If you’re looking for the perfect, relaxing beach vacation, Maine’s coast is a must-visit. Maine boasts over 3,400 miles of stunning coastline.
With so many options, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best beaches in Maine so that you can find your dream spot. Maine offers secluded beach preserves, bustling party beaches, and unique coastal towns.
1. Sand Beach, Bar Harbor
While smaller than many of the beaches on this list (290 yards), Sand Beach makes up for its size with a breathtaking panorama. Located on Acadia National Park, you can access Sand Beach via Park Loop Road, a scenic route that traverses all of Mount Desert Island.
If you plan on swimming at Sand Beach, be prepared for some of the coldest waters in Maine. The temperature of the water rarely rises above 55F. If you do decide to brave the cool waters, there are lifeguards on duty.
Aside from the beach, Sand Beach and the iconic Acadia National Park are home to countless oceanside hiking trails, picturesque views, and more to explore in town while visiting Bar Harbor.
No pets are allowed at Sand Beach. Fees for visiting range from $15-$30 and annual passes are available.
2. Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach offers an exciting New England beach experience. Stretching 7 miles, this pristine sandy shore features a historic pier, restaurants, bars, and other fun activities for every kind of beachgoer.
Visit New England’s only Beachfront amusement park while staying in Old Orchard Beach. Palace Playland features roller coasters, thrill rides, and many more rides for kids and adults. There are also arcade games where you can win prizes and souvenirs.
Old Orchard Beach is pet-friendly. Parking fees are $5-$20.
3. Long Sands Beach, York
Long Sands Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Maine for surfing. It’s also home to a variety of other water activities, including kayaking and rafting.
The beach stretches for 1.5 miles between York Harbor and York Beach. It offers a mostly sandy shoreline with some sporadic rocky areas.
Long Sands Beach offers several amenities including public restrooms, handicapped accessible entries, and metered parking. No pets are allowed on the beach during peak season.
4. Short Sands Beach, York
Located in York at Ellis Park, Short Sands Beach offers a fourth of a mile of beach. Though it can be a fairly crowded beach during summer, it remains a peaceful environment.
Short Sands Beach offers plenty of sand for walking or sandcastle building. Lifegaurds are on duty during peak season
At the playground, you can find basketball courts, gazebos, and a large grassy area. If you visit in the summer, you may catch a concert at Ellis Park.
There are several restaurants and shops a short walk into the quaint town of York. You can also find an arcade near the beach.
Metered parking is available on the street. Pets are allowed on the beach during the off-season.
5. Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport is a fishing village and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maine. Goose Rocks Beach is the largest beach in Kennebunkport and you won’t want to miss a trip to this bustling beach while in town.
This white sandy beach offers a gentle surf due to an offshore barrier reef. Not only is Goose Rocks Beach a great place to soak up the sun, but you may also find harbor seals doing the same.
When visiting the beach, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and hotels nearby. Dock Square is a top spot to visit for delicious seafood.
At the beach, there are paid parking and restrooms for visitors. Pets are allowed during the low season.
6. Willard Beach, South Portland
If you’re looking for an awesome beach in southern Maine, Willard Beach in South Portland is a fantastic option. Nestled between Fisherman’s Point and Southern Maine Community College, Willard Beach features four acres of beach tucked away in a lovely beach neighborhood.
At Willard Beach, you can enjoy swimming or boating. It’s also one of the best beaches in Maine for walking. We recommend a hike on Spring Point Shoreway Trail. This short hike will take you to the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, which has been in operation since 1897.
At the bathhouse, you can find restrooms, a snack bar, and outdoor showers. There is a small fee for getting into Willard Beach. Like most Maine beaches, pets are allowed on this beach during the off-season.
7. Scarborough Beach State Park, Scarborough
Since many Maine beaches are known to have icy waters, Scarborough Beach State Park is your best bet if you’re looking to swim comfortably. The waters can reach the high 60s from July until August.
Scarborough Beach State Park offers a snack shack, bathrooms, and shower facilities. Lifegaurds and park rangers are also on duty. No pets are allowed on the beach and there’s an entrance fee ranging from $5-$8 per person.
In town, you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and hotels to make the most of a vacation to Maine.
8. Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth
Crescent Beach State Park is our pick for the most secluded and beautiful beaches in Maine. Located in a well-equipped state park, this is the perfect spot for nature enthusiasts who enjoy a variety of activities.
This one-mile-long beach features some of the warmest waters in Maine and light surf. Enjoy time on the Maine coast playing on the sandy beaches and saltwater coves. There is also kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching to enjoy. For hikers and bikers, there are plenty of trails to explore.
The park offers an abundance of amenities including picnic tables, grills, and playgrounds. There are also snack bars, restrooms, and showers.
The daily entry fee is $2-$8. Pets aren’t allowed during the peak season.
9. Popham Beach State Park, Phippsburg
Popham Beach State Park is ideal for tourists seeking activities and rich history on a beautiful beach. It’s no wonder it’s the most-visited state park for day use in all of Maine.
