After having just returned from my trip, I thought I would put together a visitors guide for things to do in Rockland Maine. If I am being honest, I had never heard of Rockland prior to this trip and I also did not do much research. I left with a “just wing it” mentality because sometimes those are the best trips. However, that is not my typical mode of travel and realize a lot of other people like to get the skinny on destinations before traveling. That being said, I hope you enjoy my list of things to do in Rockland Maine!
Visiting Rockland should be on everyone’s list for a great American summer. You can take everything at your own pace and truly enjoy the area.
Rockland is located on the lower southeast coast of Maine and has a population of under 8,000 year round. While the town is small, it has a lot to offer its visitors. There is surprisingly a lot of things to do in Rockland Maine, so you will never be bored during your travels. Offering a very walk able town because of its size, make sure to explore on foot.
Things To Do In Rockland, Maine: Where To Stay
First, get a hotel, but not just any hotel, a gorgeous hotel that overlooks the harbor. 250 Main Hotel is a boutique luxury property that offers its guests one of the best things to do in Rockland Maine. Hint: its on the rooftop. From the moment you walk in, you can see no detail was spared in the design. The hotel offers a wonderful open concept that gives you that feeling of home.
With only 26 rooms in the hotel, each is unique in its design. You will notice all the industrial decor and art throughout the space and its fitting locally for the shipbuilding industry. If you like boats on any level, you will love this hotel because the nautical themes are present.
During my stay I checked into a “Family Friendly” category room that offered two of the most comfortable queen beds, generous space, a luxurious bathroom with a vessel sink and temperature controlled floors, an HDTV, working station, armoire, and the best part: the view of the harbor. Lets just say the beds are so comfortable that you will be talking about them for awhile.
The wine hour that 250 Main offers in the afternoon allows you a complimentary glass per person to enjoy anywhere you like. I recommend the rooftop deck to watch the sunset over the harbor. Another bonus of the rooftop deck is that the sunrise is spectacular over the harbor. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not get up one morning to watch it.
- Complimentary coffee and tea
- Complimentary continental breakfast
Things To Do In Rockland Maine: Best Activities
- Visit the Puffin Visitor Center. There aren’t any puffins here because it is just a center to learn about them. But you should not miss this.
- Check out the street art.
- Maine Lighthouse Museum.
- Take a Maine Windjammer Cruise because it gives you a different perspective of the area. Since you will be at sea on a schooner, you can view beautiful Maine outward looking in. This type of trip is not for everyone, but it is a great experience. So if you are up for a light adventure, I would highly recommend it.
- Visit the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. There are two ways to see this lighthouse: you can visit Samoset Resort and walk out or view it from the water.
- Maine Lobster Festival (seasonal). Usually towards the end of summer the lobster festival is set up right in front of the harbor.
- Eat Blueberries or everything with blueberries in them because they are from Maine and super delicious!
- Eat a lobster roll at CLAWS. One simply doesn’t go to Maine and NOT eat lobster. Its basically a right of passage.
- Explore Rockland Harbor Trail. Of all the things to do in Rockland Maine, a 5 mile walk along the waterfront of the city gives you a great look into the local life.
- Day trip by ferry to Vinalhaven.
- Stroll Maine street and check out the boutique shops.
- Catch a sunrise! The view over the Harbor offers the best views, so find a spot (like 250 Main Hotel rooftop for guests staying there).
- Farnsworth Art Museum.
- Visit Sandy Beach. It is smaller and quiet. Take the day to enjoy this peaceful location and to discover sea glass.
Things To Do In Rockland Maine: Dining
Rockland does have some amazing eateries and coffee shops for its visitors. Because the town is rather small, If you just walk up and down the main street, you will see restaurants mixed in with the boutique shops and galleries. You can also find restaurants tucked down each side street.
The best restaurant in my opinion is Cafe Miranda! Auntie Fluffie’s Pasta and the blueberry crisp should not be missed!! The portion on the pasta was quite large, so you could probably share it with someone or take leftovers back. The blueberry crisp should not be shared. I do believe this dish was the most amazing thing I ate while in Rockland. I can’t describe it other than to say it was incredible.
As far as coffee shops go, Rock City Coffee is a great stop in because they make their own coffee and the drinks are good. I had tried some special of the day that was a vanilla frap of sorts and it was really good! The customer service is great, everyone is friendly and they have WiFi if you need it.
If you do not live within driving distance, there are two airport options so that you can get into the area:
- Knox County Regional Airport: about 9 minutes drive
- Portland International Jetport: about 1 hour and 45 minutes drive
Disclaimer: I was hosted by 250 Main Hotel and Cafe Miranda, but as always, opinions are my own.