Among the small coastal towns of Maine, Rockland stands apart as the “business town” for the region. Although its year-round population is a tiny 7600, its core is a small city. Today its 19th century mercantile buildings contain unique shops and restaurants. Rockland’s centerpiece is the Farnsworth Museum, an art museum housed in a number of traditional old buildings. A former Methodist church has become a principle gallery, home to the work of three generations of the Wyeth family. It is concentrated on art created by N.C . Wyeth, his son Andrew, and Andrew’s son James Wyeth. Andrew Wyeth is particularly known for his connection to the coast of Maine. A special exhibition “The Wyeths, Maine and the Sea” is on display through December 31, 2014.
During my visit I enjoyed finding the 12-foot-tall “Love Wall” by Robert Indiana, one of many expressions the artist has created based on his famous squared “LOVE” graphic.
For the traveler there’s much to explore in Rockland and nearby towns. The Maine Lighthouse Museum is one of several destinations in the area for those interested in history. The others are the Owls Head Transportation Museum, the Historical Society of Rockland County, the Penobscot Marine Museum, and the General Henry Knox Museum. Ride a ferry 12 miles out to sea to Vinalhaven or North Vinal islands, enjoying the spectacular coast views en route. Within 25 miles of Rockland there are three state parks with gentle walks and more challenging hikes. The shops and galleries of Rockland provide opportunities to find unique souvenirs, reminders of lovely summer days along the central coast of the great state of Maine.
In July Rockland hosts one of the most respected Blues Festivals in America: www.northatlanticbluesfestival.com.
A summer event for many years, the Maine Lobster Festival is held in Rockland annually. Featuring Maine lobsters, waterfront activities, maritime demonstrations, Maine arts and crafts, ship tours, harbor cruises, live entertainment, and of course a parade. www.mainelobsterfestival.com
A site filled with helpful information about the Camden-Rockland area: http://www.mainedreamvacation.com/
The Farnsworth Museum: http://farnsworthmuseum.org/
National Geographic named Rockland one of its “100 Best Adventure Towns” – read more about that here: http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/weekend-getaways/maine/rockland-travel
Here’s a link to the Maine Ferry Service’s Vinal Haven page:
The sculpture (shown above) taken on the grounds of the Farnsworth Museum is Robert Indiana’s LoveWall, created about 1967.
May, 2018 addendum: Robert Indiana died in Vinal Haven, Maine on May 19, 2018. You can read about his life here.