Sunbathers can enjoy wonderful views of Fox and Wood islands and spend time relaxing as well. You’ll find plenty of other activities, too. Spend time birdwatching, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and observing wildlife.
If you’ve ever dreamed of riding your horse on the beach, Popham Beach is the place to do it. From October 1st until March 31st all pets are allowed on the beach including horses.
While there is a small entry fee to get into Popham Beach State Park, the park does provide several conveniences. There are lifeguards, picnic areas, parking, and restrooms.
The town of Phippsburg is home to several historic sites including Fort Popham and Fort Baldwin. Nearby, you can also find fantastic dining and local shops.
10. Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit
Often rated as one of the most gorgeous beaches in the U.S, Ogunquit Beach should definitely be at the top of your beach bucket list. It’s located in one of the busiest summer towns in Maine where tourists love to explore.
Stretching for 3.5 miles, you’ll be amazed at the soft sand texture and stunning views here. If you can, be sure to stick around for sunset. It’s also one of the best spots for finding tidal pools in Maine.
After a day at Ogunquit Beach, you’ll find plenty to do in the area including fine dining and shopping. There’s also a night scene to enjoy with bars, nightclubs, live music, and comedy shows.
Daily parking fees are in place and range from $20-$30 per hour. You can also pay per hour for parking. Pets are allowed on Ogunquit Beach during the low season.
11. Gooch’s Beach, Kennebunk
Gooch’s Beach is the largest and most popular beach in Kennebunk. Located between the Kennebunk River and a rock outcropping called Oaks Neck, this beach has some of the smoothest, whitest sand you’ll find in Maine.
From surfing to sunbathing, there’s plenty to do at the beach. Fishermen especially love the opportunity for striped bass fishing at the nearby jetty. You’ll find locals and tourists hanging out on Gooch’s all season long. There are lifegaurds and porta-potties for convenience.
Kennebunk is a busy town and you’ll find plenty of places to stay and things to do in town. Be sure to enjoy some of the best seafood in Maine while you’re here.
The beach requires a $25 permit to park. Dogs are welcomed from June 15th until labor day.
12. Laudholm Beach, Wells
If you’re an avid hiker, don’t miss Laudholm Beach. Located in Wells National Estuarine Reserve, you can hike through the forest to find this secluded paradise.
The reserve is home to 2,250 acres of forest and beach. It’s a protected ecosystem and saltwater farm. During your hike, you’ll travel through wooded areas, fields, and salt marshes before arriving at the beach.
There’s a parking fee of $6 before hitting the trail. Trails, the beach, and restrooms are open to the public from 7 am until sunset daily. No pets are allowed on Laudholm Beach.
13. Wells Beach, Wells
Bordering Crescent Beach, Wells Beach stretches for 1.5 miles and extends to Wells Beach Jetty. As one of our picks for best family beaches in Maine, there are countless attractions and things to do in Wells.
Beach activities include surfing, kayaking, fishing, and more. Take a walk to investigate the dunes, rocking areas, and seagrass. The Jetty at Wells Beach offers plenty of opportunities for anglers to test their skills as well.
Wells offers plenty to do on your vacation. Some of the most popular attractions include summer concerts, fireworks, fairs, and festivals. There are also plenty of local hotels, shops, and dining for you to enjoy.
The beach and the surrounding area offers paid metered parking. Dogs are welcomed all year but times vary depending on the season.
14. Higgins Beach, Scarborough
If you’re looking for a great beach near Portland, Higgins Beach is the place to go. Known as a surfer’s paradise, Higgins Beach offers some of the best waves for surfing in Maine. It’s also home to other beach activities including paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, and boat tours.
Located close to Portland, you’ll have plenty to do once you finish surfing on Higgins Beach. Portland is a cultural hotspot and a flourishing town that has everything needed for an incredible vacation. You can find museums, boat cruises, sporting events, live music, and nightlife.
There’s also no shortage of hotels, shops, and dining in Portland. Are you interested in craft beers? Portland is home to world-class microbreweries. The city is a mecca for foodies boasting hundreds of local dining options.
Beach parking is $10 per day. Dogs are allowing at the beach during the low season.
15. Mile Beach and Half-Mile Beach, Georgetown
Last up for the best beaches in Maine are a couple of beaches within Reid State Park in Georgetown. Mile Beach is a spot for incredible surfing due to noteworthy waves and strong surf. Its counterpart, Half-Mile Beach, offers calmer waters and is ideal for relaxing at the beach.
Enjoy the beaches, birdwatching, fishing, hiking, and surfing here. There are also sand dunes, salt marshes, and a tidal lagoon. There are restroom and shower facilities for use as well.
Entry fees range from $6-$8. Pets are welcomed during the low season.
We bet you’re ready to pack your bags now! We hope we’ve helped find your perfect Maine beach destination.
Whether you’re looking to relax, explore, or get on the water, Maine’s beaches are some of the best. While in Maine, don’t forget to check out lighthouse boat tours and eat some lobster!