15 Best Things to Do in Rockland Maine This Year

Mid-Coast Maine is a stunningly beautiful destination where the mountains and sea come together to create a magical atmosphere that’s perfect for anyone to visit.

Located in the heart of the region, Rockland Maine is famous for its natural coastal beauty and magnificent rocky shoreline, which features countless inlets and harbors that are great for sailing, boating, or hiking. These recommendations for things to do in Rockland Maine offer an authentic New England experience right on the coast.

As a convenient crossroads for travelers, Rockland Maine serves as a gateway to the best that Mid-Coast Maine has to offer. Rockland Harbor is home to ferries that provide access to the island communities of Northhaven and Vinalhaven and is one of the best boating harbors on the East Coast.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, we’ve got you covered with the best things to do in Rockland Maine.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Rockland Maine During Summer

The Best Outdoor Things to Do in Rockland Maine

Rockland is a city surrounded by beautiful waterways, inlets, and bays, making it easy to find one to explore. With the wilderness areas that surround the city, there’s no shortage of things to do in Rockland.

Rockland Golf Club

For those who prefer to enjoy the great outdoors on a golf course, the Rockland Golf Club is a must-visit spot. This 18-hole course is green all season long and offers spectacular views of the ocean from the first hole, making for a truly picturesque experience.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

No visit to Maine is complete without gazing upon a historic lighthouse, and the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is a must-see attraction. Located at the end of a 3/4-mile breakwater, this lighthouse is only accessible by foot.

Once you walk out to the lighthouse and back, it’s a 1.5-mile round trip, but the scenic views and rich history are well worth it. Completed in 1902, the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is a great place to explore the tradition of Maine lighthouses.

Sidecountry Sports

If you prefer to explore Rockland Maine by taking a more scenic route, Sidecountry Sports is the perfect spot for you. This full-service bike shop offers sales and services on bikes, as well as snowboarding and skiing gear.

You can even rent bikes, which is a great way to explore the Rockland area and maintain a slower pace to really soak up the beauty of this coastal town.

Penobscot Bay

Exploring the local waterways is a must-do activity when visiting MidCoast Maine, and Penobscot Bay is a perfect spot to start. This inlet runs along the Maine coast to the Penobscot River and is home to many fisheries.

You can charter boats for great views of the coast from the sea. Whether you’re interested in taking tours, fishing experiences, or chartering boats, Penobscot Bay has something to offer everyone.

Archipelago store with handmade goods in Rockland Maine - best shopping in Rockland
Photo Courtesy Archipelago

Unique Rockland Maine Shopping Experiences

One of the best things about visiting a new (or even an old) place is taking a little piece of it home with you when you leave.

If you’re looking to bring home fresh seafood from the Maine coast, be sure to stop by Jess’s Market in Rockland. Here, you can get the absolute freshest fish, shipped to your door on dry ice. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy the tastes of your vacation from the comfort of your own kitchen!

Another great way to take a piece of your vacation home with you is by buying Made in Maine products from Archipelago. This store is full of one-of-a-kind items that change seasonally, all made in Maine and all contributing to the seaside life and culture that you love.

Restaurants in Rockland Maine - Rustica Restaurant Chef with his dishes
Photo Courtesy Rustica Restaurant

Great Restaurants in Rockland Maine

Exploring is all fun and games, but you need to have the energy to get out there and explore. And when it comes to eating, you don’t want to settle for just any restaurant – you want to find the best restaurants in Rockland, Maine.


If you’ve always wanted to experience the cozy ambiance of an Italian grandma’s kitchen, complete with uber-fresh pasta and the aroma of homemade sauce simmering on the stove, then Rustica is the perfect restaurant for you.

Here, Chef Stowe takes pride in making everything in-house — from fresh pasta and bread to housemade sausages. The result is a truly authentic dining experience that will transport you straight to Italy.

Home Kitchen Cafe

No matter what day it is, it’s always a good time to celebrate with cake. Home Kitchen Cafe is the perfect spot for those looking for from-scratch meals for breakfast and lunch.

And the best part? It offers specialty order cakes for any occasion, ensuring that your celebration is extra sweet. Plus, it even has allergy-friendly options available for those with specific dietary restrictions.

RELATED: Looking for more recommendations? These are the best restaurants in Rockland Maine.

Fireworks over the bay - festivals and events in Rockland Maine

Great Rockland Maine Festivals

There’s nothing quite like a festival to bring out the heart of a community, and Rockland Maine is no exception. This town is home to many great festivals that are sure to bring a smile to your face and a sense of community spirit to your heart.

North Atlantic Blues Festival

If you’re a music lover, the North Atlantic Blues Festival is the perfect event for you. Held at the public landing in Rockland Maine for two days each July, this festival features amazing blues music that’s sure to get your toes tapping. But that’s not all — Vendors sell delicious food and refreshing beverages, and there are unique crafts to explore.

Maine Lobster Festival

Get ready for five days of feasting and fun on the stunning Maine coast at the Maine Lobster Festival. This annual event — held each August — features carnival rides, entertainment, and of course, delicious lobster dinners.

It’s a celebration of all things lobster and a fantastic way to experience the local culture. Check out this fun video showcasing the process of catching and serving the fresh lobsters that are enjoyed at the festival each year:

Festival of Lights

During the Festival of Lights in Rockland Maine, Santa arrives in town right after Thanksgiving via a US Coast Guard vessel to kick off the Christmas season. This festive event offers a variety of activities, including spending time with Santa, taking a horse-drawn carriage ride, participating in a festival of trees auction, and much more.

RELATED: If you love to spend time festival-hopping, you’ll definitely want to check out these other great Mid-Coast Maine festivals.

Museums and Lighthouses to Explore in Rockland Maine - white lighthouse on a hill overlooking ocean

Museums & Historic Sites Rockland Maine

Exploring the cuisine and scenery of a region is delightful, and for the perfect trifecta, delving into its history is also essential.

The Maine Lighthouse Museum offers a glimpse into the history of lighthouses in Maine, featuring artifacts, life-saving devices, and captivating stories and collections from the rich heritage of lighthouses and their keepers.

But, it’s not just the history of lighthouses that captivates us in Maine. We also take pride in showcasing our local artists and the distinct and compelling stories they tell through their artwork. The Farnsworth Art Museum displays works of art from Maine artists in both collections and carefully curated exhibits throughout its art galleries.

King Suite - Glen Cove Inn - a hotel near Rockland Maine

Best Place to Stay in Rockland Maine

With its array of festivals, museums, delectable restaurants, and captivating coastline, Rockland Maine promises an enjoyable experience. To serve as your home base for exploration, you’ll want the perfect blend of amenities and affordability.

At Glen Cove Inn & Suites, you’ll discover the ideal combination of amenities and affordability. From the delightful outdoor breakfast on a covered veranda to the heated outdoor pool, our location offers accommodations for various types of trips, whether it’s a romantic getaway or a family vacation, including pet-friendly options.

TIP: If you’re visiting during the winter months, our sister property is open year-round and features amenities such as a heated indoor pool and spa.

We invite you to browse through our rooms and peruse our photos to help you begin planning your own trip. Then, book one of our rooms for your Mid-Coast Maine travel dates. We eagerly await your visit!