Where to Stay & Eat
The show itself will have many great food vendors with delicious eats to offer you.
The city of Rockland has fantastic food and plenty of great lodging options all within a short distance of the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show grounds.
Below you'll find links to the Penobscot Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and to our Coastal Directory to help you find a place to stay and places to eat around town. We recommend that you book lodging early to avoid disappointment. This is high season on the coast of Maine and things sell out quickly!
Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce
View the Chamber's online and interactive 2013 Visitor's Guide; The Jewel
Dining & Nightlife
Traveling with Children
Arts and Entertainment
The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce offices are at One Park Drive, next to the Buoy Park entrance to the show. Stop in and talk with their helpful staff if you have any questions.
While you are in the area for the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show, we hope you can find some time to tour nearby towns and attractions, some highlights of which appear below. The full article from which this text was excerpted can be obtained from the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce offices, located just outside the Buoy Park entrance to the show (near the show office).
Many visitors to the Penobscot Bay region confine their journey to well-traveled Route 1, which winds northeastward, hugging the Maine coast until it reaches Canada. While Route 1 offers many must-see destinations, if you confine your visit to that narrow corridor, you will miss the richness and diversity of many other towns and villages.
A drive to discover the region’s communities promises something for everyone: charming small towns with first-rate shopping, restaurants and accommodations; a wealth of natural beauty; fascinating local history; a nationally known art museum; and a host of indoor and outdoor activities suitable for any curious traveler willing to take the time to explore off the beaten path. Beauty and history can be found around every turn, no matter what the season.
Rockland is the county seat of Knox County and the largest city in the region with a population of 7,700. First settled in 1769, Rockland’s early history revolved around the manufacture of lime in the late 1700s and around the shipbuilding industry during the great age of sail. Today Rockland is known for its creative and tourist economy, as a burgeoning center for the arts, and as the home of the nation’s largest fleet of windjammers, which set out from the city’s harbor to cruise the Maine coast throughout the summer and early fall months. Rockland is worth at least a day’s exploration, with its charming downtown district of art galleries, museums, shops and restaurants. The city is known as the Lobster Capital of the World, and its annual summer Maine Lobster Festival ( www.mainelobsterfestival.com
When you leave the show, make your first stop the Maine Discovery Center, located right on the harbor at One Park Drive. The Discovery Center houses the extensive visitor resources of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce (www.mainedreamvacation.com
After leaving the Lighthouse Museum, park your car in one of the free, all-day municipal lots located off Tillson Avenue (street parking, while plentiful and free, is limited to two hours on weekdays) and set off to explore the many offerings of this bustling small town. Be sure to include a visit to one of the nations premier collections of American art, the Farnsworth Art Museum ( www.FarnsworthMuseum.org
Rockland’s Main Street, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is also home to the new Project Puffin Visitor Center (www.projectpuffin.org
Just up Main Street is the fully restored Strand Theatre (www.RocklandStrand.com
The nonprofit Island Institute (www.IslandInstitute.org
Downtown Rockland is also the way to reach some of the year-round island communities with which the Institute works. The Maine State Ferry Terminal ( www.exploremaine.org/ferry/
When you’re through exploring Rockland’s downtown, head north on Main Street (Route 1) to the light at Waldo Avenue for a visit to one of the town’s most recognizable landmarks, the Rockland Breakwater Light (www.rocklandlighthouse.com
Nearby is one of the Midcoast’s most interesting and unusual museums, the Owls Head Transportation Museum (www.owlshead.org
As you leave the museum, turn right on Route 73 toward Rockland, and after approximately mile, turn right at North Shore Drive, the road that will take you to Owls Head Light State Park. Follow North Shore Drive to Main Street (turn left), then Lighthouse Road (turn left) and follow the road to its end at the park. One of the most photographed lighthouses in the Midcoast region, Owls Head Light was built in 1825 at the direction of President John Quincy Adams. Its Fresnel lens, installed in 1856, is still in use today, serving as a beacon at the entrance to Rockland Harbor. There’s plenty of parking on the lighthouse grounds, and the grounds are open to the public with free admission. The lighthouse and keeper's house are Coast Guard property and are not open to the public.
