Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light
5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Although Maine’s oldest lighthouse is closed to the public, there’s plenty to do within the grounds of Fort Williams Park. Stop by the adjacent museum to learn about the lighthouse’s history and enjoy the lawns—perfect for a picnic as you watch boats entering and leaving the harbor. You can also hike one of the trails along the rocky shore or explore several ruins within the former Fort Williams, which include two batteries, a powerhouse, and a bunker. More adventurous travelers can snorkel or scuba dive at the stunning Ship Cove. – Tripadvisor
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  • Travelers0076
    Suffolk, Virginia75 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing Views
    Absolutely beautiful park and views! This park is gorgeous and a great place to spend a couple of hours for a nice, long walk to enjoy the weather. It is free, which was surprising (had to pay for the museum if you choose to go in). My husband and girls enjoyed climbing on the rocks there and looking in the tide pools on the rocks. There are a couple of food trucks (bring cash) that were there selling lobster rolls and coffee. Be aware the trucks are really expensive even for a touristy area. The neighborhood to get to this lighthouse was absolutely gorgeous! Breathtaking houses, views, and just a beautiful area in Portland. Highly recommend if you go here to drive a little further to Cape Elizabeth to see the Two Heads Lighthouse..another beautiful view (parking is tight) and grab a lunch at the Two Heads Lobster Shack (parking close together but separate). We shared a Lobster Roll and my girls wanted the homemade strawberry rhubarb pie! Both delicious. Prices were not bad and they had lots of options but we just wanted a snack.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 18 July 2023
  • Lee L
    84 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice lighthouse and park
    It was a nice place to visit. Our flight was delayed so we didn't get there until after the lighthouse was closed, would have loved to see it. The security guards started telling people to leave 20 minutes before closing, made the last 20 minutes of our visit rushed. Next time we will plan to make a day of it and walk the trails and bring a picnic lunch.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 27 July 2023
  • Sdjtravels
    Louisville, Kentucky80 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great for pictures!
    We visited in August during a one night stop to catch a plane. It was rainy but still a nice stop with some beautiful photographs. We enjoyed shrimp tacos and clam chowder from a good truck while there. Had it not been raining we would have stayed longer. Definitely worth going to.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 August 2023
  • Christina
    Windsor, Virginia115 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning!
    Portland Head Lighthouse is stunning and not to be missed! The lighthouse is inside a public park that charges to park and depending on where you park, you could experience a bit of a walk. Food trucks are available but check for hours of operation. Picnic tables are also available so bringing your own meal could be great. The space is wide open a can be windy. The lighthouse is very popular so brave for crowds. Dogs are allowed on leash. The lighthouse itself has been very well maintained considering its age and its exposure to the elements. Be sure to explore the property from as many angles as you can. It is truly spectacular!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 August 2023
  • ITRT
    44,720 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Must Visit
    It’s easy to see why Maine’s oldest lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse. The lighthouse is owned by the town of Cape Elizabeth and is adjacent to Fort Williams Park. George Washington commissioned the lighthouse in 1787 and is only open for visitors one day a year during Maine Lighthouse Day in September. A small museum displaying artifacts, Fresnel lenses, photographs etc. is in the keeper’s house and there is a small admission charge. On the grounds, a plaque pays tribute to Wadsworth and his poem “The Lighthouse”. Wadsworth frequently visited Portland Head. An original fog bell used in the lighthouse is also displayed. Waves crashing over the unique rock formations that look like petrified wood add to the beauty and awesome scenery of Portland Head Light. Friendly and great customer service.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 24 September 2023
  • Sandy Byrum S
    Mount Airy, North Carolina3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Portland Head Lighthouse visit is great!
    The Portland Head Light was perfect for walking, getting steps, and taking pictures. The weather was perfect, and the pictures were very numerous. The city owns the park of Fort Williams. There is no admission, but one does pay for parking $5.00 for 2 hours, etc. There are 4 parking lots, lots of paths, and grass to get to the views. I saw no flush toilets but there were a lot of Port-a-johns. We saw 2 food trucks but didn't buy food. We had a picnic. There are picnic areas everywhere. Whatever trash you take into the park, you need to take out of the park. There was a museum right at the Lighthouse. It cost a few dollars and was so crowded one couldn't really get in the door. Under those circumstances, we stayed outside and took lots of pictures from numerous advantage points. I bought a tiny snow globe at the gift shop. I noticed the same snow globe cost more than twice as much at the airport when we left the next day. The lighthouse is on the furthestmost point of land or the Portland Head. Then they make the title shorter by calling it the Portland Head Light, leaving off the "house" of lighthouse.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 September 2023
  • colleen T
    Charlotte, North Carolina38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Instagram worthy
    Stunning views, Instagram worthy. There were incredible rose bushes all around the place. You can get lobster rolls here, so so good. Don't pay for parking, it isn't enforced. There are signs and a machine outside to pay for parking but I was there for an hour and never saw any enforcement of any kind, just little old men directing traffic. This whole place is privately owned
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 30 September 2023
  • Chloe Thomas
    Russell Springs, Kentucky1,517 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best Views Near Portland!
    When in the area, make sure to stop by the Portland Head Light. You’ll be sure to get some of the best views in the area. There’s even a few small trails you can take for a change in scenery. We only spent about an hour hear but could have made a day out of it picnicking and people watching.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 October 2023
  • Christy
    Charlotte, North Carolina242 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see!
    Lovely site! I have always loved lighthouses and this one is spectacular. Easy access and lots of area to take photos. Scenery is so beautiful- crowds were light and many folks were very interested to meet our dog who was traveling with us!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 October 2023
  • Rashae Williams
    Yardley, Pennsylvania42 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely experience, would come back again
    We loved our experience here! Parking was cheap, we walked around right up to the lighthouse and the other views and spots were so pretty and perfect. History and plaques were interesting, and we got dinner at Bite into Maine food truck right across the street. Beautiful place and could have stayed longer just sitting and listening to the ocean, enjoying the view.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 October 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles2,447 reviews
Excellent
2,011
Very good
372
Average
55
Poor
3
Terrible
6

