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Best Places to Visit in Maine with Kids this Summer

Three kids peer into the water as they explore during a hike while on vacation in Maine.
Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Feingold

Get ready to discover the best places to visit in Maine with kids this summer! With mild temperatures, a rugged coastline, and gorgeous beaches, travelers of all ages will love this New England state. From Ogunquit to Bar Harbor, you’ll find countless family-friendly adventures. Take a lobster boat tour, spot local wildlife, or visit a museum. There are plenty of ways to experience Maine, but a lot of families choose to take a road trip. Start in Kennebunkport and make your way to Camden, stopping in Wells, Cape Elizabeth, and York along the way. Then, don’t forget about Portland, as well as visiting the famous Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor. Since Maine is such a flexible destination, we’ve compiled this guide to the Best Places To Visit In Maine With Kids This Summer. Whether you’re planning a road trip or need general suggestions, keep reading for our parent-approved advice! 

Ogunquit

A family of six sits along the rocks facing the ocean from Ogunquit, one of the best places to visit in Maine with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Catherine Murphy

Ogunquit is a charming town on Maine’s southern coast. With sandy beaches, cultural activities, and multiple tasty restaurants, there’s no better place to start your summer vacation. Lounge on the gorgeous Ogunquit Beach, which is large, clean, and bustling. Parking is available nearby, and kids can rent gear from various vendors along the shore. Families can also sightsee on the Ogunquit Trolley, which plans to resume regular service in the future. For more incredible views, stroll the famous Marginal Way, a mile-long scenic cliff walk through picturesque vistas, historic mansions, and private beaches. Eventually, you’ll come upon the small fishing village of Perkins Cove. Explore its quaint shops, restaurants, and cafes. Known for past performances such as Kinky Boots, families can also visit the Ogunquit Playhouse. With live musical performances during the summer and a designated Kids Theather Program, you’re bound to find some entertainment your little ones will enjoy! 

There are so many things to do in Ogunquit with kids! If you have extra time on your vacation, consider visiting the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, taking a Finestkind Scenic Cruise, or heading to Footbridge Beach. We also recommend taking a day trip to nearby Cape Neddick, another one of the best places to visit in Maine with kids this summer! 

Where to Stay in Ogunquit with Kids

Families will find plenty of places to stay near Ogunquit, Maine. We suggest booking a room at the Beachmere Inn, a Cape-Cod-style hotel overlooking the ocean. Overlooking the ocean near Ogunquit Beach, you could also try the Anchorage By The Sea, which has its own kids’ pool. The Dunes On The Waterfront provides direct access to Ogunquit Beach, plus it’s family-run, so the atmosphere is age-appropriate. The Colonial Inn, a ten-minute walk from Ogunquit Beach, has its own trolley service, set in three different buildings. We also recommend Sparhawk Oceanfront Resort, Juniper Hill Inn, and the Gorges Grant Hotel. A little bit outside of Ogunquit, families can also stay at the Cliff House Maine in Cape Neddick. 

Visit Ogunquit: 2021 Travel Guide for Ogunquit, Maine | Expedia

Kennebunkport

A yellow tug boat move along a bay near Kennebunkport, Maine, with classic Maine home in the background.
Photo Courtesy: Lori VanderWall

Make Kennebunkport your next destination! Known for its beautiful beaches, kids will love this coastal town in southern Maine. Get a feel for it by driving or biking down the scenic Ocean Avenue, featuring picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean. Then, you’ll find nearly three miles of soft white sand at Goose Rocks Beach. Sprawl out and enjoy a day of sun, swimming, and seashell hunting! (Note: there’s no lifeguard.) Mother’s Beach has a fun playground next to it, with chances to spot fish and other marine life at low tide. If you’d prefer a low-key experience, visit the sand-and-pebble Arundel Beach, also known as Colony Beach. Or, take a Kylie’s Chance Tour to see the city’s best sights, like on a lobster tour. Kids can also explore Kennebunkport’s streetcars at The Seashore Trolley Museum. End your day with ice cream at Rococo Ice Cream, choosing from countless original flavors.

