With 65 historical lighthouses still standing and spread out along 5,000 miles of coastline, inlets, and islands, Maine is commonly referred to as The Lighthouse State.
These lighthouses have acted as beacons of light for sailors for hundreds of years, guiding sailors and fishermen safely into harbors along the rocky Maine coastline. Today, lighthouses are an important part of Maine’s history and are popular tourist attractions.
Although many Maine lighthouses aren’t accessible on land, lighthouse boat tours are an ideal way to see these attractions and get the best photographs. Some lighthouses have museums on their oceanfront grounds that offer insight into the rich history of lighthouse keeping, while other Lighthouses are now quaint inns or part of large state park grounds.
Featured Lighthouses & Tours
A tour of some of Maine’s most famous lighthouses starts in York County, at one of the most famous lighthouses in the country.
Cape Neddick Lighthouse — or Nubble Light as it has become known because of its location on the summit of Cape Neddick Bubble — is located just a few hundred feet off York Beach and attracts many photographers and visitors because of its picturesque beauty.
You can see the legendary Boone Island Light perched out at sea, where sailors were shipwrecked in 1710 before the light was built in 1852.
Goat Island Light, in the Cape Porpoise area of Kennebunkport, can be viewed from Cape Porpoise Pier or by boat tour. This lighthouse is maintained by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, which occasionally offers tours of Goat Island and the light.
In Biddeford Pool, The Wood Island Light marks the entrance to the Saco River.
Further up the coast, Portland Maine is home to the oldest lighthouse in the state, Portland Head Light, which was commissioned by George Washington in 1791. It’s located in Fort Williams Park, a popular place for picnics, hiking, and sunbathing in the summer while overlooking Casco Bay.
You can also see Bug Light in Portland’s busy harbor. Nearby in Cape Elizabeth are the famous Two Lights where visitors may view the East and West Lights. If you choose to stop in South Portland, visit Spring Point Ledge and the Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, aka Bug Light.
Visitors to Mid Coast Maine will find lighthouses in more remote, scenic locations. Monhegan Light is accessible via ferry from Boothbay Harbor or Pemaquid Point, which takes visitors to the island of Monhegan, a small rocky island known for its fishing and lobstering and less than 100 residents.
Pemaquid Point is a lighthouse not to be missed because it’s the most photographed (and subsequently one of the most beautiful) in the state of Maine.
Owls Head Lighthouse, located in Owls Head State Park at the entrance of Rockland Harbor on Penobscot Bay, is owned and operated by the Coast Guard. But, the grounds are open to the public.
As you continue up the coast (or Down East, as the Mainers say), more beautiful lighthouses await. Visitors can view Dyce Head Lighthouse at the end of Lighthouse Road in Castine overlooking beautiful Castine Harbor.
For visitors who are up for a day or even overnight lighthouse trip, travel via ferry to Isle au Haut, where you can stay in the original Innkeeper’s House, take tours inside the lighthouse, and hike the beautiful 12-square-mile island.
When visiting Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island during your stay in Maine, take a drive to Bass Harbor Lighthouse on the southern end of Mount Desert Island along the rocky coastline.
Also, a lighthouse boat tour from Bar Harbor is the best way to see six lighthouses — Egg Rock Light, Bass Harbor Light, Bakers Island Light, Great Duck Island Light, Mount Desert Rock Light, and Mark Island Light, also called Winter Harbor Light.
Whether you’re looking for a history lesson or just a beautiful view, Maine lighthouses are a great attraction for visitors of all ages.
List of Maine Lighthouses
Maine and lighthouses go hand in hand. The rugged tidal coastline is almost 3,500 miles long. All the bays and inlets, combined with a marine heritage, make Maine lighthouses a beautiful necessity. With 65 lighthouses in the state, you can indulge your passion for these gems to the fullest.
