Camden vacation guide, ME

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Camden in Maine is a seaside town as classic as they come. This New England destination, where the mountains meet the sea, lure visitors in with its cute downtown area and jaw-dropping nature. A Camden vacation truly offers the perfect setting for a memorable getaway.

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Camden vacation guide

Best things to do in Camden

From the picture-perfect downtown Camden to the rolling Camden Hills, the best things to do when visiting Camden showcase the gorgeous coastal Maine.

Explore the charming downtown Camden

Camden is constantly mentioned as one of the prettiest towns in the US. When you explore Camden’s charming downtown area, it’s easy to see why.

Prefer rising hills or the ocean as your backdrop? Camden is beautifully sandwiched in between Camden Hills and Penobscot Bay.

But Camden is also fun. In the downtown area you find fascinating galleries, tasty restaurants and cute shops to enjoy on your Camden vacation.

Full of deliciousness, Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe has become a Camden institution. With so much to choose from and a fun atmosphere, visitors of all ages feel like kids again at Uncle Willy’s.

Within steps of the streets of activity, Camden Harbor Park brings peacefulness. Overlooking the harbor, the park is the perfect spot to watch boats come and go.

Camden Harbor, Maine
The peaceful Camden Harbor.

Elevate yourself in Camden Hills State Park

Camden Hills State Park makes it as easy as ever to spend time in nature during your Camden getaway. Just a stone’s throw from downtown Camden, eager visitors hike up the rolling coastal hills.

There are more than 30 miles (48 km) of trails in Camden Hills State Park. So you can easily spend several days exploring the park.

But the most famous Camden hike, and the first one to tick off when you visit Camden, is the Mount Battie Trail. From the Mount Battie Trailhead, it’s a little over 0.5 mile (0.8 km) to the trail’s top.

Although it’s a rather short hike, the views from Mount Battie’s summit are spectacular. On the top of Mount Battie, at the landmark Mount Battie Tower, you can take in the magical views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay.

The scenery, showcasing Maine’s rocky coastline, is jaw-dropping.

To make one of the best things to do in Camden even better, bring a picnic with you to the top of Mount Battie. If any place offers a picnic with a view, it’s Mount Battie.

Rather drive up to the Penobscot Bay overlook on Mount Battie? Conveniently so, Mount Battie Road also makes it possible to drive all the way up to the breathtaking Camden summit.

Light up your Camden vacation at Curtis Island Light

Maine is known for its many lighthouses. The plentiful historic beacons, there are 65 of them, still to this day provide protection for seafarers.

Camden’s proud representative is Curtis Island Light. Located on Curtis Island, at the Camden Harbor entrance, it’s an attraction that’s easy to miss if you don’t know where to look.

Curtis Island Light is a hidden Camden gem.

But it’s just roughly a mile (1.6 km) from Camden’s downtown area to the Curtis Island Lighthouse Overlook. From there, tucked away from Bay View Street, you can admire the Maine and Camden icon across the water.

If you want to get an even closer view, you need to go out on the water. However, even from a distance, enjoying Curtis Island Lighthouse is one of the best things to do in Camden.

Curtis Island and Curtis Island Light
Curtis Island Light as seen from the mainland.

Discover the nearby Rockland

You truly find an abundance of cute seaside towns in Maine. Rockland, just 8 miles (13 km) and 15 minutes by car away, makes an already great Camden trip even better.

For art lovers Rockland’s Farnsworth Art Museum stands out. Its collection of American works is inspiring and an unparalleled addition to the best things to do in Camden.

If you rather want to learn more about lighthouses, Maine Lighthouse Museum calls your name. With interesting facts and memorabilia it’s an attraction that impressively highlights Maine’s rich maritime history.

In Rockland you also find one of the most iconic Maine lighthouses, Rockland Breakwater Light.

At the end of the Rockland Breakwater, more than 4,000 feet (1,200 m) long, the lighthouse is remarkably positioned. Although it’s a bit of a walk to get out there, the scenic views and salty air makes it worth every step.

Day trip to Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is both Maine’s and New England’s only national park. Luckily for Camden vacationers, the coastal park is within day-trip distance.

From Camden, it’s 72 miles (116 km) and 1.5 hours to drive up to Acadia National Park.

In Acadia nature lovers effortlessly explore the sights along the park’s loop road. Say hello to easily accessible beaches, lakes and mountains.

Then there’s Acadia’s answer to Camden’s Mount Battie.

Cadillac Mountain is with its 1,530 feet (466 m) the tallest mountain along the United States’ Atlantic coastline. Overlooking Frenchman Bay adds even more great views to the perfect Camden itinerary.

Red chair at pond in Acadia National Park, ME.
Long Pond in Acadia National Park, ME.

Sail along Camden’s coastline

Penobscot Bay, almost 40 miles (64 km) long, is home to an abundance of islands, lighthouses and wildlife. It’s a paradise for activities on the water.

Most of all the elegant windjammer ship is a Camden symbol. But Camden offers a boat tour for every occasion.

A popular alternative is a lighthouse cruise. Curtis Island Light and Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse are just two of many picturesque lighthouses in the region.

On an eco cruise you focus more on the area’s wildlife. Camden is as appreciated by seals as by its human visitors.

Or maybe a relaxing sunset sail is what you’re really after for your Camden vacation? Every time the sun sets on Penobscot Bay is something special.

Where to stay in Camden

No matter where you stay in Camden, you find a delightful atmosphere. But for easy walking distance to restaurants and shops, stay in or near downtown Camden.

16 Bay View – Top location on the bay

For unique harbor views on your Camden vacation, don’t miss out on 16 Bay View. The luxury hotel, overlooking Camden Harbor and amid by eateries and shops, is exceptionally positioned.

Its iconic rooftop terrace is even a Camden attraction on its own. Up there with views of Camden Harbor and Camden Hills State Park it’s hard to imagine a prettier spot for a drink.

The Belmont Inn – Traditional Maine style

Rather stay at a quintessential New England inn? Then don’t miss out on the Belmont Inn.

Slightly hidden a few streets away from the waterfront but still near the best Camden activities, its location is convenient. However, it’s above all the romantic ambience that makes guests return year after year.

Camden trips and itineraries

Do you plan a bigger Camden trip? Then check out these Camden itineraries.

Boston to Acadia road trip

The Boston to Acadia National Park road trip takes you from Massachusetts to New England’s only national park. On the way to Acadia you explore Rockland, Camden and much more.

New York to Maine road trip

Do you want to explore New England’s entire coastline? Then the New York for Maine road trip is for you. It starts in the city that never sleeps and traces the coastline all the way up to Acadia National Park.

Ultimate New England road trip

If you want to go deeper into the New England region, the ultimate New England road trip is for you. It’s a journey that includes not only coastal Maine but also the White Mountans and the Green Mountains.

Fall folliage on New England road trip
A remarkable New England road trip.

Camden vacation guide FAQ

Where is Camden located?

Camden is beautifully positioned between Portland and Bar Harbor on Maine’s central coast. The town, where the mountains meet the sea, is also located less than 200 miles (322 km) from Boston.

What is Camden known for?

Sandwiched in between rising hills and the ocean, Camden is a town where you’re always close to nature. However, also with a cute downtown area, Camden offers something for every traveler.

How far is it from Camden to Rockland, Maine?

As it’s just 8 miles (13 km) and 15 minutes by car from Camden to Rockland, it’s easy to combine the two. Even closer, you find Rockport for even more sightseeing in the area.

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