Maine Lighthouses -
One of the Most Popular
Maine Tourist Attractions!

Maine lighthouses - Nubble Light in Cape Neddick

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 simpler times.

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.

Downeast Maine

Maine Lighthouses West Quoddy Light

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.

Maine Lighthouses Bass Harbor Head Light

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.

Mid-Coast Maine

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.

Rockland Maine Lighthouse Museum

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.

Maine Lighthouses Owls Head Light

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!

Maine Lighthouses - Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

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.

Maine Lighthouses Marshall Point

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!

Maine Lighthouses Burnt Island Lighthouse Tour

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 alike.

Maine Lighthouses - Pemaquid Point Light

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

Maine Lighthouses - Portland Head Light

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.

Southern Maine

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.

Maine Lighthouses - Nubble Light

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!

Back to the Maine vacation home page from Maine Lighthouses...

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