I love living in Maine, but if I had one complaint it is that there are way too many cute little towns to visit. I know that’s a terrible problem to have right? Located a little over an hour from us and about 15 minutes outside Portland, Cape Elizabeth has definitely become a favorite of ours in the summer. Last summer we visited there for the first time, and we had such a great time that we went back a few weeks later. So this year, once the weather warmed up, I started planning our next trip. We had so much fun that I wanted to repeat the entire day, only this year we squeezed in a few more things, so I thought I’d share some of our favorite things to do in the very beautiful Cape Elizabeth.
VISIT CRESCENT BEACH STATE PARK
We love exploring beaches, and we especially love beach walking. Crescent Beach State Park has a great beach with gentle waves and cute little pebble stones nestled in the sand. The mile long beach is perfect for strolling, and there is also lots of soft fluffy sand for kids to play in making it a perfect beach for everyone. Kettle Cove State Park is adjacent and offers a trail with beautiful view around the cove.
GO STRAWBERRY PICKING AT MAXWELL’S FARM (JUNE-JULY ONLY)
I must go strawberry picking every summer, and Maxwell’s Farm is a favorite of ours in Cape Elizabeth. If you’ve never picked your own strawberries you’re in for a big treat. It’s such an enjoyable way to connect with nature, plus it’s fun to find those quirky looking strawberries… trust me you’ll find some crazy ones! The biggest reason for me, though, is that farm fresh strawberries just taste better!
After stuffing our bellies full of fresh strawberries we like to go home and make Strawberry Shortcake Poke Cake, Strawberry Infused Vodka, and strawberry jam. Yeah, we usually pick a TON of berries here.
It is seasonal from June-July depending on the weather. Before planning a trip be sure to check out their website (maxwellsfarm.com) for picking updates.
VISIT TWO LIGHTS STATE PARK
Two Lights State Park has breathtaking gorgeous views of Maine’s rocky coastline. Here you can walk along the trails, relax on the benches, soak up the gorgeous views of the Atlantic, and watch the ships sail by. You can also check out the old military bunker from World War 2 and read up on some cool info.
Just to be clear you can’t see the lighthouses from this state park. I read some online reviews where people payed to enter the park and were disappointed. If you want to know where you can easily see the two lighthouses for free keep reading. Also I want to mention if you pay to enter a state park consider just buying a yearly pass. If you’re going to visit more than one state park, or live by any other state parks it’s definitely worth it. We renew our pass every year.
I definitely recommend visiting Two Lights State Park, they have lots of spread out picnic tables, grills, a playground, and have I mentioned the incredibly gorgeous views?
EAT AT THE LOBSTER SHACK AT TWO LIGHTS
Just a short drive down the road from Two Lights State Park is the Lobster Shack at Two Lights. If you’re visiting during bad weather they have indoor dining but outside is where it’s at. Outside they have picnic tables where you can dine and soak up the gorgeous ocean views. One thing I want to mention is the Lobster Shack gets busy in the summer, especially on the weekends.
Pro tip: it says they open at 12:00 every day in the summer but they almost always open early. Like clockwork we arrived at 11:15 and sure enough boom right at 11:30 they opened the doors to order. We were told by staff that they always open early and after 3 visits I can confirm that’s true.
So if you’re interested in lunch definitely arrive early if you can. You’ll get the best table with views and avoid a long line to order.
Unfortunately the day we visited and took photos it was overcast with a bit of fog. That’s Maine weather for ya. Definitely unpredictable but regardless it’s always a beautiful view. At low tide you can walk down the rocks which is fun too.
Um, awkward moment… I don’t recommend the lobster roll here, especially if it’s your first time having a lobster roll ever. We have two styles of lobster roll here…the hot and buttered style and the cold mayo style, I prefer hot but I can eat a mayo one if it’s done well. I found the lobster roll here skimpy on meat and even worse came with a plop of mayo on top that I guess I was supposed to mix in myself?? That’s a big no for me.
On the other hand, I do definitely recommend the fish and chips and fried clams. They also have a ton of other seafood options, non seafood options, and the classic lobster dinner, which you can’t screw up. I also wanted to mention you aren’t allowed to bring in outside food or drinks but it is BYOB so you can bring your own wine or beer.
Besides the gorgeous views of the Atlantic you’ll see a wonderful view of the Two Lights Lighthouse. How about that and it was free! Want more lighthouse views? Keep reading, I’ve got you.
VISIT FORT WILLIAMS PARK
If you do anything in Cape Elizabeth you must visit Fort Williams Park, ok? Here you’ll get up and close to Maine’s first lighthouse, Portland Head Light.
Best of all it’s free, or ALMOST free. You do pay for parking. Parking for 2 hours was $5. You can enjoy this park in 2 hours unless you want to picnic or have kids that want to play at the beach or playground, otherwise you might pay $10 or $15 but it’s totally worth it I promise! If you can find a way to avoid parking it is a terrific free activity though.
There are several parking lots to park at and we chose the one by the old mansion. This parking lot is right by the playground and beach. By the way if you enjoy the beach, like most in Maine, you want to go at low tide or there won’t be much sand. Mid tide is probably okay too, just avoid high tide or it will be all rocks. You can find a tide schedule here: NOAA Tide Forecast.
The cliff walk is accessible from several spots in the park and such a treat to walk. It’s such a gorgeous walk, from the very beginning you’ll be stopping every few minutes to take photos, and the closer you get to the lighthouse the views just keep getting better! Along the way to the Portland Head Light you’ll see Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse across the bay. It wasn’t a very clear day but you could still see it well.
There is also a lighthouse tour that leaves from Portland so you can see several lighthouses in the area from the water. You can easily see Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse from the beach and cliff trail though.
This lighthouse does not disappoint! It definitely makes my list of the top lighthouses in Maine. If you’re in the Portland or Cape Elizabeth area it’s a must see!
Another fun thing about this park is the food trucks! You can easily picnic in some of the many spots or you can grab some delicious lobster right in the park. Cousins Maine Lobster is located near the lighthouse, along with a gelato food truck. Up the hill a bit you’ll find more delicious food options at Bite into Maine.
Besides ocean and lighthouse views, you’ll find many old structures to check out like the Goddard Mansion that was completed in 1858 by a local Portland architect.
Cape Elizabeth is such a beautiful and enjoyable place to visit. You can easily spend a full day, or more exploring the area. If you’re staying in Portland it’s just a short drive, and if you’re wanting to stay in Cape Elizabeth, Inn By the Sea is the perfect place to stay! Each time we visit Cape Elizabeth we find more and more of its beauty and charm!