11 Best Things To Do In Camden, Maine

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If you’re planning a trip to Midcoast Maine or even doing a road trip to Bar Harbor, then you’re likely going to be searching for the best things to do in Camden, Maine. As one of the most popular (and beautiful) towns to visit in the midcoast region, Camden has a lot to offer visitors and it’s worth taking the time to explore this charming town and its surrounding area.

Smaller but a bit more touristy than neighbouring Rockland, there are a number of fun things to do in Camden that can keep you occupied for a number of days. From hiking in the nearby state park, eating in the countless fantastic restaurants or sailing in the surrounding waters, Camden makes for the absolute perfect coastal Maine destination.

So if you’re planning a trip to Maine and are wondering what to do in Camden, make sure to follow this guide to ensure you don’t miss a thing in this lovely town.

11 Things To Do In Camden, Maine

Take in the View from Mount Battie

If you want to know one of the absolute best things to do in Camden, Maine, it is undoubtedly to take in the view of the gorgeous Camden Harbor from Mount Battie.

As the highest peak surrounding the town, getting to the top of this hill on a clear day will provide beautiful views of Camden below along with a panorama of Penobscot Bay and the many islands off of the coast.

You can reach the summit of Mount Battie in a number of different ways. For those who simply want a view without a lot of effort, the easiest method is to simply drive up to the top. There is a car park and you barely have to walk at all to be able to take in the incredible views.

Camden Harbor from Mount Battie
Camden Harbor from Mount Battie

If you’re keen to go for a bit of a hike to the viewpoint, there are two options available for you. The first is hiking up the aptly named Mount Battie Trail. This is the shortest trail to reach the summit, but it is also quite challenging.

The trail is incredibly steep and requires a bit of scramble in parts. If you do choose to hike this trail, make sure that you’re in a high level of physical fitness, you can appropriate footwear and you bring plenty of water with you!

The other option is to hike to the summit of Mount Battie from the Carriage Road Trail. This trail is a bit longer than the Mount Battie Trail, however, it is much easier. It is simply a gentle uphill walk through the forest and, in total, it should take about forty minutes one way.

Whichever route you choose to take, you cannot miss the view from Mount Battie when visiting Camden.

Hike in Camden Hills State Park

If you’re looking to get active and plan for some time outdoors and want to go hiking in Camden, Maine, then make sure to spend some time enjoying the trails and nature of Camden Hills State Park. Though the most famous part of this park is the trail to Mount Battie, there are plenty of other trails to hike on at varying levels of difficulty.

The trails are well-marked and the scenery through the woods and the views you can get of the harbor when the trees clear are very much worth it. It’s also worth noting that entry into the park is free, so this is a great activity to keep yourself occupied without having to shell out any cash!

Hiking in Camden Hills State Park
Hiking in Camden Hills State Park

Wander Along Camden Harbor

Camden is a popular tourist destination in the midcoast region and one of the town’s main draws is undoubtedly its beautiful harbor. Camden Harbor is absolutely charming – especially in the warmer months when the boats are in the water and you can enjoy the scenery to the full extent.

Take the time to stroll along the harbor and enjoy the classic coastal Maine vibes it provides. There are lots of places to stop for a seat and just chill out while watching the boats bob on their moorings or seeing the sailboats come and go from the harbor. There is no doubt that spending time along Camden Harbor is one of the best things to do in this Maine town.

Camden Harbor
Camden Harbor

Shop on Main Street

Like most coastal towns in Maine, Camden boasts a charming Main Street that is filled with shops, restaurants, galleries and much more. Whether you’re on the hunt for a souvenir, want to support a local artisan or simply window shop and browse, taking a stroll along the main drag in this town is certainly one of the best things to do in Camden, Maine.

You will be surprised by how much there is in the short strip that is Camden’s Main Street and you can spend the better part of a day simply hopping from shop to shop and seeing what there is to offer.

Driving through Camden
Camden’s Main Street

Get a Sugar Rush at Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe

If you’re looking for an essential shop to visit while in Camden (especially if you’re travelling with children), then look no further than Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe.

This classic seaside sweet shop is set over two floors and has plenty of sugary treats on offer. There is an area behind a counter where you can get such things as homemade fudge. There are giant lollipops and pre-packaged candies to choose from.

Head up the stairs, grab a bag and help yourself to the bulk bins of saltwater taffy, lemon drops and more. They also have an entire wall dedicated to jelly beans with what seems like every flavor under the sun. You pay by the weight of your bag, so you can get as much or as little as you care to.

Jelly Beans Galore @ Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe
Jelly Beans @ Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe

Enjoy a Meal with a View at the Waterfront

If you’re searching for an excellent casual restaurant in Camden where you can enjoy local specialties and a reasonable price tag, then look no further than The Waterfront.

Located on Camden Harbor, this restaurant has a wonderful deck right on the water and provides excellent views over the harbor. If you want to sit outside but the weather isn’t cooperating, the deck is also covered on rainy days so you can get the best of both worlds!

