it's all about our beaches

Long stretches of sandy beaches intermingle with a quintessential rocky Maine coastline.

from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach

Warm sun beaming down from a turquoise sky onto white sands; this is The Maine Beaches. It is a place of long-sought relaxation, wide-open spaces, and sea views beckoning your eyes to the horizon. Sandpipers skitter with the surf, grassy dunes whisper in the salty breeze.

Here, the beaches are more than a way to spend the day. For many, they are the center of activity: a morning surf, a time of reflection, or a full day of fun. Time can be very well spent beachcombing for sand dollars, seashells, or wave-softened colorful bits of glass; or merely kicking back waiting for the incoming high tide to chase you further up the beach.

Fun! It’s what you will find at the beach.

Join in some family activities like corn hole, bocce, and ladder toss. Bring a beach ball and play catch in the gentle waves. Everyone will love building sandcastles and digging to the center of the earth. When the tide pulls out, you can explore sun-warmed tidal pools for “strange” creatures like spiky sea urchins and scuttling crabs hiding under flat rocks or in the seaweed. 

Fill your cooler with a few sandwiches, lobster rolls, and locally made soft drinks for a beachside spread. Bring your gear and do a little surfcasting for stripers, or plan on catching up on that summer reading and maybe a few midday winks. 

The Maine Beaches are rich in venerable seaside communities, distinctive lighthouses, and popular amenities. Stroll our boardwalks, clustered with ice cream stands and seafood shacks. In some spots, you’ll find classic oceanfront amusement parks that have brought fun to generations of families, whether it’s wooden roller coasters, featured creatures, or water park fun!

Pull up a beach chair and join the panorama of brightly colored umbrellas. Many local beaches, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, and Old Orchard Beach, now offer beach wheelchairs that help people with special needs get to the beach and enjoy the waves. Availability is limited, so call ahead for details. Stay through the evening for spectacular sunsets or rise early for yoga in tune with an unforgettable sunrise. 

Dive into the water, water everywhere. Surfers can take to our waters year-round, but only with a full wet suit and a sense of adventure. The slightly less adventurous can try a stand-up paddleboard or kayak. Kids love skimboarding at the water’s edge. 

Dog Friendly

The Maine Beaches offers great vacation fun for every member of the family, including Fido. Nearly every beach is dog-friendly at some point during the day. Just be sure to check ahead for days, hours, and rules regarding dogs.

Find a Beach

the Yorks

Anbewold Lane: York’s smallest beach, set at the Cape Neddick River’s mouth, is perfect for climbing the rocks and exploring the tide pools.

U.S. Route 1A: This family-oriented beach offers gentle surf, the Cliff Walk path, and neighboring Hartley Mason Park, which provides benches and shade trees. 

189 Long Beach Avenue: This two-mile-long white sandy beach offers swimming, sunbathing, and volleyball. Surfing is allowed in “mixed-use zones” delineated by orange buoys. 

U.S. Route 1A, York Beach: This sandy pocket beach is located in Ellis Park, offering a playground, gazebo, grassy park area, and promenade walkway with benches. 

Pocahontas Road, Kittery Point: With a lovely coastal trail, this year-round dog-friendly group of three sandy beaches offers excellent views of Portsmouth Harbor and the Isles of Shoals. 

Ogunquit

Ocean Street: This quiet, sandy beach is reached by a plank bridge over the Ogunquit River, great for leisurely walks, looking for shells along the way, and watching the tides ebb and flow.

38 Ontio Way: Reached via the Marginal Way, this pocket beach, with some sand yet mostly rocky, is a great spot to relax or have a picnic.

Ocean Avenue: This beach offers vast amounts of white sand between Moody Beach and Footbridge Beach, with ample space for bathers even during high tide.

Beach Street: The area’s main beach offers over three miles of white sand. Waves here vary from large- to mid-sized facing the ocean, and mild to calm on the river.

Wells

Island Beach Road: This beach offers a summertime community feeling, with regulars who arrive early. The rock jetty allows for fishing and exploration.

Atlantic Avenue, Mile Road, Webhannet Drive: This seven-mile-long sandy beach is wonderful for families and surfers. Search for sea glass or sit and listen to the waves. Four parking areas offer beach access. There are shops, restaurants, and an arcade nearby.

Harbor Road: Set at the mouth of the Webhannet River, the beach offers swimming, sunbathing, and walking on the beach.

Old Orchard Beach

East Grand Avenue: Maine’s Premier Beach Resort since 1863, OOB invites you to relax along seven miles of beach punctuated by The OOB Pier and other amusements for the whole family.

West Grand Avenue, Old Orchard Beach: Set in historic Chautauqua-by-the-Sea, the village and beach are part of OOB and span from the outlet of Branch Brook, bordering Saco, to Googins Rocks.

The Kennebunks

Ocean Avenue: Also known as Arundel Beach, the beach is perfect for those who love to scramble on its rocks, watch the surf dash the shore, or fish from the jetty.

King’s Highway, Cape Porpoise: This three-mile-long beach is wide, smooth, sandy, with lovely views of Eastern Goose Rocks and Timber Island,
just off the coast.

Beach Avenue: The 0.6-mile stretch of white sand and good surf offers a wide variety of beach activities, is dog friendly, and is known for fishing for bass off of the jetty in the Kennebunk River.

Beach Avenue: Also known as Rocky Beach, this is a narrow and rocky beach, composed of mostly smooth pebbles and rock-fringed tide pools.

Beach Avenue: A small sandy beach bookended by large rock formations, which deter larger wave action, this is a good beach for children to enjoy the water.

Biddeford+Saco

Seaside Avenue, Saco: A broad and sandy beach with a slow, gradual entry to the water and plenty of room to relax. Great for families, and located near to Old Orchard Beach amusements.

State Route 208: The water at this two-mile beach is generally calm with easy access, plus plenty of space, even during high tide, to play games or relax.

Main Street: This 72-acre riverside park has trails, playgrounds, a sandy beach, picnic grove with grills, volleyball court, skate park, and boat launch.

North Avenue, Saco: Located at the mouth of the Saco River and close to amenities, this small, sandy beach, with a rock jetty and a fishing pier, is a well-kept secret.

95 Bayview Road, Saco: Much more than a beach; the state park has a sandy beach, inland hiking trails, and nature center. Space may be limited on the beach during high tide.

Fortunes Rock Road, Biddeford: This two-mile stretch of sandy beach offers room to stretch out, relax, walk, and jog. The waves here are larger than normal, great for water sports.

Hills Beach Road, Biddeford: Located at the mouth of the Saco River, this is lovely sand beach offers a scenic view of Basket Island and boats traveling around the rock jetty.

Seaside Avenue, Saco: This great little neighborhood beach has an access path between two houses. A great spot to search for sea glass and other beachy treasures.

Sanford-Springvale

278 Main Street, Springvale: Great spot for family swimming in fresh clear water, this community favorite offers a sandy beach, playground, picnic pavilions, and access to Mousam Way Trail.

© 2021 The Maine Beaches Association

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