17 BEST Things to Do in Camden Maine This Year

Camden Maine is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, making it a top destination in the state. Whether you’re on a romantic retreat, a family vacation, or a business trip, there are things to do in Camden Maine for everyone.

To make the most of your visit, we’ve put together a list of must-see activities in the area. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a frequent traveler, these spots are not to be missed during your time in Camden Maine.

hiker looking over camden and rockport penobscot bay
Photo: Georges River Path

Take a Hike Through Nature

The hiking trails in the surrounding area are among the top attractions in Camden Maine. The state is renowned for its exceptional natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and picturesque landscapes, making it a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Camden Hills Southern Trail Network

Camden Hills State Park has numerous trails, and the Southern Trail Network is particularly nice.

The Carriage Road Trail, spanning 1.6 miles as a round-trip route, is rated as moderate. It’s popular for hiking, trail running, and nature excursions, and allows leashed dogs. The trail gets moderate foot traffic with peak usage from April to September.

The Mount Battie Trail, a 1-mile out-and-back route, is rated as moderate as well. It offers stunning wildflowers and is ideal for nature excursions and bird-watching.

The Tablelands Trail, stretching 3 miles round trip, is another moderately challenging path. The coastal views along the hike and the breathtaking vista from the summit make it a must-do experience.

Camden Hills Maiden Cliff Network

Beyond the Southern Trail Network in Camden Hills is the Maiden Cliff Network. The Maiden Cliff Trail forms a 1-mile moderate path (one way) that connects to the 0.8-mile Scenic Trail (also one way), which is moderate too. Together, the trails offer vistas of both exposed cliffs and Lake Megunticook.

These trails not only offer fantastic hiking opportunities but can also fill an entire day with engaging activities. Beginning the morning at one of these locations and returning in the afternoon provides a wonderful way to immerse yourself in stunning scenery and enjoy some invigorating exercise.

Camden Snow Bowl

The exclusive destination offering skiing with a harbor view is the Camden Snow Bowl. Situated within the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area, this resort features numerous trails for biking, hiking, walking, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

In addition to these activities, the area includes a pond for boating and fishing, an all-purpose field, and tennis courts. Notably, the Camden Snow Bowl serves as the venue for the U.S. National Toboggan Championships held annually in February.

Explore More of Camden Hills State Park

While hiking is one of the best things to do in Camden Maine, there are times when you simply want to relax and bask in nature without extensive walking. And for individuals with physical limitations, it’s important to have options for enjoying the outdoors.

Camden Hills State Park provides an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself directly in a natural habitat. It has various driving routes, allowing you to reach the summit and take in the expansive views with the hike.

path at merryspring nature center
Photo: Merryspring Nature Center

Discover Camden’s Nature Center, Falls, & Lake

After completing the recommended hiking trails, if you still yearn for more outdoor adventures, you’ll be pleased to find numerous exciting outdoor options within the Camden Maine area.

Merryspring Nature Center

A visit to the Merryspring Nature Center offers an opportunity to further explore the area. With its arboretum, trails, and exceptional birding and wildlife watching, the experience is truly remarkable. And, don’t miss the chance to witness the stunning Vernal Pool.

Megunticook Falls

Discover the picturesque Megunticook Falls, situated along the Megunticook River, a 3.5-mile waterway flowing from Megunticook Lake to Penobscot Bay. You can walk to the base of the falls via a path that leads from Camden Harbor Park down to the waterfront. The water cascades down the embankment between the park and a few buildings before it reaches Camden Harbor.

Megunticook Lake

For those interested in a refreshing swim, a trip to Megunticook Lake is a must. Not only is it an ideal spot for swimming, but the panoramic views are truly spectacular, showcasing an abundance of natural beauty. Keep in mind that the freshwater swim may be a bit brisk, so aim for a sunny day for the best experience.

best things to do camden, maine - schooner rentals
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Take a Schooner Tour or Camden Harbor Cruise

Exploring the water is an ideal way to immerse yourself in the remarkable and distinctive Mid-Coast Maine experience. One excellent option is to rent a schooner in Camden Maine, or opt for another chartered boat.

A wide array of boat-worthy things to do in Camden Maine are at your disposal, ranging from two-hour to half-day to full-day outings that cater to both small and large groups, with or without a meal. There truly is an option for everyone to enjoy the water.

Schooner Suprise

Living up to its name, Schooner Surprise provides the opportunity to witness the myriad wonders of Maine — from lighthouses to wildlife and everything in between. Embarking on an unforgettable sail aboard this comfortable schooner is a truly unparalleled experience.

The name “Surprise” is fitting for this boat because it offers a wealth of unexpected delights for customers, including sunset sails with live music, fireworks sails, full moon sails, and eco-friendly tours.

Schooner Olad and Cutter Owl

Having multiple options is always advantageous, and you have exceptional choices here with the Schooner Olad and Cutter Owl.

