Several fantastic Rockland Maine things to do await tourists who want to enjoy a relaxing coastal vacation along with sailing and boating activities.
But there’s more to Rockland than just its Mid-Coast Maine lovely coastline. This place in the US is flocked by tourists because of the abundance of magnificent museums and delightful restaurants.
Rockland Maine, as one of the largest lobster shipping centers in the world, even holds an exciting Lobster festival that every guest can enjoy with tons and activities and of course mouth-watering fresh seafood.
If you’re still hesitant to have Rockland Maine as one of your vacation destinations, we have prepared a list of all the amazing things that you can do in this magnificent coastal town.
Of course, those who have already set a vacation date for Rockland Maine will also find this list of the most awesome things to do in Rockland Maine very helpful in planning activities for the whole duration of the trip.
So, let’s go ahead and take a look at all the best things to do in Rockland Maine as follows:
11. Take a Tour at Marvelous Lighthouses
Rockland Maine is home to some of the wonderful lighthouses that every visitor should visit during their trip. Aside from the picturesque views, it will be an immersive experience to know about the town’s history and culture.
The following are the two lighthouses that should be part of your things do in Rockland Maine list:
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse at Rockland Maine’s Harbor
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse in Rockland Harbor. As the name suggests, Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse sits at the end of a breakwater with an attached lighthouse keepers’ house. You will get to climb to the top of this historic lighthouse and enjoy a panoramic view of the lobster boats and schooners.
The bird’s eye view at the top of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse also gives visitors superb views of Mid-Coast Maine shorebirds, harbor seals, and if you’re lucky, dolphins too.
Owl Head Lighthouse at Penobscot Bay
Owl Head Lighthouse at Penobscot Bay is part of the Owl’s Head Light State Park and offers stunning seascapes and island views to visitors. The white brick tower of this Maine lighthouse museum that was built in 1852 is part of the American Lighthouse Foundation.
10. Visit and Learn from Rockland’s Wildlife Centers
Another one of the best things to do around Rockland Maine is to learn about the city’s impressive wildlife. Make sure to have time to visit the following Maine Coast wildlife centers:
Project Puffin Visitor Center
Located in downtown Maine, Project Puffin Visitor Center is a great place to learn about the puffins and other seabirds as they’re transported to nesting islands for preservations. Project Puffin Visitor Center has awesome videos about preservation that will make you appreciate the beauty of Rockland’s amazing birds.
Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
The Maine coast has diverse wildlife with its forested headlands, freshwater wetlands, estuaries, and coastal islands. Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is another wildlife center where every visitor can learn about the amazing preservation activities for rare birds like Leach’s storm-petrels and Atlantic puffins.
9. Appreciate Rockland Maine’s Spectacular Art Galleries
If you want to know more about the rich history and culture of Rockland Maine, visiting the art galleries would be a fantastic immersive experience during your trip. The following are some of the best art galleries in the Rockland area:
Center for Maine Contemporary Art
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art is one of the most popular art galleries in Rockland. It is a non-profit art organization that features the work of emerging and established artists with a connection to Maine.
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art gallery is open all year round and admission is always free. Plan your visit on Friday evenings as they offer “Art After Hours” with live music and complimentary refreshments.
Harbor Square Gallery
Harbor Square Gallery is a lovely place that will take you back to the nostalgic past of the building created in 1912. The remarkable jewelry collection from gifted designers will leave you awestruck. There’s even a public garden on the rooftop where you can mingle with other visitors.
Craft is an art gallery that focuses on fine crafts, paintings, and sculptures. The artists represented in this gallery have a connection to the state of Maine.
Landing Gallery in Rockland Maine is a great place to see the work of local artists. The gallery has a wide variety of artwork on display and for sale, including paintings, jewelry, pottery, and more.
8. Shop at Rockland Maine
Rockland Maine offers some of the best places to shop. From seafood that you can bring home to a gift shop for souvenirs, you can find several interesting places to enjoy a shopping experience. The following are among the best shopping places in this lovely Mid-Coast Maine:
If you plan to take home some fresh seafood with you, then Jess’s Market is the best place to stop by before you head home. Or you can also visit the shop during your vacation to get yourself some of the best seafood to cook for a picnic.
Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars
Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars would have you bring home to your family who likes to stay in the kitchen, fantastic olive oils and vinegar from different parts of the world including Peru, Chile, and South Africa. You can even experience to taste-test the different kinds of vinegars and olive oils from this store.
