The state of Maine might be small, but you would be in transit for more than three thousand miles were you to drive along all of its coastlines. This embarrassment of coastal riches means that there is no shortage of beaches to choose from when planning a trip to this New England beauty.
Best Beaches for Families
Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach, nestled on the inner side of Saco Bay, is the perfect destination for families with children old enough to set out for a little unsupervised fun in the sun. In addition to a historic pier, complete with souvenir shops and food stands, Old Orchard Beach is also home to Palace Playland, New England’s only beachfront amusement park. With a Ferris wheel, a carousel, multiple roller coasters, and other rides for thrill-seekers Playland also has a midway with food and arcade games.
Crescent Beach State Park
If you’re looking for a less crowded and bustling family vacation spot, Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth (just eight miles south of Portland) might fit the bill. It’s aptly named since its the mile-long beach with warm, gentle, family-friendly waves is crescent-shaped. The park also features shady wooded areas perfect for picnicking, while its saltwater coves and rock ledges provide recreation areas for fishing and water sports enthusiasts. And mere steps from the beach are trails for walking and hiking.
Best Beach for Lobstah
Reid State Park
While seafood won’t be hard to come by in any of the towns along Maine’s rocky coast, Five Islands Lobster Co. near Reid State Park offers a quintessential meal with a view as breathtaking as the seafood is fresh. While cracking into your lobsters (always pulled directly from the surrounding waters and never tank-stored), you can gaze at the five picturesque fishing-village islands the establishment is named after. The beach at Reid State Park is one of the few in Maine that is sandy instead of rocky, and is known for its tide pools, salt marshes, and tidal lagoons.
Best Beach for a Quiet Getaway
Located in Howard Cove, this small beach is far enough off the beaten path that it’s the perfect place to visit during a quiet weekend away. A pebble beach known for its array of beautiful colorful stones—perfect for low-cost souvenirs—it’s also close by to salt marshes and lagoons, which render it a stopping point for migratory birds. Bring your binoculars along for some grade-A bird-watching.