Portland Headlight // Romantic and spooky postcard

Le phare de Portland, MaineTen days ago, we spent the weekend in Portland, Maine. We loved the Headlight park on Cape Elizabeth. This is typically the kind of landscape that makes me want to live in exile from society. With wind in my hair.

Le phare de Portland, Maine 1

Maine is known as the Lighthouse State, there are more than 60 along the coast.  Thee are 5 of them just in Portland. Two great projects I really need to consider when I retire:

  • going on a tour along the New England coast to take pictures of all the lighthouse, starting in Rhode Island, and going up north until the Canadian border. He! that’s fun. Most of them are closed to the public, but the really chic thing to do it to see the view.
  • sleeping in a lighthouse. I can completely picture it: blue and white stripes pillows, sandals, spiral staircase and picnic with rosé wine in front of my temporary house. I could do it in some of them, even if it’s pretty pricey and it would require to book in advance. (see here Little River Lighthouse, or there Pemaquid Point Light).

Le phare de Portland, Maine 2 Le phare de Portland, Maine 4

Lighthouse are such clichés:

  • they always look like postcards.
  • they always look romantic. The path along the rock is narrow and dangerous, it smells like ocean, and we feel small facing all this immensity. 100% cliché.
  • they are quintessential spooky-ness, specially on a day like that when the weather was threatening (pretty word to say cold and rainy). And Maine is pretty spooky by itself, don’t forget that it’s Stephen King home State. I can feel why he was inspired by these kind of landscapes.

Le phare de Portland, Maine 7

On Cape Elizabeth, there are tons of big houses facing the sea. How cool it that! And knowing that Bette Davis and John Ford makes it even better.

Le phare de Portland, Maine 9

We should start a collection of lighthouse pictures, we’ve seen a few on the East and West coast:

  • In Acadia Park, up North Maine
  • In Boston! Believe me, there’s a tiny lighthouse in the harbor. We saw it last year while visiting the Boston Harbor Islands.
  • In California, at the very end of  Pointe Reyes. 

We went to Portland by bus, from Boston. We didn’t take our bikes, so to go to the headlight, we did a tour on a  trolley. I highly recommend it, because the walk to the cape would be very long. The poet Longfellow used to do it!

Writer, organizer and social media-ter for my own blog. When I'm not in front of my laptop, I'm organizing guided tours of Boston with my own company "Boston le nez en l'air". It's in French!

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  • Reply May 22 2013


    Belle ballade ! Les phares ont quelque chose de magique. Tu as raison, les photos de phares sont de vraies cartes postales. Et les tiennes sont très jolies.

  • Reply May 23 2013


    J’ adore ton blog, tes itinéraires et tes photos me rappellent un bien beau voyage en 1997, une virée sur la côte de Boston à la frontière du New Hampshire en passant par Newport, Nantucket, Plimoth, des paysages sublimes, ô combien romanesques…Le Maine me fait toujours rêver, grâce à toi, je le découvre, merci !

  • Reply May 23 2013


    Tes photos sont trop belles, on dirait effectivement des cartes postales, en tous cas j’espère bien pouvoir passer visiter ce phare une fois car c’est trop beau ^^

  • Reply May 23 2013


    C’est sur ma liste de choses à faire, je sens que mes prochains weekend vont être occupés.

  • Very happy to have come across your blog Mathilde. As an American who has spent quite a bit of time in France in the past – it is fun to read your thoughts on my own favorite East Coast :)

  • Reply May 30 2013


    J’ai la photo de ce phare encadrée chez moi :-) (Photo de Christophe Cassegrain)

  • Reply Nov 23 2015


    Bonjour !
    Tu avais dormi où ?!
    Je vais à Portland ce week end avec mon mari et ma petite fille de 15 mois.
    Si tu as un bon plan…

  • […] insolites qui m’attirent alors que je n’y avais jamais pensé, comme les geysers islandais ou des phares dans le Maine. Parfois, un événement ou un monument me donne envie de découvrir son environnement […]

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