Located on Maine’s coastline, about an hour and a half from Portland, Rockland is known for being one of the largest shipping centers in the world for lobster. Besides that, Rockland has received high praises as a fun and exciting small town in the US to visit, being an especially top notch destination for food lovers. There is much more that is has to offer than some of the best lobsters of your entire life, it has many other diverse activities to offer its visitors. Let’s take a look at just what kind of great things you could experience if you chose to make the trip to Rockland, Maine.
Rockland Maine Bucket List: 9 Fun Things to Do
1. Farnsworth Art Museum
Ranked the top attraction in Rockland, the Farnsworth Art Museum features art pieces from all three generations of the men of the Wyeth family, all of whom were respected and well-known painters in the 20th century. In addition, the 20,000 square foot art museum also houses some other exhibitions from some of America’s greatest artists that are worth checking out.
2. Walk to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
With its history exceeding more than 100 years, the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places, making the lighthouse a highly respected spot in Maine. But, an even bigger draw is walking the mile-long granite blocks that jut out into the harbor. This breakwater path leads to the lighthouse and in the summer months is loaded with people out for a unique afternoon stroll that not only takes you to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, but gives you a panoramic view of the city.
3. Get Chocolate at Bixby & Co.
The specialty of this candy factory is its commitment to making chocolate (and some other sweets) that are non-GMO, gluten free and organic. Talk about a triple whammy! And it’s actually delicious, too—don’t miss tasting the sea-salted caramels. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or your loved ones, you absolutely should drop by Bixby & Co. for the perfect gifts to treat yourself and others with. The best part of the chocolate is that it’s exactly the type of chocolate you can get addicted to and not feel too guilty about it!
4. Explore the Local Waterways like Penobscot Bay
Penobscot Bay is an inlet of the North Atlantic Ocean, located at the mouth of Penobscot River. It’s an incredibly scenic location to visit on your trip to Rockland—especially when the weather is nice! Penobscot Bay is also likened as one of the world’s top cruising spots. There are several different kind of cruises you can take from Penobscot Bay, ranging from one hour cruises to cruises lasting multiple nights, and especially the shorter harbor tours promise you beautiful surroundings to look at.
5. Go on a Lobster Boat Adventure
Remember when I mentioned at the start how Rockland has some of the best tasting lobster in the world? Well, one of the best ways to try it for yourself to see if this is true is to hop on a lobster boat adventure! By boarding a lobster boat tour, you get to see firsthand how these sea creatures are hauled in from the sea, as well as catch glimpses of seals and sometimes even whales. These freshly caught lobsters are then available for purchase.
6. Grab a Made in Maine Souvenir from Archipelago
Archipelago is a locally owned shop that sells and showcases art and other crafts created by local artists. From pottery to jewelry, the pieces are truly unique and they make for incredible gifts to bring home with you – it’ll be a lovely memory to keep for yourself and it’d also be the type of a souvenir your loved ones would surely know to appreciate and love.
7. Enjoy a Meal with Waterfront Views
Archer’s on the Pier is a seafood restaurant located right at Rockland’s waterfront. It offers you a charming atmosphere to eat and relax in, as well as some pretty awesome views. They also make super fun looking cocktails! You can get breakfast, lunch and dinner at the restaurant, so don’t hesitate to drop in at any time.
8. Attend the Maine Lobster Festival
If you’re one of the biggest shipping centers for lobster in the world, it’s only appropriate to host a Lobster Festival centered around it as well, right? Held every August and lasting five days, it has over the years grown from being a small local celebration to an internationally recognized festival celebrating lobsters and seafood in general. In addition to food stalls, specializing in the yummiest of seafood dishes, there is also a seafood cooking contest held at this festival. There’s also a variety of other activities and entertainment available to explore, including a running event. Everything climaxes with a big parade!
9. Visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum
The Maine Lighthouse Museum holds the largest U.S. collection of artifacts related to lighthouses, lifesaving and U.S. Coast Guard. It may not be the first museum you’d ever think of visiting, but it’s actually pretty unique and interesting, and well worth the visit to accompany your visit to Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. It’s a great chance to learn about the history of lighthouses and lifesaving as well as the Coast Guard.
Although Rockland, Maine in general if were being honest, may not be found on the highest spot of your bucket list, I do hope that this article at least got you adding it on your list in the first place! It’s definitely a gem of a place to visit, offering you an interesting but simultaneously low key holiday for a few days. And if you’re at all a fan of lobsters, then visiting Rockland to eat your best ones yet is absolutely a must!
Essential Tips for Visiting Rockland, Maine
Getting There: Knox County Regional Airport is a major hub and most airlines will fly into it. You can easily check for the best fare deals at Skyscanner, which also has the option to choose ‘cheapest month’ as the departure to find the lowest priced dates to fly to your destination. From the airport to the city center, you can ride the bus, a shuttle or take a taxi.
Where to Stay in Rockland, Maine: It’s best to stay near the city center, public transportation or the area that you will be spending the most time in. 250 Main Hotel is a great choice in the Rockland district. For something on the less expensive side, try Claddagh Motel & Suites located a couple miles from Rockland city center. For a hotel with a little more extravagance, book a room at the Relais Chateaux Camden Harbour Inn. Or search some great deals on hotels of your choice at Booking.com. If you’re looking for more of a home atmosphere (or are traveling with a group of people), head over to Airbnb that has houses, apartments and even just a room for rent in every price range.
Getting Around: Driving in a new destination can be a bit of a challenge, but if you choose to rent a car, RentalCars.com has great deals. If you are not renting a car, there are plenty of other options. Taxis, Lyft and Uber are available all over the city.
Insurance: It’s always a good idea to travel fully insured so you are protected in case of trip cancellations or medical emergencies. You can check out pricing at Travelex Insurance.
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