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.
1. Portland Head Light
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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
2. West Quoddy Head Light
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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, Phone: 207-733-2180
3. Monhegan Island Light
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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.
4. Maine Lighthouses: Bass Harbor Light
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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
5. Cape Neddick Light
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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 from a distance. More Maine vacations
Sohier Park, York Beach, Maine, York, ME 03909, Phone: 207-363-1040
6. Whaleback Lighthouse
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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.
7. Boon Island Light
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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.
8. Spring Point Ledge Light
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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
9. Maine Lighthouses: Seguin Island Light
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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, Phone: 207-443-4808
The 10th best Maine lighthouse: Egg Rock Light in Bar Harbor, Maine.
10. Bear Island Lighthouse, Maine
Nestled atop the smallest among the Acadia National Park’s Cranberry Islands, Bear Island, is a breathtaking lighthouse called the Bear Island Lighthouse. Built in 1889, the lighthouse features a 31-foot brick façade that stands proudly at 100 feet above sea level. This historic lighthouse has seen 142 long years of operation and 13 keepers. It was later discontinued in 1981 and saved from demolition by the Acadia National Park in 1987. As of 1989, the light was turned back on and continues to aid navigation for seafarers to this day. Visitors can view the lighthouse from several tour boats, or even the Cranberry Islands’ mailboat.
Bear Island, Acadia National Park, Maine; Phone: 207-288-3338
11. Little River Lighthouse, Maine
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The Little River Lighthouse’s history can be traced back to 1847 when the original stone tower and granite keepers’ house was erected. Today, this idyllic location is a popular getaway for vacationers who just want to “get away from it all”. There are many charming qualities about the Little River Lighthouse, and those who want to experience it in all of its glory can do so by booking an overnight stay at this 15-acre paradise. Experience what it’s like to live at a lighthouse as the fully restored keeper's house welcomes visitors to spend a night right on the water. Dwell, rest, and relax in the same space that many lightkeepers have walked for a memorable and one-of-a-kind vacation.
Little River, Cutler, Maine; Phone: 877-276-4682
12. Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, Maine
Nestled within an 8.78-acre park, the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse was once at the center of critical shipbuilding activities at the height of World War II. The lighthouse’s history, however, far precedes that of the second world war, having been built in 1875. It remains to be one of the state’s most elegant and picturesque lighthouses. The structure was inspired by ancient Greek-style architecture but features a cast iron build. It’s unique for being rather small for a lighthouse, which earned the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse its endearing nickname, “Bug Light”. Guests can visit the lighthouse, snap photos, and explore the surrounding features of the park, or visit the South Portland Historical Society which is situated at the entrance of the park.
S Portland Greenbelt Pathway, South Portland, Maine 04106; Phone: 207-767-7670
13. Grindle Point Lighthouse
On the western edge of Islesboro Island, in Gilkey Harbor, travelers will find the understated, but beautiful, Grindle Point Lighthouse. Grindle Point Lighthouse remains an active light today and serves as an aid to the navigation of the U.S. Coast Guard with lights visible as far as four nautical miles. Erected in 1951, the lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be visited via a short ferry ride out of Lincolnville Beach. Visitors to the lighthouse can also enjoy the island’s public beach and open spaces for biking, hiking, and jogging. Who knows, you may even run into a celebrity or two on your visit as the lighthouse’s home island is known to host personalities like John Travolta and Kirstie Allen every so often.
615 Ferry Road, Islesboro, Maine 04848; Phone: 207-734-0913
14. Bakers Island Lighthouse, Maine
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Situated on a 60-acre island, the Bakers Island Lighthouse has been owned and operated by the United States federal government since 1798 up until 2014. In 2014, the lighthouse, which is part of a 10-acre light station, was transferred to the ownership of the Essex National Heritage Commission, which passionately restored the masonry lighthouse to its 1700s glory. Visitors can visit the lighthouse via a landing craft called the Naumkeag and can take guided tours of the Bakers Island Lighthouse. As the lighthouse is within a privately owned island, tours and travel to the lighthouse can only be availed via Essex Heritage.
Islesford, Maine 04646
15. Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse
One of Acadia’s best-kept secrets has got to be the Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse. Sometimes referred to as the Hockamock Head Lighthouse or the Swan’s Island Lighthouse, this historic light station is a fantastic destination for day trips or weekend getaways alike. Guests can experience life at the lighthouse by renting the keeper’s house apartment and see first-hand how the light station works hard as a beacon for hardworking local lobster boats. There are also great recreational activities to enjoy around the lighthouse such as the gorgeous winding trails and beach of Hockamock Head. Whether you’re staying for a day or for the weekend, it’s bound to be a memorable trip.
