What are some of the best things to do in Rockland, Maine?
After all, when we think about the city of Rockland in Maine, what typically comes to mind?
Well for starters, Rockland is a city located in Knox County, Maine. It is a relatively small city as it has a total area of around 15 square miles. And as of the 2019 census, the population was estimated to have around 7,179 people living in this city.
The area of Rockland was first inhabited in 1769 and was originally named “Lermond’s Cove”. It was then later incorporated and became known as Shore Village, which eventually became known as Rockland in 1850. During it’s long history, this area was able to grow rapidly due to its production of shipbuilding and lime.
However as time went on, the city of Rockland actually transformed away from the fishing aspect and into a service center city.
Because of this, Rockland is actually a very popular tourist attraction for many people to visit. In fact, the city of Rockland is famous for its beautiful natural coast as well as having a magnificent, rocky shoreline. Visitors who come here love the experience of the countless inlets and harbors, which are great for doing many recreational activities.
Not to mention that the downtown area has transformed into one of many unique shops, boutiques, fine dining and even a range of art galleries for people to explore.
And with things like the Farnsworth Art Museum, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, and even the annual Lobster Festival, this city has it all.
Which is why, if you are wondering exactly what you are able to see or do here in the city of Rockland, Maine, then you are in luck.
In this post, we’ll be detailing all the best things to do in Rockland, Maine.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
- Things To Do In Rockland, Maine
- Visit The Farnsworth Art Museum
- Explore The Rockland Breakwater And Lighthouse
- Checkout The Maine Lighthouse Museum
- Attend The Maine Lobster Festival
- Eat Some Delicious Food At Claws
- Ride On A Boat With Maine State Ferry Service
- Explore The Sail Power and Steam Museum
- Take A Day Trip To Boothbay Harbor
- Visit The Project Puffin Visitor Center
- Check Out The Center for Maine Contemporary Art
- Roam Around On The Rockland Harbor Trail
- Enjoy A Tasty Meal At Primo
- Shop Around At Jess’s Market
- Visit The Coastal Children’s Museum
- Have Some Fun At Sandy Beach
- Explore The Craft
- Go Sailing With The Bufflehead Sailing Charters
- Have Some Fun At Chickawaukie Pond
- Schedule A Food Tour With Maine Foodie Tours
- Enjoy Some Comfort Food At Home Kitchen Cafe
- FAQS About Rockland, Maine
Things To Do In Rockland, Maine
In no particular order, here are the best things to do in Rockland, Maine.
Visit The Farnsworth Art Museum
If you’re ever going to be visiting the city of Rockland, Maine, then one of the most important places you have to visit is a place called the “Farnsworth Art Museum”.
The Farnsworth Art Museum is the most popular museum here in the city of Rockland as it has one of the biggest collections of art from all around the country.
For instance, visitors who come to this museum will find that it boasts over 15,000 works of art from some of the best artists in the country. It is here where you’ll find artists like Louise Nevelson, Andrew, N.C, Jamie Wyeth and more all who have works of art being displayed here in this museum.
Plus, all throughout the year, there will be a wide range of exhibitions for people to see and learn. For example, some of the past exhibitions that were held here includes things like “Katharine Cobey: A Different Voice”, “Andrew Wyeth: Witches, Ghosts, and Mischief”, and more all which are really amazing and informative.
There is even a beautiful library here filled with over 10,000 books whose primary focus on American art and artists whose works are in the museum’s collection.
With so many things for you to see and explore here, it’s no wonder the Farnsworth Art Museum is always recommended as being one of the best places to visit in Rockland, Maine.
Explore The Rockland Breakwater And Lighthouse
As you know, the city of Rockland, Maine is situated right next to the beautiful ocean.
Which is why one of the best places you can visit is a place called the “Rockland Breakwater And Lighthouse”.
The Rockland Breakwater And Lighthouse is located at the end of a 7/8-mile long breakwater and features an attached keeper’s house. Visitors who are wanting to visit can simply walk through this amazing restored dwelling as well as climb to the top of the lantern for one of the most majestic views you’ll ever see of the harbor.
