Travel Resources or Outdoors - Coastal Beaches
(Acadia National Park, Above & Below)
Acadia National Park
Sand Beach - Park Loop Road. Acadia National Park (National Park Service) gets a 5 star rating on Yelp for good reason. It is stunningly beautiful. Within is Sand Beach, with picturesque views towards the sea, bordered by stark granite outcroppings. An essential spot to visit, but it can become crowded at times. Photo below.
Lamoine State Park (Dep't of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry) - This quiet, oceanfront park is close to Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, rockbound islands, and area lighthouses. Activities include camping, boating and fishing, with views of Frenchman's Bay. The park is open from 9 a.m. to sunset daily from May 15 to October 15 (also during the of season with no open facilities). Fee charged.
Midcoast Maine Beaches
(Georgetown to Owls Head)
Reid State Park (Dep't of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry) - 375 Seguinland Road, Georgetown. Reid State Park is Maine's first state-owned saltwater beach. The park features long, wide sand beaches. These include Mile and Half Mile Beaches. From the top of Griffith Head, a rocky headland overlooking the park, one can view sweeping seascapes and spot the lighthouses on Seguin Island, The Cuckolds, and Hendricks Head. For park info phone (207) 371-2303.
Popham Beach (Wikipedia) - Sandy beach extending from the the mouth of the Kennebec River at Fort Popham to the mouth of the Morse River at Popham Beach State Park (Dep't of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry). The beach is a popular day trip for local residents with typical beach activities such as sunbathing, swimming and kite flying.
Laite Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) and Laite Beach (Camden Snow Bowl) - Bay View Street, Camden. Just 1/2 mile from downtown Camden, Laite Beach overlooks Camden's outer harbor and Curtis Island. Amenities include "toilets and changing rooms, a large open gently sloping lawn, a children's amphitheater, swings for toddlers, picnic tables, barbecues, a protected saltwater beach with coarse sand, and a swim float a few yards offshore." There are no lifeguards. Between May 1 and September 30 pets are only allowed in the park and on the beach from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For beach info phone (207) 236-3353.
Owls Head Beaches
Birch Point State Park (Dep't of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry) - The park features panoramic views of Penobscot Bay from a crescent-shaped sand beach. There is a gentle surf for swimmers, but no lifeguards. Birch Point is open from 9 a.m. to sunset daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Fee charged. The park may be visited off season but the facilities are closed. For park & beach info phone (207) 941-4014.
Southern Maine Coast Beaches
(Portland to Kittery)
East End Beach (Visit Portland) and East End Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) - East End Beach is Portland's only public beach. It is a somewhat pebbly beach located at the bottom of the hills of Portland's Eastern Promenade. The beach offers a picturesque view of Casco Bay with sailboats coming in and out of the harbor, a view of the islands in the bay and, sometimes, a seal in the distance.
South Portland Beaches
Willard Beach (Visit Portland) - Located in South Portland. Sit under shaded trees, wade among the rocks and soft sand or swim in the gentle kid-friendly surf. There is a small snack bar and also nearby restaurants.
Cape Elizabeth Beaches
Fort Williams Park (Town of Cape Elizabeth) and Fort Williams Park (Wikipedia) - A 90-acre park that is home to historic and famous sights such as Portland Head Light (Wikipedia). Close to a million visitors a year visit the park to enjoy its historic sites, playing fields, tennis courts, beach, or simply to walking around the park. During the winter months it is an ideal place to cross-country ski, sled, or even ice skate on the pond. Annual special events include Family Fun Day, the Labor Day Art Show and the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race. Also of note, according to Maine Trail Finder is a Cliff Walk which leaves "just uphill from the rocky beach at near the entrance of the park and follows the rocky coast around to the other side of the park. Along its way it passes the various batteries and the historic Portland Head Light while offering picturesque views of Ram Island Ledge Light and the islands of Casco Bay on a clear day."
Two Lights State Park (Dep't of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry) - Rocky coastal beach and 41 acres of rocky headlands. Sweeping views of Casco Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The picnic tables, BBQs, clambakes, hikes, strolls and views make this a popular destination. Open year-round from 9 a.m. to sunset. Fee charged. For info phone (207) 799-5871.
