Southern Maine is known for its miles of sandy beaches. Several communities have more than one beach and the town of Old Orchard Beach is named for its most notable feature – a seven-mile beach. The coastal towns and their beaches are listed from south to north.


Mermaid sculpture, Moody Beach

Crescent Beach and Sea Point Beach are located just a few miles south of York Harbor and are each about 1/3-mile long. Parking is by permit only. Dogs are allowed on Kittery beaches before 10 AM and after 5 PM. This restriction applies from June 15 to September 10. Leash and clean-up rules always apply. Neither beach offers facilities. FMI call Kittery Town Hall at 207-439-0452 or visit

Fort Foster Park, located on Gerrish Island (connected to the mainland), has several beach/swimming areas, picnic spots and bathroom facilities. The 88-acre park has roads and pathways for biking and hiking, and there are military structures and batteries dating back to the late 1800s.

There is a park entry fee of $10 per vehicle that includes all passengers for a full day. Bicyclists, pedestrians and seniors are $5. Children under age 12, $1. Season passes are available for town residents at $20 per household; season passes for nonresidents are $60.


Fort Foster Park permits dogs during all open hours, but they must be leashed. Dog waste must be bagged and removed from the park. Dogs are prohibited from the east side of Pier Beach; watch for signs. FMI 439-0452.


The beaches of York include Short Sands, Long Sands and Harbor beaches. Long Sands Beach allows surfing in designated areas, is handicap accessible, has lifeguards, restrooms and float and beach umbrella rentals. Food and beverages are available near Short Sands and Long Sands beaches. 


A parking sticker is required for Harbor Beach from May 15 to October 15 (available to residents at the Town Hall for $40 or $20 for seniors). Short and Long Sands beaches use parking meters from 8 AM to 9 PM.


Dogs are allowed to run without a leash on York beaches from sunrise to 8 AM as long as owner is present with leash at hand. No dogs allowed from 8 AM to 6 PM. Dogs on leashes are allowed from 6 PM to sunrise. These rules apply between May 20 and September 20. At other times of year, dogs are allowed on beach as long as owner is present with a leash at hand. Clean-up rules always apply. There are no facilities at Short Sands or Harbor beaches. FMI 207-363-1000.


Ogunquit Beach

One of southern Maine’s most popular beaches, Ogunquit Beach is a three-mile sand bar of beach and dunes bordered by the Ogunquit River and the Atlantic Ocean. Food and beverages are available adjacent to the main beach parking lot.


The beach has multiple parking areas; rates and schedules differ. Perkins Cove and Cottage Street are hourly; others, daily. The main beach lot charges $30 per day in season. Beach passes are available to year-round residents and may be obtained at the Visitor Services Department, downstairs at the Dunaway Center, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 1 PM. Dogs are prohibited from the beach from April 1 to September 30. Ogunquit Beach has restrooms, lifeguards and places to surf. FMI 207-646-5139.


At Footbridge Beach, beachgoers walk over a historic footbridge to get to this less-crowded section of beach. There are a snack bar and restrooms. Lifeguards are on duty.


Wells Beach is a seven-mile barrier beach separated from the mainland by the Webhannet River. There are several sections of public beach, which is broad even at high tide. The 4000-yard-long beach is edged with sand dunes and sea grasses. Nearby salt marshes provide habitat for many shore birds and waterfowl.


The town provides several metered parking lots near this beach: one is at the end of Mile Road, and one is at the end of Atlantic Avenue near Wells Harbor (turn left at the end of Mile Road). At the Mile Road parking area, there are restrooms, a restaurant with a take-out window, a playground and a viewing area with benches. There is an arcade, shops and other eateries nearby.


Besides metered parking, there are several privately owned parking lots. Rates at parking lots are: full day $20, 8 AM to 5 PM; half-day $12, noon to 5 PM. There are hourly meters only at the Mile Road and Gold Ribbon parking lots. Resident beach stickers are $35 and are available online at or at Wells Town Hall. FMI, call the Town Hall at 207-646-5113 or the Chamber of Commerce at 646-2451. Dogs are not permitted on the beach from 8 AM to 6 PM through September 15. Dogs must be leashed at all times after 6 PM.


Crescent Surf Beach is a fine white sand beach with salt marshes, located between Wells Beach and Moody Beach. There are tidal pools that are great for children, and seals can be spotted offshore on Bucklin Rock. Parking is available on Gold Ribbon Drive; the beach entrance is just beyond the parking area. Porta-potties are available. Parking is metered and is limited. The best time to go to Crescent Surf Beach is between high tides, since the beach is very narrow at high tide.


Drakes Island Beach is quieter than other Wells beaches because it’s away from the main beach and abuts a much smaller residential neighborhood. The northern end of the beach borders Laudholm Farm Beach and a Rachel Carson bird sanctuary.


Drakes Island Beach is quieter than other Wells beaches because it’s away from the main beach and abuts a much smaller residential neighborhood. The northern end of the beach borders Laudholm Farm Beach and a Rachel Carson bird sanctuary.


Drakes Island Beach has plenty of metered parking; rates are posted. Beach-goers may use coins, credit or debit cards or may purchase tokens from the town hall, Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM. The beach has bathroom and changing facilities, lifeguards on duty and allows dogs on the beach from April 1 to June 15. After June 15, no dogs are allowed on the beach from 8 AM to 6 PM.