If you’re looking for a gift shop where you can find awesome souvenirs, then you can visit the Seagull Cottage. This small gift shop has a wide array of choices for Maine-inspired souvenirs. From jewelry, collectibles, home decors, and many more, you will have plenty of options.
7. Dine at the Best Food Places
Rockland Maine is an incredible place for food trips. Several restaurants serve delicious food that will make you go back to this enchanting Mid-Coast Maine city. The following are some of the best restaurants in Rockland Maine:
Home Kitchen Cafe and Bakery
This restaurant serves delicious dishes and has outdoor seating and is one of the best places to eat in Rockland Maine. Among the top foods to try that are locally made include lobster tacos, corned beef hash, and homemade bread.
Rock City Coffee
For coffee lovers, stopping by Rock City Coffee should be part of your things to do in Rockland Maine. There are several choices for coffee including signature blends, featured roasts, Indonesian and Indian coffee, organic coffee, and many more.
This top restaurant in Rockland Maine serves delicious farm-to-table American cuisine with vegan options. Among well-loved dishes of Primo with ingredients from local produce include Pistachio and Parsley crusted first-of-the-season Local Halibut, Cast Iron Seared Swordfish, and Farmer Salad.
6. Experience Good Outdoor Activities
Rockland Maine is a place to enjoy the great outdoors. There are several places where you can experience the best outdoor activities. The following are the things to do in Rockland Maine for those who are looking for exciting outdoor adventures.
Rockland Harbor Trail
The Rockland Harbor Trail is a 3.5-mile path along the city’s waterfront. You can stroll on the wooden boardwalk from Sandy Beach to Harbor Park near the pier. Rockland Harbor Trail offers some of the best views on the coast of Rockland Maine.
Rockport Marine Park
This park is in a remote village that is located between Rockland and Camden Harbor. If you’d like to have a wonderful fishing experience, then you can visit this marine park. You can also have a picnic at the park or just find a good spot to chill. You can also find a memorial that honors “Andre the seal”, the legendary harbor seal, in Rockport Marine Park.
If you have more time, make sure to visit Rockport Opera House for some good entertainment.
Acadia National Park
This park is not in Rockland Maine but is near Rockland Maine and takes about an hour to drive. If you’re searching for the best things to do near Rockland Maine, then the hiking trails in this national park will satisfy every adventurer’s longing to have a time with nature.
Snow Marine Park
Snow Marine Park is open during the summer and has several amenities including a playground, a basketball court, a walking trail, and a boat launch. This is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends.
Rockland Maine also has epic golf courses where you can relaxingly play. The courses are located on the outskirts of the city and are perfect for those who want to take a break from shopping or other activities in the city.
Explore Penobscot Bay
You can also explore Penobscot Bay by renting a kayak or joining a charter boat tour. This is an excellent activity for those who love being on the water. You can also go whale watching, fishing, or just enjoy the incredible views of the bay.
5. Join in the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland
The Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland is one of the most thrilling festivals to experience and should be on your list of things to do in Rockland. If there’s a Hot dogs Festival in downtown Dexter Maine, Rockland has the spectacular Lobster Festival.
This festival is held on the first weekend of August, from Wednesday to Sunday.
Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland is being held at Rockland’s Harbor Park and can be easily found by anyone from downtown Rockland Maine with a free shuttle that will take you to the festival.
There are a lot of activities during the festival from carnival rides, delicious lobster dinners, a big parade, an international crate race, tents, cooking contests, and many more. Every visitor will also have the chance to mingle with the different Midcoast Maine communities.
You can even volunteer during the festival and get that nice Maine Lobster Festival volunteer T-shirt.
The other things that you can do during the festival include going to the Maine State Prison Show, the Waterfront Concert Series, the Kids Zone, and many more.
You can check the Maine Lobster Festival site for up-to-date information.
4. Spend a day at Downtown Rockland, and Drop by the Historic Village of Camden
Spending a day downtown is one of the best things to do in Rockland. There are a lot of museums that you can visit including one of the most famous art museums, the Farnsworth Art Museum and Olson House.
Farnsworth Art Museum is a museum dedicated to showcasing the artworks of the Wyeth Family. One of the most famous pieces is Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth.
Olson House is also a must-see when you’re in the area. It’s a historic house that was used as the setting for Andrew Wyeth’s paintings.
There’s also the Wyeth Center which is a research center that contains archives, documents, and photographs of the Wyeth Family.
