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Southern Maine Lighthouses

Portland Head lighthouse at sunset

Heading North Through Kittery,
Kennebunkport, South Portland, and Portland

Lighthouses built along southern Maine's coastline helped to guide shipping traffic between Portsmouth and Portland harbors, and for the many lobstermen and fishermen earning their living coming into these coastal harbors. There are treacherous ledges and shoals such as Boon Island that needed a lighthouse placed on it due to the many shipwrecks that occurred on this tiny desolate group of rocks, along with others on route to Portland.


Southern Maine Lighthouses
You Can Drive or Hike To

Note: Some of the lighthouses mentioned below that you can drive to can also be viewed from various boat tours offered, see Boat Tours below. Southern Maine is heavily populated during the summer with tourism.

Click any lighthouse image or link below to find out information about each lighthouse including historic snapshots, directions, more photos, and links for places to visit.


portland head lighthouse

Portland Head Light



Southern Maine Lighthouses
Best Viewed by Boat

halfway rock lighthouse

Halfway Rock Light



Places to Visit Nearby
in Maine's Southern Region
(heading north from New Hampshire seacoast)

Historic Portsmouth, New Hampshire, across the Piscataqua River which divides Maine and New Hampshire, provides various concerts, festivals, and outdoor theater acts in Prescott Park.

Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth is an outdoor museum of buildings depicting the lives of coastal people and their communities between the late l7th to the mid-20th centuries.

Close views of Whaleback Lighthouse from the Kittery, Maine side can be seen from Fort Foster, with its trails, beaches and long boardwalk to get a close view of the lighthouse.

York also has a mile-long beach called Long Sands, and another called Short Sands Beach full of specialty shops, food stops, and York’s Wild Animal Kingdom, an old style amusement park and zoo within walking distance of Shorts Sands Beach.

animals at York Animal Zoo kissing /

nubble lighthouse decorated for the holidays One of the most popular events is the annual Lighting of the Nubble during the holiday season, and the beacon is also lit during the “Christmas in July” lighting event in the summer.

Mount Agamenticus nearby is an easy hike to enjoy mountaintop views of the ocean and surrounding area.

In Wells, you'll find the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, which offers a paved walkway along coastal marshland. The Wells Reserve at Laudholm offers plenty of trails for hiking over a unique coastal estuarine.

In Ogunquit, a popular scenic walkway along the rocky shoreline known as Marginal Way offers dramatic views of the area’s rocky ocean shoreline.

Kennebunkport is an affluent community with its pristine Goose Rocks Beach, up scale restaurants, and many artists’ galleries and shops.

For a photographic treat in Kennebunk, travelers enjoy a unique structure known as the Wedding Cake House.

Cape Porpoise, where you can view Goat Island (Cape Porpoise) Lighthouse from the shore, is also where you can get fresh lobster right off the boats.

Goat Island (Cape Porpoise) light at dusk

For those who want to sail around the scenic coastline of the Kennebunk area, during the summer season, Pineapple Ketch Sailing offers a two-hour sail, including sunset excursions. For those who want to experience the bigger vessels, climb aboard the Schooner Eleanor for a two-hour sail down the historic Kennebunk River.

Saco’s Funtown Splashtown and Aquaboggan Water Park are popular family attractions.

Friends Of Wood Island Lighthouse offer cruises to Wood Island Lighthouse in the summer. wooden walkway leads to wood island lighthouse

One of Maine’s major tourist playgrounds, for Americans and Canadians alike, Old Orchard Beach, offers plenty of beaches, camping, shops, amusement park, and nightlife.

Twin Lights Park near Cape Elizabeth lighthouse offers relaxing picnic tables, hiking trails, and ocean views.

Portland Head Lighthouse is located inside the 41-acre Fort Williams Park for hiking along the cliff edges, picnicking, or exploring the old fort. portland lighthouse

Visitors can also explore the Museum at Portland Head Light at the Keeper’s house, and, get a good view of Ram Island Ledge Lighhouse in the distance.

breakwater out to Spring Point light In South Portland, explore Fort Preble, which also allows visitors access to hike the stone jetty to Spring Point lighthouse and its grounds.

Bug Light (Portland Breakwater) lighthouse at Bug Light Park in South Portland allows visitors to watch lobster boats, sailing, and fishing boats coming in and out of Portland Harbor.

Portland is considered to be the art cultural center of Maine with plenty of galleries and museums, specialty restaurants, and shops along its old port waterfront district.

Portland Schooner sailing For authentic windjammer sailing aboard authentic schooners from the early 1900s, the Portland Schooner Company provides 2-hour and overnight tours out of Portland.

You can also sail a replica of a 19th century working coastal pilot cutter with Maine Sailing Adventures. They provide sunset and wine sails, and they sail out to Peaks Island.

Odyssey Whale Watch provides not only whale watching and deep-sea fishing tours, but you can also charter sailing tours aboard a classic 36-foot Hinckley Yawl sailboat.

Between Portland and Brunswick, visitors will find many roads leading from Route 1 out into the many peninsulas and some islands that make up Maine’s coastline. Along Route 1, the towns of Falmouth, Yarmouth, and Freeport offer lots of parks and preserves for those who want to explore the outdoors, and places to shop. Both Bailey Island and nearby Eagle Island are very quiet rustic places dotted with artists galleries and fishing communities. Bailey Island visitors can drive to on Route 24.



Boat Tours: Southern Maine
and Portsmouth NH Harbor

Boat cruises mentioned below may offer many types of adventures. While some may offer specific lighthouse cruises along Maine's southern coast, some may pass by specific lighthouses as part of special charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, while ferrying passengers, whale watching expeditions, fishing tours and other types of excursions. Weather is also a major factor in New England, especially on sailing excursions. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips ahead of time and to answer questions before you arrive at any of New England’s destinations. Enjoy!


