The Lighthouse Route
Concierge.com's insider take:
For lighthouse aficionados, driving the 400-mile length of Route 1 between Kittery (at the southern tip of Maine) and Fort Kent (at the Canadian border) is a rite of passage. The two-lane road follows the rugged, rock-strewn coast and delivers beacon hunters to four of the state's most iconic lighthouses. The first stop is Cape Neddick in York, just north of the New Hampshire border. Better known as Nubble Lighthouse, the 40-foot tower was built in 1878 and is still in operation. A 45-mile drive north and a short detour into picturesque Cape Elizabeth brings you to Portland Headlight. Commissioned by George Washington in 1791, it is Maine's oldest lighthouse, and it may look familiar if you've seen Edward Hopper's 1927 watercolor portrait of it in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Another 60-mile jaunt north, in Bristol, is Pemaquid Point, a quaint lighthouse of whitewashed brick. And one last 100-mile haul brings you to Acadia National Park, where Harbor Bass Light is located on a cliff on Mount Desert Island. In the heat of summer, Route 1 is notoriously jammed with bumper-to-bumper traffic, particularly around popular vacation towns like Ogunquit and Old Orchard Beach. Use I-95 or I-295 to speed along your journey.