Car enthusiasts and gearheads who find themselves in the Rockland area will want to stop by the Owls Head Transportation Museum in nearby Owls Head, ME. This popular museum is known for its impressive collection of rare and antique cars, aircraft, motorcycles, bikes, wagons, and more!
The Owls Head Transportation Museum is home to a world-class collection of more than 150 rare and historic vehicles, plus related artifacts. The museum was founded in 1974 and has over 100,000 square feet of display space for its unique exhibits.
Better yet, all the vehicles on display at the museum, whether rare originals or historical replicas, are fully operational. You won’t find that at most other museums. In fact, the Transportation Museum’s collection is the largest operational fleet of its kind in New England!
The museum’s location in Owls Head puts it about an hour south of Captain Nickels and surrounded by a variety of other MidCoast Maine attractions. If visiting this museum sounds like something you’d enjoy, we recommend making a fun daytrip of it.
Visiting the Owls Head Transportation Museum
The Owls Head Transportation Museum is housed in a large, open building, shaped much like an airplane hangar. Quite apropos, considering the variety of aircraft found inside. The museum’s thoughtfully spacious layout allows plenty of elbow room for both the exhibits and wandering museum goers.
The core of the museum’s collection focuses on the transportation’s “pioneer” period: early attempts at manned flight and the development of the automobile. Seeing these humble beginnings will remind you just how far transportation has come. Some of the vehicles on display date back as far as the early 1800’s.
Highlights of the collection include a 1917 Fokker Tri-plane, like the Red Baron flew, a 1929 Phantom Rolls-Royce, and an 1885 Benz. You’ll also see a full-scale replica of the Wright Brothers’ Kitty Hawk aircraft, a 1919 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and a plush, 1914 Rolls-Royce Limousine.
The museum even displays steam engines and antique bicycles, like the 1868 Velocipede Boneshaker. With a name like that, you have to hope it had a padded seat. Yikes!
The Owls Head Transportation Museum also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, especially during the warmer months. Vehicle auctions, car shows, air shows, and more often featuring unique demonstrations. Sometimes there is even the chance to ride in a vintage car or plane. Breathtaking!
The Owls Head Transportation Museum is located at 117 Museum Street in Owls Head, ME around an hour from our Maine coast bed and breakfast, Captain Nickels Inn. Owls Head is just a few minutes south of Rockland, ME. As I mention above, the entire area makes for a wonderful day-trip from our Searsport Inn, with lots of fun things to do and see.
The drive to the Rockland area is easy and straightforward; a lovely cruise down Maine’s scenic MidCoast.
Leaving Captain Nickels Inn, turn left onto Searsport’s Main Street/U.S. Highway 1.
Follow Highway 1 south out of town, staying on it until you reach Rockland, about a 50 minute drive.
In Rockland, take a right on Main Street/ME-73 S, following it south for about 6 minutes or until you see Museum Street on your left.
Take a left on Museum Street and follow it to its end. Voila – you made it!
Your trek down Maine’s gorgeous coast to Owls Head takes you past a variety of towns, lighthouses, state parks, and other popular Mid Coast attractions. We would be more than happy to help you plan your itinerary if you would like. Nothing makes us happier than sharing Maine with our guests!
Updated March 2023