This thriving commercial town boasts a large fishing fleet and a proud year-round population that gives Rockland a vibrancy lacking in some other Midcoast towns. Its Main Street is a window into the city’s socio-cultural diversity, with a jumble of working class diners, bohemian cafés and high-end bistros alongside galleries, old-fashioned storefronts and one of the state’s best art museums.
Settled in 1769, Rockland was once an important shipbuilding center and a transportation hub for goods moving up and down the coast. Today, tall-masted sailing ships still fill the harbor, as Rockland, along with Camden, is a center for Maine’s busy windjammer cruises (to join a multi-day cruise, see opposite). Rockland is also the birthplace of poet Edna St Vincent Millay (1892–1950), who grew up in neighboring Camden.
The big events in Rockland are the Maine Lobster Festival (www.mainelobsterfestival.com) in early August and the North Atlantic Blues Festival (www.northatlanticbluesfestival.com) in mid-July. Both of these are huge events, siphoning up accommodation for many miles surrounding Rockland.