We don’t want to rain on your parade, but it’s possible that you may have a bit of wet weather while you’re vacationing in Maine. Don’t despair! The MidCoast of Maine is so charming, so filled with quirky spots and interesting adventures for a person flying solo, for a couple, or a family of any shape and size, you will not miss one moment of fun, even if you are “stuck” inside. We’ve got a few ideas for how to spend a gray and drizzly, thunderstormy summer day, which can turn out to be the best kind of day, if you have the right plans.
Oakland Park Bowling Lanes
732 Commercial Street, Rockport
207. 594. 7525
If you wake up to a rainy Maine day while you’re here on vacation look no further than this retro bowling alley on Rt. 1 between Rockland and Rockport for an afternoon of goofy fun. We recommend bringing lots of singles for the (digital) juke box, ordering a bevy of nachos and beverages, and settling into a lane for a few hours. This place has not changed since the 60’s and is filled with charm and unintentional kitsch. There are no electronic screens overhead, but the super friendly staff is happy to provide a key for how to keep score. And you’re going to want to learn! Friendly family competition is alive and well here. This is candlepin bowling, typical in New England, with small balls and light, cylindrical pins. Every single person in your party will get into the swing of things before long. There is a small arcade and party room adjacent to the alleys with a handful of video games. Be sure to bring cash, though an ATM is available.
Maine State Aquarium
194 McKown Point Road
West Boothbay Harbor
Follow Route 1 south a pace, then turn left into yet another picturesque peninsula. This is the way to Boothbay Harbor, with historic homes and a whaling town sensibility. The Maine State Aquarium, though small – don’t expect its Boston or Mystic, CT counterparts – is filled with wonder. It is a perfect field trip for a rainy day. There are two touch tanks where you can interact with stingrays, horseshoe crabs, starfish, sea snails, and other small marine life. Admire the biggest lobster you are ever likely to see. Marvel at all the vast and varied life that exists beneath the ocean all around us. You will learn and laugh and feel connected even more to the environment of Maine. Small children, older folks, and everyone in between will enjoy spending the morning here. And perhaps by the afternoon the sky will clear and you can pop over to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, conveniently located nearby.
Rockland Main Street
We are unabashed Rockland enthusiasts. And not just because our office is located at its center. You can spend an entire morning happily lost in the art galleries and museums. Step into Rock City Coffee for a latte and a blueberry scone. Walk through the bicycle doors from the cafe into hello hello books, one of the best indie bookstores in New England. Browse gorgeous home goods at Periscope. Buy something Maine-made to bring home from Archipelago, the Island Institute store. Have a bowl of chowder at Clan MacLaren. Grab a smoothie from Main Street Markets. Let the kids play like puffins at Project Puffin. End your day at the Strand, our art house theater that shows great new and classic films as well as live acts, followed by drinks and snacks at Fog Bar and Cafe. Put on your rain gear and get out on the town. There is so much to do and see!
Candy Shop Crawl
If you want to transform a gray day into a sweet one, this is the mini trip for you! Start at Snowdrop Confections on Main Street in Rockland, where whimsy and sugar collide. Then get in your cozy car for the short drive to quaint Camden. Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe has all the old fashioned treats you need. It is colorful and bright and delightful. Fill a bag with penny candy before continuing up Route 1 north to Belfast, where you will complete your sugar rush at Chocolate Drop Candy Shop. It boasts an old time ice cream counter and all the novelty treats you miss from childhood. And if you need one more pick me up on the way back to your home away from home, stop in at Green Tree Coffee and Tea in Lincolnville for a warming, caffeinated beverage. You’ll be buzzing all day long.
An Indoor Picnic At Home
We hope you’ll find a vacation house that feels like home in Maine. A rainy day is a great way to let yourself snuggle up and do nothing! Gather all the quilts and comforters into the living room, light a fire, and prepare to get cozy. Send an intrepid member of your party out into the storm for supplies. Pick up a couple of pizzas and a few pints of ice cream from Wallace’s Market in Friendship or as much fried seafood as you can carry from Graffam Brothers in Rockport, then head home for board games, movies, and a groovy dance party. We suggest a matinee of Splash, Mystic Pizza, and Pete’s Dragon. Pick a summer/stormy/Maine coast theme and run with it: Forrest Gump, for example, has a scene famously filmed at Marshall Point Lighthouse, right here in Port Clyde. No matter what you eat or watch, we know you’ll make Maine memories while you embrace the art of hygge, spending a snug day with the ones you love.
Rainy summer days are part of life in Maine. Start your own rainy day traditions this year!