Sophie
Boston, MA33 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
On visiting today at about 4:00, I was really disappointed – and equally shocked – to find that while the park is open until dusk, the museum is only open until 2:00 on weekdays! I don't think they do a good job explaining that on their website at all. So all I was able to do was walk a trail along a craggy beach, which apparently is thrilling for some people, but I'm the sort of person who wants to have something to focus on and learn about when I sightsee, so in the words of the great philosopher Shania Twain: that don't impress me much.

The lighthouse itself isn't open to the public at all, which is a pity, but I'm sure there's good reason for it (money and/or safety), so it doesn't upset me. A museum that's only open four hours a day, though... I get that things are different in the late-pandemic era, but at a bare minimum they need to do a better job messaging that on their website.
Written 16 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

janiewa
Punta Gorda, FL521 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
How wonderful that a lovely site like this is maintained by the community! The lighthouse is picture perfect in every way and the surroundings are beautifully maintained. The museum is very informative (and super reasonable at $2/person) and the gift shop has a great selection. I would definitely put this site at the top of the list for places to visit in Maine!
Written 16 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

W2322CLjennifers
Smithfield, VA61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
What a fantastic lighthouse to visit! Although you cannot climb the lighthouse, there is a museum with extensive displays that is only a few dollars to see. For those of us with lighthouse passport books, you can get four stamps as there are other lighthouses within view of Portland Head Light. There is a small gift shop. And of course, the lighthouse is amazing and beautiful to photograph! There is a rocky beach to explore, and also Fort Williams is adjacent to the lighthouse. A must-see for any lighthouse hunter! Tip: Check the museum hours before you go. They closed at 2 pm the day we went.
Written 20 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lady Gigglemug
Monrovia, CA4,479 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Business
Said to be the inspiration for Longfellow’s poem The Lighthouse! I can see why, to be sure! A fantastic example of a Victorian lighthouse...and the keepers house was adorable and quaint as well. Shame it wasn’t open! Supposedly the keepers were friends of Longfellow!

