Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Camden, ME

  • Published 2022/07/11

Camden is a place most people have heard of when it comes to vacations and holidays.

Located near Mount Battie, it is such a beautiful place that even strolling on its streets will feel like an adventure.

The town is also known as a “peaceful seaport” because of its location.

Camden is a vacation-perfect destination situated right in the heart of nature.

Home to a large flock of boats, diverse wildlife, and natural attractions, this town will definitely make your heart skip a beat.

Here are the best things to do in Camden, Maine:

Enjoy the Majestic Scenes at Mount Battie and Camden Hills State Park

A tower at Mount Battie and Camden Hills state Park

Natalia Bratslavsky /

The perfect way to start your vacation in Camden is to enjoy a hike up Mount Battie and visit Camden Hills State Park.

Covering almost 6,000 acres of land, Camden Hills State Park is a wonderful place to enjoy natural views, lakes, hills, and other outdoor adventures.

Tourists admiring the view from Mount Battie and Camden Hills State Park

jenlo8 /

You can also pack a lunch and enjoy your food in the picnic areas or the specifically designed campgrounds.

The views from Maiden’s Cliff in Camden State Park are so mesmerizing that they are believed to be the inspiration behind Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem, Renaissance.

View of the coast from Mount Battie and Camden Hills State Park

E.J.Johnson Photography /

Join in on the Festivities at Camden Harbor Park and Amphitheatre

The sizeable Camden Harbor Park and Amphitheatre are located on the grounds of the Camden Public Library.

The amphitheater was designed by the very famous architect Fletcher Stelle, while Harbor Park was designed by the Olmsted brothers in 1928.

Camden Harbor Park is a perfect place to enjoy the views of the harbor.

Be it any social event from lavish weddings to graduation ceremonies, fares to concerts, and picnics to festivals and art productions, the parks are the usual venues for all the city’s major activities.

The park’s beautiful gardens are very calming and definitely worth checking out.

Participate in Exciting Events in and around Camden

A very famous festival organized during the winter season, Christmas by the Sea is a unique yet perfect way to enjoy your holiday in Camden.

The entire week is lively and fun, as people from Camden and the nearby towns of Rockport and Lincolnville gather together and enjoy activities like decorating, singing, dancing, sharing cuisines, and much more.

Winters in Camden are quite cold, but this week grows a feeling of warmth in the hearts of all visitors.

Another famous festival that is organized in Camden during the winter season offers the visitors a very Alaskan vibe.

The US National Toboggan Championship is an excellent way to enjoy the city’s local culture in a unique way.

Organized during the first week of February, the championship hosts almost thousands of individual racers and a great number of spectators from the entire country.

The event is organized in the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area.

Along with the championship, the event also includes a wide range of family activities.

Strikingly, the North Atlantic Blues Festival is a famous annual event for those residing in New England.

Organized every July, this event is a fun way to enjoy Maine’s pleasant summer weather.

The festival is held in Harbor Park in Rockland, which offers very beautiful scenery.

This event is also a great way to interact with people from various cultures.

Tour the Gardens at Merryspring Nature Center

Landscape of Merryspring Nature Center

Brian P.D. Hannon /

Merryspring Nature Center is a gorgeous 66-acre park in Camden.

The park is no less than a paradise for all nature lovers.

Open from sunrise to sunset, the park allows visitors to take a walk through its beautiful specialty gardens.

These gardens feature a wide variety of plants, flowers, and herbs that grow both seasonally and annually.

The waters of Merryspring Nature Center

Brian P. D. Hannon /

Being a non-profit educational center, the park also organizes various weekly talks on topics related to the environment and ecology.

These talks are great for learning things like beekeeping, gardening, preserving the environment, and more.

The park is the perfect place to learn about Maine’s local plants and wildlife.

A wooden bench along Merryspring Nature Center

Brian P. D. Hannon /

Watch a Live Performance at Camden Opera House

Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough at Camden Opera House

Glynnis Jones /

Inspired by art from the Victorian era, the beautiful Camden Opera House is sure to give you an incredible experience.

