Fort Williams Park

Vacation Travel Guide
Fort Williams Park which includes boating, a sunset and a lake or waterhole

New England’s iconic lighthouses are much revered and photographed. Visit this park to see one that symbolizes the Down East image.

Fort Williams Park with Portland Head Light on a craggy shore is definitely worth seeing. Gaze at this structure that played a role in defending American independence in the 18th century. The 90-acre (36-hectare) park offers scenic walks for a memorable family outing.

Imagine the early days when the Portland Head Light area was recognized for its strategic importance. Initially, a small group of soldiers was posted to look over the ocean for signs of invasion by British forces. Construction of the light began in 1787 and was completed in 1791. The buildings were extended and the light was raised from 72 feet (22 meters) to 92 feet (28 meters) in 1865.

Listen to the foghorn on days with low visibility and watch the light as it turns. The mechanism has been automated since 1989. Regardless of the weather, the lighthouse’s setting is picturesque.

Visit the museum and gift shop to learn more of its history and pick up a memento to take home. Take a picture of this structure; it’s one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States.

Concern over the park’s fragile ecology prompted residents of Cape Elizabeth to develop protected areas that include places showcasing natural and historic elements of this unique landscape. Walk through these areas featuring wild flowers, birds and amphibians. The children’s garden invites climbing, exploration and discovery in a natural playground, complete with a tree fort lookout.

Two gun batteries were built here in the early 1900s but became obsolete by World War I. A submarine net was controlled at one of the fortifications during World War II to guard Portland’s harbor.

Be amazed to discover the shell of a mansion in the park that was used just one year as a home. Goddard Mansion was built for a local businessman who briefly served as an army colonel in the Civil War.

Drive south from Portland to Cape Elizabeth to get here. Visit Fort Williams Park from sunrise to sunset year-round. Entrance and parking are free. The lighthouse museum opens at varied times and has an admission fee.

Top things to do in Fort Williams Park

Top Hotels Close to Fort Williams Park

The Westin Portland Harborview
The Westin Portland Harborview
4 out of 5
157 High St, Portland, ME
The price is $237 per night from Oct 20 to Oct 20
Located in Downtown Portland, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Portland Museum of Art and Cross Insurance Arena. Hadlock Field and University of Southern ...
4.3/5Excellent! (981 reviews)
"Our room was nice & clean. The roof top bar was nice. Only one elevator was operating! The check in staff very friendly & good valet staff good too thankful for Marty who drove the hotel van. The hotel location was not in a good spot… I did not feel safe"

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2021

The Westin Portland Harborview
Well maintained family home that sleeps up to 8 guests comfortably. Book 2020 today!
Well maintained family home that sleeps up to 8 guests comfortably. Book 2020 today!
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Situated in Cape Elizabeth, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort Williams Park and Portland Head Light. Willard Beach and Southern Maine Community ...
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Well maintained family home that sleeps up to 8 guests comfortably. Book 2020 today!
Beautiful three bedroom home right on the ocean in Cape Elizabeth.
Beautiful three bedroom home right on the ocean in Cape Elizabeth.
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Situated by the ocean, this vacation home is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Fort Williams Park and 1.3 mi (2.2 km) from Portland Head Light. Willard Beach and Southern Maine ...
Get rates
Beautiful three bedroom home right on the ocean in Cape Elizabeth.
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Nonantum Resort
Fireside Inn & Suites
84 Main by Capital Vacations
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Best Lodging Options Near Fort Williams Park

Holiday Inn Portland-By the Bay, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Portland-By the Bay, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
88 Spring St, Portland, ME
The price is $233 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Holiday Inn Portland-By the Bay, an IHG Hotel
The Westin Portland Harborview
The Westin Portland Harborview
4 out of 5
157 High St, Portland, ME
The price is $237 per night from Oct 20 to Oct 20
The Westin Portland Harborview
Well maintained family home that sleeps up to 8 guests comfortably. Book 2020 today!
Well maintained family home that sleeps up to 8 guests comfortably. Book 2020 today!
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Well maintained family home that sleeps up to 8 guests comfortably. Book 2020 today!
Beautiful three bedroom home right on the ocean in Cape Elizabeth.
Beautiful three bedroom home right on the ocean in Cape Elizabeth.
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Beautiful three bedroom home right on the ocean in Cape Elizabeth.
Willard Beach Bungalow
Willard Beach Bungalow
South Portland, ME
Willard Beach Bungalow
  Charming 100+ year old Inn    10' from the Ocean!
Charming 100+ year old Inn 10' from the Ocean!
South Portland, ME
Charming 100+ year old Inn 10' from the Ocean!
Newer South Portland , 10-min To Downtown, 30-day Rentals 1 Bedroom Cottage
Newer South Portland , 10-min To Downtown, 30-day Rentals 1 Bedroom Cottage
3.5 out of 5
10 Ocean House Rd, South Portland, ME
Newer South Portland , 10-min To Downtown, 30-day Rentals 1 Bedroom Cottage
Portland Harbor Hotel
Portland Harbor Hotel
4 out of 5
468 Fore Street, Portland, ME
The price is $288 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Portland Harbor Hotel
Sunny Willard Beach Apartment
Sunny Willard Beach Apartment
South Portland, ME
Sunny Willard Beach Apartment
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.