Maine has more than 60 lighthouses dotting its jagged coast, and a few of them lay claim to the title of Maine's most photographed lighthouse. These claims are sheer speculation, of course. It would be impossible to count clicks as tourists and locals alike wait, lenses poised and smartphones raised, for clouds to position themselves perfectly, for seagulls to swoop into view and for Maine skies to dazzle with the hues of early morning gold, mid-day cobalt, sunset rose or the inky blue velvet of nightfall.
While it may not be possible to declare a clear winner in the "most photographed" competition, one thing is certain: Many, many people visit the Cape Neddick Lighthouse, also known as Nubble Light, each year, and visiting without a camera would be pure folly. You'll find this photogenic gem in the southern Maine town of York Beach: one of the most charming towns on the Maine coast.
About Cape Neddick Light
Here are some quick facts about the Cape Neddick "Nubble" Light, along with directions so that you can find this scenic spot and stake out your own perfect shot.
Year Built: The original lighthouse, which still stands today, was constructed and placed in service in 1879.
Cost to Build: $15,000 was the budget to build this stunning and enduring landmark.
Year Automated: Since 1987, Cape Neddick Light has been automated, making the position of lighthouse keeper obsolete.
Owned By: The Town of York proudly owns its signature lighthouse, which is depicted in the town seal.
Keeper's House: The Keeper's House consists of six rooms and is constructed in the shape of a cross. Roof points of the Victorian structure are positioned to indicate the four signs of the compass: north, south, east and west.
Best Times to Visit Nubble Light
The lighthouse is lovely and photogenic year-round, but you'll get a special treat when you visit during the holiday season. The lighthouse is decorated with white LED lights each year, and the Annual Lighting of the Nubble takes place the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. It's one of New England's Best Holiday Light Displays, and kids in the crowd aren't the only ones who "ooh" and "ahh." The lighthouse remains illuminated with white lights through New Year's Day. Nubble Light is also lit up with white lights during "Christmas in July," held each year at the kickoff of the York Days celebration (July 28 in 2019). The lighthouse remains illuminated throughout the week-long event.
Getting to the Cape Neddick Lighthouse
From I-95, take exit 7 for York. At the light, bear right onto Route 1 South. At the light at the top of the hill, turn left onto Route 1A. Continue to follow Route 1A/York Street to York Beach. York Street becomes Long Beach Avenue/Route 1A as it follows the shoreline. Watch for a right turn onto Nubble Road. It is approximately 1 mile to Sohier Park, from which you can view the Cape Neddick Lighthouse. Parking at Sohier Park is free but limited.
If you are navigating via GPS: Set your destination as 11 Sohier Park Road, York Beach, Maine.
While You're in York Beach, Maine
There are plenty of reasons for an extended stay in this southern Maine town, which is home to a pair of the best beaches in Maine.
Gift Shop: A gift shop selling Nubble Light souvenirs is located at the Sohier Park Welcome Center. It is open seasonally.
More To Do Nearby: While you're in York, be sure to find the Wiggly Bridge on a scenic walk, tour the Museums of Old York, sample small batch spirits at Wiggly Bridge Distillery and savor one (or two!) of Flo's Hot Dogs—possibly the best hot dogs in all of New England.
Virtual Views: If you can't get to Cape Neddick Lighthouse, you can see this inspiring sight via live webcams.