Lobsters AND Lighthouses along the Coast

Banner Photo credit: Maine Lobster Promotion Council

The Inns Along the Coast have teamed up to create the perfect itinerary for exploring Maine’s true treasures. Celebrate the best of Maine by indulging in fresh Maine Lobster and beautiful coastal Maine lighthouses while staying at beautiful Maine inns along the way. After all, what could be more iconic about your trip to the Maine coast than historic lighthouses and succulent lobster.  The best part about this itinerary is you can experience lobsters and lighthouses from your home base at any of the nine Inns Along the Coast.  Combine a stay at each of the nine Inns Along the Coast into one fabulous tour of Maine’s shoreline, or enjoy them separately. The following itinerary offers up all sorts of ideas for your Maine Coast Lobsters and Lighthouses tour.

Start in Kennebunkport with at stay at Captain Jefferds Inn:

Your self-guided tour starts with accommodations at the Captain Jefferds Inn. Start your day with a delicious home cooked breakfast for two and then sample from any of these wonderful options:

Nubble Light

Nubble Light

  • Take the  Rugosa Lobster Tour “A hands-on lobsterman experience. You’ll haul traps with a real lobsterman and learn about the trade up close and personal.

  • Take a Lobster Roll picnic lunch for two complete with bikes to ride along the coast.

  • Enjoy a lobster dinner at Nunan’s Lobster Hut, the down and dirty way to eat lobster. Grab an Illustrated Map and Guide of Maine Lighthouses and follow it up the coast. Visit the Nubble Lighthouse in York and the Portland Head Light in Portland.

  • Be sure to enjoy a lobster dinner at the Clam Shack or Mabel’s Lobster Claw, both in Kennebunk, and open seasonally usually from April to late October.

  • Take a tour of Wood Island Lighthouse off the Biddeford Coast (July and August only).

  • Visit Two Lights State Park, walk on the rocks and enjoy a lobster dinner on the rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, beneath two lighthouses, the inspiration for Edward Hopper's painting "Lighthouse by Two Lights" .  Follow that up with lunch or dinner at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights to savory some delicious lobster while the waves crash around you.

Venture up the coast to Freeport and stay at the Brewster House B&B:

Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Lunch

Reserve a room at the Brewster House B&B, walking distance from Freeport’s shops and restaurants.  Enjoy a fabulous breakfast served by Chef Dave then head out to explore these options for lobsters and lighthouses:

  • Journey into Portland and marvel at the beauty and the bounty of lighthouse and lobster options. If you haven’t already, visit Portland Head Light, the oldest in Maine and most photographed lighthouse and get the best view of Rams Island Ledge.  

  • In South Portland, take a walk out on the Spring Point Ledge to the Spring Point Lighthouse located on Portland Harbor.  From here, you’ll see views of Bug Light too.  

  • Help the captain hoist the sail or simply relax and watch as the team on the Schooner Alert show you their home around Bailey Island in Harpswell.  This beautifully restored 70' schooner offers 2, 4 or 6 hour excursions along with special events and Full Moon sails June - October.  A special 4- hour Halfway Rock Lighthouse sail gets travelers up close to this privately-owned lighthouse being restored by one of Portland’s residents. and there's a good chance of some harbor seal watching too.

  • A stop at Dolphin Marina & Restaurant for a bowl of lobster stew or their famous chowder will top off the day and remind you why they say Maine, the way life should be.

  • Speaking of lobster, it doesn’t get much more quintessential Maine than Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster, a wonderful lobster shack located in South Freeport.  Enjoy lobsters, clams, lobster rolls and homemade pie while boats bob at the marina’s surrounding it in South Freeport Harbor.

  • Head up to Wiscasset, home of the famous Red's Eats, one of Maine’s most famous lobster shacks.  But be prepared to wait – there’s almost always a line.

  • If there’s a line at Reds, head right across the street to Sprague’s Lobster and enjoy lobster dinners, lobster rolls, clams and clam rolls plus more on the wooden deck overlooking the river.  You’ll dine at picnic tables with red and white awnings.

  • Charter a private excursion with the help of the Brewster House and you'll sail around the Casco Bay after conveniently leaving from the Freeport Town Dock.  Sail from 2-4 hours, enjoy a picnic lunch packed just for you, toast the beautiful sunset or throw in a line and see what bites aboard the Wild Goose.  (Call for more details and help to craft the perfect outing).

