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Rockland Maine

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Rockland Maine is a classic working harbor town home to Maine's largest windjammer fleet, historic bed and breakfast inns, unique boutiques, galleries and craft shops, fine dining, and the world's largest lighthouse museum.

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Rockland Maine is a classic working harbor town home to Maine's largest windjammer fleet, historic bed and breakfast inns, unique boutiques, galleries and craft shops, fine dining, and the world's largest lighthouse museum.

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Find Rockland Maine

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Rockland Maine Google Map location


Trade Winds On The Bay
Maine Eastern Railroad
Glen Cove Inn & Suites & In
Maritime Energy
Samoset Resort
white hall inn

Rockland Maine - exploring "the Gateway to Penobscot Bay"

Rockland Breakwater LighthouseRockland, Maine is one of the most unique and beautiful spots that people will discover along the Maine coastline. Rockland is a small town with a close-knit community of 8,000 local residents, although this number may increase in warm months when visitors make this place home for a short time. Here in Maine, Rockland is known as the “Gateway to Penobscot Bay.” With its rocky shoreline infused with amazing inlets and a fully functioning harbor, Rockland is a premiere community in Midcoast Maine. Rockland is often most recognized for its nearly mile-long granite pier, the Rockland Breakwater. Not only does this granite structure protect Rockland Harbor and the lighthouse, it is also directly responsible for making Rockland, Maine one of the best and most famous shipping and recreational boating harbors on the East Coast.

The Abenaki Indians originally referred to Rockland as the “Catawamteak” which means the “great landing place.” In 1767, John Lermond and his brothers settled into Rockland with their oak and pine lumber production, in what was later called "Lermond’s Cove." That next year, in 1777, it became a village that took the name of Shore Village. In 1850, the village was renamed Rockland and chartered as a city in 1854. Today, Rockland has fourteen houses on the National Historic Registry.

When people visit Rockland and Rockland Harbor they like to explore these areas on foot. Just a short distance away from the harbor, the revamped downtown area is incredibly easy to walk through. Visitors also like to enjoy a very unique experience in their time here, and choose to explore the walk between the granite breakwater and the old lighthouse. In this short walk, people will be amazed at the spectacular view of the Rockland Harbor and Penobscot Bay.

Rockland Maine - both a trendy creative service community and hot spot for exceptional dining

Granite blocks from Rockland BreakwaterDuring the 19th century, Rockland was a leading port that distributed lime and granite rock throughout the United States. Throughout its history, Rockland’s industries have included commercial fishing, lobster, shipbuilding, granite quarrying, and lime processing but have progressively shifted towards becoming more of being a service community. Today, Rockland Harbor is brimming with working lobster boats. It is also home and host to a majority of Maine's Windjammer fleet, schooners, and yachts. In 2008, in honor of the special relationship with the city and residents of Rockland, it was named a Coast Guard City.

Over the years, and largely since the 1990s, Rockland has become a prime spot for tourists visiting coastal Maine. Here in Rockland, people can enjoy a variety of commercial shops, boutiques, specialty stores, and art galleries. People will also discover a wealth of restaurants that have a unique blend of traditional New England foods alongside the most cutting-edge and inspired dishes. Rockland is truly a place that brings together the worlds of the old and new quite seamlessly. The town’s heritage is deeply preserved for guests to enjoy and learn from, but it also has the unique gift of incorporating a trendy and modern experience for tourists to indulge in.

Rockland Maine - home to historic lighthouses and unique fine arts

Walking out to the Rockland Breakwater

If you are an art enthusiast, Rockland is an ideal place to visit and experience this dynamic culture. Some of the more notable art destinations, the Wyeth Center and The Farnsworth Art Museum, have thousands of art pieces from some of the biggest names in New England and American art.

The Farnsworth Art Museum has been nationally recognized for its massive collection of American art and is the legacy of Lucy Copeland Farnsworth. Located in the heart of Rockland, it houses the works of the Wyeth family, three generations of realist painters and illustrators, as well as two well preserved historic houses, the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House. The Farnsworth Homestead was the home of benefactor Lucy Farnsworth. As some avid art experts will recognize, the Olson House was one of artist Andrew Wyeth’s favorite subjects in his works. Tours are available to the public for both historic houses.

Rockland, Maine is also home to the Maine Lighthouse Museum. Kenneth Black, a retired Coast Guard officer, founded the museum in attempts to preserve materials and articles of the lighthouse era and to nurture the appreciation of maritime history. Today it is one of the largest lighthouse museums in the country, and contains the largest collection of Fresnel lighthouse lenses, United States Coast Guard memorabilia, and other marine memorabilia.

If you are looking for a real-life example here in Rockland, simply head to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse and The Owls Head State Park and Lighthouse that are located nearby for a breathtaking experience. The Breakwater Lighthouse provides access to spectacular views of Penobscot Bay, including the schooners and ferries gliding on the waters and amongst the harbor. Such an important aspect to Rockland, The Breakwater Lighthouse is even used by the city as its emblem and on official letterhead. The Owls Head Lighthouse is a white, 30-foot brick lighthouse that sits atop a 70-foot cliff at the entrance of Rockland Harbor and is stunning for tourists.

One of the best parts about Rockland, Maine is the local community. These residents are fierce workers but believe in a deep quality of life that extends into their openness and friendliness when welcoming tourists into their community. When you are here in Rockland, you will undoubtedly feel at home.


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