Season after season, 60 lighthouses stand proudly and shine steadfastly along the edge of Maine. When you stay at the Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club in southern Maine, we know you’ll want to see at least a few of these historic light stations. Each beacon has a story and a remarkable setting worth discovering. Heading north from your Kennebunkport home base, here are six lighthouses to include on a coastal driving tour:
From the pier in Kennebunkport’s throwback fishing village—Cape Porpoise—you’ll have views of this lighthouse with a unique distinction: Goat Island Light was the last Maine lighthouse to have a keeper. Restored in 2011 to its 1950s appearance, this still-operating lighthouse was automated in 1990. If you’ve brought your own boat to the Yachtsman Hotel & Marina Club—or rented a power boat from the Kennebunkport Marina—there’s a small dock on Goat Island you can utilize if you’d like a closer look. While you’re in Cape Porpoise, treat yourself to fresh-caught lobster at Nunan’s Lobster Hut.
Pier Road, Cape Porpoise, Kennebunkport, Maine, 207-967-3465
Drive along Route 208 in Biddeford Pool, just about a dozen miles north of Kennebunkport, and you can see this 1858 stone lighthouse from the road. It’s out on Wood Island in Saco Bay, and during the months of July and August, you can tour this fascinating structure. Reserve passage aboard the Light Runner, departing from Vine’s Landing, for the 15-minute boat trip to the island, where you’ll learn about the tower’s history and its keepers’ heroism. You also might hear a ghost story or two. Wear comfortable shoes, so you can climb the tower stairs for incredible photo ops. Your visit supports volunteers’ efforts to restore and maintain this historic lighthouse.
Vine’s Landing, Biddeford, Maine, 207-200-4552
View twin lighthouses—built in 1828—from this popular park on southern Maine’s rocky shore. Although the lighthouses are not open to the public, they strike a pretty pose. One is now a private home. The other still serves its original purpose.
7 Tower Drive, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 207-799-5871
As iconic as any New England lighthouse, Portland Head Light is a moving sight. Commissioned in 1791 by George Washington, Maine’s oldest lighthouse still actively guides ships into Portland Harbor. Photographers love the white tower’s red-roofed keeper’s cottage, which now houses a museum, and the effervescent spray of waves crashing against this rocky point. Be sure to explore the ruins of historic Fort Williams while you’re here, too. Want to see one more lighthouse before driving back to Kennebunkport? Ram Island Ledge Light out in Casco Bay is visible from the park’s small beach, which is revealed at low tide.
1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 207-799-2661
There’s one more southern Maine lighthouse you really should see, and it’s not far out of your way if you’re headed south when you leave Kennebunkport:
You’ll have spectacular views of this island lighthouse and its Victorian keeper’s house from Sohier Park. Built in 1879, the photogenic scene is particularly lovely when the lighthouse and other buildings are illuminated in white LED lights during York Days in July and throughout the post-Thanksgiving holiday season.
Sohier Park Road, York, Maine, 207-363-1040