Gooch's Beach, Kennebunk


The Kennebunk beaches consist of one mile of sandy and pebble beaches that includes Gooch’s, Middle and Mother’s beaches. The longest stretch of sandy beach is Gooch’s. Public parking is available along Beach Avenue and side streets, as well as at a small lot at Mother’s Beach; however, all parking is by permit only from June 15 to September 15.


Beach parking permits can be obtained at Kennebunk Town Hall. Beach-pass vehicle stickers are available for residents (limit of 3 beach stickers per household); there is no fee for the first vehicle, $5 for the second vehicle and $10 for the third vehicle; taxpayers/residents may purchase passes for guests at $25 each. Nonresident beach passes are $25/day, $100/week, or $200 for the season. Surfing is permitted at all of the beaches.


Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 9 AM to 5 PM from June 15 through Labor Day. Dogs must be under voice control or on leashes. Owners must carry a leash at all times. Dog waste must be bagged and removed from the beach. FMI, or call Kennebunk Town Hall at 207-985-2102.


Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport is located three miles east of Cape Porpoise off Route 9. Known for its secluded setting and warm, shallow tidal pools, Goose Rocks Beach is a well-kept secret among residents. Parking stickers are required for parking from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend between 8 AM and 6 PM. Stickers are sold at the Kennebunkport Town Office from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. They are also available at the Kennebunkport Police Department on Route 9 any time and at the Goose Rocks Beach General Store. Cost for residents and taxpayers is $5, nonresidents is $15 per day, $50 per week and $100 for the season.


On-street parking is available on King’s Highway from 8 AM to 6 PM. Dogs are only permitted on the beach before 8:30 AM and after 6 PM from June 15 to September 30. Dogs must be under voice control or on leashes, and dog waste must be bagged and removed. Surfing is allowed, but there are no lifeguards on duty. FMI call the Kennebunkport Chamber of Commerce at 207-967-0857.


Fortunes Rocks Beach


Fortunes Rocks Beach, accessible from Route 208 (off Route 9) in the southern part of Biddeford, is about a half-mile of sandy beach. Lifeguards are on duty during the season, and porta-potties are available. Parking stickers, available at Biddeford City Hall, are required. Resident stickers are $20 for the first vehicle; $10, additional vehicles at the same address; $10 for seniors age 65 and older. Non-resident stickers are $15 a day, $35 for 3 days, $60 for 7 days and $120 for the season. FMI 207-284-9307.


Biddeford Pool Beach is a two-mile sandy beach with gentle surf on the tidal basin side of Biddeford Pool, accessible from Route 208. A sticker, available at Biddeford City Hall, is required to park. After 5 PM, parking is free. The beach has a bathhouse, and lifeguards are on duty.


Hills Beach is more than 500 yards of beautiful sandy beach along Saco Bay facing Portland to the north. It’s located next to the University of New England on Hills Beach Road. Parking is very limited. In addition to swimming, this area is popular for bird watching. Leashed dogs are allowed before 9 AM and after 8 PM on all three beaches.


Ferry Beach, part of Ferry Beach State Park, The nearly mile-long beach continues to the north as Ocean Park Beach, then Old Orchard Beach, ending with Pine Point Beach in Scarborough. There are lifeguards on the beach late June to mid-September, 10 AM to 5 PM, daily. From July through August, dogs are permitted on leash from 9 AM to 5 PM, All other times, dogs are permitted off-leash with voice control and leash on-hand. Dog waste must be bagged and removed from the beach. There are restrooms and changing rooms.


The 117-acre state park has wooded areas, nature trails, picnic tables and a play area. Admission is $6 per person for residents; $8 non-residents; children ages 5 to 11, $4; free for residents over age 65, and $4 for non-residents over age 65; children age 5 and under are free. Groups are $5 per person.


Old Orchard Beach
With seven miles of wide sandy beach, Old Orchard Beach is the longest in the state. It is also one of Maine’s most popular recreational areas, with a large amusement park, arcade games, food vendors and plenty of nighttime entertainment as well.

The beach offers good surf and is wide enough for beach games. Lifeguards are on duty. Dogs are allowed on the beach before 10 AM and after 5 PM. All dogs must be under voice control and pet owners. Dog waste must be bagged and removed from the beach.  Most of the beach utilizes parking meters. Parking is limited, however, and car-pooling for beach-goers is recommended. Across from the entrance to Palace Playland, there are bathrooms and changing facilities. FMI call 207-934-2500.


Surf’s Up!

Surfing is an increasingly popular sport along Maine beaches. It is allowed at most times at most beaches but surfers are always asked to be considerate of those nearby enjoying other aquatic activities, such as swimming, kayaking and fishing, and to be aware of motor boating activity in the vicinity. Visitors should check with local surf shops to find the best, safest and most fun surfing areas.

Catching a wave at Kennebunk Beach
Remember that Maine is known for its rockbound coast; even on the outskirts of wide sandy beaches, there can be rocky ledges just below the surface. Also, Maine water is cold, even in the summer. Wet suits are used by many Maine surfers year-round. Several Web sites include information about surfing in Maine (and elsewhere); includes details about surfing sites along the New Hampshire and southern Maine coasts, and is a compendium of articles and pictures about surfing in Maine dating back to the mid-1960s.