Continue up Route One to Newcastle, Maine and the Newcastle Inn:

Explore Damariscotta and Newcastle while staying at the Newcastle Inn.  You’ll enjoy a hearty homecooked breakfast then head out for a day of lobsters and lighthouses including these options:

Pemaquid Point, Bristol

Pemaquid Point, Bristol

  • Travel north and step out onto picturesque Pemaquid Point peninsula to tour the iconic Pemaquid Point Lighthouse and Fishermans Museum in Bristol, Maine, located in the former light keeper’s house.

  • Ride aboard Cap ‘n Fish’s boat tours for scenic views of the 7 lighthouses that surround nearby Boothbay Harbor.  You can also opt for the trap hauling tour and try your hand at hauling lobster traps too.  

  • Charter a boat and head to Sequin Island, off Boothbay Harbor.  You’ll know it by the lighthouse that stands 180 feet atop the island and serves as a beacon for boaters from near and far.  Pull up one of the few moorings maintained for visitors and clamor up the rocks.  You can climb a path to the top of the island and visit the museum in the Friends of Sequin Light Station during the summer months from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

  • Enjoy a lobster dinner or lobster roll by the water at two nearby places: Muscongus Bay Lobster, a family owned lobster co-op open Mother’s Day through Columbus Day, or Pemaquid Lobster Co-op, the oldest continuously operating lobster co-op in America. Both offer a scenic seaside location and just-off-the-boat lobsters to eat in or take home.

Lobsters and Lighthouses in Rockland: Stay at Berry Manor Inn, LimeRock Inn or Granite Inn

In Rockland you get to choose between three historic inns including LimeRock Inn, Granite Inn and Berry Manor Inn.  Each serves up a hearty hand-crafted and locally sourced breakfast for two each morning.  Combine your stay with the following options for exploring lighthouses and lobster in Rockland:

Captain Jack's Lobster Adventure

Captain Jack's Lobster Adventure

  • Visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum where you will enjoy the largest collection of lighthouse lenses and artifacts in the US plus a full complement of displays chronicling lighthouse history.  You’ll also find a fabulous gift shop full of lighthouse-themed items and apparel here too.

  • Ride aboard Captain Jack’s Lobster Boat Adventure where you will spend 1.75 hours on one of the oldest working lobster boats in the area learning about the love and lore of the lobster from a quintessential salty Maine lobsterman.

  • Combine your Captain Jack’s ride with a ride aboard Morning in Maine, a historic schooner, for a day on the bay. You’ll take in views of the Rockland Breakwater and Owl’s Head lighthouses and learn all about Penobscot Bay.

  • Take a scenic drive out to South Thomaston and McLoon’s Lobster Shack, overlooking the most beautiful view of a Maine harbor.  Dine at picnic tables on lobster and clam chowders, dinners and rolls, and watch the lobsterman bring in their haul.  It’s open mid-May through mid-October, weather permitting.

  • The Lobster Shack in Rockland, is known for its famous lobster rolls as well as for homemade side dishes like pickled green beans, rice salad, Asian slaw, corn bread, and clam and fish chowders.

  • The Landings on Commercial Street features its own unique take on crustacean cookery: Lobster Pie. Fresh Maine lobster, fresh corn, and potatoes are combined under a cracker crumb topping and served with grilled crostini. The chefs also combine lobsters with oyster mushrooms, fresh peas, and Arborio rice for a melt-in-your-mouth-delicious risotto. They also serve their version of a lobster BLT.

  • Don’t miss a stop at Archers on the Pier overlooking Rockland Harbor for all sandwiches lobster including a Lobster Rueben, Lobster Melt and the King of Clubs – a lobster club that took first place in a Throw Down with Bobby Flay.

  • Time your visit right and you might just enjoy the Maine Lobster Festival the first week in August, the premier lobster event in the USA. Make your reservations early, this event sells out rooms at the inns each year.

  • Maine Lobsterpalooza follows up in Rockland in September, offering a Lobster Mac n Cheese contest filled with tastings from professional and amateur chefs.

  • Head to Rockland Harbor and take a walk along the famous Rockland Breakwater, a 4300-granite rock pier with the Rockland Breakwater Light at the end. On a beautiful Saturday, you’ll see hundreds of people walking here watching historic windjammers sail to and from Rockland Harbor.

