This tour has just about everything! City tours, great eateries, gorgeous scenery, tram rides, boat rides, rail rides, and oh so much more. You won’t believe all that is included!
I have long held an inordinate fascination with lighthouses. On this wonderfully comprehensive sojourn you will have a great opportunity to see some beautiful old lighthouses, up-close and personal. Many of the earliest lighthouses predate the birth of our nation. The first lighthouse in America arrived in 1716 in Boston Harbor. Following that introduction, other North Atlantic cities built them as well. The lighthouses were built to nurture the growing maritime economy of the colonies. The North Atlantic waters were a “superhighway” for ships, and lighthouses served as the signs, signals and direction for the congested open waters. They were essential for navigation as the marshy coast lines from Delaware to North Carolina often made navigation difficult and the New England coast line remained treacherous due to its rocky shores. Navigation on the North Atlantic coast was essential to the growth and survival of the British colonies in America, and the development of the lighthouse system, with their sounds and signals from the shore, allowed the shipping industry to develop smoothly. Today there are lighthouses all along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as the Great Lakes region.
Onshore lighthouses built on land, made up the majority of the earliest lighthouses in America. These revealed various architectural styles and were made from a variety of materials. Wood, stone masonry, brick, cast-iron plates, skeletal and reinforced concrete make up some of the most common types of lighthouse construction materials. Wood lighthouses were common before the nineteenth century because wood was readily available. It was phased out as a primary material due to the susceptibility to fire. Masonry towers were made from rubblestone, cut stone, brick and concrete. The oldest standing masonry tower in the U.S. is Sandy Hook Lighthouse (1764) in New Jersey. The stone towers were typically built in the form of a cone.
On day two of your tour, you will enjoy a narrated 90 minute scenic cruise through the busy Portland harbor and innermost islands to see not only lighthouses, but forts, lobster boats, seals, and seabirds. Four lighthouses will be viewed close-up with as many as six in view during the cruise, including a close-up view of Maine’s oldest and most photographed lighthouse, Portland Head Light! Lighthouses seen on your cruise may include: Bug Light (Portland Harbor Breakwater Light) – This cast iron tower replaced an uglier wooden lighthouse in 1875 and everyone thought this new tower was just “as cute as a bug”, hence the nickname Bug Light! The tower is patterned after the Greek monument of Lysicrates in Ancient Greece.
Ram Island Ledge Light, completed in 1905, makes it the second newest lighthouse on the Maine Coast. Built of granite blocks, it is severely beaten by storm seas throughout the year. The remote location of the tower, along with the battering it takes from mother-nature, made it a difficult place to be assigned as a lighthouse keeper. Keepers’ log books tell us that the tower was often made to ring like a bell when it was struck by heavy seas! The light was automated by the lighthouse service and has a sensor in the tower that turns the light on at dusk and off again at dawn. It is powered by solar panels and battery banks that are on the seaward side of the lantern gallery.
Portland Head Light, built in 1791, was authorized by President George Washington, and is the oldest lighthouse in Maine. Reportedly it is the most photographed in the country. The tower stands at 101 feet above sea level and its light can be seen 26 miles to seaward on a clear evening. The lighthouse sits within the park land of Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. So delight in the salt air, and spectacular sights, while enjoying this interlude on the coast.
Every special day of this Fall Foliage Tour is packed with wonderful things to see and do with enough free time to shop, explore or just bathe in the beauty of Mother Nature and the changing season. Please review the complete itinerary and reserve your place on this scenic and intrinsically spectacular interlude. Be prepared to be enchanted.
- Escorted vacation (0% fuss, 100% vacation!)
- Tour for active adults (share a great experience!)
- Includes home pickup and return (for clients in Marion and adjacent counties)
Eadie, Interlude Blog Team
•For immediate service, please call (317) 913-0387 or email us
•Share your Interlude stories and photos on this blog
•Sign up for our email newsletter
•RSS this blog