Lighthouses in Portland, Maine

For our second day trip to Portland, Maine, we had the opportunity to see some of the local attractions and lighthouses. We started day at Holy Donut who’s secret donut ingredient is … potatoes. Almost all materials are made fresh with locally sourced supplies such as Maine blueberries (the state fruit), local butter, and (of course) potatoes.  I can honestly say that I have not tried anything like them before, but they were worth the 30-40 minute wait. We ended up getting four donuts: Maine blueberry, maple bacon, toasted coconut, and chocolate caramel. They were so light and full of flavor.  You cannot go to Portland without trying these donuts. 

Fun Fact: Holy Donut donates any donuts that are left over to local organizations. 

After sitting down to eat our donuts and drink our coffee, we walked the streets of downtown Portland. The downtown area has so many things to explore. I think the food scene alone is outstanding, Bon Appétit rated Portland with The 2018 Restaurant City of the Year Award, with numerous restaurants receiving multiple awards. Portland has an ever growing art scene, and there are has many art galleries and museums to prove it. 

One of the historical points of interest in the art district of downtown Portland is the Our Lady of Victories statue, which honors those from Portland who lost their lives in the Civil War. Interesting to find out the base pedestal, which is made of granite and smaller bronze sculptures, was designed by Richard Hunt who created the base for the Statue of Liberty (PortlandPublicArt). Other significant points of interest include Portland City Hall, and United States Custom House. There is also Wadsworth-Longfellow House and Garden which was added as a national historic landmark in 1962. The house was donated to the Maine Historical Preservation to commemorate the family and the famous poet himself. Sadly, we missed going to Wadsworth-Longfellow House and Garden, however we plan visit Portland again and this location is on my list!

After seeing the downtown area, we then made our way to as many lighthouses as we could.  Pro Tip: Wear appropriate footwear depending on the time of year you go. They should be easy to walk in. Sneakers are great for the summer, while duck boots and rain boots are great for the fall and the winter. Some sites can be muddy and uneven.  A rain jacket is also another great item to bring because mist can be heavy. No one wants damp clothes all day. 

Bug Light Lighthouse: The first lighthouse we stopped at was Bug Light Lighthouse, which overlooked Portland’s harbor. I loved seeing the sailboats in the distance. A boat launch is very close by, so we saw many people coming and going. Dogs are permitted at this lighthouse, so feel free to bring your furry friend. Near the lighthouse is Liberty Ship Memorial, which was made as a memorial for the liberty ships made for World War II at Portland’s shipyard. 

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse:  The second lighthouse we visited was Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse which was a mile from Bug Light Lighthouse. There is very limited parking at this lighthouse, however it is worth the time searching for a spot because it is a unique experience walking along a stone path over the water to get to the lighthouse. This lighthouse is open for tours inside, but we were not able to do the tour because it was closed due to COVID-19. From the lighthouse on a clear day, you can see Fort Gorges in the distance. From what I hear you can kayak to the fort which makes for a great picnic area. Fort Gorges has tours as well. 

Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park: We took a 12 minute drive from Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse to Portland Head Light. The Portland Head Lighthouse is the most picturesque lighthouse I have ever seen. Everything from the crashing of the waves on the rock formation, to the moody mist covering the park made this lighthouse a must see destination if you visit Portland. There is a museum located in the former lighthouse keeper’s house. The entire part is 90 acres, so be prepared to spend some time here to see all of the sites, which included a cliff side walk, Goddard Mansion, a beach area, and Battery Blair. There are numerous parking spaces around the park, but beware, they are metered so you do have to pay to park. Pro Tip: You can pay in one section of the park and then move your car because the meters cover the entire park. 

There is a food truck called Bite into Maine that is located in the park. This food truck has a variety of different lobster rolls. I got the Connecticut and Sam got the chipotle. Both were freaking delicious. This food truck has been featured on Food Network, Yahoo, and Yelp for some of the best lobster rolls around … and I agree. 

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse: Our last stop for the day was the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse that built in 1874. It is privately owned and is not opened to the public. Fortunately, you can get a good view of this lighthouse at the end of Two Lights Road. While there, you can take a walk along the small beach area or rock formations. If you weren’t hungry at the last stops, don’t fret. I heard The Lobster Shack at Two Lights is fantastic. 


References:

Our Lady of Victories (The Portland Sailors and Soldiers Monument). https://www.publicartportland.org/project/our-lady-of-victories-the-portland-sailors-and-soldiers-monument/

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