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Captain George Harris of Superfly Charters gets ready to go fishing for striped bass. Photo by Stephen Hartshorne
Captain George Harris of Superfly Charters gets ready to go fishing for striped bass. Photo by Stephen Hartshorne

Read More About Maine on GoNOMAD

 

Rockland, Maine: Fine Art and Family Fun

Downtown Rockland has a newly-renovated theater, The Strand, for movies, concerts and other performances, no fewer than 24 art galleries and studios, the world famous Farnsworth Art Museum and the new Maine Lighthouse Museum.

There are shipbuilding demonstrations at Atlantic Challenge and golfing and conference facilities at the Samoset Resort. Right nearby are the Abbe Native American Museum, the estate of Revolutionary War hero Henry Knox and many beautiful ponds for swimming and canoeing.

We went out and pulled traps with a lobsterman and found out all about the life cycle of the world's favorite crustacean. We gawked at World War I biplanes at the Owl's Head Transportation Museum -- real Fokkers and Sopwiths that still fly.

We took a dinner cruise amongst and between all the beautiful little islands in the bay, and learned about the restoration of the puffins, the world's cutest and cuddliest seabird, at the Puffin Center on Main Street. We went sailing on the schooner Morning in Maine (or is it a ketch?), part of Rockland's famous fleet of historic sailing vessels.

We got up 5:30 a.m. and went fishing for striped bass, a game fish you can't buy at the market. Even I caught one. We toured the Lighthouse Museum and three historic Victorian mansions and visited the Farnsworth Art Museum, which has one of the finest collections in the world.

The beach in Old Orchard Maine - photo by Kate Hartshorne
The beach in Old Orchard Maine - photo by Kate Hartshorne

Old Orchard Beach, Maine: For Families of All Ages

Nestled into seven miles of white sandy beach, Old Orchard Beach, Maine and its surrounding community is the perfect place for a family vacation. This long strip of heaven is ideal for swimming, sandcastles, or digging for clams.

Having frequented this part of Maine often with my parents when I was a child, I had no recollection of what to expect as I made the short drive from western Massachusetts with my husband and two boys.

Having children of different age groups (10 and 2) and different interests, and a husband with different hobbies from my own, family vacations are not always easy for us to plan. How do you find an area that will truly be fun for the whole family? We did; the answer was Old Orchard Beach.

Cozy Harbor, Maine - photo by Kent St. John
Cozy Harbor, Maine - photo by Kent St. John
Finding The Perfect Summer Rental: Southport Island, Maine

I wasn’t asking for much when I looked into renting a place on the coast of Maine. Only that it be reasonably priced, on the water, full of charm, fully stocked, and near a town with activity; in other words a fantasy rental.

Determination and hours online paid off when I came across Cozy Cottage on Cozy Harbor. I went through the pictures several times until I realized that I better jump and quickly; the chance of an opening in July was tenuous at best.

The next morning I received an email from the cottage’s owner that my desired week was still open. Bingo! A chance to be a summer person near one of Maine’s prettiest costal villages, a carefree week by the ocean, so the check was in the mail.

Not very long after, I was awaiting John and Ellen Blois at the Hannaford Store in Boothbay Harbor to get the keys to my home on the coast of Maine.

Street scene in Portland, Maine - photo by Kent St. John
Street scene in Portland, Maine - photo by Kent St. John
Portland, Maine: A Stalwart Seafaring City

Portland, Maine, is scruffy, in the most desirable way; no wonder Outside Magazine places it on the 2005 list of the best places to live. That fits with its motto Resurgam (I shall rise again).

Just past the affluent Kennebunkport and south of L.L. Beanville (Freeport) lies one of America’s fastest growing revival cities. The downtown area is filled with shops, pubs and fishermen. Greek revival mansions sit side by side with brick bastions that once served the seafaring Mainer.

The town is gruff; brick architecture exemplifies the hard-working heart of this seafaring town. Portland may have a nightlife riddled with top restaurants and top names of every venue the entertainment world has to offer, but its exterior is the glossy coating of a 19th century stalwart fishing village gone metro.

When the name Portland comes up, nine times out of ten people think of this breezy city’s west coast Oregon twin. Hidden away in plain sight, however, is cultural restoration at its finest.

 

Read more GoNOMAD stories about Maine:

The Desert of Maine: It Started as a Patch of Sand

A Windjammer Cruise Along Maine's Craggy Coast

Magnificent Maine: Hikes and Lobsters in Mount Desert Island

Belfast, Maine: New England’s Coastal Secret

Sailing the Maine Coast: Schooner Time Down East

The York Harbor Inn: History, Luxury and Spectacular Seafood

Into the Woods: Family Outdoors Adventures in New England

 

Maine

by Stephen Hartshorne Read More About Maine on GoNOMAD A Rockland, Maine: Fine Art
The Desert of Maine started as a patch of sand and grew to cover more than 40 acres
Belfast, Maine: New EnglandAs Coastal Secret By Jennifer M. Eisenlau Heaps
The Desert of Maine started as a patch of sand and grew to cover more than 40 acres. Photos by Jen
Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo by Pinaki Chakraborty. Click on photo
Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine. Photo by Pinaki Chakraborty. Click on image
Destination Guide Portland, Maine: A Stalwart Seafaring City By Kent E. St. John Senior Travel
Scenic York Harbor, Maine - photos by Daryl Popper The York Harbor Inn: History
'Summer Clouds and Fields' by Eric Hopkins of Rockland, Maine Rockland, Maine: Fine
Watch Travel Videos on GoNOMAD Maine Acadia National Park Watch more Bar Harbor videos at tripfilms.com
Maine: For Families with Children of All Ages By Kate Cosme Nestled into seven miles of white sandy
Sailing the Maine Coast: Schooner Time Downeast By Kent E. St. John
on photo to enlarge. Magnificent Maine: Hikes and Lobsters on Mount Desert Island By Esha
Maine: Home of the Un-yoked Herd By Herb Hiller I thought I had left Florida behind when I lately
Lewiston Has No Lobsters Somali girls in a park in Lewiston, Maine. photos by Max Hartshorne