The lighthouses scattered across Maine hold an air of mystery. These historic structures have kept mariners safe for generations, but now their towers are usually closed to guests except for one special day out of the year. Locals and visitors from all over the world wait patiently for Maine Open Lighthouse Day. During this annual event, over two dozen Maine lighthouses are open to the public for viewing! This is only a one-day event that usually takes place in September, so make sure you check this year’s date. Plan your trip around all the things to see and do in Deer Isle, ME, including visiting all the nearby lighthouses. You don’t want to miss this rare opportunity to climb the ancient spiral staircases and learn about these incredible historic landmarks.
Maine Open Lighthouse Day Tours
Isle Au Haut Boat Services
To celebrate this occasion, Isle Au Haut Boat Services offers a special cruise to see some of the lighthouses the way they were meant to be seen–from the water! This tour is spread out over two days; the first day takes passengers to 6 lighthouses, the second day takes passengers to 4. On this day each year, their boat tour takes guests to Isle Au Haut Light where they get to go ashore for a guided tour, giving guests the chance to go inside the lighthouse. This is a rare opportunity because the tower is usually closed to visitors!
Deer Isle Lighthouse Trail
The Deer Isle Lighthouse Trail is a Maine lighthouse driving tour that you can take any time of year. It outlines where the properties are located and where they can be viewed. However, on Maine Open Lighthouse Day, many of these towers can actually be toured! The lighthouses featured are found on a 12-mile stretch that can easily be seen all in one day.
Maine Open Lighthouse Day Lighthouses
There are many lighthouses that will be open for Maine Open Lighthouse Day, but here are a few of our favorites:
Portland Head Lighthouse
The Portland Head Lighthouse is located in Cape Elizabeth. This is one of the most popular and well-photographed lighthouses on the Eastern Seaboard and features a spiral staircase leading up to the tower. The adjacent gift shop and the interior museum will give you additional information about its history, along with souvenirs of your visit!
Owls Head Lighthouse
The Owls Head Lighthouse offers some scenic camera-ready views from its stairway up to the tower. This land-based lighthouse is easy to get to in Owls Head near Rockland Harbor. This lighthouse has saved many lives but is no longer in use. The keeper’s house is now used by a Coast Guard family!
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
You can access the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse for this annual occasion via a mile-long walk out along an adventurous breakwater. This station’s historic light tower and cozy keeper’s house with colorful turquoise shutters are now owned by the City of Rockland.
Grindle Point Lighthouse
The Grindle Point Lighthouse is one of the most unique Maine lighthouses because of its interesting form. While most towers are cylindrical in shape, this structure is more rectangular. A museum and gift shop are located inside this featured participant to tell you even more about this historic property. To get to this lighthouse, take the Maine State Ferry from Lincolnville to Islesboro.
Dyce Head Lighthouse
Located in the quaint town of Castine, not far from Deer Isle, the Dyce Head Lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation. In 2007, residents of the town suggested installing a light to keep the tower shining after it experienced over 70 years of darkness. The historic property is managed and kept up by the Town of Castine.
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse
Explore the light tower of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. This lighthouse is an active navigational aid for the United States Coast Guard. Its magnificent fourth-order Fresnel lens is its most noticeable feature!
Monhegan Island Lighthouse
To get to Monhegan Island Lighthouse, you need to take a ferry from New Harbor or Boothbay Harbor. You may even get to see a unique Art Exhibition on display at the assistant keeper’s house!
Stay at Pilgrim’s Inn for Maine Open Lighthouse Day
After a busy day touring Maine’s beautiful coastal landmarks on Maine Open Lighthouse Day, come back to Pilgrim’s Inn for the best night’s rest of your life. The views from our property will leave you in awe of the natural beauty found in Deer Isle. Our accommodations boast unparalleled comfort and elegant decor. Stay in one of our spacious rooms or book a stay in a cozy cottage. We look forwarding to hosting you!