East End Beach


The sand is kind of rocky, and the water is cold enough to chill a bottle of champagne, but we still love this little beach – Portland's only public sand – and the small park that surrounds it. Folks launch kayaks, sunbathe and even take a chilly swim, including in winter (in wetsuits, but still!). On nice days, the on-site parking lot fills quickly.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Portland attractions

1. Portland Observatory

0.47 MILES

Built in 1807 atop Munjoy Hill, this seven-story brick tower was originally used to alert shipowners when their ships were heading for home. Now restored,…

2. Loring Memorial Park

0.73 MILES

This small art installation honors a local fighter pilot who fought in WWII and Korea. Four 9ft-high granite standing stones inscribed with virtues…

3. Portland Breakwater Light

1.03 MILES

Portland is graced by a handful of handsome lights, including the 1875 Portland Breakwater Light with its Corinthian columns. Dubbed the 'Bug Light'…

4. Main Library

1.24 MILES

The main branch of the Portland Public Library is located within the 83,000-sq-ft Baxter Building, an architectural gem that cleverly utilizes vast glass…

5. Longfellow House


The revered American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) grew up in this Federal-style house, built in 1785 by his Revolutionary War–hero…

6. Institute of Contemporary Art

1.39 MILES

This small gallery, attached to the Maine College of Art, showcases an ever-shifting slate of modern artists, and hosts frequent readings, workshops, pop…

7. Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine

1.48 MILES

Kids aged zero to 10 years shriek and squeal as they haul traps aboard a replica lobster boat, milk a fake cow on a model farm, operate a sound studio, or…

8. Portland Museum of Art

1.53 MILES

Founded in 1882, this well-respected museum houses an outstanding collection of American artists. Maine artists, including Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper,…