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Maine has over 200 miles of coastline with towering cliffs, boulder strewn shorelines, and soft, sandy beaches. There are tidal pools, inlets, bays, and forests reaching down into the sea. Here are our five top beaches in Maine for your next coastal vacation.

Popham Beach

Popham Beach is in Popham Beach State Park, Maine’s busiest park beach. The ever-present riptides may present a problem for some swimmers, but Popham Beach is popular with surfers and kayakers. Shell and sand dollar collecting and surf casting for striper and bluefish are also popular activities here, and as you sunbathe on the beach, you’ll have great views of Fox and Wood Islands. Just keep an eye on the tide.

Ogunquit Beach

The native Abenaki tribe named this beach Ogunquit or “beautiful place by the sea.” This popular beach is over 3 miles long and edged with drifting sand dunes and waving seagrass. There’s plenty to do, from beach bathing, deep-sea fishing, whale watching, sailing, and kayaking, to hiking and golf. Want to avoid the crowds? Head to Footbridge Beach, at the north end of the beach. This beach is close to restaurants, a playground, arcade, shops and more.

Reid State Park

This perfect family beach is located on Georgetown Island and is also an important nesting areas for endangered birds like the least tern and the piping plover. There are two, nice wide beaches to enjoy, as well as birdwatching, fishing, picnic areas with grills, and hiking trails. Plus, there’s a saltwater lagoon with warm water for dipping your toes in.

Sand Beach

Part of Acadia National Park, and just south of Bar Harbor, Sand Beach is rustic. This picturesque, tiny beach (less than 300 yards long) is framed between woodlands extending down to the sea on either side. A “natural pocket beach,” it’s comprised of half sand and half crushed shells. There are miles of trails (including the popular Ocean Path and the Great Head Trail) starting near the beach. These beautiful green blue ocean waters only warm up to a cool 55-60 degrees in the summer, but this beach is so pretty you won’t mind.

Old Orchard Beach

Old Orchard Beach is one of the more popular spots in Maine, beach or not. With over seven miles of sandy beaches, Old Orchard is perfect for families, whale watching and just having fun in the sun. Plus, there’s a boardwalk with souvenir shops, clam shacks and the only seaside amusement park in New England. Enjoy fireworks every Thursday in summer. This is what a New England beach town should be.