Crashing waves on enormous rocks and great opportunities for photography bring visitors from all over to see the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. It’s the famous facade on the Maine state quarter after all!
Facing due South, the lighthouse park is run in partnership by the US Coastguard and Bristol Parks and Recreation department. Tide pools, pesticide-free gardens, and picnic tables offer ample entertainment outdoors for lovers of the sea. Visitors can climb the lighthouse tower to the top from 9am-5pm during the Summer season. On view is the elegant and effective Fresnel lens along with the vast expanse of the Gulf of Maine.
Other indoor opportunities include The Fishermen’s Museum, which opened in 1972 to document and share local maritime history. There lies a collection of interesting artifacts involving Bristol’s fishing industry beginning in the 1800s. A giant lobster weighing nearly 40lbs is preserved and on view for admiration! Look forward to a row of handmade nets, old tools, captain’s logs, and articles describing shipwrecks in the area.
Among many of the great features of this 19th century structure - it opened in 1827 - is the ability to rent the lighthouse Keeper’s House year-round. People can also host weddings on the grounds. In fact, yours truly was married at Pemaquid Point in 2012. Here are some images of that grand event:
For art lovers in the area, the Pemaquid Art Gallery provides another worthwhile destination on the same property. It was founded in 1929 and is recognized as the oldest ongoing society of artists in the state of Maine. The collection is juried and organized by the artists themselves and boasts a wide array of mostly Midcoast-themed 2D artwork.
The Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park brings approximately 100,000 visitors to our peninsula annually. Entry fees are low costing $1 for children between the ages of 5 to 11 and $3 for adults. Children 4 and under may enter for free. The park officially opens in May and remains open through October.
It is possible to walk the grounds in the off-season. Though, it is important to make a note for safety - especially when parks and recreation staff are not on the premises. There are no safety barriers to protect visitors from the surf so it is very important for people to be mindful of the environment and to watch every step when out on the rocks. Rogue waves are real!
Pemaquid Point never ceases to amaze. It’s striking and beautiful and certainly worth a day trip and a picnic. Bring a book, a journal, some sunscreen, or a camera. Time spent with ocean sounds and bouncing light is met with arctic birds resting in undulating waves. The good view of rollers coming in clears the mind in the best way. Enjoy!