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Camden Maine Vacation Guide | Best Things to Do in Camden This Year

The town of Camden is the self-described Jewel of the Maine coast. Located in MidCoast Maine , Camden is a haven for ocean lovers, foodies , shoppers, and outdoor adventurers.

In the summer months, the population more than triples due to visitors and seasonal residents, many of whom reside in gorgeous ocean-view estates around the harbor.

Mount Battie - Camden, Maine

Getting to Know Camden Maine

Despite some early exploration of Camden Hills, then known as Penobscot Hills in the 1600s, Camden didn’t become a permanent settlement in Maine for another 150 years.

James Richards was the first recorded settler of Camden in 1769 when the first real settlers to the area arrived. The town’s name comes from Charles Pratt, the first Earl of Camden, and was named after the Revolutionary War in 1791.

In its first 100 years, Camden prospered in industries such as shipbuilding, anchor manufacturing, and lime production. The lime industry was located in the town of Goose River which separated from Camden in 1891 and was renamed Rockport.

In 1892, most of downtown Camden burned in a large fire. Buildings downtown were subsequently rebuilt with brick, and today Camden’s historic downtown has become an iconic part of the city. 

With its access to the harbor and natural beauty, Camden has long been a popular summer resort destination, especially for wealthy families. By the late 19th century, sprawling estates and mansions dotted the area around Camden.

Today, many of those estates have become bed and breakfasts, and Camden’s popularity as a resort town led to much development in the town, including the creation of the Camden amphitheater, the public library, and much more.

Camden, Maine

Fascinating Facts About Camden Maine

  • Camden is home to the only ocean-view ski area on the Eastern Seaboard — Camden Snow Bowl! Here the annual National Toboggan Championships are held every February.
  • Most of the 1995 kids’ movie “Casper” was filmed in Camden because the production crew felt it had an authentic field.
  • Besides Casper, several movies have been filmed in Camden, including “Captains Courageous,” “Carousel,” “Peyton Place,” “Head Above Water,” and “In the Bedroom.”
  • Captain George Weymouth of the ship Archangel first saw Camden Hills in 1605. He and Captain John Smith — of Jamestown and Pocahontas fame — arrived to explore Camden and the surrounding area.

FAQs About Camden Maine

Where is camden maine.

Camden is located in Knox County in Maine’s MidCoast. It’s about 90 minutes from Portland and less than an hour from Augusta .

What is there to do in Camden Maine?

A better question is what isn’t there to do? You can explore Camden’s historic downtown, visit a nearby lighthouse, visit a local park, eat some fresh Maine seafood, and so much more.

When is a good time to visit Camden Maine? 

Summer and winter are considered to be the peak seasons for activity in Camden. But, locals may tell you April-June is the best time because it offers a more relaxed pace before the busy tourist season .

What is special about Camden Maine?

Camden is full of rich history. There’s stunning architecture, plenty of places to shop, and more than enough beautiful scenery.

Camden, Maine

Things to Do in Camden Maine

There is something to experience in Camden for every traveler, whether you are looking to actively hike and explore Camden Hills State Park or relax on a sailboat as it glides over the cool ocean waves in Penobscot Bay .

Tour Camden Harbor

Located right on Penobscot Bay, Camden is a sailor’s dream. Camden Harbor is home to numerous schooners and tall ships that offer daily sailing tours and excursions . Visitors may choose to charter their own ships or sail for several days on a majestic ocean vessel, learning to hoist the sails or relaxing on the deck in the cool ocean breezes.

A Camden harbor cruise is a fun way to see the beautiful boats and schooners that port here and venture out to a few lighthouses and beautiful Penobscot Bay — one of our favorite places to sail in all of Maine! Lively Lady offers harbor cruises from Camden’s docks daily.

Enjoy a Schooner tour in Camden aboard Schooner Surprise — we suggest a sunset cruise. As the sails are raised, the wind will be in your hair and you’ll see wildlife from this authentic 1918 race ship with only the power of the wind behind you. A ride around the harbor will pass island ferries, mega-yachts, powerboats, fishing boats, Maine windjammers , and more!

Penobscot Bay itself has been said to be one of the best and most scenic sailing areas in the state of Maine. Camden remains a working harbor, with lobstering and fishing boats traveling in and out of the Bay each day to catch fresh seafood and lobster.

Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe - Camden, Maine

Shop in Downtown Camden

Downtown Camden is a delight of upscale shops, antique shops , general stores, seafood eateries, and cafes. Plus, it has the most beautiful waterfront and the Camden Public Library, which is surrounded by a lovely park for picnicking.

Pop into Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe , The Smiling Cow , and French & Brawn Market Place for the perfect picnic provisions and Maine-made yummies. Explore Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe and the Cashmere Goat too. Renys is a Maine shopping adventure in Camden…you won’t know you need it until you find it here!

Pay a Visit to Merryspring Nature Center

Open daily from sunrise to sunset, Merryspring Nature Center is a paradise if you love nature. Spread across 66 acres, the park is free to visit and there’s so much to see.

Marvel at Merryspring’s specialty gardens’ dazzling array of roses, daylilies, annuals, and perennials. If you want to explore even further, 10 nature trails wind around the property for visitors to explore on their own.

Merryspring is also a nonprofit educational center and routinely offers talks on topics dealing with plants, gardening, wildlife, and so much more.

Camden Opera House

See a Performance at the Camden Opera House

If you’re looking to soak up music, history, and culture all in one spot, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Camden Opera House .

This 500-seat venue is more than 100 years old and continues to draw visitors for its Victorian-era architecture and details. If you love historic buildings, you’ll be in awe of the large chandeliers, the antique moldings, and even the stenciling. The detail here is immaculate!

Best of all, the opera house hosts a fun variety of entertainment — including films, classical music concerts, musicals, comedians, and more. Watching a performance here is a highlight of any trip to Camden.

Camden Hills State Park - Camden, Maine

Visit Camden Hills State Park

Looking for things to do in Camden Maine? A trip to Camden Hills State Park allows visitors to view a gorgeous sunrise or sunset over Penobscot Bay from the top of Mt. Battie.

Camden Hills State Park encompasses 5,700 acres, including over 30 miles of hiking and walking trails. You may tour the park on your own or with a local Maine Guide.

Camden Hills State Park is great for families with children because the hiking trails are not very strenuous or long and usually have very moderate inclines. However, if you don’t feel like hiking, drive the Auto Road up Mt. Battie for panoramic views of the Bay and nearby islands.

Also, the park is home to over a hundred campsites and a large picnic area for those visitors who wish to stay a little longer. In addition, Maiden Cliff is one of the more popular hiking trails — an 800-foot rock cliff that provides spectacular views of Megunticook Lake and the Maine countryside.

Laite Memorial Beach - Camden, Maine

Explore Some of Maine’s Best Beaches

Beachgoers will love Barrett’s Cove , a freshwater beach on Megunticook Lake. This beach is a quiet and relaxing escape from notoriously busy Camden in the summer months. It is often not crowded, and the lake water remains relatively warm during prime season.

The beach is open to the public with designated swimming areas, public restrooms, and showers. There is also a grassy picnic area with tables and outdoor grills and a playground for the kids to enjoy.

Laite Memorial Beach is small but scenic, overlooking beautiful views of Camden Harbor just a short distance from downtown. It’s part of a grassy park that slopes down to a pebble beach along the water, perfect for searching for shells, sea glass, and other ocean treasures.

The park itself has swings, picnic tables, grills, and restroom facilities. There is a swimming platform offshore for those brave enough to swim in the chilly harbor waters.

Curtis Island Lighthouse - Camden, Maine

Tour Lighthouses Near Camden Maine

It is worth a day trip to visit one of Camden’s outlying islands — Isleboro, Vinalhaven, North Haven, Isle Au Haut, and more — accessible by boat or ferry out of Camden Harbor.

Many of these islands are home to great hiking and biking trails, quaint seaside villages, and picturesque Maine lighthouses . In fact, there are 18 lighthouses within a 40-mile radius of Camden, some of which include:

  • Curtis Island Lighthouse is located at the entrance to Camden Harbor and is still actively used by the US Coast Guard.
  • Vinalhaven is home to Brown’s Head Light and Heron Neck Light . Vinalhaven is also famous for its resident swordfish captain and author Linda Greenlaw who wrote “The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island,” “A Hungry Ocean”The Hungry Ocean: A Swordboat Captain’s Journey,” “Slipknot,” “All Fishermen are Liars”All Fishermen Are Liars: True Tales from the Dry Dock Bar,” and her own Maine cookbook, “Recipes from a Very Small Island.”
  • Goose Rocks Light is located between the islands of Vinalhaven and North Haven, marking the dangerous rock ledge beneath it.
  • Isle au Haut is home to Isle au Haut Light . Visitors to this tower may also choose to stay at the original innkeeper’s house, which has been turned into a quaint bed and breakfast with no electricity!

Windjammer Festival - Camden, Maine - Fall Festivals in Maine

Attend Fun Events in Camden Maine

Although the summer months bring thousands of visitors to Camden, it truly is a year-round community with something fun to do every season!

In the summer, Camden is home to the annual Parade of the Tallships and Maine Windjammer Days — festivals celebrating the rich sailing history of Camden and a chance to show off some beautiful ships. And, the Harbor Arts and Camden Jazz Festival draw a large community to appreciate the local artists and musicians.

Experience Winter Activities at the Camden Snow Bowl

There are plenty of things to do in Camden during the winter as the town becomes a hot spot for winter sports. The Camden Snow Bowl is a community-owned ski area on Ragged Mountain and the only Eastern ski area with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Skiers and snowboarders alike will enjoy this picturesque ski mountain in Camden. In February, Camden Snow Bowl is home to the North American Toboggan Championships. Ice skating and cross-country are also popular winter activities that many Camden visitors enjoy.

The Waterfront Restaurant - Camden, Maine

Great Places to Eat in Camden Maine

Camden is known for its unique restaurants and top Maine chefs. So when you’re ready to grab some food to start the day, or you’re hungry after a day of exploring, a whole town’s worth of culinary delights await you.

There are many delicious restaurants lining the downtown and waterfront areas, where guests may enjoy freshly caught seafood and other scrumptious meals, or take an order to one of the many public parks in the area for a scenic picnic.

Some of our favorite places to dine in Camden include:

Natalie’s at Camden Harbour Inn

Located at Camden Harbor Inn, this is an award-winning eatery that gives up vibes of a French Bistro. Formal wear is expected and the menu is everything a visitor might expect in a fine-dining experience.

The Waterfront Restaurant

This Camden Harbor institution offers great views of Penobscot Bay and is a great place for outdoor dining. Treat yourself to some fresh Maine seafood or an American classic.

Fresh & Co

If you’re looking for something a little different, this is a great place to visit. If you come with an open mind, you just might enjoy everything on the menu from the bread to the soups to the caviar.

Peter Ott’s on the Water

If you love lobster, you can’t go wrong with a visit to this eatery on Camden Harbor. You can get steamed lobster, lobster corn chowder, lobster BLTs and so much more.

Peter Ott’s on the Water - Camden, Maine

If you’re craving Asian cuisine in mid-Coast Maine, this is the place to go. The chef-owners specialize in colorful soups, noodle dishes, and Asian fusion dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

Camden House of Pizza

Operating since 1998, this pizza shop serves up a delicious array of specialty pies and also serves pizza by the slice. If you’re craving something different, try a pasta dinner, a gyro, a burger, or one of several other tasty options.

River Ducks Ice Cream

If you’re craving something sweet on a perfect Maine day, this ice cream stand is family-owned and offers nearly two dozen flavors of ice cream. You can also get sundaes and milkshakes. Enjoy your treat and treat yourself to a view of the river.

River Ducks Ice Cream, Camden - Camden Restaurants

The View at 16 Bay View

This is an iconic rooftop bar and terrace in Camden and features breathtaking views of Camden Harbor and Camden Hills State Park. Treat yourself to a cocktail and choose some delicious from the small plates menu.

Here visitors can find delicious Italian fare made with a Mediterranean twist. The menu can change depending on the availability of ingredients, but you can find delicious pasta dishes made with local fare.

Franny’s Bistro

Located in a scenic cottage, this is a great place to get a good meal. The menu features Southern staples as well as seafood specialties and French classics.

Owl & Turtle Bookshop

If you’re in the mood for a good cup of coffee to start your morning, this is a great spot to stop in for some joe and a fresh-baked pastry. You can also find specialty coffees and teas here. Grab your favorite beverage and sit near the harbor with a good book.

Zoot Coffee

Zoot is all about fun and happiness and you’ll find both here as well as lots of yummy food. Start with a cup of coffee or espresso in a coffeehouse setting and order a quiche or baked goods to go with it. You can also order all-fruit smoothies, made with organic fruit and natural juices.

Franny’s Bistro - Camden, Maine

The Best Places to Stay in Camden Maine

If you’re planning a trip to Camden, you may be wondering where you’re going to stay during your trip. Fear not, because Camden has plenty of options to cater to all visitors.

Lodging in Camden can be very unique, as there are many Historic Inns and charming bed and breakfasts to stay at. For larger groups or families, motels, hotels, and waterfront resorts are able to accommodate and please all guests at affordable prices.

Camden weddings have become very popular, as the town is such a picture-perfect spot for your rehearsal and wedding reception, and the ideal starting place for your honeymoon touring the Maine coast .

Lincolnville is Camden’s neighboring town to the north Coast with several great lodging establishments and a Maine winery . Many love visiting the quaint villages of Rockport and Rockland and Owls Head just south of Camden.

Barrett's Cove - Camden, Maine

Other Nearby Attractions You Need to See

Camden Harbor Park by the beautiful Camden Public Library is a lovely setting for a stroll or a picnic with a picturesque view of all the sailboat masts in the harbor. There’s an Amphitheater here for Camden’s frequent outdoor concerts.

Visit Rockland’s Breakwater of gleaming granite harvested locally, and then browse the Farnsworth Museum — home to Andrew Wyeth and his family’s artwork. All of Rockland has an artsy cool vibe and several exceptional galleries — like the newer Center for Maine Contemporary Art across the street!

Another cool place to visit in Rockland is the Puffin Project Visitor Center . Opened in 2006, the center’s goal is to inform residents and visitors about Project Puffin — an effort to bring puffins and other Maine seabirds back to their nesting areas.

At the visitor center, visitors can watch a video system to see puffins and other Maine seabirds in real time. It’s a great way to learn about how these fascinating birds live and the challenges they’ve had to overcome.

Isle au Haut Light - Isle au Haut, Maine

Start Planning Your Trip to Camden Maine Today

If you want to experience the best of everything that Maine has to offer, Camden is where you can find it all. With a historic downtown, waterfront beaches, restaurants, parks, festivals, and much more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy when visiting Camden.

There’s so much to see and do in MidCoast Maine, so start planning your trip to Camden today. Whether you’re looking for culture, history, fresh seafood, or beaches — or you just want to see the ocean — you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may just want to come back and experience all of it all over again.

There are so many things to do in Camden Maine that we recommend staying for at least a few days. A trip to Camden is one that the whole family will enjoy and remember for a lifetime!

The VisitMaine.Net team is the small team of authors and editors that research and write our in-depth guides throughout the site and update past articles to make sure they're still super valuable to you. We have one goal: to help you fall more in love with the state of Maine!

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36 Hours in Camden and Rockport, Maine (and Environs)

On the central coast of Maine, visitors will find a beguiling nexus of arts, dining and outdoor activities.

towns to visit near camden maine

By Melissa Coleman

If Maine’s much-debated slogan, “the way life should be,” were a place, the towns of Camden and Rockport and their surroundings might be it. On the Eastern Seaboard, where mountains meet ocean, the area has long attracted rusticators and “vacationlanders” who far outnumber residents in summer. These clapboard-and-brick towns sit two miles apart on schooner-spotted harbors next to rounded mountains and sparkling freshwater lakes. What more does a rural getaway need? In this case, it’s a vibrant community of year-round locals who’ve created a nexus of arts, dining and outdoor activities to rival some cities. The area’s charm lies in an authentic belief in family businesses, locally grown food and ingenuity against the odds. Not to mention, they made it through the winter, and summer is everyone’s reward.

36 Hours in Camden and Rockport, Maine

1) 3 p.m. beans and books.

The Owl & Turtle Bookshop Café in Camden is the place to dish or talk books and coffee with the owners, Craig and Maggie White, and their amiable staff. They’ll wax rhapsodic about the Coffee on the Porch beans, roasted at home by a local teacher and brewed here, or upcoming readings with local authors like the best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen and the children’s book author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen. The former boat shop on Bay View has been renovated to include nooks with chairs and beanbags for relaxing with lattes and books. For those considering a move to the area, grab “Ditch the City and Go Country,” by the local writer-photographer-blogger Alissa Hessler.

2) 4 p.m. Lay of the land

The view from the top of Mount Battie inspired the words that launched Edna St. Vincent Millay’s career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. “All I could see from where I stood was three long mountains and a wood; I turned and looked the other way, and saw three islands in a bay.” Accessed by a 1.4-mile trail and road, there’s a stone World War I commemorative tower at the top and a hawk’s eye perspective of Camden and the islands of Penobscot Bay. Also visible is Camden Snow Bowl, the community-owned ski mountain that hosts the U.S. National Toboggan Championships every February. Admission ($6) to Camden Hills State Park includes the network of hiking trails, a campground with hookups, plus picnic tables and grills near the rocky shore.

3) 6 p.m. Local and fresh

Portland may have been Bon Appétit’s 2018 Restaurant City of the Year, but Camden, Rockport and nearby Rockland have significant culinary cred of their own. As far back as 2000, the two-time James Beard Award-winner Melissa Kelly launched the garden-and-greenhouse-to-table formula at Primo , in a charming Victorian in Rockland. Following suit in Rockport, Nīna June restaurant , in a brick and wood-accented venue at historic Union Hall, offers the latest expression of classic Italian-Mediterranean cuisine by the chef and cookbook author, Sara Jenkins. From New York City’s Porsena to her native Maine, she brings her vast knowledge of Italian cuisine to the local-and-fresh theme, evidenced here in, among other dishes, a chive chitarra pasta with Maine crab and lemon butter ($25). Finish up with a nightcap and native oysters at 18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill next door. Both restaurants have coveted outdoor seating and harbor views.

4) 8 a.m. New spin on breakfast classics

Change doesn’t come easily in small towns, as Brian Beggarly, a former chef at Primo, found when he took over Boynton-McKay Food Co., a longstanding locals’ breakfast and lunch joint in downtown Camden’s historic apothecary. The key to success was merging old classics such as skillet eggs and “Wavos Rancheros” with racier tacos and to-die-for brisket hash with potatoes and greens ($9.50). Now old- and new-timers alike fight for the high-backed booths and even begrudgingly enjoy recent décor updates that include a restored 1947 Italian motorcycle on the wall.

5) 10 a.m. D.I.Y. cruise

As an alternative to a schooner, the sea kayak provides affordable and intimate access to the water on one’s own schedule and muscle. Harbor tours with Maine Sport Outfitters depart from the Camden waterfront three times daily, for a two-hour paddle around Curtis Island and the coastline ($45). Maine Sport also offers trips on the freshwater lakes and three- to four-day kayak camping excursions to Stonington and Muscongus Bay. Family-owned by Stuart and Marianne Smith since 1976, the flagship sporting goods store is in Rockport, with a satellite shop in downtown Camden. Kayaks, paddleboards, bikes and canoes are all available to rent by day, week or month from the Rockport location.

6) 12 p.m. Locavore lunch

Bangkok’s loss was Camden’s gain when Ravin Nakjaroen and Paula Palakawong opened Long Grain’s eclectic 30-seat restaurant in 2010. At the time, authentic, locavore Asian food was not quite a thing in lobster country. Now, thanks to the couple’s delightful dishes, i.e. Pad Kee Mao housemade wide rice noodles with local Thai basil, chile, garlic, kale and Heiwa tofu or pork belly ($17), Long Grain is a destination in and of itself. A bright new location has increased square footage to include an Asian market with Long Grain Magic Sauce and other staples, but seating remains limited to 38. Reservations are a must, and walk-ins have better luck at lunch. Check back for vegetarian counter service at the original location come autumn.

7) 2 p.m. California dreaming

A scenic byway that leads to a wine-tasting room in a 1790s timber frame barn? It’s not in Napa, but at Cellardoor Winery, where Bettina Doulton has created a bacchanalian playground for wine lovers and casual day-trippers alike at the 5.5-acre vineyard in Lincolnville, about six miles from Camden. The tasting room opens daily at 11 a.m. for samples of the four estate wines by the glass ($8) with cheese boards and complimentary winery tours. Events include pairing lunches on Sundays with local producers, and pop-up dinners with partnering chefs, food trucks and music. The standout is Vino Al Fresco ($175), an open-air dinner with Trillium Caterers, Aug. 15, at a 120-seat table on a platform in the middle of the vines.

8) 4 p.m. Summer cooking

Annemarie Ahearn of Salt Water Farm has been championing local ingredients and traditional methods at her cooking school since she left New York City for Lincolnville in 2009. Her classes and workshops at the antique post-and-beam barn and stone patio on Penobscot Bay inspire hundreds of attendees to bring new perspectives to the home kitchen. Summer courses include Modern Country Cooking ($185), a three-day French Regional Cuisine Workshop ($545) and the Cookbook Club Series ($185) dinner with special guest, Alison Roman (who writes about food for The New York Times), to sample recipes from her new book, “Nothing Fancy.” Classes sell out quickly, but check the email wait list for cancellations.

towns to visit near camden maine

52 Places to Go in 2019

A starter kit for escaping into the world.

