Lighthouse aficionados will love this tour of three historic beacons on Portland's rocky coastline, including Maine's oldest lighthouse.
Depart from the pier and drive through historic Portland and past the Eastern Promenade, a grassy reserve that slopes gently to Casco Bay. The views are spectacular, as are the architectural landmarks that follow, such as the Portland Observatory and New Arts District.
Before long, you'll arrive at Bug Light, an elegant cast-iron lighthouse with Corinthian columns that was modeled after an ancient Greek monument. Only 26 feet high, it was built in 1875 and soon became known as the "Bug" because of its small size. The lighthouse is the focal point of Bug Light Park, where you'll also see the Liberty Ship Memorial, which commemorates the more than 250 supply ships that were built here during World War II.
Close by lies Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, a "sparkplug"-style lighthouse made of brick on a cylindrical cast-iron caisson. It was built in 1897 in response to the many vessels that ran aground on the dangerous ledge there. Now connected to the land by a breakwater, the lighthouse initially had a kerosene-fueled lantern that was electrified in 1934.
A bit further south on Cape Elizabeth's rocky shore, you'll see Maine's oldest lighthouse. First illuminated in 1791, Portland Head Light also contains a museum in the former keeper's quarters. Inside, you'll discover much about the area's maritime history and how the lighthouse played a key role through permanent exhibits that display original artifacts and photos. Afterwards, you'll make the scenic one hour drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy to moderate walking that includes a few steps and some gravel surfaces. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.