Top 10 Best Things to Do in Rockport Maine

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Rockport ME, including visiting the quaint harbor, eating at superb restaurants, seeing Belted Galway cows, and hiking with stunning views of the ocean and surrounding hills.

A view of Rockport Maine's harbor
Rockport’s harbor as seen from its downtown.

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 the water 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 worth a quick stop if only to take in the views. Rockport’s harbor alone is one of the prettiest in Maine, and this tiny town has a surprising number of excellent restaurants and cafes.

10 Best Things to Do in Rockport ME

If you’re looking for outstanding scenery, hiking, outdoor recreation, and 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

Looking at Rockport Maine from the southern side of the harbor

A trip to the harbor is an excellent place to start your visit to Rockport. The town’s scenic harbor nearly screams 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 can 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.

Additionally, the remains of lime kilns at this location 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

A look at Indian Island, a boat and water from Beauchamp Point in Rockport ME
A look at Indian Island in the distance from Beauchamp Point

Rockport’s downtown only has a few storefronts and a couple of galleries. Still, it’s worthwhile to park and take a quick stroll among its charming red brick buildings that hark back to 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 and 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.

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 best things to do in Rockport ME is to 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 exact location. It’s high on a hill and has magnificent views of Penobscot Bay. 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 after that, 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

The hut on top of Beech Hill. A walk up Beech Hill is among the things to do in Rockport ME
Beech Nut hut at the top of Beech Hill. From Beech Nut, is an expansive view of Penobscot Bay.

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 picture-perfect panorama of Penobscot Bay, including surrounding islands, comes into view. Also at the summit is a stone hut known as Beech Nut, 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

Like other mid-coast Maine towns, Rockport has several 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 Eater’s 18 essential Maine restaurants. (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. If you’re lucky, you can 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

A woman taking a photo with a camera

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, in the heart of Rockport, has taught classes and issued degrees in these artistic pursuits for over 50 years. Students can sign up for one-day to eight-week workshops 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 Mary Lea Park, the opera house hosts theater productions, music concerts, dance performances, film screenings, lectures, and talks.

It also hosts a music in the park series on Sundays from 4 to 5 pm. Information about upcoming events can be found on the Opera House website. (6 Central Street)

See Belted Galloways at Aldermere Farm

A Belted Galway cow among green grass and blue sky. Seeing Belted Galways is one of the things to do in Rockport ME

Among the fun things to do in Rockport ME is to visit the Belted Galloway cows at Aldermere Farm.

Driving down Russell Avenue on your way to neighboring Camden, you’ll soon see a vast 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

A golf iron about to hit a golf ball

If you enjoy golf, playing a round at Goose River Golf Course is another fun thing to do in Rockport.

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 range from $25 to $45. The golf course is open from April through October. (50 Park Street)

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Go on a hike

trees and rocky terrain on top of a small mountain. Hiking is among the things to do in Rockport ME

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 several 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 accessed by the Ragged Mountain parking lot or along Mt. Pleasant Street.

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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A photo of Kerry Flatley leaning against a wall

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.

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