This place is a perfect blend of history, culture, and art all in one place.

It is more than 120 years old and can accommodate up to 500 people at a time.

Exterior of Camden Opera House

Kristi Blokhin /

The details of this place are very intricate and catch everyone’s attention.

Camden Opera House is most famous for hosting a large number of entertainment activities, such as ballets, musicals, comedy shows, films, dramas, and music concerts.

Check Out the Historic Schooner Surprise

Schooner Surprise on the waters

Ken Schulze /

The Schooner Surprise is a very old ship that was built in 1918.

It was famous for its racing and sailing career and its height of 57 feet.

This ship is a historical wonder in itself and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the year 1991.

People aboard the Schooner Surprise

John Brandt from Augusta, ME, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is open to visitors for only two hours a day during the summer season and early fall months, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a visit.

You can also enjoy the sunset cruise, which is available in the evening.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe

Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe is a place where you can feel all the nostalgia of old times and your childhood.

This beautiful candy shop is situated in a very old building and has old-fashioned decor.

The shop is the perfect place for children and adults to enjoy their free time.

Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe offers various sorts of candies.

Both modern and traditional candies are available to try and enjoy to your heart’s content.

The store’s most famous candies include jellybeans, bubblegum, taffy, lollipops, suckers, and gumballs.

You can also try out their mouth-watering homemade fudges and chocolates.

Enjoy a Taste of Adventure with Spirit Soaring Glider Rides

One of the most unique and enjoyable ways to enjoy the views in Camden is to take a tour with Spirit Soaring Glider Rides.

This service provider offers various rides depending on the customer’s preferences.

The pilot of the company has over 30 years of flight experience.

If you’re up for more of an adventure, you can even try to take control of the flight with your own hands.

Attend the Camden Windjammer Festival

The Camden Windjammer Festival is a celebration of the city’s rich maritime history.

Camden has always been using boating and sailing as integral activities.

The residents utilize various vessels, such as sailboats, schooners, yachts, and more.

So, if you visit the city, your trip cannot be considered complete unless you join this festival, witness their boats, and experience them for yourself.

The Camden Windjammer Festival offers enjoyment for people of all age groups.

While children and adults can enjoy a basic sail activity, they can also learn skills such as tying knots, reading the course of water, raising a sail, and more.

You can also build your own boat with the help of materials supplied by local businesses.

To put it in simple words, the Camden Windjammer Festival is a fun and meaningful celebration of Camden’s history and the richness of its boat culture in Camden.

Explore Camden with Camden Harbor Cruises

Camden Harbor Cruises is a facility that offers various cruise trips to visitors.

The service provider has a wide range of tour options to fit tourists’ varying preferences.

The best way to explore the coast of the nearby area is to get on Lively Lady, a vessel made entirely of wood.

You can also book tours to see the lighthouse, as well as sunset tours to enjoy some romantic nature scenes.

Camden Harbor Cruises offers cruise services at all times of the day, so you are bound to find something that piques your interest.

While the morning cruises are a perfect fit for children, the eco-tours allow guests to explore the area’s less discovered habitats and identify various wildlife, such as eagles, porpoises, seals, and different kinds of local fish.

Taking a cruise on the waters of Camden is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Have a Sophisticated Dining Experience at Natalie’s

A beautifully designed restaurant, Natalie’s is inspired by the art of England’s Victorian era.

This is a very sophisticated restaurant that is known to serve authentic, freshly prepared dishes.

Along with the dining rooms, the restaurant also has a very stylish bar that is decorated with chandeliers and other elegant decorative pieces.

The entire bar is covered with sparkling white linens, and the flooring is made of dark wood.

Apart from its beautiful interiors, the restaurant also allows you to enjoy a great view of the nearby areas.

The restaurant’s famous chefs use local ingredients and catch fresh fish and shellfish right outside their door for their seafood dishes.

