Hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Maine each summer and the two things they want most to do is to see our beautiful lighthouses and eat our fabulous lobster. (Yes, we have so much more to offer, and we hope our guests from away find time in between the lighthouses and lobsters to explore our beautiful coastline, sample more of our culinary delights, shop, golf, kayak, ride bikes and experience all the other things that make Maine special. It’s is not called “Vacationland” by accident!) Today, our 65 lighthouses offer more of an aesthetic value than anything else, but their history is deeply embedded in our Maine culture. Whether it’s the tales of the two ghosts that haunt the lighthouse at Owls Head, or the tales of mariners rescued off the rocky coast of Cape Elizabeth, or simply the majesty of the landscape and the sea, people from all of the world come to Maine to see our lighthouses.

And we say WELCOME! Welcome to Maine in 2017. Please use our handy 95 North Lighthouse Guide to set your sites beyond your normal path. Wherever you are staying in Maine, there is a lighthouse located within a short drive. This guide lists our beacons from south to north along the coast. There are many ways that you can see and visit the lighthouses. See our story on page 6 for the highlights. You may want to join a bike tour, or see the lighthouses from a boat, or walk along a trail or jetty right up to the door. Some lighthouses are not open to the public. Cuckolds Light (page 12), near Boothbay Harbor, one of the last lighthouses to be built in Maine, can only be viewed from a public landing in Southport or by boat. Maybe you want to get up-close-and-personal with a lighthouse. With some planning and forethought, you might be able to rent one.  White Head Light (page 19) in Penebscot Bay can be rented during the summer months.

As you meander up the coastline, you will have plenty of opportunity to find great food.  Please put lobster on your list and find a great lobster roll, lobster stew, or lobster thermidor to add to your Maine experience. If you happen to have an opportunity to prepare a meal when you are here, Candace Karu offers some wonderful recipes for lobster on page 29. I love Maine lobster, and haven’t found a single recipe that it doesn’t work well in. It’s sweet and salty and goes well as an appetizer or a main course—or both! A nice crisp white wine and a fresh Maine lobster meal is just about as good as it gets.

I hope you enjoy this issue of our 95 North Maine Lighthouse Guide and find it useful. If you are a frequent visitor to Maine, look for our regular issue of the 95 North guides on the stands every month through October. Each month we feature a different area of the state, and provide a list of the top 10 things to do and see off each exit of the Maine Turnpike. The list changes monthly. We’ll also have a handy brew pub guide and a farmers market guide so you don’t miss out on these wonderful summer treats. You can stay in touch with Maine on our website and of course, take a moment to “like us” on Facebook to stay in touch.

Lee Hews