  • In the winter, you won’t want to miss the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree built for the annual Festival of Lights every holiday season.  Featured on America’s Most Extreme Christmas Trees, this tree made of lobster traps is decorated with none other than red and green lobster bouys.

Six Miles up Route One find Lobsters and Lighthouses in Camden and the Hawthorn Inn:

You’ll start your day with a delicious breakfast that’s also a work of art at the Hawthorn Inn.  Next, set out to visit several nearby lighthouses and lobster restaurants.  Since the Hawthorn Inn is so close to the Rockland Inns, these itineraries can be enjoyed from both Rockland and Camden inns:

Windjammer Cruises at Camden Harbor

  • Curtis Island Light marks the entrance to Camden Harbor. It is an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation and is now owned by the Town of Camden. It’s not open to the public but is easy to see on any of the scenic boat tours coming to and from Camden Harbor.

  • Marshall Point Light is another popular lighthouse for visitors and is located at the tip of the St. George peninsula, overlooking both Muscongus and Penobscot Bays. Millions of people all over the world have seen Marshall Point Lighthouse on the big screen, when its wooden catwalk served as the end of Forrest’s run across the country in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump. Visit and take a video of your own Forest Gump run, and bring a camera too.  The Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum is open on the lower floor too.  

  • Owl’s Head Light is now part of Owls Head Light State Park. The grounds are open to the public. The 1854 keeper’s dwelling serves as a residence for Coast Guard personnel and is closed to the public. The bell tower is gone, but the 1895 oil house remains.  It’s at the Southern side of the entrance to Rockland Harbor.

  • Board a classic wooden motor vessel and take a lighthouse or lobster cruise with Camden Harbor Cruises.  You’ll have the chance to haul traps and see many of the beautiful lighthouses that dot the shoreline of Penobscot Bay.

  • Hop aboard a scenic schooner. Schooner Olad and Cutter Owl, Schooner Surprise, the Appledore and the Lazy Jack all offer day tours past the Curtis Island Lighthouse from Camden Harbor.

  • 3-hour sightseeing tours leave from Rockport Harbor on the Schooner Heron. 

  • In Port Clyde, the Monhegan Boat Company can take you on 3 different types of cruises: Scenic sunset, Puffin cruise and the Lighthouse Cruise.

  • A seafood and lobster iconic restaurant, the Lobster Pound, overlooking Lincolnville Beach was recently closed then re-purchased to restauranteurs who plan to continue its legacy as a great lobster and seafood eatery.

  • McLaughlin’s Lobster Shack is another iconic option right on Lincolnville Beach too.  

End your Lobsters and Lighthouses Tour in Bar Harbor at Aysgarth Station B&B or Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B.

You may want to rise early and head to the top of Cadillac Mountain to be among the first to see the sunrise.  You can return in plenty of time to enjoy a sumptuous and well-earned breakfast at Aysgarth Station B&B or Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B.  After that, it’s off to explore the lobsters and lighthouse scene in and around Bar Harbor with these options:

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

  • The entrance to Bass harbor and Blue Hill Bay on the southern end of Mount Desert Island is marked by the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. This iconic lighthouse is one of the most popular attractions in the area and Mount Desert Island’s single lighthouse. On the Baker Island National Park Tour join an Acadia National Park ranger for an island adventure. Leave Bar Harbor and travel by boat nine miles to this uninhabited park island and land by launch. Visit the historic Gilley family farmstead dating back to 1806 and the famous Baker Island Lighthouse - first built in 1828.

  • Take the Lighthouse and National Park Tour. Let the fast 90 ft. jet powered catamaran Bay King III whisk you away to visit five beautiful island lighthouses and a historic lifesaving station then cruise among Acadia's coastal islands and crown jewels;

  • Ask your innkeeper for the highlighted map to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse and nearby walking trails.

  • Dine on the pier at Thurston’s Lobster Pound in Bernard with a view of Bass Harbor.

  • Another option to dine on the pier in nearby Southwest Harbor, Beals Lobster Pier has been in business, serving up fresh Maine seafood, since 1932.

  • Abel’s Lobster Pound serves seasonal lobster & clam offerings in a casual dining room with waterfront seating on the region’s only natural fjord in Somes Sound.

As you can see, there is no shortage of offerings for your lighthouses and lobsters tour.  Your Inns Along the Coast innkeeper is happy to help make reservations and advise you on directions to the lighthouses and lobster opportunities along the coast.  

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Photo by PJ Walter Photography.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Photo by PJ Walter Photography.