They have an extensive menu filled with plenty of Maine favorites and you can order local oysters on the half shell, clam chowder, lobster rolls, haddock fish tacos, whole belly clams, fish and chips, and plenty more.

It’s worth noting that this restaurant can get very popular – especially on sunny days when everyone wants to enjoy the deck – and they don’t take reservations. However, the wait for a table is never too long!

Fish Tacos @ The Waterfront
Fish Tacos @ The Waterfront

Go Candlepin Bowling at Oakland Park Lanes

If you’re looking for a great rainy day activity or simply want a fun blast from the past, then heading to Oakland Park Lanes is one of the most fun things to do in Camden.

Located on Highway 1 just a bit outside of downtown Camden, this is a classic bowling alley that has been open and operating for over sixty years and it very much seems like it hasn’t changed a bit!

Contrary to a standard, modern bowling alley, Oakland Park Lanes is a candlepin bowling alley. This is an older style of ten-pin bowling that uses smaller balls and a manual pin change.

You keep score using a pen and paper and the rules are slightly different. However, if you’re new to this type of bowling, the people who work at the bowling alley will be sure to take the time to explain it to you!

Along with the many bowling lanes here, there is also an arcade complete with air hockey, pool, pinball and much more! Prices are affordable and it is the perfect activity if you’re looking for something unique to do while visiting Camden.

Bowling at Oakland Park Lanes
Bowling at Oakland Park Lanes

Relax in Camden Harbor Park

If you’re looking for a great place to chill out and relax while visiting Camden, then look no further than Camden Harbor Park.

This park is situated, as the name may suggest, directly on Camden Harbor and has a vast, inviting green area lined with benches that is perfect for watching the comings and goings of the harbor.

Next to the park, you can also view the lovely Megunticook Falls – a small waterfall that empties into the harbor. In the spring and early summer months, it is particularly vigorous as the runoff from the Megunticook River is at its peak.

Megunticook Falls
Megunticook Falls

Visit the Rockport Marine Park

Drive about five minutes south of Camden and you will reach the very small town of Rockport, which is home to a charming downtown area and a beautiful, albeit small harbor known as the Rockport Marine Park.

Rockport is, arguably, even more beautiful than the Camden Harbor, but it is often overlooked by visitors and instead is more of a locally-known place.

It’s very much worth taking a quick drive down here to enjoy the views of this harbor. As mentioned, it’s only about five minutes from Camden but can feel a world away when you consider just how quiet and laid-back it is.

Rockport Harbor
Rockport Harbor

Set Sail on a Schooner

There is really no better way to enjoy Camden Harbor and the coastal scenery of this region of Maine than by getting out on the water. And one of the best ways to do that is by setting sail on a schooner – a classic wooden sailboat seen throughout this region.

There are countless schooner tours to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a day sail, want to watch the sunset while on Penobscot Bay, or are interested in venturing out for longer, there is something to suit everyone in Camden.

You can book day sails in advance here and sunset sails in advance here.

Schooner sailing in Maine
Schooner sailing in Maine

Dine at one of the Area’s Fantastic Restaurants

Maine is very much a foodie destination and that really becomes apparent when you visit Camden. We’ve already mentioned The Waterfront as being a great casual option for food in the town, but what are some of the other best places to eat in Camden?

Well, if you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket, then we highly recommend heading to Franny’s Bistro. They have a great regular menu serving up some local favorites, but their specials are always something, for lack of a better word, special.

Another great option is 18 Central in nearby Rockport. This place has an excellent raw bar serving up local oysters and clams on the half shell. They also have an extensive menu with inventive twists on local seafood and other main dishes.

And if you’re searching for a fine dining option, Natalie’s Restaurant always comes very highly recommended for those who are looking to splash the cash on a truly memorable meal.

Scallops @ 18th Central
Scallops @ 18 Central

Where to Stay in Camden

Camden is a popular spot to base yourself in Midcoast Maine and, therefore, there are lots of accommodation options to choose from. If you’re looking for places to stay in Camden, Maine, make sure to have a look at these top suggestions:

Abigail’s Inn – This charming bed and breakfast is a perfect place to rest your head when visiting Camden. They have a number of lovely rooms on offer, a great breakfast available each morning and the perfect location for exploring Camden and the entire midcoast region. Click here to see their availability

Blackberry Inn – If you’re after a bit of luxury during your stay in Camden, then this inn is a great choice for you. Perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway, all rooms are spacious and feature a seating area and/or a balcony and there is a hearty breakfast included each morning. Click here to see their availability

Private Rental – For those looking for your own space in Camden, a private vacation rental is a great choice. A place like this charming cottage is just one of many to choose from in the area. Click here to browse more Camden private rentals!

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Camden hotels!

Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park

Camden is one of the top places to visit in midcoast Maine for good reason – there is just so much to see and do in this charming coastal town.

Are looking for things to do in Camden? Have any questions about visiting this town? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

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