No other visual image, except perhaps the red lobster, symbolizes Maine better than that of the lonely lighthouse, standing sentinel along the rocky coast. The Maine Office of Tourism reports that only about a dozen of these former saviors of the seacoast are located on the mainland. Another 50 were built on islands, reefs, ledges or breakwaters, and four have foundations completely submerged in the Atlantic Ocean.
In this age of radar, the cell phone and the GPS the work of Maine’s coastal guardians has been largely usurped, but not their allure. For a first-class tour, travel south to north to visit these must-see lighthouses.
The following lighthouses have museums or displays inside at least one building:
Pemaquid Point: Bristol
Portland Head Light: Cape Elizabeth
Monhegan Island Lighthouse & Museum: Monhegan Island
Marshall Point Lighthouse & Museum: Port Clyde
Rockland Breakwater Light: Rockland
Spring Point Ledge Light: Rockland
Cape Neddick Light Station
(Nubble Light), 1879, York, end of Nubble Road off
Route 1A. On a nearby island, see from road.
Spring Point Ledge Light
South Portland, off Route 77, 1897.
Portland Breakwater (Bug Light)
Portland Harbor, from Route 77 to Broadway to
Pickett Street to parking area for South Portland
Public Landing, 1855-1870’s.
Portland Head Light
Fort William, from Route 1 on 1A, 77 and Shore
built between 1787-1909, (museum).
Cape Elizabeth (Two Lights)
Cape Elizabeth, off Route 77,
Pemaquid Point Light
Bristol, Light-house Park end of
Route 130, 1927 (museum).
Marshall Point Light
Port Clyde, access from Route 131, 1832, rebuilt
Monhegan Island Light
(passenger ferry from Port Clyde, ferry or mail
boat from Boothbay Harbor or New Harbor),
Rockland Breakwater Light
1902, Rockland, Waldo Avenue off Route 1 (in
good weather only walk out to light at the end
of the mile-long breakwater.
Owls Head Light
Owls Head, Lighthouse Road
Route 73, 1826.
Brown’s Head Light
1832, Vinalhaven (auto ferry from
Grindle Point Light
Islesboro (auto ferry from Lincolnville), museum,
1851, rebuilt 1874.
Fort Point Light
Stockton Springs, Fort Point Road
off Route 1, 1836.
Eagle Island Light
(mail boat from Sunset on Deer Isle), 1839.
Bass Harbor Head Light
Southwest Harbor Route 102A, 1858.
Burnt Coat Harbor Light
Swan’s Island (ferry from Bass Harbor), 1872.
Bear Island Light
(ferry/mail boat from Northeast Harbor),
West Quoddy Head Light
Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, South Lubec
Rd. off Route 189, 1807, rebuilt 1858.
Manchester, (Pond Road, inland).