9) 5 p.m. Saturday night out

Camden’s village is exceptionally walkable, which lends itself to a relaxed or spirited evening on the town. The View, a new rooftop bar at 16 Bay View Hotel, is the place to start with a craft cocktail, small plate and open-air outlook on the bay. Rhumb Line, across the maze of sailboats and schooners at Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer marina, calls out for dinner beside the water. Bryan Romero, the chef, has elevated fish and chips ($17) to delicacy status, along with an exceptional haddock chowder. A full bar and the Something Fierce signature cocktail ($10) means it’s a hard spot to leave, but the walk back to town is rewarded by after-hour specials and a lively vibe at 40 Paper Italian Bistro & Bar in the historic Knox Mill, where friendly locals close out the night over flatbreads and half-price drinks.

10) 9 a.m. Local hangout

If a coffee shop gauges community, Rockport is thriving at Seafolk Coffee. Behind a sign-less blue door, the freshly renovated space with a pine-tree slab counter and tall windows is a word-of-mouth favorite and cozy hangout above the harbor. The owners, Jacob and Madrona Wienges, serve espresso and cortado from micro lot beans, as well as housemade pastries and Danish-inspired open-faced toasts on dense rye bread ($9-$12). A photo graph by the entrance sets the tone with an ocean scene and Isak Dinesen quote: “The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, tears, or the sea.” For more photography, come back Monday to Saturday for the acclaimed Maine Media Gallery and Tim Whelan’s photographic book shop up the street.

11) 12 p.m. Maine-inspired art

Starting in the 1950s, Alex Katz, Lois Dodd, Neil Welliver and their gang of avant-garde artist friends, notable for their return to realist nature and figure paintings against the tide of Abstract Expressionism, migrated from New York City to Lincolnville’s Slab City Road every summer to make art and relax en plein-air. The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland celebrates these artists this year with the Slab City Rendezvous exhibition and Maine in America award. Permanent collections include the curious assemblages of the sculptor Louise Nevelson, and a church in back houses the paintings of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth ($15 adult admission). Look into tours of the Olson House, the iconic Colonial on the hill in Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World.”

12) 2 p.m. Contemporary cool

Designed by the architect Toshiko Mori, who summers on the nearby island of North Haven, the new Center for Maine Contemporary Art is worth a visit for the stunning glass and corrugated metal building alone. The art is pretty great, too. Since its founding in 1952 by the Maine Coast Artists collective, the center has shown works by the Maine-inspired artists Robert Indiana, Fairfield Porter, Louise Nevelson and Alex Katz. A block from the Farnsworth in Rockland, the new space opened in 2016. Summer shows include a Slab City Road veteran, Ann Craven, who brings her serial treatment of time to birds, flowers and the moon.

Airbnbs and Vrbos in the area include everything from a double occupancy R-Pod Camper on a farm and a private studio apartment overlooking an apple orchard, to a restored 1840s four-bedroom farmhouse with pick-your-own lettuce, tomatoes, herbs and blueberries in the garden; from $52 to $134 to $499.

As far as oceanside resorts go, Samoset Resort (220 Warrenton Street, Rockport) has the bases covered with 230 acres on a point across from Owls Head Lighthouse, plus 178 newly renovated rooms, indoor and outdoor heated pools, fitness club and spa with hot tubs and steam saunas, and an 18-hole golf course. Summer rates start at $379.

Despite a guest list boasting a king, president and Edna St. Vincent Millay, Whitehall (52 High Street, Camden) still manages to feel like a classic Maine summer home. Brightly updated in 2015, the rambling clapboard inn, a 10-minute walk from downtown, has 36 rooms and suites, farmer’s porch, bocce court and fire pit. Book direct for best rates, starting at $229 for a queen.

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THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Camden

Things to do in camden, explore popular experiences, tours in and around camden.

towns to visit near camden maine

Windjammer Classic Sunset Sail from Camden, Maine

towns to visit near camden maine

Windjammer Classic Day Sail from Camden, Maine

towns to visit near camden maine

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Schooner Eastwind 2 Hour Day Sail in Boothbay Harbor

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towns to visit near camden maine

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Oyster Farm & Complimentary Tasting Sea Kayak Tour in Casco Bay

towns to visit near camden maine

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  • Camden Rockport Lincolnville

Camden, Rockport & Lincolnville

The towns of Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville are located in the heart of coastal Maine along Penobscot Bay. Rockport and Camden have working harbors full of fishing boats, schooners and boat yards. These seaside towns have a vibrant artist community – Route 1 is lined with galleries and shops where you can peruse locally made arts and crafts.

Things to Do in Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville

In the summer, stop by the Camden Windjammer Festival , the largest gathering of windjammers in the northeast. There are events all day including the exciting (and odd) lobster crate races. You can hike the 30 miles of trails and choose from among more than 100 campsites at Camden Hills State Park . Take in a show at the historic Camden Opera House . Each year, filmmakers from around the world come to Camden to the Camden International Film Festival .

Winter here is a blast! At the nearby Camden Snow Bowl , you can ski, go snow tubing and ice skating or ride down the 400-foot toboggan chute. Each February, you can watch or participate in the U.S. National Toboggan Championships . Santa arrives by boat to celebrate Camden’s Christmas by the Sea, a time to enjoy shopping and festivities.

If you’re yearning to learn while on vacation, this area has you covered. Rockport is home to the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship , which provides courses in furniture making and related skills; the Maine Media Workshops , which holds classes in photography, writing and filmmaking; and Avena Botanicals , which offers herbal workshops and tours of their gardens. Salt Water Farm Cooking School in Lincolnville gives guests the opportunity to create local, seasonal fare.

In Rockport, Maine, you’ll feel ocean breezes and you can visit gorgeous parks. If you’re adventurous, plan to go hiking, sailing, bicycling, skiing, birdwatching and other outdoor activities. Rockport was home to Andre the Seal, who for 20 years came up from the Boston Aquarium to spend summers in Rockport Harbor as a welcome guest. His statue is now in Rockport Marine Park.

You can golf beside the ocean at the Samoset Resort Golf Club in Rockport. From the Samoset, you can also walk along the Rockland Breakwater to the lighthouse. At the 66-acre Merryspring Nature Center in Camden and Rockport, you can enjoy walking, birdwatching or cross-country skiing.

In Lincolnville, take part in tastings of grape and blueberry wines and tour the winery and vineyard at Cellardoor Winery , Maine's first winery. Lincolnville Beach is a popular spot to enjoy the sand and sea.

Where to Stay in Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville

The Samoset Resort is one of MidCoast Maine’s favorite year-round hotels. In Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville, you also have your choice of many fantastic inns and bed and breakfasts, including the Captain Swift Inn , Camden Maine Stay Inn , Victorian By the Sea , Lord Camden Inn and the Camden Riverhouse Hotel . Want a cozy cabin in the mountains? Check out Point Lookout Resort . Glenmoor By The Sea is popular with families looking for the perfect spot to relax and the Lincolnville Motel offers comfort with a vintage feel. There are too many great places to stay to name them all!

Restaurants in Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville

Looking for a place to eat in Camden? You’re in luck. The Hartstone Inn ’s restaurant is highly regarded for fine-dining, Peter Ott’s on the Water serves up seafood, classic comfort nibbles and burgers, and the Waterfront boast the best views in Camden on their harborside deck.

In Rockport, Nina June and 18 Central Oyster Bar overlook Rockport Harbor.

In Lincolnville, visit McLaughlin’s Lobster Shack for great seafood in unpretentious settings. The Lincolnville General Store offers delicious snacks and quick meals perfect for picnics.

Businesses & Organizations

  • MidCoast and Islands

Carol L. Douglas Studio

Plein air paintings, workshops and classes

Phone: 585-201-1558

Website: www.watch-me-paint.com

Address: 394 Commercial Street , Rockport

Moon Dog Excursions

Something Extraordinary! Custom Boat Charters and Island Excursions on Penobscot Bay. Experience the beauty of the Maine Coast.

Phone: 207-230-9069

Website: moondogexcursions.com

Address: 111 pascal ave , rockport

Schooner Heron

Sail Heron for day sails, custom charters and life events

Phone: 207-236-8605

Website: www.sailheron.com

Address: Rockport Marine Park, 111 Pascal Avenue , Rockport

Camden International Film Festival

CIFF is a four day long film festival in midcoast Maine

Phone: 207-593-6593

Website: camdenfilmfest.org

Address: PO Box 836 , Camden

Maine Media Workshops

Offering more than 200 workshops and master classes in film and photography

Phone: (207) 236-8581, 1-877-577-7700

Website: www.mainemedia.edu

Address: 70 Camden Street , Rockport

Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School

Year-round concert presenter and community music school

Phone: 207-236-2823

Website: www.baychamber.org

Address: 18 Central St. PO Box 599 , Rockport

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10 Things To Do In Camden: Complete Guide To Maine's Hidden Small-Town Gem

Learn about the top things to do in Camden and find out what to explore in Maine's small-town gem.

Camden, Maine, a quaint coastal town, is far from just another seaside destination. With a population of just under 5,000, it retains a small-town charm while offering a wealth of attractions. The Camden Hills State Park, for starters, with miles of hiking trails and panoramic views from Mount Battie, is a must-visit for nature lovers. This town might not be one of Maine's oldest-founded towns , but it certainly bears a wealth of history that tourists would love to find out about.

Visitors have the opportunity to delve into Camden's rich maritime history, which is apparent in its well-preserved 19th-century architecture. And, the Camden Public Library, a testament to the town's cultural heritage, is the perfect place to visit for book lovers and history enthusiasts; it’s a National Historic Landmark. Part of Camden’s identity is the harbor, which is teeming with classic windjammers and offers scenic boat tours that shouldn't be missed. For food enthusiasts, Camden's seafood, especially its lobster, is renowned nationwide. This destination is actually one of the places to find the best lobster roll in Maine .

Camden, without a doubt, is a Maine gem worth spending a few days exploring. Find out about the top things to do in Camden by reading this complete guide, which also has helpful information on where to eat, stay, and so much more.

Things To Do In Camden, Maine

A hidden small-town gem, Camden is famous for being one of the best beach towns in Maine . Below are some of the top attractions and activities that visitors can experience in this destination.

Related: From Coastal Towns To National Parks: Exploring The Top 10 Destinations In Maine

1 Explore Camden Hills State Park

Camden Hills State Park , located just a few miles from downtown Camden, is a paradise for nature lovers. The park's 5,700 acres are home to diverse flora and fauna, and its trails offer panoramic views of Penobscot Bay, Camden Harbor, and the surrounding mountains.

The park's most famous trail leads to the top of Mount Battie, where a stone tower provides stunning views of the region. Visitors can also explore the park's campgrounds and picnic areas, and enjoy bird watching.

  • Address : 280 Belfast Rd, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : Open daily from 9 am - sunset
  • Cost : Adults (12+): $6; Seniors: $2; Children (5 to 11): $1; Children under 5: Free

Although the park is open all year round, some trails may be closed from winter to spring, if the weather is poor.

2 Stroll Along Camden Harbor

Camden Harbor is the heart of the town, where the charm of the old world meets modern amenities. It's a major reason why Camden ranks among the most beautiful towns in Maine .

The harbor area is lined with historic buildings, now housing quaint shops, art galleries, and local eateries. Visitors can watch the boats coming in and out of the harbor, or enjoy a picnic at Harbor Park.

The harbor also hosts several annual events, including the Camden Windjammer Festival and the U.S. National Toboggan Championships .

  • Hours : Open 24 hours
  • Cost : Free

3 Take A Sailing Cruise On One Of Camden's Historic Windjammers

Camden's maritime history is best experienced on a sailing cruise aboard one of the town's historic windjammers. These vintage sailing vessels offer a unique perspective of Penobscot Bay, its lighthouses, and the surrounding islands.

Visitors can choose from a variety of cruises, ranging from a few hours to several days, and some even include onboard meals and overnight accommodations. One of the companies offering these cruises is Maine Windjammer Cruises , which has a large fleet of Windjammers and mainly offers multi-day cruises.

  • Cost : From $900

4 Enjoy Some Water Activities At Megunticook Lake

Megunticook Lake , just west of Camden, offers a plethora of water activities. The lake's clear waters are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy picnics at the lake's shores, or take a hike to Maiden Cliff, which offers breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding hills.

Boat rentals are available at Barrett's Cove Beach, located on the lake's eastern shore.

  • Hours : Open daily from sunrise - sunset
  • Cost : Free, but boat rentals vary in price

Visitors can rent a boat and visit the peninsula in the middle of the lake — Fernald’s Neck Preserve. This spot has three hiking trails that tourists can explore.

5 Shop At The Camden Farmers' Market

The Camden Farmers' Market is a must-visit for food lovers. Held every Saturday from May through October as well as Wednesdays in summer, the market offers a variety of local produce, fresh seafood, artisanal cheeses, and baked goods.

Visitors can also find handmade crafts, plants, and flowers. This is a great place to sample local flavors and meet the area's farmers and artisans.

  • Address : 116 Washington St, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : Saturdays: 9 am - 12 pm (May - October); Wednesdays: 3:30 pm - 6 pm (June - September)
  • Cost : Free, but prices for goods vary

6 Learn About The Region’s Maritime History At Penobscot Marine Museum

Nestled in the heart of Searsport, a half-hour’s drive from Camden, Penobscot Marine Museum is a collection of historic buildings that house a vast array of maritime artifacts. Visitors can explore exhibits that showcase the region's shipbuilding heritage, from intricate ship models to tools used by shipwrights.

The museum's centerpiece is the Searsport House, a 19th-century sea captain's home filled with period furnishings. The grounds also feature a maritime-themed art gallery and a children's activity area. This museum offers a unique window into the seafaring past of Camden and its surrounding areas.

  • Address : 40 E Main St, Searsport, ME 04974, United States
  • Hours : Mon - Sat: 10 am - 5 pm; Sun: 12 pm - 5 pm
  • Cost : Adults: $15; Seniors: $12; Children (8 to 18): $10; Children (7 and under): Free

Families with 2 or more kids should consider buying the family ticket that costs $40. This ticket grants admission to two adults and their kids.

7 Wander Around Merryspring Nature Center

Discover the tranquil oasis that is Merryspring Nature Center, nestled in the heart of Camden, Maine. This 66-acre park offers an array of nature trails, vibrant botanical gardens, and a diverse collection of flora and fauna.

Visitors can wander through the park's apple orchard, admire the collection of herbs in the kitchen garden, or marvel at the towering conifers in the arboretum. The park is also home to a greenhouse and a visitor center that hosts various educational programs and workshops throughout the year.

Merryspring Nature Center is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 100 species of birds spotted in the park.

  • Address : 30 Conway Rd, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : Sunrise - Sunset (daily)

8 Catch A Performance At The Historic Camden Opera House

Nestled in the heart of downtown Camden, the Camden Opera House stands as a testament to the town's rich cultural history. This 1894-built edifice is not just an architectural gem with its Victorian-style design, but also a vibrant hub for performing arts.

Visitors can immerse themselves in an array of performances that range from local theater productions and classical music concerts to shows by internationally acclaimed artists. The opera house also hosts the annual Camden International Film Festival, a must-attend for cinema enthusiasts.

Its intimate 500-seat auditorium ensures there's not a bad seat in the house, providing an up-close experience with the performers.

  • Address : 29 Elm St, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : Varies by event
  • Cost : Varies by event

9 Check Out The Collections At Owl's Head Transportation Museum

The Owl's Head Transportation Museum is a must-visit for automobile enthusiasts and history buffs in Camden, Maine. This museum boasts a wealth of vintage transportation artifacts dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It houses an extensive collection of over 100 exhibits, including antique cars, motorcycles, aircraft, and carriages.

Among its prized possessions are a 1910 Stanley Steamer, a 1930 Ford A, and a 1947 Indian Chief Motorcycle. Visitors can also witness live demonstrations of these vintage machines in action.

The museum's grounds also host several annual events, including classic car shows and air shows, attracting crowds from all over the region.

  • Address : 117 Museum St, Owls Head, ME 04854, United States
  • Hours : Open daily from 10 am - 4 pm
  • Cost : Adults (18+): $15; Seniors (65+): $12; Youth (11 to 17): $5; Children (10 and under): Free

10 Enjoy A Day At Laite Memorial Beach

Laite Memorial Beach, located in the heart of Camden, offers a serene spot for relaxation and fun. This sandy beach, situated along the picturesque Penobscot Bay, is a haven for both locals and tourists.

Visitors can revel in the stunning views of the bay's shimmering blue waters, dotted with sailboats under the expansive Maine sky. The beach also features a small playground, picnic tables, and a walking path, making it a perfect place for family outings.

It's not unusual to spot beachgoers indulging in sandcastle building, sunbathing, or just soaking in the calming sea breeze.

This is a low-key beach that’s perfect for those who want to avoid the larger crowds at the more popular spots in Camden.

11 Where To Eat In Camden

Wondering where to eat in Camden? This small town has plenty of eateries for visitors to enjoy.

Marriner’s Restaurant

  • Address : 35 Main St, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : Wed - Mon: 6 am - 2 pm (closed on Tue)
  • Dishes : Cheese omelette, ham & cheese omelette, English muffin, cinnamon raisin, Everything Bagel, French toast

Zoot Coffee

  • Address : 5 Elm St, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : 7 am - 4 pm (daily)
  • Dishes : Oat porridge, Zoot Toast, Quiché, beans on toast

Related: Retro Foodies: These Diners Are The Oldest & Best In New England

Lunch/Dinner

The Waterfront Restaurant

  • Address : 48 Bay View St, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : Thu - Tue: 11:30 am - 8 pm; Wed: 11:30 am - 4 pm
  • Dishes : Buttermilk fried chicken, local Angus beef burger, Maine lobster roll, Maine crab roll

Peter Ott's on the Water

  • Address : 16 Bay Vw Lndg, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : Wed - Sun: 11:30 am - 9 pm (closed Mon - Tue)
  • Dishes : Lobster corn chowder, lobster Quesadilla, Maine clam chowder, chicken Caesar salad, classic burger, fish tacos

Dinner/Drinks

Natalie's Restaurant

  • Address : 83 Bay View St, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : 5 pm - 8:30 pm (daily)
  • Dishes : Seared halibut, Fish N Chips, smoked chicken breast, grilled rib-eye
  • Drinks : Port: Ferreira, Smith Woodhouse; sherry, sweet wine, whiskey

Vintage Room

  • Address : 16 Bay View St, Camden, ME 04843, United States
  • Hours : 5 pm - 11 pm (daily)
  • Dishes : Oysters, pork dumplings, chicken teriyaki skewers, shrimp, lobster toast
  • Drinks : Cocktails: Bartender’s Whim, Dueling Mule, Nutty Sailor, Smoky Paloma, The Big Peach

12 Where To Stay In Camden, Maine

Camden offers accommodations at a range of price points suitable for every traveler.

16 Bay View

  • Address : 16 Bay View Street, Camden, ME 04843
  • Price : From $413
  • Features : Gym, spa, complimentary breakfast, shared lounge area, private parking, fireplace, bar

Elms of Camden

  • Address : 84 Elm Street, Camden, ME 04843-1907
  • Price : From $230
  • Features : Complimentary breakfast, free parking, mountain views, picnic area, garden

Blackberry Inn

  • Address : 82 Elm Street, Camden, ME 04843
  • Price : From $175
  • Features : Board games, beach access, free parking, breakfast included, kitchenette

Related: 10 Top-Rated New England Hotels Where You Can Experience Spring Break Like Never Before

Vacation Rentals

Sunflower Den

  • Address : Camden, Maine, United States
  • Price : From $532
  • Features : 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, beach access, garden, paid washer/dryer, exercise equipment, fireplace, board games, kitchen facilities, fire pit, BBQ grill, sauna

Cozy Village Cottage

  • Price : From $221
  • Features : Studio space, queen bed, kitchen facilities, backyard space, free parking

Studio in Rockport

  • Address : Rockport, Maine, United States
  • Price : $168
  • Features : Kitchenette, patio, free parking, WiFi access, walking distance from the beach

13 Best Time To Visit Camden

Camden experiences a humid continental climate, with the most favorable months for a visit being typically between June and September when the weather is warm and rainfall is relatively low.

Here's a detailed breakdown of what one can expect during the different seasons in Camden, Maine.

June to September

This period is considered the high tourist season in Camden due to the warm and inviting weather, with average maximum temperatures hitting around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) and minimums of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius).

Summer is relatively dry, making it an ideal time to explore the town's outdoor attractions. Visitors should prepare for higher prices and larger crowds at the attractions during this time.

Related: Spring In Maine: 10 Best Places To Witness The Beauty After A Long Winter

October to November

During these months, temperatures begin to drop, with highs of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) and lows of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).

The arrival of fall brings with it a beautiful display of autumn foliage, painting the town in vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow. In fact, Camden is one of the best places in Maine to take in the beauty of fall foliage season .

While the weather is cooler and there's a slight increase in rainfall, it's still a good time to visit Camden as the crowds start to dissipate and prices become more reasonable.

December to May

This time in Camden is marked by cold weather and snow, with temperatures ranging between highs of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) and lows of 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius).

Despite the chill, the town takes on a magical appearance under a blanket of snow. While outdoor activities may be limited by the weather, there are plenty of indoor attractions to explore.

The crowds are notably fewer during this period, and the prices are quite budget-friendly, making it an attractive time for those seeking a serene, winter getaway.

14 Getting Around Camden

Those journeying to Camden may find themselves touching down at the Portland International Jetport , a mere 80 miles from Camden. This airport welcomes daily flights from a variety of cities including Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and even Toronto.

