quiet, and offers a huge public parking area for a reasonable fee.
Ferry Beach | Scarborough
On Prouts Neck Point in Scarborough, Ferry beach offers a protected stretch of sand directly on the Scarborough River. The nearby river calms the ocean waves, creating gentle surf suited well for families with young children.
This beach also has a unique Western exposure for great sunsets and offers a boat launch.
Scarborough Beach State Park | Scarborough
A large stretch of sand on Prouts Neck. Great swimming, snack bar, restrooms, chair/umbrella/boogie board rentals. This area is noted as a great surfing spot. Parking is available off Black Point Road. Lifeguards on duty in season.
Higgins Beach | Scarborough
A quaint stretch of sand measures a little more than a half mile with limited parking. An old shipwreck visible at low tide is certainly an unusual sight for new visitors. Many ocean anglers are drawn to hook striped bass.
As a small, sandy beach, it is very family-friendly. Off Route 77, turn down Ocean Avenue, and you’ll find this beach at the end of Bayview Avenue.
Crescent Beach State Park | Cape Elizabeth
This is a one-mile stretch of beautiful wave-swept coastline which churns the beach into lovely sand. There are plenty of picnic areas with grills, a playground, a snack bar, and restrooms.
While visiting this beach, stop by Two Lights State Park near Hallicom Cove. This park is a few miles south of Portland, in Cape Elizabeth.
Fowler Beach | Long Island, Casco Bay
You will need to take the Casco Bay Ferry from downtown Portland to Long Island to find this hidden gem. This is a spectacular quaint little beach with idyllic views of Peaks Island across Hussey Sound.
Visitors taking the ferry can walk or bring a bike to travel down Island Avenue to Jerrys Point Road to this beautiful little sandy island beach paradise.
Winslow Memorial Park | Freeport
This area has a small tidal beach with the park nearby, Winslow makes for a terrific day trip. Visitors can bring their dog to walk the trails by the water, enjoy the beach, and picnic.
For an affordable family campground site, visitors will feel miles away in this peaceful area. There are discrete outhouses. A small fee is charged for overnight camping.
Midcoast Maine Beaches
Popham Beach State Park | Phippsburg
This is a three-mile-long sand beach encompassing 529 acres at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Phippsburg. Kids can explore the sandbars and tidal pools at low tide.
There are bathhouses, freshwater showers, a picnic area with grills, trails, and wildlife watching, making for a perfect Popham day trip. Many consider this Maine’s finest and most beautiful unspoiled beach.
Parking is available off of Popham Road.
Reid State Park | Georgetown
Explore 1.5 miles of sand in 3 distinct beach sections, each with its own unique charm and beauty. Choose from surf to warm water lagoons for protected swimming areas well suited for small children.
Reid Beach facilities include changing and restrooms, cold showers, grills, and picnic areas. Climbing paths are also found on the rock bluff with a beautiful view of the ocean.
Parking is available on Griffith’s Head Rd.
Colonial Pemaquid Beach | Pemaquid
This small sandy beach area is ideal for those launching boats into Pemaquid Harbor, and is also a perfect place to launch your kayak. Immediately adjacent to the beach is a quaint restaurant with a deck and delicious food as well as a small marina.
Parking here is free at the end of Colonial Pemaquid Road off of Snowball Hill Road connecting from Route 130.
Visit the fort next door during your beach trip.
Pemaquid Beach Park | Pemaquid Point
With a beautiful quarter-mile sand beach overlooking John’s Bay, this is considered one of Maine’s cleanest according to the Maine Healthy Beaches Program.
Pemaquid Beach Park is owned by the Town of Bristol and operated by the Bristol Parks Commission.
Take Snowball Hill Road off of Route 130 and turn onto Pemaquid Beach Road where parking and facilities are available.
Visitors of Pemaquid Beach can also visit the nearby historic architecture, Ye Old Fort following Snowball Hill Road to Old Fort Road.
Birch Point Beach State Park | Owls Head
Visit this protected scenic stretch of sand located near Owls Head on your way to Rockland with great views of the ocean and islands.
This beautiful Maine State Park offers parking off of Ballyhac Road on Birch Point State Park Road, as well as a generous sandy beach, and picnic area, with restroom facilities.
This is a very quiet area for those looking for a peaceful area to relax. No lifeguards are on duty here.
Crescent Beach | Owls Head
This crescent-shaped beach is another beautiful beach near Owls Head Light, though lined with beach cottages and not as private as Birch Point State Park, it offers the largest saltwater sand beach in the area.
The views of Penobscot Bay and the outlying islands are spectacular from Crescent Beach.
Several parking spots are available at the end of Crescent Beach Road.
Ash Point Beach | Rockland
Seated at the corner of the West Penobscot Bay entry, this small sand and rock beach has great views of the Gulf of Maine including Dix Island Harbor, Vinalhaven, and North Haven.
There is very limited parking, with no facilities or lifeguards on duty.
Crocketts Beach | Owls Head
This small beach can be found off Ash Point Drive at the end of Crocketts Beach Road. There is no official parking at this beach nor lifeguards or facilities.
However, this beach is quite the ideal vacation stay for those staying in the cottage directly on the beach.
Laite Memorial Beach | Camden
Laite Memorial Beach is a small beach on Camden Harbor just a short walk from Camden village. There are picturesque views of Camden Harbor, hills, Curtis Island, and Penobscot Bay’s sailboats coming and going.
It’s great for swimming, with a picnic area and outdoor grills, and restrooms. Bring your children to enjoy the outdoor playground area with a swing set.
Wadsworth Cove Beach | Castine
This beach protected by the gentle flow of the Penobscot River provides a gentle surf and pebbly sand, with parking on the beach/street.
This beach is well suited for children with its sunny exposure and gentle slope. There is an outhouse on site too.
It’s truly a delightful sunset on this western exposure beach on Wadsworth Cove. Visitors can also visit the nearby Fort Pentagoet or Castine’s Golf Club.
Look for this beach on Back Shore Road off Route 166.
Little Hunters Beach | Acadia National Park
A small little-known secluded rock beach. Located past Sand Beach, past Thunder Hole and just before Seal Harbor off Park Loop Road. The quintessential picture of what Mt Desert Island is all about.
This is not a sandy beach and not a safe beach to swim at with strong undertows and 55-degree water. But it offers fabulous views and the lapping waves on the round rocks create a unique, peaceful sound and tranquility.
The small beach is hidden from the road and requires a short half-mile hike to reach the most idyllic setting for a family picnic. Caution is advised on the slippery wet rocks exposed by low tide, but it is very scenic.
Sand Beach | Acadia National Park
This famous beach, part of Acadia National Park, is small but stunning, surrounded by granite rock walls with an ideal southern exposure and views of the sea. The sand is made from crushed shells, a result of the pounding surf.
The water temperature at Sand Beach is chilly, 50-55 degrees, in prime summer. Visit Acadia’s Sand Beach on your Park Loop Drive from Bar Harbor to Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs.
Lamoine Beach | Hancock
Lamoine is a popular half-mile beach for swimming with beautiful views of Acadia National Parks on Mount Desert Island and Cadillac Mountain.
The Lamoine State Park nearby offers outdoor grills, hot showers, picnic tables, campsites, and restrooms.
Not only is parking available at the state park, but there is also a boat ramp and docking as well. Parking can be found at the end of Lamoine Beach Road.