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Southern Maine Lighthouses

portland head light

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


portland head light

Portland Head Light



Southern Maine Lighthouses
Best Viewed by Boat

halfway rock light

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.

Nubble, or Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York, hosts many events. One of the most popular events is the annual Lighting of the Nubble during the holiday season, and the lighthouse is also lit in July as part of the “Christmas in July” lighting event.

kayaker at high tide

Kayaker at High Tide
York, Maine

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.

buoys 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.

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.

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.

In South Portland, visit the Portland Harbor Museum, which also allows visitors access 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.

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

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 Head Lighthouse is located inside the 41-acre Fort Williams Park for hiking along the cliff edges, picnicking, or exploring the old fort. 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 from Portland Head's location as well.

portland light



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



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
Bailey Island, Maine 04003

Lighthouses: Halfway Rock Light



Additional Resources
For All You Southern Maine and NH Visitors

Southern Maine Coast

Maine Travel By Region

New Hampshire and Southern Maine Coastal News

Maine Destination Travel

Many Maine Attractions

New Hampshire Seacoast Attractions

Maine Out Of The Way Attractions

Maine State Parks




My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Northern New England: New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, published by Schiffer Publishing, 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. I'll be happy to sign it for you here, or you'll find it in any fine bookstore.

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!


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