Rockland Maine Offers Fantastic Workshops! Something Different as a Romantic Getaway!
When couples discuss romantic getaways, they often ponder if they should opt for the beach or the mountain. The thought of learning a new skill or perfecting an old one is not always on their radar screen. Yet, what could be more rewarding and fun when it is presented to your partner as a getaway that invariably includes elusive quality time you often cherish? And yes, it can also be romantic, when you have the added feature of arriving home recharged, as well as armed with new skills, permitting you to master your creative energy.
One town that has recently gone through a wonderful cultural renaissance is Rockland, Maine. Restaurateurs, innkeepers, educational institutions, and small business folks have creatively banded together and leveraged their resources in offering the best of all worlds insofar as romantic educational getaways are concerned.
Rockland is a picturesque harbor town located half way down the Maine Coast, and is known as the lobster capital of the world. It is a 3.5-hour drive north from Boston; New York City is eight hours and Montreal is seven hours away. The drive through New England can be most enjoyable, particularly during the Fall Foliage.
It is here where my wife and I were pleasantly surprised when we discovered the many workshops ranging from photography, music, sailing, furniture construction and many more that provide couples excellent opportunities to combine a learning experience with a romantic getaway.
Here is a tasting of what we found:
The Maine Photographic Workshop
Located in the town of Rockland, this excellent learning venue offers over 150 one-week workshops and master classes in practically all aspects of photography such as portrait photography, darkroom techniques, sports photography, photojournalism, travel and adventure, Maine photographic workshops, wildlife film workshops, and many more all offered by an extremely prestigious faculty.
According to the school’s philosophy, its primary focus is a “Transformational Experience.” In other words, “these intense, total-immersion, one-week workshops are designed to move you beyond your current level, to help you expand your vision, improve your technical skills, uncover your talents and change the way you see, feel, think and work.”
One of the oldest traditional boat building schools in the USA, The Apprenticeshop offers seamanship classes, boat buildings as well as other traditional maritime skills.
Penobscot School – A Center For Language Learning And International Exchange
If you are interested in learning a new language or brushing up on an old one, the Penobscot School offers intensive learning workshops in several languages.
Farnsworth Art Museum & Wyeth Center
One of Rockland’s prize possessions, that has greatly enriched its cultural life and one of the country’s finest regional art museums, is the Farnsworth Art Museum & Wyeth Center, offering workshops in poetry writing, watercolors, painting, as well as programs of poetry readings, gallery talks, concerts, lectures and films that compliment exhibitions. It should be noted that this superb museum is best known for its Wyeth Center, which exclusively focuses on the art of Maine’s most noteworthy artistic family, the Wyeths.
Center For Furniture Craftsmanship
Thinking of returning home with a beautiful and functional piece of furniture or perhaps a guitar constructed out of wood? Check out the Center For Furniture Craftsmanship. My wife and I were amazed at the quality and high standards of the craftsmanship.
The Center offers one and two week workshops in furniture making, carving, marquetry, finishing, and turning, all taught by their very well qualified staff.
Center For Maine Contemporary Art
Throughout the year this wonderful institution offers exhibitions and educational programs advancing contemporary art in Maine.
How about enrolling in a workshop where you will have the opportunity of being coached by some of the country’s finest chamber musicians? You will even have the opportunity to perform in the historic Rockport Opera House. According to this organization’s web site, the program has been oversubscribed in previous years, and they encourage early registration.
The Schooner Stephen Taber
How would you like to learn to sail a Schooner on the oldest document sailing vessel in continuous service in the United States? Considered a National Historic Landmark, the Schooner Stephen Taber began its maiden voyage in 1871.
Noah Barnes recently took over the reins of operating this schooner from his parents, Ken and Ellen, who own the Captain Lindsey House. The Schooner offers short trips of 4-6 days in season and according to many of its passengers, the experience is beyond description!
Reasonably Priced Lodging That Offers More Than a Place to Sleep
While attending one of these workshops, it is important to stay in a lodging establishment that will enhance your workshop experience.
A home away from home is what best describes this inn. Upon entering the inn’s parlor you immediately notice the colorful stained glass window, antique rocking chairs, family antiques and photos as well as a beautiful bookcase housing a collection of mid-to late-19th century books. As both Judy’s mother and grandfather were artists, you will also see many of their paintings, sculpture and folk art displayed throughout the inn.
Being a guest at the Waterman House & Gardens gets you added bonuses: the inside track of the art and cultural scene in Rockland. Judy and Melissa are very well versed in the latest exhibitions and cultural activities in and around the town and they are very eager to share their knowledge with their guests. No doubt, this will enhance your overall workshop experience.
Judy and Melissa also pride themselves on the fabulous breakfasts they prepare that would probably allow you to skip lunch.
Where to dine?
A great place to enjoy a great after class evening meal is Café Miranda where there are so many choices that if you can’t find something to satisfy your taste buds, you are not trying hard enough.
Although the noise level can sometimes rise above a few decibels, it is a fun place where an extensive menu offers some unusual dishes with fun names as “Et Tu Brutus” – a creamy romano dressing, faccacia croutons, red onion, and lemon, or “Steamer “Evo” – gulf shrimp, mussels, fish & grilled sausage steamed in tomato, sweet and hot peppers, coriander, saffron rice, finished with lime & cilantro. Portions are huge and I struggled to sample the abundance of food on my plate.