Arts Along the Coast Arts Itinerary – Coastal Maine Arts and Culture Adventures

The Maine Coast abounds in arts, cultural and historic attractions.  From museums to galleries, theater and concerts, if the arts and culture of Maine interest you, consider adding one or more of these activities in Bar Harbor, Rockland or Kennebunkport to our Six Day Itinerary.  

Kennebunkport optional arts & culture add-ons:

  • Antique shopping is a favorite pastime among those in search of historic treasures.  Antiques USA in nearby Arundel is a favorite stop for antiques lovers.  Click here for info.

  • Take a 45-minute trolley tour of Kennebunkport, May – October.  Click here for info.

  • View American artworks from the 19th century to the present at nearby Ogunquit Museum of America, May – October.

  • Catch a live show from talented summer stock performers at the Ogunquit Playhouse or local theater productions at the Arundel Barn Playhouse, May – October.

  • Don’t miss the Seashore Trolley Museum and the Brick Store Museum, both included on the Inns Along the Coast six-day itinerary and both open year-round.

Portland and Freeport optional arts & culture add-ons:

Winslow Homer Studio

Winslow Homer Studio

  • Tour the Winslow Homer Studio located in panoramic Prouts Neck to see where this iconic American painter drew his inspiration from the late 1800s until his death. 

  • In addition to offering round trip excursions to the Homer Studio The Portland Museum of Art is home to the largest European Collection in Maine and over 22,000 artworks dating from the 18th Century to the present. Don’t miss it in downtown Portland.

  • Portland Children’s Museum is located right next door to the Museum of Art and is a must-stop for the younger set who will enjoy the exhibits and interactive displays.

  • Portland recently opened a new Science Center in the vibrant Old Port section of town, with world class traveling exhibits worth seeing.

  • Fans of Mid-nineteenth century art and furnishings will want to make the Victoria Mansion a stop on their travels. Often referred to as the Morse-Libby mansion, visitors will marvel at many of the original 1860 oil paintings, textiles and home design. This is particularly beautiful to see dressed in its holiday finery at Christmastime.

  • Wadsworth- Longfellow House offers another look back.  The home is open for guided tours from May through October and offers a lovely garden to meander and marvel.

  • Maine State Museum located in Augusta can round out an art enthusiasts’ itinerary.  It even offers a fun scavenger hunt for families to explore all the exhibits.

  • The Maine Maritime Museum is a must-go for anyone with a passion for the open seas.  Lighthouse excursions, Ironworks Trolley Tours and the Onsite tours are a quick 15-minute drive from your Freeport accommodations in Bath, Maine.

  • Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick (home to Bowdoin College and one town north of Freeport) offers a wide variety of musicals, classic films and kid friendly performances.

Newcastle optional arts & culture add-ons:

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

  • On your way to or from Freeport, don’t miss the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, comprising 270 of coastal shoreline for gardens, plus year-round exhibits, workshops and more.  

  • Newcastle is a hotbed for regional performing arts.  Start with the Heartwood Regional Theater Company located in Damariscotta, offering year-round performances, live entertainment and educational workshops for the whole family.

  • The Salt Bay Chamberfest performs across a large swath of musical styles, from the Renaissance to the present day and regularly feature the music of living composers in a beautiful pastoral barn set on the banks of the Great Salt Bay in Damariscotta.

  • The Historic Lincoln Theater offers a setting for community plays, special events, movies and performances, right in Damariscotta.

  • The Pemaquid Art Gallery, situated within Lighthouse Park in Damariscotta, is renowned for its panoramic views of the sea, sky and rocky shore.  Run by the Pemaquid Group of Artists, the Gallery the gallery provides a venue for qualified area artists, enriching the cultural environment for area residents and visitors.

  • The Stable Gallery, also in Damariscotta, has a long history of exhibiting fine arts and crafts, representing Maine artists and artisans of superb quality and reputation in a beautifully created horse stable setting.  

Rockland optional arts & culture add-ons:

Owls Head Transportation Museum

  • If your visit to Rockland includes the first Friday of the month, be sure to take in the Art Walk when galleries stay open late, serve refreshments and encourage strolling along Rockland’s Main Street and beyond, May through December.  Click here for info.  Throughout the year, Rockland offers several lovely art galleries in and around Rockland’s vibrant downtown Main Street.

