Top 10 Beaches in Maine

Published on July 14th, 2021

What are the Most Popular Beaches in Maine?

It’s about as far north Atlantic as the American Atlantic coastline goes — but if you can handle its frigid water temperatures, Maine has some incredibly scenic beachfront to sunbathe and build sand castles on (or even to take a dip at, if you’re brave or a wetsuit owner). Here are ten of the very best, most beautiful beaches in the state of Maine.

Top Beaches in Maine

1. Long Sands Beach

2. Ogunquit Beach

3. Wells Beach

4. Gooch’s Beach

5. Goose Rocks Beach

6. Old Orchard Beach

7. Scarborough Beach State Park

8. Crescent Beach State Park

9. Willard Beach

10. Sandy Beach

Maine Beaches

Here are 10 Maine beaches you don’t want to miss out on during your next northeasterly trip!

1. Long Sands Beach

York, ME, USA August 12 Folks enjoy playing summer games on Long Sands Beach in York, Maine

Stretching about a mile and a half along the shoreline near York, Maine, Long Sands Beach lives up to its name — though the tides in this area do render the sandy stretch invisible for hours at a time. If you arrive at the right moment, you’ll have plenty of room to build a sand castle or go searching for shells, and there’s always a smaller section of the beach for those who are simply looking to lay out their towel and soak up some rays. Metered parking spaces make it easy to find a place to stash your car while you’re enjoying the coast, and the nearby Nubble Lighthouse is just around the corner and well worth a visit.

Things to do near Long Sands Beach: Along with the Nubble Lighthouse, we recommend setting some time aside to check out the nearby York’s Wild Kingdom zoo and amusement park, which is home to a variety of furred and feathered friends as well as thrilling rides and attractions. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your journey.

2. Ogunquit Beach

vibrant sunrise in Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit is a word from the Abenaki language, given to it by the people who lived here first — and once you translate it, you can see why. The word means “beautiful place by the sea,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find when you visit this famous stretch of Maine coastline, which meanders about three miles along with sandy stretches, dunes, sea grasses and beautiful coastal rocks marking the way. The landscape is so beautiful, artists began to regularly render it in their works in the 19th century, which is part of how the area became so famous and oft-visited.

Things to do near Ogunquit Beach: Nestled along a spit that runs between the Atlantic Ocean and mainland Maine, Ogunquit Beach is surrounded on all sides by waterfront — and plenty of other fun things to see, do, and explore besides. If you walk far enough north along the beach, you’ll encounter a separate stretch known as Footbridge Beach, named for the footbridge that connects that sandy stretch to the mainland. Here are some local RVshare rentals to peruse.

3. Wells Beach

Wells Beach Maine

If you’re looking for a more natural, off-the-beaten-path beach day option, Wells Beach might be just the ticket. Surrounded by marshy wildlife and natural preserves and backed up by quaint residential stretches of the small town of Wells, this beach is known for its beautiful scenery and, when the tides are right, tidal pools crawling with fascinating sea life to get a close-up view of. Kayak and canoe access is also available for those hoping to put in along this shoreline, but do be warned that the tides can be quite strong, so be sure you’re prepared. Sweet bed-and-breakfasts offer coastal accommodations — but, of course, they’re no match for your very own private getaway bungalow on wheels!

Things to do near Wells Beach: Immediately adjacent to the beach is the sprawling Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is only a short drive further north. Webhannet Falls Park is a particularly popular can’t-miss in the area, thanks to its serene cascades. (They more than make up for their shortness in stature with their beauty!) Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider.

4. Gooch’s Beach

Gooch's Beach
Image via kennebunkmaine.us

To be clear, a whole cluster of beaches exist at the place where the Kennebunk River flows out triumphantly into the Atlantic — and all of them are well worth a visit. But Gooch’s Beach stands out from the crowd for its soft sands and ease of access, thanks to its immediately adjacent promenade. (Plus, let’s be real: it’s just plain fun to say.) While rip tides are a possibility at any coastal shoreline, the wake and waves here tend to be shallow and soft, making it a good option for those looking for a swimmable beach. Because it’s a popular vacation destination, it’s surrounded by plenty of restaurant, shops, bars, and more — definitely the kind of place you could while away a day (or longer)!

Things to do near Gooch’s Beach: Check out the other nearby seascapes, including Colony Beach, Mother’s Beach and Parson’s Beach, not to mention the funky and historical town of Kennebunkport. Its Franciscan Monastery is definitely toward the top of the to-do list, as is its walkable historic district. Here are some local RVshare rentals to keep you cozy along the way!

5. Goose Rocks Beach

Goose Rocks beach- Maine

Another beautiful stretch of Maine coastline known for its untouched natural atmosphere and it’s unparalleled views, Goose Rocks Beach is tucked between Cape Porpoise and Granite Point, offering a hidden, tucked-away respite of soft, white sands and cerulean seas. The beach — as is its adjacent town — is named for the rock formations that rise up in the midst of the waters, named East Goose Rocks and West Goose Rocks respectively. (There are also small islands dotting the shoreline here.) While the scenery is absolutely stunning, do be aware that the parking here is limited and permitted, so plan ahead to get the best spot!

