Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth is one of the most popular beaches in Greater Portland. Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald

Crescent Beach

More than just a beach, this state park also offers hiking trails and grills perfect to host a barbecue after a long day by the water.

WHERE: 7 Tower Drive, Cape Elizabeth

COST: $6 for adult Maine residents, $8 for nonresidents

AMENITIES: Picnic tables, grills, snack bar, playground and bathhouse. Also, some hiking trails.

 

East End Beach

Located within walking distance of the Old Port, East End beach is small, but the ocean breeze and bay views provide convenient respite from the city.

WHERE: Cutter Street, Portland

COST: Free

AMENITIES: Bathrooms, dog-friendly.

 

Ferry Beach

One of the more unique beaches in Maine because it’s missing one thing: waves.

WHERE: Ferry Road, Scarborough

COST: $10 per car ($5 from 3-5 p.m.)

AMENITIES: Snack cart, public restrooms, boat access.

 

Higgins Beach

Higgins Beach is popular for its rocky, tide pool-filled beach.

WHERE: At the end of Ocean Avenue, Scarborough

COST: $10 parking located down the street from the beach. Otherwise, parking is limited along the side of the road.

AMENITIES: Bathrooms located where paid parking is.

 

Kettle Cove

A hidden gem, Kettle Cove is located at the end of Crescent Beach with hiking trails and larger waves perfect for surfers.

WHERE: Kettle Cove Road, Cape Elizabeth (also accessible from Crescent Beach)

COST: $3 for adult Maine residents, $4 for nonresidents

AMENITIES: Hiking trails, but no public restrooms.

 

Pine Point Beach

Located just minutes from Old Orchard Beach, Pine Point offers a quieter, more family-friendly beach experience. Make sure to get there at low tide to see the sandbar.

WHERE: Avenue 5, Scarborough

COST: $10 per car

AMENITIES: Food shack, shower and bathroom. Dogs are not allowed during beach hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Scarborough Beach

A surfer’s paradise, Scarborough Beach has some of the largest waves in Greater Portland but plenty of sand for sunbathers if surfing is not a strong suit.

WHERE: Sprague Way, Scarborough

COST: $6 adult Maine residents, $8 non-residents

AMENITIES: Dogs are not allowed during summer hours. Bathrooms are on the premises, as well as Mainely Burgers food truck. Surfboards and kayaks are available to rent from 9 a.m. to noon.

 

Willard Beach

One of the only dog-friendly beaches, equipped with a playground and snack bar, Willard is perfect for the whole family.

WHERE: Beach Street, South Portland (by Southern Maine Community College)

COST: Free, but limited parking

AMENITIES: Bathhouse with restrooms, snack bar, showers. Dogs are allowed in the summer, but only before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m.

— EMILY DUGGAN