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The 6 Best Maine Ocean Beaches

by Eric J. Hurwitz. Article updated on July 28, 2017.

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Maine ocean beaches have a special flavor of their own making it worth a special destination. Natives know that the combination of the rocky coastline, cool breezes and pristine waters create a special summer place that is unlike any other in New England. Choosing the top beaches in Maine is probably not fair as there are so many popular and "secret" locations worth mentioning. The Visiting New staff (me) recommends starting with the following destinations when planning your Maine summer vacation:

Long Sands Beach, York
Long Sands Beach, York Beach Maine
The appropriately-named Long Sands Beach.

The two-mile stretch at Long Sands Beach is perfect for strolling, sunning., or just meeting friendly people. If you don't mind the frigid waters, it is also perfect for swimming. From Long Sands beach, the famous Nubble Lighthouse is visible. Many fine lodging establishments overlook Long Sands Beach. In addition to lodging options, there are some great restaurants a step away from the beach, including a fine seafood establishment Sun and Surf --with splendid views of the beach. If ice cream is your forte, just look in any direction away from the ocean and you'll find myriad hard and soft-serve concoctions. Long Sands Beach is a great playground for children and adults, alike with more to do than just hang out at the beach. Long Sands Beach is located on Route 1A in York Beach. Book a room near Long Sands Beach

Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport
Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport, Maine
Beautiful Goose Rocks Beach.

Perhaps one of the most forgotten great beaches in New England, Goose Rocks is scenic and tranquil, the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the booming Southern Maine tourism industry. The stunning views of Goose Rocks and Timber Island and a great three-mile stretch of beach make Goose Rocks a personal favorite to those who have had the fortune to discover this "road less taken" spot. It's especially nice at sundown as the colorful flavor of the day sky weaves magic around the splendid solitude of this grand New England beach. Goose Rocks Beach on the Kings Highway in Kennebunkport. Book a room near Goose Rocks Beach

Short Sands Beach, York Beach, Maine
Short Sands Beach, York Beach, Maine
Classic summer beach scene at Short Sands Beach.

Perhaps the blue print for what a family beach should be, Short Sands Beach exudes fun as the sandy stretch of beach is perfect for picnics, building sandcastles, swimming in the slightly-warmer-than-average chilly Maine Waters, playing in the playground, shooting hoops, watching free concerts at the gazebo, and the attractions of bowling, arcade games, ice cream, and salt water taffy (courtesy of Goldenrods). With charming York Beach center holding its hand and views of the great rocky, Maine coastline, Short Sands Beach is Maine's true good-time beach, the perfect soundtrack to a fun family summer. Short Sands Beach is located off Route 1A in downtown York Beach. 
Book a room near Short Sands Beach

Old Orchard Beach, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Old Orchard Beach. Photo source: VisitMaine at

It's easy to be a child again at Old Orchard Beach. The miniature golf, cotton candy, fried dough, French fries, cheeseburgers, carousel, arcade games, amusement rides, festivals, fairs, concerts, fireworks, boardwalk and oh, yes, a long strecth of unusually sandy beach for Maine makes this a great family destination. It's all quite honky-tonk, but in a clean, fun way. Old Orchard Beach has been a favorite family destinations for generations, and remains that way in a big, fun way. Book a room in Old Orchard Beach

Ogunquit beaches, Ogunquit, Maine
Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit, Maine
Ogunquit Beach. Photo Source: Wikipedia at

The three mile stretch from the downtown Main Beach to the northern Moody Beach ranks as one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in New England. Seemingly endless, the flat, expansive sandy region has more in common than Cape Cod beaches than the rocky coastline of Maine. It's all quite family-oriented, with a safe feeling. When at the beach, don't forget to take a stroll at nearby Marginal Way, one of the most spectacular oceanside walks in New England.  Book a room near Ogunquit Beach

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

Sand Beach is an instant memory as it is set between the spectacular setting of the classic rocky Maine coastline and mountains. Just under 300 yards long, Sand Beach may be short in distance, but endless in beauty -- so untouched and so small and intimate is this wonder of nature that it makes you wish that you could bring this environment home. Sand Beach is located on the Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Maine (entrance fee required to see Sand Beach and the rest of the spectacular Acadia National Park). Book a room near Sand Beach

Related articles:
Things to do in York Beach
Why you should visit Kennebunkport
You just won't believe the beauty of Acadia National Park

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These beautiful Maine ocean beaches provide plenty of instant summer memories

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Books by Publisher Eric Hurwitz

Massachusetts Town Greens -- Discover New England's first travel attractions: town commons!

The Best Diners in New England -- If you love classic diners, New England has them! In my book, I write in detail on 50 top local diners.

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