Saturday, September 25, 2010



Rockland is a storybook village where almost everything is linked with the ocean. The lovely village provides the quintessentially American vacation encouraging visitors to slow down and smell the roses.

My abode for a few days was the grand Lime Rock Inn, Tucked away on a quiet street in Rockland’s Historic District, the magnificent bed and breakfast is a pleasant walk to the world-class Farnsworth Museum, fine dining, interesting shopping, and the Atlantic shore. Encircled by a wraparound porch and landscaped gardens, this beautiful turreted Victorian mansion exemplifies Queen Anne architecture and harkens to the enviable lifestyle of 19th Century New England.

Lime Rock became my Rockland headquarters, combining luxury amenities, a dream-inducing bed, topped off with delightful breakfast conversations with Frank and PJ enjoyed with just baked pastries and hot gourmet coffee.

Like the other historic inns, The Captain Lindsey House,, is near Rockland’s many wonders.  Innkeepers Ken and Ellen Barnes retired as owners of the windjammer Stephen Taber – the oldest documented
schooner in continuous recorded service – and wove their maritime life into the ambience of this luxurious escape. World-traveled mariners, the gregarious couple’s combined talents include careers as highly respected professional actors, directors and set designers. Originally built in 1835, the Barnes’ purchase of the inn saved it from demise, allowing guests to behold the stunning collection of furniture and collectables from their world travels.

The Old Granite Inn,, began in 1840 as a Federal Colonial house built of gray granite quarried nearby in St. George. The house was both the residence and office for at least two physicians and their families. Today, Joan and Edwin Hantz manage the Inn, furnished with an artful counterpoint of genuine antiques and modern pieces.  The extensive front porch is positioned to greet the day and inspire late afternoon conversation with tea or a glass of wine.

The stately Berry Manor Inn,, was once the home of one of Rockland’s most prominent merchants. Built in 1898 with all the grandeur of the Victorian age, Cheryl Michaelsen and her husband Michael LaPosta bought it a century later, converting it to an elegant bed and breakfast now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.  Recognized as one of Maine’s most romantic inns, the Berry Manor Inn is renowned for its room amenities and overall hospitality, an ideal vacation home for exploring Rockland’s cultural treasures.


The "Captain Jack" is an authentic downeast working lobster boat. Like thousands before me, I got on board for a glimpse of seals, the legendary harbor porpoise, an occasional sunfish and maybe a whale. Captain Hale (his real name) hauls in his traps so guests can get up close and personal with the lobsters and crabs.
The trip is a photographer’s dream with ocean views of Owls Head Light house and the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse amid sounds of herring gulls, black back gulls, terns and osprey all combined with local history and experience the daily life of a local lobsterman
. Bonus: you’ll leave knowing the difference between male and female lobsters.


Few small towns in America offer cultural advantages like the Bay Chamber Concert series,, and the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center,  Local museums include Maine’s Lighthouse Museum,, exhibiting the largest collection of lighthouse lenses, the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum,, with a fabulous collection of early cars and planes. Among the most renowned art museums in New England, The Farnsworth exhibits works by great names in 18th and 19th-century American art including Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Thomas Eakins and Maurice Prendergast. The museum also houses works by premier 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson. Its Wyeth Center exclusively features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth, America's first family of art.


When Food Network brought Bobby Flay to Rockland, this confirmed that the local gourmet reputation is now national. The Historic Inns of Rockford,, offers a gourmet progressive dinner at three restaurants with a specially created tasting menu that during my stay included Café Miranda, In Good Company, Amalfi on the Water, Suzuki Sushi, Rustica Cucina Italiano and Lilly Bistro. My evenings with chef/owner John Stowe at Rustica and Kerry Altiero’s spectacularly eclectic Café Miranda provided memorable cuisine.


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