Maine Travel

A Day at the Most Photographed Lighthouse in The U.S.

Portland Head Light located on Cape Elizabeth, Maine is the picture perfect quintessential New England Lighthouse straight out of a postcard. It is the most photographed lighthouse in United States and you can easily see why that is once you park your car and make your way to this view.

Commissioned by George Washington and built in 1791, Portland Head Light is the most majestic lighthouse in Maine and a treasured landmark. Just a short drive from Portland or a tour on the  Mainely Tours trolley, which stops here for about 20 minutes and gives the opportunity for a short walk and a photo around the lighthouse, this spot is a must.

We ventured here on our way back from Acadia National Park and couldn’t be happier that we did. It was a week day and a crispy morning when we arrived at the lighthouse so not many people were there which gave us plenty of opportunities to snap some great shots of the beautiful historic building and surrounding cliffs.

There is a ton of parking and a small fee for entering the museum and gift shop. It’s just a short walk from the parking lot to the lighthouse so don’t expect hiking and long trails. Unfortunately there is only one day a year that they allow the public to go up into the lighthouse, but visitors can wander around and take the little path that weaves by the rocks for a view of the Light in distance with lovely vistas at every turn.

We climbed down to a bluff on the rocks overlooking the lighthouse and found the perfect spot to open a blanket and enjoy a delicious picnic with a view. On a clear day you might be able to see Ram Island in the distance. Bring binoculars and you’ll be able to take a pick at the lighthouse on the Island. We brought our favorite books and spent some time just lounging on the rocks and reading while listening to the waves splash in the rocks under us. It was possibly the best way to break down the travel time and get our heads cleared before heading back home.

And since you are already here, take the short drive up north to South Portland (only few miles away) and visit Spring Point Ledge Light on the campus of SMCC, which sits half a mile or so out into Portland Harbor, and can be walked to along a rock jetty.

Ram Island and lighthouse

Continue down by the cliffs on the winding path with the picturesque surroundings of the surf until you reach the ruined mansion. The history of this place is really interesting and is definitely worth the stop while here.

Let the kids run off their energy on the great lawn while you comfortably  sit on the picnic tables, fly a kite or jump on over the old artillery batterie. It would definitely be a trip they would remember and great family memories to look back at.

The Park situated along the spectacular shores of Fort Williams Park is open year round from sunrise to sunset and can be found here.

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