The lobster is one of Maine’s most recognizable symbols. Considered the finest shellfish in the world, Maine’s legendary crustacean is all the sweeter in situ — served right in the shell on a pier overlooking a harbor or in a lobster roll in a quintessential roadside shack. While much has changed in Maine’s lobster industry in recent years, lobster is still a colorful and central part of the coast and Maine’s fishing economy. Even today, all Maine lobsters are hand-caught from small day boats. For visitors heading to Maine this summer and fall, here are some ways to celebrate the lobster.
Lobstering & the Maine Coast at the Maine Maritime Museum
Visitors to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath can catch “Lobstering & the Maine Coast” this summer. It’s a significant redesign and renovation of one of the museum’s permanent exhibitions, housed in its own 6,200-square-foot, two-story building along the Kennebec River. Look for innovative technology that helps explain the increasingly complex roles of the modern lobsterman, the changing designs of lobster boats and view of 21st century lobster biology and ecology. The expertise of the Maine Lobsterman’s Association, University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute has helped shaped this dynamic exhibit, which opened on July 26, 2015.
Lobster Boat Tours
Lobster boat tours allow visitors to learn firsthand how lobsters are caught, to try their hand at catching their own lobster, and to usually purchase freshly caught lobsters at the lower “boat price.” Four boats worth sailing with are the Rugosa in Kennebunkport, Lucky Catch in Portland, theCaptain Jack in Rockland Harbor and Lulu in Bar Harbor.
Lobster Shacks with a View
The classic way to enjoy Maine’s favorite crustacean is to eat lobster-in-the-rough, ordered at a counter and eaten on a picnic table, preferably on a dock with a view of a harbor and working lobster boats. In addition to lobster, expect clam chowders, steamers, and sides of corn on the cob, onion rings, fries, and some good old fashioned Maine humor.
Five Islands, Georgetown has a view of five pine-clad islands, with eating on a pier and a classic Maine harbor view of sailboats, lobster boats and gulls.
Round Pond Lobstermen’s Co-op, Round Pond, is a rustic spot on a beautiful Maine harbor.
The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth, has an idyllic setting on the rocky Maine coast, where diners sit on picnic tables on the rocks, framed by the white tower of Two Lights lighthouse and extraordinary surf and views out to sea.
Thurston’s Lobster Pound, Bernard is perfect for travelers who are bound for Acadia National Park. This lobster shack on a wharf on Mount Desert Island overlooks the lobster fishing fleet in Bass Harbor.
Estes Lobster House, Harpswell Neck, is surrounded by Harpswell Sound and Potts Harbor, and offers outdoor seating and a fire pit, with torches in the evening and spectacular views of sunset.
Crowning of the Crustacean King
Esteemed lobster chefs compete for the exclusive title of Lobster Chef of the Year each October at Portland’s annual Harvest on the Harbor. Watch as chefs prepare their favorite lobster recipe, sample each dish and be there to see who takes home the crown.
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