Maine's spectacular coastline spans 3,478 miles along the Atlantic Ocean, longer than the entire coastline of the state of California. Portland offers convenient access to a number of public beaches. For beachgoers looking for a more undeveloped beachfront experience, Crescent Beach State Park extends for more than a mile along Cape Elizabeth, while Popham Beach State Park serves as a prime spot for swimming, surfing, and shell collecting.
Willard Beach is a popular family-friendly destination in the South Portland neighborhood of the same name, located near the campus of Southern Maine Community College. At the turn of the 20th century, the beach was the site of the spectacular Willard Beach Casino, which was home to a bowling alley, dance hall, and orchestrian prior to its 1898 destruction by fire. Today, the four-acre beach is a popular spot for swimming and recreational boating, offering a spacious sand and pebble shoreline and beautiful views of Casco Bay landmarks such as Spring Point Ledge Light, Fort Gorges, and Cushing Island. A seasonal bath house offers restrooms, showers, and a snack bar, with dogs permitted on the beach during the morning and evening hours in the summer. Annual special events at the beach include the WillardFest neighborhood festival.
2.Crescent Beach State Park
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Crescent Beach State Park is a Maine state park along beautiful Cape Elizabeth, located approximately eight miles south of Portland's city center. The park, which was established in 1966, is home to a freshwater creek, grassy dunes, and rocky ledges that can be explored on foot and a plethora of hiking trails for visitors to enjoy. Its namesake beach stretches for a mile, providing unparalleled views of the offshore Richmond Island and offering numerous areas for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Areas for fishing and boating are also available, along with amenities such as day-use picnic sites. Visitors should note that no cars are allowed in the park during the winter months, though parkgoers entering on foot can enjoy opportunities for winter hiking and cross-country skiing.
109 Bowery Beach Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107, Phone: 207-799-5871
3.Scarborough Beach State Park
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Scarborough Beach State Park is a popular Portland-area beach known for its strong rip currents and unusually warm water conditions, which can reach as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit in July and August. The beach is a popular spot for families with older children, offering opportunities for beachgoers of all ages to enjoy swimming and boogie boarding. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer months, with marked lifeguard areas sectioned off for swimming due to water conditions. Visitors should stay within marked areas at all times, as rip currents can produce dangerous conditions elsewhere on the beach. Limited parking is available on site, restricted to the first 400 cars. Unfortunately, Maine state park passes are not accepted to cover the beach's admission fee.
Scarborough Beach State Park, 418 Black Point Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074, Phone: 207-883-2416
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Ferry Beach is a lovely riverfront Beach along Maine's Scarborough River Channel, offering calm tide conditions that make it an excellent swimming spot choice for families with young children. The beach serves as a nesting site for hermit crabs, protected from strong Atlantic Ocean waves by a jetty separating it from the open ocean. Amenities at the beach include restrooms and showers with changing tables, though visitors should note that no concession stands are offered and no lifeguards are present on duty. The beach's 100-acre surrounding park is home to a variety of hiking trails and a beautiful grove of tupelo trees, which serves as a vantage point providing striking views of the surrounding waterfront area. Dogs are permitted on the beach between November and March.
Saco, ME 04072
5.Pine Point Beach
Pine Point Beach is a spacious four-mile beach on Maine's Saco Bay, serving as a popular Portland-area spot for fishers and surfers to hone their skills. As no boating is permitted at the beach, only cast fishing is allowed, but shoreline anglers can still find great opportunities to catch yellow perch, pickerel, and smallmouth bass. Due to wave conditions, all surfers must be tethered to their boards with surf leashes extending in length between seven and 10 feet. Amenities at the beach include restrooms, showers, and a snack stand, though visitors should note that no lifeguards are staffed on duty. Bicycles, kayaks, and other beachfront craft are available for rental on the road leading up to the beach, which is also home to a number of full-service restaurant options, including delicious seafood restaurants.
Scarborough, ME 04074
6.Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach is a lovely York County town that is known across the country as one of Maine's top beach resort areas, home to a wide variety of entertainment options sure to please visitors of all ages. The beach is famed for its historic Palace Playland amusement park, the only remaining 20th-century-era seaside amusement park in New England, which offers attractions such as an oceanfront LED-lit Ferris wheel. Its shoreline is centered around the beautiful 500-foot Pier at Old Orchard Beach, which juts into the town's Atlantic coastline and is home to a plethora of clam shacks, arcades, souvenir shops, event spaces, and a beachfront nightclub. Public restrooms are available for a 50 cent fee, with lifeguards staffed on duty at peak times during the summer months.
7.Popham Beach State Park
Popham Beach State Park is situated on a 529-acre piece of land surrounded on either side by the deltas of the Morse and Kennebec Rivers, known as a popular spot for surfers and swimmers throughout the summer months. Shell collectors from around New England also flock to the park's beaches for an opportunity to collect unique shells created from the coastline's tides. Dogs are allowed on several portions of the beach year-round, giving beachgoers a chance to frolic on the sand with their four-legged friends. Walking trails within the park take visitors to the remains of nearby Forts Popham and Baldwin, as well as remnants of the colonial-era Popham Colony. At low tide, visitors can walk across exposed sandbars to nearby Fox and Wood Islands. Park amenities include restrooms, showers, and day-use picnic sites, with lifeguards staffed on duty at the beach during the summer months.
10 Perkins Farm Ln, Phippsburg, ME 04562, Phone: 207-389-1335
7 Best Beaches Near Portland, Maine