York County Lighthouses in Maine
Cape Neddick | York
Located on a large rock island — Cape Neddick Bubble — a few hundred feet from York Beach, the 41-foot Nubble Lighthouse was built in 1879 and automated in 1987. It has a cast iron construction lined with brick, which is unusual but likely to stand up to the brutal Maine weather.
This light tower is a photogenic attraction for tourists and is widely regarded as one of the most photographed lighthouses in America. It’s also known for its unique red light, which still shines today. The island isn’t open to the public but can be viewed from Sohier Park.
Boon Island | York Beach
If ever a lighthouse in Maine might be haunted, Boon Island certainly has a history that would account for it. The current gray granite conical lighthouse was built in 1855 and stands 133 feet, making it Maine’s tallest.
Boon Island Light is located about 8 miles from the nearest land. It’s automated, so there’s no lighthouse keeper. You can’t visit the island, so the tower is best viewed from the water or air.
Goat Island | Kennebunkport
Located at the entrance to Cape Porpoise Harbor, Goat Island has had a small 25-foot lighthouse since 1833. During the presidency of George H. W. Bush, Secret Service officers often used the island to watch the Bush Compound.
The current 25-foot white cast-ire cylindrical light is automated. But resident keepers will give tours to those who visit in the summer by boat.
Wood Island | Biddeford
Originally built in 1808, this active lighthouse is the lighthouse in Maine. Today, the 1858 construction consists of granite and stands at 47 feet.
In the 1960s, the lantern house was removed, and a rotating beacon was installed. The lighthouse and keeper’s house may be toured in July and August on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Maine Lighthouses in Greater Portland
Spring Point Ledge | South Portland
This unique lighthouse is located at the end of the 900-foot breakwater in Portland Harbor. It’s the only caisson-style lighthouse in Maine that can be toured.
Standing 54 feet tall, the white brick and cast-iron light first shone in 1897 and still shines today. The former assistant keeper’s bedroom is now a museum.
Portland Breakwater | South Portland
Also called Bug Light, this 26-foot, cast-iron lighthouse is located at the entrance to Portland Harbor. The lighthouse isn’t available to visit, but the grounds are. You just park at Bug Light Park and enjoy yourself. The lighthouse was constructed in 1875 and decommissioned in 1943, then reactivated in 2002.
Ram Island Ledge | Portland
At the northern end of the main channel into Portland Harbor, this lighthouse is located on a quarter-mile rocky finger of land. In 2010, the lighthouse was sold and is now privately owned.
Erected in 1905 in the conical style, it’s 72 feet tall. It was automated in 1959 and is now solar. The gray granite conical tower isn’t open to the public but can be viewed on a boat tour of the harbor.
Portland Head Light | Cape Elizabeth
Maine’s oldest lighthouse, Portland Head Light, has been around since 1791 and is adjacent to the 90-acre Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. This 80-foot white fieldstone and brick conical tower was commissioned by President George Washington. It was automated in 1989.
The lighthouse is only open for visits on Open Lighthouse Day in September. But, The Museum of Portland Head Light is located in the former keeper’s quarters. Visitors can also have picnics, relax in the neighboring park, and go hiking near the tower.
Cape Elizabeth — East Light | Cape Elizabeth
Also known as Two Lights, the east tower has an identical west tower 300 feet away. The original lights were erected in 1828, but the current conical towers were built of cast iron in 1874 and stand 67 feet tall on Staples Point.
This is a particularly dangerous area with 98 ships wrecked between 1780 and 1890. Adjacent to Two Lights State Park, the east tower isn’t open to visitors. The west tower has been deactivated and is privately owned.
Halfway Rock | Bailey Island
Located on a rocky ledge in Casco Bay, this white conical lighthouse isn’t open to the public. Constructed in 1871 of granite and brick, it stands 76 feet tall. The rocky ledge is halfway between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Small, about 10 miles from shore, and can be seen from Portland Head.
Mid Coast Maine Lighthouses
Pond Island | Phippsburg
Pond Island is now part of the Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge. The 20-foot brick light was commissioned in 1821 at the mouth of the Kennebec River, but the current tower was built in 1855.
The light was automated in 1963. The grounds are open from September through March, but the tower is closed. It’s best viewed from a water tour.
Doubling Point | Arrowsic
Originally commissioned in 1898, Doubling Point Light was automated in 1988. It’s 23 feet tall and of wood construction with a granite foundation. Another of the Kennebec River lights, it’s closed to the public, but the grounds are open to the public.
Squirrel Point | Phippsburg Center
This light is still active and located in a very popular tourist area along the east bank of the Kennebec River. The 25-foot wooden octagonal light was erected in 1898 and automated in 1979. The U.S. Coast Guard owns the property, so only the grounds are open to the public.
Perkins Island | Parker Head
This light on the Kennebec River has been lighting the way for sailors since 1898. It was automated in 1959. Constructed of brick and wood in an octagonal design, it’s 23 feet tall and is still an active light. No visitors are allowed on the island, but boat tours pass by for a view of the lighthouse.
Seguin Island | Georgetown
This tower is the second-oldest lighthouse in Maine that was commissioned by President George Washington in 1795 with a wooden construction. The current light from 1857 is granite stone.
The 52-foot tower is 180 feet above water level, making it the highest in the state. In 1977, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Tours of the tower are provided in the warm weather.
Hendricks Head | Southport
Situated on the west side of Southport Island, this lighthouse guides the east side of the entrance to the Sheepscot River. The first light was located on the top of the keeper’s house.
The present light, constructed in 1875 at 39 feet tall, was sold along with the entire peninsula after being deactivated in 1933. Under private ownership, the tower was relit in 1951 and the buildings were restored in 1981.
Burnt Island | Southport
Burnt Island Light is the second-oldest of the lighthouses in Maine. Erected in 1821, it stands 30 feet tall, is conical in style, and is made from granite and brick. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.
The lighthouse features a museum run by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Located 1 mile from Boothbay Harbor, the island is open seven days a week.
The Cuckolds | Southport
This station was built to withstand the wickedly bad weather it would be subject to. Situated on a rocky islet at the western edge of Boothbay Channel, it was one of the last lighthouses erected in Maine.
The 48-foot white wooden octagonal tower was constructed in 1892. Located about 1 mile offshore, The Cuckolds was automated in 1975 and is still an active light.
Ram Island | East Boothbay
Located near Boothbay Harbor, Ram Island Light marks the eastern gateway to the Damariscotta River. Standing 35 feet tall, this cylindrical tower is constructed with a granite foundation, a brick middle, and a cast-iron lantern.
The 1883 tower is maintained by a trust, but the light belongs to the Coast Guard. You can see it across the water while standing on Ocean Point in Boothbay.
Pemaquid Point | Bristol
Owned by the Bristol Parks and Recreation Department, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse has limited hours but can be visited. Commissioned by President John Quincy Adams in 1827, the 38-foot white fieldstone conical light was automated in 1934.
It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and a Fisherman’s Museum is housed on the first floor of the keeper’s house. On the second floor, it’s possible to rent an apartment.
Monhegan | Monhegan Island
The present 47-foot gray granite conical lighthouse was constructed in 1850 from granite. The light was automated in 1959. The grounds and the keeper’s house are open to the public, but the lighthouse is not. The island is small, rocky, and located 10 miles from the mainland.
Franklin Island | Friendship
The original lighthouse was built in 1807. The current 1855 construction is brick, round in design, and 45 feet tall. The light was automated in 1967 and is still active. It can be viewed on a boat tour and is part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Marshall Point | St. George
Standing at the end of St. George Peninsula in Port Clyde Harbor, a seasonal museum and gift shop are located in the former keeper’s house and summer kitchen at Marshall Point Lighthouse. A research room is also open for local area subjects.
The current 30-foot light was erected in 1857 from granite and brick, and it was automated in 1971. The site has a quarter-mile of shoreline.
