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Rockland, Maine: Lobster Capital of the World and so much more

boiled lobster dinner
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Rockland is a great place to savor the freshest of seafood and more in a variety of venues. It is one of the world’s largest lobster shipping centers and is known as The Lobster Capital of the World.

Edgy, intimate and eclectic

Local favorite Café Miranda on Oak Street lives up to its rave reputation from resident regulars and visitors. The menu is extensive and portions are large.

Cafe Miranda, Rockland, Maine
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Cafe Miranda, Rockland, Maine

Chef and owner Kerry Altiero renovated the historic Owl Benevolent and Fraternal Club in downtown Rockland and opened this restaurant in 1993. The seasonal culturally diverse cuisine is influenced by his Italian heritage  in this cozy venue described as edgy and intimate.

Pasta is made in-house and the signature focaccia bread is made daily in the wood-fired oven. Vegetables come from Chef Altiero’s own Headache Farm and meats and seafood are sourced locally. Sustainability is practiced and Cafe Miranda has been named an Environmental Leader by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Alfa Gondola seared local scallops with roasted speck ham, greens, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, banana peppers, & tomatoes with fresh pasta, Cafe Miranda Rockland, Maine
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Alfa Gondola seared local scallops, with roasted speck ham, greens, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, banana peppers, tomatoes & fresh pasta, Cafe Miranda

coconut curried mussels, Cafe Miranda, Rockland, Maine
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Coconut Curried Mussels appetizer, local mussels in a Thai coconut curry with basil, bean sprouts, and scallion, Cafe Miranda, Rockland, Maine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The multicultural comfort foods, simple to adventurous, include the Seafood Steamah and Hot Mess, the house-smoked brisket.

Down East Magazine named Chef Altiero the 2015 Maine Chef of the Year. He is a recent winner of the Maine Lobster Council Lobster Chef of the Year and Harvest on the Harbor Top of the Crop – Best Farm To Table Restaurant.

Chef Altiero is the author of the cookbook “Adventures in Comfort Food” and is the co-host of NOSH, a VSTV food and cooking show.

Reservations recommended.

The best harbor view

Rockland Boardwalk, Rockland, Maine
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Rockland Boardwalk, Rockland, Maine

Walk the boardwalk to enjoy the port view from Archer’s on the Pier’s deck. You might spot a windjammer or the local ferry. There’s jazz during Sunday brunch.

Try some local brews with a King of Clubs, a “Triple Deckah” BLT stuffed with Maine lobster and served with a side that is large enough to share. It is a Food Network  “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” winner.

King of Clubs, Archer’s on the Pier, Rockland, Maine
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King of Clubs, Archer’s on the Pier, Rockland, Maine

The ultimate farm to table experience

Melissa Kelly, James Beard Award winning chef and coowner of Primo Restaurant., Rockland, Maine
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Melissa Kelly, James Beard Award winning chef and coowner of Primo Restaurant., Rockland, Maine

Melissa Kelly is James Beard Award winning chef who with partner and baker Price Kushner owns Primo. Melissa learned to cook from her Italian grandmother and about food and life from her grandfather, Primo, a butcher from Bologna. Primo died while Melissa was attending the Culinary Institute of America, but his legacy lives on.

Farm-fresh regional cuisine with Mediterranean flavors is served in a 140 year old delightfully restored Victorian house.

Primo, Rockland, Maine
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Primo, Rockland, Maine

Guests are invited to walk through their four-acre farm and gardens to see how the animals are raised and produce is grown, from the hens that lay the eggs to the tea that is served in a French press.  See where freshness of foods comes from and how the farm and garden, together with what she acquires from local and sustainable farms, create the menu.

chickens, Primo, Rockland, Maine
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chickens, Primo, Rockland, Maine

There are two greenhouses, and meats are house butchered, cured and smoked. There is ongoing recycling and soil management. It’s the ultimate farm-to-table dining experience.

pigs, Primo, Rockland, Maine
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pigs, Primo, Rockland, Maine

Primo has expanded each year, teaching chefs from around the world. Reservations are made up to a year in advance. In the off-season, Melissa may be found working at her Orlando and Tucson Marriott hotel restaurants, also named Primo.

 

Why visit Rockland?

This port city is the area with America’s largest fleet of historic schooners and Windjammer cruises.

schooner, Rockland, Maine
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schooner, Rockland, Maine

The Maine State Ferry runs to the nearby islands.

Maine State Ferry System sign, Rockland, Maine
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Maine State Ferry System sign, Rockland, Maine

Maine State Ferry System and station, Rockland, Maine
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Maine State Ferry System and station, Rockland, Maine

The U. S. Coast Guard serves Penobscot Bay. Thousands of visitors come to explore some of the more than two dozen historic lighthouse on the Coast Guard-sponsored Maine Open Lighthouse Day.

