5 Best Beaches in Maine

There’s nothing quite like the beaches of Maine. With smooth sands, craggy cliffs, wooded forests, and iconic lighthouses, not to mention the lobster, the Maine beaches have been a favorite destination for generations of travelers. When deciding which Maine beach to visit, consult this handy list of our five favorite Maine beaches. Note that the list names what we consider the best beaches in Maine, and is in no particular order.

Ogunquit Beach

Named by the native Abenaki tribe, Ogunquit translates roughly to “beautiful place by the sea.” Now the official motto of Ogunquit, this Maine beach certainly fits the description. Its tranquil sands and rolling dunes make for a unique beach experience, including significant tide changes that reveal tidal pools and sand bars at low tide. Trip Advisor recently included Ogunquit on their list of the best beaches in the country. Hotels, inns, and B&Bs abound here, so you’ll have no trouble finding great places to stay in Ogunquit or in the nearby Kennebunks.

best Maine beaches for sunset
Credit: Black Point Inn

Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard Beach is Trip Advisor’s third most popular destination in Maine, after only the urban center of Portland and the island enclave of Bar Harbor. Old Orchard Beach is a great Maine beach for families, with seven miles of sandy shoreline, a central boardwalk, and New England’s only seaside amusement park. Recreational activities on the boardwalk include shopping, dancing, fireworks, and whale-watching. Old Orchard Beach is also one of Maine’s most accessible beaches, located just steps from the Amtrak station. Head a few minutes farther north for a stay at Black Point Inn, a historic seaside resort in Scarborough, ME.

Reid State Park Beach

Crowned one of the best six beaches in all of New England by Fodor’s, Reid State Park is a great option for those looking for a peaceful stretch of sand to wander along. Located on Georgetown Island, Reid State Park features impressive sand dunes and expansive views from Griffith Head. The park also plays an important role in Maine’s coastal ecosystems, as they are prominent nesting areas for endangered birds like the least tern and the piping plover. Bring a picnic and spend the day here, before heading back up to Brunswick, Maine, for a stay at the The Brunswick Hotel.

Paddleboarders on Maine Beaches
Credit: Sebasco Harbor Resort

Popham Beach

Named Maine’s best beach by Yankee Magazine, Popham Beach features dramatic tidal changes and unique geological formations. Although lifeguards are on site throughout the summer, visitors are advised to pay close attention to rip tides and only to swim within their ability. Stroll out to Fox Island at Low Tide, or fire up a BBQ at one of the many charcoal grills. Head east on Sebasco Harbor for a stay at the Sebasco Harbor Resort, a seaside complex with cottages, a spa, and beautiful waters of its own for kayaking and sailing.

Sand Beach

Perhaps the most pristine of all of Maine beaches, Sand Beach in Acadia National Park offers a different kind of Maine beach experience. Though the water rarely gets warm enough for most visitors to brave the waves, countless travelers make the trip for the pale pink sand, the majestic forests flanking the cove, and the miles and miles of incredible hiking, biking, and walking trails that surround Sand Beach. This beloved Maine beach is part of the reason Acadia National Park was recently voted America’s Favorite Place by Good Morning America. Scramble up nearby Great Head or Gorham Mountain for views of Acadia and the surrounding Atlantic Ocean. Spend the night in the classic Maine town of Bar Harbor at the Mira Monte Inn & Suites.

While this list features what we consider the five best beaches in Maine, you really have to come up and explore them for yourself. Whether you prefer meandering solo in search of sand dollars, or exclaiming over fireworks from a lively boardwalk, you’ll be sure to find a wonderful Maine beach to match your mood.