I caught the lighthouse on a gloriously sunny, breezy and cool New England day! The island was peaceful yet buzzing with a few tourists, the water calm and crystal clear blue, the breeze perfect in strength and temperature! Made for a lovely little hike around the grounds!

It’s easy to find. There’s plenty of parking but you have to pay - I found out as I was leaving...the tiny little “pay station” is obscure and poorly marked so be aware. I didn’t see any widespread signs either so had no idea.

So many little trails and nooks and crannys to explore! I could’ve happily stayed all day! There was even a Mainer man in the parking lot selling his artwork!

Lots of great areas for photos...from all angles. I also stumbled upon a gelato stand and some other little buildings - closed for the season - but this would be idyllic in summer time, no doubt! Must revisit!
Written 15 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bill925
Madison, AL423 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
The lighthouse is a popular spot so best to get there early or late in the day. I would have given it five stars but there is a security guard riding around on a cart with a bull horn right before sunset telling everyone to leave. I am a professional photographer and was there on a night when a full moon was going to rise, but not able to get the shot since everyone was run out.
Written 12 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melanie T
New York City, NY6,677 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
Portland Head is supposedly the most photographed lighthouse in the country (or world?). And it was a pretty sight to see. They have a coastal walking trail. However, you can only see the lighthouse from certain angles. Parking is $2 an hour but just make sure you check opening/closing times because I believe the lot does close. We came at around 1:30 on a Monday and while the lot was pretty full, we were still able to find a spot. But of course, as with any tourist attraction, the earlier you go the better.
Written 10 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roberts69
Northampton, UK18,929 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Visited Portland Head Lighthouse in Feb 2020 when there was snow all around so we had the Fort Williams Park and the lighthouse all to ourselves. This really is a very picturesque lighthouse and it is also the oldest lighthouse in Maine. Construction began in 1787 at the directive of George Washington, and was completed on 10th January 1791. In those days whale oil lamps were used for illumination. Today the light station is automated, and the tower, beacon, and foghorn are maintained by the US Coast Guard. The former lighthouse keepers' house is a maritime museum but this was not open when we were there. This historic lighthouse is definitely worth a visit and looked particularly beautiful in the snow, even if rather cold.
Written 31 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aud E
Grafton, MA558 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
We arrived the Portland Head Light and were greeted by a great staff member who advised us of how to traverse the park, what directions to look in for all the noteworthy sights on their cliff walk. He was spot on (I think his name was Tony) and we really enjoyed our time touring the park. While we were there, we also had the additional sights of the leftover surf from Hurricane Teddy, heading to Nova Scotia. Nice park to visit and easy cliff walk with scenic ocean views.
Written 27 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ThomasTCat
St. Louis, MO755 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We now know why this is the most photographed lighthouse in the country. The craggy coastline in front of the lighthouse and the picturesque lighthouse itself is so beautiful. It began operation in 1791 and was authorized by President George Washington, so it is very historic. You have to pay for parking and rest rooms are port-a-potties, but this is a must see sight. The trolley tour stops here so we went back a second time and during that visit there were military men in full uniform standing at attention at the top of the lighthouse as a flyover of six military planes passed overhead. What an amazing sight! Beautiful view of Casco Bay, it is located in Fort Williams Park and it has a museum and walking paths. This is definitely Maine at its best!
Written 6 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gladysbarros66
Connecticut295 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
The Portland Head Light was such an incredible sight the closer you walked towards it. The light was shining bright in the mist. Every visitor was respectful of one another and wore their masks. The ground were well kept. It was a nice adventure for the last weekend of summer vacation.
Written 2 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Portland Head Light - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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