The Best Beaches in Maine
Birch Point Beach State Park, Owls Head
Flanked by rocky headlands, this mid-coastal crescent-shaped pocket beach lounges on a tiny peninsula and unfurls panoramic views of Penobscot Bay's islands. Look closely: The gray sand has stylish pinkish-red streaks eroded from garnet!
Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth
Gulls swirl over beach-grassed dunes and a mile-long, snow-white sweep of sand in picturesque Cape Elizabeth. Savor the warm (for Maine!) water and light surf, but save time to play hide-and-seek with hermit crabs on the south end's rocky ledges.
Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport
A barrier reef protects nearly three miles of soft, alabaster beach here. This Kennebunkport favorite offers splendid views of Timber Island. Summer visitors must purchase parking stickers at town hall, the police department, or the Goose Rocks Beach General Store.
Higgins Beach, Scarborough
Visible at low tide, an 1897 shipwreck captivates visitors at this half-mile of sand-dollar-spangled white sand in Scarborough. Surfers – both body and board – bask in the relatively warm water, alongside kayakers and surfcasters.
Kennebunk Beach, Kennebunk
The town's mile of oceanfront contains three stunning shorelines: sandy Mother’s Beach, black pebbly Middle Beach, and large lovely Gooch’s Beach, stretching almost 4,000 feet. Bring a picnic and ramble the sidewalk connecting them all.
Laudholm Beach, Wells
Seven miles of trails lace the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, including a spur down to the ocean. Pack light for the almost mile-long hike in, passing a maple swamp before reaching the one of the state's last undeveloped sand beaches.
Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit
The Abenaki people named this glorious, dune-fringed 3.5 miles of coastline (Ogunquit translates as "beautiful place by the sea"). Often rated among America's top beaches, it has sandbars and safe, shallow waters
Old Orchard Beach
A historic pier and beachside amusement park anchor this jolly seven-mile stretch of gold sand. Head a block inland for the area's classic snack: a box of Pier Fries sprinkled with vinegar.
Popham Beach State Park, Phippsburg
Explore a three-mile Saharan sweep of sand at Maine's most unspoilt and beautiful beach. The rolling Atlantic surf lures surfers and swimmers who are skilled enough to manage the area's undertows and riptides.
Reid State Park, Georgetown
The state's first saltwater-beach park often tops lists of New England surf spots. High dunes give way to broad, coarse, orange-pink sands with veins of darker-red grains of garnet.
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
This small inlet – tucked between granite mountains and the rocky shoreline of Mount Desert Island – has a gorgeous pink hue, thanks to its blanket of shattered shells, polished by the pounding surf. Expect lifeguards in summer, though the water temperature rarely exceeds 55°F.
Short Sands Beach, York Beach
Rocky cliffs cradle a quarter-mile of sand, lapped by gentle surf. This family-friendly favorite has tons of metered parking and also sits on the York Trolley line. Full up on sun and sea? Stroll to the nearby playground, bowling alley, amusement park, or The Goldenrod salt water taffy shop.