The state of Maine has 3000 miles of rocky, rugged, craggy coastline, 5000 miles if you count all of the inlets and islands. Alabama, by comparison, has a whopping 60 miles along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. We probably don’t need any lighthouses.
But, for a prissy Southern girl, those lighthouses are very fascinating and beautiful, and Maine has 65 of them to enjoy. It felt a little like being on an Easter egg hunt and finding the Golden Egg. We didn’t go on any boat tours nor did we take strenuous hikes, but we found 5 wonderful lighthouses in Maine and 2 more when we crossed into New Brunswick, Canada to the island of Campobello for an afternoon. That means we have a built-in reason to plan another trip to Maine to search for others.
We spotted our very first one after we checked into our B & B in Kennebunkport then drove down to Cape Porpoise for dinner. That was when we saw the Goat Island Lighthouse. Read some of its history here.
The next afternoon, we drove down to York Beach to find the acclaimed Cape Neddick Lighthouse, also known as Nubble Light. It is among the most photographed in the world and ranks at least in the Top 2 of my favorites while we were in Maine. We had the added pleasure of meeting Bill Thomson, well-known Maine Storyteller, and bought a painting that he personalized for us while we chatted with him.
In Rockland, we found the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. This is one that can be reached on foot by walking along a rocky 7/8 mile path. This one was made memorable by the delightful Christian couple we met. They were natives of Maine and are busy helping to plant a church in their community. We immediately found lots of common ground to discuss.
On the only rainy day during our trip, we found the West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec, Maine, the easternmost point in the contiguous United States. This one gets my vote for most colorful, and I enjoyed the easy walk right up to it.
Earlier that day, we crossed over into Canada briefly to Campobello Island on the Bay of Fundy where President Roosevelt and his family often vacationed. This was, in fact, where he was actually stricken with polio at the age of 40. During our few hours on Campobello, we found the Head Harbor Lightstation, and Mulholland which overlooks the town of Lubec. Both were nice, but not necessarily memorable. Our lunch that day WAS memorable, however. We ate at the Fireside Restaurant, and because it was Thanksgiving Day in Canada, they were serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Delicious!! Don’t try to go there in the next few months, though. As you can see from the website, it is now closed for the season and won’t reopen until Memorial Day weekend.
Perhaps the most famous lighthouse we saw was on our last day a few hours before heading to the airport — Portland Headlight. Very magnificent. Such an impressive sight. Edward Hopper used it as the subject of one of his most famous paintings, which is now at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. The setting on Cape Elizabeth is a photographer’s and painter’s dream. I highly recommend that you include this on your itinerary when you go to Maine.
I hope I am tempting you to visit Maine. The lobsters and the lighthouses are magnets for sure, but stay with me. There’s much more.