A Maine beach made the top 10 on Tripadvisor’s 2021 list of the top 25 beaches in the United States.
Ogunquit Beach, in Ogunquit, beat out all beaches in the Northeast and all beaches south of it until Florida.
The wide strip of southern Maine sand snagged seventh best on the 2021 ranking and is in the company of Florida, California and a number of Hawaii beaches in the Top 10 tier.
“Last year, we were number 15; this year we catapulted,” said Alice Pearce, the executive director of Ogunquit’s Chamber of Commerce.
In a Wednesday interview with NECN and NBC10 Boston, she explained that tide pools and clean sand are among the beach’s appeal for visitors.
The Tripadvisor ranking does indeed call the beach “impeccably clean,” and highlights how sunbathers can “walk out hundreds of feet and still be only waist high” at high tide.
“If you think about the number of beaches -- Cape Cod, the Delaware beaches, the Outer Banks -- to be ranked above all those beautiful places is just an honor,” Pearce said.
“It’s very important to businesses. We have a relatively short season, from mid-May to the end of October,” she added.
Another key benefit from the ranking is increased attention on preservation efforts to keep it as pristine as possible.
“We really hope accomplishments like this and this award from Tripadvisor will help raise awareness of our mission,” said Allison Ramsey, the executive director of the Marginal Way Preservation Fund, a non-profit that conserves the popular walking path adjacent to the beach.
Ramsey says attention from Tripadvisor and, in turn, increased attention from tourists can have a ripple effect on her organization in terms of funding, “to make sure the path is preserved for all to enjoy for generations.”
In many ways, Ogunquit residents believe that spirit of preservation is what is allowing them bragging rights, and its roots are generations old.
“The town was extremely proactive in the early 1920s, buying the beach to preserve it as a public park, and then took proactive steps to protect the dunes, ” said Pearce, adding, “there was a lot behind the beauty of the beach.”