Beaches in Maine have always been a popular summer destination in New England Beaches, given their close proximity and easy accessibility. Some beach towns have capitalized on this, building huge resorts and opening tons of hotels, while others prefer to remain as they have been for decades, small towns with small town charm.
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1.Biddeford Pool Beach
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Unlike a lot of other beach town destinations, Biddeford Pool Beach has managed to withstand the modern chain hotel takeover, ensuring that their small town destination still feels like home. Biddeford Pool Beach is home to year-round residents, and as a beachfront village it wraps around Biddeford with beach and small-town charm. Biddeford Pool Beach is in no way a resort destination, so visitors to this location shouldn’t expect lavish bars, towel boys, and the like. Instead they should come prepared for 1950’s American charm, small mom and pop stores, and the joy of walking, biking, and swimming the summer away.
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2.Birch Point Beach State Park
Situated away from mainstream traffic and crowds, Birch Point Beach State Park is pleasantly tucked away along Maine’s middle coastal region, just south of Ash Point. Guests who take the time to find this hidden gem will be well rewarded with sweeping oceanfront vistas, a crescent-shaped oceanfront beach centered between a pair of extremely rocky areas, and unrivaled glimpses of the various islands alongside Penobscot Bay. Unfortunately Birch Point Beach State Park is for day use only, so don’t bother packing overnight gear, but day use offers pleasantly chilly water, prime fishing spots, and a quiet beach to relax on.
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3.Cleaves Cove Beach
Visitors to any of Maine’s legendary beaches know to expect a variety of different circumstances, whether that be a lack of facilities and lifeguards, or an overcrowding at popular destinations. Cleaves Cove Beach is no exception. It is located a short trip down the road from the Bush Estate, and isn’t that well known or visited since it has little to no sand during high tide. Parking is extremely limited at this beach, which is a plus, since those who bike or walk to it will enjoy a far less busy beach than the surrounding spots. There are no lifeguards, public services, or any facilities at this beach so be sure to come prepared.
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Bufflehead Cove, in Kennebunk, Maine, is a rather popular summer destination for summer tourists and locals alike. Because of this the beaches nearest the local inn are often overrun with tourists, screaming children, and summer activities. For those visitors who are looking for something a little less crowded and noisy, they should head down the road to Colony Beach. It is a small and often overlooked destination beach that is defined by the harbor’s eastern jetty, and because of this parking is typically easy to procure. Don’t expect any facilities at this beach, however, as only the most popular beaches tend to offer bathroom and lifeguarding services.
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5.Crescent Beach State Park
When tourists think of Maine beaches, they typically imagine large oceanfront swathes of sand, saltwater coves, and possibly wooded areas nearby. All of these, and more, can be found at Crescent Beach State Park, which originally opened to the public in 1966 and is located a short eight miles south of Portland, Maine. Guests to Crescent Beach can expect sand dunes to explore, crisp ocean breezes, picnic areas, swimming opportunities, and plenty of fishing boats to watch during the day. During the offseason this park is closed to vehicles, so plans should be made accordingly when visiting during the colder months.
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6.Drake's Island Beach
Wells, Maine, is a beloved tourists destination during the summer time, and because of this the surrounding beaches often fill with ocean lovers during the warmer months. One such beach is Drake’s Island Beach, which is located at the end of Drakes Island Road. This beach has a parking lot available for guests willing to pay the small fee, but offers its beach without any entrance fee. There are lifeguards, public restrooms, and during the warmer months a local ice cream truck often stops by to sell ice cream to beach goers. Drake’s Island Beach is comprised of soft, white sand, and is the second largest of Wells’ three listed public beaches.
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7.Ferry Beach State Park
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Contained within a preserved 100-acre area, Ferry Beach State Park has more to offer to visitors than just swimming and beach exploring. It is located near to Old Orchard Beach and Camp Ellis, and features a small grove of tupelo trees, more commonly known as black gum trees, which are rare at that latitude. From Ferry Beach State Park guests can see for miles, both ocean views and views of sweeping white sand beaches. There is a picnic area, nature trails to explore, a changing room available, and even occasional guided nature programs on a rotating schedule.
