The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, the nights are getting longer — it’s the ideal time to hit the road. Check out our local action-packed fall foliage routes or opt for a weekend getaway just a little farther from home
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Historic Inns of Rockland, Rockland, Maine
These storied lodges are the perfect way to experience an authentic coastal treasure
By Greg Olear
With its craggy shoreline of gray stone, its muted ash-blue sky, and its lonely houses perched at the end of breakwaters, Rockland, Maine looks like something from an Andrew Wyeth painting. And well it should — the artist spent his summers in nearby Cushing, and the Wyeth Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum, in downtown Rockland, boasts one of the world’s largest collections of work by N.C., Andrew, and James Wyeth.
Situated halfway between Portland and Bar Harbor, this scenic harbor town — hailed locally as “The Real Maine” and “The Lobster Capital of the World”— is a hot attraction in the summer, but autumn may be the best time to visit. The crowds thin out, the evenings cool down, and Rockland’s renowned quartet of historic inns — “the” places to stay in town — offer a “Quiet Season Romance and Museum” discount package, which includes tickets to three museums and a $50 gift certificate valid at several local restaurants.
Berry Manor Inn
Your hosts: Cheryl Michaelsen, Mike LaPosta and family
Dubbed “The Wow House” by Down East magazine, this Victorian manse, built in 1898 in the shingle style, was a wedding present given by Charles H. Berry, a wealthy merchant and nephew of Civil War general Hiram Berry, to his bride. It remained in the family for four generations and was converted to a bed-and-breakfast in 1998. Renowned for its bend-over-backwards hospitality, sumptuous rooms, and unusual collection of dancing hamster toys (!), the Berry Manor Inn is one of the most romantic redoubts in the state.
Captain Lindsey House
800-523-2145 or 207-596-7950
Your hosts: Captains Ken and Ellen Barnes
Built on the seaport by the eponymous captain in 1835, this bed-and-breakfast — thought to be Rockland’s first inn — is a nautical nirvana. Owners Ken and Ellen Barnes, retired captains of the windjammer Stephen Taber, purchased the building in 1995 to save it from the wrecking ball. Their experiences at sea permeate everything here, from the décor (cozy coastal suites) to the menu (Ellen Barnes wrote a cookbook and has appeared on the Food Network) to the yarns spun at breakfast. Oh, and it’s not called the Captain Lindsey House for nothing — according to a study by the Paranormal Association of Maine, the captain’s spirit still inhabits the place, along with 35 other ghosts. What better place to spend Halloween (on a Saturday this year) than the home of a really ancient mariner?
Your hosts: Ed and Joan Hantz
A house in the Federal Colonial style that dates to 1840 — the only one in Rockland with a granite façade — this is the only harborside B&B in town. The room décor is sleek and modern, more suggestive of a hip hotel in New York than a quaint bed-and-breakfast in Midcoast Maine — but hip New York hotels don’t have front porches overlooking the picturesque Rockland harbor.
800-546-3762 or 207-594-2257
Your hosts: Frank Isganitis and PJ Walter
A stunning example of Queen Anne architecture, this Victorian masterpiece was built in 1892 by a prominent politician. In 1950, a physician, Oram Lawry, bought the house, using it as his home and office for half a century — longtime Rocklanders still call the place “Dr. Lawry’s house.” Converted to a B&B in 1994, the LimeRock Inn was beautifully restored with careful attention to period detail and is well-lauded in the press. Located in downtown Rockland, it is just a promenade away from the Farnsworth Museum of Art.
Farnsworth Art Museum
Among the more than 10,000 works in the collection are many by Andrew, N.C., and Jamie Wyeth, as well as the world’s second-largest collection of pieces by sculptor Louise Nevelson. In October, check out the exhibition of works by famed sculptor Robert Indiana (known for his LOVE sculptures featured in cities around the world), who lives on nearby Vinalhaven Island.
Rockland, ME; 207-596-6457.
Bugeye Schooner Jenny Norman
Enjoy a two-hour moonrise dessert cruise around the harbor aboard this sturdy sea vessel. $30, $20 for children under 12.
Rockland, ME; 207-542-3695
Maine Lighthouse Museum
What would the coast of Maine be without lighthouses? Learn more about them at this museum, which features large collections of lighthouse models, buoys, photos, fog horns, and bells. Exhibits highlight different aspects of the lighthouse service.
Rockland, ME; 207-594-3301