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Maine's Open Lighthouse Day: A Visit to Portland Head Light

Updated: Jan 2

Maine Open Lighthouse Day takes place in early September each year, providing an opportunity to discover more than two dozen historic lighthouses across the state. Throughout this event, certain historic lights will be accessible both on land and at sea.

Portland Head Light is a historic lighthouse located in Cape Elizabeth, a short drive from Portland. It is among the most photographed lighthouses in the country and is the oldest one in our state. If you plan on going to visit a lighthouse I highly recommend Portland Head Light, as its the quintessential New England lighthouse.

After you snap some photos of the famous lighthouse, you can visit the museum in the former keeper's quarters and explore the adjacent Fort Williams Park. Follow along the park's pathways beside the ocean and make sure you grab a lobster roll or gelato from one of the nearby food trucks.

The tower is accessible to the public only once a year, in September, during Maine Open Lighthouse Day, with limited admission. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. When we obtained our tickets at around 8 am, we were informed that the next available time slot for two people would be at 11 am. After securing our tickets, we took the opportunity to grab breakfast and returned for our designated time.

I'm grateful that we arrived early for our tickets, as a sign along the way to the lighthouse indicated that all available slots had been filled – a situation that didn't surprise me! The panoramic view from the top of the lighthouse is truly exceptional, providing a memorable experience. I can now proudly say that I stood atop one of the world's most iconic lighthouses.


Did you visit a lighthouse for #MaineOpenLighthouseDay.

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