With a population of just over 1,500, tiny Owls Head is a must see destination on any family vacation to Maine’s Mid-Coast. Just 2 miles south of Rockland, ME, via Route 73, Owls Head is home to the Owls Head Transportation Museum, a thriving non-profit educational organization founded in 1974. The museum is active in the collection and preservation of many early-era aircraft, cars, bikes, and trucks. Many of the 150 plus items in the collection are operational. The expansive indoor space makes the Museum a great rainy day destination.
The Aircraft Collection contains replicas and originals representing the first century of flight. The auto exhibits span the late 19th Century and early 20th century including a recently refurbished 1908 Stanley K Semi-Racer and a 1935 Stout Scarab, one of only six ever made. We particularly enjoyed the MGs and Microcars special exhibit. The Museum also holds classic car auctions and a series of special family-friendly events during the summer.
After visiting the Museum, be sure to take the time to visit the town’s often painted harbor as well as the quaint Post Office and the Owls Head General Store , which was voted Maine’s Best Burger by the Food Network and Best of the Best Burger by Village Soup, and the readers of Down East Magazine for two years in a row!
Also be sure to stop by Owls Head Light and the surrounding Owls Head State Park. The 30-foot tall lighthouse is managed by the Friends of Rockland Harbor, but owned by the Coast Guard. It is not usually open to the public, although the day we visited the steep steps leading up to the lighthouse were open and provided access to a beautiful view from 100 feet above West Penobscot Bay, near the mouth of Rockland Harbor. The former lighthouse keeper’s house is used as a gift store and educational center.
The lighthouse is rumored to be haunted and many have reported seeing unexpected footprints after rain or snow – we didn’t see any on our visit although it had rained earlier in the day.
The land surrounding the Owls Head Light is protected as part of Owls Head State Park which also includes a small classic rocky Maine beach, a short walking trail, and picnic tables near the beach.
Plan the better part of a day to see everything Owls Head has to offer. This is a great destination for family vacations with kids of all ages since there is something for everyone in this delightful small town hidden away on Maine’s Mid-Coast.