Maine Lighthouses -
One of the Most Popular
Maine Tourist Attractions!
When I think of Maine tourist attractions, Maine lighthouses are most certainly on the top of my list.
Maine is a lighthouse enthusiast's paradise. There are over sixty lighthouses throughout Maine; many of which are available to visit by
tourists from all over. These lighthouses once held life and death importance for ships off the coast of Maine and now stand as a reminder of
The Maine Lights program in 1996 led to twenty-eight Maine lighthouses that were controlled by the Coast Guard to be transferred to
local preservation groups and are now enjoyed by lighthouse tourists almost every day of the year.
Most of the Maine lighthouses are not on the mainland
so a great way to see them is by taking day trips out on one of the many sightseeing cruises offered all along the Maine coast. A scenic plane ride
above the coast of Maine is also a special way to view the lighthouses in Maine.
Trying to visit all the light houses Maine
has to offer is a harrowing task that many people do not have the time to undergo. The following is a guide broken up by areas if you're looking
to hit some of the more popular and interesting light houses and lighthouse tours in Maine.
The West Quoddy Head lighthouse, located in South Lubec, is one of the most popular light houses in Maine because it is the easternmost lighthouse of the United States.
It was renovated in the early twenty-second century into a museum and visitor center for tourist wishing to visit the nearly two hundred year
old structure. It was repainted to represent the American flag in 2003 and is completely free to visit.
The Bass Harbor Head is a very pretty lighthouse in Maine located in Bass Harbor on Mount Desert Island. You can see it by going to the end of Lighthouse
Road or from the water aboard the sea-going vessel of your choice. This is one you'll want to check out while visiting Bar Harbor,
or any of the other villages on the island.
Maine lighthouses hold a lot of history. If you are looking for a single area that is likely to give you a great overview of all the lighthouses
in Maine then look no further than the mid-coast.
The Maine Lighthouse Museum is located in Rockland, Maine. It offers information on lighthouses
around the entire state including where each is located, the type of light used in each lighthouse, and information on various light house keepers.
This is a great spot to visit if you are unsure about which lighthouses you want to visit. Of course, like the rest of Maine, the mid-coast region
has plenty of its own lighthouses. You can visit most lighthouses in Maine for free.
Some of the more popular lighthouses in Mid-Coast Maine are the Owls Head Light, Pemaquid Point Lighthous, Marshall Point Light
and the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.
Owls Head Light is located near Rockland Harbor. Visiting it is a nice activity when staying in the Rockland, Rockport or Camden area. It sits in a state park and is a great
area for taking a picnic and enjoying the view. This lighthouse has a lot of fun stories surrounding it, including shipwrecked lovers frozen in an embrace and thawed
out by the keeper, then later married!
When in the same area, you can walk out to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse near the Samoset Resort. It's about a mile long breakwater so plan ahead
to have enough time for the trek - bringing water and maybe a snack. The rocks are flat, but there are some pretty big gaps between them, so watch the little
ones. If you don't want to make the long walk, bring a pair of binoculars and you can view the lighthouse from a small area that has some benches
for enjoying the view.
Located on Marshall Point Road in Port Clyde, the Marshall Point Lighthouse is particularly picturesque. You can visit the museum there to get a
sense of what life was like at this and several other area lighthouses. This is also the lighthouse that Forrest Gump ran to!
When in Boothbay Harbor Maine, a fun activity is the tour that goes out to the Burnt Island Lighthouse. Located
on a five acre island, this living history reenactment of life as a lighthouse keeper and family is both interesting and educational for kids and adults
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Bristol Maine is open to the public for exploring. There is a museum there showcasing the fishing and lobstering industries
as well as life at the lighthouse. Note that kids must be 46" to climb the tower. The grounds here are lovely and perfect for picnicking. The second floor
of the light keepers house can even be rented for the week in the summer.
Greater Portland Maine
The Greater Portland area is a great place to visit many Maine lighthouses in a short amount of time. One of the highlights
of my son Lucas' third grade year was the field trip they took to view and visit many of the Portland area lighthouses.
The Portland Head Lighthouse, the state's oldest built in 1791, was commissioned by George Washington. With a great museum and an absolutely beautiful
setting in Fort Williams Park off Shore Road in Cape Elizabeth, plan to spend a good amount of time enjoying this area. Bring a picnic lunch, a frisbee to
throw and just relax, explore and soak in the view and fresh ocean air. You can also see Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse from here.
Make a whole day of it and also go out to see Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth and Spring Point Ledge and the Portland Breakwater Light A.K.A.
"The Bug", both in South Portland. It is a fun walk out to the very pretty "Bug" on the breakwater - much quicker than the walk on the Rockland breakwater!
While all these Maine lighthouses can be seen from land, it is also fun to see them from the water on a Casco Bay cruise.
Notable lighthouses in Southern Maine are the Nubble Light in Cape Neddick next to York Beach Maine, Goat Island Light
in Kennebunkport, the "haunted" Wood Island Light in Saco, and Boon Island Light (Maine's tallest) off the coast of York. Most of these lighthouses can
be seen from lighthouse cruises leaving from Ogunquit, York, Kennebunkport and Wells Maine.
Definitely the most popular and easy to see, the Nubble Light is a must see when in the Southern Maine area. It is located on a small island just off the coast and
can be clearly see from Sohier Park, where you can sit on the rocks or a bench and enjoy the stunning views. With a restaurant and ice cream shop here,
you can relax and enjoy the area for a good long time.
There are many lighthouses in Maine, each as unique as a snowflake. No matter which area of the coast you're visiting, you'll have several light houses
to choose from. Your best bet for seeing the spectacular beauty most lighthouse enthusiasts search
for is to make a plan ahead of time and map out your route. Make sure you bring your camera, binoculars, walking shoes and check out the Maine lighthouses -
one of the top Maine tourist attractions!
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