When discovering the best beaches in Maine, there are definitely plenty of options. Whether you prefer to sunbathe, go for a stroll, catch a wave on your new surfboard, or enjoy a sunset dinner with fresh Maine lobster – the coast of Maine certainly has something for you.
Keep reading for all you need to know about the best beaches in Maine that deserve a spot on your travel list this year!
1. Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach, ME
This 7-mile-long stretch of soft sand and wonderful waves is one of Maine’s most popular coastal destinations, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether you prefer to relax in the sun, take a dip in the ocean, enjoy live music, or ride rollercoasters – Old Orchard Beach is the perfect destination.
Nicknamed “OOB”, Old Orchard Beach is home to Palace Playland – the only beachfront amusement park in New England. 28 rides range from more mellow attractions for the kiddos all the way to more exhilarating rides for daredevils and thrill-seekers. In addition to rollercoasters, Palace Playland has over 200 arcade games, making it the largest arcade in Maine!
The Old Orchard Beach Pier stretches 500 feet over the ocean and provides beachgoers stunning views, delicious food, and lively entertainment. The Pier Patio Pub is a phenomenal spot for fresh seafood and bar fare, and daily live entertainment starts at 2 pm and runs until 1 am. Entertainment ranges from live music to hilarious comedy shows!
Throughout town, visitors will find candy stores, cute gift shops, seafood galore, and plenty of beachfront rentals. For golf lovers, make sure to check out Dunegrass Golf Club. With plenty of activities that appeal to a wide range of ages, Old Orchard Beach is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Maine.
2. Sand Beach
Bar Harbor, ME
Located in Acadia National Park, Sand Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine for nature lovers. This quaint beach is less than 1,000 feet long, yet leaves a lasting impact on all those lucky enough to visit it. The beach is accessible by car or shuttle bus.
On one side of Sand Beach lie stunning mountains, while rocky cliffs lie along the other side. The sand has a slightly pinkish tint and is mostly made up of very fine shell particles that have been worn down by the constant crashing of the waves. If you’re looking to swim in the ocean, heads up! Even in the summertime, the water rarely reaches above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
With such beautiful landscapes surrounding Sand Beach, there are plenty of hiking trails for those who’d like to see the beach from a different perspective. The Great Head trail is a 1.4-mile-long moderate hiking trail that loops around to give stunning views of Sand Beach.
For hikers who’d like a bit more of a challenge, The Ocean Path is about 4 miles roundtrip and follows the water to give hikers an incredibly unique look at Newport Cove. Along the path also lies Otter Cliff and Thunder Hole, two well-known features of Acadia National Park that are a must-see!
3. Crescent Beach State Park
Cape Elizabeth, ME
If you’re looking for a nice place to bring your family this summer, Crescent Beach State Park is definitely one of the best beaches in Maine for children. This aptly named beach is in the shape of a crescent and boasts a mile of shoreline guaranteed to provide a day’s worth of fun.
Crescent Beach has a rather calm surf, making it a great place for children to swim. There are lifeguards, a playground, a snack bar, as well as a picnic area, and a few grills for those who want to cook their own meals by the coast. Fishing boats are a common sight on this beach, making for a beautiful backdrop along the horizon!
Surrounding the beach are various nature trails great for hiking or walking. Sloping dunes encase the beach, featuring beautiful sea grass that adds pops of color to the coast. Crescent Beach has a close proximity to Portland, Maine – about a twenty-minute drive, less than 10 miles away! Plenty of shopping, dining, and exploring awaits just a short distance away from one of the best Maine beaches.
4. Goose Rocks Beach
Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport is one of the best beaches in Maine for ultimate relaxation. Sparkly blue water combines with soft white sand to create a warm and inviting space perfect for sunbathing or diving into your new favorite book.
The beach is three miles long and surrounded by dunes, creating the perfect atmosphere for taking pictures. The waves are relatively calm, making this one of the best Maine beaches for casually wading in the water. If you look closely, sometimes seals can even be spotted sunbathing along the rocks!
A permit is required to park at Goose Rocks Beach, but this can easily be purchased at the local General Store, which also serves snacks, drinks, beach gear, souvenirs, and more!
5. Popham Beach
Each year, the strong waves at Popham Beach alter the coastline as the sand is changed by erosion. The coast stretches for six miles and provides beautiful island views to all those who go for a rewarding stroll.
During low tide, beachgoers are welcome to walk to Fox Island, but pay close attention to the rising waters – you can get stranded at high tide if you’re not careful! Lifeguards are on duty during the summer, but swim at your own risk – strong currents and undertow can make swimming a danger at Popham Beach.
Even with a rough surf, fishing and boating are popular activities at this beach. If you prefer to stay on land, there’s plenty of space to relax along the sand, and nearby picnic tables and grills provide ocean views for hungry visitors.
With miles of coastline waiting to be explored, there’s no doubt that Popham Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine.
6. Reid State Park Beaches
For nature lovers, the shores of Reid State Park surely boast some of the best beaches in Maine. Mile Beach and Half Mile Beach are two lovely sand beaches within the park that are the perfect spot for relaxing in the sand and cozying up with a good book!
The beaches of Reid State Park are surrounded by beautiful grassy dunes, as well as a few sparkly tide pools. The beaches are great for birdwatching, fishing, and appreciating the wildlife that lives around Maine’s coast.
For a more adventurous beach visit, Reid State Park has been previously named one of the best places for surfing in New England. However, it’s important to note that even in the warmest summer months, the water can still be rather chilly! To see some of the best Maine beaches from a different perspective, hiking Griffith Head offers stunning views of nearby lighthouses and islands.
To finish off a lovely day at the beaches of Reid State Park, enjoy a nice dinner at the picnic area while watching the sunset.
7. Ogunquit Beach
Aptly named “beautiful place by the sea” in Maine’s indigenous Abenaki language, Ogunquit Beach is a beautiful 3.5-mile-long white sandy beach that offers wide stretches of sand perfect for sunbathing, strolling, and taking in the stunning views.
Not only is Ogunquit Beach one of the best beaches in Maine, but this location has been repeatedly named one of the top 25 beaches in the US by Tripadvisor! Grassy dunes line the coast, and at low tide, the ocean recedes to reveal sandbars and shallow waters perfect for wading.
Surfing is a common sport at Ogunquit Beach, making this the perfect place to catch a wave or admire the surfers if you prefer to stay on land. After a long relaxing day, head on over to one of the many delicious restaurants that surround the beach – Ogunquit Beach Lobster House is the perfect stop for fresh Maine lobster with a view!
After a satisfying dinner, grab a souvenir from a local gift shop before heading back to your oceanfront hotel overlooking one of the best Maine beaches.
8. Long Sands Beach
Long Sands Beach is one of the best Maine beaches for watching the sunrise. This 1.5-mile stretch of sand shows off beautiful views of the Nubble Lighthouse, a popular stop for those who visit York, Maine.
This beach is known for volleyball, sunbathing, surfing, boogie boarding, and little tide pools that appear once the tide recedes. Shallow waters and flat sand make Long Sands Beach a great option for kids! Build a sandcastle with your family before enjoying a beachfront picnic under the shade of an umbrella.
Nearby shops that sell snacks and rent beach gear are just a stone’s throw away, as well as various restaurants that serve up fresh Maine lobster and other delicious seafood. Looking for dessert? Multiple ice cream shops are right around the corner! No matter what kind of beach day you’re looking for, there’s no doubt Long Sands Beach has got something for you.
9. Short Sands Beach
The more petite relative to Long Sands Beach, Short Sands Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine for children. This quaint beach is nestled between rocky cliffs and just a quarter mile long, yet it boasts plenty of space to relax in the sand and take in the views.
Short Sands Beach is a part of Ellis Park, which offers a huge sand playground for the kiddos, basketball courts, and a free concert series during the summer months. There is plenty of space for picnics and a quaint gazebo is the perfect place for a photo op.
Right down the street lies The Goldenrod, a candy shop and restaurant that makes salt water taffy on site with plenty of space to watch the magic happen. For some nearby fun on land, check out York’s Wild Kingdom – where a zoo and amusement park come together to bring families endless hours of fun. For classic games, head on over to the Fun-O-Rama arcade.
With so much to do at Short Sands Beach, this is certainly one of the best Maine beaches for families!
10. Higgins Beach
For a relaxing visit to the coast, Higgins Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine to enjoy a peaceful day by the water. This beach is nestled between two state parks, making it the prime location for kayaking, surfing, and fishing.
During low tide, an old shipwreck becomes visible – which makes for a great place to explore and take a couple of photos to have as a keepsake. Higgins Beach is a bit more secluded than some of the other best beaches in Maine, so it’s a good idea to come prepared with snacks and drinks to last the duration of your stay.
Grab a good book, some trustworthy suntan lotion, your favorite pair of sunglasses, and head on over to Higgins Beach for a lovely day of tranquility.
11. Jasper Beach
Jasper Beach is an incredibly unique spot known for its terrain of thousands of small rocks. There’s no sand at this beach – but the beauty of the multicolored rocks makes it well worth the visit. Little pebbles can be found in red, yellow, and even blue hues.
The rocks have even been referred to as “singing rocks”, due to the harmony they create when tumbled by the gentle waves. This is not a popular beach, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself alone along the shores.
Jasper Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine for appreciating the beauty of nature, whether by going for a stroll or taking a breather on a blanket or chair. A visit to Jasper Beach is a special experience that you surely don’t want to miss!
What to Bring to the Beach
When packing for a beach day, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need beforehand. While some beaches have convenience stores nearby, it’s even more convenient to come prepared!
For some classic beach items you may want to consider bringing along, check out these trustworthy items that we love:
Visiting the Best Beaches in Maine
With so many of the best beaches in Maine to choose from, your next beach vacation is right around the corner.
Curious to know more about other beaches in the Northern US? Check out our blog post on the best beaches in Michigan!