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Praised by locals and tourists alike for being a smaller, quieter beach along the coast of Maine, Footbridge Beach is just a mile north of Ogunquit town center. During the peak of the season parking fees should be anticipated, sometimes costing $20 or more, and be warned that once leaving the lot cars cannot re enter without paying the fee again. The beach is accessed by crossing a wooden footbridge, hence the name, which spans a section of the Ogunquit River. This beach offers basic restroom facilities as well as a trained lifeguard during the entire season, and the sand is praised for being soft and clean with a low percentage of shells and rocks.
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9.Fortune’s Rocks Beach
Situated in Biddeford, Fortune’s Rocks Beach entails a two-mile long expanse of soft, sandy beach that spans between Biddeford Pool and Fortunes Rocks. Given that the beach covers two miles, there is plenty of space for guests to spread out, relax, and swim without feeling crowded. There is limited parking located at both the south and north ends of the beach, and although there is a lifeguard on duty there are unfortunately no other services provided. Given this beaches location along Maine’s coast it is often a destination for watersport lovers, so be prepared to share the water with surfers, bodyboarders, skimboarders, and even surf kayakers.
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Often referred to as Kennebunk Beach, Gooch’s Beach is an extremely popular summer destination for tourists, given its close proximity to town and parking accessibility. It is recommended to arrive earlier in the day to this beach in order to secure a paid parking spot, or if guests are arriving later in the day they may want to park in town and walk or bike. This beach is popular with morning joggers because of the long stretches of clean sand, the sand also offers ample opportunity for sunning and sandcastle building. Guests to this beach will enjoy being safe while swimming thanks to a lifeguard and can use the onsite portable toilets at their leisure.
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11.Goose Rocks Beach
Goose Rocks Beach is, without a doubt, one of the Kennebunk regions most popular beaches, and is often considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. It is comprised of soft white sand, and offers plenty of room for visitors to roam and spread out. The name for the beach comes from offshore rocks, aptly known as goose rocks, that protect this beach from rough sea conditions and tend to ensure pleasant swimming. Fishing is also quite popular during the summer months, the key fish to set bait for is striped bass during the summer months. This beach offers no lifeguard services and has very limited parking, but even with these downfalls it is more than worth a visit.
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Harbor Beach is extremely family friendly, and its local nickname--Mothers’ Beach--comes from its child-friendly atmosphere and facilities, considered to be ideal for toddlers and young children. This beach doesn’t have a ton of available parking, but there is a trolley which stops here which is a huge perk. Harbor Beach is bordered by Hartley Mason Park, which provides shade thanks to all the trees, and has benches situated within the shade. There is handicap access to public restrooms, an outdoor shower for patrons to wash saltwater and sand from themselves with, and shops as well as food all within walking distance to the beach.
1 Stonewall Lane, York, Maine 03909, Phone: 207-363-4422
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Higgins Beach proper, and the accompanying town, work in conjunction to make vactationing in Maine during the summer time an easily accomplished feat. Higgins Beach has all the key ingredients for the ideal beach vacation, places to stay, plenty of activities, and family friendly destinations. Some of the activities patrons can expect while visiting Higgins Beach include kayaking, surfing, sand dollar treasure hunting, sunrise beach strolls, sunbathing, swimming, and more. Parking is limited but available on a first come, first served basis, and there are restaurants and shops within close proximity to the beach.
