A DAY IN MID-COAST MAINE

Because Mid-Coast Maine embraces a lot of territory, I’ll stick to my corner of the coast, and let’s make the day this Friday, July 15. You’ll see why shortly. Even though we’re starting early, there’s way too much we’ll have to miss. After a delicious breakfast in Rockland at the Home Kitchen Café or at your charming B&B, you’re out for the day.

The town is home to many art galleries, the newest the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, on Winter Street. The CMCA’s amazing building is itself a work of art.

CenterMaineContemporaryArt

Exhibitions change but all feature works by artists with ties to the state of Maine. Current featured artists include Alex Katz and Jonathan Borofsky.

Just across Main Street, visit the world-class Farnsworth Museum, with a range of exhibits in more than one building. Some of my favorite paintings are by the famous Wyeth family—N.C., Jamie, and Andrew. One of the more distant exhibits is in Cushing, the house that served as backdrop for Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting Christina’s World.

Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the many local restaurants. I can’t choose for you, but you can’t go wrong with lobster. Then walk off your meal along the Rockland Breakwater. Out of Rockland north on Main Street, turn right onto Waldo Avenue. A half mile along, go right onto the Samoset Road, which ends in the small parking area for the Breakwater. The Breakwater, to the left of the parking area, leads about .8 miles to the lighthouse.

The mile long granite jetty, originally built between 1880 and 1900, offers a stunning panoramic view of Penobscot Bay and a glimpse of Owls Head Light. The granite blocks are uneven and could be wet, so wear good walking shoes and don’t forget your camera!

SchoonerByLighthouse

If you time it right, you can see the Maine Windjammer Parade of Sail. On that day, more than a dozen nineteenth-century-style tall ships pass by from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. A photographic opportunity not to be missed. If you miss the parade, you might still catch sight of a few of the windjammers as they cruise by with afternoon sightseers or with folks out for the week’s tour. I took this picture one year from our small sailboat.

After your mile walk back to land, if you’re still in the mood for gorgeous views and lighthouses, head south on Route 1. In Thomaston, turn left onto Route 131. At that corner is another fascinating museum—Montpelier, the Knox Museum. The mansion is a reproduction of the retirement home of Revolutionary War hero General Henry Knox and contains many original furnishings. Docents in period costumes share history and glimpses of life in that time. But that tour will have to wait for another day. We’re running out of time this Friday.

FtPointViewDownriver2

The drive down the St. George peninsula affords views of farm fields sweeping down to the St. George River and farther down, picturesque coves dotted with small islands and lobster boats. Entering the fishing village of Port Clyde, take a left and follow signs to the Marshall Point Lighthouse. There you reach the end of the peninsula and the southern end of Penobscot Bay.

Along with the light (1858), at the end of a long wooden runway, are gardens and paths.

marshall-point-light

The lighthouse may look familiar because of being featured in the film Forrest Gump as the eastern end of Tom Hank’s character’s cross-country run. The restored Keeper’s House (1895) contains a museum housing exhibits centered on the lighthouse and peninsula life. The paths and runway to the light offer views of the ocean, waves breaking on the rocky shore, and the village harbor.

If you’re worn out from your full day, be sure to have an ice cream in Port Clyde or a snack at the General Store, where you can look out toward Marshall Point. If you have Saturday still to tour the Mid-Coast, check out boat tours, some aboard lobster boats. For more about the Wyeths, board the Linderin Losh in Port Clyde. The tour includes itineraries focused on locations, the lives, and work of the Wyeths and a lobster trap-hauling demonstration.

On this Saturday and Sunday, you can rock out to the blues at the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland Harbor Park. This is a picture I took a few years ago.PianoBlowout

A longer visit could include ferry rides to the offshore and bay islands. As you can see, Mid-Coast Maine encompasses more than I’ve covered, so I’ve had to omit many landmarks and sights in the area.

Maybe commenters can suggest others.

About susanvaughan

Susan Vaughan immerses herself in writing romantic suspense novels to escape from the dust bunnies under her furniture and the weeds in her garden. She is a West Virginia native, but she and her husband live in the Mid-Coast area of Maine. A former teacher, she has two nonfiction publications in the field of beginning reading and one young-adult mystery novel. She has written for Harlequin and The Wild Rose Press. Her books have received the Golden Leaf and Laurie awards and been nominated for the Bookseller's Best Award. f Excellence.
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20 Responses to A DAY IN MID-COAST MAINE

  1. Barb Ross says:

    Susan–you’ve just described some of my favorite ways to spend a day in Maine!

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  2. Skye says:

    Susan, waving to you from NJ. “A Day in Mid-Coast Maine” is splendid. From where I am it looks like a safe haven replete with arts, lighthouses and beautiful scenery. I am always in awe of how very Americana Maine appears. At one time, this part of NJ was very similar, but it has sadly changed.

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  3. Skye says:

    Addendum: there are no museums in my area, and I adore Wyeth, too. I have always wanted to go sailing, and although I am familiar with boating, I have never sailed. It also seems as if hiking can be awesome in Maine ( one of my favorite activities). Thank you so much for p0sting this.

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    • Skye, thanks for both comments. Come on down! Down East, that is.

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      • Skye says:

        Susan, seriously, I am thinking about it. My friend and her husband have a house they use during the summer. I am making plans to relocate, and she is telling to go to Maine ( I have been hopeful about heading West).
        Who knows, but Maine does sound lovely.

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      • Skye, lots of places here to vacation. That’s how my husband and I first came to Maine and then eventually moved here. We love it!

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      • Skye says:

        Susan, I am completely enchanted with Maine, now, and was curious in the past: my son adored it up there; however, summertime looks ideal, but what about fall and winter? That is what is holding me back. Coming to visit and vacation sound incredible, though.

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  4. Emily Allen says:

    Susan I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never been down that way. After reading this I just may have to plan a trip.

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  5. I lived on Islesboro for four years and miss Midcoast Maine. Thanks for reminding me of favorite places!

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  6. Hey, Susan. Loved this post as it reminded me of our trip to that area when we got to meet in person. I put Rockland in my 4th book as a place the H & H drove through. Sooo pretty. Loved the museum and the vistas are just super. We’ll return this October, staying in Boothbay Harbor. I’ll share your post.

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  7. Laurie Evans says:

    Nice article. I love learning about hidden corners to visit.

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  8. Our family loves driving up the coast and visiting lighthouses and festivals. My current work is a centered around a fictitious coastal town in the Rockland area. You’ve given me lots of inspiration!

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  9. Teri Linscott says:

    Great blog! I haven’t been to many of those places. I think I need to put some of them on my list!

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