Tenants Harbor | Southern Island
Also known as Southern Island Light, this 27-foot round lighthouse was built in 1857. It was discontinued in 1933. Artist Andrew Wyeth purchased it in 1978. He designed an artist’s studio at the base of the bell tower. It’s not open for visits except by invitation.
Two Bush Island | Spruce Head
Established in 1897, this square brick light stands 42 feet tall and was automated in 1964. Currently, it’s solar operated.
The light marks the entrance to the Two Bush Channel on Penobscot Bay. It’s managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Two Bush Island is off limits to visitors.
Whitehead Island | St. George
Established in 1804, the current light dates from 1852 and was automated in 1982. It stands at the western entrance to Muscle Ridge Channel on Penobscot Bay.
The light is made of brick and asphalt and stands 41 feet tall. The station also includes a keeper’s house, an oil house, and a fog signal building. Special arrangements can be made to visit the station.
Rockland Breakwater | Rockland
Owned by the City of Rockland, this lighthouse is located at the end of an almost 1-mile-long breakwater. The light has no running water or bathroom facilities.
The breakwater was constructed before the lighthouse, which can be visited during the summer months. It was made from brick in the Colonial Revival Style in 1902 and automated in 1974. The walk to the light on the breakwater is beautiful.
Owls Head | Rockland
On a steep rise above Rockland Harbor, Owls Head Lighthouse is one of the most haunted Maine lighthouses. At least two ghosts are said to reside there.
Constructed in 1852, the light was automated in 1989. The 30-foot round brick tower is open for visits, and the Keeper’s House is an Interpretive Center for the American Lighthouse Foundation.
Indian Island | Rockport
Right off the tip of Beauchamp Point on the eastern side of Rockport Harbor, this light tower is privately owned. The square 31-foot brick tower, with a square lantern house ringed by a catwalk, was erected in 1875 and isn’t open to the public. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Curtis Island | Camden
Curtis Island marks the approach to Camden Harbor. Its light was established in 1836, and the current 25-foot cylindrical brick tower dates to 1896. It’s owned by the Town of Camden and isn’t open to the public. It was automated in 1972 and is currently solar-powered.
Grindel Point | Islesboro
The current light was built in 1874 from brick and stands 39 feet. It was deactivated in 1934 but reactivated in 1987. The tower is still an active Coast Guard navigation aid.
The Town of Islesboro maintains a Sailor’s Memorial Museum in the keeper’s house. In the summer, you can climb to the top of the light.
Down East Island Lighthouses in Maine
Heron Neck | Vinalhaven
Located on Green Island, the lighthouse was constructed in 1854 and automated in 1982. It’s a 30-foot cylindrical brick tower attached to a 1.5-story keeper’s house. The light is perched atop a granite cliff to protect the entrance to Hurricane Sound. Heron Neck Light is privately owned and closed to the public.
Browns Head | Vinalhaven
This light tower is located near the northwest corner of Vinalhaven Island. Andrew Jackson approved the money to build the light station in 1832.
However, the present 20-foot lighthouse was constructed of rubblestone in 1857. A wooden frame keeper’s house was added the same year. It was automated in 1987. The light is owned by the town, and the grounds are open to the public.
Goose Rocks | North Haven
This lighthouse in Maine is the only offshore lighthouse where you can spend the night. It looks like a spark plug in style and is located at the eastern entrance to Fox Island.
Constructed in 1890 with cast iron, it’s 51 feet tall and in the caisson style. In 1988, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Privately owned, it’s on four levels and has been decorated in a very high style.
Saddleback Ledge | Vinalhaven
Known to be one of the loneliest lights, Saddleback Ledge is a granite stone rising about 20 feet out of the water. The simple 43-foot conical tower made of hammered granite was built in 1839. It was automated in 1954 and is still managed by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Matinicus Rock | Matinicus Island
Located 5 miles southeast of Matinicus Island, this tower is also 5 miles off the coast of Rockland. Built in 1857, it has two 48-foot towers. One was discontinued in 1924, and the other was automated in 1983.