The best thing about this is that on any given day, a simple walk to the lighthouse will offer views of more than just the marine traffic that calls this harbor their home. In fact, visitors will be able to see sightings of shorebirds and harbor seals in and around the stone breakwater. And if you’re lucky, you might even see dolphins as well!
Now the pathway up to the lighthouse is also something to marvel at because of all the beautiful surroundings that surrounds this area. Just be careful and wear proper shoes because the road is a bit bumpy.
Other than that, a trip to the Rockland Breakwater And Lighthouse is a fun filled adventure where you and your entire family will love to visit.
Checkout The Maine Lighthouse Museum
Another really cool and interesting place you might like to visit is a place called the “Maine Lighthouse Museum“.
Now you might be thinking, what is so special about a lighthouse museum? Well unbeknownst to most people is that this museum is a portal back through time as you’ll be able to see and discover all kinds of historical items that relate to this city and surroundings.
For instance, visitors who come to this museum will find that there are so many items and things for them to see or explore. In fact, inside this museum houses the largest collection of lighthouse lenses as well as the largest and best collection of Coast Guard memorabilia and lighthouse artifacts in the entire country.
Visitors can also find a large map and many photos displaying all the lighthouses of Maine. Not only that, but there are also many beautiful and heartwarming stories from the old lighthouse keepers and their families. Plus, there’s also a nice little gift shop if you are wanting to buy any souvenirs or gifts to bring back home.
Overall, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is definitely one of the most interesting and cool places you can ever visit here in the city of Rockland, Maine.
Attend The Maine Lobster Festival
Do you like lobster?
If so, then you will absolutely love visiting the city of Rockland, Maine. After all, this city is home to the famous “Maine Lobster Festival”.
The Maine Lobster Festival is an annual event that occurs each and every year during the first week of August and lasts for a whopping five days long. In fact, it is so popular that many locals and tourists from all across the country love to descend down to this event just for all that it has to offer.
Visitors who attend this festival will find that there are literally so many things for you to see and do. For instance, one of the most popular attractions here is that visitors will be able to try and eat all kinds of deliciously fresh Maine lobsters. Not only that, but there are also many other seafoods available for you to try as well.
And with things like carnival rides, face drawing artists, pirate ship tours, yoga classes, live entertainers and more, this place has it all. But best of all is that all of the earnings that are made from this festival will go back to help the Midcoast Maine Communities each year.
It’s one of the most fascinating experiences ever and one that you will remember for many yeares on end.
Eat Some Delicious Food At Claws
If you are ever feeling hungry and want to get something to eat, then you’ll be delighted to know that there are plenty of amazing restaurants for you to go to and enjoy.
However one of them in particular which is called “Claws“, is one of the most popular restaurants in the entire city of Rockland, Maine. In fact, according to Yelp, they are one of the highest rated as well as being the most reviewed restaurant in the area. Claws is a restaurant that specializes in seafood, sandwiches and traditional style foods for you to eat.
Visitors who come to this restaurant will find that they offer an extensive menu for people to choose from. For instance, some of the items on the menu includes things like Wicked Good Calamari, Molten Lobster Dip, Maine Haddock Chowder, Butter Poached Lobster Tacos, Lobster Rolls, and many more all made fresh for you to enjoy.
Best of all is that the pricing for all of the food here are all really affordable. Not to mention that the staff here are all insanely nice and really cater to your every needs.
Which is why, if you ever want to eat at someplace truly amazing, then “Claws” is definitely the place to go. You will not regret it!
Ride On A Boat With Maine State Ferry Service
One of the best things about Rockland, Maine, is that it is situated right next to the ocean.
Because of this, it means that one of the best things you can ever see or do is to simply go on a boat ride to enjoy the natural surroundings. And one service to use is called the “Maine State Ferry Service” which will take you all around the area seeing all kinds of amazing things.
For instance, Rockland is the departure point of the Maine State Ferry Service, and they’ll be able to take you cruising around the ocean or to even the nearby islands. It’s a great experience because the islands of Islesboro, Matinicus, Monhegan, and more are all relatively close for you to visit.
Plus, once you are on the ferry, you can even chat around with the locals with many of whom are doing their daily commute. In fact, most of the people commuting on this boat are most likely in the lobster industry. Which means you can learn a great deal about how they catch and raise lobsters. Not only that, but you can also learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the people of Maine.
So if you are ever wanting to explore the surroundings of Rockland as well as visit some amazing islands, then the Maine State Ferry Service is definitely for you.
Explore The Sail Power and Steam Museum
If you didn’t already know, the city of Rockland, Maine is home to quite a few really amazing museums.
With most of these museums dealing with marine life, you definitely have a variety to choose from. However one museum in particular which is called “The Sail Power and Steam Museum” is a bit different from the rest. This museum tries to enrich the lives of visitors by offering them a fun and entertaining learning experience about power and steam driven vessels, ships and even small boats.
Visitors who come to this museum will find that there are so many things for you to see and explore. For instance, some of the things you might see or learn includes stuff like the origins of these vessels, how they are constructed, what their purpose and use was, as well as if they are for recreational use or commercial.
Plus, they have even expanded their location recently which means that they are able to have even more collections for you to see. For instance, with this expansion, visitors will now be able to see fully functioning boat models (including reproduction Chris Crafts, a steam powered river boat, and more) and a working, swinging Foucault Pendulum demonstrating the rotation of the earth.
So if you’re a fan of water vessels or just like to see some interesting things, then a trip to the Sail Power and Steam Museum should be a must-see attraction if you ever get the chance.
Take A Day Trip To Boothbay Harbor
If you’re interested in doing a day tip away from the city of Rockland, Maine, then one place you would absolutely love to visit is a place called Boothbay Harbor.
Boothbay Harbor is located about 1 hour away from the city of Rockland, Maine and is an absolute gem of a destination to visit. It’s a city that attracts so many locals and tourists alike for all the amazing recreational activities that you can see or do here.
For instance, the town of Boothbay Harbor is primarily known for having some of the best sea kayaking adventures in the entire state of Maine. It is here where you can find waters ranging from the open seas to even the more calm and protected rivers and inlets. All of which provides plenty of fun and exciting opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels.
Not only that, but the town is also a perfect destination for visitors who are wanting to relax in a comfortable manner. And with many amazing things for you to see and do, it’s a paradise destination for any and all travelers. For example, when roaming around, you can find plenty of things like amazing local shops and boutiques, delicious fine dining, museums, galleries, or even world-class excursions.
No matter what your interests are, there is definitely something for everyone here in this town.
Which is why, if you are wanting to go on a day trip away from the city of Rockland, Maine, then Boothbay Harbor will make for a perfect choice to visit.
Visit The Project Puffin Visitor Center
Do you like puffins?
If so, then you’ll be happy to know that there is a visitor center primarily focused on puffins here in the city of Rockland, Maine.
The visitor center is called “Project Puffin Visitor Center“, and is a place that was built to help inform visitors and residents about Project Puffin. And for those that don’t know, it was project puffin that was to help bring back these special birds that were actually close to extinction back to their historic nesting places.
Visitors who come to this center will be able to learn all kinds of amazing information about these birds as well as being able to see some in real time. Although you can’t really see them in person, you’ll only be able to view them through an advanced video system which is still pretty neat. Plus, you’ll also learn more about Project Puffin as well as all the challenges and hardships they had to face.
But the best part about this place is that all the staff are incredibly knowledgeable and are really passionate about helping these birds. So you will definitely leave with more knowledge then you came in with. And if you want, there is also a small gift shop inside which carries some really neat puffin-related gifts which makes for awesome souvenirs or gifts to bring back home.
So if you have the time to spare, definitely see if you are able to visit this visitors center. It’ll be an experience you will absolutely love.
Check Out The Center for Maine Contemporary Art
If you’re interested in the fine arts, then one really awesome place you have to visit is a place called the “Center for Maine Contemporary Art”.