Owl's Head Coast Guard Station
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Owl’s Head Coast Guard Station

Owl's Head Lighthouse, Maine
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Owl’s Head Lighthouse, Maine

The Maine Lighthouse Museum

Maine Lighthouse Museum, Rockland, Maine
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Maine Lighthouse Museum, Rockland, Maine

The Maine Lighthouse Museum overlooks Rockland Harbor. It has the largest collection of lighthouse artifacts and mementos in the United States and features the stories of keepers and their families.

Lighthouse Museum, Rockland, Maine
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Lighthouse Museum, Rockland, Maine

Its mission  is to educate the public about the traditions, heroism and progress of the United States Coast Guard and America’s lighthouse and lifesaving services through the conservation and interpretation of this collection of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts.

Maine Lighthouse Museum, Rockland, Maine
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Maine Lighthouse Museum, Rockland, Maine

You can walk the breakwater to the much-photographed Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. and spot sea birds, schooners, ferries and seals along the way.

Breakwater Lighthouse, Rockland, Maine
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Breakwater Lighthouse, Rockland, Maine

Seasonal tours are offered. Weekends and some weekdays you can walk through the keepers quarters and climb the tower. Admission is free. Donations are accepted.

The Owl’s Head Transportation Museum is open 7 days a week, year round, and just three miles away.

Owls Head Transportation Museum
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Owls Head Transportation Museum

It features early aircraft, horse-drawn carriages, bicycles and automobiles. There’s it a full-size replica of the Wright Brothers’ Kitty Hawk Flyer, the Red Baron’s Fokker Triplane, and vintage cars in operating condition. Check the schedule of outdoor auto and aeroplane shows.

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Take the time for a coastal getaway. Rediscover life’s simple pleasures. It’s the way life should be.

You might spot a banner featuring Pulitzer Prize winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Her former home is being restored as a place to display her works. Her legacy is also celebrated at the Millay Arts and Poetry Festival.

Edna St. Vincent Millay display, Rockland, Maine
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Edna St. Vincent Millay display, Rockland, Maine

Rockland: The Art Capital of Maine

The Farnsworth Art Museum

The beauty of the area has drawn artists through the ages.

You can’t miss the enormous EAT sign on the roof of Main Street’s Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center.

Main Street, Rockland, Maine
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Main Street, Rockland, Maine

The Electric EAT was created for the 1964 World’s Fair by Maine resident Robert Indiana, whose work includes the LOVE sculptures found here and around the world.

Maine Lighthouse Museum, Rockland, Maine
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Maine Lighthouse Museum, Rockland, Maine

The Farnsworth Museum celebrates Maine’s role in American art through its nationally renowned collection. It is a place to see Maine through the eyes of distinguished artists who produced over 10,000 paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs featured in the twelve galleries and two National Historic properties.

There are 19th century landscapes and portraits by Winslow Homer, Fitz Henry Lane, and Gilbert Stuart as well as 20th century works by Edward Hopper, and contemporary pieces by Alex Katz and Robert Indiana.

Andrew Wyeth exhibit, Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine
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Andrew Wyeth exhibit, Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine

Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth are among those who painted Rockland subjects. The museum’s Wyeth Center is one of the world’s top collections of the work of the Wyeth family–N.C. Wyeth, whose work was featured in Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe, his son, 20th century American realist painter Andrew Wyeth, and Andrew’s son Jamie Wyeth, known for his portraits of Maine’s people and places.

The museum property includes two historic sites. The Farnsworth Homestead is a mid-to-late 19th century Greek Revival home with paintings, prints, furniture of this affluent Rockland family. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Wyeth home, Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine
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Wyeth homestead, Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine

The Olson House is the 18th century saltwater farm of Christina and Alvaro Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s work for over three decades. It is about thirteen miles from museum, in nearby Cushing. It is a National Historic Landmark.

Olson House, Cushing, Maine
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Olson House, Cushing, Main

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, CMCA, at 21 Winter Street, is just a block from the Farnsworth Art Museum. The building’s glass and corrugated facade and saw-tooth roof are an introduction to the cutting-edge art inside.

Center for Maine Contemporary Art, CMCA, Rockland, Maine
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Center for Maine Contemporary Art, CMCA, Rockland, Maine

The collection includes work by world-renowned artists like Ogunquit resident Jonathan Borofsky and Alex Katz, who studied at Maine’s Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture.

The seven-block First Friday Artwork runs May through September 5-8 p. m. It is hosted by twenty-three galleries and the Strand Theater, where a film is offered at 8 p. m. in collaboration with the Farnsworth.

Rockland was designated as a National Trust for Historic Preservation Distinctive Destination in 2010.

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