• Portland to Pemaquid Point, Maine: Lighthouses and Lobster

      106 Miles - 3 hours to 3 days

      Rich in seafaring heritage, Maine boasts over 5,000 miles of coastline and 2,000+ coastal islands. It pays to focus on one region at a time. Portland is the jumping off point for this microcosm of Americana route sure to please old salts and lobster lovers. It's a little over 100 miles. You can drive it in less than three hours, but why rush?

      Heading north from Portland, these are some of the highlights to look out for along the way:

      Portland, Maine (Starting Point)
      Not-to-be-missed before hitting the road: Portland Head Lighthouse, commissioned in 1790 by President George Washington. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem "The Lighthouse" was inspired by Portland Head.

      Freeport (mile 17)
      From Portland, head north on I-295/US-1 toward Freeport. This is LL Bean country. Buy everything needed for the outdoors and gifts for the whole gang at impressive discounts. Hone outdoor skills with free seminars at the massive LL Bean Flagship Store.

      Phippsburg Peninsula (mile 40)
      Take a brief detour off U.S. Hwy 1 on Route 209 South along the 10-mile Phippsburg Peninsula. Step back in time at Fort Popham, built during the Civil War to stand guard over Bath’s shipbuilding industry.

      Maine Maritime Museum (mile 46 mile)
      Follow Route 209 N to back to Bath, the “City of Ships.” From 1894 to 1920, Percy & Small Shipyard built 41 wooden schooners including the Wyoming, the largest wooden sailing vessel ever launched in the U.S. This historic shipyard is part of the acclaimed Maine Maritime Museum, next door to mega- shipbuilder Bath Iron Works, the “World’s Greatest Present Day Shipyard.”

      Boothbay Harbor (mile 76)
      Exit Highway 1-N at picture-postcard perfect Boothbay Harbor. Park the car and hop aboard The Argus for the Cabbage Island Clambake – an old-fashioned clam/lobster bake with all the trimmings. Hike Monhegan Island, It’s an excellent vantage point for spotting whales. Need a road break? Blue Heron Inn and Harbour Towne Inn offer Maine-style ambience and amenities.

      Pemaquid Point (mile 106)
      Follow the circuitous route off Highway 1-North to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Perched high on granite cliffs carved by the sea, this historic lighthouse is the beacon pictured on the Maine quarter. The view is worth the climb to the top. Work up an appetite scampering along the cliffs. Appease hunger with a lobster roll at Shaw’s Fish and Lobster Wharf (Ranked in the Top 10 Best Lobster Shacks in Maine) in the nearby New Harbor fishing village.

      Granite cliffs carved by ages of pounding surf
      offer dramatic photo ops at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse..

      Comments 1 Comment
      1. Mark Sedenquist's Avatar
        Mark Sedenquist -
        Maine is one of those incredible states where it is so easy to get distracted and, if you have the time, can find so many compelling reasons for just moseying. Unlike Highway One in California, you need to be open for unexpected detours when traveling the similar coastal route in Maine. The best roads don't tend to connect easily.