Things to do near Goose Rocks Beach: Just north of Kennebunkport, the Goose Rocks area is fairly remote all while being within easy reach of a more developed city. We do recommend stopping by the nearby Seashore Trolley Museum, which offers a unique peek into the history of this classic style of public transport. Here are some local RVshare rentals to check out!

6. Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard Beach

If you’ve had enough of the quiet, well-preserved beachfronts that have populated much of this list so far, and are in search of a more classic, summertime, festival-atmosphere beach — well, Old Orchard Beach is just what you’re looking for. A popular vacation getaway destination bordered by all the beachy must-haves, such as an amusement park and a developed historic pier, this beach is basically Maine’s answer to Santa Monica — though its north Atlantic location gives it an entirely different sensibility and feel. The golden sands and crystal blue waters make it easy to see why this place has blown up.

Things to do near Old Orchard Beach: What isn’t there to do near Old Orchard Beach is the better question! Palace Playland offers roller coasters, fair games, and other thrills and amusements, and Aquaboggan Family Water Park is just a short drive away if you’re in need of even more major family diversions. Or, leave the kids with a sitter and take advantage of the area’s thriving nightlife scene. Here are some local RVshare rentals to potentially call home base.

7. Scarborough Beach State Park

Aerial view of colorful autumn foliage over the Scarborough Beach State Park near Portland, Maine, United States

As we make our way further north along the coast toward Portland, we come to some beautiful preserved wildernesses just outside of the town — including Scarborough Beach State Park, which is one of the only beaches on this list to feature on-duty lifeguards. Along with its extra-safe shoreline (which is still subject to riptides, so still only to be taken on by strong swimmers), this beach features sweeping sand dunes, chair and umbrella rentals, a snack bar, and more. Be sure to check out the park’s official website for all the intel on beach conditions before you head out.

Things to do near Scarborough Beach State Park: Although this pristine paradise will make you feel as though you’ve traveled much further, it’s all actually only 20 minutes from the heart of Portland, Maine, a vibrant city known for its food, art, and other attractions. Plus, there are some excellent campgrounds in the area, along with RVshare rentals to take to them!

8. Crescent Beach State Park

Scenic view of coastline at Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Another preserved state beach in the same vicinity, Crescent Beach State Park boasts more than a mile of sandy shoreline, as well as picnic areas and forested walking trails to give you a well-balanced experience of this part of Maine’s countryside. Located only minutes away from Portland on scenic Cape Elizabeth, this beach’s sandy stretches and rocky coves are popular amongst those looking for a simple swimming-and-sunbathing type beach day as well as those after outdoor recreational pursuits such as stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, and more. The park is also known amongst birders as a great place to spot herring gulls and other coastal species.

Things to do near Crescent Beach State Park: Nearby Kettle Cove is small, but easily one of the best sunrise spots in the area, and Two Lights Lighthouse is a piece of living history that’s well worth visiting for locals and those from further afield alike. Here are some local RVshare rentals to help make your journey complete.

9. Willard Beach

Willard Beach, Portland Maine

Located in South Portland just outside of the Southern Maine Community College Campus, we love Willard Beach for its urban accessibility, even if its shoreline offers almost as many pebbles as grains of sand. There are still plenty of soft spots to lay out with a great book (even a textbook), and sweeping views of the many small islands that dot the bay in this area. Better still, this beach offers dog friendly portions that make it possible to spend a day in the sun with the whole family, furry, four-legged members included. A play area, cafe, and on-site restrooms complete the scene and make for an easy and comfortable beach day getaway.

Things to do near Willard Beach: From this beach, all of the fun to be had in Portland lies just at your fingertips — not least of which is the Portland Head Light, which has amazingly been in operation since 1791. The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad is another tourist attraction that begs the attention of history buffs but is sure to entertain literally anybody who climbs aboard. Here are some local RVshare rentals in the area!

10. Sandy Beach

 Sandy beach, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine, USA

Acadia National Park is better known for its rugged granite peaks than its sandy beaches — but make no mistake, there is indeed beachfront here, including one that’s actually named Sandy Beach! Tucked between Great Head and Gorham Mountain, this beach gives the intimate¬† impression of a hidden cove, offering a unique ambiance that can only be found in this part of the northern Atlantic coast. Just in case you still need incentive to get there, get this: the sand has a shining pink hue, thanks to the fact that it’s crafted of shells that have been pulverized over the eons by the sea.

Things to do near Sandy Beach: The rest of Acadia National Park should certainly be high on your to-do list, as should its beautiful gateway town of Bar Harbor. Other area wildernesses like Holbrook Island Sanctuary and Branch Lake State Park would make it easy to spend a lifetime exploring this part of the state — you might not be able to rent an RVshare vehicle for a lifetime, but definitely at least a few weeks!

Planning an RV Trip to Maine

Beaches, mountains, excellent seafood — it’s all waiting for you in Maine, and an RV trip is a great way to see and experience it! We’ve got you covered on the best rental rigs in the state, as well as the top Maine campgrounds and state parks to see and stay in.

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