Are you looking for a Maine vacation guide? You’d be making a mistake to skip out on Rockport or Rockland, Maine. This comprehensive guide gives you recommendations on where to eat, things to do, and where to stay during a trip to Rockport and Rockland, Maine.
The two cities are about 15 min apart from each other and we stopped in both during the day we stayed in the area so I’ve combined my recommendations into one blog post. Everything is close enough that you could stay in one town for the night, but head to the other to see the attractions.
A one-day trip would allow you to see a good amount of both cities, but if you have the time, I’d recommend staying two nights or more because they have some of the best food here.
Here’s your travel guide to Rockport and Rockland, Maine.
Things to Do
Visit Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse sits at the end of a 7/8 mile long breakwater and you can walk all the way out to it on the giant stepping stones. More information on tours here. I felt comfortable walking in my sandals but we went at a slow pace and didn’t walk all the way out to the lighthouse. It’s a good spot to wear sneakers, and if you are coming with small kids, they may need some help at times for some of the gaps.
Walk through the village and Beauchamp Point and Beech Hill in Rockport
Go Shopping in Rockland on Main Street
You’ll find several local shops, including:
Black Parrot: clothing
Fiore Artisan Olive Oils + Vinegars: You can sample before buying!
fourTWELVE: clothing and more
Puffin’s Nest: giftables
Grasshopper Shop: a very eclectic shop with gifts and more
I loved our sail and then afterwards just enjoying the campfire behind our airbnb. It’s one of those places where you can put your feet up and enjoy a good book in the fresh air so take advantage of the time and relax.
This was one of our favorite activities of our entire Maine road trip. You’ve got to do at least one sailing excursion while visiting Maine and sailing on Schooner Heron is a great choice. They have amazing reviews and we really enjoyed our Happy Hour Sunset Tour. There were about 8 other people on the boat but it never felt crowded. The punch that they serve is great and you’re also allowed to bring your own snacks and drinks on the boat too.
Visit Samoset Resort
You can pop into Samoset Resort and enjoy their golf courses, visit the spa or grab a seat at their bar. It’s a very popular resort in the region and has amazing amenities.
We stopped in Camden on our way to Rockport & Rockland and enjoyed a pretty quick hike in Camden Hills State Park. We did the Mount Battie hike.
You can’t stop anywhere along the Maine coast without finding some options to kayak. Breakwater Kayak is the go-to company in town and they offer a variety of trips from a few hours to full-day kayaking.
Visit a local Winery
Just south of Rockland you can find a local winery, Breakwater Vineyards, for a wine tasting.
Where to Eat in Rockport and Rockland, Maine
For two small towns, there is an amazing amount of awesome places to eat. Unless you’re staying in the area a few nights, you’ll have to narrow the list down to your preferences. But, all these delightful restaurants just mean that you’ll need to come back.
Nina June – You can take a break from the usual menus in Maine with Nina June. The restaurant is Mediterranean inspired. Eat all the pastas and make a reservation for a table outside to enjoy the views.
18 Central – 18 Central is an oyster bar and grill. Go for the oysters and their extensive cocktail menu.
Sea Folk – A coffee shop with a limited, but tasty breakfast menu and fresh pastries. The service was slow while we visited, but my avocado toast was delicious.
Market Basket – A gourmet market where you can grab and go freshly made sandwiches, salads and more. Also another spot for a quick coffee and breakfast.
Suzuki’s Sushi Bar – Some of the best sushi on the east coast. Make a reservation if you’re a sushi lover like me.
Primo’s – Chef Melissa Kelly is a 3-time James Beard Award Winner so this is basically the best restaurant in the entire state of Maine.
Wasses Hot Dogs – An inexpensive, but local favorite spot. You order at a window and there are some picnic tables, but I’d recommend taking the food to go. I went with the classic hot dog and fries with cheese. The hot dog was good, but I really loved the cheesy fries.
Where to Stay
Samoset Resort could be a great option if you have the budget since they have so many awesome amenities.
We opted for a cozy Airbnb in Rockport.
It’s a one bedroom with kitchen and living room space that is behind a WINE AND CHEESE SHOP!!! The owners were so friendly. You have to pick up at least one bottle of wine to enjoy with a bonfire at night. The space was beautiful and quiet and just the right size for the two of us.
I did find it challenging in some parts of our Maine road trip to find Marriott hotel accommodations. You can tell some of these towns really are smaller. We used a lot of Marriott points where we could on our trip, but this was one of those stops where an Airbnb was our best option. Just an FYI if you’re like me and are hoping to use points during your Maine trip. 🙂
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