For those traveling from overseas, the Boston Logan International Airport might be a more suitable choice, although it is approximately a 3-hour drive to Camden.

Once in the city, tourists have a variety of transport options at their disposal.

Camden is a small town, and having a car can be a convenient way to explore it and the surrounding areas. Car rental services are available at both the Portland International Jetport and Boston Logan International Airport.

The Concord Coach Lines operates a bus service from Portland to Camden. It is a comfortable and affordable way to travel, with fares starting at about $30 for a one-way trip. This service operates daily, making it a reliable means of transportation to and around Camden.

Camden is a coastal town, and what better way to explore it than by boat? The Camden Harbor Cruises offers daily sightseeing tours, allowing visitors to take in the breathtaking views of the coastline and lighthouses. Fares for these cruises start at $30 per person.

Given the town's small size, walking is a popular way to get around Camden. It's a leisurely way to take in the picturesque views of the town and harbor.

For those who prefer a more active mode of transport, bicycles are available for rent in Camden. It's a quick and eco-friendly way to get around town, and with the town's well-maintained bike paths, it's a safe and enjoyable option for visitors.

15 Spending The Perfect Day In Camden, Maine

Begin the day in Camden with a hearty breakfast at Marriner’s Restaurant. Next, head to Camden Hills State Park, where one can explore the trails and enjoy panoramic views of the town. Then, embark on a sailing adventure on Penobscot Bay before a leisurely lunch at a waterfront restaurant.

Spend the afternoon at the Camden Public Library, admiring its beautiful architecture and gardens. Later, stroll along the Camden Harbour and shop for unique souvenirs. End the day with a delectable dinner at Natalie’s Restaurant, followed by a relaxing evening of drinks at the Vintage Room.

PlanetWare.com

17 Top-Rated Things to Do in Camden, ME

Written by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers and Lura Seavey Updated Mar 23, 2023

One of Maine's most scenic coastal villages , Camden spreads around a harbor filled with pleasure craft and the tall masts of windjammers. Behind the town, Mt. Battie rises in wooded slopes to a rockbound summit. Between the mountain and the sea are streets of elegant 19 th -century homes, and a photo-worthy downtown that's lined with classic brick mercantile buildings.

Camden Harbor, Maine

You can stroll along the harbor to find sailing cruises or kayak tours, or just to watch the tall ships and boat traffic; part of Maine's windjammer fleet is harbored here. The harbor and Penobscot Bay provide plenty of things to do, but they are not Camden's only attractions for tourists.

Shops and galleries provide hours of enjoyable browsing and shopping. Camden Hills State Park offers miles of hiking trails and a road to Mt. Battie's summit. You can admire the flowers at Merryspring Nature Center, and enjoy an ice-cream cone surrounded by the flowers on the Riverhouse Footbridge. In the winter, you can ski or ride a toboggan at Camden Snow Bowl.

You'll have no trouble planning your trip with this handy list of the best things to do in Camden, Maine.

1. Watch the Ships in Camden Harbor

2. climb or drive up mt. battie, 3. stroll through harbor park and the amphitheater, 4. explore camden hills state park, 5. admire the architecture in the high street historic district, 6. swim at megunticook lake, 7. take a sailing tour, 8. photograph curtis island light, 9. go gallery hopping on bay view street, 10. tour the harbor in a kayak, 11. admire the gardens at merryspring nature center, 12. megunticook falls, 13. ski or toboggan at camden snow bowl, 14. cross the riverhouse footbridge, 15. enjoy a show at the camden opera house, 16. swim at laite memorial beach, 17. visit the striped cows at aldermere farm, map of things to do in camden, me, camden, me - climate chart.

Camden Harbor

Of all the things to do in Camden, everybody's favorite is simply watching the boats come and go in the harbor. You'll find graceful windjammers with their swaying masts, as well as posh yachts, peppy little motorboats, fishing vessels, and the occasional kayak all sharing the scenic harbor.

Stroll along the docks or sit on a bench to watch the scene, or linger over a meal in one of the waterside restaurants as you enjoy the constant parade of colorful boats. For even closer views, step aboard one of them for a harbor cruise .

The classic wooden motor vessel, Lively Lady , cruises through the harbor and into beautiful Penobscot Bay to see lighthouses, rockbound islands, and beautiful views of Camden and Mt. Battie.

As you cruise the bay, you may also see porpoises, seals, osprey, and bald eagles.

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Maine

Mt. Battie and Camden

Mt. Battie's rounded silhouette of forested slopes and rocky summit rises as a backdrop for Camden, which is picturesquely set between the mountain and the iconic harbor. It's no wonder the town has been the filming location for several movies.

For views of the "three islands in a bay" that inspired Edna St. Vincent Millay to write her poem, Renascence , climb or take your car to the top of Mt. Battie. Here, along with the views of Penobscot Bay and the inland mountains, you'll find the poet's words on a bronze plaque.

You'll also find a stone tower, which you can climb for an even more sweeping vista that, on clear days, reaches to Mt. Cadillac in Acadia National Park . There is a fee to drive up the Mt. Battie Road, and a day-use fee for climbing; the trail is a short, but steady climb with rocky sections, so wear hiking boots.

Address: 280 Belfast Road, Camden, Maine

Amphitheater

Behind the Camden Public Library and overlooking the harbor, the Camden Amphitheater and Harbor Park combine to create an outdoor public space where locals and tourists can stroll, picnic, and enjoy the views. The two also hold a place in architecture's hall of fame, as a collaboration by two of the most important 20 th -century American landscape architects.

The outdoor amphitheater, constructed between 1928 and 1931, was one of the few public projects of landscape designer Fletcher Steele, and is considered the first public Modernist landscape, blending traditional Neoclassical elements with newer Art Deco design.

Preserving the grounds' native trees and adding only those trees and shrubs that grew within a five-mile radius, Steele used fieldstone for the tiers, with wrought-iron rails and elegant tripod light stands. The Amphitheater, now a National Historic Landmark , is used for concerts and events such as the Maine Outdoor Film Festival.

Working at the same time, across Atlantic Avenue, the famed Olmsted Brothers (designers of New York's Central Park) were creating the two-acre Harbor Park, with its meandering walkways and informal plantings. Benches invite visitors to stop and savor the harbor views. Camden Harbor Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Maiden Cliff, Camden Hills State Park

While Mt. Battie is the poster child for Camden Hills State Park, you'll find plenty more things to do in its 5,700 acres of wooded hills. Among its 30 miles of well-mapped hiking trails are gentle woodland rambles and the moderately difficult climb up Mt. Megunticook , the highest of the Camden Hills.

Perhaps Camden's top attraction for hikers is the mile-long trail to the top of Maiden's Cliff , an 800-foot sheer cliff with views overlooking Lake Megunticook. Scaling the cliff itself is a popular challenge for rock climbers. In the winter, the park's trails are open for cross-country skiing , snowshoeing , and snowmobiling .

Camden Hills State Park is one of the favorite places to go for campers, with 107 beautifully maintained campsites , some with hookups for RVs. The campground is open from April through early December, with rustic shelters available by reservation for winter camping.

Camden Public Library

Camden's High Street, which is also Route 1, begins at the end of Main Street opposite the Camden Public Library; this is where the district's National Register of Historic Places listing begins. The district continues as far as Marine Avenue, its route lined by well-preserved 19th-century homes.

The Camden Public Library was designed in 1928 by architects Parker Morse Hooper and Charles Greely Loring, and enhanced in 1996 with a more accessible entrance, hidden from the front and facing Harbor Park. As you stroll along the sidewalks that line the entire Main Street route, look for different examples of 19 th - and early 20 th -century architecture.

You'll see former farmhouses, a couple of hip-roofed bungalows, and several fine example of prosperous Victorian-era and earlier homes, some of them now gracious B&Bs. You'll also pass the long, white porches of Whitehall , where the young Edna St. Vincent Millay first read her poetry to hotel guests.

Continue a few steps past Marine Avenue to see the impressive Norumbega , with its gables and pointed turret. A former summer estate, it is now a luxury inn.

As you walk, look for period details on the finer homes, such as wide doorways with fan windows, carved corbels, columned porches, dormers, an intricate iron fence, and adjacent carriage houses.

Megunticook Lake

Although Camden does have a beach on Casco Bay, most locals prefer taking their families to swim in the warmer waters at Barrett's Cove on Megunticook Lake. The park, only a few minutes from downtown Camden, sits under the 800-foot Maiden's Cliff and spreads along the shore with a sand beach and grassy park.

The beach has a roped swimming area with a gently sloping shore, and a float outside the ropes in deeper water. You can put in kayaks at the beach or go to the launch across the water, on Route 52.

Picnic tables and grills, a bathhouse with showers, and a playground for children make this a good place to go for families.

Sailing in Penobscot Bay

Among the world's top bays for sailing , Penobscot Bay is bordered by a rockbound shoreline capped with trees and speckled with islands. Some of the islands are just tiny rock lumps topped with spiky fir trees; others have lighthouses to warn ships of rocky hazards and aid in navigation; some are large enough to support entire island communities.

You have a choice of several sailing options that leave daily from Camden Harbor. Most of these are two-hour trips that sail around the nearby islands and past the picture-perfect Curtis Island Light, offering a relaxing change of views and a chance to see porpoises, eagles, seals, and other wildlife.

For a windjammer experience without signing on for a multi-day trip, sail on Appledore II , a traditional 86-foot wooden schooner, the largest in the fleet that regularly offers daily trips.

You can spend a whole day sailing on the classic wooden yacht Cimarron , skimming the waves to the beautiful island of North Haven. Sunset cruises are a lovely way to end a day of sightseeing in Camden.

Curtis Island Light

Lighthouses are always a favorite subject for photographers, and Curtis Island Light poses irresistibly close to Camden's shore. The island is a public park, but you can only get here by private boat; most cruises from Camden Harbor sail close to the island for good views of the lighthouse.

Curtis Island Light is an active U.S. Coast Guard navigation aid, built in 1896 to replace the original 1835 structure, and is now solar powered. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For the best land-based views of the lighthouse and island, follow Bay View Street from downtown Camden to its intersection with Beacon Street. A trail to the viewpoint is almost hidden in the trees to the left. The best time of day for photography is mid- or late afternoon, when the sun bathes the Camden side of the lighthouse.

This is a romantic spot for couples to enjoy an evening picnic in the summer.

Page Gallery on Bay View Street

Running alongside the harbor, Bay View Street is lined with shops and galleries filled with the works of Maine artists and craftspeople.

Page Gallery exhibits a wide variety of paintings, drawings, and sculptures by contemporary artists. Along with paintings, many representing Maine coastal scenes, are works in glass and other media.

While Page Gallery exhibits more traditional paintings, at Carver Hill Gallery , you can expect to find larger abstract, often quirky artworks by Maine and other artists, including international ones.

In addition to fine art, Topo Gallery carries stationery, notebooks, and prints by independent artists. Look here for beautifully designed note cards and postcards.

The window displays in the large brick storefront of Ironbound Gallery will surely draw you in. Along with fine art, Ironbound is filled with the works of talented craftspeople working in glass, metal, wood, silver, ceramic, stone, and other media. You'll also find small items, such as the beautifully crafted glass birds that make good gifts and souvenirs of your trip to Maine.

You could easily spend an afternoon browsing and shopping on Bay View, and if you need to sit down for a few minutes, stop at the cheery Owl & Turtle Bookshop Café .

To find more art and craft galleries in the area, pick up a copy of the free Maine Gallery & Studio Guide .

Camden Harbor

There's no better way to get up close and personal with the myriad of watercraft in Camden Harbor than by kayak. From the harbor, you can paddle around Curtis Island for close-up views of the lighthouse, and explore the islands of Penobscot Bay, the most scenic boating waters in Maine.

On a two-hour kayak tour , your guide will relate local history and bay ecology, pointing out wildlife as you paddle along the shore and islands. Kayaks, paddles, and safety equipment is provided.

Longer seven-hour trips with a guide can take you farther into the bay, to the beautiful and remote Muscle Ridge archipelago . In this group of rugged islands, you'll explore tidal lagoons and stop for lunch and a swim at a remote sandy beach. You are likely to see porpoises, harbor seals, bald eagles, osprey, and other wildlife as you paddle.

Merryspring Nature Center

The 66 acres of gardens and woodlands at Merryspring Nature Center are a pleasant place to visit year-round, from the first flowering bulbs in spring to the Winter Color Garden. Bright red poppies and blue delphinium bloom in the perennial border in early summer, followed by the spectacular display in the Day Lily Garden.

You'll find a Rose Garden, a Hosta Garden, plantings especially for birds and bees, a breeding orchard for the rare American Chestnut, an herb garden, and one especially for children.

You can also walk the four miles of woodland trails , which include an Interpretive Trail.

Address: 30 Conway Road, Camden, Maine

Megunticook Falls

Most of the waterfalls in Maine require a hike or a drive to more remote forest regions, but Megunticook Falls is right in the heart of Camden. In fact, you can sit on a bench in Harbor Park and enjoy watching the Megunticook River cascade over ragged rock ledges into the harbor.

For a more lofty view, you can eat breakfast or lunch over the falls, on the deck of the Marriner's Restaurant (yes, it is spelled that way). The restaurant and several downtown shops sit directly over the river, which flows from nearby Megunticook Lake.

Although the river flows in all seasons, the best time to see the falls is in the spring and early summer; after rainy weather; or in the winter, when the water builds up layer after layer of ice, completely covering the rocks.

Camden Snow Bowl

The only ski mountain in the East where you get ocean views from the trails , Camden Snow Bowl is a friendly hometown ski area with enough challenge to keep experienced skiers interested. Skiers and boarders can choose from more than 20 runs rated from green to black, or from 45 acres of glades and more ungroomed terrain for experts.

Camden Snow Bowl is a good place to go for families, with budget-friendly rates, especially for children. Thrill-seekers will want to take a run on the 400-foot toboggan chute , a steep ice-covered track that hosts the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships.

Address: 20 Barnestown Road, Camden, Maine

Riverhouse Footbridge

Spanning the Megunticook River between Mechanic Street and Tannery Lane is a flower-decked footbridge that's a magnet for tourists and locals. The river narrows here before flowing under Camden's Main Street and over the falls into the harbor, and the footbridge connects the luxury Riverhouse Inn to its additional buildings on Tannery Lane.

Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, the bridge becomes an exuberant garden, its railings and overhead arches almost hidden in flowers and vines. Petunias and nasturtiums drape from overhead and tumble down the sides to frame river views, while pots of bright flowers line its railings.

Among the flowers, you may find fruits and vegetable, too – ripening tomatoes, bunches of grapes, or big pumpkins in the fall.

Under this tunnel of greenery and blossoms, wooden chairs and benches provide a place to stop and enjoy the flowers and river below. Few people can resist stopping for a cone at the colorful little River Ducks Ice Cream stand at the start of the bridge.

Camden Opera House

The impressive brick Opera House on Elm Street was built in 1893, after a fire destroyed the previous one and much of this entire section of downtown Camden. The Opera House is the centerpiece of the Camden Great Fire Historic District , which includes those buildings constructed after the fire, when town ordinance required commercial buildings to be brick instead of wood.

The auditorium, which is on the top floor, reflects its Victorian origins even after several renovations, featuring curving balconies, loge boxes, and restored stenciling on the cornice and proscenium arch.

As Mid-Coast Maine's premier performance venue, the Opera House hosts a regular schedule of concerts, films, theater, dance, and other performances. It is one of the host venues of the Camden International Film Festival .

The entire Camden Great Fire Historic District, including the Opera House, is on the National Register of Historic Places .

Address: 29 Elm Street, Camden, Maine

Laite Memorial Beach

Below a grassy knoll with picnic tables and a play area for children hides the small Laite Memorial Beach. The long crescent of sand-and-pebble beach will not rival the southern Maine beaches at Ogunquit and Old Orchard, but for a refreshing dip into the bay, it's handy to downtown and has lovely views of Camden and Mt. Battie.

The park above the beach is a good place for a picnic or for the children to have fun on the playground equipment.

Address: Bay View Street, Camden, Maine

Aldermere Farm

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust's Aldermere Farm Preserve is a working farm raising Belted Galloway cattle, known to kids as Oreo Cookie Cows for the white stripe or belt around their midsection. You can often see them grazing or catching some afternoon shade under the trees as you pass the farm, just over the town line into Rockport.

Or you can visit the farm on scheduled tours or attend programs there, such as guided nature walks , nature photography, and sketching workshops , or moonlight cross-country ski tours in the winter. The preserve has several walking trails.

To get there from downtown Camden, follow Chestnut Street south; it becomes Russell Avenue at the Rockport town line.

Address: 20 Russell Ave, Rockport, Maine

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How To Spend A Beautiful Weekend In Quaint Camden, Maine

towns to visit near camden maine

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  • Weekend Getaway

Camden embodies Maine’s “Vacationland” reputation with its laid-back, kick-your-feet-up style, inviting you to enjoy the natural beauty of its rugged coastline.

The quaint seaside town of Camden is situated on Penobscot Bay. With ocean views, scenic drives, outdoor adventure, and a welcoming community, Camden is the quintessential New England coastal small town. It is also a lovely place to enjoy a weekend getaway.

Best Things To Do In Camden

Camden is nature’s playground. At your fingertips are numerous outdoor activities, including hiking, sailing, fishing, and swimming.

Here are some of our favorite things to do in the area.

The Schooner Surprise preparing to sail Penobscot Bay

1. Sail Penobscot Bay

Schooner surprise.

Uncork your bottle and pour a glass while you sit back and let your captain navigate Penobscot Bay — it’s the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon in Camden.

If you don’t have your own yacht, book a 2-hour tour on the 45-foot Schooner Surprise . You will find yourself whisked away from the mainland with a gentle wind guiding the boat over the bay waters. Relax as the crew unfurls the jib and hoists the mainsail. Your captain will regale you with stories of Camden history, intermittently stopping to point out local wildlife. You will find your mind drifting with the wave swells.

Maine Windjammer Cruises

Another highly recommended sailing adventure is with Maine Windjammer Cruises . Sail away without a care in the world and explore coastal Maine from your unique perch on the side of a beautiful ship.

Don’t forget to snap a photo of Camden’s charming Curtis Island Lighthouse at the entrance of Camden Harbor.

Mount Megunticook at Camden Hills State Park

2. Camden Hills State Park

Camden Hills State Park is an outdoor oasis for the nature enthusiast. For a nominal parking fee, you can enjoy everything the park offers. The park has picnic sites, hiking trails, and campsites, but the star is Mount Battie with its spectacular summit views.

Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park, Maine.

3. Mount Battie

The trek to the top of the 780-foot Mount Battie is a mile-long out-and-back hike. Rated as moderate, the hike is a well-traveled path requiring some scrambling. If that’s not your thing, you can easily take the quick drive up the auto road. The expansive views of Penobscot Bay and Camden Harbor from the summit are gorgeous. On a clear day, you can see as far as Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

A longer trail for the hardy hiker is Mount Megunticook, Maiden Cliff, and Mount Battie Loop . Rated as hard by AllTrails, the 8.6-mile loop trail offers pretty overlooks and will get your heart pumping.

If you are looking for the perfect picnic spot, the top of Mount Battie is top-notch. You will often encounter locals lounging on camp chairs next to matching folding tables enjoying a picnic lunch. It is one of the best places for an alfresco meal in town.

Spend some time wandering around the summit and scouting out the best place for your selfie, and then climb Mount Battie Tower. A World War I memorial, the 26-foot-tall stone tower provides the most spectacular panoramic views.

4. Laite Memorial Beach

Laite Memorial Beach is a family-friendly beach located in the center of Camden. The pebbly shoreline is a fun place for exploration. Situated next to a grassy park that has a playground, outdoor grills, and picnic tables, the beach offers all the traditional day-at-the-beach comforts. Laite Memorial Beach is a local favorite, and one of the best ways to experience an area is to act like a local. When in Camden…

5. Barrett’s Cove At Megunticook Lake

Barrett’s Cove at Megunticook Lake is a sandy beach with lake swimming, uncrowded shores, and spectacular views of the Camden Hills. Bring your lunch and enjoy the public outdoor grills and picnic tables while feasting your eyes on Mother Nature’s boundless beauty. Barrett’s Cove has a public boat ramp for the water enthusiasts in your party. It also has rock-climbing facilities where you can tackle the looming Barrett’s Cove Cliff .

6. Megunticook Lake

Megunticook Lake is a pristine, spring-fed mountain lake by the bay. The lake community is a perfect retreat for the outdoor adventurer and the quiet nature lover. Glide your kayak around the still morning lake, try your hand at trout or bass fishing, or take a leisurely hike around the lake.

Ducktrap Kayak and SUP will deliver kayaks and stand-up paddleboard rentals to your cabin at Megunticook Lake. Relax, take your time, and explore the lake. The rhythmic paddling paired with the beautiful vistas is Mother Nature’s spa treatment.

Browns Head Lighthouse in Vinalhaven, Maine.

7. The Fox Islands

Vinalhaven and North Haven, collectively known as the Fox Islands, make a wonderful place for a day trip. The 1.25-hour Vinalhaven Ferry ride is an adventure on its own. You’ll sail out of Rockland Harbor, past Owl’s Head, and across Penobscot Bay.

The islands offer wonderful hiking trails, inlets for kayaking, quarry pond swimming holes, and nature preserves for your outdoor enjoyment.

8. Camden Harbor Park And Amphitheatre

You will love strolling through Camden Harbor Park and the adjacent amphitheatre. The Camden Public Library oversees the two spaces. It is a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy the sailboats while taking a break from sightseeing.

