A classic Maine lighthouse surrounded by colorful granite and crashing waves - it's easy to see why Pemaquid Lighthouse is popular among photographers!

Pemaquid Lighthouse is situated above a spit of granite jutting out into the Atlantic, and it has all the look and feel of a classic Maine lighthouse. For photographers, it's hard to go wrong.

The granite is grained such that all the rocks seem to be pointing towards the lighthouse, so there are leading lines everywhere. Bring a wide angle lens (24mm or wider) and hike towards the tip of the point to catch the ocean waves crashing and the lighthouse in a single scene - you'll also want the wide angle to catch the sunrise over the ocean and the lighthouse in a single scene. Alternatively, get up close to the lighthouse itself and look for roses in bloom (usually in late July) in the foreground. The lighthouse is still actively in use, so go around sunset or during the night to capture the light beams against the evening sky.

As for logistics: It's extremely easy to get to the lighthouse (it's about 500 feet from the parking lot), which makes it a popular tourist attraction especially when there's a full moon or similar event. There is a small charge to park during the day, but if you go after 6 pm when tours are closed it's free. The best angles for photography are found walking past the lighthouse towards the south and shooting back at the lighthouse.

Going at low tide exposes the most of the peninsula and leaves more area to walk around, but there is still plenty of access during high tide. Be sure to check the tides, and keep an eye on what the ocean is doing - sneaker waves are a real threat and the tidal swings in the Gulf of Maine can be enormous. Also, be careful as you walk further down the point - it can get quite slippery! 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Wide-angle lens (16-35 mm would be perfect, and f/2.8 or better if shooting at night)
  • Tripod
  • Headlamp (if going in the evening or pre-dawn)
  • Rain jacket (you can always leave it in the car if you don't need it)
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Activities Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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