Midcoast Travel Guide
For those who can bypass the buildings themselves and are interested only in lens lore and technology, the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland has a diverse permanent collection of Fresnel lenses—the largest in the world.
Until 2002, when it moved inland, Maine’s largest and oldest prison (where in the 1800s inmates were fed the cheapest eats around: lobster) sat just a quarter of a mile from busy, tourist-filled Route 1.
Hardy Boat Cruises’ fleet consists of just one boat, the 60-foot-long Hardy III, which serves as both a ferry (running between New Harbor and Monhegan Island) and as a sightseeing cruise boat.
Camden Hills State Park is open year-round, with a variety of activities available across its 5,500 acres, from relatively low-exertion (bird-watching, picnicking) to downright athletic (cross-country skiing, off-road biking).
Near Bath, this Mid-Coast Maine farm stand and gourmet market specializes in artisanal cheese and seasonal local produce.
You could happily lose yourself in these exceptionally cared for botanical gardens (the largest in New England) hidden off Barters Island Road, 10 miles from Route 1.
High on Hathorne Point, 14.5 miles from Rockland, is the beautiful and haunting Olson House, subject of hundreds of works of art by Andrew Wyeth.
Learn about lobsters and other wildlife on a nature windjammer sail.
Near Wiscasset on coastal Route 1, this homey ceramics studio/shop is a great choice for one-of-a-kind Maine souvenirs: plates, bowls, pitchers, vases, even sinks painted with lighthouses, blueberries, and sea life.
The Skidompha Public Library houses a collection of more than 30,000 books, as well as impressive selections of movies, audio books, and CD’s.
Located at the end of a 7/8-mile breakwater (essentially a man-made granite seawall stretching from the shore), this historic lighthouse is open to visitors only on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day.
Certified organic sweet corn, potatoes, asparagus, strawberries, pumpkins, and maple syrup are just a few of the things produced at this third generation family-owned farm.
A pastoral 14-mile drive south of Bath, this 529-acre park beach is an aberration for one reason: it has sand, and lots of it.
Look for the giant signature boot out front to locate this monolithic bargain bin amid the raft of high-end outlet stores on Freeport's Main Street. L.L. Bean's practical, hunter-chic (albeit not high fashion) clothing is up to 60 percent off at its factory store.
Rockland, Maine, may not be thought of as the art capital of the world, but this nationally recognized museum is certainly no slouch. The collection features more than 10,000 works, most by American artists with ties to the state of Maine.