Every July/August when the Maine Lobster Festival kicks off an unforgettable week, thousands of people from all over the country — and world — make Rockland, Maine, their primary destination. Yet, there are many unique locations around the Midcoast that you should also check out while you’re here. Put these fun side trips on your bucket list for the week of July 31 to Aug. 4, 2024.


Of course, lighthouses top the list — you’re in Maine! It would almost be a crime not to see these charming pieces of maritime history. Here are three must-see lighthouses all within 30 miles of the Festival:

  • Marshall Point Lighthouse: Featured in the film “Forrest Gump,” this Port Clyde attraction is famous for its long, picturesque walkway leading to the lighthouse (where Forrest turned around before running back to the West Coast), providing stunning views of Penobscot Bay.
  • Owls Head Lighthouse: Perched on a rocky cliff in Owls Head, this lighthouse offers dramatic vistas of Penobscot Bay and the surrounding islands. The nearby Owls Head State Park is a haven for light hikes such as The Cliff Trail, which offers panoramic views of Penobscot Bay’s stony, rugged beaches, and secluded picnic spots.
  • Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse: Accessible via a unique 0.8-mile-long breakwater, this lighthouse sits at the end of a granite jetty in Rockland Harbor (just behind The Samoset Hotel), offering panoramic views of the harbor and surrounding islands. You may even see working vessels such as lobster boats, tugs and sailboats.

Coastline Hikes

There’s nothing like a hike along the dark blue-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean to round out a perfect day.

  • Rockland Harbor Trail: This picturesque 3.5-mile trail follows the shoreline of Rockland Harbor, offering stunning views of the harbor, boats and surrounding islands. The trail is relatively flat and accessible, making it suitable for all skill levels.
  • Camden Hills State Park: Just a short drive north of Rockland, this state park features several coastline hiking trails with stunning views. Across the road (Route 1), the park offers 30 miles of hiking trails leading up to an 800-foot summit. You can even drive your car to the top of Mount Battie and take in the sweeping vistas of Penobscot Bay.

Schooners & Day Sails

Here’s another must-do activity that will take your breath away: Set aside time for a day sail cruise on Penobscot Bay, either out of the Rockland or Camden harbor. Most adventures are around two hours and give you plenty of photogenic opportunities to see surrounding islands, porpoises, eagles, seals and other wildlife. You will likely see lobstermen at work pulling their traps as well! Explore this day sail cruises guide to each vessel and its itinerary.

 The 77th annual Maine Lobster Festival is July 31 to Aug. 4, 2024, in Rockland, Maine, with free admission once again! Get the jump on your travel plans and book accommodations early. For more information, visit our website at mainelobsterfestival.com.