Planning a trip to Maine means mapping out delectable seafood spots, brewery tours and endless beach days. With so many options, choosing the perfect beach town and making an itinerary can feel a little daunting. With that being said, the following article provides a little glimpse into the attractions that surround each of the state’s most popular beaches. If you’re planning a longer trip, each beach can serve as a touchstone to travel along Maine’s vibrant coastline. Here are our picks for touring Maine’s top five beaches!
This colorful beach town is the perfect destination to kickstart your vacation. Perfect for friends, couples and families, Ogunquit has an array of activities and attractions that are well suited for every travel companion. The beach, in particular, is amazing for a fuss-free family getaway. The sand dunes and tide creates a natural pool sectioned off from the rest of the ocean during high tide, allowing parents to feel at ease while their children play in the water. This is also great for those that don’t feel comfortable in the open ocean. On the other side of the dunes, the clear water and refreshing Atlantic waves are just as inviting! The beach itself stretches quite far along the coast, leaving a lot of room for privacy and space.
Ogunquit is also a hub for art and live music, making it a wonderful location for anyone looking to keep the adventures going past sunset. The Cornerstone Artisanal Pizza & Craft Beer restaurant is a crowd favourite—the Katahdin Mushroom Truffle Oil pizza, the Arugula Avo Goddess salad and the Island Dog a Beer Called Blue are all delicious orders. The Omelette Factory is another quaint spot, whose hearty meals are perfect for an early rise after a night out.
Nestled halfway between Ogunquit and Old Orchard, this cozy dog-friendly beach is approximately 1.3 kilometers long, and adjacent to the mouth of the Kennebunk River. While this isn’t the most tourist-populated beach, it’s a wonderful spot for a relaxed day by the sea. Nearby in town, visitors can catch a show at Vinegar Hill—a music theater venue whose atmosphere perfectly balances classic and rustic design. Art lovers would also enjoy taking a stroll through Maine Art Hill. For a beautiful photo op, visitors can stop by the Wedding Cake House. Lastly, the Kennebunkport Brewing Company and the Spirit of Massachusetts are two beloved spots to grab food and drinks.
Old Orchard Beach
This is one of Maine’s most-visited beaches. Of all the other aforementioned locations, Old Orchard has the most typical pier-style beachfront. Between the 5-acre amusement park by the beach—Palace Playland—and the nightlife along the pier, this destination is heavily centered around tourism. The beach is made up of 7 miles of incredibly soft sand, divided only by the pier that stretches 500 feet into the Atlantic. If you need a break from the sand and sea, take time to explore the restaurants and shops along the pier.
Crescent beach is located in Crescent Beach State Park, about eight miles south of Portland in Cape Elizabeth. This mile-long beach is crescent-shaped and studded with saltwater coves, rock ledges and wooded areas, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. There are also walking trails that run throughout the park which make it a cherished destination for anyone that prefers a diverse-beach experience. Kettle Cove, adjacent to Crescent beach, is also a worthy pit-stop for its coastal views and trail around the cove.
This beach is also only twenty minutes from Portland, where visitors can catch a concert at Thompson’s Point under the stars, and walk through the Old Port.
Last but not least, is a treasure located in Acadia National Park. Sand Beach is tucked into a quiet cove along the park’s coastline. This is the best beach for wildlife observers, where visitors can spot seabirds and other marine mammals. Taking a guided tour or wildlife cruise is highly encouraged here, as there is always something to admire. The beauty of this landscape extends well beyond the beach, and hikers have much to explore. This destination comes alive at night too, with guided Night Sky Talks along the beach, where rangers share stories under the stars.
By: Briahna McTigue