Crescent Beach State Park (Dep't of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry) & Crescent Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) - Crescent Beach State Park is open daily all year from 9 a.m.to sunset daily unless otherwise signed at gate. Fee charged. The park opened in 1966 and is located about eight miles south of Portland in Cape Elizabeth. Sandy oceanfront beaches, saltwater coves, wooded areas, and rock ledges provide seashore recreation for beachgoers, fishing and watersports enthusiasts, and nature observers. Crescent Beach State Park is a classic saltwater beach park with beach grass-studded sand dunes, ocean breezes, herring gulls, picnic areas and views of fishing boats and an offshore island. The park's signature feature and namesake is a mile-long, crescent-shaped beach ideal for strolling and sunbathing, where relatively warm waters and light surf make swimming and boating a pleasure. A few feet from the crowded summer sands are trails for walking and nature watching. In the off-season when the park is closed to vehicles, walkers are welcome to enjoy the tranquility of the beaches and trails. In the winter, visitors can hike or cross-country ski on paths under a canopy of snow-covered evergreen boughs. Activities at the park include the beach, bird watching, fishing, sea kayaking, swimming and walking paths. For more info call the Crescent Beach park manager at (207) 779-5871.
Higgins Beach (Town of Scarborough) - Located at 27 Shipwreck Road in Scarborough. Small, private sandy beach with public access located within a quaint residential neighborhood dating from the late 1800's. The beach is maintained by both the Higgins Beach Association (see the site for local events) and the Town of Scarborough. A stairway and ADA ramp are maintained by the town for access to the beach. There is a public fee-based parking lot and portable restrooms at the lot. On-street parking is prohibited between April 30 and September 16 except for two ADA-designated parking spaces on Bayview Avenue.
Scarborough Beach State Park - 418 Black Point Road, Scarborough, Maine. Long and sandy beach owned by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Land. The fee-based parking lot for this beach is on Black Point Road about 3.5 miles down from Route 1. Various park passes are available at the entrance (note that state park passes purchased from the State Department of Conservation and Bureau of Parks and Lands are not valid at this park). The beach includes a concession stand and public restrooms and showers. For more info about the beach phone (207) 883-2416 or check the Scarborough Beach State Park website. Scarborough Beach offers some of the best swimming in New England with water temps in the high 60's throughout July and August. Rip currents occur daily so it is important to swim in the designated lifeguard area. DOGS are allowed on Scarborough beaches only before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. from June 15 through Sept 15, and must be leashed during the summer. In the winter there are no restrictions on dogs accessing the beaches, although an owner must have a leash available to collar a straying or troublesome dog.
Ferry Beach & Western Beach (Town of Scarborough) - Located at 50 Ferry Road in Scarborough, Ferry Beach features crystal clear water and views of nearby Maine lobster boats. A grassy area leads to a sandy beach suitable for sunbathing and dozing off to the lullaby of the quiet surf. There is an entry fee per car. Adjacent to Ferry Beach is Western Beach (Visit Portland), also a sheltered white sand beach with a nearby salt marsh.
Pine Point Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) & Pine Point Beach (Town of Scarsborough) (Hurd Park) - Long sandy beach that extends from the jetty at Pine Point to Old Orchard Beach. This beach is both public and private with public access. Parking for the beach can be found at a fee-based municipal parking lot on Avenue 5 off King Street. The Town of Scarborough maintains the beach area, parking lot and facilities, which include public restrooms, showers and a concession stand. Seasonal beach passes (including combination passes to both Ferry Beach and Pine Point Beach) can be purchased at the Municipal Building at 259 US Route 1. For more info phone the Scarborough Beach Manager at (207) 730-4155.
Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach (Chamber of Commerce) - Old Orchard Beach is 7 miles long, stretching away from the downtown area. It is lined with many beach residences, motels and bed and breakfasts. Attractions include the Palace Playland amusement park, which dates back to 1902, and the Pier. DOGS are allowed on the beach anytime before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, dogs are not allowed on the beach and/or in the town square from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The town respectfully requests that all dogs are under voice control and that pet owners clean up after their pets. For more details call the OOB Chamber at (207) 934-2500.
Ferry Beach State Park - 95 Bayview Road, Saco, Maine.
As noted by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the park offers miles of white sandy beaches between the Saco River and Pine Point. It is open from 9 a.m. to sunset daily from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. Fees are charged. A nature center and other facilities may close earlier than the park grounds. For park call (207) 283-0067 (park season) or (207) 624-6080 (off season). Visitors can use the park during the off season by parking outside the gate and walking in during park hours, though facilities are closed during the off season. The park is located off Maine Route 9 on Bay View Road between Old Orchard Beach and Camp Ellis in Saco. A stand of tupelo (black gum) trees, rare at this latitude, can be seen in this 100-acre area, which offers a sweeping view of miles of white sand beaches between the Saco River and Pine Point. DOGS are not allowed on the beach from April 1 to September 30.
