THE LOCAL’S TRAVEL GUIDE TO CAMDEN, MAINE
Whenever I travel, I find myself yearning to do whatever it is the locals do. To me, talking to the locals, going to the restaurants and places they go, and walking around while you do so, is how you truly get to know a town or city. It’s also where you can receive the best recommendations. Let’s be honest, a lot of places that we encounter along our travels are “tourist traps.” You know the deal… It’s rated #1 on TripAdvisor + Yelp, but really it’s nothing special. I try to avoid tourist traps at all costs, because they’re exactly that, tourist traps. Not worth your time or hard earned money!
I grew up on the coast of Maine (Owls Head to be exact), which is an area about half way up the coastline of Maine (known as the Midcoast area). The Midcoast is brimming with cute little towns that beg to be explored. Camden, Maine is one of those towns that makes up the Midcoast, that’s so quaint, it will have you dreaming of packing your bags and calling the moving truck. It overlooks beautiful Penobscot Bay, has a very walkable downtown Main Street, and is a wonderful foodie destination. In my opinion, the best time to visit is in September when the majority of tourists have cleared out; when the weather’s still sunny and warm during the day, yet a bit crisp during the evening and morning. The perfect cozy town for cuddling up with a cup of clam chowder, a blanket, and a good book. Continue reading to find my top picks for things you need to do in Camden, Maine and my complete Camden, Maine travel guide.
WHERE TO STAY:
- 16 Bay View
- Grand Harbor Inn
- Whitehall Inn
- Lord Camden Inn
- 250 Main Hotel (located in nearby Rockland; You an read more about my amazing weekend there by clicking here)
- Samoset Resort (located in nearby Rockport; a great option if you have kids since there’s an indoor + outdoor pool)
- Inn at Ocean’s Edge (located in nearby Lincolnville)
WHERE TO EAT:
COFFEE / BREAKFAST:
- Bagel Café
- Marriner’s Restaurant
- Zoot Coffee
- Home Kitchen Café (located in nearby Rockland)
- Long Grain (the best Thai you’ll ever have that I crave 24/7. Make a reservation even for lunch because they have a very small space)
- Rhumb Line (get the lobster roll, fish tacos, + the “Skinny Dip” cocktail)
- The Waterfront
- Peter Ott’s
- Long Grain (the best Thai you’ll ever have. Make a reservation because they have a very small space).
- Rhumb Line
- Hoxbill (EDIT: Just added this as of October 2017. A new restaurant with a great wine list, delicious food, + gorgeous design)
- Francine’s Bistro
- Peter Ott’s (great for steaks + their lobster corn chowder is out of this world)
- 40 Paper
- The Waterfront
- 18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill (located in nearby Rockport)
- Fresh + Co.
- Primo (located in nearby Rockland)
NOTABLE SPOTS / THINGS TO DO:
- Camden Hills State Park / Hike Mt. Battie (Note: you can also drive up if you’re just interested in seeing the view or if the weather’s bad)
- Go sailing (this is a good option + also here + here)
- Have a picnic or just take a blanket and lounge in Camden Harbor Park / Amphitheater
- Sip wine and treat yourself to a wine tasting at Cellardoor Winery in nearby Lincolnville (SUCH a gorgeous property both inside + out)
- Walk the Rockland Breakwater in nearby Rockland, Maine (almost a mile long each way + leads to a beautiful lighthouse. Don’t forget your sneakers)!
- Take a boat to Curtis Island Light
- Relax at Lincolnville Beach
- Go apple picking at Hope Orchards (if visiting in the fall)
- Hike a trail to Beech Hill Preserve
- Explore some of the many art galleries, including the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland
WHERE TO SHOP:
- Jo Ellen Designs (one of my favorite gift shops EVER. Trust me, you’ll want everything).
- Sea Bags
- The Smiling Cow
- Swans Island
WHEN TO VISIT:
While Camden, Maine is gorgeous all year round, I recommend visiting in the summer or fall. If you like things more lively and don’t mind being around other tourists, the middle of August is a great time to visit. It’s when the weather’s the best for sitting on a patio and enjoying a glass of rosé paired with a lobster roll. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the cooler weather, and want a slower-paced, more relaxed atmosphere, the fall is also a great time to visit. For optimal leaf-peeping, plan on visiting near the end of September or the beginning of October.
Any questions about traveling to Midcoast Maine, Camden, Maine, or Maine in general? I’d be happy to help. You can comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to check out my Instagram for snaps of my weekend home in Maine.