The Schooner Olad — a classic sailing yacht — provides two-hour daily sails and various custom charter options for larger groups of up to 21 people with catering services available. Also, it hosts special seasonal events, such as lighthouse tours, sailing races, and lobster bakes.

The Cutter Owl is remarkably versatile and perfect for those seeking a more intimate sailing experience. It can accommodate up to six people and is available for two and three-hour daily sails, as well as custom charters.

For a truly extraordinary experience, the Cutter Owl can sail you to one of many inns along the Maine coast and even arrange a visit to a campsite for a specially prepared lobster bake.

Lively Lady

From May to October, individuals seeking a voyage in Camden Harbor and along Penobscot Bay have the opportunity to board the Lively Lady. While enjoying a leisurely cruise, passengers can watch for historic lighthouses, eagles, seals, grand mansions, and of course, windjammers.

For those interested in a private charter, Camden Harbor Cruises provides charter services aboard the Periwinkle and the Lively Lady for full-day, half-day, or even a few hours. Whether you require a private ferry for a field trip, a wedding party, or a lighthouse tour, all needs can be accommodated.

Explore Penobscot Bay & Some Islands

The stunning vistas of Penobscot Bay offer magnificent views of the Gulf of Maine. The shoreline provides numerous delightful spots to sit and observe people, shop, or savor a delectable meal. The breathtaking views and the serene experience of watching the ebb and flow of the water, along with the passing boats, are sure to be truly captivating.

In addition, there are some great islands to explore on day trips. These islands offer tons of things to do and see for every interest — parks, hiking trails, museums and lighthouses, restaurants, and boutique shops. Here are a few of the best, closest islands to visit during your Camden Maine getaway:

front of owl turtle coffee shop and book store in camden maine
Photo: Owl & Turtle

Grab a Coffee Shop Pick-Me-Up

It can be challenging to find the perfect spot to unwind during a midday excursion, especially when you simply need a cozy place to relax with a good cup of coffee. Here are a few of the best coffee shops where you can do just that!

Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe

The Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe not only offers excellent coffee and pastries but also provides a charming bookstore ambiance, allowing you to enjoy your coffee break while perusing new releases and timeless classics.

Zoot Coffee

Zoot Coffee was established to deliver exceptional coffee and espresso to Camden Maine. Its delectable coffee and baked goods cater to all, including those with dietary restrictions.

Bagel Cafe

At the Bagel Cafe, you can savor fantastic coffee alongside an array of bagel options. From the spreads to the sandwiches, this shop is a delightful experience for bagel enthusiasts.

If you’re in the mood for a more substantial meal, you might consider dining at one of the 13 of the Best Camden Maine Restaurants.

Check Out a Camden Maine Gallery & Lighthouse

If you have a penchant for discovering the culture of your town or exploring new destinations while on vacation, there’s a multitude of things to do in Camden Maine. The town’s distinctive art community is a standout feature, with an art scene that rivals the number of dining establishments. Plus, Camden has its own lighthouse at the entrance to the harbor. Here are some highlights.

Camden Falls Gallery

Camden Falls Gallery features original sculptures, furniture, and fine art by both established and emerging artists. Rotating exhibitions cover a diverse range of subjects — from landscapes to water vessels, architecture, and coastlines — ensuring that there’s always something new to see.

Carver Hill Gallery

Carver Hill Gallery showcases premier collections of contemporary art, featuring works from Argentina, Italy, and other international locations. The talented art professionals and career artists responsible for these works have also served as educators in some of the most esteemed institutions worldwide.

Curtis Island Lighthouse

Curtis Island Lighthouse, situated on the southern side of Camden Harbor, has been a part of the National Register of Historic Places since 1973. The initial construction took place in 1836, with the current tower being erected in 1896. Additionally, the complex includes an 1889 keeper’s house, barn, and boathouse, as well as an 1895 oil house.

While the lighthouse is visible from a mainland outlook, visitors can opt for a closer look by taking a boat to the island. There, they can enjoy a town park and walking paths with beautiful views of the harbor and Camden Hills.

Outdoor Pool in Camden at Glen Cove Inn - pool chairs with an umbrella and planters with a blue sky

Rest Up for Experiencing the Best Things to Do in Camden Maine

Whether you’re visiting for a brief stay or settling in for an extended family vacation or romantic escape, we’re confident that you’ll fall in love with the exquisite beauty of Camden Maine and the finest attractions of Mid-Coast Maine.

During your visit, we invite you to stay at Glen Cove Inn & Suites. Our bed and breakfast offers a delightful blend of amenities and affordability. Guests can indulge in a delightful breakfast each morning on the covered veranda while enjoying the invigorating sea breeze. Additionally, our outdoor pool is open seasonally.

If you’re visiting during the off-season, you can opt for our sister property — The Country Inn at Camden Rockport — where you can relish a country-style buffet breakfast and make use of the heated indoor pool.

Start planning your family vacation or romantic getaway today. Take a virtual tour of the inn to get a feel for what we have to offer, and explore our room availability for your travel dates!