28 Best Things to Do in Camden Maine This Year

As a visitor to Camden Maine, discovering the top attractions is a must. Whether you’re seeking activities for couples or families, outdoor or indoor pursuits, or land or sea adventures, rest assured that there are things to do in Camden Maine for you to enjoy.

Located in Mid-Coast Maine, Camden is a picturesque seaside town where the mountains meet the sea, providing stunning views of Mount Battie and Penobscot Bay. The most enjoyable activities stem from embracing the town’s unique and beautiful offerings.

Outdoor Things to Do in Camden Maine

Whether you prefer hiking through a forest, spending time on a beach, or getting onto the water, there’s a spot or way to do it in Camden Maine. These are some of our top recommendations for outdoor recreation in the area.

Hiking Trails

To experience stunning vistas, hiking trails, and ideal picnic spots, a trip to Camden Hills State Park is in order. On average days, the park offers sprawling views of the various bays and islands off the mainland. On clear days, you can see all the way to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

If you’re interested in hiking to the peak of Mount Battie at the park, many hikers find the trail to be moderately accessible with a few steep areas. The 1-mile round-trip path provides opportunities to encounter wildlife, wildflowers, birds, and of course, the breathtaking views that surround the mountain.

Camden Snow Bowl

Also, you can check out the Camden Snow Bowl — a community-owned ski resort that stands out as the only ski resort in the region with ocean views, providing a unique experience. Depending on the season, you can enjoy hiking trails, tennis, lift rides, camps, skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing championships, and more.

On top of all this, the town has numerous nature preserves and footpaths for hiking and exploring the natural beauty of the area. Be sure to explore our guide for the best hiking trails Camden Maine has to offer.

Parks With Beaches

Nothing beats spending time on the coast like sinking your toes in the sand at a beach. Laite Memorial Beach offers great opportunities for paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming, as well as leisurely strolls and shell-hunting during low tide. It’s the perfect spot to spend a day and savor the Atlantic coast.

Alternatively, consider visiting Barrett’s Cove at Megunticook Lake. This local gem — often overlooked by tourists — provides a refreshing swim at a freshwater beach with stunning views of the west side of Camden Hills State Park.

Lobstering & Boat Tours

Rent a boat and venture into the harbor for a water adventure. If you’re inclined to enjoy a schooner ride with a picnic on one of the bay’s islands, consider a vessel designed for small groups, such as The Heritage sloop with Sail Camden. For sightseeing on a windjammer, consider a two-hour day sail on the Schooner Olad or Cutter Owl.

Alternatively, you can join Camden Harbor Cruises on the Lively Lady for wildlife, lighthouse, and lobstering cruises lasting one to three hours. These tours offer sightings of porpoises, harbor seals, and other wildlife. The lobster cruise even includes a brief lesson in lobster fishing.

Numerous other boat tours and rentals are available in and around Camden, so explore the various options for touring Penobscot Bay and beyond. This video provides a glimpse of the windjammer sailing experience:

Camden Maine Family & Kid-Friendly Activities

Planning a family vacation can pose challenges regardless of your children’s ages. One child may be keen on outdoor activities, while another may prefer relaxing indoors with a book. Fortunately, Camden offers a variety of family-friendly activities for children and teens.

Merryspring Nature Center

Explore the 66-acre nature sanctuary of Merryspring Nature Center, which features gardens and walking trails. The gardens showcase daylilies, herbs, roses, and perennials, while one of the trails is an interpretive trail.

The center often hosts free family-friendly events, like bug safaris and guided tree identification walks. There’s a small gift shop to visit before you depart as well.

Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe

Indulge your children’s sweet tooth with classic and modern candies at Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe. The store offers a variety of brittle, fudge, gourmet chocolates, gummies, licorice, and novelties alongside regularly changing seasonal flavors and treats. You’re likely to find something to satisfy your own sweet tooth too.

Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe

For a quieter family-friendly activity, visit the Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe, which offers a unique collection of books and trinkets. Children can enjoy a dedicated reading area, and you may even catch an author reading during your visit.

The bookshop hosts numerous events throughout the year, and the cafe area serves savory and sweet treats from local bakers, along with coffee supplied by the local Coffee on the Porch.

More Family-Friendly Activities Nearby

There are many kid-friendly things to do in Camden Maine, but sometimes it’s fun to explore beyond the town boundaries. In this case, there are a few wonderful places in nearby Rockport — just outside of Camden — to take kids.

