Rockland is dedicated to preserving the past and enlightening visitors to the guiding principles on which it was founded. Located within easy walking or driving distance of our mid-coast Maine bed and breakfast, the following 5 must-see museums in Rockland, ME are among our guests’ favorites. Read on to find out why.
You can learn a lot about a destination by paying attention to its claims to fame. Known as the “lobster capital of the world,” you’ll find lobster on just about any restaurant menu in town. And the famed crustacean is wildly celebrated during the annual Maine Lobster Festival. “Arts capital of Maine” puts a spotlight on the many art museums and galleries that populate the main streets and back roads of town. And “coolest small town in America” depicts a lively food and entertainment scene.
The following 5 museums shed light on many unique attributes and history of Rockland.
#1 – Center for Maine Contemporary Art
First established in 1952, this downtown art museum is a welcome addition to the art scene in Rockland. The building was designed by Toshiko Mori, an internationally recognized architect. This impressive glass and metal structure is unlike anything you might see elsewhere in Maine. Featuring contemporary artists from around the state, the museum strives to bring the artistic vision of “this generation and the next” through ever-changing exhibits of modern art. Be sure to spend some time in the central courtyard and browse the gift shop for unique gifts.
#2 – Farnsworth Art Museum
Located in the heart of Rockland, the Farnsworth Art Museum first opened in 1948. The museum was created as a memorial to William Farnsworth, one of Rockland’s most famous entrepreneurs. It houses an impressive collection of American artists and Maine-inspired artwork. The ever-popular Wyeths (Andrew, Jamie, and N.C.) have their own dedicated gallery space, known as the Wyeth Center. Further afield, the museum is the steward for the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olsen House.
#3 – Owls Head Transportation Museum
Located just outside of town in the tiny fishing village of Owls Head the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Here, you’ll find one of the most impressive collections of vintage and classic vehicles. All crafted before the 1940s, these historic vehicles demonstrate the ingenuity and creativity of inventors. The New England Auto Auction is a favorite annual event and draws visitors from near and far.
#4 – Maine Lighthouse Museum
A visit to the Maine Lighthouse Museum is an absolute must for anyone interested in lighthouses. You’ll discover an impressive collection of authentic Fresnel lighthouse lenses, Coast Guard memorabilia, and maritime artifacts. What’s more, you’ll get an insightful look into the history and heroics of these magnificent beacons and the keepers who tended them.
#5 – Rockland Sail Power and Steam Museum
Claiming to be more than just a museum, the Rockland Sail Power and Steam Museum, presents an interactive array of exhibits purporting to “preserve the maritime heritage of this blue-collar seacoast town.” With hands-on exhibits, plus educational workshops and demonstrations, the crew of the museum aims to instruct and enlighten visitors to Rockland’s intimate connection to the sea. Located on Rockland’s working harbor at the beginning of the Rockland Harbor Trail, a visit to this museum is sure to delight the whole family.
Come see why there is more to Rockland than lobster and lighthouses. Visit these 5 must-see museums in Rockland, ME. You’ll learn more about our history and culture, and experience the real Maine through special events and exhibits. We’re right in the heart of it all at the Berry Manor Inn. Book your favorite room and embark on a quest for understanding the rich history that makes Rockland such a magical destination.