20 Beaches In Maine

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Maine is America’s most north-easterly U.S. state in the region of New England. Maine is dotted with lighthouses, lobster shacks, and slopes for skiing. Enjoy Portland’s cobbled streets, historic ports, and Maine’s remarkable coastline.

One of the features that continually attracts visitors is the state’s rugged coastline. Believe it or not, Maine has more miles of coastline than sunny California. A rough measurement of Maine’s coastline from north to south is just 288 miles (463 km), but the entire tidal coastline is 3,478 miles (5597 km) long. Maine’s rocky undulations, nooks and crannies make a trip to any of the state’s beaches exciting and breathtakingly beautiful.

Maine has buckets and spades full of charm and character, oh and a good helping of sand to boot. From silky sand beaches to rugged rocky ones, Maine has some remarkable beaches to discover. These 20 best beaches in Maine will keep you entertained for hours and longing to live the peaceful New England lifestyle.

Also read: 21 Landmarks In Maine

Maine Beaches

20 Best Beaches In Maine

1- Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit

dog friendly beaches maine Ogunquit Beach
Ogunquit Beach at sunset in Maine.

In the charming and quaint town of Ogunquit on the south coast of Maine, you will find a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) stretch of beach, Ogunquit Beach.

This lovely long pearly, white sandy beach is the perfect tranquil getaway from city life.

In the language of the Algonquin Indians, Ogunquit literally means “beautiful place by the sea”, and the Algonquin people couldn’t have been more accurate.

Ogunquit Beach is a sand bar, with the Atlantic Ocean in front and the Ogunquit River estuary behind.

Be sure to check the tide times before you go, as Ogunquit Beach is subjected to adverse tides, and you may find there’s no sand bar to walk along.

Walk on the beach, with the sand squeaking between your toes, rent sea kayaks, take a deep-sea fishing trip or even go whale watching; there are plenty of things to do at Ogunquit Beach.

Once you’ve finished on the beach, you can hop from gallery to gallery as Ogunquit is a hubbub for artists and creatives alike.

2- Old Orchard Beach, Old Orchard Beach

Maine Beaches (old orchard beach on a blue sky day)
Old Orchard Beach is an iconic Maine beach that is instantly recognisable because of the pier.

You can find Old Orchard Beach about 20 miles (32 km) south of Portland.

Old Orchard Beach simply screams east coast American beach.

The Old Orchard Beach Pier is old, rustic, iconically American, and the long thin stilts holding up the pier look charmingly precarious.

The pier first opened in 1898 and offered various entertainment opportunities, dancing, casinos, and even academic lectures.

But coastal erosion and the great blizzard of 1978 caused irreparable damage.

A new pier was erected by 1980 and that’s the pier you see today if you head down to Old Orchard Beach.

The pier is now lined with souvenir shops, food vendors, restaurants and even a nightclub.

After investigating the famous pier, you can explore all seven miles of the beach.

Head to this Maine beach for endless fun in the sun, from swimming to frisbee throwing and there’s plenty of space on the beach for everyone.

3- Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Maine sand beach acadia national park
Sand Beach in Acadia National Park.

Sand Beach in Acadia National Park is truly a little slice of heaven.

This cove beach may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty.

Sand Beach is on Maine’s largest island, Mount Desert.

Tucked in front of a backdrop of dense trees on the east side of Mount Desert Island, you will find this little gem, Sand Beach.

Years of thrashing waves have resulted in the sand being comprised of minuscule shell fragments.

The fine shell sand beach has restrooms and changing rooms next to the car park area.

Before relaxing on Sand Beach, take the 1.4-mile (2.25 km) Great Head Trail, which loops around the Great Head peninsular to the east side of Sand Beach.

4- Mother’s Beach, Middle Beach & Gooch’s Beach, Kennebunk

beaches in maine a couple relaxing on a beach under colourful umbrellas
Bring out a deck chair, put up an umbrella and enjoy the sound of the sea at one of these fabulous Maine beaches.

Travel to Kennebunk and you get three beaches for the price of one –
Mother’s Beach, or Kennebunk Beach, and the two bonus beaches of Gooch and Middle.

They are all situated in Kennebunk in the south of Maine, close to Ogunquit.

These beaches are located along Beach Avenue with Gooch’s Beach in the north, then Middle Beach and finally Mother’s Beach.

Rocky cliffs line the coast at Mother’s Beach, exposing some fascinating rock pools at low tide.

A non-resident daily parking fee of $25 is required at the beach and tickets are available at three kiosks along Beach Avenue.

5- Higgins Beach, Scarborough

beaches in portland maine two yellow deck chairs on sandy beach in Maine, USA
Looking for the best beaches in Maine? Bring your deck lounge and feel the sand between your toes.

Does every continent have a beach in a place called Scarborough?

Scarborough, UK, Scarborough, Australia, Scarborough, South Africa, and Scarborough in Maine.

Higgins Beach in Scarborough is located next to the city of Portland and nestled between Crescent Beach State Park and Prouts Neck.

Tree-lined and winding country roads take you from Portland to Higgins (to use the local lingo).

Families sit on the beach, building sandcastles, kayakers launch their boats from the beach, and surfers catch the ocean’s waves.

Higgins Beach is also a great place to search for sand dollars skeletons, incredibly beautiful cookie-shaped sea urchins with distinctive flower marking in the middle.

For more beaches around the world read:

6- Pine Point Beach, Scarborough

beaches portland maine an old rowing boat on the sand at Pine Point Beach
Pine Point Beach in Scarborough is another lovely beach not far from Portland.

Another of Scarborough’s beautiful beaches is Pine Point Beach.

Backed by dunes that contrast strikingly with the white chalk sand, Pine Point Beach is one of the best beaches in Maine.

With surfers catching the waves and residents taking long strolls, Pine Point Beach feels like a local spot.

Pine Point Beach is additionally attractive owing to its location on Saco Bay at the mouth of the Nonesuch River estuary.

The beach extends for four miles towards Old Orchard Beach.

Amenities near the car park include a small shower facility and a shack selling snack type food.

It costs $15 to park at the Pine Point Beach car park, but alternatively, you can find street parking for free nearby and walk to the beach.

7- East End Beach, Portland

South Portland Bug Lighthouse at sunset with sailing boat in the background
The South Portland Bug Lighthouse is across the harbour from East End Beach in Maine.

East End Beach is Portland’s only public beach and is covered in both pebbles and sand.

The beach looks out onto Casco Bay and the surrounding islands.

Picnic benches are located on the grassy hillside overlooking the beach, the perfect place for lunch in the sun.

Watch the sailboats travel to and from the local marina, take a kayak out to sea yourself or take a cooling swim in Casco Bay.

East End Beach is the perfect beach for those staying in the city.

Start from the Eastern Promenade and walk south along the beach for a perfect way to end a day of exploring in Portland.

8- Wells Beach, Wells

beaches in wells maine
The small town of Wells in Maine is home to the lovely Wells beach.

Located about halfway between Gooch’s Beach and Ogunquit Beach in southern Maine, Wells Beach had beautiful white sand.

Houses line the beach, giving their owners and occupiers unparalleled ocean views.

Imagine waking up and being just 20 steps from the soft sand!

Walk along the beaches seven miles of sand and then catch some waves in your swimming costume or on a surfboard.

From Wells, take a one-mile (1.6 km) walk along a raised path with views of the marshes or drive to the Beach Road car park.

At the entrance to the beach, you can find the Beach Café, a great amenity if you are spending all day there.

An adorable miniature train also takes passengers along the small stretch of coastline, the perfect experience for kids.

9- Birch Point Beach State Park, Owls Head

beaches near portland maine A time lapse picture of soft, rock-strewn beach against a granite cliff in Maine
Many beaches in Maine have interesting rock features and cliffs that look stunning in photographs.

This crescent-shaped beach is in Birch Point Beach State Park in the town of Owls Head in Maine’s mid-coastal region.

Located in a densely forested area, this small beach can be quite tricky to find.

Once on Ballyhac Road, you need to take the tiny road to the left that leads to the Birch Beach car park. So, keep your eyes peeled and make sure you don’t miss the turning.

When you arrive at the beach, panoramic views of the bay’s islands will greet you.

The beach is flanked by rocky outlets with a backdrop of dense Pinetree’s, creating a perfectly sheltered beach.

Penobscot Bay’s waters are calm but often quite nippy, but a refreshing icy dip is the highlight of anybody’s day in the scorching heat.