433 Harbor Road, Swan’s Island, Maine 04685; Phone: 207-526-4025
16. Doubling Point Lighthouse
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Lighting the path of what was once a bustling waterway on the Kennebec River is the Doubling Point Lighthouse. It is located across the town of Bath, a historic shipbuilding town, and started as a small white and octagonal wooden tower. The lighthouse and fog bell officially began operating in 1898. Later in 1899, the building was transferred to its current location 532 feet offshore, to the peak of a granite pier.
Vacationers who wish to explore the Doubling Point Lighthouse may do so thanks to cruises that run out of Bath and Boothbay Harbor. The lighthouse can also be accessed by land via Highway 1 or Highway 127. Though the dwelling and tower are closed to the public, the lighthouse can be enjoyed from the grounds which welcome visitors.
Doubling Point Road, Arrowsic, Maine 04530; Phone: 207-861-1430
17. Wood Island Lighthouse
Hear interesting and memorable stories from the Edge of the Sea when visiting the Wood Island Lighthouse. It is Maine’s fifth-oldest lighthouse and has a past deeply intertwined with the country’s maritime history. Wood Island Lighthouse has been operating for over two centuries and dutifully lights the way for ships traveling into the Gulf of Main. Visitors can come to hear incredible stories from the lighthouse keepers and their families who have many tales to tell about storied past of this lonely outpost. Hear stories of shipwrecks, ghosts, unbelievable acts of heroism, murders, and tragic suicides, all while exploring the charming grounds of the Wood Island Lighthouse.
Saco Bay, Maine; Phone: 207-200-4552
18. Squirrel Point Light
Built in 1895, the Squirrel Point Light is one of Arrowsic Island’s four navigational aids. It is found along an 11-mile stretch on the Kennebec River, between the town of Bath and the Atlantic Ocean. Though the property is owned by the United States Coast Guard, the government allows access to the lighthouse for a number of purposes including for the benefit of the public and maritime industry, maintenance, and historic restoration. Squirrel Point Light is open to visitors on Maine Open Lighthouse Day and can otherwise be admired from afar by visitors through river tours, cruises, and other similar offers.
Arrowsic, Maine 04530
19. Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
Under the care and ownership of the city of Rockland, the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is a lovely place to visit when traveling through Rockland. The lighthouse is located at the tail end of a near-mile-long breakwater. Built to keep watch over the Rockland breakwater, the lighthouse was built in 1985 to prevent ships from crashing the protective barrier. Visitors are welcome to visit the lighthouse, which features Colonial Revival architecture, but ought to take caution as it will require traversing granite blocks that get quite slippery when they are wet. Guests should also bear in mind that there is no running water nor a bathroom at the facility, and as such should plan ahead. Apart from this, however, the lighthouse provides a spectacular view of the water and is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Rockland, Maine 04841; Phone: 207-594-4174
20. Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
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Maintained and operated by the Bristol Parks and Recreation Department, the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is located within a park of the same name. The Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is situated at the very tip of the Pemaquid Neck and was opened in 1827. Featuring a concrete and rubble stone build, this historic lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Visitors are welcome to drop by the park and the lighthouse seasonally from mid-May up until late October, weather permitting, and may also enter the lighthouse tower. There is also a museum found at the keeper’s residence as well as the old fog bell building. Every so often, the apartment on the second level of the keepers' house may be rented for overnight vacationers.
3115 Bristol Road, New Harbor, Maine 04554; Phone: 207-677-2492
21. Owls Head Lighthouse
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At Penobscot Bay, the Owls Head Lighthouse stands as an ever-present aid to nautical navigation. The lighthouse was built in 1825 and has since then been the eyes and ears of captains when weather conditions are poor. Perched at 30 feet above sea level, the Owls Head Lighthouse is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard but is currently licensed by the American Lighthouse Foundation. Travelers can visit the lighthouse via the Owls Head State Park and explore the interpretive center established by the American Lighthouse Foundation. Hear stories about the lighthouse’s storied, and sometimes spooky past, while exploring the well-kept keeper’s house.
186 Lighthouse Road, Owls Head, Maine 04854; Phone: 207-594-4174
22. Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine
In 1831, the historic tenure of the Marshall Point Lighthouse began. Originally made of rubblestone, the first lighthouse that stood at Marshall Point was 20 feet tall and featured only the light tower. Through the years, the lighthouse evolved, grew in structure and changed in make, but one thing remained the same – it is still a beacon of Port Clyde. Today, visitors can explore the lighthouse property which consists of the lighthouse, the painstakingly restored 1880s Keeper’s House, a 19th-century barn, the original oil house, and the summer kitchen. Guests can peruse museums lovingly curated at the keeper’s house and summer kitchen with great stories to be discovered about the lighthouse’s history as well as the history of the surrounding peninsula.
