The Best Kept Secrets of Camden Maine

There aren’t many secrets among the well-traveled pavements of Camden Maine (unlike the fictional Peyton Place, which was filmed there in the 1950s). But here are a few spots that the tourist crowds haven’t fully cottoned on to.

The Bold Beauty of Camden’s Battie Tower

This first spot might not be too much of a secret, but the stone tower atop Mt. Battie and the surrounding landscape has been inspiring poets, painters, and other Camden residents and visitors for well over a century. Yet surprisingly enough, you can still find solitude from the summer crowds at this not-too-frequented attraction, and it’s equally enjoyable whether you’re looking for your muse or just a gorgeous place for a hike. There are no picnic tables at the top but many make themselves comfortable with a blanket on the ground. There are bathrooms at the top located behind the tower. Here’s a tip that not many know, though – get to the tower via Megunticook Street. The Mt. Battie trailhead is at the top of the street that runs parallel to Route 105 or Mountain Street. The Mt. Battie Trail is the shortest trail but definitely one of the most beautiful view points.

The well-worn trail of Curtis Island

Curtis Island is a small island not far from the main land. You can either sail, kayak or swim out to the island. Once you arrive at the island, at the top of the entry stairs, there is a small stand with a book. The book is a sign in book. It is fun to look at who else has been there that day or year. To the left of the stand is the well-worn trail that goes the entire perimeter of the island. There are benches along the trail so you can stop and enjoy the ocean views. The trail goes past the lighthouse and the keepers house. There is a small swing in the middle of the island that many like to swing on and enjoy the seclusion of the island. The trail is about an 8th of a mile, it is short and lovely. You might even see a deer or too.

Hobbs Pond Keeps Camden Visitors Hidden

best kept secrets of camden maine lakesHobbs Pond, just west of the Camden town border, is populated primarily by private residences and access points. For the intrepid member of the public looking for an inconspicuous place to spend a day on the water, though, Pond Road grants access to the northern point of Hobbs Pond. Drop in the row boat and a six-pack of Maine’s finest, Andrews Ale or Marshall’s Point Ale, and you’ll be in for a pleasant and secluded day without the Camden crowds.

Some Dining Tips

Live Jazz?

The Elm Street Grill is another excellent restaurant that not many people know about. This place has a very laid back casual and friendly feel. Set within a renovated house it is some of the best pizza you will find in Maine. They have a nice menu of local seafood and other items, but our favorite there are the Mediterranean Pizza and their Caesar salad. Paired with their suitably cold selection of local craft beers – and you really can’t go wrong. A special treat is Jazz night out in their screened in deck. It is a local favorite so you may want to reserve a table in advance. The music is really good. And here’s a secret thing – world class musicians are regularly in the band. Players who’ve toured with big name acts and played riffs on studio sessions that you’ve heard on the radio. So here’s the tip: jazz night at the Elm Street Grill, Mediterranean Pizza and Tough Cats IPA out on the deck.

Fresh Restaurant Chef Steve Steeves

Okay so maybe you’ve been to Fresh. Recently, a prior chef for Fresh has purchased the restaurant. This husband and wife team have brought their charm and enthusiasm to this comfortable and tastefully decorated restaurant. It is quickly becoming a favorite. They have a nice bar, and it is more spacious than the aforementioned restaurant -with enough room for live music. Fresh is definitely worth a try. They have nice outdoor seating that is suitable for people (and in Camden especially) dog watching. The menu is a real value with big servings and fresh ingredients. Vegan and Vegetarian options are available.

Lighthouse Lookout

best kept secrets of camden maine curtis island ligthhouseThere is only 1 public place in Camden where you can see the famous Curtis Lighthouse. Most of the land around the Harbor is privately owned so seeing the lighthouse, that is on the far side of Curtis Island, is not easy. There is a small trail that leads to a cliff that is Town owned. From the cliff you can see the lighthouse. Many choose to see the lighthouse by boat. I prefer the lookout point because is a fantastic location to take many nautical pictures. Boats with their sails up and the lighthouse beacon light flashing make for a phenomenal backdrop. Lighthouse lookout is located at the top of Bayview Street. Bayview Street runs parallel with the ocean. Since Bayview Street is very residential, the sign is small and discrete. Look for Beacon Road, park on the side of the road and look on the trees for a small sign that says Lighthouse Lookout. Remember this is Town Public Property so do not worry about someone coming out and yelling at you. At the end of the very short trail, there is a lovely old log that you can sit on and enjoy the view.

The Camden Merchants Showcase Shows Off Maine Arts and Crafts

Local artisans, merchants, and historians are hiding in plain sight right in the heart of downtown Camden, Maine. Though friendly to foot traffic, few people mark the Merchant Showcase on their maps when visiting Camden. Really, though, it is worth a spot on anyone’s itinerary. There’s no more authentic way to commemorate your time in Camden than with a work of art or simple trinket from this time-worn institution.

Lodging? What About The Breakfast?

The Windward House is one of those places where repeat guests and word of mouth business fills the place. It is a bed and breakfast in Camden Maine with an amazing breakfast, great sleep and a fantastic location. Because it isn’t one of the big names the rates are very reasonable for all you get. Consider – organic local breakfast that is ordered off of a menu. And you may order whatever you want. They start off serving fresh fruit, and the menu has organic food, like the bread and eggs and fruit, – even the bacon which the serve is from Maine farms. The Sleep! They pride themselves on using high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets that are hand pressed. They also make the beds in extremely comfortable combinations. If you check out their reviews on TripAdvisor you’ll hear a lot about how great the sleep is in this place.  Check out this great bed and breakfast in Camden Maine!

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