Golfer’s Crossing Miniature Golf

Engage in some light-hearted rivalry at Golfer’s Crossing Miniature Golf. This welcoming mini-golf course boasts 18 holes amidst beautiful, natural features, including waterfalls. Open for the season, it’s a favorite for visitors of all ages, so ready your putter to attempt scoring under par while you navigate playful obstacles, like a classic windmill.

Aldermere Farm

For a delightful hands-on learning experience, take your family to Aldermere Farm. You can tour the farm and get up close with the charming Belted Galloway cows — affectionately compared to Oreo cookies because of their distinctive markings. And, don’t forget to take a stroll down the family-friendly walking path.

Penobscot Bay YMCA

Should the weather not cooperate or if you’re in the mood for indoor fun, head over to the Penobscot Bay YMCA. With facilities that include a 25-yard swimming pool, a gymnasium, a rock climbing center, and a family play center, there’s something for everyone.

On sunny days, the outdoor playground is a popular spot too. Plus, managing your personal items is a breeze with the available lockers.

Free & Cheap Things to Do in Camden Maine

If you’re like many families looking to vacation on a budget, you’ll want to find affordable activities in Camden. We’ve already mentioned several low-cost options above, but let’s cover a few more.

Camden Public Library

Head to the Camden Public Library, a haven for young readers. Founded in 1796 with only 200 books, this historic institution now has a vast collection, including an excellent selection of children’s books. The children’s room even features a boat where kids can sit and read. Plus, there’s a cozy reading room upstairs.

Harbor Park and Amphitheatre

Right next to the library, you’ll find Harbor Park and Amphitheatre. They’re part of the library’s grounds and host various events, including charity functions, craft fairs, and concerts.

When there’s nothing scheduled, these spaces are peaceful places for a stroll or for relaxing by Camden Harbor. Enjoy a picnic on the lawn, or grab an ice cream from a shop close by.

Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel

For another cost-free outing, visit the Children’s Chapel near Aldermere Farm in Rockport. This outdoor chapel is a site for baptisms, memorials, weddings, and other events but is also open for public reflection, prayer, or simply a quiet moment. Your family can also appreciate the formal garden with its mix of perennials, annuals, herbs, and trees, or have a picnic on the expansive lawn.

Photo Courtesy Waterfront Camden Restaurant

Best Restaurants in Camden

You’ll discover that there’s nothing quite like savoring fresh, local seafood or a mouth-watering lobster roll, especially when it’s crafted by a family-owned business with a down-to-earth approach.

River Ducks Ice Cream

River Ducks Ice Cream serves both traditional ice cream and soft serve, making it a must-visit during its seasonal opening in the summer. A glowing review from a Facebook user highlights its appeal:

“We happened along this place on our first trip to Camden. No exaggerating, in all my years of packing away a ton of ice cream, this is my favorite. Maine Moose tracks, omg…heaven….”

With such high praise, it’s clear that a visit to River Ducks won’t disappoint!

Camden House of Pizza

For more than two decades, Camden House of Pizza has been a staple in the Camden Maine community. Renowned for its excellent pizza and Greek cuisine, the restaurant serves everything from salads and pasta dinners to gyros, sandwiches, and pizza (of course).

Whether you prefer to customize your pizza with your favorite toppings, select from popular choices, or simply grab a quick slice from the warmer, there’s something for everyone.

Long Grain

Long Grain stands as an ideal choice for locavores craving an Asian-inspired culinary adventure. This restaurant prides itself on sourcing ingredients locally and seasonally. The menu is a diverse mosaic of Asian flavors, featuring inspirations from Vietnamese and Thai street food to Indonesian and Japanese family meals, among others.

Waterfront Restaurant

While exploring the coast, indulging in the amazing, locally sourced seafood is a must. At Waterfront Restaurant, you have the opportunity to enjoy seafood freshly caught in the area. Even the meat is locally sourced and brought in daily to ensure that you’re enjoying food at its peak of flavor.

Natalie’s Restaurant

When you want to elevate your dining experience even further, Natalie’s Restaurant offers a sophisticated setting. Overlooking the harbor, it provides not just a meal but also a culinary journey, featuring locally sourced, fresh ingredients for a truly rich experience that entices all of your senses through color, aroma, presentation, and of course, flavor.

There are numerous beloved restaurants in Camden Maine, and a particular fondness is held for those that are locally owned and operated.