Where to Stay in Kennebunkport with Kids

Now that you’ve learned the best things to do in Kennebunkport with kids, you should find a place to stay. Try the Nonantum Resort, located on the riverfront just a short way from Dock Square. Just a mile from Dock Square and Kennebunk Beach, The Lodge On The Cove, Kennebunkport Resort Collection features an outdoor pool, and summer fun like movie nights, lawn games, and bonfires. Dating back to 1914, The Colony Hotel sits on its own private beach, perfect for your family vacation in Kennebunkport. The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel also offers families a bustling location alongside Kennebunkport’s harbor.

Find Kennebunkport Vacation Rentals: house rentals & more on Vrbo

Wells

Several colorful kayaks rest on a sandy beach at sunset near Wells, Maine.
Photo Courtesy: Town of Wells, Maine

As one of the oldest towns in Maine, Wells is another popular summer destination. Families can enjoy surfing, kayaking, and more fun in the sun at Wells Beach, Crescent Beach, or Moody Beach, which is private but still open for brief strolls. Hikers can also visit the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, featuring 7 miles of trails through fields, forests, and salt marshes. This, alongside a self-guided tour at The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, will be a perfect opportunity to spot birds and other wildlife. Or, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables or homemade sweets at Chase Farms. Wells is also known as the “Antiquing Capital Of The World,” with 25 antique shops conveniently located along Route 1. Go shopping, then visit The Wells Auto Museum to see vintage motorcycles, arcade games, and other memorabilia. Of course, remember to visit Wonder Fountain Fun Park for mini-golf, go-karting, and more! 

York

A bright lighthouse rests ashore near York, Maine.
Photo Courtesy: MCHLC

York, another one of the best places to visit in Maine with kids this summer, should be your family’s next stop. Located near the state’s southern tip, this resort town is a popular summer getaway. Spend time sunbathing, strolling the shore, or trying water sports on Long Sands Beach. It also provides fantastic views of the Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse, one of the most photographed lighthouses in Maine. Since it’s located offshore on a tiny islet, you can’t get up close, but even seeing it from a short distance is worth the trip at sunset. Active families can also enjoy a beautiful hike at Mount Agamenticus, offering trails for all skill levels. Even little ones will be able to handle the 1.9-mile Ring Trail Loop, featuring a great view of Maine’s coastline. Animal enthusiasts can’t miss the chance to visit York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park!

Where to Stay in York with Kids

As one of the best places to visit in Maine with kids, York won’t disappoint you when it comes to family-friendly accommodations. Book your stay at The Lighthouse Inn & Carriage House, a casual hotel with an outdoor pool. It’s also only a 3-minute walk to Long Sands Beach. The York Harbor Inn is near York’s best attractions like the Nubble Lighthouse and York’s Wild Kingdom. Stage Neck Inn is further south, set on a rocky peninsula next to York Harbor Beach. Kids will love splashing in the outdoor pool during the summer!

Accommodations in York, Maine – Browse, Shortlist and Book

Cape Elizabeth

A family of eight stands together smiling in front of a lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Photo Courtesy: Jason Carlton

Add Cape Elizabeth to your family’s itinerary! With its proximity to Portland, this southern Maine destination is a popular stop to explore. It’s super easy to navigate by bike too, which makes it perfect for adventurous families. Crescent Beach State Park boasts one of the nicest beaches in the area, with a nearby parking lot, bathroom facilities, and a mile-long shoreline. Of course, you can’t leave Cape Elizabeth without seeing one of its many lighthouses. Two Lights Park is a popular place to bring a picnic lunch and relax, named for its view of nearby twin lighthouses. A little bit off the beaten path, the Cape Elizabeth Light is also worth visiting. You can see it from a distance along the beautiful, rocky coastline, and even explore the area’s nearby walking trails afterward. Visit the famous Fort Williams Park to see the Portland Head Light, Maine’s oldest lighthouse! 

Where to Stay in Cape Elizabeth with Kids

You won’t have to look far for kid-friendly accomodations near Cape Elizabeth. Just a seven-minute walk from Crescent Beach, we suggest the Inn By The Sea, which has a seasonal activities program for kids and adults alike. 

