A Day in Camden

So, you just pulled into town and are all ready to check-in and get settled at Windward House, before embarking on your Mid-coast Maine adventure.  After leaving your car behind in our private off-street parking lot, it’s time to stroll downtown to explore your new home away from home. 

The first stop should be the Camden Public Library.  It is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The main entrance, which is located 3 properties away from Windward House, brings you into the original building which has been beautifully restored to a quiet reading room and electronic research and reference area.  Heading downstairs, you will pass the History Center which holds the town and area historical documents and the Edna St. Vincent Millay collection.  Early photographs of Camden and its surrounding areas, as well as old photographs of the ships built at local shipyards, can be found on this level.  Continuing downstairs under the great lawn is the main library collection, meeting rooms and lovely children’s room.

After taking in the beauty of such a vast collection of works, exit the library toward Harbor Park and take a lovely stroll through the Library Amphitheater, which serves as a cultural center for the town.  Cross over toward the harbor and take in the beautiful views of Camden Harbor, with its beautiful and majestic Windjammers, Schooners and watercraft of all sizes.  Follow the path back toward Main Street for stunning views of the Megunticook River waterfalls as they enter the Penobsbcot Bay behind the local businesses of Main Street.  Shop your way through town, while heading toward Public Landing, and stop off at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber Information Center.  Here you can collect additional ideas for things to do in the area, and the surrounding areas, as you continue to journey through our beautiful state of Maine.

Enjoy a fresh local lobster roll at any of our area’s fine dining establishments before continuing to stroll down Bayview St.  Take off your shoes and get your feet wet at Laite Beach with views of Camden Harbor and Curtis Island.  Next you will want to continue into the private residential area on your way to one of our best hidden viewing spots, the Curtis Island Lighthouse Overlook.  This is the only place on the mainland where views of the Curtis Island Lighthouse can be seen. 

After snapping some photos of the lighthouse, watercraft, and schooners in the distance, head back to the road toward Aldermere Farm.  Here you will see the Belted Galloway cows grazing in the fields. We have nicknamed them the “oreo cows” due to their distinct color patterns of black in the front, white in the middle and black in the back.  Continuing toward the Rockport peninsula, search for the Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel, which is an open air chapel hidden in lush greenery, set up high on a hill overlooking the Penobscot Bay.  Stroll through it’s Biblical Gardens set with herbs that are indigenous to the Old Testament, while taking a minute to reflect and appreciate the beauty of nature and our wonderful state. 

On your way back toward Camden, on Union St, you will pass under the “Welcome to Camden / Welcome to Rockport” arch, which was the iconic “Welcome to Peyton Place” arch back in the 1950s, when Peyton Place was filmed in our beautiful town.  As a matter of fact, the old theater on Mechanic Street hosted the world premiere of the film Peyton Place back in 1957. 

At this point, you will have a big decision to make.  Watch our glorious sunset by land? Or by sea?  If you choose to view the sunset by sea, grab a light jacket and head to the harbor for a sunset sail.  There are multiple boats and schooners of all sizes offering sunset scenery tours all along the Harbor.  If you choose to view the spectacular sights by land, follow the path directly from Windward House’s Garden courtyard up to the Mt. Battie trailhead to take in the views from the top of Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park.  The old stone lookout tower has a spiral staircase to increase your already 800 ft height, allowing you to see all the islands out in the harbor and the aerial view of downtown Camden and its Harbor. (Did you know that the town of Harmony in the 1990’s Aaron Spelling soap opera “Passions” was actually in real life, Camden Maine?)

Whatever path you chose, its’ now time to grab a cocktail at The View rooftop bar at 16 Bayview, with beautiful harbor views, before enjoying a delicious dinner in one of the twenty-one dining options located within walking distance of Windward House.  Save some room for ice cream and head up Mechanic St. to River Ducks.  Follow the footbridge over the Megunticook River and window shop our Main Street shops while heading toward the Historical District of Camden, home to Windward House.  Grab a local beer or bottle of wine from Windward Libations and head outside to enjoy the cool evening temperatures.  You will find rockers on the front porch, cushioned sectional seating on the upper deck, and Adirondack seating on the back lower deck with views of Mt. Battie.  Or perhaps, you’d like to take a moment and reflect on the beauty of what you experienced during the day, by smelling the flowers in our Courtyard Gardens or enjoying the warm glow of our firepit in our new garden patio.

Now it’s time to retire and rest up for new adventures that tomorrow shall bring.  At Windward House we take great pride in providing the most comfortable bedding for a wonderful and peaceful night’s rest.  We feature 600 thread count Woven sheets by Malouf, and placed them on top of Pacific Northwest Featherbeds, which guest swear, “is like sleeping on a cloud”!

Matthew Dempsey