Cape Elizabeth#6 in Best Things To Do in Portland, ME
Price & Hours
- 3.5Food Scene
Along with the Casco Bay Islands, Cape Elizabeth is a nice daytrip option for those in search of rolling hills and beaches. The town is located about 9 miles south of Portland and is best known for its lighthouses. You may recognize the Two Lights lighthouse, which is featured in Edward Hopper's well-known "The Lighthouse at Two Lights," a painting housed in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cape Elizabeth is also home to the Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park. Commissioned by George Washington in the late 1700s, it's Maine's oldest lighthouse. Portland Head Light is also considered one of the most photographed lighthouses in the U.S., and some even say the entire world.
The area is also home to the beautiful Crescent Beach State Park. The mile-long beach offers gentle waters backed by a spacious shoreline and grassy (and depending on the season, flowery) dunes. From the beach, visitors enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and a lush offshore island. The area is also packed with amenities, including a snack bar, picnic tables, restrooms and a lifeguard (in the summer), making it a popular spot for families.
In addition to these attractions, Cape Elizabeth is a gateway to other popular Portland area beaches. Higgins Beach and Scarborough Beach State Park are both about 6 to 8 miles west of Cape Elizabeth. For more information on Portland area beaches and Cape Elizabeth, visit the Portland tourism board's website.
More Best Things To Do in Portland, ME
#1 Casco Bay Islands
Though beaches are few and far between in Portland, shorelines abound in the nearby Casco Bay Islands. The Casco Bay Islands are a group of islands located off the coast of Portland, six of which are accessible by ferry year-round. Each island has its own personality, history, attractions and activities.
Cliff Island, one of the smallest Casco Bay Islands, is home to only 60 residents year-round and is the only year-round island that features unpaved roads and as such, cars are seldom used. Meanwhile, Great Diamond, which was home to historic Fort McKinley, is lauded for its quintessential Maine landscape and boasts shallow, rocky shorelines backed by lush forests. Cars aren't allowed, so walking, biking or getting around on golf carts are the modes of transportation. You'll find plenty of beaches on this isle, specifically the stunning Diamond Cove, as well as a small museum, a bowling alley and tennis courts. You can make a weekend of it and stay at the Inn at Diamond Cove, which has a host of activities and excellent dining options.
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