Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Spring Time Lobster Shacks in MidCoast Maine

Now that spring has sprung in MidCoast Maine, everyone's eager to jump in the car and have an adventure. If you love crisp sea air on your nature hikes and lobster on your plate, turn your car north and head for Camden, Maine. Enjoy a unique weekend getaway at the Captain Swift Inn. Just two blocks from Camden's shops, restaurants and idyllic harbor, our newly renovated Inn offers luxurious lodging and impeccable service. Spring in the Midcoast means blooming crocuses, ice out on the lake and the return of Maine lobster shacks. Some shacks open in early April. Here are our fun Spring Lobster Adventure Ideas.

McLaughlin’s Lobster Shack

McLaughlin's Lobster Shack, a quick drive up Rt1 to Lincolnville, announced they will reopen on April 1, 2022. They serve chowders, oysters, and fried clams all with a water vista. You might also enjoy their Maine lobster dinner complete with corn on the cob, cornbread, and French fries. Or maybe try their take on a lobster roll at their brand new Wheel House Beach Bar offering tropical cocktails and local ales out of a converted sardine carrier boat. Either way, McLaughlin's "wicked fresh" seafood will be the star and the bay vistas the backdrop.

Red’s Eats

If you make the trip on April 18, 2022, or after, don't miss stopping at the famous Red's Eats in Wiscasset. The 81-year-old lobster shack is one of the most written about roadside shacks in the country, and you'll see why with one bite of their iconic lobster roll. And don't forget to grab a homemade whoopie pie or two for later. 


If you head up after May 25, 2022, you'll want to check out Claws in Rockland, a lively water-side shack with a menu to please everyone. Enjoy their fantastic and affordable seafood on their expansive deck with views of the inner harbor, breakwater and lighthouse. This is a local favorite. 

McLoon’s Lobstah Shack

After Memorial Day lots more lobster shacks open, including McLoon’s.  This sweet little red shack is located on Sprucehead Island. Sit by the sea and watch the lobster boats come in. Your lobster is fresh and caught that day – right there. Opens on May 30, 2022.

Camden Harbor Cruises 

If you're ever ready for a break from seafood, make a reservation for a cruise. Just a 7-minute walk down to the harbor from the Inn, Camden Harbor Cruises offers a Lobstering & Lighthouse Cruise. During this cruise, you'll learn the history of the bay and how lobstering is done on the Maine coast. If you would like to learn more about the birds and marine life, choose the Eco-Tour Cruise which comes with sightings of seals, sunfish, porpoises and more. 

Wherever your adventure takes you during the day, you will be thrilled to come back to The Captain Swift Inn. Whether relaxing around the fire pit under the stars or a fire in one of our cozy fireplaces inside, you'll be well taken care of with a drink of your choice and a fantastic local cheese plate. 

Book a room for a weekend, a week, or however long it'll take you to try every great lobster shack in Mid-Coast Maine. 

Saturday, February 19, 2022

It's Maple and Mud Season in Camden, Maine

March can feel like a bit of a waiting game. The snow is melting and spring is on the horizon, but it's not quite here yet. If you ask us, it sounds like the perfect time for a getaway to tide you over. Milder temperatures make it more enjoyable to get outside, and Camden Maine, has so much to offer this time of year.

Winter may be coming to a close, but skiing is still in full swing in Maine in March, and the warmer weather makes it a pleasure to be out on the slopes. Squeeze in a few more ski days before the end of the season at The Camden Snow Bowl.  You'll find some lovely skiing and snow tubing, complete with ocean views, less than ten minutes from the inn.

We are also lucky enough to have Camden Hills State Park nearby, just a five-minute drive up the road.  By March, much of the ice and snow has thawed, and you're left with easier, albeit muddy, hiking trails. (Mainers actually joke of a fifth season from mid-March through April: Mud!) Bring some good boots and a healthy sense of adventure, and you could climb Mt. Battie, which will reward you with gorgeous views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay from the top. Bonus: there are no bugs out in the woods this time of year!

Once you've worked up an appetite in the great outdoors, make sure to treat yourself to a meal at one of Camden's many delicious restaurants. Frannie's Bistro and Long Grain are open year-round. If you're looking for a quiet and cozy afternoon activity, hunker down with a hot drink and a book at the Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe near the waterfront. Foodies may even choose to center their trip around Maine Restaurant Week. This culinary event runs from March 1-12 and features special offers and tasting menus at some of the best eateries around. Participating local restaurants include 40 Paper Bistro & Bar, which serves up Italian food with a focus on local fish and produce, and Nina June, which brings a Mediterranean spirit to classic Maine ingredients. There's no shortage of great food in the area, so be sure to check out some of our other favorite local eats.

Ready for dessert? Maine's maple syrup season spans all of March, and travelers with a sweet tooth will love indulging in Maine Maple Sunday, an annual event that takes place the last weekend in March (March 26-27, 2022). Maple producers throughout Maine will be offering samples of their products and demonstrations of the syrup-making process. Both Sparky's Honey and Maple as well as Rock Acer Works are in nearby Hope, Maine, and will be participating in Maple Sunday festivities.

