By Tyler Boucher + Sophie Nelson
01 Higgins Beach, Scarborough
Known as a surfer’s beach for its consistent break and close proximity to downtown Portland, Higgins is also a striper- fishing destination. The incoming waves, while crowded with surfers on summer weekends, are friendly to new surfers and reward intrepid paddlers. The circa-1897 shipwrecked schooner hull located near the Spurwink River on the east end of the beach is a nifty piece of history.
02 Sand Beach, Mount Desert Island
Under the watchful brow of the Beehive lies a short crescent of sand, shouldered on either side by the iconic pink granite coastline of Acadia National Park. Despite consistently having some of the coldest water temperatures of any seashore in the state, Sand Beach is one of the most popular destinations on Mount Desert Island throughout the summer months.
03 Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport
Shimmering, dark-gray sand at low tide and soft, powder-white sand above the intertidal zone make Goose Rocks one of the most picturesque sandy beaches in the region. Often overlooked for more popular or easier- to-access beaches nearby, Goose Rocks remains quieter in the summer than many of its neighbors. Timber Island, situated just offshore, is reachable at low tide.
04 Popham Beach, Phippsburg
The Popham Colony was one of the first colonial settlements established in the New World, and what remains is now preserved in Phippsburg’s Popham Beach State Park. The beach, the largest in the midcoast region, changes every year due to the slowly migrating path of the Morse River. At high tide, the waves break near the dune grass, but when the water recedes children play in the tidal pools that stripe the wide beach.
05 Biddeford Pool Beach + Fortunes Rocks, Biddeford
A large variety of shorebirds nest in the salt marshes surrounding Biddeford Pool. At low tide, Maine’s largest lagoon drains almost entirely and sandy paths connect Biddeford Pool Beach to others alongside the peninsula. Fortunes Rocks, a tranquil beach just to the south, is a lovely strip of shoreline.
06 Long Sands Beach, York
Long Sands Beach in York is one of the most southerly beaches in the state. Although it might be a stretch to call the water here “warm,” it’s certainly less startling than the icy temperatures of the Atlantic a few hours north (see Mount Desert Island’s Sand Beach). When the outgoing tide reveals the gentle grade of the beach, Long Sands becomes an excellent place to fly a kite.