Beaches & Islands - 11 min read

11 Best Family Beaches in Maine (Fun Activities & Pet-Friendly)

Town and Tourist

Town and Tourist, Updated October 17, 2022

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Known for its jagged rocky coastlines, Maine is a charming beach destination for families looking to spend time together. It boasts nearly 4,000 miles of coastline with thousands of offshore islands. There will be plenty to love and admire if you plan a beach visit in Maine.

Ogunquit Beach, Sand Beach, and Old Orchard Beach are three of the most popular and family-friendly beaches. These beaches offer lots of fun, family-oriented attractions, activities, and thrills to make the best memories. Kennebunk Beach was named #1 among the best Maine beaches with a pet-friendly policy and lots of room to explore.

Maine offers you beautiful beaches, breathtaking views of the Atlantic ocean, and endless thrills. Families with younger kids, teenagers, or pets will find lots of fun on the beaches in Maine. On this list, you’ll find 11 incredible family beaches in Maine to make your family vacation dreams come true.

Enjoy These Incredible Family Beaches in Maine

1. Ogunquit Beach, Ogunquit


Ogunquit Beach is a 3-and-a-half-mile long strip of sand, consistently ranked as one of the country’s best beaches. This beach is an excellent destination for you and your family.

Ogunquit offers a serene and easily accessible space to enjoy the view, do fun activities, and bond with your loved ones. This beautiful coastal beach attracts families every summer, promising powder-soft sands and exciting waves.

You and your family will enjoy the crystal clear water perfect for swimming and playing. Although best visited at low tide, there are lots of activities to enjoy- whale watching, kayaking, sailing, rafting, and beach volleyball.

There are clean restrooms nearby with a much-needed foot shower after a fun day of running your feet through the sand. Also, you won’t have to worry about packing tons of food or snacks on your trip. Little charming souvenir shops, ice cream shops, and eateries surround the beach.

Ogunquit also has beach wheelchairs for family members with a limited range of motion. Attentive lifeguards guarantee your safety while in the water. You’ll find many rentals and hotels nearby if you need somewhere to stay.

2. Old Orchard Beach, Old Orchard


Old Orchard Beach provides an incredible family-friendly beach experience suitable for children of all ages. This beach is the most popular in Maine and stretches for roughly 7 miles giving beachgoers enough space to roam and explore.

Old Orchard Beach has many fun activities beyond swimming and lounging. The soft powdery sand is perfect for sunbathing, playing soccer, and throwing a frisbee around with a family pet.

Swimming in the soothing, friendly waters is incredibly refreshing on hot summer days. You’ll find restrooms and showers close by with easily accessible and affordable hotels and vacation homes.

If you want more activities, you and your family can visit the Palace Playland, an amusement park with loads of attractions to explore.

From classic amusements like a Ferris wheel and carousel to modern-day attractions like roller coasters, arcade games, and concerts. On Thursdays in the summer, you can catch the weekly fireworks show hosted by the pier.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Maine

3. Popham Beach, Phippsburg


For anyone struggling to find a beach destination that the whole family will love, look no further than Popham Beach. Here, you’ll find one of Maine’s busiest coastlines. You and your family will enjoy many family-oriented amenities, a beautiful shoreline view, and sparkling waters.

This 6-mile-long sandy beach is a popular wave-riding spot for learners and seasoned paddle boarders, and surfers. You can enjoy many activities, including surfing, body boarding, fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

If you’d prefer to stay out of the water, you can enjoy building elaborate sculptures with the grainy sand or sunbathing.

Popham Beach is pet-friendly during off-seasons from October 1 to March 31. You and your children can enjoy the thrill of playing games with your pet.

One of Popham’s most appreciated attractions is Fox Islands, a beautiful archipelago off the coast. When the tide is low, you can walk to the island for a change in perspective.

If you’re in the mood for it, there are many charcoal grills surrounding the beach. While you take a break from the activities, you and your family can enjoy a delicious barbecue before jumping back in!

4. Short Sand Beach, York


Have one of the best family beach vacations in Maine by visiting Short Sand Beach. This beach sits at the heart of York and is the town’s most famous beach.

Short Sand Beach is easily connected to several nearby restaurants, hotels, and stores, making your experience easier and much more exciting. Although it’s a small beach, hence the name, Short Sand is a lovely spot for families, especially those with younger children.

If you and your tribe are looking for a quaint and quiet place, you’ll marvel at sea glass and enjoy bodyboarding in the waves to give you an unforgettable visit. You can choose to sunbathe, read a book or play volleyball once the tide recedes.

The powdery sand is perfect for sand castles and forts, while the large grass lawn makes an excellent picnic spot. There’s also a basketball court and a large playground where young kids can have lots of fun.

Lifeguards closely monitor all activities throughout the shoreline to keep you and your family safe. For out-of-water activities, you may visit The Goldenrod or the nearby zoo and amusement park, York’s the Wild Kingdom. If you visit during peak seasons, you’ll see lots of free concerts and firework displays.

Related Read: 19 Best East Coast Beaches For Families

5. Long Sands Beach, York


On the other side of York, not too far from Short Sand, the bigger Long Sands Beach sits in quiet beauty. Although not as popular as its smaller counterpart, this beach is just as stunning and has a more relaxed atmosphere.

If you’re a surfing enthusiast, the waves at Long Sands Beach will successfully win you over. Not only is it a top coastline destination for surfers, but you can also enjoy the water while kayaking and rafting.

Long Sands Beach is relatively accessible, with lots of shops and restaurants around. You won’t run out of souvenirs to collect and meals to enjoy. When you need a break from the sun, enjoy the comfort of the shade provided by the umbrella rentals.