No matter how you choose to spend your days in Camden, there's no better way to wind down than with a drink by the fire back home at the Captain Swift Inn. We just know you'll love Maine in March and hope you'll join us for a sweet and cozy visit.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Valentine's Day Getaway in Romantic Camden, Maine


The rugged Maine Coast provides unparalleled beauty, breathtaking sunrises, and the peaceful tranquility of the sea. The drama of the coastline inspires romance, and there's no better place to stay for Valentine's getaway than our small inn, just steps from romantic, downtown Camden.

Located north of Rockport and south of Bar Harbor, Camden creates a perfect backdrop for couples wanting to get away from it all and experience the raw beauty that Maine's mid-coast has to offer. With many places to explore, including quaint shops, walks along the beautiful Penobscot Harbor, wonderful restaurants, and many activities nearby, Camden is the ideal setting for a Valentine's Day excursion.

The charming coastal town of Camden, Maine is alive in the winter and welcomes guests with fun Maine events and traditions. Camden's Winterfest Week is scheduled for Saturday through Sunday, Feb. 5 to 13. Sign up to participate in the ice carving competition or watch the Toboggan ChampionshipsCamden's Snow Bowl offers skiing and plenty of other things to do. 

For couples on Valentine's day, there's no more romantic place to stay than the beautiful and historic Captain Swift Inn, rated by Trip Advisor as Camden's #1 Inn. 

Captain Swift Inn: The Perfect Secluded Romantic Getaway

 Located just two blocks from Camden's quaint restaurants, quiet seaside harbor, historic opera house, boutique shops, and more, Captain Swift's Inn offers both convenience and comfort with original New England charm. The Inn, set in a beautiful and historic 1820 colonial Maine Home, recently underwent a 12-month renovation. Nine handsomely-appointed guestrooms and suites feature all-new everything, including bedding and appliances.

The Inn features nine soothing guest rooms and suites,  boasting en-suite baths and spa showers with massage body sprays. Some rooms have private decks; most have fireplaces and all have smart TVs with premium channels.  You'll enjoy spending time on the patio, warming up by the fire pit, or lounging in any of our three fireplace sitting rooms. Soft music; fresh flowers; locally made chocolates; plush robes, and more are what you can expect while staying at the Inn! This is a perfect setting for a romantic getaway with your Valentine. 

Plan A Romantic Dinner For Two

We've selected some of Camden's most date-worthy restaurants, all of which are open in February.

  1. Long Grain (Thai Cuisine): Reservations needed for dine-in; take-out also available.
    11:30am-2:30pm & 4:30pm till close Tuesday - Saturday
    Closed Sunday and Monday.
    20 Washington Street, Camden, Maine 04843
    (207) 236 - 9001

  2. Franny's Bistro (New American): 5:00pm-8:00pm Wednesday - Saturday (Closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday).
    This chef-driven restaurant has something for every taste in a warm, inviting atmosphere. Wine, cocktails, and many Maine-crafted beers. 
    55 Chestnut Street
    (207) 230-8199

  3. 18 Central Oyster Bar & Grill (Seafood and upscale grill fare): Reservations highly recommended; take-out available.
    Don't miss the winter specials at this bar and grill.
    18 Central Street, Rockport
  4. The Vintage Room (High-end cocktails and small plates): Open daily from 4pm-10pm
    Hoping for cocktails and small plates in an opulent atmosphere? Contemporary classic meets Golden Age in the gilded and glamorous Vintage Room. Enjoy craft cocktails and artisan small plates. An expanded dinner menu is available on Friday and Saturday nights. 
    16 Bay View Street, Camden

Planning A Proposal? We Can Help!

The dramatic Maine Coastline creates an epic backdrop for milestone occasions, which is why mid-coast Maine is a popular destination for romantic proposals, weddings, and elopements. If you're planning a proposal, please let us know if there is any way we can assist with the details. We'd love to make your getaway in Camden one that you'll never forget. There are many popular winter proposal spots in the area, and we can help you pick one that's right for you. 

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

Walk out to this historic landmark. The Breakwater Lighthouse is located in Rockland, just eight miles south of Camden. You can reach it by a pleasant walk on a 7/8-mile-long breakwater cutting the ocean's water.

Laite Beach

This small, relaxing harbor beach has no fees and provides easy access to Camden Harbour. The park sits on a hillside, featuring a playground, public bathrooms, outdoor grills, and an outdoor shower. A grass embankment slopes downhill to the water, where you'll find a lovely pebble beach with views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay, as well as Mount Battie in the background. 

Ragged Mountain

Ragged Mountain is accessible by ski lift, and many have chosen to pop the question here. If you'd rather hike, climbing Ragged Mountain is a strenuous endeavor, but the reward is worth it. The spectacular view includes westerly vistas all the way to Mt. Washington, the White Mountains, Maine's western mountains, and island-speckled Penobscot Bay to the east. 

