If you’re coming to Rockland for the Maine Lobster Festival, we’re going to guess that you’re adventurous, love all things Maine, and are up for a good time. Correct?
The 70th annual Maine Lobster Festival runs from Wednesday, August 2, to Sunday, August 6, which leaves plenty of time before, during, and after to take in some of Midcoast Maine’s other iconic attractions.
Starting nearby at the Rockland Breakwater, strap on some sturdy shoes; it’s time to hit your first lighthouse. A walk along the 4,346 foot granite breakwater, built in 1900, is an invigorating, beautiful “soft adventure” with water on both sides and sailboats, ferries and lobster boats passing by frequently. Watch your step and the little ones, as the granite blocks are very uneven.
Downtown Rockland is the heart of Maine’s bustling art scene and the place to get your cultural fix. The Farnsworth Art Museum, known for its extensive Andrew Wyeth collection, is more than just historic art related to Maine. There are vibrant, ever-changing offerings of exhibits and events, including an outdoor mural that will be unveiled in an artist’s talk during the week of the Maine Lobster Festival.
Just down the street from the Farnsworth is the town’s newest crown jewel, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA). During the festival, two artists, Jenny Brillhart and Sara Stites, will be featured in CMCA’s Counterpoint exhibit titled “Temporality,” with “light and time serving as both content and concept.”
Now, for a quick shift. Remember that iconic scene in the movie Forrest Gump where Tom Hanks’s character Forrest runs out to a lighthouse before realizing that’s as far as he can go before shambling back down the white wooden walkway? That happens to be the Marshall Point Lighthouse, located in the fishing village of Port Clyde. It’s a short, beautiful drive down the coast from Rockland. The lighthouse against the backdrop of a sunset is simply stunning. While you’re there, visit the little garden and The Keeper’s House, which is actually a museum.
Also on your Midcoast bucket list has to be Camden Hills State Park, 10 miles up the coast from Rockland. The 5,700 acre park can be a day trip unto itself, with 30 miles of wooded hiking trails and fantastic panoramic views from several mountains of Penobscot Bay. Don’t feel like hiking but want the view? You can drive to the top of Mt. Battie for a small fee. There’s also camping at this state park (with bathrooms and showers) for families who want to enjoy the fully immersed outdoor experience during the Maine Lobster Festival.
Whatever your preferences, there is so much of real Maine to experience while you’re here to enjoy the best lobster in the world. It’s why we love living here.