9. Camden Snow Bowl

The Camden Snow Bowl is a small ski resort that offers big ocean views. The unique experience of standing at the top of a run and looking down at Penobscot Bay is a mind-boggling mix of winter and summer.

The United States National Toboggan Championships take place here every February. More than 400 teams hop on their toboggans and brave the ice-covered wooden chute. Reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, they joyfully experience the need for speed on their toboggan runs. These brave racers will have your heart pumping with excitement as they whiz by on their freefall trip down the mountain.

With year-round accessibility, the Camden Snow Bowl is a fun place to hike, mountain bike, or kayak on Hosmer Pond.

10. Shopping In Camden

The downtown harbor area is home to unique, independently owned shops offering everything from touristy souvenirs to quality wines.

For a Maine memento, visit The Smiling Cow , where the goods are covered with lobsters, moose, and all things Maine.

French & Brawn is the place to shop for quality groceries and picnic provisions, whether you are heading out on a sail or dining at the top of Mount Battie.

Mcloon's lobster entrée

Best Restaurants In Camden

The catch of the day is music to any seafood lover’s ears. Camden centers on the harbor, where an eclectic mix of lobster boats, deep-sea fishing vessels, schooners, and private yachts gently bob on their moorings.

Here are some of the best places to taste that fresh seafood.

McLoon’s Lobster Shack

Reclining in a pair of Adirondack chairs overlooking an old wharf harboring lobstering boats while munching on a classic lobster roll is quintessentially Maine fine dining.

McLoon’s Lobster Shack is located on Spruce Head Island. The drive to McLoon’s from Camden is about 30 minutes, taking you through winding coastal back roads. When you think you are truly lost, the parking lot finally appears in front of you. Your adventure will be rewarded with one of the best lobster rolls you have ever eaten. McLoon’s offers delicious classic seafood, but the hot buttered lobster roll is, by far, the most popular item on the menu.

Perched on the edge of Camden Harbor, Waterfront offers guests traditional coastal seafood on a wooden porch with spectacular harbor views. Dine on classics like lobster stew, Atlantic haddock fish and chips, and local whole-belly fried clams. The view and the cuisine are so classically Maine that you will want to come back again and again.

Sea Dog Brewing Co.

Stop in at Sea Dog Brewing Co. , a Main Street staple, for a craft beer or a sample flight to pair with their classic American pub fare. Enjoying the fried pickle chips, the classic Reuben, and a quality draft is the perfect way to end a day spent discovering Camden.

The gardens at Camden Maine Stay Inn.

Best Hotels In Camden

Camden offers a multitude of charming inns that specialize in making their guests feel right at home. Camping and lakefront rentals round out the cozy accommodation options for your weekend getaway.

Camden Maine Stay Inn

Situated on the outskirts of the busy harbor, Camden Maine Stay Inn , a charming bed and breakfast, is the perfect blend of casual luxury and art gallery. Innkeepers Peter and Janis Kesser are committed to making your weekend getaway special. The charmingly decorated guest rooms, the serene outdoor oasis, and the cozy common rooms decorated with an eclectic collection of art will win you over. Their long list of adoring guests return year after year for the warm hospitality and scrumptious breakfast.

Located on High Street, close to downtown Camden and nestled in with other graceful old Victorian homes, the Camden Main Stay Inn is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.

The Steeples

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Steeples is a converted church that offers views of Camden Harbor, is within walking distance of the downtown restaurants and shops, and is run by James, a highly rated Airbnb Superhost. The serenely decorated interior allows the preserved architecture of the church to shine through. Warm woodwork, sun-soaked stained glass windows, and lofty ceilings make The Steeples a truly special place to stay on your weekend getaway.

Lord Camden Inn

Another beautiful 19th-century stay is the Lord Camden Inn . It is the perfect spot if you are visiting the Camden Opera House for a performance, shopping downtown, or exploring the Merryspring Nature Center.

Your Weekend Getaway In Camden, Maine

Camden is a wonderful place to spend a weekend getaway. It is so relaxing, and there are so many wonderful things to do, that you might want to consider making it a long weekend getaway.

Other wonderful Maine coastal towns like Belfast , Portland , and Lincolnville make perfect stops along a mid-coast Maine road trip when you are in the Camden area.

If you love coastal road trips, try this one from Boston to Rockport, Massachusetts .

Related Reading:

  • From Lobster Rolls To Blueberry Pie — 12 Delicious Restaurants To Experience In Coastal Maine
  • 9 Fantastic Experiences In Beautiful Kennebunk, Maine
  • 5 Beautiful Stops On The Perfect Coastal Maine Road Trip

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Sandi loves writing about culture, cuisine, adult beverages, cruising, golf, skiing, road trips, hiking, New England, and photography. Traveling solo, with hubby Chris, or the entire Barrett clan there is always a story waiting to be told.

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A Charming One Day in Camden, Maine (9 Best Things to do)

Looking to spend one day in camden, maine this is the right place for you.

Camden, Maine, is one of the most idyllic towns in New England. So, if you are building a New England road trip, add one day in Camden, Maine.

Located 1.5 hours north of Portland, Camden is a perfect day trip or even a stop on your journey to Acadia. We’ve done both–stayed for several days and made it a stop on our way to Acadia National Park. 

My friend, Rebecca from Fab 5 Family Travel , is here to share why one day in Camden, Maine is a must-do visit. 

Let’s jump in!

One Day in Camden Maine

9 best things to do – one day in camden, maine, 1. hike in camden hills state park.

view of mount battie

Hiking in Camden is a favorite activity of many visitors. Camden Hills State Park offers trails that range from easy to moderate for hikes in Camden. A couple of the best trails are the Adams Lookout Trail and Bald Rock Trail . 

For a more strenuous hike in Camden, try the Jack Williams Trail and get some beautiful scenic views. 

Mount Battie is the crown jewel of this state park. You will want to visit on a clear day to maximize your experience and enjoy a scenic view of Camden. Mount Battie is accessible to all. You can hike the 2.7-mile round-trip route or drive to the top. Grab lunch beforehand and have a picnic!

Besides hiking, you can bike on some of the trails. In the winter months, the park allows snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. 

To explore the outdoors, check out the beautiful town of Millinocket, Maine , which offers access to Mount Katahdin. 

2. Explore Megunticook Lake & Barrett’s Cove

Located 5 miles outside Camden, Megunticook Lake is a nice escape for avid outdoors people. 

You can choose between fishing, kayaking, or swimming. If traveling with little kids, there are easy entry points at Barrett’s Cove for little ones to enjoy the water. 

Lastly, Megunticook Lake provides plenty of public parking. 

3. Walk the Historic High Street 

downtown camden

Camden boasts a large number of historic homes and inns. So park the car and start walking to explore the cuteness of Camden, Maine. Many homes reflect New England architecture, and several operate as B & B’s. 

4. Shop in Camden 

You’ve come to the right place if you love a stroll through town. Camden offers locally owned shops and Maine staples such as Sea Bags and Stonewall Kitchen .  

As for local shops, there are so many great options to pop into. Check out Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe to satisfy your sweet tooth or grab a coffee and dessert at Owl and Turtle . 

Stay here for a bit and peruse their bookshop. Pick up a local cookbook to remind you of your time in Camden.

Lastly, Once a Tree offers local art, woodworking, and pottery. Pick up memorable trinkets and souvenirs at the charming The Smiling Cow . 

5. Relax at Camden Harbor Park

camden harbor

Are you looking for a quiet break after all the shopping or hiking? Camden Harbor Park is a nice break from the touristy areas of town.

Designed by the Olstead brothers in the early 1900s, the park bestows gorgeous views of the Harbor. If you’ve been shopping, I would pick up lunch or a snack and take a break here. 

6. Take a Boat Tour

Camden’s location on the water offers so many boating opportunities. Book a boat tour to enjoy the open waters.

You can choose from a sailing charter or a sunset cruise . Remember to pack sunscreen, snacks and bring an extra layer of clothing, as it could be chilly. 

7. Visit a Beach

Head North towards the town of Lincolnville for access to a public beach. Lincolnville Beach is a few miles from Camden and a perfect afternoon getaway.

Lincolnville Beach is right off the road and offers beautiful views of Penobscot Bay. The beach is perfect for little ones wading in before it gets deep. In addition, you can fish or kayak at the beach. 

8. Explore Camden’s Lighthouses

curtis island lighthouse

The town of Camden is near several lighthouses. Two lighthouses, Curtis Island and Heron Neck , are only accessible by boat. Curtis Island lighthouse is the gateway to Camden’s Harbor and grants beautiful access to the town. 

Breakwater Lighthouse is south of Camden in the town of Rockland. If traveling with kids, this would be a good stop as the walking trail is less than a mile. Owls Head Lighthouse is another excellent option with a short walking trail. 

Marshall Point Lighthouse is famous for the iconic scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest Gump is running across the county. Please note, this lighthouse is a bit further south of Camden–26 miles.

If you want to learn more about Maine’s lighthouse history, go south to Rockland and visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum . 

9. Spend a Winter Day at the Camden Snow Bowl

If you love winter sports and visit Camden from November to March, check out Camden Snow Bowl . You will find one of the few places near Maine’s coast to ski. 

The Camden Snow Bowl offers 15 trails, with many available for night skiing, and it is very inexpensive if visiting for the day. Besides skiing, you can participate in tubing and toboggan rides. 

Where to Eat for One Day in Camden, Maine

While visiting, you will want to try out some of the great restaurants in Camden. Due to its proximity to the sea, you’ll experience authentic seafood and local dishes. 

Here are some of the best local eats! 

For Fine dining options, Natalie’s is one of the best in town. Natalie’s location overlooks Camden’s Harbor granting the diner a cozy atmosphere. In addition, Natalie’s is known for fun cocktails, oysters, and lobster bisque! 

Franny’s Bistro

Franny’s presents an intimate atmosphere, and remember to try one of their best meals, shrimp linguine. 

Fresh & Co

Fresh & Co is a Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Winner and a delicious dinner spot in Camden. The restaurant and menu are simple, but let that discourage you from stopping here. I recommend the lamb shank or lobster ravioli. 

River Ducks Ice Cream

Grab an ice cream sundae at River Ducks Ice Cream for a sweet treat after dinner. 

If you are coming from Portland or driving back that way, there are many excellent stops for a tasty lobster roll. It is worth your time detaining, especially to Five Islands Lobster Company .

How to Get to Camden, Maine

town south of camden

If you are looking to fly, I suggest either flying into Portland or Boston . Choose the airport with the most flight options depending on your home airport. 

Atlanta is our hub and offers many daily flights to Boston and a few to Portland. We’ve flown into both cities and usually pick the destination based on the lowest price and how many vacation days we have. 

If you are looking to save time, fly into Portland. 

Camden, Maine, is 1.5 hours north of Portland and 3.5 hours from Boston. Therefore, you will need a rental car if you fly. 

If you live in New England, hop in the car and head to the coast. Camden is centrally located east of I-95.

When to Spend One Day in Camden, Maine

fall in camden maine

Summer is the busiest time to visit Camden due to the warm weather and flood of tourists. 

However, if you have some flexibility, it’s best to spend a day in Camden in early to mid-June . Many New England schools are still in session, so it is less crowded, and the weather is nice.

Fall is a beautiful time to visit as well. If you enjoy the fall foliage, then head to Camden.

Where to Stay in Camden, Maine

You can certainly spend only one day in Camden, Maine. But if you decide to stay a night, there are several great hotels in Camden. 

Camden offers an excellent selection of quaint inns and B&Bs. Here are some of my top recommendations. 

Blackberry Inn

A charming Victorian-style B&B centrally located in Camden, Blackberry Inn is a great choice. Beautifully designed rooms come with private baths; some even offer a kitchenette. 

Every morning,  breakfast is provided, and you will even see vegetarian selections. After you’ve spent the day exploring Camden, unwind in the garden. If you visit in the summer, check out the black and raspberry patches. 

Camden Maine Stay Inn

Camden Maine Stay Inn is perfect for travelers who prefer a boutique B&B. Located just a .5 miles from the harbor and a short walk within various dining options, this locally owned inn will make your stay comfortable!

Elms of Camden

For a cozy inn, Elms of Camden is your place. Located a few blocks from the town center, you are close enough to walk but also a quiet retreat away.

Rooms come designed with private bathrooms. Some even have fireplaces. The extensive breakfast is the best perk of this inn. 

Finally, if Camden is a stop on your way to Bar Harbor and you prefer luxury accommodations, check out the top luxury hotels in Bar Harbor, Maine .

Is Camden Worth Visiting?

downtown camden harbor

Camden is, without a doubt, worth visiting. Several years ago, my aunt, who lives outside of Boston, suggested our family meet here for several days. I didn’t know what to think, but I trusted her advice and am glad I did!

Camden is incredibly charming and a hidden gem on Maine’s coast. Unfortunately, people make a beeline for Acadia and miss out on a truly wonderful place.

Which is Better Camden or Bar Harbor?

Choosing between Camden and Bar Harbor can be challenging, depending on your preference. 

Camden is quieter and smaller than Bar Harbor. For a peaceful and relaxing retreat, then Camden is the place for you!

Bar Harbor is busier, especially in peak summer, as it is the gateway to Acadia National Park. For days of shopping and eating, and if you don’t mind large crowds, then Bar Harbor may be a better fit for you. 

Personally, I prefer Camden over Bar Harbor due to fewer crowds and tourists. 

Final thoughts: One Day in Camden, Maine

Camden offers a little something for every type of visitor. For foodies, seize the opportunity for local cuisine. Check out state parks or a sailing trip for the love of the outdoors. 

Camden is a town worth a quick stop while exploring Maine. Many visitors hop on I-95 out of Portland or Boston and head straight to Acadia. Build an extra day to see this quaint town–you will never regret the detour! 

Ready to head to Maine? Check out these resources! 

Author Bio: Rebecca is the creator and writer at Fab 5 Family Travel . Rebecca loves traveling with her three kids and husband when she’s not teaching her high school history classes. In particular, Maine is one of her favorite states in the US, and she can’t wait for her next trip. Check out her website for more ideas on what to do in Maine with and without kids.

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My Favorite Travel Tips + Resources

Here is a quick glance at all my go-to travel tips and resources that I use to plan every trip! For more information, check out my travel resources page .

  • Booking flights: I use Google Flights to check all routes and find the best flights. Then I compare Skyscanner (for the lowest prices) before I book.
  • For hotels, I go through Booking.com or book directly with Marriott (for points + rewards).
  • When I travel internationally, I’ll book through Hostelworld for very budget-friendly stays.
  • For vacation rentals, use Vrbo or Marriott Homes & Villas .
  • Expedia also has some great bundles for hotels, flights, and car rentals altogether.
  • Car Rentals: I love renting cars through Discover Cars . They have been consistent and provide the best customer service.
  • Trains in Asia: Trip.com has the best options!
  • Trains in Europe: Trainline or Omio .
  • Visa Application: For a hassle-free process, apply for your visa from iVisa .
  • Travel Credit Card: I book all my travel (flights, hotels, car rentals) through Chase Sapphire .
  • Vaccines and Medications: Check the CDC website for updates on necessary vaccines to enter a country, including updates on Covid-19 and recommended places to visit. I recommend getting all the vaccines you need before you go!
  • Tours + Experiences: I absolutely love my tours! Everything from eerie walking ghost tours to food tours, I’ll usually book something every trip either through Viator or GetYourGuide .
  • Entertainment: Looking for entertainment like sporting events, theater shows, or concerts? Book with Ticket Squeeze !
  • Tech : Keep your internet browsing safe, secure, and fast with ExpressVPN
  • Language Learning: The best place to learn a new language is through Babbel as you travel to countries you don’t know the language.
  • What to Pack: I almost always travel by backpack . For products I like, check out my packing guide page for all the things I take with me on different trips.

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Pafoua is the author and creator of Her Wanderful World. Pafoua writes from her numerous excursions about all things travel, from fun itineraries to creating memorable experiences on the road. When she’s not traveling, Pafoua loves a fun board game night with her friends or is snuggled up reading a good book. You can find her on Instagram @herwanderfulworld.

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Home » Travel Guides » United States » Maine (ME) » 15 Best Things to Do in Camden (Maine)

15 Best Things to Do in Camden (Maine)

The town of Camden sits on the scenic Maine coast and is known as a peaceful seaport. Its beautiful harbor that’s often filled with an array of pleasure and sailboats makes it one of the most picturesque locales in the area.

With just less than 5,000 residents, Camden is overrun with tourists during the warm spring and summer months, many of who come to partake in the festivals that are held in town and nearby Union and Rockport.

With so many natural and historic areas within an easy drive, finding things to do won’t be a problem.

Below are 15 things to do in and around Camden, Maine.

1. Christmas by the Sea

Christmas By The Sea

For visitors to Maine interested in a unique holiday experience, Camden’s Christmas by the Sea celebration takes place every year during the first week of December.

The festivities spill over into the nearby towns of Rockport and Lincolnville as well, and many local neighborhoods, communities, and businesses get into the Christmas spirit by decorating and organizing a wide variety of fun and free activities.

Maine winters can be especially harsh, but in many respects, December is a great time to visit. That’s especially so because the throngs of tourists that flock to New England during the summer months will be long gone.

2. U.S. National Toboggan Championships

U.S. National Toboggan Championships

With its rugged mountains, vast forests, and harsh winters, Maine is more like Alaska than it is most other U.S. states. The U.S. National Toboggan Champions is the perfect way for visitors to experience a truly unique slice of local culture.

The event is held over the first weekend of February annually and includes hundreds of teams, over 1,000 individual racers, and nearly 5,000 spectators from all over the country.

The Ragged Mountain Recreation Area just outside of town is the venue. In addition to the races, the event includes a variety of family-friendly activities that make it truly one of a kind.

3. North Atlantic Blues Festival

North Atlantic Blues Festival

Maine has more than its fair share of events and festivals, and unlike many other parts of the country that hold the majority of their events during the warm spring and summer months, several of Maine’s take place during the winter.

One of New England’s most popular annual events is the North Atlantic Blues Festival; you’ll be pleased to discover that it takes place in July when the Maine weather is perfect for being outside.

The festival is held at Harbor Park in Rockland, which overlooks scenic Penobscot Bay, and is considered by many blues aficionados to be one of the country’s premier festivals of its kind.

4. Project Puffin Visitor Center

Project Puffin Visitor Center

For those who aren’t familiar with puffins, they’re exotic looking seabirds sporting large, colorful beaks that live along the coast of New England.

For decades, their numbers dwindled, and in the early ’70s, a program was started by the Audubon Society to bolster their population to more natural levels.

The Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland is dedicated to educating visitors on the importance of local ecosystems, and animals like puffins that play crucial roles.

The center’s highlights include a variety of displays and exhibits, documentary films, and even a boat tour of the bird’s habitat along the rugged Maine coast.

5. Camden Harbor Arts & Crafts Show

Camden Harbor Arts And Crafts Show

Due largely to its rich history and stunning natural beauty, New England has been an inspiration to artists since it was founded more than two centuries ago.

Camden’s beautiful harbor area is the site of one of New England’s most popular arts and crafts shows; as luck would have it, it takes places two times per year.

The Camden Harbor Arts and Crafts Show happens in July and October, both of which are great times to visit.

The two-day event is free, sponsored by local chambers of commerce, and includes a variety of artists and artisans displaying their work in a scenic, open-air setting.

6. Barrett’s Cove Park

Megunticook Lake

Conveniently located on Route 52 just outside of Camden town limits, Barrett’s Cove Park is known for its vertical granite rock formation called Maiden’s Cliff.

The park sits on the scenic shores of Megunticook Lake and sports a pristine beach that’s the perfect place to soak up a few rays, especially for those who need to get away from the brisk wind and salty air of the nearby ocean beaches.

Just a few miles from downtown Camden, the park features barbecue grills, a playground, restrooms, and even a boat ramp for those interested in doing some fishing. Plenty of free parking is available.

7. Maine Antiques Festival

Maine Antiques Festival

For more than three decades, the Maine Antiques Festival has been a popular event for locals, tourists, and all-around antique enthusiasts.

Billed as Maine’s largest antique show, it takes place in August at the Union Fairgrounds, an easy drive from Camden.

Featuring more than 300 dealers, collectors, and vendors who come from far and wide, the items for sale include art, coins, furniture, housewares, glassware, and a variety of collectibles.

The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, but for those ambitious shoppers who want to get the first crack at the treasures before the hordes arrive, it’s possible to get in Friday afternoon – but you’ll pay handsomely to do it.

8. Maine Lobster Festival

Maine Lobster Festival

The humble lobster is one of the most iconic symbols of Maine. The clawed crustaceans call the cool Atlantic waters off New England’s coast home, and are a much sought after delicacy the world over.

The Maine Lobster Festival is one of the region’s premier events and takes place in August when the weather is perfect.

The event takes place over five days and includes lobster prepared in more delicious ways than you’d think possible.

The festival’s activities include cruises, pageants, live entertainment, and even arts and crafts.

Don’t worry if you’re not a seafood fan; there will be a variety of culinary choices.

9. Camden Windjammer Festival

Camden Windjammer Festival

Camden’s maritime culture dates back to the very beginning, when the area was first explored by those of European descent.

The Camden Windjammer Festival takes place over Labor Day weekend, when thousands of visitors swarm to the small town by the sea to take in the majestic sailing ships – dramatic throwbacks to an era when the wind and sea were the primary means of propulsion.

If possible, plan on attending the event’s kick-off – the arrival of the windjammers – which is a truly impressive spectacle.

The activities include a maritime fair, live music, dance, fireworks, lobster race, and cooking competitions.

