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 Lighthouse Database » North America » USA » Maine

Portland Head Light
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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Average Rating: 
Lighthouse Rating
 9.5 (4 reviews)

Recommended By: 100% of reviewers

General Information
Date Established: 1791
Date Present Tower Built: 1791
Date Automated: 1989
Height of Tower: 80 ft.
Height of Focal Plane: 101 ft.


Distance from You:
Zip Code:

Open to Public?: Grounds only

Related Links
Official Website
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*Photos on this page are the property of Cary, unless otherwise noted, and may not be downloaded or used without permission from the copyright owner.

Portland Head Light, one of the world's most photographed lighthouses, began construction in 1787 under the order of George Washington. Despite concern over making a four year deadline, the beacon was first lit on January 10, 1791.

Portland Head is one of four colonial lighthouses that still has its original tower intact. It stands 80 feet above the grounds in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, ME, at the entrance to Portland Harbor.

Submitted by: Cary Date of last review: Tue Mar 9, 2010 Views: 6179

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Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 46
Review Date: Wed Jul 26, 2006 Would you recommend the lighthouse? Yes | Rating: 9 

Pros: Breathtaking view, easy to access
Cons: Can't view lighthouse outside of park hours

This lighthouse is positively beautiful and definitely worth a trip out to it. Just a warning, although the lighthouse has an amazing view from all sides and even up close, you cannot enter the park until usually well after sunrise, so don't expect to take any amazing sunrise shots.

Oh- although we visited in early May 2006, I have heard that while it was free then, there is now a $4.50 fee to enter the park. It's still worth it if you ask me!!
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Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 53
Review Date: Mon Aug 28, 2006 Would you recommend the lighthouse? Yes | Rating: 10 

Pros: You can see 2 lighthouses at the same time. The park is pet friendly and is a beautiful spot to picnic,
Cons: There are no garbage cans, so whatever you bring in, you must take it with you.

Is definitely worth a trip from anywhere.
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Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 13
Review Date: Mon Aug 28, 2006 Would you recommend the lighthouse? Yes | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful shoots

You a wonderful talent. can't wait til I see what you have to come.
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Joined: 6 Mar 2008
Posts: 16
Review Date: Tue Mar 9, 2010 Would you recommend the lighthouse? Yes | Rating: 9 

Pros: Beautiful location, easy to get to
Cons: Closed before sunrise and after sunset

Be aware that they will kick you out at Sunset, and the gate is locked until sunrise. When I visited in Feb 2010, the cops did not open the gates until about an hour after sunrise. However, if you leave enough time, you can park in the neighborhood and walk through the gates to enjoy sunrise at this lighthouse. IMHO, it photographs MUCH better at Sunrise than sunset.

I have never encountered a fee to enter this park.
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