178A Marshall Point Road, Port Clyde, Maine 04855; Phone: 207-372-6450
23. Goat Island Lighthouse
The Goat Island Lighthouse is a gorgeous place to visit in Kennebunkport, but for many mariners of the past, and even today, it was a sight for sore eyes. Erected in 1833, the Goat Island Light Station was made to help ships find their way into the shelter of Cape Porpoise Harbor. In 1859, the light station was upgraded to the brick tower that visitors see today and updated with a fifth-order Fresnel lens. Designated a National Historic Place in 1988, the Goat Island Lighthouse is a welcome stop along many tours in the area. Take a walking tour around the coast and past Walker’s Point, while admiring the beautiful design of the lighthouse and hearing amazing stories about the area’s maritime past.
Kennebunkport, Maine 04046
The 25 of the Most Beautiful Maine Lighthouses near me today according to local experts are:
More Ideas: Bay of Fundy
Often considered one of the seven wonders in North America, The Bay of Fundy is located in New Brunswick, Canada. Home to some of the rarer whales on the planet as well as the highest tides and frequent findings of rare dinosaur fossils and semi-precious minerals, the bay is a must see for anyone wanting to experience the full beauty the world has to offer.
The Bay of Fundy is located at the halfway point between the north pole and the equator on the east coast of Canada. It was declared as the place on earth with the highest tides by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1975 and is a protected tidal ecosystem and world geological site.
Although many tourists choose to just experience the bay on their own time without a schedule, there are a few more structured experiences that have been reported to be favorites of visitors.
One of those is Island Quest Marine. This boat tour will lead guests around the highlights of the bay by sea, allowing them to actually experience the tides themselves. There are also world class sighting potential of both rare whales and other wildlife. Boats will travel past small islands in the bay that are alive with birds, before showing them aquaculture-based fish farms and herring weirs.
For guests who want a more specific whale watching tour, there is the Petit Passage tour. Run by a local man with over twenty years of whale finding experience, guests will be taken out to a place that has the highest likelihood of successful whale watching.
Visitors wanting to learn more about the history of the area are encouraged to stop by the Avon Heritage Museum, located on the shores of the Avon River. The museum introduces guests not only to the area but also to the history of shipyards and the importance of the water in the local economy.
As the Bay of Fundy is mostly known for its high tides, guests should make sure to follow a few special steps in order to see the tides the best they can. The very best area in the bay to experience the tides is at the ecozone (which is the world’s highest). This area is located around the upper basins in two separate areas. There are two both low and high tides during each 24-hour period in the bay, with just over 6 hours between them. Make sure to check the calendar before visiting to see exactly when to be present to view this natural phenomenon.
One other unique attractions at the Bay of Fundy is the Cliffs of Fundy, a geopark that sits on nearly 200 kilometers of land that spans from the Apple River to the Portapique River. This park claims to have over 40 different geo sites.
There are also a variety of guided tour experiences that vary from the usual structured tour. Guest can take a “freewheeling” tour that is offered by bicycle, a “roads to the sea” tour, or a Gael tour. Each tour takes guests through a unique portion of the bay and allows them to learn about the history of the area from a unique perspective.
The Fundy National Park is home to a variety of special events throughout the year, meant to draw guests in with both fun and education. There are frequent art exhibitions and open houses, as well as annual events like world fish migration day in April. There are also many concerts and musical events held in the park.
Free Admission Day is offered in June. Guests are offered free admission to celebrate the people who were native to the area, and activities will revolve around education regarding their history and culture.
In August, guests often love to come for the Rising Tide Festival. This fest blends art and music with the amazing natural scenery by asking guests not only to enjoy the arts but also create their own alongside internationally known artists. Workshops are offered as well.
For sports lovers, there is a golf tournament held in September, as well as a 50-kilometer run later that same month. October brings Bike Fest, and winter sporting activities are held seasonally as well.
Dining and Shopping
There are many dining options located around the bay, including cafes like The Flying Apron and nicer, sit down restaurants like Wild Caraway. Guests of all hunger and taste levels will be able to find something in their budget. There are also a wide variety of shopping options, from larger chain stores to local boutiques and souvenir shops.
More Natural wonders of the world