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Nubble Light, Maine: A Historic Icon of Coastal Beauty

Perched majestically on a small rocky island off the coast of York, Maine, Nubble Light is a picturesque beacon that has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike for generations. Also known as the Cape Neddick Light Station, this iconic lighthouse stands as a testament to Maine’s rich maritime history and continues to shine as a symbol of resilience and beauty against the rugged backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

A Brief History

a bird standing on a rocky beach with Cape Neddick Light in the background

Nubble Light was first illuminated on July 1, 1879, with a fourth-order Fresnel lens guiding ships along the rocky coast. Its location on Nubble Island, just a few hundred feet from the mainland, made it a crucial navigational aid for ships approaching the York Harbor. Over the years, the lighthouse underwent several upgrades, including the installation of a more powerful light and fog signal, ensuring the safety of vessels navigating the treacherous waters.

The Lighthouse Today

Today, Nubble Light stands as one of the most photographed and visited lighthouses in the United States. Its classic New England design, with its white clapboard tower and red roof, against the backdrop of the deep blue sea, evokes a sense of timeless beauty and charm. The lighthouse is still active, operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, and its light continues to guide mariners along the coast.

Visiting Nubble Light on Land

Visitors to Nubble Light are treated to breathtaking views of the rugged Maine coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is located in Sohier 

Nubble Light In York, Maine

Park, which offers ample parking and picnic areas for visitors to enjoy. The park is open year-round, allowing visitors to experience the beauty of Nubble Light in every season.

In addition to its natural beauty, Nubble Light also boasts a rich history, which is showcased in the nearby Nubble Light Museum. The museum features exhibits on the history of the lighthouse, its keepers, and the role it played in maritime navigation. Visitors can also explore the gift shop, which offers a variety of lighthouse-themed souvenirs and gifts.

Visiting Nubble Light by Sea

While visiting Nubble Light is great the only true way to see her in all her glory is by boat. New England EcoAdventures offers an amazing tour that combines Nubble Lighthouse and Boon Island Lighthouse. This is truly the only way to see Nubble Lighthouse up close and from the sea, the way mariners see her. Learn more about Boon Island Light in this article.

Photography and Sightseeing

Nubble Light’s scenic beauty makes it a favorite subject for photographers and artists. The lighthouse is particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset, when the golden light bathes the rocky island in a warm glow. Many visitors also enjoy simply admiring the lighthouse from afar, taking in its beauty against the backdrop of the rugged Maine coast.

Conservation Efforts

Preserving Nubble Light and its surrounding environment is a top priority for the local community. The Friends of Nubble Light, a non-profit organization, works tirelessly to maintain and preserve the lighthouse and its historic structures. Their efforts ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy this iconic landmark for years to come.


Nubble Light is more than just a lighthouse; it is a symbol of Maine’s maritime heritage and a beacon of beauty along the rugged coastline. Its timeless charm and scenic beauty continue to captivate visitors from near and far, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the beauty of coastal Maine.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply someone seeking a peaceful retreat by the sea, Nubble Light has something to offer everyone. So, the next time you find yourself in Maine, be sure to visit this iconic lighthouse and experience its beauty for yourself.