Welcome to Camden, Maine “the village where the mountains meet the sea.” A beautiful seaside community of white, steepled churches, stately homes, excellent restaurants, unique shops and galleries. One of Maine's loveliest coastal villages surrounding a picturesque harbor, one of the most photographed in New England. You are sure to fall in love with this great small town of simple pleasures and unforgettable sunrises.
Just a short ride or walk from the center of town is Camden Hills State Park with its thirty miles of trails throughout the slopes of Mount Battie. Be sure to allow time to enjoy the panoramic and magnificent view of Camden harbor, Penobscot Bay and the surrounding islands. Take a picnic lunch, drive up the auto road or hike one of the trails to the top and take advantage of the breathtaking views and excellent photographic opportunities.
There is always something to do in the area, no matter what the season. Summer and autumn are, of course, the most popular times of the year. Not only for the beautiful weather of the mid-coast, but also for the activities available. Picnicking and hiking on Mount Battie are only the beginning. Rent a kayak and paddle on the quiet, crystal clear waters of Lake Megunticook, or off shore to the many islands outside the harbor. Swim in the warm waters of the lakes or in the brisk waters of the Atlantic. Relax on one of the peaceful, uncrowded beaches. Certainly, no visit is complete without spending some time sailing.
In 1936, Captain Frank Swift started using windjammers to transport passengers instead of cargo. Thanks to Captain Swift, today you can enjoy a totally relaxing cruise on the protected waters of Penobscot Bay. Sit back and watch the beautiful blue hills of Camden and the peaceful uninhabited islands, go by. You may even observe some of the local sea life; the gulls and osprey, the porpoises and seals playing in the water around you. Camden is now home to the largest schooner fleet in the world and you are invited to journey aboard one of these magnificent ships into the sailing life of yesterday, experience the romance and adventure of a time when your destination was determined by the wind and tide. One of the best times for this experience is Labor Day weekend, which is Windjammer Weekend in Camden, when the harbor is filled with the beautiful sailing vessels of a bygone era. » More about Canden Cruises
Another excellent way to enjoy the waters around Camden is to board a ferry to one of the outlying islands. North Haven, Vinalhaven and Islesboro all invite you to come out and see what island life is like. Many areas are virtually unchanged from the way they were long ago. Take a bike along, the roads are perfect for peddling along and taking in the sights. While you're out on the water, don't miss the area lighthouses. Maine has more than any other state. There are 3 locally. Curtis Island Light, and 10 more less than an hour's drive away. Back on the mainland, visit the Lighthouse Museum in nearby Rockport.
If staying ashore is more your preference you will find even more ways to enjoy our area. Bring your bike or rent one in town, then set out for a day of cruising past crystal clear lakes and along the rolling countryside. Another option is to take what Yankee magazine called "the most beautiful walk in New England." Follow Chestnut Street out of town toward Rockport, past beautiful gardens and beyond Aldermere Farm. Stop and watch the Galloway Belted Cattle at Aldermere, specially bred beef cattle with the wide white band around their middle. Walk on to Vesper Hill Children's Chapel, the open air chapel on the bluff over the bay, a popular place for summer weddings.
Another way to spend a beautiful afternoon is on a great golf course where the challenging fairways are only equaled by the setting they are in. If you're ready for a quieter time, come see Camden's fine library with it's noted collection of maritime paintings and ship models. During its expansion the library was built underground to preserve the amphitheater park and historic landscapes of the area. Visit the third floor reading room, pick from the many books about Maine, or browse magazines and newspapers while gazing out at the peaceful, yacht filled harbor.
While you're in Camden don't miss the fine museums of the area. Owl's Head Transportation Museum has a wonderful display of antique and historic planes and vehicles. The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland is one of the finest regional art museums in the country and has gained national recognition for its permanent collection, which spans three centuries and specializes in Maine and American art.
When you've worked up a good appetite with your exploration of the area, return to Camden for a great meal at one of our many restaurants. Whether you want to be seated and served a multi-course meal in an elegant setting, or you want to sit at a picnic table and enjoy a great Maine lobster, yards from where they are caught, or anything in between, you can find it here. » Links for restaurants
When winter comes there are still many things to do in and around Camden. The pace slows during our quiet season, but along with this comes a peaceful and stately calm. Most of the shops and restaurants are still open for your pleasure. The village is less crowded and a leisurely stroll is a great way to spend the day, then return to the Captain Swift Inn to rest and warm up. If you want some real outdoor exercise the Camden Snow Bowl is open. There you can ski one of their eleven trails while enjoying the panoramic views of the only ski area in the country with views of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also enjoy tubing, cross country skiing, snow tubing and snow boarding. For some real fun, try the toboggan run which is used in February for the National toboggan championships. Also, available for your pleasure are ice skating, ice fishing, snow shoeing and ice boating.
Don't miss the Christmas by the Sea celebration the first weekend of December. Come see how the holidays were celebrated in a simpler time. Join the fun as the tree is lighted on the village green, watch Santa arrive by lobster boat, listen to the carolers entertaining the town in costume, including top hats and bonnets. Take a ride in a horse drawn sleigh.
There are things to see and do in all seasons in Camden. Come and join us in the fun. We know you'll fall in love with the town, just as we have done.
Be sure to check out our Links page for more area attractions.