Maine’s shoreline is often depicted by images of a rugged and rocky coast, scattered with picturesque lighthouses and quaint seaside villages. With thousands of miles of coastline to explore, visitors often flock to these very sites to experience quintessential Maine life. In the midst of these traditional Maine tourist destinations, however, lies Maine’s hidden gems—it’s beaches. Nestled along Maine’s mid-coast, just east of the city of Bath, you will find one of Maine’s most beautiful beaches, Popham Beach.
Visiting Popham Beach
Living in southern Maine, we have often taken advantage of day trips to Popham Beach. When an unexpected vacation opportunity arose, however, we decided to jump at the chance to spend an entire week there. It was truly one of our favorite beach vacations.
Popham Beach is in a remote area of Maine. There are very few lodging options. Most of the lodging options available are weekly rentals. We decided to book our stay online through a vacation rental website. With a car full of groceries and beach gear, we set off with our kids for our Maine beach adventure. Located in Phippsburg, Popham Beach is unique in that it rests between the mouths of two rivers, the Kennebec and the Morse. Situated on the southwestern end of the beach, visitors can access the beach at Popham Beach State Park.
Our rental house was on the southern tip of the state park. This gave us direct access to over 600 acres of this pristine, sandy beach. We spent our days building sand castles, boogie boarding and swimming. Fortunately our vacation started a couple of days after a hurricane departed the Northeast. We enjoyed warm waters (for Maine!) and great surf. During low tide, we took our daily walk to Fox Island, a beautiful extension on the northern end of Popham Beach, which provided hours of fun for the kids to explore tide pools and collect sea glass.
One of the advantages of the kids rising early was being able to set off and explore different parts of the area before the hottest part of the day. One beautiful morning, we set off to discover Seawall Beach. We parked at the base of Morse Mountain and enjoyed a leisurely hike up the mountain. Though the kids complained a bit during the hike, the payoff was spectacular. At the top of the hiking trail sits a gorgeous, secluded beach offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and even peeks of Mount Washington.
My final thoughts about Popham Beach
Though clearly not a vacation for those seeking a nightlife scene or even actual stores, Popham Beach is a spectacular way to spend a day or a week. The days were filled with simple pleasures. The nights were spent gathered around the fire pit, reliving the highlights of the day. This was a truly unforgettable beach vacation.