The island is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Access is very limited.
Fort Point | Stockton Springs
The historic lighthouse is still active here, but the tower isn’t open to visitors. Located in Fort Point State Park, the station was established in 1836. The current lighthouse dates from 1857 and was automated in 1988.
The conical tower is 31 feet tall with an octagonal iron lantern. The wooden pyramidal bell tower is one of the few left in New England. It was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Dice Head | Castine
Owned by the Town of Castine, this lighthouse (also spelled “Dyce”) has been guarding the east side of Penobscot Bay since 1828. The 51-foot conical stonework tower was discontinued in 1937 and replaced with a skeleton tower only 475 feet away. The grounds are open for visitors.
Isle au Haut | Isle au Haut
Originally called Robinson Point, this light was constructed in 1907. It was the last cylindrical brick lighthouse built in Maine. The keeper’s house has been run as a bed and breakfast, but as of 2019, it’s a vacation rental. The island is 6 miles out at sea, and docent-guided tours are offered in the summer.
Deer Isle Thorofare | Stonington
Also called Mark Island Light, this very attractive 25-foot square light was built in 1858 and automated in 1958. It’s located at the entrance to the very popular inland water passage, Dear Island Thorofare, which passes south of Deer Island to Penobscot Bay.
The light is an active U.S. Coast Guard light but not open to the public.
Eagle Island | Deer Isle
This active light is owned by Eagle Light Caretakers but isn’t open to the public. The light was built of stone in 1839, and in 1932, a fog bell tower was added. The light was automated in 1959, stands 106 feet above the water, and can be seen from a boat.
Pumpkin Island | Little Deer Isle
Situated off the northeastern tip of Little Deer Isle, the light is at the western entrance to Eggemoggin Reach on tiny Pumpkin Island. Created in 1854, it was discontinued in 1933. It was constructed of brick, and a keeper’s house was constructed the same year.
The tower stands 28 feet tall, and you can get the best views of this private lighthouse from the shore of Little Deer Isle at the end of Eggemoggin Road or via boat or air tour.
Blue Hill Bay | Brooklin
Known also as Sand Island Light, this lighthouse is located on Green Island on the west side of Mount Desert Island. Built in 1857, an exceptionally nice keeper’s house was added, as well as a water-collecting cistern.
It was discontinued in 1933 and is a private residence. A skeletal solar-powered tower is now nearby and used as an active light.
Burnt Coat Harbor | Swan’s Island
On the southern tip of Swan’s Island, at the entrance to Burnt Coat Harbor, this 35 -foot lighthouse is also known as Hammock Head. It’s one of two towers constructed in 1872. In 1884, one light was discontinued since two lights confused the locals.
The grounds are open, and overnight stays are allowed in the apartment in the keeper’s house. Guided tours of the lighthouse tower are available in the summer.
Bass Harbor Head | Bass Harbor
On the southern end of Mount Desert Island, the grounds are open to the public but the tower is not. Established on a cliffside in 1858, this brick cylindrical beauty is 37 feet tall and is now automated. Bass Harbor cruises pass by the lighthouse, and it is visible.
Bear Island | Cranberry Isles
Bear Island is part of the Cranberry Isles. The lighthouse was erected in 1839 and completely rebuilt in 1889. It’s 31 feet tall and privately owned.
Located at the southern entrance to Somes Sound, the light was discontinued in 1981 but reactivated privately in 1989. It’s within Acadia National Park.
Baker Island | Cranberry Isles
Baker Island marks the southwestern entrance to Frenchman’s Bay. It’s about 4 miles south of Mount Desert Island. Part of the island is in Acadia National Park.
The lighthouse and the grounds are closed to the public. Established in 1828, the current 43-foot structure was built in 1855, deactivated in 1955, and relit in 1957. It’s now solar-powered. The trees have grown so tall that the light is barely visible from the water.
