The US state of Maine, on the east coast towards Canada, can have quite severe winters. This means that, somehow, locals and visitors will enjoy its beaches in the hot summer months even more than they would otherwise. Maine has a good tourist trade, despite competition from the hottest parts of the United States. Visitors are drawn to the enchanting natural environment, with wide open spaces and vast woods.
It has a rich maritime history and a rocky coastline interspersed with beautiful beaches. There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in this small state, and the 15 best beaches in Maine are some of the places to get the most out of a vacation.
1. Sandy Beach, Arcadia National Park
Sandy Beach within Acadia National Park is a small strip of sand on what is otherwise a rocky coast. It is located between Great Head and Gorham Mountain and is a rare find because the sand is pink. It was created from grenades that were pulverized by the power of the sea.
Kids will love the park as a place to explore, and the pink sand is sure to add to the whole setting. It can get busy, so early mornings and late afternoons are good times to visit. Beware, the water is cold, so a little wading is all you can decide to do.
2. Old Orchard Beach, Old Orchard
This crowded beach isn’t for everyone, but either side of this 11-kilometer stretch of sand are quieter alternatives. There is a playground near the beach, all kinds of dining options from pizzas and fries to fried dough, and a historic pier.
At night, the bars are just as busy. You can easily part with your money – you also have to pay to use the toilets! However, there’s nothing stopping you from sitting on the beach and watching the world go by – but you may find you’d like a quieter place to do so.
3. Long Sands Beach York
This 2.4 kilometer stretch of sand is especially popular at low tide, when there is a large area to build castles – although flying kites won’t last long and games. At high tide, there is only a short strip of beach to the left, but it is still a place where visitors will enjoy themselves. Surfers tend to choose when the tide turns to ride the waves at their best.
There is good infrastructure behind the beach, with metro parking, shops, restaurants and accommodation. There is also a lighthouse nearby which is worth a visit.
4. Crescent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth
Families can’t help but enjoy this crescent-shaped stretch of beach – 1.6km of fun, with backside dunes and gentle waves that pose no danger for children. There are lifeguards on duty as a precaution. Add a shaded picnic area, restrooms, and a snack bar. Its length encourages hikers to go from end to end, and kites have fun without interfering with someone else’s fun.
The lobster boats are tied up at Kettle Cove to Richmond Island when they are not working; what else would you have for lunch and dinner when they are so fresh?
The Abenaki natives gave this place the name Ogunquit; translates to “nice place near the sea”. It is a stretch of sand that is more than 5 kilometers long, with dunes and seagrasses that make it a beautiful subject for landscape architects in the late 19th century. It was these artists whose work spread the word about Ogunquit. At low tide, it is possible to explore its rock pools and sandbanks. A word of warning: the tide behind the beach produces strong currents as the tide arrives and virtually no beach is left exposed.