10 Essential New England Lighthouses

By Yankee Magazine

May 29 2019

Portland Head Lighthouse (user submitted)

Portland Head Lighthouse | Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Photo Credit : Bernie McCann (User Submitted)
Please note that businesses, attractions, and events throughout New England have been modified, closed, and/or canceled in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Please travel responsibly, and check with state guidelines and individual businesses and organizations before making travel plans. With upward of 200 lighthouses in New England, it’s hard to choose just 10 as the most worthy. But in compiling this New England lighthouse bucket list, we found each of the following to have something a little extra-special. And for a better look at one popular New England lighthouse (that’s also available for rent!), check out episode 11 on season three of Weekends with Yankee, in which we visit Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island.

10 Must-See New England Lighthouses

10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
Portland Head Light | Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Photo Credit : Bernie McCann (User Submitted)

Portland Head Light | Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Maine’s Oldest Lighthouse

Completed in 1791, the Portland Head lighthouse overlooking Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine (and the second most-photographed). Learn more: Best of Portland, Maine | Yankee Editors’ Picks
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
Nubble Light | York, Maine
Photo Credit : Donna Spiewak (User Submitted)

Nubble Light | York, Maine

Most Photographed in New England

Also known as Cape Neddick Light (for its location), this distinctive lighthouse just 100 yards from the mainland, on Nubble Island, is beloved by photographers for its classic New England look. Learn more: Nubble Light | Maine’s Favorite Lighthouse
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
Marshall Point Lighthouse | Port Clyde, Maine
Photo Credit : E. Carla Daigle (User Submitted)

Marshall Point Lighthouse | Port Clyde, Maine

Iconic Wooden Runway

Looking straight down this wooden runway provides photographers and viewers with a focal perspective unlike that of any other lighthouse in New England.
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
Bass Harbor Head Light | Tremont, Maine
Photo Credit : Pixabay

Bass Harbor Head Light | Tremont, Maine

Perched on a Cliffside

There’s something hauntingly beautiful about the jagged coastal cliffs bordering Acadia National Park where Bass Harbor Head Light is located. Learn more: Bass Harbor Head Light | Tremont, Maine’s Striking Landmark
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
Sankaty Head Light | Siasconset, Massachusetts
Photo Credit : Carl Tremblay

Sankaty Head Light | Siasconset, Massachusetts

Surrounded by Daffodils

One of the first signs of spring on Nantucket is the field of daffodils that blooms around the Sankaty Head Light in the historic whaling village of Siasconset. Learn more: Cape Cod, Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard Lighthouses | Photos
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
West Quoddy Head Light | Lubec, Maine
Photo Credit : Maine Office of Tourism

West Quoddy Head Light | Lubec, Maine

Candy-Striped Pattern

Located on the easternmost point of the contiguous United States, this red-and-white striped lighthouse stands out to visitors for its eye-catching pattern, and to sailors as an active navigational aid through the Quoddy Narrows.
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
Race Point Light | Provincetown, Massachusetts
Photo Credit : Jane Ogilvie (User Submitted)

Race Point Light | Provincetown, Massachusetts

Best Sunset Views

Hop in an over-sand vehicle or take a little beach hike to this lighthouse in Provincetown in the late evening, and you’ll be rewarded with the spectacular sunset views Cape Cod is known for. Learn more: Things to Do in Provincetown, MA | Coastal Weekend Getaway
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
Petit Manan Light | Petit Manan Island, Maine
Photo Credit : Photo by Brian D. Bell / CC BY-SA 3.0

Petit Manan Light | Petit Manan Island, Maine

On a Puffin Habitat

Due to a colony of breeding puffins that call Petit Manan Island home, Petit Manan Light is not open to the public; however, you can still view the tall stone lighthouse (and the puffins) from aboard a tour boat.
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
New London Ledge Light | Groton, Connecticut
Photo Credit : Photo by Russ / CC BY 2.0

New London Ledge Light | Groton, Connecticut

Haunted Legends

Perched on a small, manmade island, New London Ledge Light is a three-story, 11-room brick and granite lighthouse constructed to resemble homes during the Colonial Revival. Furthermore, legend has it that the lighthouse is haunted by a grief-stricken ghost named Ernie, a lighthouse keeper in the early 1900s. Learn more: The Most Haunted Hotels in New England
10 Must-See Lighthouses in New England
Rose Island Lighthouse | Newport, Rhode Island
Photo Credit : Aimee Tucker

Rose Island Lighthouse | Newport, Rhode Island

Available for Rent

If staying overnight in a beautiful lighthouse tops your New England wish list, this lighthouse in beautiful Newport offers that opportunity – and you can’t beat the coastal views from those bedrooms. Learn more: Exploring Rose Island Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated.

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