Nothing quite says, “Welcome to New England!” like a stoic lighthouse gazing out over turbulent waters from a rocky, cragged coastline. And the Seacoast area of Maine and New Hampshire has some of the finest lighthouses on the Atlantic Coast. Here’s your guide to must-see lighthouses on the Seacoast.
New Hampshire Lighthouses
New Hampshire has only 17 miles of shoreline on the Atlantic, so it’s not too surprising that in those 17 miles, there are only two lighthouses. Both lighthouses can be reached by car or viewed from the water in a private boat or on a tour.
Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
Located on the northeastern corner of New Castle Island, Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse marks the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. The lighthouse is easy to see by boat, and its grounds are open to the public, with summer tours of the lighthouse available.
Isles of Shoals Lighthouse
Located on White Island about six miles from Portsmouth, Isles of Shoals Lighthouse is not open to the public for tours, though it’s quite a pretty sight from Appledore Island, which is open to the public.
Maine Seacoast Lighthouses
With over 3,000 miles of tidal coastline (228 miles of “general coastline”), Maine has a lot of room for lighthouses… so it’s got a lot of lighthouses. Here are a few of the ones we think are most worth the visit!
Though it’s technically in Maine, Whaleback Light is located on a tiny island just out from Portsmouth Harbor Light, and can be viewed right from Newcastle, NH. Whaleback Light is constructed entirely of granite, after the original lighthouse was swept away in the early 1800s.
Cape Neddick “Nubble” Light
Not only is it an idyllically beautiful site to behold, Nubble Light is also quite close to the Cape Neddick shoreline, offering visitors an up-close view of the inner workings of a private lighthouse island. Bonus: Nubble Lighthouse is the site of “Christmas in July”, a fan favorite in which the lighthouse gets dressed up in holiday lights—in July.
Boon Island Lighthouse
The tallest lighthouse in Maine, Boon Island Lighthouse stands 173 feet tall. It was constructed in the 19th century after the Nottingham Galley ran aground on its barely-visible shoreline and was marooned during some of the worst winter weather in history. Originally following the tragedy (in the 1700s) a cache of food was left on the island for the next stranded crew, but eventually the lighthouse was constructed to prevent further mishap.
Goat Island Lighthouse
Located a few miles north of York in Kennebunkport, Goat Island Light stands just 25 feet tall and marks the Cape Porpoise Harbor entrance. In the summer, it’s accessible by boat, and it can be viewed any time of year from the end of Pier Road in Cape Porpoise.
Ready to Come Have Some Fun on the Seacoast?
Are you ready to come explore the Seacoast? Then it’s time to contact Jim & Ann. We’re here to help you explore the area, discover its amazing communities in New Hampshire and Maine, and find the perfect home for your needs.