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Cape Elizabeth’s enchanting coastline offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and historic charm. It is home to the Portland Head Light, the oldest lighthouse in Maine, as well as numerous smaller lighthouses and state parks. Here you can bike along scenic trails, savor fresh lobster rolls, and gaze over serene ocean views.

Best Things to Do in Cape Elizabeth

Portland Head Light

Within Fort Williams State Park stands the iconic Portland Head Light, Maine’s oldest and most visited lighthouse. This lighthouse was commissioned by George Washington in the late 1700s and was first used to warn citizens of coming British attacks. Today the light is automated, and the Keepers House has been turned into a museum and gift shop.

Portland Headlight

Short walking trails surround the Portland Head Light. Daring visitors can also walk out onto the rocky shoreline to catch another great view of the lighthouse.

Portland Headlight

Portland Headlight

Fort Williams State Park boasts several food vendors, with A Bite Into Maine standing out for its renowned lobster rolls, chowder, and delectable lobster grilled cheeses. Acclaimed by The Food Network, Food & Wine, and USA Today, their offerings provide a delicious culinary experience complemented by the stunning backdrop of Maine’s iconic Portland Head Light.

Fort Williams State Park is open from April – mid November from sunrise to sunset. Parking at Portland Head Light is $2 per hour and $10 per day for all non-residents. Cash and credit are accepted.

Portland Breakwater Light (Bug Light)

Portland Breakwater Light, more commonly known as Bug Light, is a small lighthouse just off the coast of South Portland.

This extensive breakwater has protected the Portland harbor from harsh waves since 1855, though the present lighthouse was later reconstructed in 1875. Today this lighthouse celebrates Maine’s 19th century seafaring tradition. The area around the lighthouse is open to the public, and numerous events take place here year round. Admission to see the Portland Breakwater Light is free.

Bug Light

Bug Light | Wangkun Jia/shutterstock.com

Crescent Beach State Park

Crescent Beach State Park stands out as one of Portland’s premier coastal destinations. Its crescent-shaped shore is perfect for sunbathing, while its light surf makes swimming, watersports and fishing possible. Open throughout the year from 9 am to sunset, the park charges an $8 entrance fee per non-resident adult, accepting both cash and credit.

Crescent Beach State Park

Crescent Beach State Park | Alexey Stiop/shutterstock.com

Two Lights State Park

Two Lights State Park offers a picturesque vantage point to admire the rocky coastline of the Cape. Despite its name, the twin lighthouses are not visible from within the park. Instead, the park offers a tranquil setting for enjoying ocean views. With a history as a World War II coastal defense installation, Two Lights has remnants like bunkers and an observation tower that visitors can explore.

Entrance into Two Lights State Park is a $7 entrance fee per nonresident adult, accepting both cash and credit. The park is open year round from 9am to sunset.


The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

Located just outside Two Lights State Park is The Lobster Shack at Two Lights. This isolated lobster shack sits right along the rocky shoreline, providing sweeping views of the blue coast. It is also in view of one of the area’s lighthouses.

In addition to a great view, this lobster shack is claimed to have one of Maine’s best lobster rolls. We can attest to the claim – the lobster rolls were indeed delicious and incredibly fresh.

Lobster Shack at Two Lights

Getting Around Cape Elizabeth

Travelers will need a car to get around Cape Elizabeth. Parking is available inside of all State Parks for a small fee.

Biking around Cape Elizabeth is also possible, but if you wish to see the whole Cape, the full loop will be around 30 miles. Bikers can follow parts of the Eastern Trail, a bike route that stretches from Canada to Key West. Find more information about Portland Bike Routes here.

How Much Time Do You Need to See Cape Elizabeth?

To explore all three State Parks along Cape Elizabeth thoroughly, plan for at least 4 hours, considering the time spent at each site.

For travelers short on time, the only must-see destination on Cape Elizabeth is the Portland Head Light. Allocate an hour here to fully enjoy this sight.

If you have any questions about the best things to do at Cape Elizabeth, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to New England

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Don’t miss our article about the best things to do in Franconia Notch State Park and how to hike the Franconia Ridge Loop. We also have a guide to 10 great stops along the Kancamagus Highway.

PORTLAND, MAINE: In our Guide to Portland, learn about the best things to do, where to eat, where to stay, and get day trip ideas.

NEW ENGLAND ROAD TRIP: Visit Cape Cod, coastal Maine, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and more in this 12 Day New England Road Trip Itinerary.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK: Check out our Acadia National Park Travel Guide for important travel information, sample itineraries, and how to plan your visit. For a list of must-have experiences, read our article Best Things to Do in Acadia National Park. Go off the beaten path and explore Isle au Haut.

If this is part of a bigger road trip through the USA, visit our United States Travel Guide and our Maine Travel Guide for more inspiration and travel planning tips.

Cape Elizabeth


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