Family birthday parties, photo shoots, picnics, dog walking and sledding are just a few of the many memories and reasons I visit Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park.
1) The Fame
As one of the most photographed, painted and visited lighthouses in the country, it is no wonder locals and tourists flock to Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth year after year.
From children to adults, everyone seems to be mesmerized by the surroundings of Portland Head Light. It could be the waves crashing against the jagged rocks, the lights flashing from the tall tower top and the strong structure that still stands after so many years. The lighthouse tower stands at 80 feet tall and 101 feet above the water and the beacon can be seen for 24 nautical miles.
2) The History
Wondering how it all began? The history dates back to 1787, while Maine was still part of the state of Massachusetts,
President George Washington directed the construction and engaged two masons from the town of Falmouth, Jonathan Bryant and John Nichols, and instructed them to take charge of the construction of a lighthouse on Portland Head.
It was completed on January 10, 1791 using a fund of only $1,500.
The tower was raised 20 feet in 1861 during the American Civil War to sight ships as soon as possible. Looking to learn more facts about the history of the lighthouse? There is a museum open to the public from late April through December inside the 1891 keeper’s quarters, where you can view several lighthouse lenses and displays.
3) The Adventure
If you are feeling really adventurous, plan ahead to be one of only a couple hundred people allowed 1 day a year to go inside and climb Portland Head Light. September 14 marks the Maine Open Lighthouse day for 2019 to experience an insider’s look at the famous lighthouse.
4) The Food
Hungry for a Maine lobster roll finished off with the Maine dessert of choice, whoopie pies? You are in luck! Fort Williams has 2 food trucks parked daily during the season to offer a taste of Maine.
5) The Memories
So if you’re a tourist planning a trip to Maine and want to go where the locals go… or maybe you’re a local looking for a day to be in nature and explore the treasured symbol of our city.
Visit Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park, Maine’s oldest operating lighthouse, and explore like never before with Portland Explorer Tours!