Love beaches? So do we. Here are our top five here on Mount Desert Island.

Note: We love Sand Beach as much as the next person (the one thing I’ll say, if you really want parking and are there in the middle of July or August, our tip is to just go in the morning like 8 or 9ish). We just want to let you know about other cool beaches you can visit that you might not know about.

Little Hunter’s Beach

Commonly referred to by locals simply as Hunter’s Beach (so you get confused and/or become exhausted searching for Big Hunter’s Beach). Little Hunter’s Beach is a local favorite. It is just off the Park Loop Road near Otter Cliff and Otter Cove. As you cannot see it from the Park Loop Road, it is kind of like a little secret. Once you get through the woods and take the stairway down to the beach it opens up to gorgeous views with lots of tumbled stone. Because it’s protected, a lot of people take their dogs here.
Parking: There is not a parking area specifically for Little Hunter’s Beach. You’ll want to park at the picnic area and parking lot at the bottom of Otter Cliff Road. From there you walk down to the Park Loop Road and go right. There’s no traffic allowed that way–it’s a bit of a hike, but you’ll eventually see Little Hunter’s Beach on your left.
Pro Tip: There are no facilities here but pack a little picnic and enjoy the private and beautiful scenery.

Hulls Cove Beach

A little over two miles from downtown Bar Harbor and down the hill from the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, this beach is small but offers absolutely gorgeous views of Frenchman Bay. It is a great place to stop to go for a walk with your dog or hunt for sea glass. It is small, but typically not crowded. The Chart Room, a nice seafood restaurant, is next door. The Hulls Cove Post Office is across the street if you feel like mailing a postcard to your friends or family back home and the Hulls Cove General Store has breakfast sandwiches and other snacky items if you want something less formal than a sit down meal.
Parking: There is no official parking, but you can just park alongside the road.  It is not typically that crowded except when The Chart Room is full with a dinner crowd.
Pro Tip: High tide here means not much of the beach is very walkable so check for a medium to low tide for ample rambling room.


Echo Lake Beach

Echo Lake Beach is between Somesville and Southwest Harbor on the “quietside” of Mount Desert Island.  You can access the lake from a few points: one being at the official beach and one being from the boat landing (which is ‘before’ the beach driving towards Southwest Harbor.) In both places, the water remains shallow for a good distance from the shore so it’s easy for kids or others wanting to ease in to get in. The official beach has sand, is roped off for safety/children, and has  a lifeguard from Memorial Day until Labor Day.  There is an Island Explorer stop at the official beach too, so it is easy to get to. If you prefer kayaking, paddleboarding, or just want to do a quick dip in and out, the boat landing is a fine place to dive in. Lots of locals start their swims from here, some going across the lake to the Camp Beech Cliff wharf immediately across the way and back and some swimming to a few points along the lake for a several mile swim. (Those are the triathlon trainers.)
Parking: Parking is plentiful here. It should not be an issue but you will need an Acadia National Park pass of some sort.
Pro Tip: There are a ton of hiking trails accessible near the official beach so get your hike in then cool off (there are places to change there).

Seawall Beach

This loose rock beach near Southwest Harbor is one you can drive right to, no hiking necessary. There is a picnic area and restrooms but not much else (BYO everything basically). A lot of people come here for sunrise or stop by on their way to hike trails in this area, like Wonderland or Ship Harbor. There is a nearby campground (Seawall Campground) which is actually in Acadia National Park itself. The Island Explorer bus stops here so you don’t even need a car to be able to see this peaceful spot.
Parking: There is a parking lot and plenty of space along the road. I’ve never seen it full.
Pro Tip: They say sunrise is great here (since it’s facing the open ocean eastward). If you’re going in this direction, stop by Bass Harbor Lighthouse, one of the most photographed spots in Maine.

Seal Harbor Beach

This big wide beach is between the towns of Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor. With a parking lot and plenty of roadside, it’s easy to stop in and spend a bit of time. Near the beach of Seal Harbor, in season there is a coffee place, restaurant, antique store, etc. on one tiny street. It’s a great place to take kids because the beach is pretty protected but also has varied terrain (some rocks to climb on, some sand to throw around, etc.) without requiring a hike in.
Parking: There is a parking lot and space for overflow. I’ve never seen it full.
Pro Tip: There are no dogs allowed on this beach despite being very near Little Long Pond, the unofficial dog park of MDI.


Honorable Mentions:

Hadley Point

If you drive to the end of Hadley Point Road, you’ll find yourself on the Hadley Point Beach. Lots of people drive onto the beach to launch their kayaks, have bonfires, or otherwise recreate. Since it’s not a part of Acadia, there is a bit more freedom to do what you want here and it’s a great place to see a sunset.
Parking: Right on the beach like you own the place! Just check the tide schedule so your car doesn’t end up partially or fully underwater!
Pro Tip: This place tends to be busy in the evenings so if you don’t like people, this is not your beach.

 

Lamoine Beach

You can go right past the turnoff for Lamoine State Park (which has an entrance fee) and continue on Route 204 to the lovely Lamoine Beach (which does not have an entrance fee). It is open year-round during daylight hours. There is an outhouse-style bathroom nearby, but it is not always stocked, so you’ll want to make sure to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Worth packing supplies to enjoy great walks along the water!
Parking: There is usually parking available with the exception of the few extremely busy summer days (4th of July and summer weekends that are especially sunny).
Pro Tip: The wind is great here, you can pick up a kite at Sherman’s in Bar Harbor or Union River Book and Toy in Ellsworth and have a grand time! Also bring snacks.

 

Marlboro Beach

Marlboro Beach is a little more than a stone’s throw away from Lamoine Beach if you go by water, but to drive (which you have to sans boat) takes about 15 minutes. You will often have the beach to yourself. This is a true local beach with plenty of gorgeous views. It’s pretty rustic so don’t expect any facilities let alone anything nearby.
Parking: Marlboro Beach is an undeveloped beach where there is not a designated parking area. As you can park anywhere, there is essentially always parking available.
Pro Tip: Bring your own entertainment, whether you want to try clamming, bring chairs and some reading, or supplies for a bonfire that will be taken out with the tide.

Happy beaching!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *