Portland, Maine, is lucky to have six lighthouses within 20 minutes of the city. Here is an easy-to-follow driving tour that will take you to all six lighthouses near Portland including Portland Head Light: one of the most photogenic lighthouses on the Maine coast.
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Here's How to See Portland, Maine's Lighthouses:
- From State Street in Portland, take the Casco Bay Bridge and follow Route 77 South toward Cape Elizabeth.
- Approximately one mile south of Cape Elizabeth's town center (you'll see an IGA store on your right in the town center), turn left at the sign for Two Lights State Park and follow to the twin lighthouses, built in 1828. Both are on private property, so you can't get close, but you can get a good view of them from the park.
- Retrace your route back to Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth, turn right on Route 77, and follow to the town center, then turn right onto Shore Road.
- Follow Shore Road approximately three miles, turn right at the sign for Fort Williams, and follow the road to the end to Portland Head Light—one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country. Commissioned by George Washington, Maine's oldest lighthouse is still active, guiding ships into Portland Harbor. Don't miss the museum in the former keeper's quarters.
- Before leaving Portland Head Light, observe Ram Island Light at the entrance to Portland Harbor off Portland Head.
- Retrace your route back out to Shore Road and turn right, then veer right again onto Preble Street (at the Irving Station).
- Follow Preble Street through Willard Square approximately 1/2 mile, turn right onto Fort Road, and follow to the campus of the Southern Maine Community College.
- Drive through the campus to the Portland Harbor Museum, and walk along the granite breakwater to Spring Point Ledge Light. A short, scenic stroll gets you close to the lighthouse, or you can admire it from the beach. On most summer weekends, you can venture inside for a tour of this real working lighthouse. There is an admission fee, which supports maintenance of this deteriorating 1897 treasure.
- Exit the campus, and turn right onto Breakwater Drive. Turn right again at a stop sign onto Madison Street.
- Continue past the industrial section of town, keeping the breakwater on your right, to Bug Light at the end of the road. You can park your car and walk out on the short breakwater to the lighthouse or take a walk on the paved path that offers views of Portland Harbor and the city skyline.
- To return to Portland, reverse to Breakwater Drive and turn right onto Broadway, which leads back into town.
Time Required: 2 hours
Tips for a Memorable Lighthouse Drive
- Take your camera. You'll have some great photo opportunities.
- Take your binoculars.
- If you have time, stop at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth and have a lobster meal within view of a lighthouse and accompanied by the sound of crashing surf. This famous lobster shack is open late March through late October.
About Guest Author Deborah Fowles
Rockland, Maine, native Debby Fowles has written extensively about her home state and inspired hundreds of thousands of travelers to explore places dear to her heart, such as Popham Beach and Maine's top foliage spots.