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List of best family beaches in Maine for summer!

Updated: Feb 29

Maine, known for its stunning coastline and picturesque beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Maine offers a variety of options for beach lovers and beach loving families. Here are some of the best beaches in Maine with excellent views, food, attractions, and accommodations: My trip to some Maine beaches was short, but sweet. I will be going back soon to explore more of these beaches.  I have to say they few beaches I have visited in Maine, I spotted hermit crabs. I was shocked to see them here. I thought hermit crabs were a southern or Caribbean thing, I was wrong and found out when I googled that Hermit crabs live here too.


My list includes beaches all up and down the coast of Maine. Some very close to Boston, and some very far north in the state of Maine. The water temperature tends to be a bit chillier the further north you go, even in summer, so be prepared your toes can get a bit chilly. Don't let that stop you from enjoying the beautiful beaches of the north, I am sure the rest of your family will not mind either. So, fly into Boston cheaply and rent a car and drive north, or fly into Portland, Augusta, or Bangor, it's all up to you on the beach adventure you and your family would prefer.



Best beaches for families close to Portland Maine.

Higgins Beach, Maine- Located just south of Portland in the Casco Bay Region.

Higgins Beach
Higgins Beach

Attractions: Higgins Beach is known for its great surf, fishing opportunities and the historic shipwreck site visible at low tide.


Food: The Higgins Beach Market offers sandwiches, pizza, and ice cream. For a sit-down meal, visit the nearby Rising Tide Restaurant for seafood and local dishes.


Accommodations: The Higgins Beach Inn offers comfortable rooms and a restaurant just steps from the beach.







Crescent Beach
Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach, Maine--Located south of Portland so there are plenty of options for everything nearby. I consider it one of the best for families because you don't have to spend all your time at the beach when in this area since it is so close to Portland where there is just so much for a family to see and do.

Attractions:  Crescent Beach State Park offers a long, sandy beach, picnic areas with picnic tables, and walking trails. It's perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. It truly is a beautiful place. And a very short walk from the parking area.


Food: The nearby Kettle Cove Creamery and Café serves sandwiches, salads, and homemade ice cream. For seafood, check out the Lobster Shack at Two Lights.


Accommodations: The Inn by the Sea located nearby offers luxurious rooms, a spa, and a fine dining restaurant with ocean views.


Willard Beach, Maine- Located near South Portland.

Willard Beach Seagull
Willard Beach Seagulls

Attractions: Willard Beach is a small sandy beach in South Portland with views of Spring Point Ledge Light and other lighthouses. It's great for swimming, dog-walking and has a great picnic area.


Food: Scratch Bakery is a popular spot known for its bagels and pastries. For a full meal, visit David's 388 for its creative American cuisine.


Accommodations: The nearby Portland Harbor Hotel provides elegant rooms and is located in the heart of Portland, a short drive from the beach. There are also tons of other options nearby.


Biddeford, Maine- Just 90 minutes north of Boston, Biddeford offers some of the best beaches in Maine, and perfect place to visit during the summer months. Biddeford is a vibrant city in southern Maine, full of history, culture, and natural beauty. The whole family will enjoy this area.

Biddeford
Biddeford

Attractions Nearby:

  1. Biddeford City Theater: A historic opera house offering a variety of shows.

  2. Wood Island Lighthouse: Accessible by boat tours, this lighthouse offers panoramic views.

  3. Ferry Beach State Park: Offers sandy beaches and hiking trails.

  4. Saco River: Popular for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.

Food Options:

  1. Palace Diner: One of the oldest diners in the U.S., known for its breakfast and brunch.

  2. Biscuits & Company: A popular spot for homemade biscuits, sandwiches, and pastries.

  3. Cowbell Burger Bar: Offers gourmet burgers and craft beers.

Accommodations:

  1. The Inn at English Meadows: A charming bed and breakfast in nearby Kennebunk.

  2. Hampton Inn Saco/Biddeford: Provides comfortable rooms and a convenient location.


Kennebunkport, Maine- is only 40 minutes south of Portland Maine or 1.5 hours North of Boston Massachusetts. Kennebunkport is a charming coastal town known for its beautiful beaches with a stunning view of Timber Island, clean white sands, and gentle waves. Plus, Kennebunkport has historic sites, and delightful seafood. This is one of the best family beaches in Maine because there is so much more to do and see than the beach. There are also several beaches in this area including Middle Beach, Parson's Beach, Gooch's Beach and of course Mother's Beach. Did you know that Middle Beach is known to have some of the clearest ocean water in Maine. Go check it out for yourself, you and your family will be glad you did.


Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport

Attractions Nearby:

  1. Goat Island Lighthouse: An active lighthouse offering tours during the summer.

  2. Walker's Point: The summer home of former President George H.W. Bush.

  3. Dock Square: A shopping area with unique boutiques and art galleries.

  4. Kennebunkport Beaches: Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing at Goose Rocks Beach and Colony Beach.

  5. Seashore Trolley Museum: The largest electric railway museum in the world.

  6. Cape Porpoise: A charming fishing village with a picturesque harbor and lighthouse.

  7. Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: Offers hiking trails and bird watching.

Food Options:

  1. The Clam Shack: Famous for its award-winning lobster rolls.

  2. Federal Jack's Brew Pub: Known for its craft beer and pub fare.

  3. Earth at Hidden Pond: Offers farm-to-table dining in a beautiful setting.

  4. Tides Beach Club: The only waterfront dining in Goose Rocks Beach, offering seafood and cocktails.

  5. The Wayfarer: A local favorite for breakfast and lunch.

  6. Nunan's Lobster Hut: In nearby Cape Porpoise, known for its fresh lobster dinners.

Accommodations:

  1. The Kennebunkport Inn: A classic New England inn offering comfortable rooms and a restaurant.

  2. Nonantum Resort: Offers waterfront views, dining options, and a variety of activities.

  3. Hidden Pond: Features luxurious cottages and amenities like a spa and farm-to-table restaurant.

  4. The Tides Beach Club: Offers oceanfront rooms, a restaurant, and a relaxed atmosphere.

  5. Goose Rocks Beach Inn: A quaint bed and breakfast just steps from the beach.


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Mother's Beach, Kennebunk, Maine

Mother's Beach is a small, sandy beach in Kennebunk, Maine, perfect for families with children due to its playground and tidal pools. This beach is renowned for its iconic lighthouses, and even occasional moose sightings. Kennebunk is very close to Kennebunkport, so it is an easy drive from Portland Maine or Boston Massachusetts.


Kennebunk Maine
Kennebunk Maine, the bay

Attractions Nearby:

  1. Webhannet Golf Club: A beautiful golf course located near the beach.

  2. Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: Offers hiking trails and bird watching.

  3. Gooch's Beach and Parsons Beach: Other local beaches that are worth exploring.

Food Options:

  1. Buffleheads Restaurant: Offers a variety of dishes with an emphasis on seafood.

  2. Pier 77 Restaurant: A great spot for a more upscale dining experience with views of the Kennebunk River.

  3. The Clam Shack: Famous for its delicious lobster rolls.

Accommodations:

  1. The Breakwater Inn and Spa: Offers luxury accommodations with spa services and a restaurant.

  2. The Beach House Inn: Provides oceanfront rooms with a relaxed, beachy feel.

  3. The Lodge on the Cove: A family-friendly option with a pool and a laid-back atmosphere.

Wells Beach
Wells Beach near Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard Beach, Maine- Located less than 30 minutes south of Portland, and one of my favorite areas to visit. Great for families, and the area is known for shopping too. When I visited this beach, I drove up from Boston and it was not far at all, at less than 1.5 hours from Boston too.


Attractions: The beach itself, Palace Playland amusement park, and the historic Pier are highlights. Also Wells Beach is a beach town that is nearby. Take a ride on the iconic Ferris Wheel when visiting this beach town. There is also a large arcade located here. These reasons are why I think it is one of the best for young families to visit.


Food: Bill's Pizza and Joseph's by the Sea Restaurant offer delicious dining options.


Accommodations: The Alouette Beach Resort and The Edgewater are popular places to stay.


Marginal Way Ogunquit
View from Marginal Way Ogunquit

Ogunquit Beach, Maine- Located about 45 minutes south of Portland. This beach is my absolute favorite. The rocky cliffs are so beautiful.

