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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

Click map image to open a Google Interactive Map for Rockland Maine.

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 - a "great landing place" and "the Gateway to Penobscot Bay"

Rockland Breakwater LighthouseRockland, Maine is one the premier locations that can be found along the Maine coastline. It is a small town of less than 8,000 local residents, however, visitors from around the country make Rockland their home, if only for a short time. Rockland is known as the “Gateway to Penobscot Bay”. It is well-known for its rocky shoreline with amazing inlets and a fully functioning harbor. A nearly mile-long granite pier, the Rockland Breakwater, continues to protect Rockland Harbor and the lighthouse which led to the creation of one of the best shipping and recreational boating harbors on the East Coast.

The area was originally called by the Abenaki Indians "Catawamteak" which translates to “great landing place.” John Lermond and his brothers settled in 1767, producing oak and pine lumber, in what was later called "Lermond’s Cove". It later became a village in 1777 called Shore Village. It was renamed Rockland in 1850 and chartered as a city in 1854. Today, Rockland has 14 houses on the National Historic Registry.

Most people choose to experience Rockland and the Rockland Harbor on foot. The revamped downtown area is within an easy walk of the harbor. Others choose to walk the granite breakwater to the old lighthouse to get a pristine view of the Rockland Harbor and Penobscot Bay.

Rockland Maine - a trendy creative service community and lots of fine dining

Granite blocks from Rockland BreakwaterDuring the 19th century. Rockland was a leading port that sent lime and granite rock throughout the United States. Rockland’s industries included commercial fishing, lobster, shipbuilding, granite quarrying, and lime processing but have shifted towards more of being a service community today. Currently, Rockland Harbor is full of working lobster boats that float beside schooners and yachts. Rockland Harbor also plays host to a majority of Maine's Windjammer fleet.

Since the 1990s, the town sees a large volume of tourists and has developed commercial shops, boutiques, specialty stores, and art galleries. There are plenty of great dining options as well with a broad selection of food ranging from trendy new cuisines to old-fashioned, traditional New England feasts. Rockland has continued to evolve over the last decade and has found the unique ability to create a trendy, modern experience while holding onto the traditional New England feel. It maintains a balance of both the old and the new elements of a city, with most of the town’s heritage under careful maintenance and preservation while also developing further to cater to the needs of the people. In 2008, in honor of the special relationship with the city and residents of Rockland, it was named a Coast Guard City.

Rockland Maine - home to fine arts, the largest lighthouse museum, and historic lighthouses

Walking out to the Rockland Breakwater

Rockland has also become a great place for anyone interested to seeing some outstanding artwork. The Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center have collections that number in the 1000's and include 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.

The museum is the legacy of Lucy Copeland Farnsworth to the city 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. The Olson House was one of artist Andrew Wyeth’s favorite subjects in his works. Both historic houses are open for public tours.

Rockland, Maine is also home to the Maine Lighthouse Museum. Considered as the largest lighthouse museum, it houses the largest collection of Fresnel lighthouse lenses, United States Coast Guard memorabilia, and other marine memorabilia. A retired Coast Guard officer, Kenneth Black, founded it and it aims to promote the appreciation of maritime history and to preserve materials and articles of the Lighthouse era.

When you want to experience the real thing, the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse and The Owls Head State Park and Lighthouse are located nearby and are popular tourist destinations with visitors to the area as well. The Breakwater Lighthouse is used by the city as its emblem and letterhead. It offers wonderful views of Penobscot Bay, the schooners and ferries gliding on the waters in and out of the harbor. The Owls Head Lighthouse is a white, 30-foot brick lighthouse that sits atop a 70-foot high cliff at the entrance of Rockland Harbor.

Rockland locals are well-known for not only their fierce work-ethic, but also for their excitement and openness when welcoming visitors. If you are looking to venture into the middle part of the Maine coastline, Rockland is one of the area's top sightseeing destinations and is definitely a place worth visiting.


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