Ever wondered why Maine’s motto is, “Maine: The Way Life Should Be”? Just go to a beach in Maine and you’ll see exactly why. Sure, the ocean water may be chilly, but Maine has some of the prettiest, cleanest and most family-friendly beaches we’ve encountered with kids. Choose one of these family beaches in Maine for your next family getaway.
Written by Amanda Geronikos Norcross
Ogunquit Beach - Ogunquit
Say "Maine," and many families will mention Ogunquit Beach, named one the 10 Best Beaches for Families in 2015
. The coastal beach draws families summer after summer with powder-soft sand, perfect waves and even better weather.
From the beach, families can easily walk to the Ogunquit River to enjoy its calmer waters and crabbing opportunities -- bring a bucket. Other area activities include professional shows at the Ogunquit Playhouse, walks along the 1.5-mile-long Marginal Way (overlooking the ocean) and downtown Ogunquit
for good eats and kid-friendly shopping that includes C&S Toy Chest and Harbor Candy Shop. You'll find plenty of vacation rentals and hotels nearby, too.Recommended Hotel: The Sparhawk Oceanfront Resort
Short Sand Beach - York
Another family favorite -- named to our list of the 10 Best Beaches for Families in 2014
-- Short Sands Beach attracts families with its ease of access to accommodations, including the newly renovated Cliff House Maine; downtown shopping and dining; and family-friendly attractions such as York Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park and Nubble Light.
The beach itself is small (hence the name), but it's a lovely beach for families, especially those with young children. On the other side of York
, you'll find Long Sand Beach (bigger, but not as good for beach bums), and within a 10-minute drive, you can be at Ogunquit Beach.Recommended Hotel: Cliff House Maine
Old Orchard Beach - Old Orchard
Old Orchard Beach is the only beach in New England with a bona fide amusement park! Palace Playland offers classic amusements such as a Ferris wheel and carousel, plus modern-day thrills that include two roller coasters. Arcade games, delicious eats, fireworks and concerts round out the fun for families at Old Orchard Beach.
The beach itself stretches 7 miles, and restrooms and showers are available. Rent a vacation home, book a cheap hotel or go camping for overnight accommodations.Recommended Hotel: Echo Motel and Oceanfront Cottages
Sand Beach - Acadia National Park
After you've made your way to the top of Cadillac Mountain for the best views imaginable, make your way back down to Sand Beach. A quiet beach within Acadia National Park
, it's the perfect place to spend an afternoon (despite the frigid water). Restrooms and showers are available nearby, as is parking. Note that you'll need to walk up and down a series of steps to access the beach.Recommended Hotel: Bar Harbor Grand Hotel
Birch Point Beach State Park - Owls Head
We love this beach so much that we're almost hesitant to share our "secret." Birch Point Beach State Park is a truly hidden gem in Owls Head, Maine. The beautifully secluded beach is located down a dirt road, amidst adorable vacation rentals -- both by the beach and in the woods. You won't find restrooms, showers or concessions at this beach -- that's how secluded it is. Here, it's all about the quiet, with clay-like sand that's perfect for building moats. Nearby, check out Owls Head Lighthouse, Owls Head Transportation Museum or, for parents, Breakwater Vineyards. If you want to stay in a hotel, look in nearby Rockland and Camden.Recommended Hotel: Camden Riverhouse Hotel & Inns