10. Aldemere Farm

Aldemere Farm

Aldemere Farm just down the road in nearby Rockport is one of the world’s most renowned breeders of Belted Galloway cattle.

Often referred to as Oreos due to their distinct black and white markings, they are primarily raised for beef.

The farm is comprised of more than 100 acres and is owned by a land conservation trust that’s dedicated to protecting and promoting the region’s culture, history, and rich farming tradition.

Aldemere is a working farm but it’s also an education center, so it’s a great place to spend a few morning or afternoon hours learning about cattle, conservation, and sustainable agriculture.

11. Center for Maine Contemporary Art

Center For Maine Contemporary Art

Comprised of works in a variety of mediums from hundreds of artists, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland is run by a not-for-profit organization that’s focused on preserving and promoting Maine’s contemporary art scene.

The center was founded in 1952, and since, then has grown into one of New England’s most popular and well-respected facilities of its kind.

In addition to their exhibits, the center offers a wide variety of educational and instructional programs, many of which are aimed at promoting artistic expression for professionals and amateurs alike.

The best way to keep abreast of their programs and exhibits is to check their website periodically.

12. Coastal Children’s Museum

Coastal Children's Museum

The Coastal Children’s Museum in Rockland is the perfect place to spend a few hours, especially for those traveling with young children.

The museum is a ten-minute drive from Camden and is full of interactive exhibits that engage, entertain, and educate children all at the same time.

Exhibits touch on history, science, animals, art, and the natural world. Many parents who’ve visited claimed that the museum far exceeded their expectations, and that even after a few hours their kids weren’t ready to leave.

During peak times in the summer months, the museum can be busy, so if you’d like to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during a weekday or when they first open in the morning.

13. Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage

Matthews Museum Of Maine Heritage

Located in Union, the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage is just a few miles from Camden and is comprised of thousands of artifacts relating to the cultural and economic history of Maine.

Its exhibits include an interesting and unique array of items that range from historic books and photos to weapons, clothes, and housewares used by early settlers in the area.

Adjacent to the main museum building is an old, one-room schoolhouse that surprisingly remained in use until the early ’50s.

There’s also an exhibit on one of the country’s first mass-marketed soft drinks called Moxie that was produced in the area.

14. Farnsworth Art Museum

Farnsworth Art Museum

The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland is most well-known for its extensive collection of paintings by various members of the world-famous Wyeth family.

It’s comprised of thousands of square feet of exhibits, most of which center on American artists from the last two centuries.

The museum grounds also include the Farnsworth House Homestead, a Victorian-era home that’s full of period art, furniture and housewares that give visitors a glimpse into rural life in centuries past.

The museum and Wyeth Center’s hours change seasonally, so check online before making a special trip.

15. Maine Lighthouse Museum

Maine Lighthouse Museum

The rugged New England coastline is home to some of the country’s most iconic lighthouses. For lighthouse enthusiasts without sufficient time to visit them all, the Maine Lighthouse Museum deserves a top spot on your itinerary.

The museum contains the state’s most unique and complete collection of artifacts related to lighthouses, including lenses, beacons, buoys, and some impressive miniature ship models as well.

Much of the museum is dedicated to the history of the men and women of Maine’s search and rescue services, who’ve played such an important role in aiding the area’s citizens over the years.

15 Best Things to Do in Camden (Maine):

  • Christmas by the Sea
  • U.S. National Toboggan Championships
  • North Atlantic Blues Festival
  • Project Puffin Visitor Center
  • Camden Harbor Arts & Crafts Show
  • Barrett's Cove Park
  • Maine Antiques Festival
  • Maine Lobster Festival
  • Camden Windjammer Festival
  • Aldemere Farm
  • Center for Maine Contemporary Art
  • Coastal Children's Museum
  • Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage
  • Farnsworth Art Museum
  • Maine Lighthouse Museum

The World Was Here First

11 Best Things To Do In Camden, Maine

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towns to visit near camden maine

If you’re planning a trip to Midcoast Maine or even doing a road trip to Bar Harbor , then you’re likely going to be searching for the best things to do in Camden, Maine. As one of the most popular (and beautiful) towns to visit in the midcoast region, Camden has a lot to offer visitors and it’s worth taking the time to explore this charming town and its surrounding area.

Smaller but a bit more touristy than neighbouring Rockland , there are a number of fun things to do in Camden that can keep you occupied for a number of days. From hiking in the nearby state park, eating in the countless fantastic restaurants or sailing in the surrounding waters, Camden makes for the absolute perfect coastal Maine destination.

So if you’re planning a trip to Maine and are wondering what to do in Camden, make sure to follow this guide to ensure you don’t miss a thing in this lovely town.

Table of Contents

11 Things To Do In Camden, Maine

Take in the view from mount battie.

If you want to know one of the absolute best things to do in Camden, Maine, it is undoubtedly to take in the view of the gorgeous Camden Harbor from Mount Battie.

As the highest peak surrounding the town, getting to the top of this hill on a clear day will provide beautiful views of Camden below along with a panorama of Penobscot Bay and the many islands off of the coast.

You can reach the summit of Mount Battie in a number of different ways. For those who simply want a view without a lot of effort, the easiest method is to simply drive up to the top. There is a car park and you barely have to walk at all to be able to take in the incredible views.

Camden Harbor from Mount Battie

If you’re keen to go for a bit of a hike to the viewpoint, there are two options available for you. The first is hiking up the aptly named Mount Battie Trail. This is the shortest trail to reach the summit, but it is also quite challenging.

The trail is incredibly steep and requires a bit of scramble in parts. If you do choose to hike this trail, make sure that you’re in a high level of physical fitness, you can appropriate footwear and you bring plenty of water with you!

The other option is to hike to the summit of Mount Battie from the Carriage Road Trail . This trail is a bit longer than the Mount Battie Trail, however, it is much easier. It is simply a gentle uphill walk through the forest and, in total, it should take about forty minutes one way.

Whichever route you choose to take, you cannot miss the view from Mount Battie when visiting Camden.

Hike in Camden Hills State Park

If you’re looking to get active and plan for some time outdoors and want to go hiking in Camden, Maine, then make sure to spend some time enjoying the trails and nature of Camden Hills State Park. Though the most famous part of this park is the trail to Mount Battie, there are plenty of other trails to hike on at varying levels of difficulty.

The trails are well-marked and the scenery through the woods and the views you can get of the harbor when the trees clear are very much worth it. It’s also worth noting that entry into the park is free, so this is a great activity to keep yourself occupied without having to shell out any cash!

Hiking in Camden Hills State Park

Wander Along Camden Harbor

Camden is a popular tourist destination in the midcoast region and one of the town’s main draws is undoubtedly its beautiful harbor. Camden Harbor is absolutely charming – especially in the warmer months when the boats are in the water and you can enjoy the scenery to the full extent.

Take the time to stroll along the harbor and enjoy the classic coastal Maine vibes it provides. There are lots of places to stop for a seat and just chill out while watching the boats bob on their moorings or seeing the sailboats come and go from the harbor. There is no doubt that spending time along Camden Harbor is one of the best things to do in this Maine town.

Camden Harbor

Shop on Main Street

Like most coastal towns in Maine, Camden boasts a charming Main Street that is filled with shops, restaurants, galleries and much more. Whether you’re on the hunt for a souvenir, want to support a local artisan or simply window shop and browse, taking a stroll along the main drag in this town is certainly one of the best things to do in Camden, Maine.

You will be surprised by how much there is in the short strip that is Camden’s Main Street and you can spend the better part of a day simply hopping from shop to shop and seeing what there is to offer.

Driving through Camden

Get a Sugar Rush at Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe

If you’re looking for an essential shop to visit while in Camden (especially if you’re travelling with children), then look no further than Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe.

This classic seaside sweet shop is set over two floors and has plenty of sugary treats on offer. There is an area behind a counter where you can get such things as homemade fudge. There are giant lollipops and pre-packaged candies to choose from.

Head up the stairs, grab a bag and help yourself to the bulk bins of saltwater taffy, lemon drops and more. They also have an entire wall dedicated to jelly beans with what seems like every flavor under the sun. You pay by the weight of your bag, so you can get as much or as little as you care to.

Jelly Beans Galore @ Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe

Enjoy a Meal with a View at the Waterfront

If you’re searching for an excellent casual restaurant in Camden where you can enjoy local specialties and a reasonable price tag, then look no further than The Waterfront.

Located on Camden Harbor, this restaurant has a wonderful deck right on the water and provides excellent views over the harbor. If you want to sit outside but the weather isn’t cooperating, the deck is also covered on rainy days so you can get the best of both worlds!

They have an extensive menu filled with plenty of Maine favorites and you can order local oysters on the half shell, clam chowder, lobster rolls, haddock fish tacos, whole belly clams, fish and chips, and plenty more.

It’s worth noting that this restaurant can get very popular – especially on sunny days when everyone wants to enjoy the deck – and they don’t take reservations. However, the wait for a table is never too long!

Fish Tacos @ The Waterfront

Go Candlepin Bowling at Oakland Park Lanes

If you’re looking for a great rainy day activity or simply want a fun blast from the past, then heading to Oakland Park Lanes is one of the most fun things to do in Camden.

Located on Highway 1 just a bit outside of downtown Camden, this is a classic bowling alley that has been open and operating for over sixty years and it very much seems like it hasn’t changed a bit!

Contrary to a standard, modern bowling alley, Oakland Park Lanes is a candlepin bowling alley. This is an older style of ten-pin bowling that uses smaller balls and a manual pin change.

You keep score using a pen and paper and the rules are slightly different. However, if you’re new to this type of bowling, the people who work at the bowling alley will be sure to take the time to explain it to you!

Along with the many bowling lanes here, there is also an arcade complete with air hockey, pool, pinball and much more! Prices are affordable and it is the perfect activity if you’re looking for something unique to do while visiting Camden.

Bowling at Oakland Park Lanes

Relax in Camden Harbor Park

If you’re looking for a great place to chill out and relax while visiting Camden, then look no further than Camden Harbor Park.

This park is situated, as the name may suggest, directly on Camden Harbor and has a vast, inviting green area lined with benches that is perfect for watching the comings and goings of the harbor.

Next to the park, you can also view the lovely Megunticook Falls – a small waterfall that empties into the harbor. In the spring and early summer months, it is particularly vigorous as the runoff from the Megunticook River is at its peak.

Megunticook Falls

Visit the Rockport Marine Park

Drive about five minutes south of Camden and you will reach the very small town of Rockport, which is home to a charming downtown area and a beautiful, albeit small harbor known as the Rockport Marine Park.

Rockport is, arguably, even more beautiful than the Camden Harbor, but it is often overlooked by visitors and instead is more of a locally-known place.

It’s very much worth taking a quick drive down here to enjoy the views of this harbor. As mentioned, it’s only about five minutes from Camden but can feel a world away when you consider just how quiet and laid-back it is.

Rockport Harbor

Set Sail on a Schooner

There is really no better way to enjoy Camden Harbor and the coastal scenery of this region of Maine than by getting out on the water. And one of the best ways to do that is by setting sail on a schooner – a classic wooden sailboat seen throughout this region.

There are countless schooner tours to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a day sail, want to watch the sunset while on Penobscot Bay, or are interested in venturing out for longer, there is something to suit everyone in Camden.

You can book day sails in advance here and sunset sails in advance here.

Schooner sailing in Maine

Dine at one of the Area’s Fantastic Restaurants

Maine is very much a foodie destination and that really becomes apparent when you visit Camden. We’ve already mentioned The Waterfront as being a great casual option for food in the town, but what are some of the other best places to eat in Camden?

Well, if you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket, then we highly recommend heading to Franny’s Bistro . They have a great regular menu serving up some local favorites, but their specials are always something, for lack of a better word, special.

Another great option is 18 Central in nearby Rockport. This place has an excellent raw bar serving up local oysters and clams on the half shell. They also have an extensive menu with inventive twists on local seafood and other main dishes.

And if you’re searching for a fine dining option, Natalie’s Restaurant always comes very highly recommended for those who are looking to splash the cash on a truly memorable meal.

Scallops @ 18th Central

Where to Stay in Camden

Camden is a popular spot to base yourself in Midcoast Maine and, therefore, there are lots of accommodation options to choose from. If you’re looking for places to stay in Camden, Maine, make sure to have a look at these top suggestions:

Abigail’s Inn – This charming bed and breakfast is a perfect place to rest your head when visiting Camden. They have a number of lovely rooms on offer, a great breakfast available each morning and the perfect location for exploring Camden and the entire midcoast region. Click here to see their availability

Blackberry Inn – If you’re after a bit of luxury during your stay in Camden, then this inn is a great choice for you. Perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway, all rooms are spacious and feature a seating area and/or a balcony and there is a hearty breakfast included each morning. Click here to see their availability

Private Rental – For those looking for your own space in Camden, a private vacation rental is a great choice. A place like this charming cottage is just one of many to choose from in the area. Click here to browse more Camden private rentals!

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Camden hotels!

Camden Hills State Park

Camden is one of the top places to visit in midcoast Maine for good reason – there is just so much to see and do in this charming coastal town.

Are looking for things to do in Camden? Have any questions about visiting this town? Let us know in the comments!

towns to visit near camden maine

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About Maggie Turansky

Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

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10 Prettiest Coastal Towns In Maine

The Maine coast is home to some of the most beautiful spots in America, including our list of the 10 prettiest coastal towns in Maine.

By Tracey Minkin

Feb 22 2022

Camden_MF

Fall foliage comes to Camden, Maine.

How can one stretch of coastline be home to so many beautiful towns? Here, we celebrate ten of the prettiest coastal towns in Maine. All are especially beautiful in summer, but are well worth a visit any time of the year.

10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in Maine

10 Prettiest Coastal Towns In Maine

Leave Route 1’s hurly-burly behind to discover this historic little town at the mouth of the Penobscot River estuary. No wonder Castine has been drawing artists for 150 years—there’s even a 3-day plein air art festival in July. See more: From water level with Castine Kayak’s daily summer tours.

LEARN MORE: Castine, Maine | A Historic Midcoast Maine Town

Plan Your Perfect Summer Adventure: Get The Free Ultimate New England Summer Guide!

Prettiest Coastal Towns in Maine

Kennebunkport

The Kennebunk River adds even more waterline charm to the small shops, elegant ship captains’ homes, and fishing ports of this vibrant Southern Maine town of 3,474. We think it’s one of the most well-deserved Maine vacation spots around, especially when you factor in a visit to The Clam Shack . Stay in one of Kennebunkport’s many inns or embrace the outdoors with an upscale “glamping” experience at Sandy Pines Campground . See more: From the river and harbor on Rugosa Lobster Tours .

Prettiest Coastal Towns in Maine

Some Maine destinations have to be experienced to be believed. Perched on Mount Desert Island at the gateway to Acadia National Park , this historic resort town still resonates with the Victorian splendor of bygone days, not to mention the backdrop of Cadillac Mountain . See more: Lighthouse and National Park Tour via catamaran.

10 Prettiest Coastal Towns In Maine

Boothbay Harbor

Surrounded by islands and lighthouses, Boothbay Harbor is a Mid Coast magnet for fishing, sailing and cruising. So much so, the town seems half-boats, half-buildings. Don’t miss a visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens or a stroll across the Boothbay Footbridge (including the famous Boothbay Harbor Bridge House ). It’s the longest wooden footbridge in the country. See more: From the water aboard the Schooner Lazy Jack .

LEARN MORE: Things to Do in Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Prettiest Coastal Towns In Maine

Damariscotta

An all-American small town with shipbuilding roots, Damariscotta sits colorfully on the tidal Damariscotta River and hums with shops, restaurants, a community theatre and the state’s first Reny’s Department Store. See more: From the river, aboard the bright-red River Tripper at Damariscotta River Cruises .

10 Prettiest Coastal Towns In Maine

One of Maine’s proudest and highest-producing lobstering harbors with more than 300 boats, this Down East town perched on spectacular, granite Deer Isle, shares its beauty with tourists but retains a solid, hometown feel. See more: Take the mail boat to tiny Isle au Haut for a true Down East experience.

Prettiest Coastal Towns in Maine

The self-dubbed “Jewel of the Coast” is a well-deserved moniker, and this Mid-Coast harbor town of 4,823 on Penobscot Bay is tucked where mountains reach down to the sea. It’s one of our favorite places to visit in Maine in winter, too, thanks to its many wonderful inns and restaurants . See more: From the water, on the Schooner Surprise .

LEARN MORE: Rockport & Camden | Two Miles of Coastal Beauty

Win the Blue Hill Inn | Blue Hill, Maine

A warm and cozy Down East community that retains the splendid historical architecture of its 18 th -century shipbuilding roots, Blue Hill’s harbor is a watery gateway to Acadia National Park. See more: From above, hiking Blue Hill Mountain .

towns to visit near camden maine

The harbor of this tiny coastal town is considered the most picturesque one in Maine… and that is high praise indeed. Further, it’s bounded by a lovely verdant park, complete with a resident seal (in marble). We’re talking about Andre the Seal , of course. See more: From the harbor aboard the Schooner Yacht Heron .

LEARN MORE:  Rockport, Maine | A Charming, Historic Harbor Town

Machias Seal Island

Pure, Down East, and unspoiled. No gift shops, no tourist traps. Here, there’s a daily view of lobster boats in the small harbor, with Canada’s Grand Manan Island in the distance. A nearby colony of puffins and a working lighthouse (where you can spend the night) make this tiny, far-flung town a true beauty. Few coastal Maine towns can deliver such an authentic experience. See more: Check out those puffins with Bold Coast Charter Company .

Do you love the Maine coast as much as we do? What are your picks for the prettiest coastal towns in Maine? Towns with the best beaches in Maine? The best lobster rolls in Maine ? Let us know!

This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated. 

SEE MORE: 10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in New England 25 Best Beach Towns in New England 10 Best Seaside Inns in New England

towns to visit near camden maine

Tracey Minkin

Tracey Minkin is the Travel Editor at Coastal Living Magazine. Her work has appeared in magazines and online, including Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, Outside, and Men's Journal. Connect with Tracey Minkin on Instagram.

New England Explorer

Top 10 Best Things to Do in Camden Maine

Our travel recommendations are based on personal experiences and research.

There are plenty of things to do in Camden ME.   This picturesque harbor town combines natural scenery, art, outdoor recreation, shopping, and restaurants in one small community. 

A view of downtown Camden, Maine from Mount Battie in the autumn

A visit to Midcoast Maine wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Camden. This town embodies this region’s quaintness, beauty, ruggedness, and scenery. 

Nestled alongside Penobscot Bay, there are plenty of things to do in Camden ME. Downtown Camden is a lively scene of shops, restaurants, and art galleries – the buildings reminiscent of days gone by. And the harbor, steps from Main Street, is bustling in the summertime with schooners, impressive yachts, and lobster boats. 

While downtown Camden is where you’ll find the most activity and visitors, venturing into the wilderness and spending time on the sea gives a different perspective of this area and is well worth the effort if you have the time.

Visitors can take in much of Camden in a single day. But spending a few days here while also visiting nearby  Rockport  and  Rockland  gives a true sense of what this region offers. You’ll find a surprising number of things to do in such a small, rural town and many excellent restaurants to choose from.

Top 10 things to do in Camden ME

When visiting, these are the best and most fun things to do in Camden ME.

Hike or drive up Mount Battie

Mount Battie. One of the many things to do in Camden ME

One of the most popular things to do in Camden ME is to hike or drive to the top of Mount Battie.

The view of the town and harbor from this summit is spectacular. All of Penobscot Bay will be before you, and if the weather is clear, you can see as far as Mount Desert Island to the north and Matinicus Island to the south.

Drivers can access the summit by driving north on Route One (the same road as Main Street) and turning left into  Camden Hills State Park . There’s a fee of $4 per Maine resident and $6 per non-resident to drive to the top.

Once at the top, you’ll find plenty of parking. Note that the road may be closed between November 1st and May 1st due to poor weather or staffing. 

There’s also a pleasant but slightly challenging hike up Mount Battie that slowly reveals the view as you ascend closer to the summit.

Hikers can access the trail by turning down Mountain Street (Route 52) from Main Street and then taking a right on Spring Street. In the middle of Spring Street is a small road on the left leading up to the Mt. Battie trailhead, including parking spaces. 

See related: Mount Battie: What You Need to Know Before Visiting

Stroll through Camden’s downtown and harbor

Main Street in downtown Camden Maine

Camden’s downtown, including most of its shops, restaurants, and art galleries, sits right on the edge of the town’s harbor and is worth a stop in the area. Wandering through these streets is among the best things to do in Camden ME.

The center of this picturesque village is at the intersection of Main, Mechanic, and Bay View Streets. On the corner of Mechanic and Main, you’ll find  French and Brawn , the town’s small, nostalgic grocery store.

You’ll also encounter a plethora of art galleries in the village featuring the work of local artists and other stores filled with home decor, antiques, and the typical tourist fare. 

After checking out the shops, stroll down to the boardwalk to get an up-close view of the harbor’s many schooners and impressive yachts.

At lunchtime, order a sandwich at the  Camden Deli  and take advantage of its view of the harbor. When you’re finished eating, continue up Main Street to  Camden’s public library  and enjoy the view of the harbor and village below.

Take in Camden’s arts scene

Camden ME has a long history of being a destination for artists.

Every July and October, the town hosts a juried  arts and crafts show  where over a hundred artists and crafts professionals display and sell their work along Atlantic Avenue. During the rest of the year, visitors can stop at one of Camden’s many galleries, such as  Camden Falls  and  Small Wonder , down by the harbor or  Carver Hill  on adjacent Bay View Street. 

