Wanderlusting: Camden, Maine
“There’s a quality of life in Maine which is this singular and unique. I think. It’s absolutely a world onto itself.” ~ Jamie Wyeth
After driving and exploring and driving again, I could not wait to get to my hotel room. I was staying in Camden, Maine which I had never been too. And now I am wondering what the heck took me SO long! It is so insanely picturesque and quaint. Honestly driving through the three towns of Rockland, Rockport, and Camden I was oohing and ahhing. I wanted to pull over and take pictures every few seconds, because the views were stunning. The towns were built up along the water, and there were look-outs and parks, as well as beaches and old time buildings only enhancing the charm. I could totally see myself living there, aside from the cold, though several locals were waging a move here campaign when I was eating dinner.
The Inn at Camden Place
I had actually forgotten about Columbus Day Weekend when my friend and I had planned our trip, so finding hotels ended up being a tad difficult. Despite that, the town was NOT busy at all! I stayed at an adorable hotel called the Inn at Camden Place. It was so quaint and cute. When I got there, they had actually lost power, and the innkeeper was extremely apologetic. Since it was light out, it won’t that big of a deal and it did turn back on with in an hour of being there.
The Inn at Camden Place was once part of the old Knox Woolen Mill and Brewster Factory Buildings converted into the bed and breakfast styled Inn as well as shops, restaurants, and a spa located in the adjacent building. It was built over the Megunticook River and you can still see the old wheel as it spins the water. In fact a patio was built around it, showcasing it. While it was renovated for modernization and comfort, much of the charm is still there.
The Inn has eleven bedrooms which vary in style and capacity. There is no elevator, but thankfully I am use to a walk up! I was also on the second d floor. They do have a living room and dining room, but since they were observing COVID rules, you couldn’t use either which was understandable. They were still decorated beautifully, and I was able to snag some pictures. The whole Inn has an old fashion colonial feel yet still keeping with modern amenities. It was a beautiful seamless balance of old and new designs and I was in love! Most of the rooms came with sitting areas, and were designed for the most comfort. My room was spacious, the bed comfortable and I was obsessed with the mirror! The Inn has parking, which was amazing, as some of the hotels in the area did not.
Apparently I missed it in the fine print, but I was only a two minute or so walk from downtown and a literal straight shot to the water front. Not going to lie, it was complicated driving and finding things if you weren’t on the main road. I may or may not have even gotten lost finding the Inn. Ooops. Because of that I decided to walk. This city girl has desperately MISSED walking to places, (it really is the small things friends!) and since I was essentially downtown it was quick and easy. The downtown area had many shops and eateries. In fact it was a foodie’s treasure trove. Many of the shops and restaurants opened up to the water front which I loved.
With Autumn upon us, it was brisk, and while It was busy, it was not insanely so because of the weather and with COVID measures in place. The sun was setting casting its gorgeous colors over the marina and the ships and I was in LOVE. I had just gotten a new phone, and I took so many pictures. It was a photographers dream! I just ended up sitting there until I realized I was nearly frozen AND hungry not necessarily in that order.
Fresh & Co
Originally I had been recommended a restaurant that had gotten great reviews, but their phone was literally off the hook and they wouldn’t take walk-ins. Their loss was my gain though because I ended up at this amazing water front restaurant called Fresh. It gave me all the feels of New York. And as a foodie I was so excited. One of the things I have missed during this pandemic is GOOD high class creative food. Dishes that feed ALL your senses and make you wonder how those flavors even exist. Fresh & Co IS that place. Because I was a solo diner, I sat at the bar where I actually got to chat with the bartender who happens to be one of the owners. She was the friendliest, nicest person and so incredibly knowledgable.
The food was incredible. I decided to do two appetizers, in part because I was freezing and wanted something warm, but also because the flavors intrigued me. They are a farm to table restaurant who uses local produce whenever they can. they are also Incredibly allergen friendly. Their menu is varied, but somehow it all works into one cohesive atmosphere and nothing seems out of place. I started off with the cauliflower bisque, which honestly sounded a bit weird as cauliflower has a very distinct taste, but oh my avocado was it incredible! It came with roasted mushrooms which were amazing and not soggy. The whole dish was outside my comfort level, but it might have been my favorite of the night. I also had a roasted butternut squash salad which again just melted in my mouth. The flavors just worked.
While I was sitting there, in absolute heaven over my dinner choices, I was joined by a couple (socially distanced over course) who knew the bartender as they were locals and they began chatting me up. One thing I noticed about Camden, and the Midcoast as a whole, was that the people were SO nice and friendly. Genuinely so. While yes they work in hospitality, it wasn’t pretentious or forced to get tips, they are genuinely joyful people. Heck they were even attempting to convince me to move to Camden, which was hilarious, but also extremely tempting! Over glasses of wine, they filled me in on ALL the town gossip (some of which was a doozy!) and we ended up telling our life stories and giving each other advice and it just made me SO grateful for people.
It was the most fun I had had in MONTHS. Just sitting and chatting with strangers, which by the end of the night they weren’t strangers anymore. They made me feel so welcomed and supported. I ended the night with an incredibly happy heart, a full belly, and so excited to see my friend the next day. And maybe, MAYBE thinking about moving there.
Have you been to Camden, Maine? What is a place you fell in love with?