Find Cheap Oceanfront Hotels in Cape Elizabeth, ME | Travelocity

South Portland

A lighthouse stands proudly on a sunny day off the coast from South Portland, one of the best places to visit in Maine with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Kan Wu

A stay in South Portland will surely be a memorable experience! Overlooking the Portland Harbor, it’s known for its scenic beaches, historical lighthouses, and abundance of summer activities. Catch a glimpse of the area’s best views from the Greenbelt Walkway, an off-road pathway running from the Wainwright Athletic Complex to Bug Light State Park. In South Portland, you’ll also find Willard Beach, a small sand and pebble beach perfect for swimming. If you want a bigger, sandier beach experience, head south to Old Orchard Beach. Families can stroll down the pier to browse shops, collect shells along the shore, and relax in a scenic setting. Kids will also get a real thrill from a visit to nearby Palace Playland, a seasonal amusement park offering fun for all ages. Afterward, explore the Old Orchard Main Street to grab a bite to eat and maybe even a souvenir. 

Top 50 South Portland Vacation Rentals | Vrbo.com

Portland

A lighthouse with a keeper's house stand charmingly along a shore near Portland, one of the best places to visit in Maine with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Lori VanderWall

A trip to Maine would be incomplete without stopping in Portland! As one of the state’s most populous cities, many families seeking a laid-back experience spend their summer vacations in Portland. Families should definitely take a Maine Lobster Boat Tour, available through vendors such as Lucky Catch Cruises, Rocky Bottom Tours, and Casco Bay Custom Charters. Kids can learn more about Maine, see how lobster is caught, and even taste some for themselves! Fishing lovers can also take a trip to nearby Cliff Island, accessible via the Casco Bay Island ferry from Portland’s harbor. Or, head to Mackworth Island State Park, located in Falmouth adjacent to Portland. Alongside opportunities to kayak, there are plenty of kid-friendly trails for all skill levels. Shopping enthusiasts will be impressed by the selection at the Freeport Outlets just north of the city, where you can find great deals on a variety of luxury stores. 

Where to Stay in Portland with Kids

Portland has plenty of places to stay with kids! The Portland Harbor Hotel is an upscale hotel downtown, with extra perks like valet parking, a spa, and a complimentary shuttle. Set on the shores of Tripp Lake, families who want to experience nature can stay at Wolf Cove Inn instead. It’s a rustic B&B with complimentary water sports, a private dock for fishing, and a wood-burning fire pit to make s’mores.

Boothbay Harbor

The town of Boothbay Harbor shines at dusk, with charming buildings and a bay holding several boats.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Stokes

Boothbay Harbor is another popular family destination in Maine. A coastal town known for its charming boutiques, seaside dining, and summer fun, it’s perfect for your next vacation with kids. Plus, there are so many things to do in Boothbay Harbor with kids, including visiting the historical exhibits at the Boothbay Railway Village. Spread across thirty acres, kids will love the different displays at this educational center, which showcases artifacts from Maine’s railroad and automobile history. On a beautiful sunny day, save time to take a stroll around the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Children will love spotting native Maine wildlife like hummingbirds, herons, and frogs on the nearby hiking trails. (Don’t forget about the butterfly house!) Of course, like other destinations in Maine, Boothbay Harbor offers families chances to spot iconic lighthouses. Accessible by kayak or ferries like Balmy Day Cruises, don’t miss a visit to the Burnt Island Light. 

Wondering about other things to do in Boothbay Harbor with kids? This Maine destination is also known as the “boating capital of New England,” so you should definitely arrange a trip from its bustling harbor. Excursions range from puffin, seal, and whale watching romantic sunset cruises for parents. If your family is adventurous, you can even kayak out to one of Boothbay Harbor’s adjacent islets. (Bring your own kayak, rent one from a shop, or book a tour.) Monhegan, a small rocky island approximately ten miles off Boothbay Harbor’s coast, is perfect for a day trip. It’s a true nature-lovers dream, with no paved roads, 17-miles of wooded trails, and even a lighthouse with a museum! 

