The beach is always a welcome reprieve from the monotony of everyday life. Maine might not be the top contender when it comes to where a person would plan out their tropical island stay, but there are plenty of reasons why it should be. Perhaps it's the fact that Maine has a stereotype of being cold more often than not or its rocky cliffside shores that keep people from exploring its beautiful coastline. Whatever it is, it's entirely inaccurate - because the state of Maine is home to some of the most relaxing and amenity-filled beaches along the East Coast.
Its most popular beaches have welcome additions such as changing rooms and bathrooms, with the views from each shoreline being an extra perk of spending the day there. Sure, there are plenty of rocky beaches but nestled in between them are picture-perfect vistas that you might actually mistake for a tropical destination (minus the palm trees). Don't believe us? Add these to your summer bucket list.
Scarborough Beach State Park, Scarborough
The first beach to break the stereotype about Maine (and its waters) hovering at a constant temperature of freezing is Scarborough Beach State Park. Scarborough, Maine, is a beautiful, quiet region of the state that truly contradicts what many people believe about it. This beach is fairly secluded with its back to the woods, and the sapphire blue water that laps at its shores is the first thing visitors fall in love with.
During the summer months, the water's temperature hangs around 65 degrees and up, which is the perfect temp range for a cool down on an 85-degree day. Beachgoers will find food, changing rooms, and bathrooms at the park which leaves nothing to be desired.
Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport
Here's another surprise for those who still don't believe Maine's beaches are worth a vacation: Goose Rocks Beach offers calm, tranquil waters for swimming. Not every beachy piece of land in the state touches the Atlantic and Goose Rocks is a perfect example of how a barrier reef can protect beaches from powerful, sometimes undesirable surf.
The offshore barrier reef keeps these beachside waves at the perfect ebb and flow, making it the ideal place for swimmers. Combine this with pristine white sands, access to bathrooms and food, and you have one of the most popular - and the largest - beaches in Kennebunkport. Visitors can get day parking passes from the Goose Rocks General Store or the hotel they're staying at if it's nearby.
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
We're just full of surprises and, as it turns out, so is Maine. The photos you've seen of Acadia National Park likely include rocky cliffsides with views of the turbulent Atlantic below, which is accurate. This rocky park and its ocean views are stunning but very few of them include visuals of Sand Beach, which is located on Mount Desert Island. This beach can get busy during the summer season but it's worth it even still.
With protection all around it thanks to the mountainous terrain of Acadia National Park, this beach is a tranquil escape from tough hiking trails and rocky cliffsides. It offers a secluded haven for beachgoers to relax, take a dip, and soak up the sun before hitting the trails again to explore the other areas of this beautiful national park.
Old Orchard Beach, Old Orchard
If you're interested in a bit more fun in the sun, Old Orchard Beach is home to a beachfront amusement park - and it's the only one of its kind in all of New England. So, not only is this beach beautiful in its own right but it's also packed with plenty of things to do when visitors aren't sunbathing or swimming. A pier extends out from the beach, offering an escape from the sun in exchange for shopping and great beachside eats. At night, everything comes alive with bars and live entertainment lining the boardwalk, meaning there's never a dull moment.
The views from this beach aren't too bad, either - whether you're standing in the water looking out or standing on the pier looking in, it just feels like everything the summer should be. Old Orchard Beach also offers plenty of parking options even with the crowds, and beachside amenities include restrooms, food, and on-duty lifeguards. The best part is the close proximity in which many hotels and rentals are from this beach, as well - it's never a far walk or short drive for a little bit of sun and sand.