The Jewel of the Maine Coast™
Discover the stunning mid-coast of Maine and a timeless collection of New England communities and you’ll agree, it’s no wonder we are called The Jewel of the Maine Coast™. We are pleased to suggest a few of the highlights you should not miss when visiting the Camden area. Our innkeepers always have maps, interesting trails and wonderful suggestions available; do not hesitate to call us for more information. We hope you will enjoy the town of Camden, the area and the mid-coast of Maine as much as we do!
Mt. Battie-Camden Hills State Park
No visit to Camden is complete without a drive or hike up Mt. Battie. The view from the top, overlooking Penobscot Bay and the islands, is spectacular. There is also a marker that commemorates local poet laureate Edna St. Vincent Millay, who described the view in her famous poem, Renascence : “All I could see from where I stood was three long mountains and a wood;I turned and looked the other way,and saw three islands in a bay.” The park has camping near Mt. Battie Road and picnic facilities on the ocean. The road is open May 15 through November 15 or until the snow flies.
Chestnut Street, leading from Camden to Rockport, is graced with beautiful homes, making it an especially pleasant drive. Heading from the Inn toward Rockport village, you will pass Aldemere Farm, where you may spot the original U.S. herd of Belted Galloways, a breed of Scottish beef cattle first imported in 1953, in the meadows. Large black cows with a wide band of white around their middles, they are known locally as “Oreo Cookie Cows.”
Vesper Hill and the Children’s Chapel : Continuing on Chestnut Street , turn left onto Calderwood Lane. Pass the Megunticook Golf Club and turn right at the second dirt road, which will take you up to the Children’s Chapel, a serene and beautiful spot surrounded by a lovely garden area with views of Penobscot Bay.
Beauchamp Point : Continue on from the Chapel (road becomes a dirt lane) until you reach the ledges of Beauchamp Point, overlooking Rockport Harbor. Stop and take a walk along the rocks.
From spring through autumn, a number of vessels depart from Camden Harbor several times daily for two-hour sightseeing cruises. Whether you choose a sailboat or a motorboat, you’ll pass by scenic islands and lighthouses, watch lobstermen haul their traps, and probably spy seals, seagulls and other sea birds — and maybe even an eagle or a pod of porpoises.
To the south of Camden , the seaside villages of Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde are within about an hour’s drive. Pemaquid Point and its famous lighthouse are just a bit farther away. North of Camden, Searsport offers numerous antiques shops, many specializing in nautical treasures. Continuing on, the towns of Castine, Blue Hill, and Stonington are all charming and picturesque. Continue on Route 1 for Mount Desert Island’s Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
If you are a lighthouse buff, you’ll be delighted to know that there are ten lighthouses within an approximately 40-mile radius – both here in Camden and to the north and south of town. You will see several lighthouses if you take a sightseeing cruise from the harbor. Driving directions to view those that may be seen from the shore are available at the Chamber of Commerce, located at the Public Landing.
Only a few miles offshore lie the islands of Vinalhaven, North Haven, and Islesboro, all of which can be reached by nearby ferries. Vinalhaven and North Haven ferries depart from the terminal on Main Street in Rockland. Crossing times are one hour and 25 minutes, and one hour and 19 minutes, respectively. The Islesboro ferry leaves from the terminal on Route 1 in Lincolnville Beach, with a crossing time of 25 minutes. A drive down to Port Clyde will bring you to the dock of Monhegan Boat Line, which provides ferry service to the famous artists’ retreat, Monhegan Island. Crossing time is about one hour. All of these ferries’ schedules are listed in The Jewel of the Maine Coast , available in your room or at the front desk.