You’ll find plenty of things to do in Rockport ME including visiting the quaint harbor, eating at superb restaurants, seeing adorable Belted Galway cows, and hiking with stunning views of the ocean and surrounding hills.
Rockport is a tiny town with a stunning harbor that embodies the best of Midcoast Maine. It features an adorable downtown just up the hill from its scenic harbor that’s home to myriad sailboats and fishing vessels.
Although Rockport often gets overlooked by its larger neighbors, Camden to the north and Rockland to the south, it’s well worth even a quick stop if only to take in the views. Rockport’s harbor alone is one of the prettiest in Maine, and there are a surprising number of excellent restaurants and cafes in this tiny town.
10 Best Things to Do in Rockport ME
If you’re looking for great scenery, hiking, outdoor recreation, and eating great food, a stop in Rockport is worth your time. The following are the ten best things to do in Rockport ME.
Visit Rockport Harbor
A good place to start your visit to Rockport is with a trip to the harbor. The town’s scenic harbor nearly screams quintessential Maine.
There are two ways to access the harbor. The first, with the most to see, is a turnoff from Pascal Avenue. The second is a drive down Main Street. At the Pascal Avenue location, you’ll be able to take in the harbor at its fullest with boats rocking in the water and the red brick buildings of Rockport’s small downtown to your left.
Also at this location, you’ll notice the Andre the Seal statue, the town’s beloved legendary seal who was the harbormaster’s scuba diving companion for many decades and whose story was featured in a 1994 film.
There are also the remains of lime kilns at this location which were once used to process local limestone for use as plaster in buildings along the east coast. (111 Pascal Avenue)
Stroll along Rockport’s downtown and Beauchamp Point
Rockport’s downtown only has a few storefronts and a couple of galleries but it’s worthwhile to park and do a quick stroll among its charming red brick buildings that harken from a different era. You’ll also be able to take in the views from the harbor from Mary Lea Park.
For even more fantastic views of the coastline, harbor, and to catch a glimpse of Indian Island, a walk down Beauchamp Point Road is worth the effort. Beauchamp is an unpaved street that runs parallel to the water with a few side paths that lead to unobstructed views of the harbor and sea.
To start your walk, head down Mechanic’s Street. At the end of the street, you’ll see the beginning of a dirt road which is the start of Beauchamp. A walk along the scenic part of Beauchamp will take about 25 minutes there and back.
Explore Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel
Among the things to do in Rockport ME is take in the views from the Vesper Children’s Chapel.
This small open-air wooden chapel was built in 1960 by Helen Bok after a hotel, The Tamarack Lodge, burned to the ground in the same location. It’s located high on a hill and has magnificent views of Penobscot Bay in the distance. You’ll also have the opportunity to wander through its gardens before reaching the chapel.
To find the parking lot, drive down Russell Avenue out of downtown Rockport, then turn right on Calderwood Lane. Go past the Megunticook golf course and shortly thereafter on your right, you’ll see a driveway marked by a boulder that says “Vesper Hill”. The chapel’s parking lot is down this driveway. The chapel is open from mid-April through mid-October. (Chapel Road)
Take in the view at Beech Hill Reserve
It’s incredible how many ocean vistas there are in Rockport. And one you won’t want to miss is the view from the Beech Hill Reserve.
This conservation land features a quick .6-mile walk up a gradual hill with blueberry bushes surrounding the path. As you near the summit, a full picture-perfect panorama of Penobscot Bay, including surrounding islands, comes into view. Also at the summit is a stone hut, known as Beech Nut, which was built in 1914 for former owners who used it as a summer picnic and leisure spot.
The trailhead to Beech Hill can be found on Beech Hill Road between South Street and Route 1. (316 Beech Hill Road)
Grab a bite to eat
Similar to other mid-coast Maine towns, Rockport has a number of well-regarded eateries and restaurants, some of which have received national accolades.
In the downtown area, you’ll find Nina June, a delightful restaurant with Maine and Mediterranean-inspired dishes that’s received accolades from the New York Times and was named one of the 18 essential Maine restaurants by Eater (24 Central Street). Also downtown is 18 Central Oyster Bar and Grill, an upscale dining experience with locally-sourced ingredients (18 Central Street).
For a more casual dining experience, pick up a cup of joe and baked goods at Seafolk Coffee, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to grab one of the tables out back with a view (22 Central Street). And American Flatbread, located on Commercial Street, is the perfect family dinner option with its wide variety of salad and flatbread (pizza baked in a wood-fired earthen oven) options (399 Commercial Street).
Take a class at the Maine Media Workshops & College
This next thing to do in Rockport ME will take a bit of advanced planning but is well worth the effort if you’re interested in photography, filmmaking, book arts and/or writing.
The Maine Media Workshops & College has been teaching classes and issuing degrees in these artistic pursuits for more than 50 years. Students are able to sign up for one-day to eight-week workshops, both virtually and in person. (70 Camden Street)
Attend an event at the Rockport Opera House
Among the fun things to do in Rockport ME, is attending an event at the Rockport Opera House.
Located downtown, adjacent to the Mary Lea Park, the opera house hosts theater productions, music concerts, dance performances, film screenings, and lectures and talks. It also hosts a music in the park series on Sundays from 4-5 pm. Information about upcoming events can be found on the opera house website. (6 Central Street)
See Belted Galways at Aldermere Farm
Among the fun things to do in Rockport ME is to visit the Belted Galway cows at Aldermere Farm.
Driving down Russell Avenue on your way to the neighboring town of Camden, you’ll soon see a wide open fenced-in space and hopefully spot some of these unique black-with-white striped cows in the distance. Children will especially enjoy seeing the “Oreo cookie” cows and get an up-close look.
Although Aldermere is a 136-acre working farm, it’s owned and managed by Maine Coast Heritage Trust, which conserves the farm and has an onsite educational center. (70 Russell Avenue)
Play a round of golf at Goose River Golf Course
If you enjoy golf, another fun thing to do in Rockport is to play a round at Goose River Golf Course.
This public golf course is on the Camden and Rockport border and has 18 holes. There’s also a clubhouse with food and a bar that features an outside deck.
Prices vary depending on the time of year and how many holes are played but prices range from $25 to $45. Open April through October. (50 Park Street)
Go on a hike
Going on a hike is among the best outdoorsy things to do in Rockport ME. There are a few mountains within the town to choose from.
Ragged Mountain, which straddles Camden and Rockport, consists of 3.3 miles of trails with some of the steepest hiking in the region. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with an extensive vista that includes Mt. Washington and the White Mountains to the west and Penobscot Bay with the Acadian mountains to the east. Check the website for various trails and trailheads.
Spruce Mountain, located on the western side of Rockport, features a number of trails, of varying difficulty and about 1.2 to 1.7 miles in length. All trails offer scenic views of Ragged Mountain and Penobscot Bay. The trail can be reached either by the Ragged Mountain parking lot or along Mt. Pleasant Street.
And finally, Mount Pleasant is a short .9-mile walk that connects to Spruce Mountain and includes a field of raspberry bushes and a blueberry field. There’s an informal parking area for this trailhead along Mt. Pleasant Street.
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About Kerry Flatley
Kerry Flatley has lived in New England for the past 26 years. She has roots in Maine & Massachusetts, family in New Hampshire, and grew up close to the Connecticut border. She loves all that this region has to offer – the ocean, mountains, islands, history, villages, and cities. When she’s not writing about New England, she’s relaxing at home in the Boston suburbs with her two teenage daughters and husband.