Camden’s Opera House  also features a variety of live performances, musical gigs, and other events throughout the year, including  Jazz in June  and  The Camden Shakespeare Festival  in the summer.

Take a ride on a schooner 

A schooner in the harbor. Taking a schooner ride is one of the things to do in Camden ME

Among the fun things to do in Camden ME is to ride on one of the many schooners that dock in the harbor.

During warm weather months (Memorial Day through mid-October), schooners take passengers into Penobscot Bay to experience the surrounding islands, see lighthouses, spot seals, and take in Maine’s rocky shoreline. Most trips last approximately two hours.

Visitors can find information about schooner rides as they walk along the harbor’s boardwalk. Here, crew set up tables advertising their tours and selling tickets. Booking tickets online for rides on  Schooner Surprise  and The  Olad  is also possible. 

For a bigger adventure, look into multi-day sails through  wind-jammer cruises . Passengers spend nights onboard in bunks and can help with shipboard activities while sailing along the rocky Maine coast. 

See related: 10 New England Small Towns That Feel Like Stars Hollow

Visit the Camden Snow Bowl

Nestled on Ragged Mountain is Camden’s own ski slope, the only place in North America where one can glimpse the ocean while skiing down a mountain.

While the  Snow Bowl  is modest in size and far from fancy, it’s an excellent mountain for beginners, young kids, and anyone looking for a relatively inexpensive ski without the crowds or hassle found at other slopes.

If you’re in Camden in February, check to see if the  U.S. National Toboggan Championships  are taking place at the Snow Bowl, as they do every year. Cross-country skiers can also glide along the Kuller Trail when there’s snow. 

During warm weather months, visitors to the Snow Bowl can hike along  Ragged Mountain’s hiking trails , 1-2 miles long, up to the summit for excellent views. And bikers can descend down one of the  many mountain bike trails  maintained by a local mountain bike club. Visitors can also view fall foliage against the setting of Penobscot Bay by riding the Snow Bowl’s chairlifts on Sundays in October. ( 20 Barnestown Road )

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Stop in at The Owl and Turtle Bookshop and Cafe

Since 1970, the  Owl and Turtle bookshop  has been in Camden – albeit in different locales throughout the town.

In addition to its wide variety of carefully selected books and a well-thought-out children’s section, you’ll also find a cafe featuring a variety of espresso drinks, teas, and cold drinks.

Events at the bookshop can also be a treat with local authors stopping in. ( 33 Bayview Street )

Visit Megunticook Lake

An aerial view of Mount Megunticook

Among the outdoorsy things to do in Camden ME is a visit to Megunticook Lake.

Splattered across Megunticook Lake’s surface are dozens of islands and inlets, making it an interesting place to kayak or canoe. Visitors can also swim at the Barrett’s Cove public beach in a small cove with a relatively long expanse of shallow water.

The lake starts about a five-mile drive from the center of town, down Route 52. From there, you’ll see several areas to turn off and park, including parking for Barrett’s Cove beach.

Just across Route 52 is a mile-long, slightly rocky woodland path leading up  Maiden Cliff  with great views of the lake below. Adventurous hikers can continue for another .8 miles up the Scenic Trail and see views of Ragged and Bald Mountains and the lake.

See Curtis Island Lighthouse

Curtis Island lighthouse. One of the many things to do in Camden ME

Sitting on a small island just off Camden Harbor is Curtis Island Lighthouse. Compared to those seen further south down the coast, this tiny lighthouse is picture perfect – set on the edge of a rocky coast with its red roof contrasting against the blue water of Penobscot Bay.

Visitors aren’t allowed on Curtis Island, and getting a good glimpse of it is challenging except by boat. But locals know that down Bay View Street, across from its intersection with Beacon Ave, is a small path known as the Curtis Lighthouse Overlook that leads to the coast and provides the perfect vantage point of the lighthouse. Walking to the path is possible from downtown or nearby Laite Memorial Beach.

See related: Curtis Island Lighthouse: Everything You Need to Know Before Visting

Eat dinner at Long Grain Restaurant

It may initially seem strange to include a Thai restaurant on a list of things to do in Camden ME. But  Long Grain  isn’t any ordinary restaurant, especially for this rural setting.

Started in 2010 by husband and wife team Ravin Nakjaroen and Paula Palakawong, nearly overnight, Long Grain made a name for itself, capturing the attention of The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Saveur, and more.

Dishes are described as Asian home-cooked street food using seasonal and local produce. Plan in advance if you want to eat here during tourist season – even in the off-season, tables can go quickly, and takeout can also be a wait, so put your order in early. ( 20 Washington Street )

Visit Merryspring Nature Center

Among the fun things to do in Camden ME is to visit the 66-acre  Merryspring Nature Center .

This center is only a six-minute drive from downtown and is the perfect place to take a break from tourist crowds and spend time in nature.

Visitors will find perennial and rose gardens and gardens of hostas, daylilies, and herbs. Walk through the center’s many trails, explore its arboretum, see its vernal pool, and look at its rare American chestnut planting. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. ( 30 Conway Road )

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Is camden maine worth visiting.

Camden, Maine has been a popular vacation destination for generations.

Much of what visitors witness in Camden today is rooted in the 19th century when some of the nation’s most wealthy and distinguished families would gather here in the summer. The shingle-style homes these families built, known as cottages, still line High Street and Bay View Street near the town center and further from the downtown on Beauchamp Point.

While Camden is most certainly a tourist destination, it also has a well-established year-round community, which adds life and character to the community. Camden’s citizens take great interest in education, the arts, and nature. The town has been the home to historian David McCollough, author Richard Russo, and former Apple CEO John Scully, as well as many other influential people who continue to influence the life and culture of this small town.

( As a GetYourGuide affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. )

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About Kerry Flatley

Kerry Flatley has lived in New England for the past 26 years. She has roots in Maine & Massachusetts, family in New Hampshire, and grew up close to the Connecticut border. She loves all that this region has to offer – the ocean, mountains, islands, history, villages, and cities. When she’s not writing about New England, she’s relaxing at home in the Boston suburbs with her two teenage daughters and husband.

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Things to Do in Camden, ME - Camden Attractions

Things to do in camden, explore popular experiences, tours in and around camden.

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Windjammer Classic Sunset Sail from Camden, Maine

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Windjammer Classic Day Sail from Camden, Maine

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Schooner Eastwind Sunset Sail to see the Maine Coastline

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The Country Inn

28 Best Things to Do in Camden Maine This Year

As a visitor to Camden Maine, discovering the top attractions is a must. Whether you’re seeking activities for couples or families, outdoor or indoor pursuits, or land or sea adventures, rest assured that there are things to do in Camden Maine for you to enjoy.

Located in Mid-Coast Maine, Camden is a picturesque seaside town where the mountains meet the sea, providing stunning views of Mount Battie and Penobscot Bay. The most enjoyable activities stem from embracing the town’s unique and beautiful offerings.

towns to visit near camden maine

Outdoor Things to Do in Camden Maine

Whether you prefer hiking through a forest, spending time on a beach, or getting onto the water, there’s a spot or way to do it in Camden Maine . These are some of our top recommendations for outdoor recreation in the area.

Hiking Trails

To experience stunning vistas, hiking trails, and ideal picnic spots, a trip to Camden Hills State Park is in order. On average days, the park offers sprawling views of the various bays and islands off the mainland. On clear days, you can see all the way to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park .

If you’re interested in hiking to the peak of Mount Battie at the park, many hikers find the trail to be moderately accessible with a few steep areas. The 1-mile round-trip path provides opportunities to encounter wildlife, wildflowers, birds, and of course, the breathtaking views that surround the mountain.

Camden Snow Bowl

Also, you can check out the Camden Snow Bowl — a community-owned ski resort that stands out as the only ski resort in the region with ocean views, providing a unique experience. Depending on the season, you can enjoy hiking trails, tennis, lift rides, camps, skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing championships, and more.

On top of all this, the town has numerous nature preserves and footpaths for hiking and exploring the natural beauty of the area. Be sure to explore our guide for the best hiking trails Camden Maine has to offer.

Parks With Beaches

Nothing beats spending time on the coast like sinking your toes in the sand at a beach. Laite Memorial Beach offers great opportunities for paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming, as well as leisurely strolls and shell-hunting during low tide. It’s the perfect spot to spend a day and savor the Atlantic coast.

Alternatively, consider visiting Barrett’s Cove at Megunticook Lake . This local gem — often overlooked by tourists — provides a refreshing swim at a freshwater beach with stunning views of the west side of Camden Hills State Park.

Lobstering & Boat Tours

Rent a boat and venture into the harbor for a water adventure. If you’re inclined to enjoy a schooner ride with a picnic on one of the bay’s islands, consider a vessel designed for small groups, such as The Heritage sloop with Sail Camden . For sightseeing on a windjammer, consider a two-hour day sail on the Schooner Olad or Cutter Owl .

Alternatively, you can join Camden Harbor Cruises on the Lively Lady for wildlife, lighthouse, and lobstering cruises lasting one to three hours. These tours offer sightings of porpoises, harbor seals, and other wildlife. The lobster cruise even includes a brief lesson in lobster fishing.

Numerous other boat tours and rentals are available in and around Camden, so explore the various options for touring Penobscot Bay and beyond. This video provides a glimpse of the windjammer sailing experience:

Camden Maine Family & Kid-Friendly Activities

Planning a family vacation can pose challenges regardless of your children’s ages. One child may be keen on outdoor activities, while another may prefer relaxing indoors with a book. Fortunately, Camden offers a variety of family-friendly activities for children and teens.

Merryspring Nature Center

Explore the 66-acre nature sanctuary of Merryspring Nature Center , which features gardens and walking trails. The gardens showcase daylilies, herbs, roses, and perennials, while one of the trails is an interpretive trail.

The center often hosts free family-friendly events, like bug safaris and guided tree identification walks. There’s a small gift shop to visit before you depart as well.

Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe

Indulge your children’s sweet tooth with classic and modern candies at Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe . The store offers a variety of brittle, fudge, gourmet chocolates, gummies, licorice, and novelties alongside regularly changing seasonal flavors and treats. You’re likely to find something to satisfy your own sweet tooth too.

Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe

For a quieter family-friendly activity, visit the Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe , which offers a unique collection of books and trinkets. Children can enjoy a dedicated reading area, and you may even catch an author reading during your visit.

The bookshop hosts numerous events throughout the year, and the cafe area serves savory and sweet treats from local bakers, along with coffee supplied by the local Coffee on the Porch.

More Family-Friendly Activities Nearby

There are many kid-friendly things to do in Camden Maine, but sometimes it’s fun to explore beyond the town boundaries. In this case, there are a few wonderful places in nearby Rockport — just outside of Camden — to take kids.

Golfer’s Crossing Miniature Golf

Engage in some light-hearted rivalry at Golfer’s Crossing Miniature Golf . This welcoming mini-golf course boasts 18 holes amidst beautiful, natural features, including waterfalls. Open for the season, it’s a favorite for visitors of all ages, so ready your putter to attempt scoring under par while you navigate playful obstacles, like a classic windmill.

Aldermere Farm

For a delightful hands-on learning experience, take your family to Aldermere Farm . You can tour the farm and get up close with the charming Belted Galloway cows — affectionately compared to Oreo cookies because of their distinctive markings. And, don’t forget to take a stroll down the family-friendly walking path.

Penobscot Bay YMCA

Should the weather not cooperate or if you’re in the mood for indoor fun, head over to the Penobscot Bay YMCA . With facilities that include a 25-yard swimming pool, a gymnasium, a rock climbing center, and a family play center, there’s something for everyone.

On sunny days, the outdoor playground is a popular spot too. Plus, managing your personal items is a breeze with the available lockers.

towns to visit near camden maine

Free & Cheap Things to Do in Camden Maine

If you’re like many families looking to vacation on a budget, you’ll want to find affordable activities in Camden. We’ve already mentioned several low-cost options above, but let’s cover a few more.

Camden Public Library

Head to the Camden Public Library , a haven for young readers. Founded in 1796 with only 200 books, this historic institution now has a vast collection, including an excellent selection of children’s books. The children’s room even features a boat where kids can sit and read. Plus, there’s a cozy reading room upstairs.

Harbor Park and Amphitheatre

Right next to the library, you’ll find Harbor Park and Amphitheatre . They’re part of the library’s grounds and host various events, including charity functions, craft fairs, and concerts.

When there’s nothing scheduled, these spaces are peaceful places for a stroll or for relaxing by Camden Harbor . Enjoy a picnic on the lawn, or grab an ice cream from a shop close by.

Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel

For another cost-free outing, visit the Children’s Chapel near Aldermere Farm in Rockport. This outdoor chapel is a site for baptisms, memorials, weddings, and other events but is also open for public reflection, prayer, or simply a quiet moment. Your family can also appreciate the formal garden with its mix of perennials, annuals, herbs, and trees, or have a picnic on the expansive lawn.

towns to visit near camden maine

Best Restaurants in Camden

You’ll discover that there’s nothing quite like savoring fresh, local seafood or a mouth-watering lobster roll, especially when it’s crafted by a family-owned business with a down-to-earth approach.

River Ducks Ice Cream

River Ducks Ice Cream serves both traditional ice cream and soft serve, making it a must-visit during its seasonal opening in the summer. A glowing review from a Facebook user highlights its appeal:

“We happened along this place on our first trip to Camden. No exaggerating, in all my years of packing away a ton of ice cream, this is my favorite. Maine Moose tracks, omg…heaven….”

With such high praise, it’s clear that a visit to River Ducks won’t disappoint!

Camden House of Pizza

For more than two decades, Camden House of Pizza has been a staple in the Camden Maine community. Renowned for its excellent pizza and Greek cuisine, the restaurant serves everything from salads and pasta dinners to gyros, sandwiches, and pizza (of course).

Whether you prefer to customize your pizza with your favorite toppings, select from popular choices, or simply grab a quick slice from the warmer, there’s something for everyone.

Long Grain stands as an ideal choice for locavores craving an Asian-inspired culinary adventure. This restaurant prides itself on sourcing ingredients locally and seasonally. The menu is a diverse mosaic of Asian flavors, featuring inspirations from Vietnamese and Thai street food to Indonesian and Japanese family meals, among others.

Waterfront Restaurant

While exploring the coast, indulging in the amazing, locally sourced seafood is a must. At Waterfront Restaurant , you have the opportunity to enjoy seafood freshly caught in the area. Even the meat is locally sourced and brought in daily to ensure that you’re enjoying food at its peak of flavor.

Natalie’s Restaurant

When you want to elevate your dining experience even further, Natalie’s Restaurant offers a sophisticated setting. Overlooking the harbor, it provides not just a meal but also a culinary journey, featuring locally sourced, fresh ingredients for a truly rich experience that entices all of your senses through color, aroma, presentation, and of course, flavor.

There are numerous beloved restaurants in Camden Maine , and a particular fondness is held for those that are locally owned and operated.

towns to visit near camden maine

Favorite Camden Maine Festivals & Events

A good festival is the perfect way to enjoy lively music, uplift your spirits, and immerse yourself in the local community and culture. Here are a few highlights of the events that you can expect in Camden.

Jazz in June

In Camden, the summer season starts with the Jazz in June festival, a three-day event featuring jazz music across various venues in town and even on the streets. You’ll have a fantastic time soaking in the jazz tunes and exploring the diverse locations.

Camden Windjammer Festival

As summer draws to a close, the Camden Windjammer Festival takes place during Labor Day weekend. This event isn’t just about food and live entertainment — it also features a treasure hunt, activities like building mini boats, and the majestic sailing of schooner fleets.

Christmas by the Sea

The festive spirit in Camden isn’t limited to summer. Christmas by the Sea , a three-day event, is perfect for getting into the holiday mood. It offers everything from caroling and shopping to a live nativity scene and an exciting parade.

U.S. National Tobogganing Championships

Furthermore, winter brings its own charm with the U.S. National Tobogganing Championships every February. This competition welcomes professional teams and offers awards for the oldest team, the best costume, and more, making it a unique and enjoyable event for everyone.

Mid-Coast Maine is renowned for its vibrant festival scene. Get more details about the top festivals in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland to explore them firsthand.

Unique Shopping Opportunities in Camden Maine

If you need essentials for your trip or a special gift to take back home, Camden’s array of shops has you covered. The town boasts some of the most distinctive and independent stores in the Mid-Coast region.

The Smiling Cow

A family-owned gem, The Smiling Cow has been a part of downtown Camden for over 75 years. This unique gift shop offers a wide range of items, from books and clothing to gifts and collectibles. You’ll also find homemade fudge and Maine maple syrup here.

Plus, its location atop the Megunticook River means that you can enjoy stunning views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay from its back porch.

Once a Tree

Once a Tree has stood as one of the area’s top gift shops for over 35 years. Even after moving from Bay View Street to Main Street, it continues to feature a diverse collection of unusual and practical handcrafted items. The shop’s inventory includes everything from kitchen essentials and home accessories to candles, soaps, and jewelry.

Antiques at 10 Mechanic

Specializing in antiques, Antiques at 10 Mechanic offers a treasure trove of items sourced from over 20 local vendors. The shop’s range includes collectibles, furniture, clothing, and accessories. For vinyl record enthusiasts, there’s an extensive collection to browse through as well.

Camden Maine Area Museums & Historical Sites

Camden Maine was settled in the late 18th century and was initially part of a larger town known as Megunticook. During the 19th century, it became an important center for shipbuilding and milling due to its location near the sea. This history is reflected in the town’s historic buildings, lighthouse, and area museums.

High Street Historic District

When you visit Camden, make sure to explore the High Street Historic District . This area — recognized on the National Register of Historic Places — showcases buildings that adhere to 18th and 19th-century architectural styles, offering you a glimpse into the past.

Museums to Explore

If you’re interested in learning more about Camden’s history, the Camden-Rockport Historical Society is a great place to start. It houses an impressive collection of artifacts, photographs, and historic documents across six historic buildings in Rockport.

For a dive into the Revolutionary Era, the Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston awaits your visit, offering insights into the life and times of this bygone era. But, these are just a few of the many fascinating museums and galleries in and around Camden .

Lighthouses to Visit

No visit to Maine’s coastline is complete without seeing a lighthouse. In Camden, you can view the Curtis Island Lighthouse , originally established in 1836. While it’s not open to the public, it offers a picturesque view from the island’s public park, a boat, or the Curtis Island Overlook.

Another must-see lighthouse is the Grindle Point Light Station on Islesboro’s westernmost point, which is only accessible by boat from Camden Maine. This lighthouse, first established in 1850 and rebuilt in 1874, includes a Sailor’s Museum that’s open for summer tours.

With 65 lighthouses in Maine, there’s plenty more for you to discover. Our list of Mid-Coast Maine lighthouses can help you plan your journey.

towns to visit near camden maine

Excellent Lodging for Camden Maine Adventures

For the opportunity to experience these things to do in Camden Maine, consider staying with us at The Country Inn . Our bed-and-breakfast-style hotel is committed to offering outstanding hospitality, which is evident in every aspect of our property.

You’re sure to enjoy our upgraded breakfast options , the warmth of our indoor heated pool, and the array of amenities that elevate each stay from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Choose one of our rooms or cottages when you begin planning your Camden Maine getaway!

  • Last Modified April 3, 2024

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Aerial view of Bar Harbor, Maine, a popular tourist destination located on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine.

  • 7 Coolest Towns in Maine for a Summer Vacation in 2024

With over 60% of its residents living in rural areas, Maine stands out as one of the most rural states in the country. The reason for exchanging a bustling life in the city for a more relaxed life in the countryside becomes evident to those who visit: Lush forests , sweeping hills, and cool rivers and lakes await, with endless opportunities for exploration. Among these forests, lakes, and hills lie a plethora of small towns where some families have lived for generations. As summer approaches, these towns burst into life, drawing tourists from across the globe eager to experience their relaxed, laid-back lifestyle. By the end of this article, you, too, will be packing your bag to visit these seven cool towns after reading about all they have in store.

Aerial view of Greenville, Maine.

Perched along Maine’s biggest lake, Moosehead Lake, Greenville is the perfect destination for fishing, boating, canoeing, and hiking. In the middle of this colossal 40-by-20-mile-long lake, adventurous travelers can hike up Mount Kineo, a 763-foot cliff, and enjoy jaw-dropping 360-degree views from the summit. Lily Bay State Park, also on Moosehead Lake, has plenty of space to swim and even has a sandy beach for those looking to soak up the summer rays. Visitors will find the lake waters to be refreshingly cool and clear. Looking for a memorable day out? Reserve one of Moosehead Lake’s Moose Safaris to spot a massive moose in the wild. The best way to wrap up a summer evening in Greenville is by sipping a craft beer or wine at Stress-Free Moose Pub, a restaurant with live music, classic American dishes, and patio seating along the lake shores.

Bar Harbor, Maine, USA - A scenic coastal town known for whale watching and boating.

Often referred to as the “Gateway to Acadia National Park ”, Bar Harbor draws in many tourists every year looking to take advantage of this small town’s beautiful surroundings. Setting an early alarm to watch the sunrise over Acadia’s stunning rocky coastline will be one of the most memorable mornings of your summer. Acadia’s 49,000-acre park, composed of islands, forests, and a peninsula, has numerous, gorgeous trails to hike and bike. After an eventful day outdoors, travelers can return to town and enjoy one of many delightful culinary options, such as Galyn’s Restaurant, a family-run restaurant in a historic building serving fresh seafood. From July through August, vacationers can also enjoy a movie under the stars in the Seaside Cinema, a weekly event that will take place every Wednesday. No need to bring snacks, there will be free popcorn!

Swan’s Island

Sailing off Swan's Island, Maine, during the picturesque month of August.