Bayview Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) - Located off Seaside Avenue. Public beach maintained by City of Saco (beach info). Lifeguard in season. Restrooms and public parking.
Camp Ellis Beach
Diamond Riverside Boat Ramp - Not a beach, but a 6 acre park with public boat ramp, picnic tables, charcoal grills and play structure.
Kinney Shores Beach - Off Seaside Avenue. Public beach maintained by City of Saco. Lifeguard in season. No restrooms.
DOGS are allowed on Saco municipal beaches at any time with leash (from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in July and August) and clean-up. Within Ferry Beach State Park, dogs are NOT ALLOWED on the beach proper, but are allowed in the park interior with leash and clean-up.
Biddeford Area Beaches
Biddeford Pool (Wikipedia) - A large tidal pool, Biddeford Pool has a two-mile sandy beach with lifeguards and bird watching, e.g., nearby East Point Sanctuary is one of most renowned birding locations along the coast. Water levels fluctuate from a large navigable body during high tide to mostly mudflats during low tide. Get stickers for parking at Biddeford City Hall.
Fortunes Rocks Beach (Yelp) & Fortunes Rocks Beach (Biddeford Recreation Department) & Fortunes Rocks (2010 Blog) - Almost 4,000 yards of sandy beach. See the blog link before it is taken down, as it has a great description of the area along with photos. As for the Yelp link (likely to be more permanent), a Yelp poster wrote: "Stunning, quiet and peaceful. Lifeguards on duty, parking permit required & available at Biddeford town hall. Kind of a pain but ok if you plan in advance. The surf is a bit rough, might be too strong for small children. Water is cold, too! Not much sand at high tide, porta potty on site.
Gilbert R. Boucher Memorial Park (Biddeford Recreation Department) - 1 Beachhouse Lane, Biddeford. According to the Biddeford Recreaton Department it features a nice stretch of beach for walking. Seasonal parking passes are required from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weather permitting, a lifeguard is on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bathhouse hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m in season with showers and restrooms.
Vines Landing (2010 Blog) - To quote from the blog, "Vines Landing is the least known of the three [the others being Fortunes Rock and Gilbert's Place as he calls it, which I believe to now be Gilbert R. Boucher Memorial Park], but it is also the best [of] the three. And it is also the smallest. On the other side of the peninsula that makes up that side of Biddeford Pool, Vines Landing has a soft landing for kayaks and small boats. It's a very scenic location looking out upon an old light house [and an] even older tower on an isle that was used as a marker long before the light houses dotted the coast of Maine. As you view these landmarks they are gracefully draped with the backdrop of Saco Bay."
Hills Beach (Community website) - Hills Beach is a small 500 yard beach for swimming and bird watching. Very little parking available. DOGS may not use any part of the beach between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. between May 25 and September 15 (but see the conflicting info from Biddeford Parks & Recreation below). Unleashed dogs are not allowed on the beach.
DOGS are allowed on Biddeford area beaches before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m. For more details call the Biddeford Recreation Department at (207) 283-0841.
The only two public beaches in Kennebunkport are Goose Rocks Beach and Colony Beach (which is very tiny).
Goose Rocks Beach - No lifeguards or facilities. Unspoiled, un-commercialized beach.
Colony Beach - Very small beach. Also known as Arundel Beach.
DOGS are allowed on Kennebunkport beaches before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. This restriction applies between June 15 and September 15. At other times of the year, only leash and clean-up rules apply. For more info call the Kennebunkport Town Office at (207) 967-4243.
The Kennebunk beach area is comprised of three sections: Gooch's Beach, Middle Beach and Mother's Beach. There is also a separate, private beach called Parson's Beach.
Gooch's Beach - Fine, sandy beach with gentle surf.
Middle Beach - Rocky beach with some sandy patches.
Mother's Beach - Sandy beach and playground. Favored for small children.
Parson's Beach - Remote, serene (and private) beach. Reach it via Drakes Island Beach at low tide. Be sure to leave before tide comes in. As a private beach, Kennebunk Town rules (see below) do not apply.
