Midcoast Maine is proud of its maritime heritage, and Camden is an excellent and well-preserved example of a classic New England village, located on the East Coast of the United States. Seasons pop in this area of the world, and from crystal-clear summer days to the flaming red trees of autumn, winter blankets of snow to the slow spring drip, life here in Maine is richer and more deliberate. The apples taste better, the blueberries are wild, the pies are whoopie and the windjammers are wooden.
The population of this small town triples in the fine summer months as tourists head north for cooler weather and ocean breezes. Penobscot Bay offers some of the finest sailing in the world, and the family-owned restaurants of Camden serve the freshest Maine lobster, whether you like it smashed in a lobster roll or fresh out of the shell and dipped in butter. Galleries abound, and from fine arts to handmade pottery the cute shops of the town offer a wide variety of choices for the aesthetically astute.
From May to October, traditional wooden schooners as well as slick modern yachts cruise the brisk navy waters of Maine, and you can book a week as an apprentice deckhand or set sail on an afternoon island-hopping trip via Appledore cruises. The wooden lines, hemp sails and salty sea captains of these vessels make them living historic characters. Small green islands dot the Bay and you can also explore them via ferry or grab a ride out on a lobster boat.
For a sweeping view of Camden harbor as well as adjacent Rockport and Rockland harbors, climb up to the top of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park. Less than an hour hike (or a ten-minute car ride), the trail ends at a stone turret from which you can observe sailboats whipping along the ocean waves, rivers embedded in the thick green mountains, and people going about their days like ants with clocks. Plenty of wandering trails snake along the easy hills, offering ample opportunities to explore the lush forests one step and one deep breath at a time.
Any time of year, the Camden Snow Bowl
offers fun and excitement and is the only ski resort on the Atlantic coast that can boast panoramic views of the ocean. In summer the slopes make a fine hike, and in winter you can barrel down them on skis, a snowboard, or perhaps you’d like a try at one of the oldest wooden toboggan chutes in existence? No giant resort, this park area is a family affair and reeks charm, from the grilled cheese sandwiches served in the deli to the kids playing hockey on the frozen lake next door.
Camden Windward House Bed & Breakfast: traditional B&B, steps to the harbor
: full service country inn with pub, restaurant, central and charming
Lord Camden Inn
: luxury boutique inn with impeccable service, suites available
: located in nearby Rockland, the only true 5* resort in the area.