Portland Head Light is truly a great lighthouse, located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The light station sits on a head of land looking out towards Portland Harbor. It was completed in 1791, and it is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine. The light station is automated, and the tower, beacon, and foghorn are maintained by the United States Coast Guard, while the former lighthouse keepers' house is a maritime museum within Fort Williams Park. We spent an afternoon there and visited Portland as well, which charmed us too. As you all maybe know I love lighthouses, so this venture was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
An Early Start...This was one of a couple of days of our road trip where we had to start early with the drive. We had a lot of ground to cover. Not only did we visit the Portland Head Light, we also visited Portland, Maine and then headed inland towards North Conway. The sight from our window at the Western Plus Inn in Portsmouth was promising. Clear skies and not too much traffic. Unfortunately the weather would turn for the worse towards the end of the day, but we still got to see everything before the rain arrived.
Portland Head LightI have talked about the fact that there were a few visual sights of New England before we started our journey. The images of the Portland Head Light had been in my mind for 10+ years. I loved Maine even before I ever stepped a foot there. Of course the fresh breeze from the Ocean was the first interaction with the lighthouse. I loved the salty scent in the air. The Atlantic was laid open in front of us, and gazing into the distance was a real treat. Of course the sights closer to us were equally thrilling.
Visiting PortlandThe city of Portland is only a 20 minute drive from the Portland Head Light. We did run into some traffic while heading into the city, but eventually got there in time. Portland is a bigger city, but not too big. If you happen to be driving through or only visiting a short time, I think it's best to head into the Old Port and skip the rest.
Three Dollar Deweys, a cozy pub. The food was ok, we only had small bites here and saved ourselves for dinner later on. We didn't do much in Portland except having lunch and buying some souvenirs. The Old Port is really nice and I loved the red brick buildings, a sight which would greet us later on in Boston.
Our Drive InlandWe finally departed from Portland around 3 in the afternoon and left the Atlantic Coast which had been our guide in the first few days. The drive inland through Maine and New Hampshire was a bit bland at first, since we didn't drive through any interesting towns. But eventually the sights became more interesting as we passed by lakes, woods and more autumn foliage.
Shopping in the Settlers Green OutletWe didn't shop that much during our stay in the USA, because we were more focused on sightseeing, but we did stop at the Settlers Green Outlet in New Hampshire. This outlet is special because there is no sales tax. So you can get high-name-brands cheaper and without tax. You can take a look at the website to take a look at the stores. I got some Timberland boots there (which actually proved to be very useful in the rest of the trip since we did have rainy days).
Arriving in North ConwayWe arrived in North Conway at the end of the day. The shopping outlet is only 10 minutes away from the town. North Conway is very charming and full of fall foliage. We stayed in the Oxen Yoke Motel, which was very nice.
Ninety Nine Restaurant which had great food, and even better deserts. We headed back to our motel and got a great rest which was much needed after this long day.
I will speed this up a bit from here. The next post will truly be a autumn wonderland post! We will head inland through the White Mountain National Forest. As you can imagine there will be fall sights galore in the next post so you can look forward to that. After that only one more post divides us from the first big city of our trip: New York City!
End of Part Five
To be continued...