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Nestled along the rugged picturesque coastline of the Atlantic, Maine boasts some of the most enchanting beach towns in the United States. From the sandy shores of Ogunquit to the charming harbors of Camden and beyond, Maine’s beach towns exude a timeless charm that sets them apart from other beach towns in the US. Here, each coastal enclave tells a story of maritime heritage, with its lobster-filled wharves, salty air, and majestic lighthouses adorning the coast. It’s no surprise that you’ll find a warm, welcoming atmosphere that captures the essence of New England coastal living.
Lubec, Bar Harbor, Camden, Cape Neddick, Kennebunkport, and Kittery are some of the best Maine Beach towns to visit. I just love their old town charm, laid-back atmosphere, scenic beauty, and deep connection to the sea.
Read on to discover more about these charming coastal towns and more of the best beach towns to visit along Maine’s coast.
Located on the easternmost point of the United States, Lubec is known for its stunning views and serene landscapes. Start at Quoddy Head State Park, boasting over 500 acres of hiking trails. The iconic West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, with its distinctive red and white stripes, is one of the most popular attractions at this park.
If you love biking, the Bold Coast Scenic Byway is a must-visit. This 211-mile path takes bikers through the incredible landscape of coastal Maine. For those more interested in history, stop at the Lubec Historical Society and Museum instead – you can see artifacts from this area’s 19th-century origins.
Cutler, a small fishing village along Maine’s rugged coast, is a paradise for those who want to experience unspoiled natural beauty. Famous for its working harbor and vibrant maritime culture, Cutler provides a glimpse into the traditional Maine way of life.
Visitors can explore hiking trails with breathtaking ocean views, like the Bog Brook Cove, Cutler Bold Coast Trail, and the Western Head Preserve. Make sure to bring your camera along; the bold cliffs and secluded coves are especially postcard-worthy.
Bar Harbor, located on Mount Desert Island, is one of the best Maine beach towns and coastal towns in New England. Just a few minutes from Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with several hiking trails, scenic drives, and panoramic vistas.
While in Acadia National Park, visit Otter Cliff and walk along the Ocean Trail. You can also embark on whale-watching tours and lobster cruises from Bar Harbor. Downtown Bar Harbor is one of the most ideal places in Maine to spend the day walking around, as it’s home to several local shops, boutiques, and restaurants.
Nestled on the Schoodic Peninsula, Winter Harbor is the gateway to the less crowded but equally stunning side of Acadia National Park. Just across the bay from Bar Harbor, Winter Harbor is its less touristy, more timeless cousin.
Stroll the downtown area, home to an old-fashioned nickel-and-dime store, or rent a bike or kayak for the day. Of course, this area has plenty of hiking trails, including the easy Alder Trail or the challenging Buck Cove Mountain Trail.
Mt. Desert Island
Nestled along Maine’s coast is, Mount Desert Island, or MDI, it is the largest island off the coast of Maine, and it is home to the region’s crown jewel, Acadia National Park. MDI is also the home of Bar Harbor, Seal Harbor, and the picturesque villages of Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor. Seal Harbor Beach is one of the best swimming areas on this island, so bring your bathing suit.
While this island has several outdoor activities, Acadia National Park is a must-see, with abundant granite peaks, forested trails, and dramatic coastal scenery. Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak on the East Coast, provides a spectacular vantage point to witness the sunrise (reservations required). Carriage roads wind through lush landscapes, while Jordan Pond offers tranquil reflections of the surrounding mountains.
Head off the beaten path to Deer Isle, a picturesque island known for its maritime heritage, lobstering traditions, and scenic landscapes. The town of Stonington, located on the southern tip of Deer Isle, is a picture-perfect Maine fishing village. Although this village is dominated by fishermen, there are still several galleries and artisan shops that you can browse as you explore this small town.
Isle au Haut, a part of Acadia National Park, is a smaller island accessible by ferry from Stonington. The small island offers 18 miles of hiking trails, and the peaceful Duck Harbor showcases the unspoiled beauty of Maine’s coastal wilderness.
Situated along the Damariscotta River, the town of Damariscotta in Maine exudes a classic New England charm. Damariscotta is one of the best Maine beach towns known for its historic architecture, adorable downtown area, and picturesque waterfront.
On Damariscotta’s Maine Street, you’ll find several local shops, like Wildings, a plant store, and Aboca Beads & Jewelry. As you explore, grab an old-fashioned soda at Waltz Soda Fountain, decorated with a variety of vintage nostalgia.
Surrounded by lush forests and bright blue water, Blue Hill is a haven for artists, writers, and nature enthusiasts.
This town’s vibrant arts scene is showcased in galleries and studios, while the Blue Hill Fair, a longstanding tradition, brings the community together for amusement rides, events, and great food. The Blue Hill Bay lighthouse and the picturesque Blue Hill Mountain are two of the more notable attractions in this area.
Known for its easy access to Penobscot Bay, Rockport boasts a convenient Midcoast Maine location. Stroll through the village while you’re here, exploring art galleries and boutiques and enjoying fresh seafood.
