What Are the Best Beaches in Maine for Families?

The Sand Beach, at Acadia National Park, Maine.
The Sand Beach, at Acadia National Park, Maine.

With over 3,000 miles of coastline, Maine is an ideal spot for a fun beach vacation with your family. Whether you are looking for a quiet, secluded beach or a busy location with lots of activities, you will find it in Maine. Some of the best beaches in Maine for families are Ogunquit Beach, Higgins Beach, and Old Orchard Beach.

In this article, we’ll explore nine of the best beaches for families in Maine.

1. Higgins Beach

A scenic view of Higgin's Beach at low tide
A scenic view of Higgin’s Beach at low tide

This interesting beach in the small town of Scarborough is the site of an 1897 shipwreck. On a foggy summer night, the schooner Howard W. Middleton crashed into the rocks and it remains partially buried in the sand today. Children and adults alike will enjoy seeing this unique feature that is visible to beachgoers at low tide.

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The clean, warm water at Higgins Beach is ideal for swimming and the beach is not at all crowded. This quiet place is popular with surfers who often come out in the early mornings to catch a wave. Kids who enjoy fishing will want to cast their line here as well. 

2. Wells Beach

Sunrise on Wells Beach, Maine
Sunrise on Wells Beach, Maine

This stretch of coastline is ideal for a family visit to the beach. Plan to visit at low tide, when the beach is spacious and there is plenty of soft sand. At high tide, much of the beach disappears! This beautiful area features dunes, seagrass, and tidal pools that are great for the younger kids to swim in.

Expect to see some wildlife while visiting Wells Beach including a variety of birds and sometimes seals. If you’re up early, this is a great spot to watch the sunrise. Amenities at this beach include restaurants, a snack bar, restrooms, and benches for sitting and watching the world go by.

3. Ogunquit Beach

Ogunquit Beach, Maine
Ogunquit Beach, Maine

This sandy beach offers crystal clear water that is perfect for swimming. In the summer, the water is warm and the beach is very clean. Restrooms are available as well as a foot shower. Plenty of restaurants are nearby for the family to have lunch or dinner.

Covering three and a half miles of coastline, Ogunquit Beach is best visited at low tide. During this time you can walk out quite far and young children will enjoy the shallow water. The whole family will enjoy watching the boats go by and you may even see some whales!

4. Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard beach at sunset, aerial view
Old Orchard beach at sunset, aerial view

Covering over 7 miles of coastline, Old Orchard Beach has a lot to offer! In addition to the traditional beach offerings, Old Orchard features a historic pier as well as a beachfront amusement park. Young kids will enjoy rides like Dizzy Dragon and Frog Hopper, while teens will be thrilled with the Drop Zone and roller coasters.

The park also has water slides, a Ferris wheel, and an arcade. There are several restaurants and shops along the beachfront as well. Keep an eye out for the piping plovers – an endangered bird that is frequently found in this area. 

5. Crescent Beach

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

Located in the lovely town of Cape Elizabeth, this sandy beach is ideal for a family vacation. The sea grass and sand dunes make this a beautiful location for beachgoers. There are plenty of picnic spots for relaxing and having lunch and the fishing here is great.

There are lots of walking trails nearby to explore, some of which are suitable for younger children. Restrooms are available with showers and there is plenty of parking. Dogs are not permitted on the beach during the summer.

6. Sand Beach

The Sand Beach, at Acadia National Park, Maine.
The Sand Beach, at Acadia National Park, Maine.

Located in a quiet, serene spot by Newport Cove, this beach is part of the Acadia National Park. It offers excellent swimming–though the water is cold year-round. Children will love picking through the abundance of shells on Sand Beach to find their favorites. Be sure to explore the hiking trails near the beach to take in some stunning views.

During the summer, there are lifeguards present on the beach to provide additional safety. Restrooms are available for beachgoers as well. There are no pets allowed on this beach during the summer season. 

7. Long Sands Beach

 summer games on Long Sands Beach in York, Maine
summer games on Long Sands Beach in York, Maine. Editorial credit: James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

This lovely beach in York stretches for one and a half miles and features beautiful white sand. You will enjoy the views from this beach, specifically the Nubble Lighthouse. The waves at Long Sands Beach are small and young children will enjoy swimming here.

Watch the surfers in the ocean as you relax on the clean beach. Umbrellas and rafts are available to rent for the day and there are restrooms at the beach. Lifeguards are present here during the summer, making this a good beach for beginner swimmers. There are plenty of restaurants and shops to visit when you’re done at the beach.

8. Popham Beach

Popham Beach, Maine
Popham Beach, Maine

This 6-mile-long sandy beach is a great spot for families to enjoy and is just 14 miles south of Bath. The swimming is excellent and many visitors like to paddleboard here. It is also a popular location with surfers and offers areas for fishing as well. At low tide, visitors can walk over to Fox Island.

There are several picnic areas available as well as charcoal grills to make your lunch. Facilities include clean restrooms and showers. Due to the presence of endangered birds on Popham Beach, there are no pets, kites, or bikes allowed.

9. Isle au Haut

Rocky Coast, Isle au Haut, Acadia National Park
Rocky Coast, Isle au Haut, Acadia National Park

If you’re looking for a rugged and secluded spot for your family to visit, Isle au Haut is an excellent choice. This six mile long island is only accessible by boat which limits the amount of visitors to the area. Just about 50 people live on the island year round and there are no crowds to be found at the beaches.

Enjoy the beautiful views, including the lighthouse that is over 100 years old. There are over 18 miles of excellent hiking trails to explore. During the summer you’ll find a general store and a few options for lunch or dinner. 

See Also

US Beaches

What Are the Best Beaches in Maine for Families?

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!