Exploring Camden and Rockland, Maine
Camden and Rockland are two of Maine’s most vibrant coastal towns and offer more than might first meet the eye. So, if you’re not quite ready to return to “the real world” after your Windjammer trip, or want to spend a day or two exploring the area before you trip starts, check out these towns! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite places in Camden and Rockland.
In Rockland and Rockport:
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
Protecting the entrance to Rockland harbor sits the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse at the tip of a mile-long breakwater. It’s definitely worth a stroll out to the Lighthouse (unless there’s a big sea) where you can see Windjammers, daysailing vessels, ferries, and lobster boats head to and fro all day long. There’s usually plenty of parking to boot.
Sail, Power & Steam Museum
Established by former Windjammer captain Jim Sharp, the museum is home to an eclectic mix of cool old machinery including working steam engines, display boats, windjammer memorabilia, a Foucault pendulum, historic photos and more. There is a self-guided audio tour, but if you happen to be there when Captain Sharp is in, he’ll be happy to regal you with lots of sea stories. Sail, Power and Steam Museum
The Farnsworth’s collection contains over 15,000 works of art. The collection focuses on American art with an emphasis on Maine’s artists, especially the Wyeth family. Farnsworth Museum
Beech Hill Preserve
This preserve run by the Coastal Mountain Land Trust is a peaceful little gem. Park in the lot on Beechwood St. and stroll.6 miles up the hill. As you walk you’ll pass organic blueberry fields which the group maintains and which are open for free blueberry picking in early August. Atop the hill sits a 1914 stone hut and from the top are sweeping views of Penobscot Bay and beyond. You’ll see most of the Bay’s islands and even beyond to Blue Hill and Acadia National Park. Beech Hill Preserve
In Camden and Lincolnville:
Camden Hills State Park
You don’t need to head to Acadia to find great hiking trails and water views. The park boasts a multitude of trails – though most are fairly steep, except for the short ½ mile shore trail. (For less strenuous hiking visit Beech Hill Preserve). But if you’re up for a moderate hike, visit the Park. You can also drive or hike up to the Mt. Battie Tower which overlooks the bay. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day this beloved tower is adorned with a lighted star which can be seen throughout town.
The picturesque three block area of downtown Camden holds many wonderful shops. There are artists’ galleries, clothing stores, homegood stores, bookstores, a toystore, ice-cream shops, restaurants and a very well-stocked candy store (Uncle Willy’s).
Just up the road into Lincolnville is Cellardoor Winery which has a 5.5 acre vineyard filled with cold-hardy grapes and a beautiful tasting room overlooking it. The grounds are gorgeous. There are tours and tastings available. Cellardoor Winery
A little further north:
Fort Knox and Penobscot Bay Narrows Observatory
About 45 minutes north of Camden/Lincolnville in Prospect is Fort Knox and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory. Built in 1844, Ft. Knox is one of the best preserved military fortifications in New England. It was built to protect against British naval invasion though it was never actually attacked. It sits atop a point of land overlooking the Penobscot River, so the surrounding views are beautiful.
Also right there is the Penobscot Bay Narrow Bridge and Observatory which is the highest bridge observation deck open to the public in the world! You can take an elevator to the top of its 42 stories to see the whole of Penobscot Bay and beyond. Fort Knox and Penobscot Bay Narrows Observatory
Categories: MishMash: fun facts, trivia and recommendations, The Maine Coast