The Center for Maine Contemporary Art is an art museum that focuses on modern art. It was created back in 1952 and has grown so much since its first founding. It is here where you’ll be able to find all kinds of amazing art work from many different artists around the country.
Inside this museum, visitors can find that there will be so many things for them to see and explore. For example, there are so many exhibits in and around the museum that it can take you hours just to see them all. Some of the exhibits you can find includes things like the “Bruce Brown Gallery”, “Guy D. Hughes Gallery”, “The Shape of Things”, “Nor’East”, and lots more all available for you to see.
Plus, all throughout the year they will be home to a wide range of events for people to see and learn. Some of the events include things like “Who do you love?”, “Sunday Salon”, “Art Lab”, “Toolbox Topics” and lots more.
It’s a very welcoming place that will have you entertained for hours on end. There is simply so much to see and so much to do here, you’ll never want to leave!
Roam Around On The Rockland Harbor Trail
Do you like nature and beautiful scenery?
If so, then one place you will absolutely love to visit is a place called the “Rockland Harbor Trail”.
Rockland Harbor Trail is basically a scenic trail that is around five-miles in length and is situated right along the waterfront of Rockland, Maine. It’s a popular trail to visit as many locals and tourists love to go walking along this area to see some of the most beautiful views ever possible.
In fact, visitors who come to this trail will be able to admire the majestic harbor as well as see all the boats coming in and out of the area. Not only that, but there are also many important buildings and main attractions along the way which makes it very convenient to go exploring.
It’s a very beautiful area that allows for all kinds of fun and excitement. For instance, you can walk around at a leisurely pace, take in all the views, and then stop by any of the nearby restaurants or stores to go browse around. The entire trail basically provides you a peaceful relaxation where you will really love everything that you see or do.
Definitely one of the better things you can see or do in and around the Rockland area.
Enjoy A Tasty Meal At Primo
If you’re ever feeling hungry and want to eat some really delicious international style foods, then you will absolutely love visiting a restaurant called “Primo”.
Primo is one of the best restaurants around the city of Rockland, Maine as it specializes in Mediterranean, Italian and Greek style dishes for people to eat. In fact, according to Yelp, this restaurant is one of the most popular as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in the entire city of Rockland.
Visitors who come to this restaurant will find that it offers a wide range of food choices for people to pick from. For instance, some of the items you can find on the menu includes things like Grilled Moulard Duck Breast, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Cedar planked Wild Salmon, Rigatoni a la Napoletana, and lots more all made fresh for you to eat daily.
But best of all is that the staff are all incredibly nice and absolutely love doing their best to make sure every one of your needs is carefully met. The only thing is that this restaurant is a bit on the pricier side of things, so do keep that in mind if you are wanting to come here to eat.
Other than that, Primo is an absolute treasure of a place to visit and is definitely worth every penny. Visiting this place will be one heck of an experience and one you will treasure for years to come.
Shop Around At Jess’s Market
Sometimes eating out all the time doesn’t really work as it can be quite costly and tiring depending on how far you drive.
Which is why, another alternative you can try is to simply buy your own food and cook it at home or at any hotels or houses that have a kitchen.
And here in Rockland, Maine, there is a fantastic place for you to visit where you can buy some of the freshest seafoods this area has to offer. Known as “Jess’s Market“, they are a family-owned business that was created back in 1986 and have been serving the best seafood available to the local community.
Visitors who come to this market will be able to find all kinds of delicious foods to bring back home. For instance, some of the things you might find here in this market includes stuff like lobsters, shellfish, black sea bass, black cod, arctic char, Spanish mackerels, shrimp and many more all caught fresh for you to enjoy.
But seafood isn’t the only thing that they stock here.
In fact, they also carry a wide range of other items as well. For instance, you can also find a huge selection of fine wines, local micro brews, foraged items and even grocery selections to go with your fresh seafood that you recently bought.
Jess’s Market is one of the best places to visit in terms of buying your own food and will definitely open your eyes to all the amazing seafoods that are in this world.