Sailing off Swan's Island, Maine, during the picturesque month of August.

Adventurers who enjoy traveling off the beaten path will love Swan’s Island, a 7,000-acre heavily forested island with picturesque, rocky shorelines that visitors can only reach by the Maine State Ferry Service. Visitors can learn about the island’s fascinating history by visiting Swan’s Island Lobster & Marine Museum, which contains historical artifacts from the fishing industry’s history on the island. The Swan’s Island Historical Society also has a variety of exhibits explaining the island’s past. Outdoor adventurers can explore the island’s 1.8-mile marked trails as well as visit the four public beaches, three of which are only accessible by hiking.

Damariscotta

Harbor in Damariscotta, Maine, located in the Mid Coast region of Maine.

Harbor in Damariscotta, Maine, located in the Mid Coast region of Maine.

Situated along the Damariscotta River, Damariscotta offers a wide variety of activities out on the water to combat the summer heat. Visitors interested in learning more about the town can partake in kayak tours, such as an oyster farm and seal-watching tour, as well as an oyster ecology tour. For those who prefer to kick up their legs and relax, Damariscotta River Cruises offers wine and sunset cruises. Hikers also will have their opportunity to explore the Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, which features lush forests and more than 51 miles of trails. The town itself is filled with historic mansions, public buildings, and businesses. The Lincoln Theater, for example, built in 1875, has beautiful historic architecture worth visiting and still serves as a live theater where visitors can go to see shows. For food aficionados wanting to try the famous Damariscotta Oysters, King Eider's Pub and Restaurant is a great place to do so.

 Aerial view of Rockland Harbor during the Rockland Lobster Festival in summer, Rockland, Maine, USA.

Between summer festivals, island hopping, and water sports, activities are abundant in Rockland. Each July, Rockland’s North Atlantic Blues Festival draws in visitors from around the world as notable jazz musicians such as Jr. Wells and Koko Taylor perform. The festival also has delicious seafood available for purchase, making it a true Atlantic Coast festival. The majority of beaches around Rockland have scenic, rocky coastlines. However, for visitors looking for a sandy space to lay out a towel and swim, the nearby Barrett's Cove on Megunticook Lake is a great beach along a freshwater lake that surprisingly does not have much of a crowd, even in the summer months. For those looking to finish off an evening with an elegant dinner, the highly rated 18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill features a variety of upscale, locally sourced seafood options that will not disappoint.

Aerial view of Camden Harbor, Maine, showcasing vibrant fall foliage.

Aerial view of Camden Harbor, Maine, showcasing vibrant fall foliage.

Neighboring Rockland and sitting along Penobscot Bay, Camden has a fresh and calm coastal vibe that visitors will love. The downtown area is filled with art galleries and local shops, ranging from bookstores to designer furniture stores. Explorers can take a ferry out to some of Camden’s nearby islands or go kayaking, sailing, canoeing, and swimming. Camden Power Boat Day Trips offers day trip cruises along Penobscot Bay, which is an excellent way to see the bay’s most important islands and harbor. Camden is a great place to go lighthouse hunting as well, as the surrounding area is home to 18, most being built during the 18th century. Art lovers can visit the nearby Farnsworth Art Museum, which is one of the best in the country and houses more than 15,000 works.

Aerial view of the York River at Stage Neck, where it meets York Harbor in the town of York, Maine, USA.

Aerial view of the York River at Stage Neck, where it meets York Harbor in the town of York, Maine, USA.

York is a charming, colonial-style town by the sea with lots of culture, history, and nature to explore. York Beach, a sector in York, is home to many eclectic restaurants and shops, many with interesting histories. The Goldenrod, for example, is a candy and ice cream shop that has been in business since 1896 and will remind its visitors of simpler times. York Beach also has wonderful sandy beaches, such as Long Sands Beach, where travelers can spend the day getting their vitamin D. Like Camden, York also has a beautiful lighthouse to visit, Nubble Light, which has been open since 1879 and sits perched on a tiny island. Just about 15 minutes outside of York, hikers can visit the Mt. Agamenticus Region, a 10,000-acre reserve with more than 40 miles of trails and beautiful views from the Mountain’s 692-foot summit.

Your Next Summer Escape Awaits in Maine's Idyllic Townsw

As the days get longer, temperatures climb, and the skies clear, Maine’s small towns and surrounding natural areas offer a tempting escape during the hot summer months. From the serene lakeside retreat of Greenville to the coastal charisma of Bar Harbor and Camden, each town has a unique identity and offers a memorable experience. Whether you seek historic explorations, hikes in nature, or simply a good meal, these charming destinations will reel you in. Just beware, as you may never want to leave!

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Love Exploring

Love Exploring

America's Stunning Coastal Towns Are Well Worth A Visit

Posted: January 21, 2024 | Last updated: January 22, 2024

Take a look at the most beautiful coastal towns in America and around the world

Shore delights

<p>Nicknamed the jewel of the Maine coast, Camden is a quintessential seaside town with a charming harbor, an old lighthouse, jagged rock bays and the promise of sunset cruises. Normally, visitors enjoy hiking up nearby Mount Battie or indulging in the town’s many coastal restaurants.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/gallerylist/87456/americas-most-charming-seaside-towns"><strong>Read on for more of America's most charming seaside towns</strong></a></p>

Camden, Maine, USA

Nicknamed the jewel of the Maine coast, Camden is a quintessential seaside town with a charming harbour, an old lighthouse, jagged rock bays and the promise of sunset cruises. Normally, visitors enjoy hiking up nearby Mount Battie or indulging in the town’s many coastal restaurants.

<p>The romantic coastal town of Rockport in Massachusetts, located on Cape Ann, is surrounded by beautiful beaches and is home to Motif Number 1 – a red fishing shack often cited as the most-painted building in America. The town’s Main Street has everything from quirky art galleries to a pottery studio and gift stores, but one of its most famous shops is <a href="http://www.tuckscandy.com/">Tuck’s Candies</a> with its delicious saltwater taffy.</p>

Rockport, Massachusetts, USA

The romantic coastal town of Rockport in Massachusetts, located on Cape Ann, is surrounded by beautiful beaches and is home to Motif Number 1 – a red fishing shack often cited as the most-painted building in America. The town’s Main Street has everything from quirky art galleries to a pottery studio and gift stores, but one of its most famous shops is  Tuck’s Candies with its delicious saltwater toffee.

A coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, Agios Nikolaos enjoys an enviable location overlooking Mirabello Bay. A narrow channel separates the perfectly formed harbor from Voulismeni Lake, whose shore is lined with restaurants, tavernas and cafés. The gorgeous town is a popular seaside resort, too, and its waters host everything from small fishing boats to luxurious mega-yachts.

Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece

Dramatically perched on the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, Positano is a postcard-perfect town. Its stony streets – which wind down to the crisp Mediterranean Sea – are lined with flowering lemon, orange and olive trees, not to mention stunning architecture. In true Italian fashion, they're also host to an avalanche of alluring restaurants, boutiques and chic hotels.

Positano, Italy

This fishing village in North Devon, once owned by royalty, consists of cobbled streets sloping towards the sea, and donkeys and sledges in lieu of cars. As unique as it is pretty, the adorable village has played muse for the painter William Turner and writer Charles Dickens over the centuries.

Clovelly, England, UK

This fishing village in North Devon, once owned by royalty, consists of cobbled streets sloping towards the sea, and donkeys and sledges in lieu of cars. As unique as it is pretty, the adorable village has played muse for the painter William Turner and writer Charles Dickens over the centuries.

The little hamlet of Ahrenshoop is beautifully located on a peninsula between the Baltic Sea and the bodden (wetlands). Its harbor has traditional fishing huts and elsewhere thatched fishermen's houses sit back from the sand dunes. As well as a scenic setting, the village has plenty of culture to offer. Unsurprisingly it’s attracted many artists over the years with its light and landscapes – its school of painting was founded in 1894 and features an art museum.

Ahrenshoop, Germany

The colorful port town and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lunenburg is a photographer’s dream destination. It's notable for the 48 blocks of perfectly preserved wooden homes and its original layout that's remained unchanged since the 1800s. Thanks to its natural harbor and coastal location, seafood is king here, so it's hardly a surprise that the town is dotted with countless seafood restaurants. It's also home to rum distilleries – a remnant of the rum-running trade that once flourished here.

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada

<p>It's well known that Greece is blessed with ample natural and man-made beauty. But it’s hard to think of a view that more succinctly sums up the country’s gorgeousness than the blue domes of <a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/guides/79740/things-to-do-in-santorini">Santorini</a>. The most famous white-washed buildings are in Oia, a clifftop town perched by the Aegean Sea, whose azure hue perfectly matches those rooftops.</p>

Oia, Santorini, Greece

It's well known that Greece is blessed with ample natural and man-made beauty. But it’s hard to think of a view that more succinctly sums up the country’s gorgeousness than the blue domes of Santorini. The most famous white-washed buildings are in Oia, a clifftop town perched by the Aegean Sea, whose azure hue perfectly matches those rooftops.

Read our full guide to Santorini

<p>The main village on the <a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/guides/97389/isle-of-skye-scotland-accommodation-portree">Isle of Skye</a>, in Scotland's Inner Hebrides, is relatively young (around 200 years) for a fishing hub. The gateway to the charms of the isle, Portree itself is as pretty as a picture, its colorful homes dotting the shoreline. In recent years, Portree has also earned a reputation as a foodie destination, thanks to its abundance of elegant restaurants, gastropubs and bistros, including world-renowned spot <a href="https://www.threechimneys.co.uk/">The Three Chimneys</a>. </p>

Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK

The main village on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland's Inner Hebrides, is relatively young (around 200 years) for a fishing hub. The gateway to the charms of the isle, Portree itself is as pretty as a picture, its colorful homes dotting the shoreline. In recent years, Portree has also earned a reputation as a foodie destination, thanks to its abundance of elegant restaurants, gastropubs and bistros, including world-renowned spot The Three Chimneys . 

Discover beautiful Isle of Skye

<p>Set amid rocky coastal cliffs, Manarola is one of the five fishing villages that make up the breathtaking Cinque Terre in northwestern Italy. Easily the most recognizable of all five, this cliffside town has homes in shades of pastel blue, pink, yellow and orange – legend says that the houses were painted brightly so that returning fishermen could spot their homes more easily. Sunset is the most spectacular time here, when the dipping sun washes the houses in hues of gold for a few dramatic minutes.</p>

Manarola, Italy

Set amid rocky coastal cliffs, Manarola is one of the five fishing villages that make up the breathtaking Cinque Terre in northwestern Italy. Easily the most recognisable of all five, this cliffside town has homes in shades of pastel blue, pink, yellow and orange – legend says that the houses were painted brightly so that returning fishermen could spot their homes more easily. Sunset is the most spectacular time here, when the dipping sun washes the houses in hues of gold for a few dramatic minutes.

Cudillero is an idyllic fishing village in Asturias that's managed to retain its timeless charm. According to legend, the town was founded by the Vikings, and fishing has historically been its main industry. A delight to look at, Cudillero is at its best when viewed from the bay, with its colorful houses towering over either side of the small port.

Cudillero, Spain

The quaint town of Hamnøy sits on Moskenes, an island at the southern end of the Lofoten Archipelago in Norway, known for its dramatic scenery. Thought to be the oldest fishing village in the area, Hamnøy is also considered one of the most beautiful, due to the brightly painted traditional homes. The short Arctic winter days here make for a moody setting, while the night sky is often illuminated by the Northern Lights dancing above.

Hamnøy, Norway

<p>The town of Mahone Bay, set on the picture-perfect south shore of Nova Scotia, was first settled by the French in the 17th century. The British later gave it the name we know today, and the town has remained a quaint community attracting artisans and entrepreneurs. While the Three Churches of Mahone Bay, all built in the late-19th and early-20th centuries in different architectural styles, are a highlight, the town hosts wholesome gatherings like the Scarecrow Festival and Antiques Fair most years too. </p>

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

The town of Mahone Bay, set on the picture-perfect south shore of Nova Scotia, was first settled by the French in the 17th century. The British later gave it the name we know today, and the town has remained a quaint community attracting artisans and entrepreneurs. While the Three Churches of Mahone Bay, all built in the late-19th and early-20th centuries in different architectural styles, are a highlight, the town hosts wholesome gatherings like the Scarecrow Festival and Antiques Fair most years too. 

On Malta's southeast coast you'll find the fishing village of Marsaxlokk (pronounced marsa-schlock). Unlike most of Malta, it's virtually untouched by developers, so visitors are sure to see a typical and traditional scene here, with the village's fleet of traditional luzzu boats lulling in the harbor's waters. The spot has a steady supply of fresh seafood, too, and the catches of the day are served up at the myriad restaurants lining a seafront promenade.

Marsaxlokk, Malta

On Malta's southeast coast you'll find the fishing village of Marsaxlokk (pronounced marsa-schlock). Unlike most of Malta, it's virtually untouched by developers, so visitors are sure to see a typical and traditional scene here, with the village's fleet of traditional luzzu boats lulling in the harbour's waters. The spot has a steady supply of fresh seafood, too, and the catches of the day are served up at the myriad restaurants lining a seafront promenade. 

Read on for America's most charming seaside towns

Enjoying a location on Australia's Sunshine Coast, the charming town of Noosa Heads is a top spot for shoppers, foodies and beach bums alike. The crowning jewel is Noosa Main Beach, a broad sandy stretch that's popular with beginner surfers. Away from the waves, Hastings Street is packed with little cafés, boutiques and galleries.

Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia

Famously the home of British explorer Captain Cook, this stunning fishing village on the North Yorkshire coast has plenty more to boast about. Cute, white-washed cottages cling to the craggy cliffs that edge a pretty harbor and beach, while its maze of lanes and cobbled alleys are truly charming. Today, Staithes is home to a thriving creative community, which is evident in its galleries and workshops.

Staithes, England, UK

Located halfway between Hamilton city and St George's, Flatts Village is one of Bermuda's most chilled-out spots. The sleepy fishing village is home to colorful pastel-hued houses dotting the coast, picturesque fishing areas and beautiful landscapes dominated by palm trees. One of the first British settlements on the island, Flatts also has an interesting literary connection. Mark Twain was a fan of the island and the village and often came to stay with friends up until his death in 1910.

Flatts Village, Bermuda

<p>Charming Port Fairy, a long-serving fishing port along the Great Ocean Road, is one for architecture buffs. The spot wears its history on its sleeve and 19th-century cottages and impressive Georgian-style merchants' houses can be found within the town's limits. It's known for having one of the world's finest golf courses too. </p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/91760/40-of-australias-most-stunning-natural-wonders?page=1"><strong>Discover 40 of Australia's most stunning natural wonders</strong></a></p>

Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia

Charming Port Fairy, a long-serving fishing port along the Great Ocean Road, is one for architecture buffs. The spot wears its history on its sleeve and 19th-century cottages and impressive Georgian-style merchants' houses can be found within the town's limits. It's known for having one of the world's finest golf courses too. 

Discover 40 of Australia's most stunning natural wonders

<p>Located on Spain's Costa Brava, Cadaqués is probably most famous as Salvador Dalí's summer vacation destination. An easygoing village, it boasts whitewashed houses that sparkle against the cobalt sea and its pebble beaches. The bohemian vibe synonymous with Dalí and his contemporaries, like Federico García Lorca, is still very much alive in the town's vibrant cultural life. Typically, there are countless fairs, parades and festivals taking place throughout the year, including the International Music Festival and the Cultural Week of Cadaqués.</p>

Cadaqués, Spain

Located on Spain's Costa Brava, Cadaqués is probably most famous as Salvador Dalí's summer vacation destination. An easygoing village, it boasts whitewashed houses that sparkle against the cobalt sea and its pebble beaches. The bohemian vibe synonymous with Dalí and his contemporaries, like Federico García Lorca, is still very much alive in the town's vibrant cultural life. Typically, there are countless fairs, parades and festivals taking place throughout the year, including the International Music Festival and the Cultural Week of Cadaqués.

<p>A hodgepodge of rainbow houses make up Ittoqqortoormiit, a remote settlement often tipped as the edge of the world. This little village sits on Greenland’s eastern coast, hugged by snow-crowned mountains and surrounded by sea ice (which the 350-odd residents use for hunting). Helicopter is the only route in or out of this Arctic outpost for most of the year, though a ship comes bi-annually to drop off supplies.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/100915/worlds-most-remote-small-towns?page=1"><strong>These are the world's most remote small towns</strong></a></p>

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

A hodgepodge of rainbow houses make up Ittoqqortoormiit, a remote settlement often tipped as the edge of the world. This little village sits on Greenland’s eastern coast, hugged by snow-crowned mountains and surrounded by sea ice (which the 350-odd residents use for hunting). Helicopter is the only route in or out of this Arctic outpost for most of the year, though a ship comes bi-annually to drop off supplies.

These are the world's most remote small towns

<p>It’s not hard to see why Honfleur’s picturesque harbor, lined with narrow slate-fronted houses dating back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, was beloved by impressionist painters including Claude Monet. Situated in northern France’s Calvados region, this pretty-as-a-picture port is brought to life by the street markets, cafés and restaurants nestled in its labyrinthine streets.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/97897/35-of-frances-most-beautiful-villages?page=1"><strong>Discover more of France's most beautiful villages</strong></a></p>

Honfleur, France

It’s not hard to see why Honfleur’s picturesque harbour, lined with narrow slate-fronted houses dating back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, was beloved by impressionist painters including Claude Monet. Situated in northern France’s Calvados region, this pretty-as-a-picture port is brought to life by the street markets, cafés and restaurants nestled in its labyrinthine streets.

<p>This charming Irish town, once named Queenstown, might be known for its colorful row houses and the ornate St Colman's Cathedral dominating the skyline. But it's main claim to fame is that it was the Titanic's last port of call in 1912, before her journey over the Atlantic. Today, the former White Star Line ticket office has been turned into Titanic Experience, an interactive museum telling the story of the <a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/gallerylist/72633/secrets-of-the-titanic-life-onboard-the-worlds-most-famous-ship">Titanic's fatal journey</a>. The town is also notable in history as the departure point for 2.5 million Irish people who emigrated to North America at the turn of the 20th century.</p>

Cobh, Ireland

This charming Irish town, once named Queenstown, might be known for its colorful row houses and the ornate St Colman's Cathedral dominating the skyline. But it's main claim to fame is that it was the Titanic's last port of call in 1912, before her journey over the Atlantic. Today, the former White Star Line ticket office has been turned into Titanic Experience, an interactive museum telling the story of the Titanic's fatal journey . The town is also notable in history as the departure point for 2.5 million Irish people who emigrated to North America at the turn of the 20th century.

<p>This medieval walled town in Pembrokeshire was a favorite bathing spot for the Victorians and Georgians and its popularity has endured. From its maze of cobbled streets and bustling little harbor to the pastel-colored houses along its promenade and beautiful beaches, Dinbych y Pysgod (as it’s called in Welsh) has seaside charm by the bucketful. </p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/69165/the-uks-prettiest-small-towns-and-villages-2020?page=1"><strong>These are the UK's prettiest small towns and villages</strong></a></p>

Tenby, Wales, UK

This medieval walled town in Pembrokeshire was a favourite bathing spot for the Victorians and Georgians and its popularity has endured. From its maze of cobbled streets and bustling little harbour to the pastel-colored houses along its promenade and beautiful beaches, Dinbych y Pysgod (as it’s called in Welsh) has seaside charm by the bucketful. 

These are the UK's prettiest small towns and villages

<p>One of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa, Paternoster instantly charms with its white-washed fishermen's cottages and the remarkable coastline of jagged cliffs, white boulders and pristine sand. It's a significant location for the West Coast lobster industry with a lobster-canning factory nearby, while the local fishermen focus on small-scale angling and crayfish netting. It's no surprise, then, that it's lauded as the best chips and crayfish destination on the West Coast.</p>

Paternoster, South Africa

One of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa, Paternoster instantly charms with its white-washed fishermen's cottages and the remarkable coastline of jagged cliffs, white boulders and pristine sand. It's a significant location for the West Coast lobster industry with a lobster-canning factory nearby, while the local fishermen focus on small-scale angling and crayfish netting. It's no surprise, then, that it's lauded as the best chips and crayfish destination on the West Coast.

<p>The beautiful village of Percé has a stunning setting at the east end of the Gaspé Peninsula. A popular summer resort, there is plenty to entertain in the center, but the real draw here has to be its proximity to some natural wonders. Tens of thousands of northern gannets flock around Bonaventure Island, just off the coast of Percé and there's also the striking arch of Percé Rock, a towering, 1,420-foot (433m) long monolith rising from the ocean.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/101551/jawdropping-birdseyeview-photos-of-canada?page=1"><strong>Marvel at jaw-dropping bird's-eye-view photos of Canada</strong></a></p>

Percé, Québec, Canada

The beautiful village of Percé has a stunning setting at the east end of the Gaspé Peninsula. A popular summer resort, there is plenty to entertain in the centre, but the real draw here has to be its proximity to some natural wonders. Tens of thousands of northern gannets flock around Bonaventure Island, just off the coast of Percé and there's also the striking arch of Percé Rock, a towering, 1,420-foot (433m) long monolith rising from the ocean.

Marvel at jaw-dropping bird's-eye-view photos of Canada

Perched on a hillside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Madeira's Marina da Quinta Grande is a picture-perfect town. The white-washed, terracotta roofed-houses are beautifully arranged on a slope that leads down to a quaint harbor. Located near the eastern tip of the island, it's close to Ponta de São Lourenço, a nature reserve with several footpaths leading to scenic viewpoints.