The beach’s rocky edges are often frequented by fishermen eager to catch some seasonal mackerel.

10- Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth

Beaches Maine (Crescent Beach State Park with rocky foreground)
Crescent Beach is one of the pristine beaches near Portland, Maine.

Located around eight miles (13 km) south of Portland, Crescent Beach State Park is surrounded by luscious greenery.

With highly Instagrammable sandy walkways down to the beach and grassy sand dunes on either side, first-time visitors just know they are in for a good trip.

Crescent Beach is a mile long, ideal for sunbathing and a gentle stroll.

The slowly rolling waves make for pleasant swimming and boating trips.

After your time on the beach, take the walking trails around the beautiful state park.

11- Reid State Park, Georgetown Island

Best beaches Maine (reid state park)
The ocean at Reid State Park.

Reid State Park Beach, also known as Mile Beach, is located on Georgetown Island.

The park is named after prosperous businessman Walter E. Reid, who donated the land to Maine to ensure its preservation.

Reid State Park’s Mile Beach is one of Maine’s most popular beaches, yet its length means that it never feels too crowded.

Located in the Sheepscot River estuary, Lagoon Beach is also a great spot with the lagoon waters providing the perfect secluded place to swim, ideal for kids.

Reid State Park is an excellent place for wildlife viewing, with species such as the piping plover and the least tern using the beach as nesting areas.

Eider ducks and other shoreline birds also frequent the coast.

12- Jasper Beach, Machiasport

maine beaches rocky beach off the coast
Maine’s beaches are beautiful and can be either rocky or sandy.

Jasper Beach is in Howard Cove at the end of a long peninsula on Maine’s north coast.

This red-coloured gravel beach provides Maine beachgoers with something a little different to the traditional white sands.

800m in length, this beach is a great place to take kids as they can explore and comb the beach for ocean treasures.

The beach is a complex mix of volcanic rock.

Although many might tell you that Jasper Beach is made up of jasper rock, it is not true, the beach’s volcanic rock is called rhyolite.

Behind the beach, there are both saltwater lagoons, freshwater lagoons and salt marshes.

You can find a different type of dune to those in southern Maine surrounding Jasper Beach.

This beach is a fantastic spot to explore and a perfect place to get away from the more popular south coastal beaches.

13- Popham Beach, Phippsburg

Fort Popham in Maine
A landmark at one end of Popham Beach in Maine, Fort Popham is intriguing to explore.

Popham Beach extends from Fort Popham (more on that in a minute) for three miles towards the mouth of the Morse River just past Morse Point.

Popham Beach provides excellent views out to Fox Island and Heron Island.

Walk to Fox Island at low tide for a beautiful experience to venture off to your very own island.

According to Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, Popham Beach is Maine’s busiest state park beach.

As it’s a popular beach, between mid-June and mid-August, lifeguards are on duty, but be careful of the strong rip currents.

After a day at the beach, you can head north to Fort Popham, a Civil War coastal defence fort at the mouth of the Kennebec River.

The fort’s construction began in 1862 but was left incomplete as by 1869, construction was abandoned.

Head to Fort Popham for great views of the estuary.

14- Colony Beach, Kennebunkport

kennebunkport maine beaches view of the small harbour
Kennebunkport is home to some lovely Maine beaches and it has a charming harbour too.

Don’t confuse Kennebunkport with Kennebunk, where three other beaches on our list are located.

Different by the word “port”, these two towns are next-door neighbours, and both are some of Maine’s top destinations for beach holidays.

Colony Beach sits at the mouth of the Kennebunk River.

It’s a tiny beach at just 147 ft (45 m) long and is a mixture of sand and pebbles.

Grab a deck chair, crack open a refreshing beverage and watch the boats coming in and out of the estuary.

Before or after a nice relaxing time on Colony Beach, you can enjoy the Parson’s Way shore walk that snakes along the coast.

This tiny beach doesn’t have much in the way of amenities, there are no restrooms and only a small car park, so be sure to arrive early if you want to find a space.

15- York Harbor Beach, York

cape neddick nubble lighthouse across the water with waves crashing on the rocks in the foreground
The Nubble Lighthouse at Cape Neddick is a landmark of southern Maine near York Harbor Beach.