Visit The Coastal Children’s Museum
If you’re going to be traveling around with kids to the city of Rockland, Maine, then one place you might want to take them is to the “Coastal Children’s Museum”.
The Coastal Children’s Museum is a place specially for kids ages two through nine as well as their families. It’s a place where kids and families from all over can come and learn all there is to know about the coastal region.
In fact, visitors who come here will find that there are so many amazing things for them to see and learn. For instance, some of the things visitors might find here includes stuff like a full sized beetle cat sailboat, an “under the sea” room with tropical fish and seahorses, an arts and crafts room, and lots more for you to enjoy. There is even a touch tank here where you can interact with live sea creatures and plants who live along the coast of Maine.
Best of all however is that all throughout the year, this museum will be host to a wide range of workshops and events that caters to children’s every need. For instance, every once in a while they will host things like weekly story hours, workshops and other fun activities for people to enjoy.
With so many things for your kids to see and do, this is one place they will absolutely love to visit. So if you are able to, definitely see if you can fit this museum into your schedule as it will be an experience your kids will never forget.
Have Some Fun At Sandy Beach
One of the best things you can ever see or do here in the city of Rockland, Maine, is to simply go to the beach.
And because this city is surrounded by ocean water, there are so many which you can visit. However one in particular is the most popular and that place is called Sandy Beach.
Sandy Beach is one of the most popular beaches to visit as locals and tourists from all over love to descend down to this beach for its relaxing nature. It’s a perfect place for visitors to play around, lay in the sun, get a tan, or even do some amazing water activities.
And even if you are not interested in doing some fun beach activities, there are still plenty of other things around here that will be of interest to you. For instance, it is here where you can find a really cool sculpture called the “Ridin’ the Rails to Rockland”. This work of art was created back in 2013 using material from abandoned railroads around here and the nearby areas.
Besides that however, Sandy Beach makes for a perfect place for anyone of all ages to come entertain themselves by doing a range of different activities. So whether you are walking, swimming or even have a picnic and more, this is one place which you will definitely love to visit.
Explore The Craft
If you love craft arts, then you’ll absolutely love visiting a place called “The Craft”.
The Craft is a beautiful gallery located here in the city of Rockland, Maine and offers some of the best pieces of arts and craft from artists in and around the state of Maine. It’s truly a great place to visit as you’ll be able to see and appreciate all the unique and hard work put into making these items.
For instance, visitors who come to this gallery will find that it has so many different items for people to see and browse around. Some of the items you might see here includes things like ceramics, jewelry, books, fiber arts and many more all hand made and carefully put on display.
Plus, best of all is that the gallery here is always changing. This is so that they can insure every artist will be able to show their work. Which means that no matter when you decide to come here, or even how many times you come here, you’ll always be able to see something different.
So if you have the time to spare, definitely see if you can visit this amazing gallery.
Go Sailing With The Bufflehead Sailing Charters
Being situated right next to the ocean really does have its benefits.
In fact, here in the city of Rockland, Maine, there is a company that offers sailing adventures in and around the coastal Maine area. Called the “Bufflethead Sailing Charters“, it’s one of the most exciting things you can ever do here in this city as you’ll be able to sail through the calm waters and see all kinds of amazing views.
Visitors who are interested in going on this adventure will find that they’ll be riding a ship called “Bufflehead”, which is a classic boat made back in the 60’s. Not only that, but you’ll also be hosted by a captain who has decades of experience sailing in and around the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.
Best of all is that the captain is incredibly knowledgeable and will be able to tell you all kinds of information about sailing, the history of it, as well as the geology and makeup of the Rockland surroundings. Plus, there will also be a professional photographer on board that will help take some really beautiful pictures of you so that you can have memories of this trip.
So if you ever wanted to try sailing around the waters, then here is your chance!
Have Some Fun At Chickawaukie Pond
If you aren’t feeling in the mood to visit a beach, how about visiting a pond?
Here in the city of Rockland, Maine, there is a pond called the “Chickawaukie Pond“, which is a popular spot for many people to visit. In fact many locals and tourists alike all love to come to this pond for its awesome atmosphere and recreational activities.
