There are more than 60 lighthouses along the dramatic foggy New England coastline in Maine. Some are sat precariously on rocky ledges, some on the tips of islands, and some are so far out they appear to be floating on the ocean – all perfect candidates for Lighthouse Tours in Maine.
Maine’s rocky coastline and its iconic lighthouses make for an incredible New England coast road trip. Originally built to help sailors to navigate the turbulent waters and arrive safely in New England, many still operate as important navigation aids to boats arriving to the US. Many of the lighthouses date back to the late 18th century and offer an insight into the history of the New England’s coastal communities and the heroic duties of the lighthouses.
Cape Neddick Light, York Beach
Known as “Nubble Light”, Cape Neddick Light sits just off York Beach on a tiny, and seemingly fragile, piece of rock. While the lighthouse cannot be accessed by visitors due to its dangerous location, it is possible to get close enough to the towering structure to take some epic photographs. The best time to visit Cape Neddick Light is during Christmas when local residents decorate the lighthouse with fairy lights and other Christmas decorations. You can also drive to Sohier Park for views of the lighthouse and its surroundings.
Cape Elizabeth Light, Two Lights State Park
The two Cape Elizabeth lighthouses were built back in 1828, and were the first twin lighthouses on the coast. Today, only one lighthouse still operates, the eastern light, which shines 17 miles out to sea from 129 feet. The western light is today a private residency. The grounds are no longer accessible, however, the best views of lighthouse can be seen from the parking lot. If you do want to explore the surrounding area take a walk along the beach and check out the pretty tidal pools and some local restaurants, including the Lobster Shack.
Monhegan Island Light, Monhegan Island
Monhegan Island Light is located in the artistic community of Monhegan Island. The island itself can be accessed by taking a 90-minute ferry from the mainland. From the ferry dock you need to walk half-a-mile to reach the lighthouse. Since the 1960s the lighthouse has been automated and the keeper’s house is now a museum with exhibits about the lighthouse and the history of the island. The tower is no longer accessible but it is possible to stay on the island, although expect to hear the wild waves through the night.
Portland Head Light
One of Maine’s oldest and most photographed lighthouses is the Portland Head Light. Built in 1791, the lighthouse, which stands over 100 feet above the sea, has a long and famous history. The lighthouse is still operating and is run by the US Coast Guard, so sadly it is not possible to go inside, however, there is an interesting museum at the old keeper’s house, which was built in 1891. The landscape surrounding the lighthouse is also great for walking and hiking, with marked trails and spots for picnics.
Bass Harbor Light
Just a short drive from Acadia National Park, Bass Harbor Light is one of the most recognizable lighthouses along the Maine coast. The subject of many photographs, the station grounds at the lighthouse is open all year round, however, the keeper’s home is a private residency for the a Coast Guard family. Take a short marked trial to get the best views of the lighthouse.
West Quoddy Head Light, Lubec
Located on the easternmost part of the United States mainland, the West Quoddy Head Light is so far east that it is said that it’s often the first object to see the sun every morning at certain times in the year. Painted in typical red and white stripes, the lighthouse is part of the 541-acre Quoddy Head State Park, which is an incredible spot to check out some of the sealife in the area, such as finback whales, humpback whales, and minke whales. It is also possible to climb the 50 steps to reach the top of the lighthouse tower, a unique way to really understand just how close to the sea this structure actually is.
Owl’s Head Light
The short and stumpy Owl’s Head Light is located near Rockland Harbor and dates back to 1825. Its incredible history and distinctive look makes it one of the most memorable lighthouses in the region. The lighthouse is still active as an aid for navigation and is owned by the US Coast Guard. The lighthouse is located in Owl’s Head State Park which can be visited by the public, however, you cannot climb the lighthouse.
Take a New England Coast Road Trip with Auto Europe
Embark on many Lighthouse Tours in Maine, with a Portland Maine car rental from Auto Europe. Cruise the stunning Maine coastline, and enjoy endless natural beauty, amazing seafood restaurants, and of course, a lobster roll or two. Give us a call today, toll-free at 1-888-223-5555 to speak to one of our expert travel reservations agents, and get ready for your upcoming New England vacation!