VOTE now, vote often for Rockland! Named a “2010 Distinctive Destination,” make it THE destination

Planning a Maine vacation? Want to have an authentic experience? Want lobster, a seaport, great museums and shops? Craving a real town, not a tourist set?

Have I got the place for you.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Rockland, Maine, to its 2010 List of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Rockland was selected for its authentic preservation of a rich history and its wide range of unique attractions, including a picturesque working waterfront that packs alluring cultural heritage with prized fresh seafood and world famous festivals.

For the first time in the program’s history, the public can vote online for its fan favorite throughout February. Any legal resident of the U.S., 18 years of age or older, can vote as often as they like for their favorite city or town on this year’s list. The winner of the popular vote will be announced on March 1, 2010. You’ll have to register, but it’s well worth the effort. Voters are automatically entered to win a complimentary two night stay at any Historic Hotel of America.

So why vote for Rockland? Well, besides it being home of Pies on Parade, the Lobster Festival, fun shops, and cool museums and galleries and, well, I could go on and on, but I’ll let the National Trust get a few words in:

“With great pride in its maritime past and present, Rockland blends tradition with an innovative spirit,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Visitors will discover an authentic snapshot of coastal living.”

Lobster is king in Rockland – from the harbor where visitors can watch a lobsterman dock to the world-famous Maine Lobster Festival, which occurs in August every year. Locals and visitors can shop and enjoy a bounty of local cuisines in a setting one block from the harbor on Rockland’s historic Main Street. Home to art galleries and a number of major events, the town hosts visitors with the North American Blues Festival in July, which includes two days of Grammy Award-winning music on the harbor, and the Maine Boats Homes & Harbors Show in August.

Highlights from the Trust:

Maine Lighthouse Museum educates the public on the history of American lighthouses and the role of the United States Coast Guard in maritime safety

• The historic Owl’s Head, Rockland Breakwater, and Marshall Point lighthouses still stand in the Rockland area and are open for tours.

• For 63 years the Maine Lobster Festival has celebrated Maine’s maritime tradition with over 1,000 community volunteers and 20,000 pounds of lobster

Rockland Harbor provides great opportunities for sailing and kayaking just off the coast of Maine.

The Strand Theatre offers film, live music, and stage performances and has been entertaining Rockland residents and visitors since 1923.

Farnsworth Art Museum houses a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists including the work of three generations of the Wyeth family as well as the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House (made famous by Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting, Christina’s World), both listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

And they didn’t even mention the Puffin Center, the National Historic District, the easily walkable downtown, the great inns, the restaurants that are gaining national attention, and, well you know me, I could go on and on.

So, what are you waiting for? Vote now, vote often!

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