― David Jones
If you were going to spell Maine any other way, it would be N-U-B-B-L-E. Built in 1879 and turned into the pride of York, in 1997, there’s something so awe-inspiring Nubble Lighthouse. Every time I visit, the crashing waves and lively wildlife sends me back to the lobster-filled picnics of my childhood.
The Nubble Lighthouse brings all the beauty of the Maine coastline into a scenic stop less than a half hour from the border of New Hampshire. I found myself in a childlike trance trekking the rocky cliffs and tidal pools – of course with my camera in hand.
Nubble Lighthouse is a free park that’s accessible all year long. The gift shop and accompanying visitors center are open seven days a week from May to October, 9am-7am. With a newly completed parking lot renovation, there is room for over 50 cars all within eyesight of the lighthouse. For such a popular spot, I was pleasantly surprised at the fairly large number of available picnic tables throughout, as well as ample restrooms to take advantage of. I found it best to meander down the rocky cliffs at low tide to explore the tidal pools teaming with small crabs and oysters intertwined in the algae. The only downside, when compared to other parks, is the lack of hiking trails – this is a quick stop. Luckily, York Beach is right down the road, so you could still make a day of it.
Weather depending, the more adventurous souls can enjoy world-renowned scuba diving in the clear waters between the island and shore. High visibility in the water allows stunning views of kelp, starfish, crabs and of course…lobster! The water stays in the mid 50’s even in the summer, so bring a wetsuit for sure.
Exploring can be tiring, so it’s a real treat to be able to walk to the postcard town of York Beach and enjoying Maine cuisine at the various restaurants in town. The best time to go is surprisingly right after most people leave; October 19th is the annual Harvestfest in the town, and one of the largest around. Enjoy the lighthouse early before jumping into the parade or the pumpkin carving contest. Being one of the most picturesque lighthouses in Maine, Nubble Lighthouse is a must-do (and as you’ll see the many, many tourists taking pictures with the lighthouse backdrop – I think others who’ve been would agree).
Shots from Nubble Lighthouse
Where Is It?
For the scenic route with the least amount of traffic, get off I-95 at the Kittery Trading Post and take US-1 N toward York. When you get to Long Sands Road, take a right and follow it until you see the water. At the T, hang a left on Long Beach Rd. This will take you all the way to parking lot.
Sohier Park Rd, York, ME 03909
(Plus Code: 5C85+4G York, Kittery, ME)
What else is nearby?
Travel is the best kind of education so go get lost, even if it’s just outside your own doorstep! Here are some more of our favorite places right next door!
- York Beach
- Mount Agamenticus
- Odiorne Point State Park