For example, visitors who come to this pond can do all sorts of different things. From swimming to kayaking or even having a picnic and more, there is literally so many things that you are able to do. Not only that, but the areas surrounding this place are also really scenic in views which makes for great photography opportunities.
But the ponds most popular attraction has to be fishing. In fact, there are so many different fishes that live in this pond for you to catch. Some of the fishes you are able to catch includes things like American Eel, Brown Trout, Brown Bullhead, Chain Pickerel, White Sucker, Steelhead, Small and Largemouth Bass, and a wide range of other fishes too.
So if you ever want to change things up and visit some place that is not a beach, than the Chickawaukie Pond is the perfect place to go.
Schedule A Food Tour With Maine Foodie Tours
Food is definitely one of the most important parts about traveling.
After all, who doesn’t want to try all the new and amazing food that a place has to offer?
Which is why, here in the city of Rockland, Maine, there is a company that will provide you with all kinds of fascinating foods by going on a tour adventure. Known as the “Maine Foodie Tours“, they are a company that will take you around the city of Rockland to all the best and most popular spots for you to eat at.
The best thing about this company is that they partnered with a whole bunch of restaurants and also pubs, beverage artisans, culinary shops and more. You’ll be able to go into these places and meet the owners and staff, hear all the interesting stories behind their creations, as well as try out all the amazing foods and drinks they have to offer.
Not to mention that unlike other food tours where you’ll only be able to sample a few selections of foods, this tour actually offers full-sized meals for you to eat and enjoy.
It’s a very popular thing to do here and will definitely teach you more about the culture and lifestyle about the Maine way of life.
Enjoy Some Comfort Food At Home Kitchen Cafe
If you’re ever in the mood for some amazing breakfast or brunch type dishes, then one place you have to visit is a place called “Home Kitchen Cafe“.
Home Kitchen Cafe is a restaurant that specializes in serving up early morning breakfast or brunch type dishes for you to eat. In fact, according to Yelp, it is one of the highest rated as well as being one of the most reviewed restaurants in the entire city of Rockland, Maine.
Visitors who come to this restaurant will find that it offers quite a bit of items for you to choose from. For instance, some of the food choices you can choose here includes stuff like farmer omelet, huevos rancheros, breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal brule, pancakes, cheese burgers, quesadilla, chicken salad, and plenty more all made fresh for you to eat daily.
Best of all is that the portion sizes are pretty generous so you will definitely have your fill. Plus, the pricing for all of the items are incredibly affordable which means you won’t be breaking the bank for buying any food dishes here at this restaurant.
So if you’re ever in the mood for some breakfast or brunch type dishes, then Home Kitchen Cafe is definitely the place to go.
FAQS About Rockland, Maine
The city of Rockland, Maine is famous for its natural coastal beauty and amazing, rocky shoreline. Not only that, but Rockland is also the home to the famous “Maine Lobster Festival”.
Rockland, Maine might be a small city, but it has proven itself to be a nice, clean, and peaceful place to live. There are also plenty of amazing things to do here such as museums, restaurants and stores that will have you busy all year round. Plus, it is also home to the annual “Maine Lobster Festival”.
Rockland is located about 64.75 miles away from Portland, Maine. It will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive from one city to the other if you do not stop.
Overall, the city of Rockland, Maine is a really fascinating place to visit. With so many things to see and do here, you will always be able to find something to do.
So hopefully this post about the “20 Best Things To Do In Rockland, Maine” was able to help you out in some sort of way. This way if you ever find yourself visiting the city of Rockland, Maine, you will know exactly what things you are able to do for some fun.
Now if you are going to be visiting the state of Maine anytime soon, then you might be interested in some of my other Maine posts:
Also if you are interested in reading some of my other posts about traveling, you can do so by clicking these links:
- Essential steps for planning a trip
- How to find cheap flights
- There is no such thing as a perfect time to travel
Or you can check out all my blog posts by click this link.
Hope you have a safe and fun trip~