Marina da Quinta Grande, Madeira, Portugal

Evoking the atmosphere of a Greek island, this much-less traveled but equally exquisite Tunisian town of Sidi Bou Said is a delightful name to have at the tip of your tongue. Its buildings are as milky-white and cobalt blue as the sea and sky, and it's not hard to see why the town has long attracted artists.

Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

<p>Bobbing on the harbor waters of the pretty port of Neuharlingersiel are brightly colored boats, known as cutters – one of many charming sights in this fishing town in Lower Saxony. From here travelers often hop on a ferry to the nearby East Frisian Islands, a chain of isles in the UNESCO-listed Wadden Sea and a popular vacation destination thanks to their sandy shores and rich traditions.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/96538/stunning-photos-of-sights-you-wont-believe-are-in-germany?page=1"><strong>Read more: stunning photos of sights you won't believe are in Germany</strong></a></p>

Neuharlingersiel, Germany

Bobbing on the harbour waters of the pretty port of Neuharlingersiel are brightly colored boats, known as cutters – one of many charming sights in this fishing town in Lower Saxony. From here travellers often hop on a ferry to the nearby East Frisian Islands, a chain of isles in the UNESCO-listed Wadden Sea and a popular vacation destination thanks to their sandy shores and rich traditions.

Read more: stunning photos of sights you won't believe are in Germany

<p>One of Iceland's most charming towns, quaint Húsavík is located in the island's northern reaches. A fishing village with just over 2,000 residents, the town has become a center for whale watching in Iceland due to the large variety of whale species frequently entering the bay. One of the town's most notable features is its colorful wooden church Húsavíkurkirkja, but more recently it's garnered attention as one of the key locations in Netflix's <em>Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga</em>.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/gallerylist/65474/stunning-film-locations-that-actually-exist"><strong>Discover more stunning film locations that actually exist</strong></a></p>

Húsavík, Iceland

One of Iceland's most charming towns, quaint Húsavík is located in the island's northern reaches. A fishing village with just over 2,000 residents, the town has become a centre for whale watching in Iceland due to the large variety of whale species frequently entering the bay. One of the town's most notable features is its colorful wooden church Húsavíkurkirkja, but more recently it's garnered attention as one of the key locations in Netflix's Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga .

Discover more stunning film locations that actually exist

<p>The town of Procida spans the whole island from which it gets its name. It’s the Bay of Naples’ smallest and sweetest island, avoiding the clamor of tourists that normally flock to neighboring islands, such as Capri. Littering the seaside are houses drenched in dazzling shades of pink, blue, yellow and more, their peeling paintwork adding to the effortless Italian charm.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/103411/the-worlds-most-beautiful-coasts?page=1"><strong>Now take a look at the world's most beautiful coasts</strong></a></p>

Procida, Italy

The town of Procida spans the whole island from which it gets its name. It’s the Bay of Naples’ smallest and sweetest island, avoiding the clamour of tourists that normally flock to neighbouring islands, such as Capri. Littering the seaside are houses drenched in dazzling shades of pink, blue, yellow and more, their peeling paintwork adding to the effortless Italian charm.

Now take a look at the world's most beautiful coasts

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Mainers may be able to see the northern lights due to strong solar storm

by WGME/The National Desk

{p}Northern lights photographed over Mt. Katahdin in August 2016. (New England Outdoor Center){/p}

Northern lights photographed over Mt. Katahdin in August 2016. (New England Outdoor Center)

There will be a chance to see the northern lights in Maine Friday night into early Saturday morning.

The U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center on Thursday issued a severe geomagnetic storm watch for a solar event which could impact a majority of Americans Friday into Saturday.

  • Also read: Sun finally returns before Mother's Day weekend brings mixed bag of weather conditions

Officials explained in a release they expect an eruption of solar material, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), to result in a geomagnetic storm. Along with the release was the rating of G4 for “severe,” which the agency has not issued since 2005.

“When [CMEs] arrive to Earth, a geomagnetic storm can result,” officials wrote. “Watches at this level are very rare.”

Also possible during geomagnetic storms are auroras, commonly known as northern lights.

The last geomagnetic storm to receive a G5, or “extreme,” rating was in 2003. That storm shut down power in Sweden and damaged power transformers in South Africa, NOAA said.

Those hoping to view an aurora should look to the skies late Friday night and early Saturday morning. The event will be most visible in dark places away from city lights.

  • Also read: Portland community garden closed due to high levels of arsenic in soil

All of Maine may be able to see the northern lights, however, the best chance for viewing is northern Maine.

It will be partly cloudy in Maine on Friday night and early Saturday morning.

towns to visit near camden maine

towns to visit near camden maine

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9 places to nosh on bagels in southern Maine

From old-school spots to foodie favorites, there's a 'hole' lot to try.

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towns to visit near camden maine

Bread and bagels at The Works Cafe in downtown Portland. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

From New York-style boiled bagels to Montreal-inspired wood-fired ones, there’s lots of great bagels in southern Maine and several shops have the accolades to back that up.

In 2023, Bon Appetit named bagels from Rose Foods and Rover Bagel among the best in the country.

Two years before that,  Food & Wine Magazine put Rover, Forage and Scratch Baking Co. on its list of best bagels in the U.S.

Whether you like yours toasted with cream cheese or as the bread for your breakfast sandwich, you can find plenty of styles and flavors from Biddeford to Brunswick.

BEACH BAGELS

The offerings at Beach Bagels include a French toast and marble bagel, and the cream cheese menu comprises spreads like strawberry, olive and honey walnut. Along with breakfast sandwiches, Beach Bagels has hearty breakfast options like omelets and pancakes. Best of all, you’re steps away from a beach stroll. Just don’t let the seagulls steal your bagel. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily WHERE: 34 Old Orchard St., Old Orchard Beach. beachbagels.yolasite.com ______________

Dutchman’s opened in 2022 as a pop-up housed at Nomad pizza in Brunswick’s Fort Andross building. It’s since become a permanent fixture there and uses the pizzeria’s wood-fired ovens to bake its bagels. The hand-shaped, honey-boiled bagels come in plain, roasted garlic, poppy and a bagel-of-the-day flavor.

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday to Sunday WHERE: Fort Andross, 14 Maine St., Brunswick. dutchmans.me ______________

FORAGE MARKET

Making bagels at Forage Market involves a two-day aging process. The bagels are naturally leavened with wild yeast starter and baked next to a hardwood fire. There are usually five flavors available, including sesame and garlic. Breakfast sandwiches (including vegan options) are available. Forage also has a location in Lewiston. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday WHERE: 123 Washington Ave., Portland. foragemarket.com _____________

MISTER BAGEL

There are 10 or so Mister Bagel locations in Maine, including South Portland and Falmouth. It all began with the Portland location, which was the first bagel shop to open in Maine. The late Rick Hartglass started Mister Bagel in 1977, and it is still a family business. Music fans will appreciate the breakfast sandwich menu, which includes The David Bowie (bacon, egg and American cheese), the Jimmy Buffett (egg with roast beef and cheddar) and The Lady Gaga (avocado, salt and pepper, with or without egg).

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday WHERE: 599 Forest Ave., Portland. misterbagelforestave.com ______________

At Rose Foods, the menu varies depending on the day, but there are usually six to eight flavors available. For example, should you pop in on a Friday, you’ll find a poppy and onion bialy (a cousin of the bagel that is not boiled). Rose Foods also makes a number of bagel sandwiches, including the Classic Nova with Nova lox and the Classic Whitefish. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily WHERE: 428 Forest Ave., Portland. rosefoods.me

______________

ROVER BAGEL

At Rover Bagel, you’ll find wood-fired plain, poppy, sea salt, sesame and everything bagels available most of the time, and the spread game here is strong with cream cheese options like lemon-thyme-honey cream and chili-garlic.

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon Sunday WHERE: 10 West Point Lane Suite 10-204, Biddeford (Pepperell Mill). roverbagel.com

______________ Advertisement

SCRATCH BAKING CO.

You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the line of devoted fans waiting for Scratch Baking Co. to open, especially on weekend mornings. Along with the popular Maine sea salt, plain and other everyday flavors, Scratch has a daily special bagel. There’s honeyed rosemary on Wednesday and jalapeno cheddar on Thursday. Scratch is also famous, at least to locals, for its P-Cheese spread. It’s a pimento cheese recipe made with cheddar, mayo, roasted red peppers and seasoning and was passed down to co-owner and head baker Allison Reid by her grandmother, Mern.

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to noon Sunday WHERE: 416 Preble St., South Portland. scratchbakingco.com ___________

THE MAINE BAGEL

The Maine Bagel is a drive-thru with several breakfast and other kinds of sandwiches available. With a bagel list that features egg and bialy among the standards, the family-owned spot is the perfect place to stop on your way to Pine Point Beach. The Maine Bagel really shines with a dozen kinds of cream cheese spreads, including raisin-walnut, lox, strawberry, cranberry-nut and bacon-chive.

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. WHERE: 117 Route 1, Scarborough. themainebagel.com Advertisement

THE WORKS CAFE

The Works Cafe is an institution on the edge of the Portland’s Old Port. It opened in 1990 as Bagel Works before it changed its name in 2002. The original shop in this regional chain opened in Manchester, Vermont, in 1988, and there are 11 locations around New England, though just the one in Maine. Gone are the ’90s-era banana-walnut bagels and cold pizza cream cheese, but The Works Cafe is still a reliable place to grab a salt, multigrain or cinnamon raisin bagel, among others. The menu also has bowls, sandwiches and smoothies.

WHEN: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily WHERE: 15 Temple St., Portland. workscafe.com

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The Best Places to Stay in Portland, Maine

By Nicole Kliest

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Close your eyes and picture a summer setting—and if it includes the sights, sounds, and smells of the sea coupled with al fresco meals and sun-drenched activities, take this as your sign to book a trip to Portland, Maine. This coastal city is beloved for its Old Port and storybook lighthouses, and while lobster rolls and clam chowder are famously on offer, the food scene is diverse and thriving, so be sure to swing by a couple of food trucks while in town and don’t miss out on the craft beer scene, either.

Whether you spend your days at sea on a whale-watching tour or strolling through the maze of picturesque cobblestone streets, booking a charming home base for your getaway is a must. Ahead, explore the best places to stay while in Portland, Maine, from quaint bed and breakfasts to boutique hotels housed in historic buildings.

Longfellow Hotel

Image may contain Architecture Building Dining Room Dining Table Furniture Indoors Room Table Lamp and Restaurant

This 48-room Small Luxury Hotels of the World property finally opens its doors this summer in Portland’s historic West End. It’s the first independent, full-service hotel to open in the city in two decades and is owned and operated by Uncommon Hospitality , with design by Post Company . The hotel’s food and beverage amenities will include wellness-focused Twinflower Café and a European-style lobby bar named Five of Clubs. The spa, Astraea, will be a particular highlight with private infrared sauna rooms and experiences tailored toward massage and meditation. Longfellow will also offer a complimentary house car that can provide guest transportation into the Old Port—a must when visiting.

Amenities: Restaurant, spa, bar, bicycle rentals

Address: 754 Congress St, Portland, ME, 04102

The Blind Tiger

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Arranged across a pair of renovated 19th-century homes in the West End, this boutique property blends the coziness of a guest house with the amenities of a discerning hotel. Blind Tiger on Danforth is set in a Federal-style mansion house, while Blind Tiger on Carleton occupies an 1869 Victorian townhouse. The rooms are decorated with local artwork, vintage furniture pieces, and layers of decor accents collected over time, adding to the nostalgic feel. While here, be sure to borrow the property’s picnic blanket and baskets for a day in the sun, or head for the historic speakeasy turned billiard room for an after-dinner tipple.

Amenities: Breakfast, billiards, fitness center, on-site parking

Address: 163 Danforth Street, Portland, ME 04102

Black Point Inn

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This beachfront hotel is located a few minutes from Portland proper in the Prouts Neck area, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on three sides. The property was originally built in 1878, and now offers 25 rooms and suites, each with individual furnishings and design schemes. There are several areas for guests to sprawl out, from the Sun Porch (stocked with games and books) to the Legendary Cliff Walk (a 1.75-mile trek that winds along the shoreline). Bikes, kayaks, and a pool are also among the offerings, as well as The Chart Room, the hotel’s main restaurant with breathtaking food and locally sourced cuisine.

Amenities: Restaurant, fitness center, tennis courts, private beach, swimming pool

Address: 510 Black Point Road, Scarborough, ME 04074

The Press Hotel

Image may contain Plant Chair Furniture Pen Indoors Interior Design Lamp Home Decor Desk Table Art and Painting

Housed in the historic headquarters of the Portland Press Herald , this Autograph Collection hotel spills across seven different floors with nods to the building’s history (think typewriters and printing press motifs). Even the rooms and suites take design cues from the newspaper; each one comes with a vintage-style ‘journalist’ desk, wood floors, herringbone area rugs, and local artwork. The hotel’s Union restaurant is hyper-focused on sourcing local ingredients from land to sea, including honey harvested on their very own rooftop.

Amenities: Restaurant, bar, fitness center, airport shuttle

Address: 119 Exchange Street, Portland, ME 04101

Inn by the Sea

A picturesque oceanfront resort merely a few minutes from Portland, the Inn by the Sea is quintessential Maine. Book one of the property’s Beach Suites to enjoy an outdoor patio and deck overlooking the water, and be sure to begin each morning with a peaceful stroll along the mile of sandy beach. The hotel’s restaurant, Sea Glass, offers an afternoon tea service complete with a lobster roll and front-row views of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean.

Amenities: Restaurant, bar, swimming pool, fitness center, spa, private beach

Address: 40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

Pomegranate Inn

Image may contain Home Decor Lamp Chair Furniture Bed Desk Table Rug Book Publication Cushion Art and Painting

Vibrant and eccentric, this bed and breakfast is a celebration of color and print. It’s housed within an 1884-era building and each room flaunts unique qualities, such as fireplaces with intricate hearths, large windows, and painted murals. And because this is a B&B, expect a lovely breakfast each morning consisting of fresh bites such as an egg and asparagus scramble served with fresh pastries and coffee.

Amenities: Breakfast, fireplaces, pet-friendly

Address: 49 Neal Street Portland, ME 04102

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Where to see northern lights Saturday night, what times they will be visible

A severe geomagnetic storm powered by five coronal ejections from the sun will result in a vivid aurora borealis. Here are some tips for seeing it this weekend.

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This article has been updated to include a recap of Friday’s aurora activity and Saturday’s forecast.

One of the strongest geomagnetic storms in two decades hit Earth on Friday afternoon, with more activity continuing through the weekend.

Friday’s storm already brought beautiful northern lights displays as far south as Mexico. It also disrupted some power grids and radio and GPS communications, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Geomagnetic storms occur when the sun sends a punch of charged particles and parts of its magnetic field to Earth, often through eruptions from its surface called coronal mass ejections. This severe geomagnetic storm — rated a Level 5 out of 5 — resulted from numerous coronal mass ejections this week, some of which are catching up with one another as they hurtle through space.

Forecasters said the sun has launched additional coronal mass ejections , which could extend geomagnetic activity and displays of the northern lights through this weekend and into early next week.

Both Saturday and Sunday nights could offer more celestial viewing, though early Sunday morning and Sunday evening could be more promising, with displays as far south as Friday night if forecasts hold.

Here’s what you need to know about your chances to see the aurora and threats to satellite systems.

Where are the best places to see the northern lights this weekend?

The northern lights appeared unusually far south in the Northern Hemisphere on Friday night. People snapped photos in Italy, southern Switzerland and India. In North America, people reported sightings in Florida, Southern California and even Mexico.

In the Southern Hemisphere, aurora were photographed in Chile , Argentina and New Zealand , where they are known as aurora australis or the southern lights. Activity was exceptionally strong Friday night to Saturday morning Eastern time, hitting a Level of 5 out of 5.

Current NOAA models show geomagnetic storm activity will initially be less intense Saturday night. By the pre-dawn hours Sunday, however, storm activity may increase markedly, offering early risers a memorable display of the northern lights, especially after around 4 a.m. Eastern. The exact timing of the increase in storminess is very uncertain, though.

If the storm activity reaches a Level 4 or 5 early Sunday, which NOAA indicates is possible, the northern lights may become visible again in most of the United States.

A secondary peak in the current solar storms appears likely... pic.twitter.com/WMlbGKNfaB — NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (@NWSSWPC) May 12, 2024

When the storm activity increases, the aurora will tend to be most vibrant in northern areas and will become more faint to the south — in some places only visible through cameras.

“Cellphones are much better than our eyes at capturing light,” Brent Gordon, chief of NOAA’s Space Weather Services Branch, said in a news conference Friday. “Just go out your back door and take a picture with a newer cellphone, and you’d be amazed at what you see in that picture versus what you see with your eyes.”

If severe to extreme geomagnetic storm activity (Levels 4 and 5) lasts into the evening Sunday, the northern lights may continue to be visible unusually far south for yet another night.

Will the aurora be blocked by clouds?

Even if geomagnetic activity is high, clouds can block out the light show. Unfortunately, considerable cloud cover will blanket the Northeast and south-central United States, although some gaps in the cloud canopy are probable. Clear skies are most likely over the Midwest, Southeast and Western United States.

If you are in a cloud-free area, make sure you find a dark sky location away from city lights.

What will the aurora look like near me?

Not all auroras look the same. Some are undulating bright green and purple curtains, and others are a diffuse red and orange glow. The colors and structure of the aurora appear differently depending on the latitude and altitude.

Auroras are created when solar particles and plasma temporarily disturb Earth’s magnetosphere. Some solar particles get trapped along Earth’s magnetic field lines into the upper atmosphere. Here, they excite nitrogen and oxygen molecules and release photons of light in different colors. Excited oxygen atoms shine red when they are more than 120 miles above the surface and glow green from 60 to 120 miles. Excited nitrogen atoms give off pink or purple hues below 120 miles.

Dancing green or purple auroras are typically seen at higher latitudes. Lower latitudes usually see more red auroras because red occurs at higher altitudes and can be seen further away from the poles. If you’re in the mid-latitudes (in Virginia or Arizona, for example), your aurora may appear more red than those in Canada or Finland.

Will this affect communications systems or the power grid?

A severe geomagnetic storm can cause issues with power systems, spacecraft operations, radio communications and even pipeline systems, if not appropriately prepared for.

“Our role is to alert the operators of these different systems so that they’re aware and can take actions to mitigate these kinds of impacts,” Rob Steenburgh, a space scientist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, said at a news conference Friday.

Steenburgh and his colleagues work with grid operators across North America to ensure high-voltage transmission lines can withstand the incoming surge of energy from the sun. Over past decades, engineers have built systems that can protect power lines rapidly and keep them online during geomagnetic storms.

Geomagnetic storms can also affect satellite and radio communications, sometimes interfering with signals transmitted in our ionosphere. Anyone using high-frequency radio in the aurora viewing zone may experience some disruptions, said Shawn Dahl, service coordinator for the Space Weather Prediction Center. Under some circumstances, the influx of solar particles can cause low-Earth orbiting satellites to drag lower into the atmosphere.

For the most part, individuals should not be affected or take extra precautions beyond what they might for a typical severe weather storm. If a power outage does occur, people should make sure they have batteries, weather radio and a generator, if necessary.

“They don’t need to do anything out of the extraordinary, if they’ve already got these measures taken care of, because these events are very rare,” Dahl said.

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

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    The park's most famous trail leads to the top of Mount Battie, where a stone tower provides stunning views of the region. Visitors can also explore the park's campgrounds and picnic areas, and enjoy bird watching. Address: 280 Belfast Rd, Camden, ME 04843, United States. Hours: Open daily from 9 am - sunset.

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    Take in the View from Mount Battie. If you want to know one of the absolute best things to do in Camden, Maine, it is undoubtedly to take in the view of the gorgeous Camden Harbor from Mount Battie. As the highest peak surrounding the town, getting to the top of this hill on a clear day will provide beautiful views of Camden below along with a ...

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    Hike or drive up Mount Battie. This small stone tower sits at the top of Mount Battie, where a former hotel once stood. At the top, visitors can see expansive views of Penobscot Bay. One of the most popular things to do in Camden ME is to hike or drive to the top of Mount Battie. The view of the town and harbor from this summit is spectacular.

  19. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Camden

    11. Camden Opera House. 19. Theaters. Historic downtown venue presents live music, films, theater, dance and more, year-round. Originally opened in 1894 and restored to Victorian glory a hundred years later, the Camden Opera House is the go-to for all kinds of entertainment, as well as the annual Camden Conference.

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    About a 25-minute drive from Camden, Owls Head State Park is located on the end of a peninsula with a bluff that towers 100 feet over Penobscot Bay. Below the bluff is a small rocky beach, from which you get a beautiful view of Rockland. The main attraction at the park, though, is Owls Head Light, which was built in 1852.

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    Like Camden, York also has a beautiful lighthouse to visit, Nubble Light, which has been open since 1879 and sits perched on a tiny island. Just about 15 minutes outside of York, hikers can visit the Mt. Agamenticus Region, a 10,000-acre reserve with more than 40 miles of trails and beautiful views from the Mountain's 692-foot summit.

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  25. Mainers may be able to see the northern lights due to strong ...

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    Ahead, explore the best places to stay while in Portland, Maine, from quaint bed and breakfasts to boutique hotels housed in historic buildings. Longfellow Hotel

  29. Where to see northern lights Saturday night, what times they will be

    The northern lights, formerly known as aurora borealis, appeared in the early-morning hours of April 24, 2023, near Washtucna, Wash. Another solar storm is causing a vivid aurora that is expected ...