It’s hard to beat spectacularly sandy beaches, superb fresh lobster, and amazing seascapes, and when on the Maine coastline, that’s exactly what you’re going to get. The Pine Tree State is famous for some of the nation’s most beautiful coastal spots, especially in the southern part of the state, which offers gentle surf, mild weather, and dramatic views.
With craggy cliffs, iconic lighthouses, wooded forests, and smooth, powdery sand, the Maine coastline has been an all-time favorite destination for generations of travelers. Most beaches serve as kid-friendly playgrounds, filled with ice cream stands, lifeguards, lobster shacks, and parking within easy reach—ideal for any family outing. Some of the state’s most beautiful lodges are even situated directly on the beach. Enjoy a whole new kind of seaside experience with this handy list of the seven best beaches in Maine.
Visit These 7 Beautiful Beaches In Maine
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It may be a superbly crowded seaside wonderland, but this seven mile stretch of beautiful sands is not only one of Maine’s most accessible beaches (located just steps from the Amtrak station), but an all-around exciting place chock full of things to do, sights to see, and adventures to embark on. Quiet sands – including Scarborough's Pine Point and Saco's Camp Ellis – fringe the outskirts of Old Orchard, but the real fun can be found at its famed beachside amusement park and historic pier, where you can do some people-watching, ride the Ferris wheel, carousel, or rollercoasters, stroll along the docks, and get raucous in the bars at night.
Other activities on the boardwalk include shopping, dancing, fireworks, and whale-watching—make sure to head a few minutes further north for a nice stay at Black Point Inn, a historic seaside resort in the nearby town of Scarborough.
2. Sand Beach
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A pocket beach that edges a cove between Great Head and Gorham Mountain, this rare and remarkably scenic spot is perhaps the most pristine of all of Maine’s various beaches. It remains one of the prizes of Acadia National Park and truly offers a different kind of craggy coastal experience, as countless travelers make the trek out each year to see its pale pink sands, the zillions of pulverized seashells, and the majestic forests flanking the area.
There’s also an air of romantic seclusion on this Mt. Desert Island locale, thanks in part to the surrounding natural beauties and ideal southern exposure that provide more than stunning views out to sea. It’s an Instagram-friendly hotspot indeed—it even prompted Acadia to be voted as America’s Favorite Place by Good Morning America!
Image credit: Fyn Kynd Photography
Featuring impressive sand dunes and expansive views from Griffith Head, this one was recently crowned as one of the best six beaches in all of New England by Fodor’s—and for good reason. Reid State Park is an ideal option for seaside lovers searching for a quiet, peaceful stretch of sand to wander along. It’s located on Georgetown Island and actually plays an important role in Maine’s coastal ecosystems, as it houses prominent nesting areas for endangered birds such as the piping plover or least tern.
4. Popham Beach
Image credit: Paul VanDerWerf/Flickr
Located at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine's Mid-Coast region, this three-mile stretch of sand spreads across over five hundred acres of land and was named by Yankee Magazine as Maine’s best beach. It’s long been considered as the state’s finest most beautiful unspoiled beach, featuring dramatic tidal changes and incredible geological formations, along with attractions such as Fox Island or Sebasco Harbor to the east. During low tides, little ones can splash and play in the nearby tidal pools or take a walk onto the sandbars.
There are also plenty of picnic areas with BBQ grills, walking trails for hiking and wildlife watching, as well as tons of sea snails, periwinkles, and starfish that pop up here and there on the shore. Be sure to check out the Seguin Island Lighthouse further offshore-- it was commissioned by George Washington in 1795 and is the tallest and second oldest light station in the state.
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Named by Maine's indigenous Abenaki people, Ogunquit translates roughly into “beautiful place by the sea” – and it certainly lives up to its name. There are rolling dunes, tranquil sands, and soft ways all around, as well as significant tide changes that reveal tidal pools and sand bars at low tide, which offer a truly unique beach experience. Hotels, inns, and B&Bs can also be found near and far along the three and a half mile stretch of this former 19th century artists' colony.
Plus, it’s the perfect spot for families looking to getaway, as the entire beach boasts a broad, flat surface that makes it perfect for little tykes or even a game of volleyball ball or Frisbee. Make sure to trek out a few miles on the well-known Marginal Way along the coast to Perkins Cove – it’s a charming fishing village filled with shops, eateries, boats, and even a working drawbridge.
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An almost a 2.5km swath of sand, this Maine beach provides plenty of sun, sand, surf, and family fun along the scenic Route 1. You’ll find killer views of the Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse-- the most photographed lighthouse in the country—just off the shore, as well as lively beach experiences at the nearby Short Sand Beach, which offers easy access to live entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and a famous saltwater taffy at the Golden Rod that’s literally to die for.
Plus, when the tide's out, Long Sands turns into a playground for kite flyers, sandcastle builders, seashell hunters, romantic strollers, and Frisbee and ball players. The waves also attract a huge number of eager surfers.
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A three mile stretch of white sand in Kennebunkport near Cape Porpoise, this curiously named beachside wonder is situated on a cove protected by a rocky barrier reef and provides gentle surf, ample space, and terrific great views of the Goose Rocks and Timber Island (hence the name!).
Though there are no lifeguards or facilities on site, the shortage of local parking usually keeps heavy crowds to a minimum, making it a fantastic beach for a secluded stroll with your best buds. What’s more is that there’s a big intertidal zone, which means that you’ll likely be picking seashells and happily hunting for cute little sand dollars during low tide. There are also tons of harbor seals chilling on the rocks to gawk over, as well as some of the best beachside cocktails at Tides Beach Club. What’s better than taking in the sunset with a nice drink in hand?!
This article was written by Pamela Chan.