Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: cape neddick

Lighthouses in Maine: Tour (Part 1)

June 15, 2011 by Scott Gile

At our Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast we’ve recently seen quite a few bookings for our specials and packages, especially our Maine Lighthouse Tour package. What is the attraction? Let’s see if we can find out.

First of all, there are over 60 lighthouses in Maine (check out our Maine Lighthouse Map for the locations), so seeing all of them in a day is somewhat challenging – especially when you consider that some are well off-shore! So we’ve made some hard choices, and come up with a tour that will take all day if you do it all, but will take you to seven lighthouses (and you’ll pass tantalizingly close to a few more), and some of the most beautiful and dramatic views along the Maine coast.

Portland Head Light

We begin by getting on Interstate 295 in Freeport, and heading south toward Portland. We’ll exit at Forest Avenue, wind through town a bit, cross the Casco Bay Bridge, and navigate through the beautiful and stately old homes of Cape Elizabeth, until we reach Fort Williams Park. Entering the park (Free Admission!!), we pass old barracks, a playground, the parade ground, and park near the gun battery. We can explore the grounds, including the old stone house, and another fort, or sit on a hill overlooking the lighthouse, watching kites and sailboats. Portland Head was originally commissioned in 1785 and first lighted in 1790. There is a nice museum in the keeper’s house.

Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights)



Turning left as we leave the park, we’ll make our way through Cape Elizabeth to the road which leads to Two Lights State Park, but rather than going into the park, we’ll pass it by and go to the end of the road, where we can see the twin lighthouses known as “Two Lights,” built in 1828. If there’s room, we’ll park in the dirt lot at the end of the road, then walk out the rocks to get a good look back at the towers, and, if the weather is clear, back down the coast to Portland Head Light. Climbing a small bluff, where Two Lights Lobster Shack is located, there is a great view of the lighthouses, and also out across the bay.

Cape Neddick Light (The Nubble)

We have a choice of returning to US-1 to continue south, or getting on Interstate 295/95, but in either case we’ll want to get back to US-1 at Biddeford, then take the drive from Kennebunk to Kennebunkport on Route 35. This pretty drive goes past some beautiful old homes with interesting histories. If you like, you can also take a small detour to Cape Porpoise, hidden away just above Kennebunkport, and home of Goat Island Light, just offshore.

Continuing back to US-1 from Kennebunkport, you pass through several interesting towns – Wells, Ogunquit, York and York Beach, before winding toward the sea and Cape Neddick Lighthouse, built in 1879 (which, interestingly enough, is located in York Beach, not the town of Cape Neddick). The lighthouse is located just offshore on a rocky island, hence the nickname “The Nubble.” The keeper used to cross via boat (and it could be waded at low tide, but that was treacherous, until a gondola and cable system was installed.

Cape Neddick Lighthouse is lighted in white lights at Christmas, but since many who visit there choose to come in warmer weather and would otherwise never see its decoration, it is lighted again for the month of July each year.

In our next installment, we’ll head north of Brewster House to see more lighthouses!

Decorated for Christmas: Nubble Light

December 9, 2010 by Scott Gile


We decided to take our own advice from our previous blog post and visit Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York Beach. Also known as Nubble light, for the small island (“the Nubble”) it sits on, this lighthouse is immediately off shore, and easily viewed from a parking lot at the end of the mainland.

One of the wonderful features of the lighthouse is that it is lighted for Christmas (and again in July, for those unwilling to brave the December chill to see it). It was the Christmas lights we were after on this visit. It was a nice, clear evening, so everything was visible. It wasn’t terribly cold, about 30 degrees F, but the wind was blowing, so it was hard to use a bare hand to work the camera controls!

We arrived at the lighthouse shortly before sunset, and as the sun began to set, the sky behind the lighthouse developed a rose-colored glow.

In the photo above, the sun isn’t quite down and the lights have just come on. You can barely make out the white lights outlining the buildings and the tower.

As darkness begins to fall, the lights are more pronounced, giving the best of the daylight and dark views!

Now that it is dark, the lights making the outlines of the buildings can be clearly seen.

Now that is why we like visiting lighthouses in the winter!

Let’s Look at Lighthouses! Cape Neddick Light (the Nubble)

June 15, 2010 by Scott Gile

Cape Neddick Light, York, MaineQuite a few of Maine’s sixty-plus lighthouses are offshore on islands, making them accessible only by boat or visible only from the air. Cape Neddick Light is one of a few that are on islands, but are easily viewed from shore.

Cape Neddick Light is on a small island known as “The Nubble”, just offshore from Cape Neddick Point (in the village of York Beach, strangely enough, not in the village of Cape Neddick). The lighthouse was first established, and the lantern lit, in 1879. There had been talk of putting a lighthouse on the Nubble since 1807, but even with later wrecks, the decision was that there were enough lighthouses in the area to protect shipping. One of the wrecks, the Isadore, wrecked nearby in 1842, is still said to appear as a ghost ship with a phantom crew.

Perched high on the rocky island, the 41 foot tower puts the light 88 feet above sea level, with its red beacon above the white tower.

Cape Neddick Lighthouse (the Nubble) from the airAt low tide it was sometimes possible to walk between the mainland and the island, but the usual way of crossing was by boat, often tethered to a line across the channel. Supplies (and sometimes people) were transferred by a large bucket suspended from the cable. The lighthouse was a tourist attraction from the beginning, with some keepers earning extra money by ferrying tourists to the island.

The keeper’s house and tower are decorated with white lights for the Christmas season. However, since there are many more visitors in the summer months, the town of York, who maintains the light station, also decorates it again in July.

The Nubble is a bit less than an hour drive from Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, and our guests often enjoy a day trip to Cape Neddick, with side trips to Kennebunkport, Wells, and sometimes Kittery.

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