On Union Street, just off Route 1, there’s a sign that reads Rockport on one side and Camden on the other. The two towns were one and the same until 1891, when they got in a squabble about the cost of building a bridge, and now they’re separate communities (although they share school and sewer systems, among other things).
Rockport, which at 3,500 year-round residents is slightly smaller than Camden, keeps a lower profile—but that doesn’t mean it’s without its unique attractions. Foremost among them is its natural beauty, which didn’t escape the notice of Forbes magazine, which named it the prettiest town in America. Perhaps because of its prettiness, artists have long been drawn to Rockport, and today it’s well known as an arts community. The Center for Maine Contemporary Art puts on a dozen or so shows each summer, or, if you’re in the mood for music, Rockport is home to the Rockport Opera House and the Bay Chamber Concerts.
Farms don’t come much more picturesque than Aldermere Farm on the periphery of Rockport. Visit it to see America’s original herd of Belted Galloway cattle, with their distinctive black and white hide pattern.
Directions: Head north on I-295 for 11 miles. Take exit 17 for US-1N toward Yarmouth. Follow US-1N for about 50 miles. Turn left at Camden Road/ME-90E and follow the road about 11 miles into town.