With great food and a modern collection of fine wines from all over the world, Natalie’s is definitely a place worth checking out.

Play a Round or Two at Golfer’s Crossing Miniature Golf

A very family-friendly 18-hole golf course, Golfer’s Crossing Miniature Golf is the perfect place to enjoy a friendly golf competition.

The golf course was built by Harris Miniature Golf in the year 2005 and has contoured natural landscaping, various streams, and a waterfall within its properties.

Along with the golf facility, the place offers various amenities, such as ice cream, water, soft drinks, and souvenir golf balls.

The place is perfect for all golfers, ranging from beginners all the way to professional golfers, thanks to its terrain and holes of varying difficulties.

Golfer’s Crossing Miniature Golf is the perfect Camden attraction for golf enthusiasts.

Meet Belted Galloway Cattle at Aldermere Farm

Daytime view of Belted Galloway cows at Aldermere Farm

Jeff Schultes /

Offering a unique, fun, and educational experience, Aldermere Farm is a cattle farm that offers various agricultural programs and community events throughout the year.

The farm is spread over an area of 136 acres and is managed by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

The farm is widely known for its scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, diversity, and stunning landscapes.

It was conserved in the year 1991 and since then has been renowned as one of the world’s most famous breeders of Belted Galloway cattle.

The place is extremely beautiful and covered with lush greenery.

It is definitely a very fun and engaging experience to visit this farm with family and friends.

The place is also very suitable for kids as they can learn a lot about cows and their different breeds.

Remember the Past at Mt. Battie Tower

Mt. Battie is a memorial that residents of Camden are familiar with because it houses some stories based on myth and legend.

Its history comes into play often when traditions and celebrations are held here.

The 26-foot tall stone memorial was built in 1921 on the site of a former clubhouse for residents on the Northeast end of Mt. Battie.

Some stones from the elaborate building have been used in the construction of this tower as a lasting tribute to those early members who lost their lives fighting for the country.

It was one of Camden’s well-known residents by the name of Parker Morse Hooper who designed Mt. Battie Tower.

The design of Mt. Battie Tower could be considered an homage to the Newport Tower in Rhode Island.

And on the front of the tower is a bronze plaque that reads:

“In grateful recognition of the services of the men and women of Camden in the World War, 1914-1918.”

Enjoy Some Freshwater Swimming at Barrett’s Cove Public Beach

Barrett’s Cove Public Beach is a peaceful retreat overlooking Camden Hills.

A calm and serene location next to Camden’s freshwater lake, Barrett’s Cove Public Beach has been attracting woodland-loving families across all age groups because of its scenic outlook.

This lakeside retreat offers families an opportunity to spend some time in nature and also enjoy some freshwater swimming.

With many Camden beaches receiving heavy tourist traffic during the summer months, Barrett’s Cove is one of the local areas that turn into a haven of peace on hot days.

This coastal treasure allows you to enjoy the breathtaking beauty at Mount Battie, a slightly curved peak rising on the west side of Camden Hills State Park.

This friendly town-owned area is accessible with parking spaces.

Experience Traditional Wooden Tobogganing

The United States National Toboggan Championships is the world’s premier snow sled challenge, boasting a fiercely competitive and exciting race.

The volunteers who constructed a ski lodge and ski hill built the original chute and one of the earliest in America in 1936.

Local Coast Guardsmen reconstructed the chute until 1964, when it’s taken its toll due to neglect.

The competition happens every year in Camden, Maine.

The race itself is actually located on the Camden Snow Bowl, which is a community-owned recreation center where lots of people go skiing year-round.

At the U.S. National Toboggan Championships at Camden, thousands of skiers are developed every year while earning revenue to aid the Snow Bowl’s budget.

The U.S. National Toboggan Race is an event where anyone can participate, and everyone can be the champion, no matter their age or ability level.

