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Best beach durning high season?

New York
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Best beach durning high season?

I'm currently trying to plan my family's first trip to Maine. We've never been to the region and are looking forward to a relaxing vacation. We're hoping to find the perfect location for the kids (4 of them-ages 11,6,4and2). I'm hoping someone can suggest a sandy not too crowded beach during August. We're trying to find a vacation house rental that has beach/water access for the ease of the children. Yet we would like to spend a day or two at one of the many beaches in Maine. I've read that Old Orchard Beach offers seven miles of beach but is it too crowded in August? I've also read about beauty of Long and Short Sands Beach. I'd love to find the perfect spot that the kids would really enjoy and remember. This will be their first trip to the ocean. Any activities that anyone could recommend would be great. Thanks!

Portland, Maine
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1. Re: Best beach durning high season?

As a life long resident of OOB I can tell you that the beaches do tend to get crowded during August. You can find less crowded spots however at either ends of the beach (pine point and ocean park). These areas usually have enough room even in August. Also look for lodging at either end of the beach (far end of East Grand or far end of West Grand) where it is less noisy and away from the downtown area but still close to everything.

Your not going to find a better beach in Maine than the 7 miles OOB has to offer. The town is also very family friendly with lots of nearby attractions and should be a good time for your kids and your family.

Consider Acadia National Park also. In my opinion, it's the most beautiful spot in Maine. They dont offer sandy beaches but there are plenty of walking trails and other fun things to do.

Best thing to do is to get on the net and do your research on the state and I am sure something will grab your attention.

massachusetts
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2. Re: Best beach durning high season?

My most favorite beach in Maine is Ogunquit! August is a good time to go because the frigid water has warmed up a bit. It is, however, crowded. Walk down aways from the main parking area and you will have company but it won't be blanket-to-blanket. There is a river that some ride the current down to the ocean on boogie boards, etc. at low tide. You'll sometimes see surfers at the mouth of the river. Water has been clean every time we have gone. Sometimes boogie boarding is good, sometimes not. Get there early if you drive there because lots do fill up, especially on the weekends. If you decide to stay, there is a trolley that goes up and down the main road to the beach, and if you book a hotel on the route you can hop on it instead of driving/parking. There are rentals in the area too. I have never stayed/rented there so I can't give you any advice on where to stay. We like to do the Marginal Way ocean-side walking path from the beach down to Perkins Cove (a nice little spot for restaurants and shops). Ogunquit has some restaurants and shops on the main road, too.

New York
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3. Re: Best beach durning high season?

Thanks for the great advice...I'm still trying to find the perfect vacation rental. We decided that we'd really like to find a vacation house that has a private beach area for the kids. I'm sure these are hard to come by without spending a bundle. If anyone knows of anything please reply. Thanks again.

California
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4. Re: Best beach durning high season?

Billowhouse.com is a great place to stay.........it's on the FAR (quieter) end of Old Orchard Beach so you don't have the amusement park etc right there. If the beach DOES get crowded on a particular day, you are a short drive from Ferry Beach State Park which is also a great beach.

Here's a rental that's a block or two off the beach, just south of Billowhouse....and you get a nice photo of the beach nearby:

www.campellis.com

The Ocean Park/ Camp Ellis area has a true old beach town feel to it, think dirt roads, strolls and bike rides.....as opposed to places like Ogunquit, Wells Beach, York, OOB etc that are nice if you can find the right place to stay, but full of tourists and motel-after-motel.

Cape Elizabeth...
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for Portland, Antigua
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5. Re: Best beach durning high season?

If price is no object, you can occasionally find something for rent in the Prouts Neck area of Scarborough Beach (and alternatively, at the other end of Scarborough Beach, near or at the Atlantic House). This is a beautiful beach. But be prepared to faint dead away at the prices!

Higgins Beach is also a possiblity for rentals that nobody has mentioned yet. Parking here for non-residents (or non-renters) is very problematic, thus the beach doesn't get too crowded.

There isn't anything that's really private, as most beaches have some sort of public access somewhere, and anyone can just walk down to your little piece of it. One exception to this is Moody Beach in Wells.....access here was the subject of a big lawsuit years ago, and I think there still isn't any public access. There are houses for rent at Moody.

My favourite beach in Maine is Popham. This is one of the few beaches north of Portland. It is very, very long (4 miles?) and has all kinds of things.....sand bars, two rivers, even an island one can walk to at low tide. Popham is a state park, but along its edges (i.e., at each end) you might find a rental.

Antrim, New...
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6. Re: Best beach durning high season?

I don't know the beaches well enough to know what is or is not crowded. A couple of thoughts, though. The worst of it will usually be on the weekend. During the week, the beaches should be less crowded. Same for the roads, attractions, etc. Consider activities that center on your vacation home on the weekend and you may save some annoyance. But I may be overstating this. Others will know better.

The ocean in Maine is cold, and colder the farther up the coast you go. You are from New York, so you may not be expecting North Carolina water. But it will be colder than Jones Beach in NYC/LI. August is an advantage, as has been pointed out.

SOmeone suggested Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park. Ocean-wise, the water is very cold. A test of manhood, but many people swim. On the other hand, they have a wonderful sand beach at one of the lakes that could be a great place for your family, especially considering the range of ages. Especially great about it is that the bottom is shallow a LONG WAY OUT. It drops off very gradually. This means that the area of safety for the 2, 4 and even 6 year old is excellent. There is so much to do at Acadia that can please the full range of kids as well as parents. And there are a lot of vacation home rentals available in all price ranges.

As crowded as it gets, I do not think that it is as crowded as some of the beaches and roads get further south. I posted on Acadia on a different thread "travel plans this august" in the Maine Forum. You may want to read that and others' posts. I will say, though, that you will be looking at an additional 3 hours driving vs Ogunquit, for instance.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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7. Re: Best beach durning high season?

The lake beach in Acadia, refered to in the previous post, is at Echo Lake. It is true that the water stays shallow quite aways out. It is very definitely warm enough to swim. There is even a lifeguard in the summer.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Best beach durning high season?

We brought our kids to Maine for the first time in 2004 and now we go back every year! they love it and we do too! we have always rented cottages in the Wells area and we find Ogunquit has THE best beach. Of course it is crowded in the summer, especially at high tide! we have paid $750 - 950 per week. I dont think you will find a cottage on the beach for under $1500. not sure how many there are either, as it is not really a private area. Wells has quite a few big houses on the beach and some of them may be rentals. you might want to check out this site:

vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/Wells-M…

Maine
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9. Re: Best beach durning high season?

As a life-long resisdent of Maine I've been to about all of the beaches in the State. The Major ones are Reid States Park, Popham, Old Orchard Beach, and Acadia National Park. Reid is beautiful, it has a small swimming pool like body of water apart from the actual beach itself which is great for young children. However it does have a reputation for horseflies during the hot months (they can be very annoying, and yes they bite). Popham is beautiful, more open the Reid. Its quite long so even if there are loads of people you can find a spot. At low tide you can even walk out to this island, its pretty neat. Old Orchard Park is very popular. A lot of the Canadians flood this beach during the summer months, along with numerous tourists. It is always packed with lots of people. It does however have a peir, and a small amusement park right off &on the beach. Then there is Acadia National Park which is beatiful. Again their beach will be flooded with people as its a large tourist hot spot. Hope this helps you some!

New York
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10. Re: Best beach durning high season?

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I now have more research to do. I think after reading these replies and the research I've already done that I'll stay away from Old Orchard Beach. I don't enjoy battling crowds. I think a day trip to OOB during the beach is a better option. I think I'll spend the day looking into all the suggestions. Thanks again!