Stop by Marine Park for beautiful views or even a picnic. Goodies Beach, located next to this park, is fantastic for swimming.
Nestled at the base of the Camden Hills and overlooking Penobscot Bay, Camden is a haven for those seeking outdoor recreation. Camden Hills State Park, with its network of hiking trails and 5,700 acres of wilderness, provides panoramic views of the bay and surrounding islands.
The town boasts a charming harbor, where visitors can take scenic cruises or explore the waterfront. Camden’s picturesque Main Street is lined with shops, restaurants, and the renowned Camden Opera House, over 100 years old.
Situated on the shores of Penobscot Bay, Rockland, known as the lobster capital of the world, is a lively coastal town in Maine that combines maritime heritage with cultural flair. This town is home to the Farnsworth Art Museum, housing an impressive collection of American art amongst 20,000 square feet of space, including works by renowned artists such as Andrew Wyeth.
Rockland’s harbor also hosts the annual Maine Lobster Festival, celebrating the region’s iconic seafood every August. Be sure to stop by the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse – with a 100-year history, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.
Owls Head is best known for its historic Owls Head Lighthouse, perched on a dramatic cliff overlooking Penobscot Bay. You can also explore the Owls Head Transportation Museum, featuring a fascinating collection of antique automobiles, airplanes, and engines.
Nature enthusiasts can enjoy hiking at Owls Head State Park, home to several scenic trails and panoramic ocean views. Don’t forget to head over to Crescent Beach, a local hidden gem with warm water and light surf, perfect for a beach day.
This charming village on the St. George peninsula is perfect for anyone seeking a peaceful and scenic getaway in a working fishing village. The area’s natural beauty, with its rocky shores, quaint harbor, and views of the open sea, makes it an ideal waterfront destination.
Port Clyde offers tours and ferries to neighboring Monhegan Island, a small, scenic island known for its hiking trails and artistic community, about 10 miles off the coast.
While visiting Port Clyde, you’ll also want to visit the iconic Marshall Point Lighthouse. Built in 1832, this historic lighthouse has become a popular attraction, offering stunning views of the surrounding coastline. It gained international fame after being featured in the 1994 film “Forrest Gump,” starring Tom Hanks.
There is no shortage of things to do in Boothbay Harbor. A boat tour is one of the best ways to explore this beautiful area, offering breathtaking views of the rocky coastline and offshore islands.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, spread across almost 300 acres, showcases a stunning collection of plants, flowers, and scenic landscapes, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts – this is the largest botanical garden in New England. The Maine State Aquarium, another local attraction, provides an educational experience with lobsters of all shapes and sizes.
Hendrick’s Head Beach, located in Southport, is another beautiful spot in this harbor – dip your toes in the ocean or enjoy views of the nearby Hendricks Head Lighthouse.
Situated on the banks of the Sheepscot River, Wiscasset is located on Maine’s Midcoast. Known for its well-preserved 18th and 19th-century architecture, Wiscasset exudes a timeless New England ambiance. This town’s Main Street is lined with historic homes, antique shops, and quaint cafes, creating a delightful atmosphere for visitors – be sure to visit the Maine Art Gallery and the Wiscasset Old Jail. Wiscasset’s waterfront, with views of the harbor and the Sheepscot River, is a great place to walk around and enjoy a summer day!
One more thing to try before you leave…the iconic Red’s Eats. This lobster shack draws crowds with its renowned lobster rolls, overflowing with fresh lobster, well worth the $40 USD and 45 min wait in line. They also have delicious sides and homemade sauces. Red’s has been featured on numerous Food Network programs and voted best lobster roll in Maine a few years running.
Nestled on a scenic peninsula along the coast of Maine, Georgetown is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Kennebec River, and the Sasanoa River, providing ample opportunities for boating, fishing, and enjoying coastal vistas. It’s one of the best Maine beach towns for water activities!
This area has several state parks, including Reid State Park, Popham Beach State Park, and Pemaquid Beach State Park. Reid State Park is especially lovely in the summer, with over a mile of beautiful beach areas. This park also provides stunning ocean views and is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.
Georgetown is also home to Five Islands Lobster Co., an iconic spot for enjoying fresh seafood while taking in views of working lobster docks. This spot has been known to have the best-fried clams in Maine!
Bath, Maine, is best known for its maritime heritage and charming downtown. With a rich shipbuilding history, Bath has preserved its seafaring traditions, evident in the iconic Bath Iron Works shipyard, where naval vessels have been constructed since the 19th century.
This city’s downtown area has well-preserved 19th-century architecture, where you can explore boutique shops, cafes, and art galleries. The Maine Maritime Museum, located on the riverfront, provides insight into the region’s maritime legacy through 20,000 artifacts on display.
Bath’s distinct charm extends to parks like the scenic Linwood E. Temple Waterfront Park and the walking trails of Thorne Head Preserve, with four different hiking trails and over 100 plant species.
Located on the southern shores of Casco Bay, South Portland is a vibrant coastal city with maritime charm, historic landmarks, and a scenic waterfront.
One of South Portland’s more popular sights is Portland Head Light, located in Fort Williams Park. This iconic lighthouse is a must-visit with its breathtaking views of the Atlantic. Nearby, Bug Light Park is home to the well-preserved Portland Breakwater Light, and if you have time, check out Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse for fantastic photo opportunities.
The city’s waterfront is dotted with marinas, parks, and walking trails, providing tons of space for outdoor recreation and exploration. The four-acre Willard Beach is one of the best spots for a beach day – relax on the sandy pebble shore, and if you get hungry, grab a bite to eat at the nearby snack bar.
Just south of Portland, Cape Elizabeth has a small-town atmosphere combined with the convenience of being near a larger city. Located on the banks of Casco Bay, there’s no shortage of gorgeous views in Cape Elizabeth.
Crescent Beach State Park is one of the best things to do in Cape Elizabeth, boasting a crescent-shaped sandy beach, hiking trails, and picturesque landscapes. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy beachcombing, swimming, and exploring Maine’s coastline.
Saco Bay, located in southern Maine, receives ample tourist traffic during the summer months due to the variety of amusement parks and beaches in the area.
Old Orchard Beach is one of the most popular resort towns, with a beach stretching for 7 miles. Families will enjoy Palace Playland, one of the last oceanfront amusement parks remaining in the United States. You can also walk along this town’s iconic pier, which extends 500 feet into the Atlantic Ocean and boasts countless seafood restaurants and even a carousel.
Ferry Beach State Park is also located in Saco Bay, providing a more serene setting with nature trails and dune ecosystems. Explore the 170 acres of wilderness, including a sandy beach and several hiking trails.
Biddeford is another town in Saco Bay, where you can explore the Biddeford Mills Museum, splash in the tidal pools of Biddeford Pools, or check out the local art at the Engine Gallery. Middle Beach is a popular destination for swimming in Biddeford, with soft sand and sparkling blue water.
Those who love history should explore the Saco Museum, the oldest museum in Maine. While this museum is small, it has much to see, from historic paintings to folk carvings.
Located along the Kennebunk River, Kennebunkport is one of Maine’s most charming coastal villages.
Stroll Dock Square’s boutique-lined streets, dine at The Clam Shack for famed lobster rolls, and explore Walker’s Point, the summer residence of the Bush family. The scenic river, dotted with lobster boats, offers a tranquil backdrop for kayaking or sailing, while the historic Seashore Trolley Museum captures the town’s transportation legacy.
Wells, with its classic New England beauty on the southern coast of Maine, is home to the family-friendly Wells Beach. This is the third-oldest town in Maine, founded in 1643.
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge beckons nature enthusiasts, offering marshland trails and birdwatching. At over 9,000 acres, this wildlife refuge has several habitat types, including coastal meadows, tidal salt marsh, barrier beaches, and the rocky coast.
Visit the iconic Wells Harbor, where fishing charters depart, and indulge in lobster at the legendary Mike’s Clam Shack.
Ogunquit Beach is one of the most stunning beaches in southern Maine, with three miles of pristine sand. You can also stroll the picturesque 1.25-mile Marginal Way cliff walk for breathtaking coastal views.
Take some time to explore Perkins Cove with its art galleries, boutiques, sweet treats, and seafood eateries. Also known as “The Cove,” this area is located at the southern entrance of Ogunquit Marginal Way.
The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is perfect for art enthusiasts, housing around 3,000 modern contemporary art pieces in its permanent collection.
York is one of the oldest cities in the United States and one of the most quaint towns in Maine. Check out Mount Agamenticus, which rises 692 feet with a fantastic trail system.
Aptly named, Long Sands Beach is a must-do in this area, with 1.5 miles of white sand beach area. If the weather cooperates, you can go swimming, play beach volleyball, or fly kites. This beach has lifeguards during the summer, so it’s perfect for the entire family.
If you love golf, York has plenty of courses to perfect your swing. Play a round at The Ledges Golf Club, York Golf and Tennis Club, or Cape Neddick Country Club.
Located within the town of York, Cape Neddick is home to the iconic Nubble Lighthouse. Commissioned in 1874, this lighthouse has been operating since 1879, so it’s definitely worth visiting!
You can also explore the village of York, where colonial-era buildings line the streets. While you’re here, pack your swimsuit and head to Short Sands Beach, offering family-friendly fun through a promenade featuring several restaurants, arcades, and shopping. End the day with a seafood feast at one of York’s waterfront restaurants, soaking in the quintessential Maine seaside ambiance – Lobster Cove is a local favorite.
Kittery is the oldest incorporated town in Maine, so there’s plenty of history to explore while you’re here. Stop by the Fort McClary State Historic Site, which was the home of American soldiers during five different wars – it’s been standing for over 300 years! The Kittery Historical and Naval Museum is another popular site, showcasing the history of Kittery from when it was incorporated in 1647 until now.
Whether you seek the tranquility of hidden coves, the excitement of seaside activities, or the culinary delights of fresh seafood, Maine’s beach towns promise an unparalleled blend of natural beauty and coastal hospitality, perfect for a seaside escape!
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