Rockland, Thomaston + Port Clyde
I always think the midcoast is farther away than it is. It’s an hour and a half from my home in Portland—that’s less time than my former New Jersey-to-New York
City commute, and the scenery is a whole lot prettier.
2:00 p.m. @ Archer’s on the Pier My first stop in Rockland is at Archer’s on the Pier. I grab a corner window seat with a 270-degree view of the harbor and breakwater. A cheerful energy floods the room as Friday afternoon happy hour customers roll in. I order the fish tacos and enjoy the view and the fact that the weekend is here.
2:55 p.m. @ Atlantic Baking Company I can’t resist making a quick stop to pick up baked goods for the crew of the schooner Ladona, which is next on my itinerary. I decide on a dozen chocolate chip cookies.
3:00 p.m. on the schooner Ladona Captain Noah Barnes gives me a personalized tour of the vessel, which was built in 1921. I admire the beauty of the longleaf yellow pine, mahogany, locust, and white oak used to restore her. The ship will launch in June, ready for weeklong cruises for up to 16 passengers.
4:15 p.m. @ Rheal Day Spa I step into this little oasis created by Rhonda Nordstrom, where a robe and slippers await me. I receive a massage from Susie Barnes, who is a master at working through muscles, sinew, and nerves.
5:00 p.m. @ The Lindsey Hotel It’s time to check in. I am welcomed by the gracious host, Liz, and she shows me around the first floor, which includes a refurbished former bank safe with a floor made out of pennies, before taking me to my newly decorated room on the third floor. I relax and freshen up for the evening.
7:15 p.m. @ Cafe Miranda I walk up Main Street, passing Archipelago Fine Arts, which is unfortunately closed for the weekend, but I plan to stop in next time I am in town. I arrive at a very busy Cafe Miranda. The incredibly diverse menu allows you to order whatever you are in the mood for. I decide on a delicious scallop appetizer and Aunt Fluffie’s pasta.
9:00 p.m. @ 3Crow Restaurant and Bar It has been a full day and I feel like hitting the hay
at the hotel, but the warm glow and stylish windows of 3Crow pull me in. Ian, behind the bar, helps me decide on a Templeton Rye while a Tom Waits album plays in the background. It’s the perfect ending to a great day.
6:30 a.m. @ Rockland Breakwater Light I head out early for a clear morning walk. Rockland Breakwater Light is at the end of a mile-long jetty in the middle of the harbor.
8:00 a.m. @ The Lindsey Hotel Back at the hotel, the staff is brewing Rock City Roasters coffee and has set up a breakfast spread with yogurt parfaits, homemade scones, and pastry rolls.
9:30 a.m. @ Henry Knox Museum The Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston is closed for the winter, but director Tobin Malone meets me for a private tour. Malone and her team are doing an amazing job of offering programming that makes a Revolutionary War museum relevant in the twenty-first century.
10:45 a.m. @ Maine State Prison Showroom Inside is a huge selection of cutting boards, toys, and jewelry boxes crafted by prison residents. I am looking for birthday presents for my daughter, and I am thrilled to find a lap desk and CD holder.
11:30 a.m. @ Eric Hopkins’s studio Nestled near the water between two old brick buildings in Rockland, Eric Hopkins greets me for a tour of his gallery and studio. As I walk around, I am in awe of Hopkins’s work depicting the beauty of Maine.
12:30 p.m. @ Main Street Markets I am looking for a quick bite to eat, and Hopkins recommends Main Street Markets. This place has it all: organic produce, baked goods, homemade soups, signature wine selections, and a full menu of salads, wraps, and bites.
1:00 p.m. @ fourTWELVE Beth Bowley welcomes me into her store, fourTWELVE. I am taken by her impeccable sense of design and fashion. In the back of the building, three seamstresses make the clothing for Bowley’s very own Nuthatch brand (soon to be the fourTWELVE brand).
2:12 p.m. in Port Clyde It’s a little windy, but the sun is shining bright so I drive to Port Clyde, passing by Port Clyde General Store (closed today), and stopping at Marshall Point Lighthouse, where I enjoy the waves, sunshine, and sea air.
3:00 p.m. @ Motifs I start to feel tired as I head back to Rockland, but get a second wind when I see a sign for Motifs. With the help of Blenda, a sales associate, I find some gift items and yet another
pair of non-prescription readers—can a 51-year-old girl have too many?
3:45 p.m. @ Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars I run into my close friends Heather and Lee and we go to Fiore. I pick up some butternut squash seed oil for my daughter’s vegan sweet potato recipe that we make every week, and a blood orange oil for salad dressings and cooking scallops.
4:00 p.m. @ 3Crow Restaurant and Bar Heather and Lee still have time before the Vinalhaven ferry arrives, so we decide to grab a cocktail back at 3Crow. The happy hour special is a whiskey sour, which is smooth and refreshing.
5:45 p.m. Suzuki’s Sushi Bar Suzuki’s chef, Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, was recently nominated for a James Beard Award. Steam covers the windows as I feast on beautiful, carefully crafted pieces of sushi.
7:45 p.m. @ In Good Company I step into the nearby wine bar for a nightcap. At the bar of this packed, cozy restaurant, I almost feel part of this community, and I can understand why people love living here.
8:00 a.m. @ The Lindsey Hotel There’s a big breakfast crowd today and a delicious spread of eggs, bacon, yogurt parfaits, and baked goods. I fill up before checking out and saying goodbye to Liz.
9:20 a.m. @ Owls Head Lighthouse At the lighthouse, I venture down a steep path that leads to the water. In warmer weather, it would make a sweet picnic spot.
11:30 a.m. @ Owls Head Transportation Museum I roam the airplane hangars, which are filled with an outrageous selection of antique cars. The museum takes you back to the time when automobiles were first invented.
1:30 p.m. After another walk along the coast on Crescent Beach and Birch Point Beach State Park, it’s time to head home. I grab a lobster roll (more like a sub) at the Thomaston Pick-Qwik and enjoy it on Route 1 as I drive south. It’s a delicious taste of a wonderful weekend.