Portland Head Light
Photo: leekris/Fotolia

Explore Maine's most beautiful lighthouses, including the scenic Portland Head Light leading into Portland Harbor, Bass Harbor Light in Acadia National Park, and West Quoddy Head Light at the easternmost tip of the United States. Some ME lighthouses can only be admired from afar while others are interesting museums where you can spend a fun afternoon with kids. Here are the best Maine lighthouses.

»Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light is a lighthouse built in 1791 at the entrance to the main shipping channel leading into Portland Harbor in the Gulf of Maine. Located in Cape Elizabeth, the lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Maine. Originally, whale oil lamps provided illumination, but a Fourth Order Fresnel lens replaced them in 1855.

The light station is still functioning and automated, and the maintenance of the beacon, tower, and foghorn is the responsibility of the US Coast Guard. The former home of lighthouse keepers is today a maritime museum and a part of the Fort Williams Park.

1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107, Phone: 207-799-2661 Photo: leekris/Fotolia

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»Cape Neddick Light

Cape Neddick Light

A classic example of an American lighthouse,The Cape Neddick Lighthouse is a true American icon. Its photo is included in the list of most important Earth structures that the Voyager spacecraft carries just in case it falls into the hands of extraterrestrials. The lighthouse has been standing on Nubble Island since 1879 and is popularly known as Nubble or Nubble Light.

It is located less than 100 yards from Cape Neddick Point in the picturesque village of York Beach at end of Long Sands Beach. The tower is covered with solid cast iron and lined with brick. It is 41 feet tall but because it was erected on the steep rocky islet, the light’s total height is 88 feet above sea level. The lighthouse is not accessible to visitors and can be seen only from a telescope at nearby Sohier Park. More Maine vacations

Sohier Park, York Beach, Maine, York, ME 03909, Phone: 207-363-1040 Photo: jiawangkun/Fotolia

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»Monhegan Island Light

Monhegan Island Light

Monhegan Island Light is a historic lighthouse built in 1824 on Monhegan Island ten miles southwest of Port Clyde off the coast of Maine. It is perched high up at the top of 140-foot high Lookout Hill, now called Lighthouse Hill, the highest point on Monhegan Island. Renowned Alexander Parris designed the 38-foot stone tower. At that time, it had the highest focal plane in Maine.

In 1850 the old stone tower was replaced with a 30-foot granite block circular tower. Monhegan Island Light is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse now houses the Monhegan Museum and showcases exhibits of the island's history. The lighthouse light is still operating and is managed by the Coast Guard. Photo: Nathan Ferry /Fotolia

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»Maine Lighthouses: Bass Harbor Light

Maine Lighthouses: Bass Harbor Light

Standing high on the cliff like a sentinel overlooking the endless sea, Bass Harbor Light is a lighthouse in Acadia National Park. It is located in the village of Bass Harbor to mark the entry to Bass Harbor on the south-western coast of Mount Desert Island. The lighthouse was built of break in 1858 on a foundation of stone. It is 56 feet high above the water level.

The tower and a fog bell were added in 1876, and in 1898 the bell was replaced with a much bigger 4,000-pound bell. The original lens was a Fifth Order Fresnel, replaced in 1901 by a Fourth Order Fresnel that ranged 13 nautical miles. The lighthouse is part of the National Register of Historic Place. Tours of only the lighthouse tower can be arranged through the Tremont Historical Society.

Bass Harbor, Tremont, Mount Desert Island, ME, Phone: 207-244-9753 Photo: Rixie/Fotolia

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»West Quoddy Head Light

West Quoddy Head Light

West Quoddy Head Light is located in Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec, Maine at the easternmost tip of the US. Built in 1808, West Quoddy Head Light has been securing safe passage to the shops via the Quoddy Narrows.

The original lighthouse tower was replaced in 1858 with the characteristic circular 49-foot high brick tower with distinct red and white stripes that is active to this day. Its old-fashioned Third Order Fresnel lens is one of few Fresnel lenses still used on the Maine Coast. West Quoddy is registered in the National Register of Historic Places.

973 South Lubec Road, Lubec, Maine 04652, website, Phone: 207-733-2180 Photo: pmstephens/Fotolia

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»Whaleback Lighthouse

Whaleback Lighthouse

Whaleback Light is a stone lighthouse perched on a rocky outcrop off the coast at the mouth of Piscataqua River between Fort Foster and Wood Island in Kittery, not far from the Maine-New Hampshire border. The original lighthouse has been built in 1820, but, due to its poor construction and the rough weather conditions in the area, it had to be replaced with a new one in 1872.

The new tower, which is still standing, was constructed with interlocking granite blocks next to the original tower, which was taken down in 1880. The light is 59 feet above sea level. A modern LED light was installed in 2009. The current owners of the lighthouse are he American Lighthouse Foundation and Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses. Photo: pmstephens/Fotolia

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»Maine Lighthouses: Boon Island Light

Maine Lighthouses: Boon Island Light

Boon Island Light is a lighthouse on a tiny barren Boon Island off the coast of Maine,close to Cape Neddick. At 133 feet, it is the tallest lighthouse in Maine with a focal plane at 137 feet above sea level. The original granite tower on Boon Island was built in 1811 but was washed away in a strong storm soon after. The new cylindrical granite tower was built in 1855 and is still functioning.

It originally had a Second Order Fresnel lens but was automated in 1980 after a storm damaged the light and washed away all surrounding buildings. The US Coastal Guard installed the new solar beacon,and they are today in charge of the lighthouse operation. The lighthouse is not open to the public. Photo: Tini- Fotolia.com

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»Spring Point Ledge Light

Spring Point Ledge Light

Spring Point Ledge Light is a spark plug-type lighthouse in South Portland, Maine, the only caisson-style lighthouse in the U.S. open to visitors. The lighthouse warns of a dangerous barrier on Spring Point Ledge on the main channel into Portland Harbor. It is located on the breakwater next to what is now the Southern Maine Community College campus.

The lighthouse was built in 1897 next to old Fort Preble and had a fog bell and a lantern with a Fifth Order Fresnel lens. It was electrified in 1934. A 900-foot breakwater was built in 1951 to connect the lighthouse and the mainland. Since it opened to the public in 1999, the lighthouse has become a popular tourist destination.

2 Fort Road, Southern Maine Community College Campus, South Portland, ME 04106, Phone: 866-570-5706 Photo: doncon402/Fotolia

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»Maine Lighthouses: Seguin Island Light

Maine Lighthouses: Seguin Island Light

Historic Seguin Island Lighthouse is located on picturesque Seguin Island at the mouth of the Main’s Kennebec River. The original lighthouse was built in 1795, and the existing cylindrical lighthouse was constructed of granite blocks in 1857.

Originally, the lighthouse used kerosene Incandescent Oil Vapor lamp, which was replaced with a 282 prism Fresnel lens together with a 1,000-watt high-powered electrical bulb. The light can be seen for more than 20 nautical miles. It is the only First Order Fresnel lens still used in Maine. Seguin Light is registered on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public.

Friends of Seguin Island Light Station, 72 Front Street, Suite 3, Bath, Maine 04530, website, Phone: 207-443-4808

The 10th best Maine lighthouse: Egg Rock Light in Bar Harbor, Maine. Photo: Seguin Island Light

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10 Best Maine Lighthouses