Discover the ultimate American Roadtrip

Magical Lighthouses <strong>of Maine</strong>

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

York - Lubec

Maine's glittering coastline is ripe for a road trip. This coastal route takes in the best of the north-eastern state’s 52 functioning lighthouses, which stand guard between the seething Atlantic and Maine’s vast forests. You’ll pass quaint and colourful towns, where centuries of seafaring heritage have shaped the state’s way of life and customs. Think raw oysters, lobster rolls and a craft beer boom – plus a rich heritage and gleaming white architecture.

What to drive:

Make the most of your US road trip with something from our American Collection:

Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac Escalade

Find out more
Nubble Lighthouse

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 1: Nubble Lighthouse 1/10

Picturesque Cape Neddick, in the south of Maine, has one of the stars of the sleepy state: Nubble Lighthouse. It stands guard on Nubble Island and lures in keen photographers with its Victorian-era keeper’s house. Head to Sohier Park’s telescope for the best views or enjoy dinner with a view at Fox’s Lobster House, which is a fantastic place for your first taste of Maine’s rendition of New England chowder.

While you’re in Cape Neddick

Don’t miss Long Sands Beach, which flanks popular scuba-diving waters and charming York Harbor. The latter has riverside nature trails plus a combined golf and tennis club.

Nubble Lighthouse, Sohier Park Rd, York, ME 03909

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route

Portland Head Lighthouse

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 2: Portland Head Lighthouse 2/10

The oldest lighthouse in Maine is also the state’s best-loved. Portland Head Lighthouse is set above the small and jagged cliffs of Fort Williams Park. Commissioned by President George Washington, it’s been lighting the shores of Cape Elizabeth since 1791. Aside from iconic vistas, this serene spot boasts hiking ground, a seasonal gift shop and the Museum of Portland Head Light, which showcases lenses of old from inside the old keeper’s quarters.

While you’re at Portland Head Lighthouse

America’s most photographed lighthouse aside, Fort Williams Park is brimming with great things to do. Its 90 acres host two early 20th-century coastal batteries and the ruins of historic Goddard Mansion.

12 Captain Strout Cir, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 3: Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse 3/10

On a sunny day, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse must be one of Maine’s cutest lighthouses. Short and squat, this distinctive sparkplug-style beacon sits out on the end of a 300-yard granite breakwater – access it via Southern Maine Community College South Portland Campus. Open to the public since 1999, volunteers run tours so you can see its inner workings.

2 Fort Rd, South Portland, ME 04106

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route


Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 4: Portland 4/10

Pint-sized Portland is Maine’s biggest city, combining a relaxed coastal vibe with culinary delights. Oysters are the must-try delicacy – head to Eventide Oyster Co on Middle Street to choose from a dozen locally sourced varieties, or J’s Oyster for back-to-basics simplicity. Portland’s also where Maine’s passion for craft beer really comes into its own. A Portland brewery tour is one for the passengers – head to Allagash Brewing Company for one of the best.

While you’re in Portland

Don’t forget the lighthouses. Bug Light Park is South Portland’s most serene spot, where the Portland Breakwater Light charms visitors with its stout, bug-like looks. Aside from its 150 years of heritage, this quaint park is a popular place for kite flying. Read our guide to find out about other great things about Portland.

1 High St, Portland, ME 04101

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route


Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 5: Bath 5/10

Where better to sail through 400 years of boatbuilding heritage and state history than in a former 19th-century shipyard? You’ll find Maine Maritime Museum in the peaceful city of Bath, just 35 miles along the coast from Portland. Discover more at the nearby Maine’s First Ship project, a full-size reconstruction of Virginia, which sailed to the Popham Colony – now Phippsburg – in 1607.

While you’re in Bath

Cross the Kennebec River to see Doubling Point Lighthouse, which is connected to the banks by a pristine white bridge.

243 Washington St, Bath, ME 04530

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 6: Pemaquid Point Lighthouse 6/10

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is in one of the most beautiful locations on our route. It’s one of the few lighthouses to allow overnight stays and also one of the state’s most iconic – Maine’s official quarter coin bears its image. The lighthouse even has an apartment on the second floor and an overnight stay is well worthwhile – the 190-year-old walls house an art gallery and a fisherman’s museum. Best of all, you can climb the tower for views of the shimmering ocean.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Bristol Rd, Bristol, ME 04554

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route

Owls Head Lighthouse

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 7: Owls Head Lighthouse 7/10

Further north, Owls Head Lighthouse is perched 24 metres on the tip of a peninsula. Flanked by deep forests, it looks tiny, but climbing its steep staircase gives you spectacular views. On select days from spring to autumn, you can even go inside to see the fourth-order Fresnel lens – the French invention that illuminated coastlines around the world – which is still the 1856 original.

While you’re at Owls Head Lighthouse

The Bristol area is home to an array of small-scale, family-owned oyster farms – take the coastal roads for the chance to see harvests in action. Marshall Point Lighthouse is just 35 minutes away in Port Clyde – its white walkway alone makes this light well worth a visit. It’s even appeared on the silver screen in films such as Forrest Gump.

186 Lighthouse Rd, Owls Head, ME 04854

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 8: Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse 8/10

To find the quirky Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, you’ll need to look almost a mile out to sea – and you’ll find its bright-white keeper’s house next door. It’s a beacon for the adventurous. The best way to snap a photo is by taking a state ferry or cruise through Rockland Harbor – you could spot a dolphin, too. Tours up to the lantern are available in partnership with the Friends of Rockland Harbor Lighthouses.

While you’re in Rockland

The Maine Lighthouse Museum is unmissable. Step inside to see the country’s largest collection of lighthouse-related artefacts. Nearby Harbor Park hosts sea-themed events including the Maine Lobster Festival.

Rockland Breakwater, 49 Samoset Rd, Rockland, ME 04841

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 9: Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse 9/10

Drive to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse for sunset to see the 1902 Fresnel lens glow as the cliffs of Acadia National Park turn gold. On one side, it’s framed by Mount Desert Island’s rich evergreens, while on the other, the Atlantic crashes below. The lighthouse is still manned and still works, and, while you can’t step inside, it’s a great starting point for hiking through thick forest and past beaches along the 1.4-mile Wonderland Trail.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Lighthouse Road, Bass Harbor, ME 04653

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

Magical Lighthouses of Maine

Stop 10: West Quoddy Head Lighthouse 10/10

Striking red stripes make Maine’s last frontier a memorable one. This lighthouse has been illuminating more than 500 acres of protected coast since 1808, when Thomas Jefferson was president. Step into the candy-cane tower as part of a guided tour during summer or swing by the visitor centre to see historic exhibits about the coast guard and the ecology surrounding Lubec – the United States’ easternmost town.

While you’re at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse:

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Cutler Coast – it’s one of New England’s last untouched escapes, where moose roam the rugged wilderness. Take the Cutler Bold Coast Trail or enjoy the scenic drive south to Cutler to soak in the magic.

973 S Lubec Rd, Lubec, ME 04652

Find out about car hire for this Road Trip route

Route Loading

See what people are sharing about this stop on Instagram