  • Don’t miss the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum in nearby Owls Head where exhibits and events focused on trains, planes and automobiles through the ages fascinate all. There’s a great gift shop and it’s open year-round too.  Click here for info.

  • The Maine Lighthouse Museum houses the largest collection of lighthouse artifacts and history in the country,  and also offers a great gift shop for lighthouse themed gifts.  Open year round.  The Knox Museum in nearby Thomaston honors the life of Henry Knox and the history of the region.  Open seasonally, May – mid-October.

  • The Sail, Power and Museum in Rockland offers one man’s exceptional collection of maritime and nautical exhibits.  In addition, musicians bring instruments and voices to make music together informally every Sunday 1:30 to 4pm. Check the events schedule too.

  • The renowned Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center offers up a spectacular collection of nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists. With 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 15,000 works in the collection, there is always something new on view at the Farnsworth. The museum has one of the nation's largest collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson. Its Wyeth Center features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth. 

  • The new Center for Maine Contemporary Art is the newest kid on Rockland’s art block. With its iconic sawtooth roofline, CMCA’s striking new building provides exceptional exhibition space for presentation of work by contemporary artists, with exhibitions that change regularly. The complex also includes a gift shop, an ArtLab classroom, and a courtyard open to the public. Check the special events schedule here as there’s always something fun happening.  

  • The Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport offers a year-round collection of fabulous marine exhibits, events and workshops.

  • Catch films, concerts and live performances at the historic Strand Theater in Rockland, year-round.

  • For those who love classical music, be sure to check the schedule for the Bay Chamber Concerts held throughout the year in Rockland. Click here for info and schedules.

Camden optional arts and culture add-ons:

Just six miles down the road from Rockland, those visiting Camden can take advantage of Rockland’s vibrant art scene plus get in on many additional arts and culture options.

Camden Opera House

Camden Opera House

  • The Camden Public Library offers up a full schedule of workshops, coffee shop music sessions, poetry and book readings.

  • The Camden Opera House hosts a wide variety of performing arts including concerts, plays and movies.  Both Professional and local theater groups and performers are often seen here.

  • Additionally, the Rockport Opera House is another option for taking in concerts, plays and movies.  Professional and local.  It is also the home to the Bay Chamber Concerts. Click here for a schedule of upcoming events.

  • Maine Media workshop provides workshops in photography, film making, multi-media and books.

  • Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) takes place September 14 – 17, 2017. Recognized as one of the top 12 documentary film festivals in the world, the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) brings the finest non-fiction cinema to Camden, showcasing over 80 documentary feature and short films from around the globe each Fall. 

  • Camden Amphitheater and Harbor Park, located adjacent to the Hawthorn Inn, offers an outdoor setting overlooking Camden Harbor where movies are shown on an inflatable screen, concerts and the annual Shakespeare Festival in August is performed.

Bar Harbor optional arts and culture add-ons:

Asticou Azalea Garden

  • A visit to one of the Abbe Museum’s two locations in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park offers insight into the history and mission of the Wabanaki nations.  Open year round.  Click here for info.

  • In spring, summer and fall, visit the breathtaking Asticou Azalea Gardens in nearby Seal Harbor.

  • Also open seasonally, don’t miss the Thuya Garden and Lodge surrounded by English Gardens and offering a fabulous view of Northeast Harbor.  Also open seasonally, click here for info.

  • The George B. Dorr Museum, located on the campus of the College of the Atlantic, investigates, interprets and displays the natural world of Maine.  Open year round.

  • The Seal Cove Auto Museum, open from May through October, offers up a unique collection of automobiles and motorcycles.

  • A visit to the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor offers a unique perspective on this pioneer in the art of decorative bird carving.  Beautiful exhibits and workshops give all ages a unique perspective on Maine nature and art.

  • Beatrix Ferrand Society’s Garland Farm was the ancestral home of Lewis Garland, Beatrix Farrand’s property manager at Reef Point. The original homestead consisted of an early 19th-century farmhouse, dairy barn, garage, and about 100 acres of fields and woods running down to the shore. The Beatrix Ferrand Society BFS has set a mission of restoring Garland Farm to its Farrand-era design and condition and instituting a design and horticultural study center there. Garland Farm is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Stroll throughout Bar Harbor enjoying a number of unique galleries including the Sage Grass Gallery, featuring American artisans and handcrafted artworks, Alone Moose Gallery offering fine arts and crafts by Maine artists, or the Rock and Art Shop, a unique and memorable shopping experience.