Photo Courtesy Camden Windjammer Festival

Favorite Camden Maine Festivals & Events

A good festival is the perfect way to enjoy lively music, uplift your spirits, and immerse yourself in the local community and culture. Here are a few highlights of the events that you can expect in Camden.

Jazz in June

In Camden, the summer season starts with the Jazz in June festival, a three-day event featuring jazz music across various venues in town and even on the streets. You’ll have a fantastic time soaking in the jazz tunes and exploring the diverse locations.

Camden Windjammer Festival

As summer draws to a close, the Camden Windjammer Festival takes place during Labor Day weekend. This event isn’t just about food and live entertainment — it also features a treasure hunt, activities like building mini boats, and the majestic sailing of schooner fleets.

Christmas by the Sea

The festive spirit in Camden isn’t limited to summer. Christmas by the Sea, a three-day event, is perfect for getting into the holiday mood. It offers everything from caroling and shopping to a live nativity scene and an exciting parade.

U.S. National Tobogganing Championships

Furthermore, winter brings its own charm with the U.S. National Tobogganing Championships every February. This competition welcomes professional teams and offers awards for the oldest team, the best costume, and more, making it a unique and enjoyable event for everyone.

Mid-Coast Maine is renowned for its vibrant festival scene. Get more details about the top festivals in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland to explore them firsthand.

Unique Shopping Opportunities in Camden Maine

If you need essentials for your trip or a special gift to take back home, Camden’s array of shops has you covered. The town boasts some of the most distinctive and independent stores in the Mid-Coast region.

The Smiling Cow

A family-owned gem, The Smiling Cow has been a part of downtown Camden for over 75 years. This unique gift shop offers a wide range of items, from books and clothing to gifts and collectibles. You’ll also find homemade fudge and Maine maple syrup here.

Plus, its location atop the Megunticook River means that you can enjoy stunning views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay from its back porch.

Once a Tree

Once a Tree has stood as one of the area’s top gift shops for over 35 years. Even after moving from Bay View Street to Main Street, it continues to feature a diverse collection of unusual and practical handcrafted items. The shop’s inventory includes everything from kitchen essentials and home accessories to candles, soaps, and jewelry.

Antiques at 10 Mechanic

Specializing in antiques, Antiques at 10 Mechanic offers a treasure trove of items sourced from over 20 local vendors. The shop’s range includes collectibles, furniture, clothing, and accessories. For vinyl record enthusiasts, there’s an extensive collection to browse through as well.

Camden Maine Area Museums & Historical Sites

Camden Maine was settled in the late 18th century and was initially part of a larger town known as Megunticook. During the 19th century, it became an important center for shipbuilding and milling due to its location near the sea. This history is reflected in the town’s historic buildings, lighthouse, and area museums.

High Street Historic District

When you visit Camden, make sure to explore the High Street Historic District. This area — recognized on the National Register of Historic Places — showcases buildings that adhere to 18th and 19th-century architectural styles, offering you a glimpse into the past.

Museums to Explore

If you’re interested in learning more about Camden’s history, the Camden-Rockport Historical Society is a great place to start. It houses an impressive collection of artifacts, photographs, and historic documents across six historic buildings in Rockport.

For a dive into the Revolutionary Era, the Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston awaits your visit, offering insights into the life and times of this bygone era. But, these are just a few of the many fascinating museums and galleries in and around Camden.

Lighthouses to Visit

No visit to Maine’s coastline is complete without seeing a lighthouse. In Camden, you can view the Curtis Island Lighthouse, originally established in 1836. While it’s not open to the public, it offers a picturesque view from the island’s public park, a boat, or the Curtis Island Overlook.

Another must-see lighthouse is the Grindle Point Light Station on Islesboro’s westernmost point, which is only accessible by boat from Camden Maine. This lighthouse, first established in 1850 and rebuilt in 1874, includes a Sailor’s Museum that’s open for summer tours.

With 65 lighthouses in Maine, there’s plenty more for you to discover. Our list of Mid-Coast Maine lighthouses can help you plan your journey.

Excellent Lodging for Camden Maine Adventures

For the opportunity to experience these things to do in Camden Maine, consider staying with us at The Country Inn. Our bed-and-breakfast-style hotel is committed to offering outstanding hospitality, which is evident in every aspect of our property.

You’re sure to enjoy our upgraded breakfast options, the warmth of our indoor heated pool, and the array of amenities that elevate each stay from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Choose one of our rooms or cottages when you begin planning your Camden Maine getaway!