Attractions: The beach, Marginal Way cliff walk, and Perkins Cove are must-sees.


Food: The Lobster Shack and The Front Porch Piano Bar & Restaurant offer great dining experiences.


Accommodations: Gorges Grant Hotel and The Anchorage by the Sea are great places to stay.






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Northern Maine Beaches

Sand Beach, Maine- An hour and a half away from Bangor Maine, this beach is the farthest north on my list.  But this area is a must visit, there is just something about the sand here. My time on this beach I spent walking in the soft sand and later that day my feet just felt so relaxed and soft. Must be something in the sand.


Attractions: Located in Acadia National Park, there are numerous hiking trails and scenic drives nearby.


Food: Jordan Pond House and The Travelin Lobster are popular dining spots.


Accommodations: The Bar Harbor Inn & Spa and The Harborside Hotel offer luxurious stays.


Popham Beach, Maine-Located less than an hour north of Portland.

Attractions: Popham Beach State Park offers a long sandy beach, historic forts, and hiking trails.


Food: Spinney's Restaurant serves seafood with beautiful ocean views.


Accommodations: Sebasco Harbor Resort offers comfortable accommodations and a variety of activities.


Boothbay Harbor, Maine- Located 50 minutes south of Augusta, is a great place to visit, with several beaches nearby like Ocean Point Beach, and Barrett Park


Near Lighthouse in Southport Boothbay
Near Lighthouse in Southport in Boothbay

Attractions Nearby:

  1. Boothbay Harbor: A bustling waterside town with shops, galleries, and boat tours.

  2. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: Beautiful gardens showcasing Maine's native plants.

  3. Maine State Aquarium: Offers interactive exhibits and touch tanks.

  4. Burnt Island Lighthouse: Accessible by boat, offers educational programs about lighthouse life.

Food Options:

  1. The Main Dining Room: Offers breakfast and dinner with ocean views.

  2. Bogie’s: A casual spot for burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

  3. Deck: Offers cocktails and light bites with harbor views.

  4. Spruce Point Inn has several dining options:

  5. Mine Oyster: Known for its fresh local seafood.

  6. Boathouse Bistro Tapas Bar & Restaurant: Offers small plates and an extensive wine list.

Accommodations:

  1. Spruce Point Inn and Resort is great, with beach views and several dining options.

  2. Harborage Inn: Offers oceanfront rooms and a hot tub with harbor views.

  3. Topside Inn: Provides comfortable accommodations with breakfast included and beautiful views.

  4. Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort: Offers luxury accommodations with a golf course and marina.



Southern Maine Beaches

I just love southern Maine, mainly because of how close it is to Boston, it makes for a great trip for the families of Boston to escape the city and get some much-needed beach time outside of their own state. If you are flying into Boston, you will also be so shocked to know that Maine is located so close by. It is worth getting a rental car and exploring southern Maine beaches. Your family will appreciate this, especially if you combine a trip to Boston with a couple days at a beach.


Long Sands Beach and Short Sands Beach, Maine- These beaches are right beside each other and are only an hour and 15 minutes north of Boston Massachusetts.

Long Sands Beach
Long Sands Beach

Attractions nearby:

  1. The beach itself and nearby Nubble Lighthouse are highlights.

  2. Wild Kingdom Zoo and amusement park.

  3. Goldenrod's taffy demonstrations.

Food:

  1. Sun and Surf Restaurant offers oceanfront dining.

  2. The Goldenrod

  3. The Union Grill offers great food options.

Accommodations:

  1. The Union Bluff Hotel is located close to the beach.

  2. The Sands by the Sea Motel is also located close to the beach.

  3. The Atlantic House Inn provides comfortable lodgings.


Remember that each beach has its own unique charm and attractions, so you might want to visit more than one to fully appreciate Maine's coastal beauty. There are so many more wonderful beaches in Maine that I did not cover, but I still think this is a great start for you and your family to check out some of these favorite beaches in Maine. I hope you and your family enjoy your summer trip to Maine, and while here sit in a beach chair and soak up the sunshine with your toes in the sand, while the kids are playing in the sand or looking for a hermit crab. Who knows they might just find one like I did.

Cruise Critic



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