Across the beach, there are grills where you can all enjoy a delicious barbecue. There’s also a bathhouse near the parking area for your convenience.

It’s important to note that the water can get significantly chilly when it’s not summer. You’ll appreciate swapping the bathing suits for wetsuits instead.

6. Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunk


Kennebunk’s Goose Rocks Beach is another famous family favorite. Formerly called Beachwood, this white-sand coastline faces the Atlantic Ocean, offering you an unbeatable and breathtaking view.

This lovely 3-mile strand is backed by beautiful dunes and many gifts from the sea like sand dollars. You can spend the day soaking up the sun on the sandy beach or swimming in the calm waters. Thanks to the Goose Rocks barrier reef, the gentle waters are hardly disturbed by large waves.

An incredibly endearing attraction is the adorable seals that come up to the shore to relax. This beach is impressively children-friendly and has a grocery store where you can find tasty snacks as you enjoy the view and the friendly weather.

When the tide retreats, the coastline has shallow tide pools where young kids can get a thrill out of the splashing sound in the water. Unfortunately, there are no facilities besides a portable toilet. You can still make the most of a peaceful trip to Goose Rocks Beach.

7. Sand Beach, Acadia National Park


Family vacations in Maine can be the perfect dream vacation you planned. Located in Acadia National Park, Sand Beach is a 290-yard coastline boasting fine sand and sparkling blue waters.

Sand Beach fits perfectly if you’re looking to have a serene beach excursion with your tribe. You can spend the day kicking a ball on the sandy coastline with your kids, working on your tan, or reading a book.

The sand is excellent for building tall sand sculptures that your kids will be proud of. Sand Beach is a superb choice if you’re looking to avoid a large crowd on the beach.

This hidden beach is one of Maine’s best-kept coastline secrets. You’ll be far away from the city enough to escape all the urban-life noise.

The water is always warm and inviting in the summer, while lifeguards watch over everything for your safety. If you’re a hiking enthusiast, you’ll appreciate Acadia National Park’s many hiking trails. These trails are great for burning steam, getting fresh air, and getting some incredibly breathtaking views.

8. Wells Beach, Wells


Wells Beach is a dreamy beach ideal for a family excursion by the ocean. It’s best to visit at low tide when there’s lots of space on the beach and the soft sand is visible.

Stunning dunes and seagrass back Wells Beach, complemented by shallow tidal pools that are perfect for kids to splash in. You’ll find lots of wildlife here, including seals and an impressively wide variety of birds.

The main length of Wells Beach stretches for nearly a mile and a half, bordered by the smaller Crescent Beach. To the north, it stretches to the Wells Beach Jetty, a famous walkway for anglers. Lots of visiting families love the atmosphere and relaxing environment.

Wells Beach is ideal for children to explore and hop around on the rocky portion near the Mile Road entrance. If you have pets, you can bring them along and enjoy fun, rewarding walks during restricted hours.

This beach has free parking near the end of Mile Road. You’ll also find a snack bar, restrooms, gift shops, arcades, and a few restaurants here.

Related Read: 40 Best Things To Do Portland Maine

9. Birch Point Beach State Park, Owls Head

Credit: Explore In 4 / Flickr

Birch Point Beach State Park is one of Maine’s beautiful hidden gems. This beach is secluded, making it the perfect getaway for families looking for a quiet escape from the bustling city life.

This beach is down a dirt road, surrounded by beautiful vacation rentals for visiting families. You’ll find hotels nearby in Rockland and Camden. It features a gentle surf and sandy shoreline perfect for beach-combing activities.

This crescent-shaped shoreline boasts inviting waters that are great for swimming for you and your children. This gorgeous shoreline provides magnificent views of Penobscot Bay and makes for great family photographs.

You can organize a small, cozy picnic with your loved ones or see what the water offers with your fishing gear. Birch Point State Park Beach makes a fantastic fishing spot for learners and experienced anglers.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any stores nearby, so be sure to bring everything your family will need. You also won’t find restrooms, showers, or concessions – that’s how secluded this beach is.

10. Scarborough Beach State Park, Scarborough


If you want a spot to spend hours enjoying peace ‌with your loved ones, head to the beautiful shores of Scarborough. This easygoing beach town has long, stretching coastlines and boasts breathtaking views of the ocean.

The grainy, soft sand comes accompanied by sparkling waters and clear skies. You may choose to take a dip in the water – it’s usually at warmer temperatures, especially in the summer.

You and your family can rest easy knowing there are secured designated lifeguard areas protected from the occasional riptides.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy here. You can go kayaking or surfing if you have the experience. Scarborough is also great for striped bass fishing so bring your gear if you’re an avid angler.

Related Read: 20 Cabin & Treehouse Rentals in Maine

11. Half-Mile Beach, Georgetown

Credit: Paul VanDerWerf / Flickr

Half-Mile Beach invites visitors with fine sand, calm waves, and gorgeous scenery. The dainty coastline boasts soft sand perfect for making impressive sand sculptures and working on your tan.

The beach isn’t intimidatingly large, but it’s spacious enough to have fun games with your loved ones. You may throw or kick a ball, play catch or tag, and have a quiet picnic. You’ll find many cool picnic places to enjoy your prepared meals happily.

Showers, bathrooms, and changing rooms are available at Half-Mile Beach, making it easy to freshen up after a long day spent laying on the sand and running about.

If you have older children or teenagers, they might like the idea of rock climbing or riding the strong waves on surfboards. Half-Mile Beach is one of Georgetown’s most famous spots for surfing and dune exploration.

For the magnificent views, priceless sand dollars, grassy dunes, tidal pools, and abundance of wildlife, it’s 100% worth the long drive to the Georgetown peninsula.

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