A Long Weekend in Camden, Maine
Updated March 20, 2023
Maine’s mid-coast boasts many beautiful coastal towns. While I usually stay in a region south of Portland, I recently discovered Camden, Lincolnville, and Rockport. These three charming seaside spots make a stunning trifecta and are ideal for a few days’ visit, particularly for outdoor enthusiasts and ocean lovers seeking a perfect long weekend getaway. Maine has so much to offer in terms of sightseeing and activities.
Where to Stay in Camden
16 Bay View is Camden, Maine’s newest luxury hotel. The property’s emphasis on service is designed to make you feel welcome from the moment you arrive until you’re ready to leave. This 21-room boutique hotel is centrally located in Camden’s bustling shopping and dining district. Nearly everything you need is accessible on foot.
In a renovated building that once housed an automobile dealership, a movie theater, and a local bar, among other things, 16 Bay View’s hallways are lined with old photos showcasing the history that is part of its heritage. If you book the Camden Harbor Suite, you might even notice old tire tracks and grease stains from the cars on the hardwood floors.
I’d suggest booking this corner suite not only for its panoramic ocean views and balcony overlooking the harbor but because it is incredibly roomy. It has two rooms, one with a king-sized bed, the other a separate sitting room, and a pass-thru fireplace.
If that isn’t enough, this spacious suite has a spa-style bathroom with a free-standing oversized soaker tub, double vanities, steam shower, and heated tile floor. In fact, you may feel so at home you might never want to leave.
I’d also recommend staying at the 16 Bay View before or after sailing on the Windjammer Angelique, which departs from Camden Harbor.
What To Do
There is no shortage of things to do in Camden, Maine, and in the surrounding area. Some of the best things to do include getting out on the water, hiking the trails, and shopping at local boutiques.
Take a two-hour day sail on the Schooner Surprise. Captain Laird and his first mate Corey will take good care of you while showing you around Penobscot Bay. This 102-year-old wooden boat leaves from the Camden Harbor dock located just around the corner from the hotel.
Challenge yourself with the hike to the top of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park. It should take you no more than an hour or so. Alternatively, you can opt to drive up the toll road. Either way, you’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular views of Penobscot Bay and Camden Harbor. There are scenic vistas with large rocks, perfect for a post-hike picnic.
Downtown Camden has lots of boutiques and locally-owned shops like Maine Sport Outfitters. Not only do they have all the gear you might need for outdoor adventures in Maine, but they also rent kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, camping equipment, and more. They can also arrange guided trips and tours in the area.
Arts and Culture
The town of nearby Rockland is a hub for arts and culture in the mid-coast of Maine. The streets of this quaint town are lined with art galleries and museums. Both the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) and the Farnsworth Art Museum showcases Maine-connected artists. I highly recommend The Andrew Wyeth exhibit alone is worthy of a visit to this museum, especially if you have had a chance to visit the nearby Olson House.
Where to Eat
The View at 16 Bay View| Camden Maine
Overlooking Camden Harbor, The View s a great spot for cocktails and a bite to eat. They have a fire pit, heat lamps, cozy blankets to keep you warm, and bartenders that anticipate every need. You can also dine on tasty nibbles like crab cake sliders and other small plates.
18 Central Oyster Bar and Grill | Rockport, Maine
Make a reservation for dinner at 18 Central Oyster Bar and Grill, where oysters are an obvious must. Hardwood floors and sailcloths on the ceiling remind you that you are in Maine. The menu will appeal to pescetarians and meat lovers alike. Their flavorful fare is made with the freshest ingredients. Watch as the chef prepares it in their open-air kitchen.
Peter Otts | Camden, Maine
Just out the back door of 16 Bay View is Peter Otts on the water. This local favorite is a great spot for lunch or dinner. Their menu packs classic Maine dishes like lobster rolls, steamed mussels, and corn chowder but also has burgers, pasta, and salads. Sit on their expansive deck overlooking the harbor. Perfect for watching the boats come in and out of the harbor all day long.
The Lobster Shack | Rockland, Maine
Nothing beats a fresh lobster roll for lunch in Maine. However, not all lobster rolls are created equally. The Lobster Shack in Rockland serves theirs loaded with fresh chunks of lobster meat lightly tossed with mayo on a toasted bun with a side of dilly beans and carrot slaw. Enjoy your meal in their colorful little courtyard adjacent to the Farnsworth Museum
Disclosure: Complimentary accommodations, some meals, and activities were provided by the Bay View Collection. No other compensation was received for this review. This post reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.