Camden, Maine: New England with Coastal Charm
The town of Camden is located in mid-coast Maine, and has been a tourist destination for decades. Camden truly has it all for residents and visitors alike; pristine lakes, mountains, and harbors. With an approximate population of 5,000, Camden’s population swells in the summer to accommodate thousands of tourists each year. The town’s largest economic driver is tourism by a landslide.
Camden has a total area of 26.65 square miles, with 18.24 square miles comprised of land and the remaining 8.41 square miles being water, according to the United States Census Bureau. The town is located on the Atlantic Ocean, specifically, beside the Gulf of Maine. Visitors can access Camden via U.S. Route 1, as well as Maine’s state routes 52 and 105. The towns of Rockport, Hope and Lincolnville border Camden.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Camden is Mount Battie. Mount Battie offers visitors a wide range of hiking options, from leisurely 1/2-mile hikes, to the 780-foot summit at Mount Battie Trail. During fall, the mountain is filled with gorgeous orange and brown tones of autumn. Adventure junkies take note: the paths for more serious hikers are scattered through the trail network of Mount Battie's south side.
Along with its stunning landscape, Camden also offers visitors many exciting events year-round. Two of the most well-known events hosted in the town are The Camden Conference and Pop!Tech. The Camden Conference is held in the historic Camden Opera House and works to foster informed discourse on world issues. The event brings together many thought-leaders in foreign policy to discuss a range of global issues.
The Pop!Tech conference “gathers a global community of cutting-edge leaders, thinkers, and doers from many different disciplines to explore the social impact of new technologies, the forces of change shaping our future, and new approaches to solving the world's most significant challenges,” according to the official website.
For people visiting during the winter months, you don’t want to miss the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships, held in Camden in mid-February at the Camden Snow Bowl. The renowned Maine event involves a 400-foot iced chute and four-man teams traveling up to 35 miles an hour.
Additional points of interest in Camden include Bald Mountain, the Camden Public Library, The Walsh History Center, Curtis Island Lighthouse, Camden Hills State Park and the Camden Opera House. Don’t forget, Camden also offers tourists several incredible beach choices, including Laite Beach and Walker Beach. The protected beaches offer visitors picnic tables and amazing views.
5 Fast Facts About Camden, Maine:
- Camden is the location of the 2000 HGTV Dream Home.
- Every year the town celebrates their annual ‘Christmas by the Sea’ event in early December, which began in 1987. During the parade, Santa arrives by boat before proceeding on his sleigh ride through town.
- Camden has several public parks, including Shirttail Point Park which is conveniently located less than 2 miles from downtown.
- The successful movie Casper was filmed in Camden in 1995.
- Additional movies filed in Camden include Captains Courageous (1937), and Carousel (1957).
Accommodations for Every Traveler
Camden offers a range of accommodations to suit every traveler's needs. From waterfront hotels like the luxurious Camden Harbour Inn to charming bed and breakfasts like the Hawthorn Inn, visitors can choose from a variety of options that provide comfort and a touch of coastal elegance.
Culinary Delights: Camden's Dining Scene
Food enthusiasts will appreciate Camden's vibrant dining scene. Local favorites like Francine Bistro offer farm-to-table dishes, while the Waterfront Restaurant provides stunning bay views. The town's seafood offerings are exceptional, showcasing the freshest catches from the bay.
Exploring the Outdoors
Nature lovers and families can immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Camden Hills State Park is a hiker's paradise, offering scenic trails with panoramic views of the bay. The nearby Camden Snow Bowl transforms into a winter wonderland, ideal for skiing and snowboarding. Sandy beaches, such as Laite Memorial Beach, beckon sun-seekers during the warmer months.
What are the best outdoor activities in Camden?
Camden offers fantastic outdoor activities, including hiking in Camden Hills State Park, skiing at the Camden Snow Bowl, and beachcombing on its sandy shores.
How can I get to Camden from Portland, Maine?
The most convenient way to reach Camden from Portland is by car, taking Interstate 95 north. Alternatively, you can fly into Portland International Jetport or the Augusta State Airport and drive to Camden.
Are there good educational institutions in Camden for families?
Camden has both private and public schools, ensuring families have access to quality education. The Camden-Rockport School District serves the area, offering a comprehensive learning experience.