Seal Harbor Beach (Everything You Need To Know)

Acadia National Park offers some of the most beautiful views and best hiking you’ll find in the great state of Maine.

But along with that comes crowds of people who flock to it during peak season.

Lucky for you, most of these folks don’t have a clue that there are a number of less crowded hidden gems in and around the park.

For some of the best views of Maine’s rocky coastline and waves crashing against it, you can check out Schoodic Point.

For a hidden, rocky beach right in the main area of Acadia you can check out Little Hunters Beach.

And for those looking for your more typical sandy beach experience without the crowds, Seal Harbor Beach is your go-to.

This guide will cover everything you should know before a day of fun in the sun at Seal Harbor Beach.

Beach Information

PARKING: YES – small parking lot across the road.
BATHROOM: YES – public restrooms and outdoor shower.
LIFEGUARDS: NO – swim at your own risk.
CROWDS: LOW – usually not very crowded.
DOG FRIENDLY: NO – dogs not allowed on the beach.
FEES: NO – can get to it without entering Acadia

About Seal Harbor Beach

Seal Harbor Beach is a small, sandy beach located in the village of Seal Harbor on Mount Desert Island.

It is located just outside of Acadia National Park, and is one of the few sandy beach options on the island.

Seal Harbor Beach makes for a much less crowded alternative to Sand Beach in Acadia.  

It’s not as vast as Sand Beach, but offers excellent views and a great place to swim in the calm, shallow water of Seal Harbor.

There are a number of small islands just offshore, and you’ll usually see a number of anchored sailboats and motorboats out in the harbor as well.

What To Do At Seal Harbor Beach

Swimming & Sand Castles

Seal Harbor Beach makes for an excellent place to swim, as it is protected by headlands on both sides that create a cove-like area.

This keeps the water calm at pretty much all times, and it’s almost like swimming in a lake as you won’t find many waves rolling in on Seal Harbor Beach.

The water also very gradually gets deeper the further out you go, leaving plenty of shallow water for the kids to splash around in.

And as one of the few sandy beaches you’ll find on Mount Desert Island, the kids can enjoy the more typical beach experience of playing in the sand and building sand castles.

Jump Off The Floating Dock

One of the unique features of Seal Harbor Beach is a floating dock anchored just offshore, giving the swimming area an old-fashioned look.

At high tide, the kids can play on the floating dock and jump freely off of it into the water, which is deep enough around the dock at high tide that they’ll have no issues.

As long as they can handle the cold water, they’ll have a blast.

During low tide it’s a different story though, as you’ll find the floating dock completely beached.

Hunt For Sea Glass & Stones

Though you won’t find as much as you will at somewhere like Sandy River Beach, there is some sea glass to be found among the sand and pebbles at Seal Harbor Beach.

And it’s easier to spot here being a mostly sand beach, where it can’t hide amongst pebbles and will sometimes shimmer in the sun.

Like many other beaches in Maine, you can also find some really cool looking stones or rocks on Seal Harbor Beach.

This will keep the kids occupied for hours.

See Amazing Views of Little Long Pond

Just to the west of Seal Harbor Beach on the map is Little Long Pond, which is a large pond that offers spectacular views all the way around it.

There are walking trails that go all the way around Little Long Pond, and you can either drive or walk the half-mile or so from Seal Harbor Beach up to these trails.

Although on private land, these trails are public and you’re welcome to walk them.  The views of Little Long Pond from anywhere on these trails are pretty awesome.

Pros & Cons of Seal Harbor Beach


  • Much less crowded and quiet than Sand Beach just up the road in Acadia.
  • Calm, shallow water makes for a great swimming area.
  • Floating, anchored dock just offshore is entertaining at high tide.
  • Great views of surrounding landscape, small offshore islands, and boats anchored out in the Seal Harbor.
  • Small parking area is just a short walk across the road from the beach.
  • Clean public restroom in the parking area with an outdoor shower and spigot.


  • The beach is right off the main road (Route 3) so you’ll need to keep an eye on the kiddos.
  • Seal Harbor Beach tends to get seaweedy every now and then, like any beach in Maine will, which can make for slimy swimming.
  • The seaweed smell can be a turn off on days when a lot has washed up on the beach.
  • The parking area has room for about twenty cars, so if you happen to come on a day when this beach is busier you may not be able to find a spot right away.
  • Although sandier than most beaches, there are still some pebbles mixed in in some areas which can be uncomfy on the feet.

Directions To Seal Harbor Beach

From Bar Harbor – Take Route 3 past the Jackson Lab and Blackwoods Campground.  Stay on Route 3 until you get to where you’ll take a right to continue along Route 3 (also called Peabody Drive).  

You’ll see Seal Harbor Beach up ahead of you before you make this right – you can’t miss it.

From Acadia National Park – from the Park Loop Road in Acadia, you can turn off a number of smaller roads that will lead you to Route 3.

Stanley Brook Road to Route 3, Jordan Pond Road to Route 3, Stanley Brook Carriage Road to Jordan Pond Road to Route 3 all work.

Take Route 3 south from any of these roads and you’ll run right into Seal Harbor Beach.

Final Word

If you’re looking to escape the crowds of Acadia and are itching for some beach time, Seal Harbor Beach makes for an excellent stop.

For more hidden gems in and around the main section of Acadia National Park, check out the following before you hit the road: