Sunday, July 5, 2020

Best Picnic Spots in Camden Maine



One of the best ways to celebrate summer is with a picnic. Locals and tourists alike will agree that Maine’s picturesque scenery is the ideal setting for an outdoor feast. The summer flowers are in full bloom and the lakes are the perfect temperature to take a refreshing swim. If you’re looking for the best spots in Camden to enjoy the outdoors and share a meal during your stay at the Captain Swift Inn, you’ve come to the right place. The Captain Swift Inn Innkeepers would be delighted to prepare a picnic hamper for you to take on your outing.


Picnic Spots in Camden Maine


 Laite Beach


First on our list of the best picnic spots in Camden is Laite Beach, located on Bayview Street.

Equipped with its own picnic tables and bathrooms, Laite Beach offers views of Camden’s Idyllic Harbor. Enjoy your lobster rolls that you picked up at the Camden Deli or Graffam Brothers Seafood Market, while watching the schooners sail past Curtis Island. This is a favorite place for locals to dip their feet. At low tide, this rocky - sandy area is ideal to sit, read and refresh. If it’s an especially hot day, follow your meal with a jump in the ocean - guaranteed to cool you off any day. 

 

Camden Harbor Park 


Camden Harbor Park is another favorite picnic spot for locals and tourists that will give you a much more intimate feel for life in Camden. Whether you decide to lay a blanket out on the grass or use one of the new picnic tables available, you’ll be able to listen to the calming sounds of the waterfall while enjoying your lunch in the company of the friendly local ducks and the historic statue of Edna Saint Vincent Millay. The nearby Camden Public Library offers free wifi, making streaming your favorite music or catching up on emails easy.


Mount Battie

 

For a birds-eye view during your picnic adventure, we recommend the top of Camden’s most accessible mountain, Mount Battie. If you would like to work up an appetite before your meal, enjoy the rugged hike through the well-loved Camden Hills State Park. For those who would prefer a more easy-going afternoon trip to the top of this picturesque mountain, there is also an auto road that will take you to the top in a matter of minutes. Plan your picnic for sun set and watch the moon come out of the harbor and the sun disappear behind the mountain.

 

Lighthouse Lookout


By far the most romantic picnic setting in Camden is our Lighthouse Lookout, located on Bay View Street by Laite Beach. The hidden nature of the little path makes this the most exclusive spot for couple’s to enjoy a picnic together on a bench overlooking the stoic Curtis Island Lighthouse. This is the only place on public land that you can see the lighthouse.


Village Green


The new picnic benches in the Village green, located in the center of downtown Camden

Maine, are ideally located for those that want to watch the hustle and bustle of the downtown. All of the great take out spots are a stones throw from this ideal picnic spot. The beautiful trees and well maintained gardens of the village green make for a serene spot is an active downtown. 


Last but not least, guests are always welcome find a comfortable place at the Inn to sit and enjoy a meal. Many of the local restaurants are offering take-out and delivery.  Whether you choose to retire in the outdoors next to our deluxe fire pit to watch the stars or your own luxury suite, you will agree that the Captain Swift Inn and Camden Maine are a great place to celebrate summer.


Friday, May 29, 2020

Camden Maine Hiking Trails




Our Top 3 Trails in Camden Hills State Park

Camden Maine is not only known as the ‘Jewel of the MidCoast’, it is also known as where the ‘Mountains Meet the Sea’. The MidCoast area has so many great mountain and sea activities, Lighthouses, lobsters and hiking make for a fantastic  itinerary. This seaside village is home to a 5,710-acre public recreation area known as Camden Hills State Park. The park is a year-round destination for nature lovers and hikers. The park has views of the bay, lake, and surrounding hills. The trails vary in difficulty and perfect for any level of hiker. Not a hiker, no worries, take your car up the 2-mile auto road to the top of Mt. Battie for views of Penobscot Bay and the nearby islands.

Some of our favorite hiking trails in Camden Hills State Park.

1.    

1. Maiden’s Cliff. – Maiden’s Cliff is a 1-mile moderate hike. The trail has streams and boulders
along the route making the trail a delight to meander. At the top, the 50 ft drop reveals Lake Megunticook in the distance. The iconic cross at the top is a tribute to the young maiden that had a fatal tumble from the cliff. The trail is a favorite of locals because the entrance to it is right across from Barrett’s Cove, a popular place to dip your feet or swim in the lake. 

     Getting there:

From Camden, travel north on US

Route 1 to the intersection of ME Route

52. Follow ME Route 52 north for approximately 2.8 miles. The parking area

for Maiden Cliff will be on the right.


2.     2. The Carriage Trail, and the Carriage Road Trail – One of the easiest trails in the park. Many young families with small children enjoy this 1.5 mile hike. The trail leads to the top of the auto road, that also leads to the Mt. Battie Memorial tower. The trail is a remnant of the road that visitors would travel to get to the historic Mt. Battie Hotel. 


Getting there:

From Camden, travel north on US

Route 1 to the intersection of ME Route

52. Follow ME Route 52 north for approximately 2 miles. 

The parking area

for Carriage Trail will be on the right





3.     3. Mt Battie Trail – The Mt Battie Trail is a difficult, but short hike to the top. This steep .5 mile hike is a favorite of locals because of the views that slowly reveal themselves are you get closer to the top. There are some steep rocks and may not be good for anyone that is afraid of heights. The view once again, is of Penobscot Bay and the nearby island.

Getting there:

From Camden, travel north on US

Route 1 to the intersection of ME Route

52. Follow ME Route 52 north 1 block.

Turn RT. on Megunticook Street

Follow Megunticook Street to the top

The parking area

for Mt. Battie Trail is at the top of the street.

 

After a long day of hiking, return to the Captain Swift Inn and relax by the fire pit or in your own private room. The trails are nearby and easy to find. The Inn has discounts and value-added promotions for 2020. Make your plans now. To see all Captain Swift Travel Promotions – Click Here. For a Camden Hills Hiking Trail Map – Click here.

 

 

 


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Celebrate National Apple Pie Day



It is hard to believe that the first apple pie recipe was written in 1381 in England!  All these years later, it has become one of America’s favorite types of pies and a endearing symbol of our culture.

The comfort of an apple pie has been a welcomed addition to many of us as we have been sheltered inside the last few weeks as part of social distancing. The stream of online quarantine cooking and baking recipes have provided motivation and direction to keep us busy during these otherwise very still times.  And the added benefit to baking an apple pie is the amazing aromas, that candle makers often try to capture and re-create – but never truly master!

So with National Apple Pie day just a few weeks away on May 13th, let’s celebrate with baking an apple pie!  We often change our recipes over time, but below is our “go to” apple pie recipe that we often make during holidays. The beauty of an apple pie is that it is so simple to make, and most of the ingredients are items routinely found in most pantries.
And if you are a “pie enthusiast” we invite you to visit us during the annual Pies On Parade Tour in January.  This fun event fills the Inn with pie loving guests from all over New England.  Over the course of the weekend, guests sample both sweet and savory pies in Camden and Rockland.  Last year guests there were over 37 pie venues with just under 60 different types of pie!  And for those interested in learning how to master making the perfect pie crust – we even have a pie making demonstration as part of the weekend, along with a scavenger hunt, amazing prize baskets and more!   And the best part about this weekend, other than the amazing varieties of pies you will sample, is that it is a fundraiser, with the proceeds donated to our food pantry! Save the date (January 29 – 31, 2021) and check out our special lodging package for value added details.

Although we love making all types of pies, we have found that apple offers so many unique variations based on taste and preference. There are so many different factors bakers can change to create their unique recipe. The variety, the way you slice an apple, the toppings and the crust are all variables that can be crafted to your own taste. In our quest to bake the perfect apple pie, we benefit from being near so many local apple orchards. We are happy to share our favorite Apple Pie recipe below that has our own unique twist to it - Apple Jack Brandy.

A trip to MidCoast Maine is ideal for apple lovers. Many think of blueberries and lobsters when they think of MidCoast Maine, but the area also has 12 apple orchards. The State of Maine has over 60 apple orchards in total. Apple picking season starts in late August and runs to the middle of October, and is a perfect time to visit!  There are pick- your-own orchards and apples at farm stands available during that time. Due to the growing interest in organic food, four of the Maine apple farms now grow and sell organic. The oldest organic apple farm is Sewall Orchard located in nearby Lincolnville Maine. Because the orchard is committed to purely using organic methods, their crops are not available every year. You can however get their fantastic organic apple vinegar all year round. The orchard is a great place to visit during apple season, and the hill where the orchard is located has views of Acadia National Park.

In addition to visiting apple orchards and farm stands, apple lovers can enjoy apple pie at a number of local diners and restaurants. An apple adventure would not be complete without a visit to Moody’s Diner in neighboring Waldoboro. You can actually rate their pies on their website, and surprise, surprise, apple pie is rated the best, a near second is their 4 berry pie.  Other favorite places for apple pie include the Camden Deli, located in Camden, and in Rockport, a MidCoast classic, Mary Upham’s Pie, available at Fresh off the Farm, a local market.

We hope National Apple Pie day brings happiness into your home this year – and don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 17th Annual Pies On Parade event. . . and when you stay at the Inn, you’ll find a freshly baked personal pie in your room upon arrival!




Captain Swift Inn Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Ingredients
5-7 large Granny Smith or other tart apples, sliced thinly (enough apples so they are heaped in pie pan, they will shrink during cooking)
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Laird’s Apple Jack Brandy
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Dough for two crusts, bottom and top
Sanding sugar
Extra cinnamon

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Combine in large bowl all ingredients except sanding sugar and extra cinnamon, toss gently until apples are coated
3. Line bottom of pie pan with half the dough, add the apple mixture
4. Cover apples with remaining half of dough
5. Cut top dough into strips if making lattice top and place in weave on top of apples. If your top crust is solid, cut 3 – 4 slits in top to allow heat to escape
6. Pinch upper and lower crusts together, trim any excess dough
7. Brush egg wash (raw egg with a little water) or cream on top of dough, sprinkle liberally with sanding sugar and extra cinnamon
8. Bake at 425 degrees for first 10 minutes
9. Lower heat to 350 degrees for remaining 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft
10. Enjoy with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Road Trip To Camden Maine.


With so much time spent sheltering indoors, we're all daydreaming of summer and the promise of exciting vacation getaways. Those warm, sunny days will soon be here and the cost of filling your gas tank is low. Now is the time to plan a glorious road trip along the scenic Maine coastline. Enjoy everything Maine has to offer, from charming fishing villages and historic lighthouses to picturesque state parks and of course….lobster!

Your perfect Maine destination: the Captain Swift Inn. Located in Camden, Maine, the Inn is only a little over 3 hours from Boston and under 7 hours from New York. It's the ideal home base to explore all that gorgeous Maine has to offer. Enjoy all these incredible Maine sights on the road to Camden:

Historic Portland, ME
Make the first stop on your journey in the historic seaport town of Portland. Maine's largest city is full of New England charm. Stroll the cobblestone streets of the Old Port District, browse the quaint shops and bookstores and enjoy artisanal coffee shops and craft breweries. Visit the Portland Head Light, the oldest lighthouse in continuous use in the U.S.

Boothbay Botanical Gardens
Next stop: Boothbay, Maine for a visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, with 295 shorefront acres of ornamental gardens, waterfalls, fountains and woodland trails. Spend hours outside enjoying nature. The 2020 theme of the gardens is Wicked Wetland Wonders. Maine is lucky enough to feature a number of wetlands—the Gardens alone hosts over 250.

Maine's Best Lobster Roll
Of course, no visit to Maine is complete without at least one luscious lobster roll. Be sure to stop in Wiscasset for a bite at Red's Eats, often cited as Maine's best lobster roll. For 82 years, lobster lovers have been heading to the iconic red shack to enjoy Red's famous treat: big chunks of lobster piled high on a buttered and toasted roll. Afterwards, check out the Avalon Antiques Market. For a fun and full list of Maine Lobster Shacks click here: The Maine Travel Maven’s Favorite Maine Lobster Shacks

Camden Charm
Finally, arrive in the charming seaside village of Camden for your stay at the Captain Swift Inn, the ideal location from which to explore Maine's Mid-Coast.
·  Sail Camden Harbor on a schooner past the historic Curtis Island Lighthouse and tour the four lighthouses along Route 1, all only 35 minutes from the Inn.
·  You'll find four breweries and as many wineries all within a 30 minute drive.
·  While in Camden, kayak Lake Megunticook, mountain bike or hike in Camden Hills State Park.
·  Plan a day trip to enjoy the incredible scenery at Acadia National Park. Hike along 158 miles of hiking trails, or kayak along the shoreline. The National Park is a beautiful 2 hour drive North from the Inn. Start early and return back to Camden in the evening. 

After your drive up the coast, relax at the Captain Swift Inn in one of nine beautifully appointed guest rooms—all with private bath. Enjoy an evening meal in one of our many wonderful dining spots, from casual bistro menus to waterfront dining on fresh Maine seafood. The next morning, indulge with a three-course candlelit breakfast buffet or have breakfast delivered to your room.

We'd love to hear from you... contact us today!


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Daytrips to Maine's Iconic Lighthouses



Visitors enjoying Maine's coastal beauty will want to include a trip to the area's iconic lighthouses. Camden is the perfect location to begin your exploration; there are five of these scenic lighthouses within an hour's drive of the Captain Swift Inn.

Curtis Island Lighthouse

Less than a mile offshore from the Camden downtown, you will find the Curtis Island Lighthouse. Built in 1896, the lighthouse is located on Curtis Island at the entrance of Camden Harbor. The lighthouse itself is not open to the public but, Curtis Island is a public park accessible by boat. Kayak out to the island and take a scenic walk to explore the 1889 keeper's house, barn, boathouse and oil house. Alternatively, treat yourself to an incredible view of the lighthouse from the Curtis Island Overlook located on Bayview Street in Camden.

Owls Head Lighthouse
This 1825 lighthouse is located in the town of Owls Head, at the entrance of Rockland Harbor. Climb the lighthouse for a grand view of Penobscot Bay. Tours are available Saturday and Sunday and Monday afternoons, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Keep an eye out! The Owl's Head Lighthouse is rumored to be frequented by the ghost of an old sea captain. There is also a grave of the lighthouse keepers’ dog.  Walk around the park near the lighthouse, there are places to have a picnic right on the shore.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse
For a fun outdoor excursion, head to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. The 1902 structure is located at the end of a 7/8 mile granite breakwater. Enjoy a beautiful scenic walk along the breakwater for a panoramic view of the harbor. The lighthouse is open to the public and includes a U.S. Coast Guard museum.

Marshall Point Lighthouse
The Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde may look familiar; it's one of the most photographed sites in Maine and was featured in the movie Forrest Gump. The property includes an 1880's Keeper's House with a museum featuring local and maritime history and artifacts, summer kitchen, barn and oil house.

Indian Island Lighthouse
This unique square brick structure, built in 1875, is located at the entrance to Rockport Harbor in Glen Cove. The lighthouse is now privately owned and is not open to the public, but you can enjoy the view of Indian Island aboard the Heron Schooner or other local sightseeing cruises.

The Lighthouse Museum, Rockland
After exploring Maine's lighthouses, include a visit to The Maine Lighthouse Museum (1 Park Dr., Rockland, ME.). This waterfront museum in historic Rockland is home to the largest collection of lighthouse, lifesaving, and U.S. Coast Guard artifacts in the United States. Summer hours (Memorial Day to Columbus Day) are Monday- Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Spring hours are Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission to the museum is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, children 12 and under are free with an adult. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard, active and retired are admitted free.

After an exhilarating day of exploring Maine's lighthouses, come back and relax with a stay at the Captain Swift Inn. Contact us for information and reservations.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Add an Art Tour to Your Next Maine Vacation


Art tours in Mid Coast Maine

The natural beauty of Maine has inspired many works of art. Creative souls from all over the world have traveled here to capture the light and landscape in paintings, photographs and sculpture. Writers find muse for their writings everywhere in the fishing villages, blueberry fields and small towns. Artists such as the Wyeth Family, Edna St Vincent Millay, Robert McCloskey, E.B. White, Robert Indiana and Richard Russo have all at one time called Maine home.  The local history of art can be seen in the many art galleries and events in Mid Coast Maine. Here is our suggested art tour and events for your next trip to Maine.
Start in Rockland Maine. 

Farnsworth Musuem Rockland Maine
1. The Farnsworth Art Museum – The Farnsworth Art Museum is located in downtown Rockland. The Museum has a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists. It has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. The museum has become an anchor for the community and inspired other great galleries to pop up nearby. The campus of the Museum has different buildings scattered around the downtown. One unique building the Museum owns is in Cushing Maine, the Olsen House. The Olsen house was made famous by its depiction in Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World. The farmhouse is not far from downtown Rockland and we highly recommend you add it to your art tour. Tickets for the Olsen House can be purchased at the museum. 



Center for Maine Contemporary Art Rockland Maine  2. CMCA – Also located in downtown Rockland, this museum is a welcomed addition to the art vibe of MidCoast Maine. The Museum was originally located in Rockport but moved to Rockland for a larger space. The Center for Maine Contemporary Art hosts established and merging artists. The large exhibit rooms are well lit and comfortable. The CMCA is located across the street from the Farnsworth Museum and a natural addition to any art tour. 

3. Dowling Walsh Gallery – Unlike the CMCA and the Farnsworth Museum, you can actually purchase the art in the Dowling Walsh Gallery. This extremely high-end art gallery is impressive. Although you might not be able to pack one of these pictures in your luggage, we highly recommend going in and perusing the collections. The quality is amazing. 

Make your way to Camden Maine

1. Page Gallery – A new and fun addition to the downtown art scene of Camden Maine is the Page Galle. Page Gallery is an American contemporary art gallery owned by artist Colin Page. The gallery exhibits a wide variety of paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Maine's leading contemporary artists. The use of light in these collections is an obvious and delightful theme through out the gallery. 

2. Small Wonder Gallery – This year-round, family owned gallery has been a staple of downtown Camden Maine since 1984. The gallery specializes in showcasing the work of Maine and New England artists and depictions of local scenery.

3. Camden Falls Gallery – Also a mainstay of downtown Camden Maine, the Camden Falls Gallery showcases original fine art, furniture, and sculptures from New England artists. 
If you’re not one to organize a structured tour, and just want to meander around sipping wine, snacking on cheese and looking at beautiful art, then we are pleased to tell you that there are 2 art walks this summer in  Mid Coast Maine. There is an art walk every first Friday in Downtown Rockland Maine and one in Camden Maine on Third Thursday. In addition to the fun art walks, the Camden Public Library hosts the Harbor Arts Festival in the Spring and the Fall. 

After an enriching day of art enjoyment, relax at the Captain Swift Inn The warm hospitality and beautiful interior d├ęcor are ideal for encouraging the budding artist in us all.  To find the dates of the Art Festivals and Art Walks, consult our Camden Maine Annual Calendar of Events Page.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Picture Perfect Spots in Camden Maine



Thinking about visiting Camden, Maine in 2020? Be sure to pack your camera! The views you see in Midcoast Maine are ones you’re going to want to remember. Whether you are a professional photographer or someone who loves to share pictures with their friends on social media, here are five local-approved places you can take memorable vacation pics (any season of the year).

1)     Mount Battie
            A favorite spot for tourists and locals alike, Mt. Battie is a must visit during any time of the year. The mountain’s elevation of approximately 800 feet and allows for incredible aerial shots of the downtown, harbor and nearby islands. With options to drive or hike up the mountain, these views are easily accessible for everyone. Mt. Battie is beautiful all year, but your pictures will be especially colorful in the spring when you have a bird’s eye view of Camden’s budding foliage.

2) Megunticook Lake
            Megunticook is both picturesque and fun. In the summer, take a swim or explore the lake in a kayak or paddle-board. Barrett’s Cove is the ideal place for families to spend the afternoon, with a safe swimming areas, grills, and picnic tables. In the winter, the lake freezes and becomes the go-to spot for ice skating. The best photo opportunities are during sunset when warm colors of the sky reflect off of the ice.

3) Camden Harbor and Amphitheatre
            These next two scenic spots are recognized as National Historic Landmarks. Harbor Park, designed by the Olmsted Brothers in 1935, is the perfect place to take pictures of the schooners in Camden Harbor and the islands not far off the coast. In the summer, the park is a great setting to have a picnic and take pictures of your delicious lobster rolls! Across the street you’ll find the Camden Public Library and the Amphitheatre. Gifted to the library in 1931, both the park and the Amphitheatre are pieces of Camden’s history that will be sure to make your vacation photos stand out.

4) The Camden Footbridge
            Located in downtown Camden, the footbridge is a colorful place to take photos. This bridge crosses Megunticook River, which happens to be the only river in Maine that the ocean water never enters. In the summer, flowers decorate the bridge to make a visually stunning scene over the river. Even better, on the other side of the bridge is River Ducks Ice Cream where you can grab a tasty cone to make your day sweeter.

5) Curtis Island
            Accessible by kayak, the historic Curtis Island is one place you can find some peace and quiet on your trip to Camden. Not only is the island the location of some stunning plant life, it is also home to the famous lighthouse from the show “How I Met Your Mother”. Fans of the show can recreate the proposal scene in the actual lighthouse where it was filmed! You can also go for a swing on the island’s cherished rope swing or have a picnic on one of the benches overlooking the ocean.

Camden is truly one of the most picturesque seaside towns in Maine and a photographer’s dream! Plan your visit and include a stay at The Captain Swift Inn. After spending a day capturing Camden’s natural beauty, return to the Inn and relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor! Our three fire-placed guest sitting rooms are great places to unwind after a busy day. Enjoy our own hot chocolate or mulled apple cider have a beverage from our bar. Best yet, when you book your visit now through April you’ll enjoy our off season prices as well as Stay and Save Specials!  Follow Us on Facebook and Instagram to see our favorite pictures year-round.