Rockland is a classic Maine coastal town. It is also one of the biggest shipping centers of lobster in the world so next time you are enjoying a scrumptious Maine lobster, just think it may have come from Rockland, the lobster capital of the world! Rockland has been recognized as the “Coolest Small Town in US” by Budget Travel, "Top Adventure Town in Maine" by National Geographic Travel and "Top 9 Small Foodie Towns" in Maine.
Things to do in Rockland
Downtown Rockland has great architecture among its historic homes and shops. There are plenty of tasty cafes and restaurants in Rockland serving local seafood of course. Rockland is also home to The Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center where an impressive collection of Maine art is highlighted including paintings by the three generations of the Wyeth family.
Visitors to the city of Rockland can choose to experience their Maine vacation on a famous Windjammer, as Rockland is home to the most Windjammers in the United States. Explore nearby sights and coastline for the day or even spend an entire week aboard these exquisite Tall Ships, for a one of a kind experience with a private captain and crew who will plan activities and even cook up an authentic lobster bake! The annual Maine Windjammer Parade in July is an afternoon parade of the entire windjammer fleet, sailing past the mile-long Rockland breakwater. Visitors will enjoy the spectacular close-up views of these majestic ships as they sail by.
Nearby Maine State Ferry Terminal offers daily and year-round boat trips from Rockland to nearby islands, including North Haven, Vinalhaven and Matinicus Island. Rockland Harbor also offers scenic schooner and other sailing excursions for those looking to explore the beautiful coastline by water. A sunset cruise offers exquisite views over Rockland Harbor. Visitors looking to visit a real Maine Lighthouse can travel to the Rockland Breakwater Light, which is publicly accessible via a long breakwater.
Aside from the Maine Windjammer Parade, Rockland also hosts many huge seaside festivals throughout the year. In July, the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland draws a big happy crowd for this annual 2-day blues music festival held at the oceanfront Public Landing, overlooking Rockland Harbor. The festival is one of the most musical on the East Coast featuring nationally recognized blues performers. The Maine Lobster Festival in August is fun for the whole family, including entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, contests and the world's greatest lobster cooker preparing 20,000 pounds of lobster! Also in August, the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show gathers Maine's finest artists, architects, boat builders, designers, jewelers and more, plus live entertainment, food, and waterfront activities including a Paddlebaord joust.
In November, the Rockland Festival of Lights brings an early start to Christmas celebrations, featuring a lobster-trap tree lighting ceremony, boat parade, arts and crafts activities and Santa's workshop for the kids. In January, Pies on Parade celebrates National Pie Day in Rockland, or Pie Town USA as Food Network star Bobby Flay dubbed it when he came to visit. Visitors can tour the town and sample over 45 different pies at local inns and restaurants, including gourmet pizza pies, whoopee pies, shepard's pies, seafood pies and all the traditional favorites!
Maine Lighthouse Museum
The Maine Lighthouse Museum is located right on the waterfront in Downtown Rockland and is a popular attraction for tourists and visitors to learn more about the history and relevance of lighthouses. The Lighthouse Museum is home to the largest collection of Fresnel lighthouse lenses and the most important collection of lighthouse artifacts and Coast Guard memorabilia in the United States. If you're looking for things to do in Rockland, Maine, this is a great place to learn about it's history. The museum is open daily, free for kids with a small admission fee for adults, and is a must-see for anyone interested in learning more about lighthouses and maritime history. The Maine Lighthouse Museum shares its location with the Maine Discovery Center, a first-class visitor center with museum exhibits and travel information.
Farnsworth Art Museum
Art-lovers should visit the Farnsworth Art Museum, which houses a collection of over 10,000 nationally recognized works from some of America's greatest artists. It is home to one of the nation's largest works by sculptor Louise Nevelson. The Wyeth Center also features the works of Andrew, Jamie and N.C. Wyeth. The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, another must-see for art lovers, works towards advancing works of contemporary art through exhibitions and educational programs in Maine.
Rockland also features many fine lodging options for travelers. Oceanfront resorts and elegant inns in Rockland offer incredible views, and complete luxury amenities. Large pools, private balconies and stunning grounds make for an unforgettable and relaxing stay. The most famous resort in Rockland, the Samoset Resort is 230-acres and features an oceanside championship golf course, spa, gourmet restaurant and kids club. Many area hotels also offer seasonal specials and low rates, making a Rockland vacation extremely affordable all year-round.
Whether you are looking to sail the pristine waters of Rockland Harbor, explore nearby islands, attend a festival, visit an art show or gallery, or just feast on succulent Maine lobster, Rockland has something to offer every traveler.