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14.Little Hunters Beach Acadia National Park
Located on the southeast side of Mount Desert Island, which is the beautiful Acadia National Park, Little Hunters Beach is a secluded spot that is sought after by painters, rock collectors, and people seeking peace and quiet. It is hidden from view of the road and accessed by a stairway that takes guests down to beach level. This beach isn’t covered in sand, but rather in pebbles that have been rounded and smoothed over thousands of years by ocean currents. There is no lifeguard present at this beach, nor are there any facilities, but guests probably wouldn’t find swimming here too enjoyable anyway given that water temperatures hardly ever exceed 55 degrees fahrenheit.
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15.Long Sands Beach
White sand, great surf, and two miles of scenic oceanside await visitors at Long Sands Beach, which is aptly named for the experience it provides. This beach is extremely popular during peak beach season, but even during Maine’s off-season visitors can still be seen enjoying the sands while surfers shred the waves. It is conveniently situated within a short walking distance to hotels, cottages, resorts, restaurants, shops, and more. Guests can stock up for a picnic lunch at a nearby convenience store, and even rent floats and beach umbrellas right from shops on the sand.
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Mother’s Beach tends to attract families because it is well suited for small children to explore safely. There is parking very close to the beach on neighboring side streets, so large families don’t have to walk too far to make it here. In addition to convenient parking, guests can enjoy the use of onsite toilets, lifeguards, and even a playground for children to play on. During low tide patrons can make use of an ample amount of tide pools to play in. There is parking directly at the beach, but it requires a parking pass that can be acquired through the city offices, or through kiosks located around town.
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Originally established as an official beach in the 1920’s by forward thinking Ogunquit residents, Ogunquit Beach is the pride and joy of this small coastal town to this day. It is supported by taxpayers, is publicly owned, and is used by visitors throughout the entire year. This beach has handicapped access thanks to the local Rotary Club, and the beach has posted rules to ensure it stays clean and enjoyable by all. There are restroom facilities available, as well as privately owned concession stands. Dogs are only welcome on the beach during the off season, which is from the first of October through the thirtieth of March.
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18.Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach, home to one of the few remaining Pier Amusement Parks in Maine, is a popular tourist destination during peak beach season. The beach itself is comprised of white sand with a low collection of stones, allowing for comfortable barefoot strolling, sandcastle building, and sunbathing. Nearby to the beach are plenty of facilities, including some shops that will even deliver beach items like towels and sunscreen, and given its proximity to the town it is easy to pick up essentials. Guests who want to enjoy the ocean atmosphere without getting sandy can spend time on the surrounding boardwalks and piers.
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19.Pine Point Beach
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With both private and public access points throughout its four miles of soft sand, Pine Point Beach is a popular summer destination for folks looking to relax on the beach, spent time in the water, collect shells, and more. There are various parking lots along the length, various restroom facilities spread about, and even small snack shacks to carry guests over until their next meal time. Near to the beach guests can rent beach cruiser bikes and kayaks, find plenty of restaurants to eat locally sourced seafood, and even rinse off in a quick public shower before climbing back into their cars.
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20.Popham Beach State Park
Due to constantly changing landscapes and dynamic sand movement, a visit to Popham Beach State Park should always be preceded by checking out their Beach Advisory Calendar to ensure there are no unexpected closures. This calendar also provides details on high tide hours and other disruptions that may cause an unpleasant visit. That information shouldn’t deter visitors, of course, because Popham Beach State Park is one of Maine’s rarest geological landforms. Visitors can even wade to a nearby island during low tide, but are warned to pay attention to tide times so that they don’t end up marooned until the tides shift again.
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21.Reid State Park
Reid State Park was Maine’s first ever State owned and operated Saltwater Beaches, and was officially acquired by the state in 1946 thanks to a donation from a local resident. The park is open year round, unless otherwise posted, from 9am daily until sunset. There is a fee charged upon entry, but many visitors consider it to be more than worth it to spend time on rare beaches that can be up to a mile wide. Reid State Park also contains some of Maine’s rarest large sand dunes. From Griffith Head, a small peak inside the park, guests can witness sweeping seascape vistas that include lighthouses, islands, and more.