Glen Cove, Rockport, Camden, Lincolnville, Belfast, Searsport
When you arrive back in Rockland, head north on Route. Just after you leave the commercial north end of Rockland with its many service stations, fast food restaurants, and large chain retailers, you will come to the area of Rockport known as Glen Cove. The Glen Cove Rest Area, open from dawn to dusk in the summer months, offers sheltered picnic tables, grills and breath-taking views of Clam Cove and the islands of Penobscot Bay.
Continuing north on Route 1, you will pass many shops, inns and motels, as well as the headquarters of Down East Magazine, where you can purchase many of the well-known publisher’s Maine-related books and tour guides. Six miles north of Rockland, you will come to a traffic light at Route 90 (West Street). Turn right for 0.3 miles and follow West Street to a T intersection. Turn left at the T and follow the road across the bridge leading to downtown Rockport, a picture-postcard New England seaside town with its white-steepled church on a hill overlooking the sheltered harbor. The harbor provides moorage for pleasure and fishing boats alike, and it is not unusual to see commercial fishermen loading bait on the dock as recreational sailors prepare their craft for a daysail.
Downtown Rockport also is home to the Rockport Opera House, a 400-seat concert hall built in 1891 and now owned and operated by the town. The Opera House is home to concerts, plays and other arts and community events, and is one of the venues for the Bay Chamber Concerts series. Just around the corner from the Opera House at 162 Russell Avenue is the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (www.cmcanow.org
Follow Union Street from the center of Rockport about a mile into Camden, a quintessentially pretty New England village of 5,300 known for its upscale boutiques, eateries, inns, small hotels, and gift shops set against the backdrop of the Camden Hills. These hills were first noted by English sea captain and explorer George Waymouth in 1605, but the area was not settled until 1769. Camden became a town in 1791. Like several other Midcoast towns, Camden enjoyed prosperity from the shipbuilding and lime industries in the 1800s. The town’s woolen mills, powered by the rushing waters of the Megunticook River, prospered into the early years of the 1900s. While the mills it once powered have long since been remodeled for contemporary uses (including as the home of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, Inc.), the river still rushes beneath the floors of Main Street businesses and into the town’s busy harbor. Where the H.M. Bean boatyard once launched the first six-masted schooner ever built, recreational sail and power boats now mingle with the town’s fleet of tall-masted windjammers.
Camden's favorite daughter, Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, lived in the town from 1903 to 1913, and a statue of "Vincent" can be found in the downtown park near the public library. Hollywood put Camden in the national spotlight in 1957, when the movie "Peyton Place" was filmed there.
As you leave Camden’s main business district, Route 1 bends to the right, heading north toward Lincolnville and Belfast. The 17-mile stretch of Route 1 from Camden to Belfast is chock-full of inns and bed-and-breakfast lodgings, waterfront cabins and motels, and dozens of antique stores. About two miles north of town is the entrance to Camden Hills State Park, with its miles of shoreline and woodland hiking trails, campsites and picnic areas. The entrance to the seaside section of the park is on the right; on your left is the main park entrance. If the day is clear, pay the park admission fee and drive the Mt. Battie Auto Road to the top. You’ll be treated to a birds-eye view of Camden Harbor, surrounded by the panorama of Penobscot Bay and its islands.
About four miles north of the park on Route 1 is Lincolnville Beach, a popular sandy beach that is also the departure point for the state ferry to Islesboro, another of Maine’s 15 remaining year-round island communities. Lincolnville Beach is home to a post office, several stores and a handful of waterfront restaurants. The center of Lincolnville is just west of Lincolnville Beach on Route 173. The Lincolnville Historical Society ( www.lincolnvillehistory.org
Eleven miles north of Lincolnville Beach is the town of Belfast (pop. 6,872), located at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River (referred to as the Passy by locals). To reach the center of town from Route 1, follow the signs for the historic district and waterfront. About 1.6 miles after you turn off Route 1, you will reach a traffic light at Main Street in the center of town. Take advantage of the ample free parking on Main Street to explore this walker-friendly town that is rich in history and is filled with galleries, eateries and shops. Settled in 1765, Belfast was a shipbuilding center during the 1800s, and ships captains built and furnished many of the elegant Queen Anne, Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian homes that can still be seen in the towns historic district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Pick up a walking tour map of Belfast’s Church Street Historic District at the Chamber of Commerce’s visitor center on Main Street. You can also pick up a guide to Belfast’s own Museum of the Streets, a self-guided walking tour that will lead you through the downtown, residential and waterfront areas.