Maine: Light my way

You can overnight in the Little River Lighthouse off the coast of Maine. Photo / Thinkstock
You can overnight in the Little River Lighthouse off the coast of Maine. Photo / Thinkstock

Tourists travel to Maine to see the lighthouses along the coast. Many have been preserved in working condition - some you can even stay in.

Pemaquid Point Light

With its dramatic coastal setting at the tip of the Pemaquid Neck, this lighthouse has a beacon that can be seen 14 nautical miles out to sea. Each year about 100,000 visitors come to marvel at this landmark and explore the park grounds, looking out to the Atlantic. In 2003, the people of Maine voted to use the lighthouse's likeness on the state quarter coin.

Goose Rocks Light

Cast-iron Goose Rocks Light in Penobscot Bay stands at the eastern entrance to the busy 1.6km-wide passage of the Fox Islands Thoroughfare. Visitors who want an extended lighthouse stay can sleep here, in return for making a donation, in the Goose Rocks "keepers' quarters" (two bedrooms and a bunkroom can sleep six).

Getting there involves a ferry ride, a motorboat ride and then climbing up an iron rung ladder.

Little River Lighthouse

Off the northeastern part of the Maine coast, in the mouth of the Little River, this is another lighthouse you can stay in from July to the end of September. It involves a boat ride to reach the island. The overnight stays fund restoration projects for the brick tower, encased in steel.

Bass Harbor Head Light

The picturesque Bass Harbor Head Light is at the southern end of Mount Desert Island (reached by road from the mainland). You may look but you can't touch as the former keeper's station is now a private home. It is much photographed, especially at sunset.

West Quoddy Head Light

Visitors can climb the 50 steps to the top of the tower of the distinctive 15m-high red-and-white striped lighthouse at West Quoddy Head, overlooking a strait between Canada and the United States. Built in 1858 on the easternmost point of mainland United States, it is the nation's closest point to Europe.

Further information: See DiscoverAmerica.com for more on visiting Maine.

- NZ Herald

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