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22.Sand Beach Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park should be on every Maine’s things to do list, and while spending time there it is more than worth it to check out Sand Beach, located within the park. This beach is resting snug in a small inlet, situated between the granite mountains and the rocky shores of Mount Desert Island. Although Sand Beach is only 290 yards long, it is touted as one of the most popular points of interest on the entire island. One thing that sets this beach apart is the composition of the sand, which after thousands of years of repeated surf pounding, is heavily comprised of small shell fragments.
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23.Scarborough Beach State Park
In contrast to many other parks in Maine, Scarborough Beach State Park is maintained and operated by Black Point Resource Management LLC through a private/public partnership. Because of this, it is a beach acquired for the people and has a slightly different rule and fee schedule than many other beaches, given that it is entirely supported by the fees it charges. Fees aside, Scarborough Beach continues to draw crowds because it is considered to be some of the best swimming in New England, with water temperatures consistently in the high 60’s between early July and late August.
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Being near to town gives patrons of Wells Beach easy access to shops and restaurants. Luckily this proximity doesn’t subtract from the joys that the continuous mile and a half of soft sand at Wells Beach provides. Separating the beach from the town is a small sand dune with plenty of seagrass, giving guests the feeling of privacy without losing the convenience of shops and restrooms. There is plenty of parking along Atlantic Avenue, the road nearest the beach, but visitors should expect to pay for premium spots. Dogs are only allowed on this beach during restricted hours, and lifeguards have a rotating schedule depending on public demand.
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Nearby to Long Sands beach is York Beach, which is slightly smaller than Long Sands but has the benefit of offering free parking just off Route 1. York Beach also has wheelchair accessible bathroom and washing facilities, as well as the convenience of shops and restaurants within walking distance. Families are welcome, and there tends to be some tide pools during low tide, which offer the perfect opportunity for exploration and sand castle building. For those who wish to expand upon their visit and see neighboring areas, the Hartley Mason Reserve is only a short walk away and offers scenic views and points of interest.
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25 Best Maine Beaches
- Biddeford Pool Beach, Photo: Enrico Della Pietra/stock.adobe.com
- Birch Point Beach State Park, Photo: mhiser/stock.adobe.com
- Cleaves Cove Beach, Photo: kieferpix/stock.adobe.com
- Colony Beach, Photo: Linda Harms/stock.adobe.com
- Crescent Beach State Park, Photo: wstockstudio/stock.adobe.com
- Drake's Island Beach, Photo: Kimmer/stock.adobe.com
- Ferry Beach State Park, Photo: LI Cook/stock.adobe.com
- Footbridge Beach, Photo: mivod/stock.adobe.com
- Fortune’s Rocks Beach, Photo: ablokhin/stock.adobe.com
- Gooch's Beach, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Goose Rocks Beach, Photo: weedezign/stock.adobe.com
- Harbor Beach, Photo: ellin/stock.adobe.com
- Higgins Beach, Photo: invisible163/stock.adobe.com
- Little Hunters Beach Acadia National Park, Photo: Michael/stock.adobe.com
- Long Sands Beach, Photo: millyelm/stock.adobe.com
- Mother’s Beach, Photo: Arthur/stock.adobe.com
- Ogunquit Beach, Photo: alwayspp vision/stock.adobe.com
- Old Orchard Beach, Photo: Crin/stock.adobe.com
- Pine Point Beach, Photo: Enrico Della Pietra/stock.adobe.com
- Popham Beach State Park, Photo: jpeacockcad/stock.adobe.com
- Reid State Park, Photo: Ryan/stock.adobe.com
- Sand Beach Acadia National Park, Photo: Patrick/stock.adobe.com
- Scarborough Beach State Park, Photo: James/stock.adobe.com
- Wells Beach, Photo: Stanislav Komogorov/stock.adobe.com
- York Beach, Photo: Lora Hilton Photos/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Jorge Moro/stock.adobe.com