Maine is the USA's northeasternmost state and is well-known for its lighthouses and rocky coastline. It is a beautiful part of the country and well worth the stop on a New England Road trip. There are plenty of things to do in Maine, and seeing the lighthouses that dot this state's shoreline is one of them. My mother and I road tripped to Maine for an overnight visit for our Six States in Seven Days New England road trip adventure, and we both agree that it was one of the best decisions we made. We decided our focus for our short trip here was to see the Lighthouses of Southern Portland and Maine.
The Lighthouses of Southern Maine
We traveled towards Maine from Vermont the night before, and passed through New Hampshire, into Maine, headed towards Portland. We kept our adventures in Southern Maine, south of Portland, sticking to the rocky and rugged coastline and towering lighthouses, and of course, delicious lobster rolls.
Cape Neddick "Nubble" Lighthouse
There are plenty of lighthouses that are worth the road trip to Maine. Our first stop was the Cape Neddick Lighthouse, also known as Nubble, in York, Maine. York is a beautiful part of Maine and has plenty of bed and breakfasts, restaurants and coastlines. My mom even contemplated convincing my dad to get a rental house here for the Summers (not that we live in year round summer already or anything). However, I saw her point - this part of the USA is STUNNING! The Nubble Lighthouse is located on a little outcrop of land very close to the mainland. It was commissioned in the late 1800s to keep the Mariners in this area safe, due to Maine's rocky coastline. It's nickname "Nubble" is because it has was built on this "nub" of land. The Nubble Lighthouse is placed on the National Register of Historic Places to preserve it.
Portland Head Lighthouse
From the Nubble lighthouse, we continued north towards Portland, sticking to the scenic coastline. Our next intended lighthouse was the Portland Head Lighthouse, one that was supposed to offer incredible sunset and sunrise views and my mom was excited about it. Of course, the best-laid plans often go awry. When we arrived at Portland Head, we found it was covered in scaffolding and under renovation. I was disappointed. The Portland Head Lighthouse had a long history, and it was commissioned in 1787. Soldiers were placed there to protect the US from British attack, post independence.
I trudged grumpily along the cliffs with my mom and then discovered the cove near the lighthouse. They had dozens of rock stacks! The first time I came across rock stacks was on my trip to Peru, so I was super excited when I saw these. I'm so sure some of them used super glue! The rock stacks at sunset made up for the scaffolded lighthouse.
Lighthouse Tour Southern Portland Stops
There are many more lighthouses located in the Southern Portland area and beyond. Some you could add to your itinerary include:
- Whaleback Light Observatory
- Goat Island Light
- Portland Breakwater Light
- Spring Port Light
- Cape Elizabeth Light
- Portland Head Light
Our 24 hours in Southern Maine concluded with an obligatory final lobster roll at Petey's Summertime Seafood Bar. We drove around for an hour and a half waiting for a restaurant to open at lunch time to squeeze in a final lobster roll before heading home to Florida. Maine was a beautiful state to explore, and I am eager to spend more time there in the next few months! We enjoyed it after our epic drive through Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont on our New England Road trip.
Have you been to Maine? What did you think? Have you done an epic road trip like the six states in seven days one I did in New England? Let me know about it in the comments.
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More info on our New England road trip: