Do you have any memories of the ocean as a kid? I would be willing to bet that you do. 😉 Try to jog your memory… What do you see?
If you’re like me, you recall the beach, ice cream, lobster rolls, sailboats, sandcastles, beach towels, white streaks of sunscreen, the amazing feeling of the sun on your skin. This is what so many of us associate with a childhood spent oceanside.
But, as a teen, after having moved from Southern California to the east coast, something stuck out to me more than anything else… the lighthouses.
I know you can find a lighthouse on any coast but, for some reason, it’s what frames the quintessential picture of New England in my mind and reminds me of what a special place it is.
Anytime I’ve taken a roadtrip up and down either coast as a child or an adult, lighthouses have been on my list.
Are you planning to visit the magical lighthouses of Maine? Then, I’ve got just the lighthouses for you! Read on… 🙂
In this blog, I share…
- Maine lighthouses
- Where to Stay on Maine’s coast
[This post was originally posted April of 2021. Updated March of 2023]
Lighthouses of Maine
There’s something magical about standing on the shoreline, looking out into the distance and seeing them towering over the water, shining their glimmering light while being surrounded by quaint New Englander style homes and historic fisherman villages. I’ve traveled extensively all over the world and I’ve yet to see anything quite like the lighthouses of Maine.
I like to think about a lighthouse’s history, architecture, and the guidance they gave boats being led to shore by them. Needless to say, I’ve got a thing for these beautiful keepers of the shores and in a sense of the past.
Ask any Mainer and right off the bat, without a blink of an eye, they’ll tell you that their state is known for a few things…
- Stephen King
And if you’ve ever been to Maine for yourself, you know this is too true!
But, because there’s so much to explore in Maine and simply too much ground to cover in just one blog alone, I’ll save all of that good stuff for another time. Today, I’m just going to share my favorite lighthouses of Maine with you.
No matter what time of year you decide to visit Maine, rest assured, you’re going to find the scenery absolutely stunning! And now, I share some of my favorite Maine lighthouses with you. Let’s jump right into it!
Seeing My 1st Lighthouse in Maine
In January 2020, before we were all introduced to what would become the worst global pandemic in history, I decided to do a fun road trip to the Southernmost Point of the US in Key West, Florida from the Easternmost point of the US in Lubec, Maine.
This is where I experienced my first ever Maine lighthouse: West Quoddy Lighthouse.
It took me a bit longer to complete that journey as the US1 was down for a period of several months. However, I eventually finished the road trip 100 days later.
But, that’s a blog for another time! Back to my lighthouse journey.
Lighthouses in Downeast & Acadia, Maine
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Lubec, ME
West Quoddy Lighthouse is located in the Easternmost point of the contiguous United States and it is absolutely lovely.
Everything about it screams LIGHTHOUSE. Literally! Every sticker, ornament, or novelty anyone has ever brought you back from a seaside vacation could have easily been modeled after this lighthouse. Especially with its quintessential red and white stripes.
It was built in 1808 and overlooks the Quoddy Straight (the waterway between the US and Campobello Island, Canada). Its light is at 89 feet above sea level and was one of the first to use a fog bell.
I’ve since visited this lighthouse during both Winter and Spring and it is beautiful sitting on over 500 acres of parkland, all of which can be explored.
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Mount Desert Island, ME
One of the oldest lighthouses in the US, Bass Harbor Lighthouse was constructed on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park in 1858.
One of the lighthouse’s modern-day claims to fame is that it was visited in 2010 during then-President Obama’s 3-day stay. He was the first sitting President ever to visit Acadia National Park.
In 2016, it was a lighthouse featured on its very own US Stamp… which I think in lighthouse terms…. it’s like he became a social media star. 😉
Lighthouses in Portland and Casco Bay, Maine
Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, ME
Time for the most popular of Maine lighthouses…
This towering white beauty can easily be viewed during a trip to Cape Elizabeth, which I highly recommend. Construction began in 1787 and was originally lit with 16 whale oil lamps.
Today, you can visit it and the adjacent Fort Williams State Park, where you can spend an entire afternoon. It’s easy to see why this is a very popular place for outdoor weddings.
Did you know that there are 65 Maine lighthouses?
Bug Lighthouse, South Portland, ME
So you’re in Portland and want to see a lighthouse… I got you covered!
Just a hop, skip, and a jump away in South Portland, is an adorable little lighthouse: Bug Lighthouse. So cute right?
In 1875, this little guy standing at a mere 26 feet tall, reminds me of the lighthouse version of the little engine that could.
I’m sure if lighthouses had feelings, I might just hurt them, calling him adorable…I mean you’d think lighthouses are supposed to be either rough and strong or regal and sturdy. But, Bug is… well, just a cute little guy doing a big job. 😊
Check out Portland’s website to see about the Kite Festivals and other things happening in this adorable little section of the state.
Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse– Portland, ME
Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse was my favorite lighthouse in Maine because of the journey it took to walk out to it! But, be careful! It’s very easy to slip and fall through one of the walkway’s large gaps. It is made of large boulders after all.
Located adjacent to Southern Maine Community College, it was constructed in 1897 at the request of steamship companies after several steamers ran aground. Even though this lighthouse is uniquely accessed by land, it only opened to the public in 1999.
It’s definitely worth a visit where you can tour Fort Preble which is the location of the only known Civil War battle fought in Maine.
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Where to Stay in Maine
Maine has a lot of lodging options to choose from based on your preferences. I personally like to be central to where I’m spending the most time.
Below, I’ve mapped out the lighthouses on this list. I recommend staying somewhere midway between the lighthouses you want to go to. You may even want to spend 2-3 days checking out different sights and activities on Maine’s coast.
A good halfway point is Southwest Harbor or Bar Harbor which are both lovely waterfront towns. Bar Harbor is known for Acadia National Park so, you could spend some time exploring nature after looking at the lighthouses. I’ve stayed here several times at various hotels.
Although Bar Harbor is known for their Summer offerings, it’s beautiful in the Winter and cheaper since it’s off season. It adds a little something extra to the lighthouses.
This adorable nautical themed Inn with touches of Maine has a lot to offer like complimentary breakfast, a gym, pool table and relaxing patio. They also have a little library area with a fireplace and books about Maine’s history so you can get to know the area better during your stay. I enjoyed my stay a lot.
The rooms weren’t anything special but the views are pretty noteworthy. They also have a gym, pool and hot tub. Stay for the views of the ocean. Then, head to their restaurant for a slice of blueberry pie and a blueberry martini which is made with Maine blueberries and locally distilled Maine vodka.
That’s a Wrap!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures chasing lighthouses of Maine and get inspiration for your own trip! Have you visited any lighthouses in or outside of Maine? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
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Thank you so much for your continued love and support! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.
Until next time… keep it real.
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