York Harbor Beach is an extended crescent-shaped beach in southern Maine.

This small, sandy beach tucked in the rocky shoreline is the perfect Maine beach for families.

The York River enters the Atlantic Ocean just to the south of the beach.

Unlike many other estuary beaches, York Harbor Beach is more sheltered because of the Fort Point headland.

This means that York Harbor Beach is a safer beach for swimmers than some of Maine’s other beaches.

Behind the beach, there is a fantastic oceanfront cliff path that takes you along the rugged rocks.

You can get on the path opposite the Stage Neck Inn.

Beach amenities include restrooms and handy outdoor showers, so you aren’t traipsing all that sand into your rental car.

16- Fortune’s Rocks Beach, Biddeford

best beaches maine a bench on an ocean beach in Maine
Some of the best beaches in Maine are ocean beaches, where you can sit and feel the power of the sea.

Located in Biddeford, Fortune’s Rocks Beach is a beautiful two-mile (3.2 km) stretch of sandy beach.

The beach extends from Biddeford Pool to Fortunes Rocks, creating plenty of room for visitors.

While at Fortune’s Rocks, try a spot of surfing, bodyboarding and sea kayaking, as well as immersing yourself in the water for a good old swim.

You’ll find that Fortune’s Rocks Beach is a hit with active-minded individuals who choose to run along the beach’s compact sand.

You can park at the north or the south end of the beach, but permits are required.

17- Biddeford Pool Beach, Biddeford

maine beaches that allow dogs Sunrise at low tide at Biddeford Pool
Biddeford Pool is one of the beaches in Maine where dogs are allowed on leash.

Biddeford Pool Beach is at the eastern end of Fortune’s Rocks Beach and is one of the most local and tranquil beaches on this list.

The small coastal community of Biddeford considers Biddeford Pool their little secret haven.

There is ample room to play and relax on the sandy shores.

Across from the beach, you can find a saltwater pool with calm waters, perfect for kayaking and swimming.

Biddeford is an ideal city break getaway as you almost feel like you’ve gone back in time to this sleeping and quaint community.

If escaping the city’s noise and embracing small town (community) life is on your agenda, then Biddeford is the place for you.

18- Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport

beaches maine three buttered Lobsters, neatly arranged on a white plate
Eating freshly cooked lobster is one of the highlights of a Maine beaches vacation.

Back to Kennebunkport, Goose Rocks Beach is in between Fortune’s Rocks Beach and Gooch’s Beach.

Don’t let the name fool you, Goose Rocks Beach provides visitors with three miles of sandy beach, expansive ocean views and the opportunity to see harbour seals sunning on the rocks.

Summer cottages line the beachfront making you envious of anyone who owns one but there are a few services at Goose Rocks Beach if you plan to spend the day there.

The Tides Beach Club restaurant is a great place to tuck into some delicious seafood; there is also a general store and an ice cream stand, always a winner.

From Memorial Day (30th May) to Labor Day (5th September), a parking pass is required at Goose Rocks Beach.

19- Drakes Island Beach, Wells

North of Wells Harbour near the resort town of Wells, Drakes Island Beach is the perfect spot for swimming.

The beach is backed with beautiful dunes with grass whistling in the wind and frequented by nesting piping plovers and terns.

Because of this, beachgoers must stay away from nesting areas, and dogs are only allowed between 1 April and 15 September after 6 pm.

Arrive early at the beach during the heart of summer because it’s a popular spot among residents and those out of staters.

20- Square Pond, Shapleigh

pebble beaches in maine pile of rocks on a fallen tree
You’ll find lots of pebble beaches in Maine that are interesting photographically.

Square Pond is a little different from a traditional Maine coastal beach.

Inland in Shapleigh, 41 miles (66 km) southwest of the coastal city of Portland, Square Pond isn’t your conventional beach.

While Square Pond isn’t even slightly four-sided, nor is it by the sea, it is a popular beach spot for those coming from neighbouring New Hampshire.

This spring-fed lake provides both a rocky and sandy coastline.

A popular spot for family holiday cottages, Square Pond is a fantastic place to spend the long weekend playing in the water, relaxing with a beer on the beach or playing a game of cornhole.

As the day turns to evening, be sure to start up a BBQ and hope for an incredible sunset.

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!