“I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.” ~ John Masefield
Back to Camden I go
Last fall when I did my Maine road trip I stumbled upon not only the gem that is the midcoast, but a town I had never been to, but instantly fell in love with. The coastal quaintness, was mixed with a foodie culture I could not get enough of and the people were insanely nice. In many ways it reminded me of Charleston, minus the warm temps, though it wasn’t to bad when I was there. Fast forward to this past spring and I ended up stopping again as I made my way back up the coast to Bar Harbor.
I couldn’t help myself. I was being pulled back. If it was another time, place, and the weather was twenty degrees warmer, I just might have picked up my roots and moved there. There are few places I can say that call to me. New York, Paris, Charleston, and now Camden, Maine. If you have ever been to Midcoast Maine you know how charming and magical it is. It feels like you have stepped into another world, another time, and yet you still have all the modern amenities a girl could ever have. It truly is the best of both worlds.
Camden is a quieter, yet no less impressive place compared to other more well known cities and towns in Maine. While I consider Portland walkable, Camden is maybe the quarter size of Portland, and in my opinion much prettier. Yet it could rival Portland and other cities with all the history, forts and of course lighthouses it has in and around Camden. Camden, along with Rockland, and Rockport, are with in just a couple miles of each other and make up a portion of the Penobscot Region. Much like the area I grew up in, the tens are so close that you blink and you are in the next one, and they are all worth visiting, though Camden is my favorite!
Camden’s waterfront and wharf
What has sold me on Camden is the waterfront filled with all kinds of boats, it is quintessential Maine. Camden is known as a sailing hub, home to the Camden Yacht Club, as well as various charters and of course my favorite Maine Schooners where you can sale on not just schooners or sloops, but also a windjammer which back in the day use to be a merchant ship. You can see the boats bobbing in the water waiting to be sailed.
The wharf is lined with benches so you can sit and boat watch to your hearts content. At the end on one side of the wharf is a dam that leads into the sea and you can walk on the rocks. In true Maine form it provides rustiness with nautical charm. There are many restaurants lining the wharf looking out onto the water as well as hotels which makes the whole town center perfect for parking your car and forgetting about it as you explore downtown.
Fresh and Co
I couldn’t go to Camden and not go to Fresh and Co. again. Not only is the food amazing, but so are the staff and after two visits, I feel like the bartender Ashely and I are instant friends. Actually we ARE INSTA friends. The atmosphere and food are a foodies joy, and I feel lie I would find it in New York or Charleston, but then that is one of the reasons why I love Camden It is a foodie’s heaven, complete with numerous award winning restauntats and Fresh and Co. is right at the top.
In fact I almost prefer to sit in the bar then at a table! The cocktail menu is filled with as many classics as unique spins, and Ashely is always willing to accommodate if you don’t see something that you are craving. The food is diverse, intriguing, yet also full of comfort and cost importantly flavor! I literally want to order everything off of it. And I cannot ever forget dessert! And if you aren’t hungry in that moment you can most certianly bring it back to the room with you which is what I have done!
While I have acquainted myself with the more nautical and gourmet side of Camden. They have the best coffee shops! In true Maine fashion, Camden is not lacking in history, nor nature of the more tree and mountain variety. (yeah, I know there is more to nature then the ocean) Mount Battie and Camden State Park are just minutes from the downtown area, which makes it perfect to get up early to watch the sunrise, before grabbing some breakfast. It is also a huge Mecca for the arts with its Camden Opera House and Amphitheater in Camden Harbor Park.
There literally is something for everyone to enjoy, and if you are looking for some R&R you can do that in a stunningly beautiful place. Camden is also a photographers dream, Each time I go, I am not sure where to look, because everything is so picture perfect. I am already planning my next trip to the area! I just cannot help it! Camden you have stolen my heart!
Have you been to Camden, Maine?