After visiting Farnsworth Art Museum, you can also visit historic sites like Fawcett’s Antique Toy Museum, Maine Lighthouse Museum, Sail Power and Steam Museum, and Owls Head Transportation Museum to see the antique automobiles.
Drop by The Maine Maritime Museum which is another great place to learn about Rockland Maine’s rich maritime history and culture. The museum features a variety of exhibitions, educational programs, and events that focus on the maritime heritage of the state.
You can also take a short drive to the historic village of Camden where you can see the beautiful harbor and go on a leisurely walk.
3. Explore the Island of Monhegan
Monhegan Island is one of the best places to visit in Rockland Maine and should also be part of your things to do in Rockland Maine.
The island is accessible by ferry and is about 10 miles offshore.
The island is a haven for artists, photographers, and nature lovers. There are a lot of hiking trails that you can explore and the views are just breathtaking.
Among the best hiking trails are Whitehead Trail, Burnthead Trail, and Lobster Cove. For art galleries, you can visit the Monhegan Museum of Art & History which is a great place to learn about the island’s history and Lupine Gallery which showcases local paintings and sculptures.
If you’re up for a refreshing cold beer, you’re in for a treat as you can take a trip to Monhegan Island Brewing Company where you can taste a variety of brews crafted on the island.
Your exploration will be better if you find time to dine in at the incredible restaurants on the island including The Barnacle, The Novelty, and Fish House.
2. Stay Cozy Accommodations in Rockland Maine
Your best weekend getaway will not be complete without staying at a cozy place in Rockland Maine. The following are some of the best places to stay in Rockland Maine:
Rockland Harbor Hotel
Location: 520 Main Street, Rockland
This hotel by the ocean offers comfortable room accommodation with air conditioning, a LED TV with cable channels, and a mini fridge.
Free breakfast is offered to guests with a firepit to huddle at night to boot. This hotel also offers free parking and is near fantastic places like Strand Theater, Farnsworth Art Museum, and Rockland Harbor Park.
250 Main Hotel
Location: 250 Main Street, Rockland
250 Main Hotel is a three-star hotel with a rooftop terrace and an art gallery. This amazing hotel is also near the airport and offers deluxe comfort with spacious rooms, Frette Italian sheets, and pillow mattresses.
Location: 96 Limerock Street, Rockland
Limerock Inn is an impressive three-star bed and breakfast near Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland Ferry Terminal, and Sandy Beach. Each room offers soft beds, free toiletries, and LED TV with cable channels.
This inn offers free breakfast to guests and has a garden. There is also a business center in LimeRock Inn.
Berry Manor Inn
Location: 81 Talbot Avenue, Rockland
Berry Manor Inn is a spectacular 4-star bed and breakfast with a marina and a garden. There is an on-site spa center where you can treat yourself or your loved one on your romantic getaway with a relaxing massage or rejuvenating body treatment.
This place also has a library and a fireplace in the lobby.
All rooms have premium bedding, heating, designer toiletries, flat-screen TVs, and refrigerators.
1. Experience a Cruise or Boat Ride in Rockland Maine
A vacation in one of the best coastal cities would not be complete without experiencing boat adventures. The following are the top cruise and boat adventure that you should try in Rockland Maine.
Maine Windjammer Cruise
Maine Windjammer Cruise is a classic sailing experience that you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Rockland Maine. You can choose to stay for a day sail, overnight, or even for a few days. You can get your tickets here before they sell out.
The schooners will take you along the coast of Midcoast Maine where you can see the picturesque lighthouses, beautiful islands, the deep blue Atlantic Ocean, and the amazing sunset.
The largest fleet is called the Windjammer Fleet, managed by Maine Windjammer Association. The most famous vessel is Angelique with cruises that sail to the stunning North Haven islands.
You can also take part in the activities on board such as hoisting sails, steering the ship, and helping out in the kitchen. This will be an unforgettable experience for everyone in the family.
Maine State Ferry Service
The Main State Ferry Service is another one of the best ferry services that will take you to the delightful Penobscot River Islands State Park. The islands have lovely sandy beaches, picnic areas, and hiking trails. You can also see different kinds of birds in the area.
The ferry will also take you to Vinalhaven Island where you can visit the Museum of American Art. The ferry ride is usually about an hour and a half long but is worth it.
These are only some of the best things to do in Rockland Maine. This lovely Mid-Coast city offers plenty of activities that will keep you busy during your vacation. So, don’t forget to add the above things to do in Rockland on your next visit to Rockland.