Hike the Mount Battie Trail

The view from Mount Battie Trail

Eve Volkova /

The Mount Battie Trail is about a 1.1-mile out-and-back trail that gives you terrific views of Penobscot Bay and Downtown Camden.

Immerse yourself in the gorgeous blooming sunflowers, Maine’s amazing wildlife, and beautiful towering pine trees, as well as easy rolling hills.

What makes it ideal for any hiker’s skill level is that it’s gently sloped, which makes it easy for everyone to walk and enjoy the scenery.

You can also bring your pet dogs for a walk, but keep them on a leash, so they don’t disturb others and the wildlife.

You can access the Mount Battie Trail on Megunticook Street.

Walk Down Memory Lane at High Street Historic District

The grounds of High Street Historic District

Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With a rich culture and heritage, you can explore High Street Historic District and learn more about the past for a slice of history while in Camden.

Since the 1920s, the area has preserved its 19th-century vibe with different old-world architectural styles, including Queen Anne, Shingle Style, and Federal.

In 1999, it also included Harbor Park, which was designed by the Olmsted Brothers; a landscape architectural firm in the late 1800s.

High Street Historic District is a 60-acre historic area, which features almost 60 historic buildings.

In 1989, it entered the National Register of Historic Places.

Read a Book at the Camden Public Library

Exterior of Camden Public Library

Cynthia Farmer /

What about reading a new book inside a historic building?

That’s what the Camden Public Library offers not to mention its terrific natural lighting and comfortable reading and study nooks.

The library keeps a great selection of books, audiobooks, e-books, and many helpful resources for everyone’s reading, research, or study.

Far view of Camden Public Library

NadyaRa /

It’s nestled on a 1928 historic building, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

The library hosts many programs and events, including poetry, storytimes, and many more.

The Camden Public Library is located off Main Street.

Enjoy Kayaking on Megunticook Lake

Daytime view of Megunticook Lake

mellowtrails /

One of Camden’s best outdoor activities is paddling on the water on Megunticook Lake, which you can do with several kayak touring agencies.

The lake’s warm water makes a perfect kayak adventure, which you can do for a few hours.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way, including wildflowers and freshwater wildlife, as well as gorgeous flora that’s all visible along the shoreline.

If you have your own kayak or canoe, you can simply launch it at the town’s several boat ramps to enjoy a relaxing paddle on Megunticook Lake.

You can book a tour with Maine Sport Outfitters, which is located on Main Street.

The waters of Megunticook Lake

Louella938 /

Hang Out at Owl and Turtle Bookshop Café

The best spot to browse for books, or even read what you picked while enjoying a delicious coffee is Owl and Turtle Bookshop Café.

The bookstore & coffee shop serves locally-roasted beans and offers carefully curated books from fiction, non-fiction, children’s book, cookbooks, marine books, and many more.

You can simply order your favorite cup, pair it with a freshly baked pastry, grab a book to buy, sit down, and read.

Owl and Turtle Bookshop Café is perfect for book and coffee lovers!

You can find this cozy spot on Bay View Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go on an Educational Visit to the Project Puffin Visitor Center

Exterior of Project Puffin Visitor Center

Crispins C. Crispian, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Puffins are a very exotic seabird with beautiful, long, colorful beaks and can be found on the coast of New England.

This endangered bird species’ numbers have been decreasing since the early 1970s.

The Project Puffin Visitor Center is dedicated to educating and enlightening visitors on the importance of birds, ecology, and the ecosystem in the life of humans.

The center has a variety of displays and exhibitions relating to such.

It also shows various documentary films.

You can enjoy a boat tour while admiring the habitats of the birds and learning about these beautiful creatures.

Final Thoughts

You will surely enjoy a vacation to Camden Maine!

The coastal town is one of the oldest and prettiest in the US.

Whether you opt for a traditional seaside getaway or adventurous activities while on vacation, you won’t be disappointed.

For your guide on how to make the most of your Camden, Maine getaway, refer to this list so you won’t miss out on any of the top spots.

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