The Best Lighthouses to Visit Near Portland, Maine

When you think about a visit to Maine, I’m pretty sure that an iconic picture of a lighthouse is somewhere in the mix.

I’m sharing more about the best lighthouses to see during your visit to Portland, Maine.

Portland Head Lighthouse

Portland Head Lighthouse

12 Captain Strout Cir, Cape Elizabeth, ME

As the oldest and most iconic and photographed lighthouse in Maine, Portland Head Lighthouse didn’t disappoint.

view of Portland Head Lighthouse from scenic cruise

The first time that I saw the Portland Head Lighthouse was by boat during the Harbor Lights and Sights Cruise.

I loved being able to see the lighthouse from the vantage point of the water. (For the best value, try the Land and Sea Combo Tours.)

Portland Head Light

During the tour we saw several lighthouses in the area and civil war area forts. This tour is a great overview of the area for both the beautiful scenery and interesting history.

Portland Head Lighthouse

It’s recommended that you allow an hour for a visit to Portland Head Lighthouse, Museum and Gift Shop.

Nedra McDaniel at Portland Head Lighthouse

Portland Head Lighthouse is located within Fort Williams Park offering hiking, and incredible picnic views of the ocean. Other points of interest are the Battery Keyes, arboretum, Goddard Mansion, the cliffside loop, and Battery Blair.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in Maine

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

2 Fort Rd, South Portland, ME

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse is located near Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in Maine

The lighthouse dates back to 1897 and is the only caisson-style light station in the U.S. that visitors can walk to.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in Maine

I first noticed this lighthouse during our scenic cruise and I immediately wanted to go there once I saw people walking on the break wall.

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in Maine

Half the fun of visiting this lighthouse is choosing which rocks you will step on to get to the end of the break wall. It’s like a giant walking puzzle path.

Spring Point Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse in Maine Lighthouse in Maine

The reward is a 360-view once you reach the lighthouse.

fox in the grass in Maine

I also have to note that I saw a fox roaming the college campus which was also a rare treat for me to see.

Ram Island Light in Maine

Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse

Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse was built in 1905 to prevent shipwrecks on the reef. This granite lighthouse is privately owned and easiest to see by boat.

view of Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse in the distance

We noticed Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse in the distance during our scenic boat tour. You can also see the lighthouse in the distance from Fort Williams Park.

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse in Maine

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse

15 2 Lights Terrace, Cape Elizabeth, ME

I saw this lighthouse from afar while dining at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights.

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse is privately owned and the grounds are not open to the public so you will have to enjoy this view while you dine.

lighthouse near the Lobster Shack in Maine

Enjoy a Meal at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

 225 Two Lights Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 

The lobster roll is fantastic and so is the view at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights.

The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Maine
The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Maine

There is plenty of outdoor seating with ocean views. If it is chilly during your visit, there is indoor dining as well.

lobster rolls at the Lobster Shack in Maine

During our visit, we ordered two Lobster Roll Boats and Lobster stew. This restaurant is typically open seasonally in May until late October so plan accordingly.

Bug Light Lighthouse in Maine

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light)

S Portland Greenbelt Pathway, South Portland, ME

“Bug Light” is the smallest lighthouse to visit while you are in the area, but it’s still worth visiting. Built in 1875, the style of the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse is inspired and reminiscent of a Greek monument.

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light)

You’ll notice all of the details upon closer inspection.

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light)
view of Portland from near Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light)

While you are at the park you can enjoy another perspective of Portland.

Liberty Ship Memorial near Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light)
Liberty Ship Memorial near Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (Bug Light)

You can also learn more about its history as the site of major shipbuilding activity during WWII. 

Portland Observatory in Maine

Portland Observatory

38 Congress St, Portland, ME 

This isn’t technically a lighthouse but I still think that it’s worth mentioning, since it’ the only remaining historic maritime signal station in the United States.

Portland Observatory in Maine

We passed by the Portland Observatory during the Peek at Portland trolley tour. The 60-minute-sightseeing tour shares a lot of the highlights and history in downtown Portland.

The 86-foot octagonal tower was constructed in 1807 to give Captain Lemuel Moody a competitive edge to shipowners who wanted to be alerted when their ships were arriving in the harbor.

This was a major advantage because Captain Moody could identify incoming vessels as far away as 30 miles vs. waiting until the ships were almost in harbor as they rounded the land near Spring Point Ledge.

Check the Portland Observatory website for upcoming tours.

Are You Ready to Plan a Visit to Maine?

Fall is a very popular season to visit Maine, but it’s beautiful in the spring and summer as well.

The Best Lighthouses to Visit Near Portland, Maine

1 thought on “The Best Lighthouses to Visit Near Portland, Maine”

  1. I’m so happy you included the Portland Observatory. It has a tremendous history and the best views of all the lighthouses. Sadly it is often omitted from lists of Lights to see in Portland.

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