Where to Stay in Boothbay Harbor with Kids

Need a place to crash in Boothbay Harbor? The Spruce Point Inn Resort & Spa is set along the waterfront, with an outdoor pool and plenty of summer amenities. Or, you could stay at Smuggler’s Cove Inn in East Boothbay, also located along the water. The Harbour Towne Inn On The Waterfront gives history buffs a chance to experience a resorted Victorian-style inn. Families who want to stay in cozy cabins will love the Linekin Bay Resort, which also has a kids camp, outdoor pool, and summer water sports.

Camden

Several sail boats dot the marina near Camden, one of the best places to visit in Maine with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Kevin Dooley

Next, visit Camden for more family fun. Nestled along Penobscot Bay, this quaint town is known for its historic houses, fine dining scene, and summertime activities. First, wander the High Street Historic District to get a feel for the town. Another famous sight is Camden Hills State Park, which boasts various kid-friendly trails. During the summer, we recommend the Ocean Outlook, Ride Trail, Jack Williams Trail, Carriage Trails, and Adam’s Outlook Trails. After your hike, drive to the Mount Battle Overlook for more picturesque vistas. Camden is also nearby a selection of iconic lighthouses families can reach via hike, like The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. It’s accessible via the Rockland Breakwater Trail, which occasionally features some flat rock. Resting atop an 80-foot bluff overlooking the entrance of the Rockland Harbor, the steep climb to the top of the Owls Head Lighthouse is definitely worth the view of the stunning seascape! 

Where to Stay in Camden with Kids

If you need a place to stay in Camden with kids, we have a few suggestions. A lot of families like Whitehall, a historic hotel that sits at the base of Mount Battle. It’s a short walk from downtown Camden and less than a mile from Camden Harbor. At 16 Bay View, guests can overlook the harbor directly from the boutique hotel, which has a rooftop terrace with incredible views. For guests who want a classic Maine vacation, The Hawthorne Inn has the look of a quaint Queen Anne Victorian Inn, featuring beautifully manicured grounds. The Hartstone Inn and Hideaway is a Victorian-style B&B right near the water.

Bar Harbor

A young boy stands next to a summit sign on Bass Head Lighthouse Trail peek near Bar Harbor.
Photo Courtesy: Jill Rippy Worden

On your Maine adventure with kids, Bar Harbor is a must-stop! Firstly, families adore Bar Harbor due to its proximity to Acadia National Park. However, there are a variety of things to do outside the park too! Embark on a whale-watching adventure with Bar Harbor Whale Watching Co. to spot whales, puffins, dolphins, and more! Then, learn more about the local marine life at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History. Afterward, be sure to fill up on lobster and other iconic Maine food at Beal’s Lobster Pier or Thurston’s Lobster Pound. Inside Acadia National Park, hike along the Cadillac Summit Loop, The Beehive Trail, or the Ocean Path Hike. For a quick bite, indulge in the popovers at Jordan Pond House. Plus, kids can participate in the Junior Ranger Program, where they can complete activities in a workbook to learn about the park.

Then, find more Amazing Things to Do in Bar Harbor with Kids to fill your itinerary!

Where to Stay in Bar Harbor with Kids

There are a number of family-friendly hotels in Bar Harbor. Consider Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center, which offers an oceanfront property near Acadia National Park. Then, West Street Hotel provides a boutique hotel experience and includes suite options, ideal for families. The Bar Harbor Grand Hotel is within walking distance of Ells Pier, plus it’s close to the Cadillac Mountain entrance of Acadia National Park. Our families also recommend Harborside Hotel Spa & Marina, Balance Rock Inn, and Hutchins Cottages at Acadia.

Happy Travels!

Three kids stand side by side, smiling, on a sunny day while vacationing in Maine.
Photo Courtesy: Stephanie Feingold

We hope you liked this article on the Best Places To Visit In Maine With Kids This Summer! Whether you want to relax on the beach or take an epic outdoor adventure, we’re sure the state won’t disappoint you. Enjoy your trip to one of the best places to visit in Maine with your kids this summer! 

*Due to COVID-19, some of the featured activities, restaurants, or accommodations on this list may be closed or experience reduced services. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.
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