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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.