DOGS are allowed on Kennebunk beaches before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. This restriction applies between June 15 until the day after Labor Day. At other times of the year, there are no restrictions other than leash and clean-up. For more info call the Kennebunk Town Office at (207) 985-2102 and select ext. 1306 for the Kennebunk Town Clerk.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (National Park Service) and Rachel Carson NWR (Wikipedia) - With its entrance at 321 Port Road in Wells, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a 5,400 acre area along 50 miles of Maine's southern coast. The Refuge was established for the protection of coastal habitats, including barrier beaches, dunes, tidal estuaries, salt marshes and rocky coastline. Not a typical tanning beach, activities instead include fishing, shellfishing, wildlife viewing (including the endangered piper plover which nests on refuge land), canoe and kayaking and walking trails. For more info phone the Refuge at (207) 646-9226.
Drake's Island Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) - For info phone the Wells Fire Chief & Beach Manager at (207) 646-7912.
Wells Beach (Chamber of Commerce) and Wells Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) - A popular summer destination, Wells Beach is a seven mile long sandy beach. Surfing areas. Beach parking passes may be purchased from the Town Office. According the Chamber, "recreational activities include kayaking, canoeing, fishing, sailing and surfing. Miles of paths are available for hiking, biking and strolling."
Crescent Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) and Crescent Beach (Wells Chamber) - Crescent Beach is a quieter spot than the more popular Wells Beach to the north and Moody Beach to the south. For info phone the Wells Beach Manager at (207) 646-7912.
DOGS are allowed on Wells beaches from April 1 to June 15 when on a leash. From June 16 to September 15, dogs are only allowed before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. For more info call the Wells Town Clerk at (207) 646-2882.
Moody Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) - According to Maine Healthy Beaches, the beach is beach is closed at night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. during the months of May through October of each year. During the day, ocean rescue qualified lifeguards are on duty from mid-June until labor day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.daily.
Ogunquit Beach (Chamber of Commerce) - Beautiful white sandy beach. Lifeguard and restrooms. Photo below.
Foot Bridge Beach - Part of Ogunquit Beach. Reached by footbridge over Ogunquit River.
NO DOGS ALLOWED on Ogunquit Beaches from April 1 to October 1. For an alternative try Ogunquit Dog Park. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to dusk, the park is located at 323 Berwick Road. For more info call Ogunquit Dog Park at (207) 646-1677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cape Neddick Beach aka Passaconaway Beach - Small beach with no facilities and limited parking. Tidal pools and sandbar exposed at low tide.
Harbor Beach aka York Harbor Beach - Off Route 1A. Sheltered, sandy beach against a rocky shoreline. Shops and food nearby. Some parking available.
Long Sands Beach - Off Route 1A. Family beach. Bathhouse, raft and umbrella rentals. Surfing areas. Shops and food within walking distance. Parking available.
Short Sands Beach - Off Route 1A. Family beach within Ellis Short Sands Park. Bathhouse, playground, summer evening concerts, shops and food nearby. Metered parking available.
Note regarding Wiggley Bridge / Steadman Woods (at the very York end of Route 103): There is no public beach on this spot. The Steedman Woods property, which includes the causeway leading to the Wiggley Bridge but not the Bridge itself, belongs to the Museums of Old York. (The Bridge belongs to the Town of York.) The property was given to Old York in 1978 on condition that it be kept "forever wild" and that no boat launching ramps or picnic tables be allowed. The area around the Bridge was erroneously labeled a public beach in a change to York's dog ordinance a few years ago but the error was corrected and it has been removed from York's list of public beaches. The public is welcome to walk through the Woods on the trails but is politely asked not to swim or walk around on the ecologically fragile mudflats and marsh grass.
DOGS are allowed to run without a leash on York beaches from Sunrise to 8 a.m. so long as owner is present with leash at hand. NO DOGS ALLOWED from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. DOGS ON LEASHES are allowed from 6 p.m. to Sunrise. These rules apply between May 20 and September 20. At other times of year, dogs are allowed on beach so long as owner is present with a leash at hand. Clean-up rules always apply. For more info call the Town of York at (207) 363-1000. Also see the Ellis Short Sands Park Ordinance dated Apr. 25, 2011 and search for "dogs."
Crescent Beach (Healthy Maine Beaches) - Small 600 yard beach in Kittery. For beach info call the Kittery Town Manager at (207) 439-1633 x329.
Fort Foster Park - Beaches, trails and picnic area.
Sea Point Beach (Maine Healthy Beaches) - Small 500 yard sandy beach near Kittery Point. For beach info call the Kittery Town Manager at (207) 439-1633 x329.
DOGS are allowed on Kittery beaches before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. This restriction applies from June 15 to September 10. Leash and clean-up rules always apply. For more info call the Kittery Town Clerk at (207) 439-0452.