There’s a lot to see and do in southern Maine, from enjoying our picturesque, Gilded Age, shingle-style architecture and the John Hancock Museum to taking in sights like Mt. Agamenticus and the famous Cape Neddick Light at Nubble Rock.
But when you’re ready to hit the beach, there are even more options.
A trip to southern Maine’s beaches isn’t complete without “seaglunking” for sea glass on one of our awesome beaches or devouring a portion of pier fries while fending off seagulls. Southern Maine is home to so many stunning beachside paradises that we thought it would be a great idea to let you know what’s what and which beach to find it at in southern Maine.
Beaches in York, Maine
York is home to some of the best beaches in southern Maine, and they’re all easily accessible from Stage Neck Inn in York Harbor. Lifeguards on these beaches are on duty from the end of June until Labor Day. There are restrictions for dogs, so make sure to read local signage carefully.
Given its gentle surf, Harbor Beach is suitable for families with small kiddos. It’s also great if you’re more interested in laying out in a beautiful setting to soak up the vitamin D (that’s the kind you get from sunshine, not Holy Donuts — although you should definitely try any of their blueberry varieties). Parking on the access road to the beach is by permit only, but you can find free parking on 1A – just a short walk to the beach.
Long Sands Beach
Long Sands Beach has designated areas for surfing, so if you’re in the mood to hang ten, this is a great spot. Take in stunning views of the Atlantic no matter the weather, and enjoy access to a few shops on the opposite side of the street. You’ll find parallel parking here along the beach side of the road, and there are restrooms located near Oceanside Avenue.
Short Sands Beach
Looking for a relaxing sandy beach with mild surf? Short Sands Beach is calling your name. There’s a metered parking lot right off the main drag, and this beach features a changing area and restrooms with showers. Even better, you’ll find shopping and local eateries on a cute little promenade, so there’s a little something for everyone.
Cape Neddick Beach
Enjoy this small-town beach situated among tide pools in rocky outcroppings. There is a small sandy area that’s a typical hangout for surfers, skimboarders, and Boogie Boarders.
Grab the beach umbrella, the beach blanket, and the picnic basket. You may also want to bring along a few toys for making castles because we’re talking white sand, gorgeous sunny days, and perfect memories ready for the making.
Sunbathe, picnic, swim, or just take in the sunset here in Ogunquit Beach’s white sand and warm surf. This one is popular with families, and you can get there by trolley! There are also a few parking lots. Grab a bite, relax, and enjoy. There are lifeguards and restrooms at this pretty, three-mile beach.
Take a walk on the wooden bridge over the estuary, and you’ll discover a whole different world in the cape dunes. The little paid parking lot fills quickly, so unless you get there at sunrise, it might be better to plan on taking the trolley or park and walk. There are lifeguards on duty here.
Moody is a private beach, but it does have a section that’s open to the public. Locals love being able to hit the beach for a stunning sunrise or go for a walk or run in the company of the waves and seagulls. Parking is just off Ocean Ave. It costs $4/hr or $25/day.
Beaches in Wells
The Wells area boasts some of the best beaches in southern Maine.
This one is a little less crowded, probably because it’s a shingle (rocky) beach, not the typical white-sand experience most imagine when thinking about a beach day. But there’s still plenty to feast your eyes on, especially at sunrise. High tides bring the Atlantic right up to the breakfront for spectacular sea sprays.
Drakes Island Beach
With its white sands and a large expanse of beach, Drakes Island is one of the best spots on the southern Maine coastline. There are lifeguards on duty, and at low tide, you can explore the various tide pools that are exposed. Sandpipers and plovers are fun to watch, too, but make sure you arrive early for parking.
If you’re looking for a secret treasure of white sands known by the locals, this is it. You’ll have to access it via the wetland trails in Wells Reserve, but you’ll be rewarded with an experience that’s a little closer to how Maine used to be when she was younger. This is a walk that will be rewarded.
The Kennebunk Beaches
If you don’t mind heading a little farther north in search of your perfect beach day, and if you think it would be super cool if your beach came with a playground, beaching in the Kennebunks just might be your cup of tea.
This beach has a playground! How cool! Maybe that’s why it’s called Mother’s Beach, but whatever the case, this is where the locals go. The water can be pretty cold sometimes, but isn’t relaxing supposed to be refreshing? Parking stickers are required, but they’re available at the town hall, and there’s a lifeguard on duty.
If your idea of going to the beach looks a little more old-school, you’ll enjoy a stroll along the promenade. But don’t think you can’t enjoy a dip in the surf, sunbathing, and even surfing. Everything is here, including fine, white sands.
This is a clean, small beach with a few outcroppings studding the clear water. For the fishermen out there, this is a great option that’s almost never crowded.
Goose Rocks Beach
If you’re a beach walker, you’ll love the barefoot-soft sand. If you don’t have a parking sticker, you can take the trolley. There are no facilities or lifeguards at Goose Rocks Beach.
Enjoy the Best Beaches in Southern Maine
Whichever of these stunning options you choose, you’re going to have a great time. Whether you’re in the mood for a lobster roll or a dip in the surf, if you’re looking for the best beaches in southern Maine, look no further.
Stage Neck Inn is an iconic destination where families and friends share delightful experiences that evolve into lifetime memories. Offering spacious accommodations with modern amenities and classic décor, breathtaking ocean and harbor views and the ocean’s relaxing sounds make for the perfect stay at our oceanfront resort in York Harbor, ME. Book your stay online now.