Great Duck Island | Frenchboro
The island welcomes lots of ducks every spring, which is the reason for its name. Today, the lighthouse is owned by the Bar Harbor College of the Atlantic, and the island is used for bird and marine research.
Constructed in 1890, it was one of the Maine lighthouses automated in 1986. The 42-foot white cylindrical light can be viewed from a boat tour 19 miles south of the Cranberry Isles.
Egg Rock | Winter Harbor
Standing sentinel at the south entrance to Frenchman Bay, this 40-foot lighthouse in Maine is an architectural gem. The square tower projects through the square keeper’s cottage.
It was built on Egg Rock in 1875, is still active today, and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The lighthouse is not open to the public.
Mount Desert Rock | Mount Desert Island
Perhaps the most desolate of all the Maine lighthouses, Mount Desert Rock is tiny, only 600 yards by 200 yards. About 20 miles from Mount Desert, the 58-foot gray granite conical tower was built in 1847.
The staff was removed in 1977, and the light is now operated by solar power. Visitation isn’t allowed on the rock, which is a bird sanctuary.
Winter Harbor | Mark Island
This 19-foot white cylindrical light can be viewed from the Schoodic Peninsula. Like many Maine lighthouses, it’s privately owned, so you can’t visit or even get close to it.
The tower was established in 1856 and is constructed from brick and asphalt. The keeper’s house was added in 1876. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
Prospect Harbor Point | Gouldsboro
Prospect Harbor Point Light was first built in 1850 and rebuilt in 1891. What’s unique is that it was rebuilt as a wooden structure and is one of the last remaining wooden towers in Maine.
The white tower with a black lantern stands 38 feet tall and matches the keeper’s house. Located on a naval installation, it was automated in 1931.
Narraguagus | Millbridge
Also referred to as Pond Island Light, this 31-foot tower was built on the namesake island in 1853 in the same style as the lighthouse on Alcatraz Island in California. It was discontinued in 1934, and the entire station was sold. A lighted buoy replaced the beacon, and the tower can’t be visited.
West Quoddy Head | Lubec
West Quoddy Head Light is unique among the lighthouses in Maine and the rest of the United States. It’s the only red and white striped lighthouse at the easternmost point in the country.
Commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1808, the current tower dates from 1858. It stands 49 feet tall and was fully automated in 1988. A museum and a visitor center are located on the first floor of the keeper’s house. Tours of the tower are offered in the summer months.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lighthouses in Maine
What is the most photographed lighthouse in Maine?
There seems to be some dispute on this subject. Two very famous lighthouses in Maine, though, are Portland Head Light and Cape Neddick Lighthouse.
How many lighthouses are there in Maine?
There are 65 Maine lighthouses.
Where is the red and white lighthouse in Maine?
Located in Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec Maine, West Quoddy Head Light looks like a barber’s pole or a candy cane. It’s situated in the most eastern spot in the United States.
Plan Your Tour of Maine Lighthouses
With 65 beautiful lighthouses to choose from, you can tour the Maine Coast from east to west and never get tired of the variety. Some of the towers are easy to view, others are very remote, and you may even be able to sleep in one!
Combined with all the other wonders that Maine has to offer, it’s a perfect union to create an adventure the entire family will enjoy.
The Light by Hattie Vose Hall
I am the light, holding
Nightly my torch on high;
Under me surge the waters,
Over me bends the sky.
Year after year I stand here
Holding my steady light,
Sending its ray of comfort
Into the darkest night.
Many a man has served me,
Tending the Light with care,
Many a vanished footstep
Passed by my winding stair.
Years pass and men pass with them,
Never my light grows dim,
One hands the torch to another,
Others will follow him.
So are the centuries moving,
Still serving men am I,
Constant through gales of winter
Calm beneath summers sky.
Lights are the hope of seamen,
Warning of rock and shoal,
We are the danger-stations,
We are the sea-patrol!