Isles of Shoals Steamship Co.
Portsmouth Harbor and Isles of Shoals tours. Nubble Light and Boon Island Light in Maine are included during its Fall Extravaganza lighthouse tour.
315 Market Street,
P.O. Box 311
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 431-5500
(800) 441-4620

Lighthouses: Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse (NH), White Island Light (NH), Whaleback Lighthouse, Boon Island Lighthouse, Nubble Lighthouse


Portsmouth Harbor Cruises
Portsmouth Harbor and Isles of Shoals tour.
64 Ceres Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 436-8084
(800) 776-0915

Lighthouses: Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse (NH), White Island Light (NH), Whaleback Lighthouse



New England Eco Adventures
Check out these lighthouse and special tours on a fast, low to the water, Navy S.E.A.L Rigid Inflatable Boat (R.I.B) that glides over the water. They offer tours to Nubble (Cape Neddick) light, Goat Island (Cape Porpoise) light, Wood Island light, and out to Boon Island lighthouse, which is rarely visited on any other tours. They also offer a unique guided walk about tour on Goat Island lighthouse and grounds, a land/sea adventure cruise, a 1-hr speedy thrill ride along 20 miles of coastline, and a 3-hour sunset whale watching cruise, among other custom cruises.
8 Western Ave
Kennebunk, ME 04043
(207) 502-8040

Lighthouses: Nubble (Cape Neddick)Lighthouse, Boon Island Lighthouse, Goat Island (Cape Porpoise) Lighthouse, and Wood Island Lighthouse



Cove Runner Coastline Cruises
Private intimate trips (up to 6 passengers) along the southern coast of Maine to destinations of your choice, in a smooth riding 23’ power catamaran. Cooler (BYOB), Bluetooth sound system, comfortable seating and a full-sized head provided. Enjoy seal sightings and other wildlife. Departs out of Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine.

Captain Bob Spencer
(207) 216-2844

Lighthouses: Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse (NH), White Island Light (NH), Whaleback Lighthouse (ME), Boon Island Lighthouse (ME), Nubble Lighthouse (ME)



Finest Kind Scenic Cruises
Provides scenic coastal and wildlife tours as part of their breakfast cruise. They also provide sailing cruises on a traditional wooden loberstering vessel used over 100 years ago and a special lobstering trip where you can see lobster traps being hauled in. There is also a Nubble Lighthouse cruise that takes you around the lighthouse for some unique views.

P.O. Box 1828
Ogunquit, ME 03907
Phone: (207) 646-5227

Lighthouses: Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse (NH), White Island Light (NH), Whaleback Lighthouse, Boon Island Lighthouse, Nubble Lighthouse



First Chance Whalewatch
Passes by Goat Island Lighthouse while entering or leaving Cape Porpoise Harbor.
4 Western Ave, (Route 9)
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
207) 967 5507

Lighthouses: Goat Island Lighthouse



Friends Of Wood Island Lighthouse
Provide shuttle service to and from Wood Island, and provide lighthouse tours during the summer months.
P.O. Box 26
Biddeford Pool, Maine 04006

Lighthouses: Wood Island Lighthouse



Portland Duck Tours
Ride these amphibious vehicles through Portland and as they pass by Portland Breakwater and Spring Point Light.
177 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 774-DUCK(3825)

Lighthouses: Spring Point Light, Portland Breakwater



Portland Discovery
Specific lighthouse cruises like the "Lighthouse Lover's Cruise", and "Sunset Lighthouse Cruise." They also provide a trolley tour of Portland and a lighthouse cruise on Casco Bay for Portland's lighthouses.
Long Wharf
Portland ME
(Phone: (207) 774-0808

Lighthouses: Portland Breakwater Light, Spring Point Ledge Light, Ram Island Ledge Light, Portland Head Light, Halfway Rock Light, Eagle Island



Lucky Catch Cruises
Lobster boat cruises that pass by the the lighthouses.
170 Commercial St.
Portland, Maine 04101
Phone: (207) 761-0941

Lighthouses: Portland Breakwater Light, Spring Point Ledge Light, Portland Head Light



Sea Escape Cottages and Charters
Fishing excursions and charters from Bailey Island
P.O. Box 7
23 Sea Escape Lane Bailey Island, Maine 04003

Lighthouses: Halfway Rock Light



Additional Resources
For All You Southern Maine and NH Visitors

Southern Maine Coast

Many Maine Attractions

Maine Out Of The Way Attractions

New Hampshire Seacoast Attractions

Maine Island State Ferries

Maine State Parks


My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, provides human interest stories from each of the 76 lighthouses, along with the coastal attractions and tours near each beacon, and contact info to plan your special trips. You'll find over 360 images inside as well.

In the book, you'll lots of local stories and folklore about Nubble light's ghost ship Isadore, the most daring rescue by Marcus Hanna at Cape Elizabeth Light, the murder/suicide at Wood Island Light, and the famous shipwrecks at and near Portland Head lighthouse, among many others.

Look inside!

book northern New England lighthouses and local coastal attractions





You can order these books through any pages on this website, and I'll be happy to personally sign and ship them to you anywhere inside the United States. You can also order from the publisher, Schiffer Books, who can ship anywhere globally.



Price is lower at $24.95 if purchased here. Enjoy!


Table of Contents

Over 50 famous stories with lots of details in my book New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues, and Other Tales

Stories include the rescues at the wrecks of the Annie C. Macguire and Bohemian, and the true accounts that lead up to what is now known as the ghost ship Isadore at various lighthouses

The book contains my photographs, paintings by six famous artists for the Coast Guard, and vintage images from the Coast Guard, museums, and special collectors.


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