Sweets for Your Sweetie

  1. Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe

    This old-fashioned candy shop has all the classic candies and much more. 
    57 Bay View Street
  2. Laugh Loud Smile Big

    This delectable bakery offers decadent cupcakes that will make a romantic surprise for your sweetheart. 
    43 Main Street

Contact us for booking information or to reserve your Valentine's Day stay!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Spectator’s Guide to the U.S. National Toboggan Championship

The U.S. National Toboggan Championships are held annually in February at the Camden Snow Bowl in Camden, ME. Thousands of racers and spectators come to Camden to partake in this exciting event each year. The 2021 Championships were postponed due to Covid-19, but for 2022 - Camden is geared up to make it an exciting event! February 11-13, 2022. 

We at the Captain Swift Inn want you to come and enjoy this event in the best way possible. Here are our best tips for making the most of a fantastic weekend:

  1. Stay with us! Parking for this event can be a bit tricky due to the large influx of competitors and spectators. From our Inn, you can walk to the village green and catch a community bus that will take you back and forth from the event. No parking becomes no problem!
  2. Dress for the event. The teams dress in fun costumes (like this), and spectators typically follow suit by wearing fun garb! Just be sure to add layers to your fabric expression. While there will be a bonfire, it can still get quite cold. You may also want to consider wearing ice trackers on your shoes for added safety. Most spectators spend a lot of time on the ice - Hosmer Pond. 
  3. Bring a lawn chair and a cooler. Get comfortable while you are there, this is considered a bar-stool event. Consider bringing along a lawn chair for added comfort as you watch the toboggans shoot by. 
  4. Food Trucks. When you arrive at the event, you'll be pleased to see that there are several food trucks in "tobogganville." Only worry about packing your chair and know that your hunger can be sated by local delights!
  5. Go skiing. If you get tired of sitting on the sidelines, be sure to check out the downhill ski trails, which will remain open during that weekend. 
  6. Saturday. If you can only attend the event for one day, choose Saturday, as that's the biggest day for the event.
  7. Dress for the event. Be sure to check out the parade! The competing teams march around Tobogganville dressed in their fabulous costumes and it is truly a sight to behold. You won't want to miss it.
  8. Check out Downtown Camden Maine. If you have some time while you're visiting, be sure to check out downtown Camden. It has upscale shops, antique shops, restaurants, and more.
  9. Stay up to date. Keep an eye out on the official toboggan competition page and their Facebook page for up-to-date information regarding the weekend's events and other activities. Some years even have a chili cook-off, which is our personal favorite. Stay tuned to the even sites to make sure you're able to take in all that Tobagganville has to offer!
  10. Don't take things too seriously and have fun! This event is filled with folks who just want to have a good time. The team names are usually hysterical, the costumes are stellar, and with the proper mindset, you're in for a real treat of a weekend.

At the end of your bustling day, take the community bus back to the Captain Swift Inn to relax, refuel, and recharge. We can't wait to see you!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Our Favorite Camden Maine Winter Activities 2021-2022

The seaside village of Camden, Maine is ideal for those that want to surround themselves with stunning winter harbor views, unique shopping, nature walks, and picturesque skiing. The Captain Swift Inn is open all year and is a great place to make your base for the perfect winter getaway. This list is in addition to our previous Winter blog, you can read here: Top Things To Do In Camden Maine This Winter 2020

The cozy fireplace rooms and signature hot chocolate of the Captain Swift Inn will be a wonderful complement to your winter adventures. Explore our favorite shops on Main Street - just walking distance from Inn -, or enjoy some winter outdoor fun nearby. 

Some of our Favorite Main Street Shops

Stay warm going in and out of charming downtown stores, collecting little trinkets for you or someone special. Here are some of our favorite Camden Maine downtown shops. 

Swan Island Company is a gift and apparel store on Main Street that specializes in all of those comfy, cozy, warm, and fuzzy things that remind you of wintertime. Whether you want to pick up something for yourself to keep you toasty on your winter vacation, or something special to take home to a loved one, Swan Island Company has something for everyone to enjoy, from baby clothes to blankets!

Once A Tree specializes in unique locally handcrafted gifts that you will not find anywhere else. These gifts range from gorgeous one-of-a-kind oyster shell bakers to rustic table lamps crafted with ocean-smoothed stones from the local shores. There are handcrafted bowls and furniture fashioned from the cherry and maple trees of Maine. Words truly cannot describe the care and quality that has been put into each of these masterpieces. You simply must stop in and see for yourself. 

Before creating and collecting home decor, Jo Ellen Designs was a fine artist and illustrator! Using these skills, she has crafted and curated a stunning collection of hand hooked rugs and pillows, that each tells a tale or portrays a unique perspective. There are other things to browse as well, including cute children's toys and painted ceramics. Jo Ellen Designs has been featured on The Today Show for her distinct style and you can stop by to see or purchase a piece for yourself in downtown Camden, a short walk from The Captain Swift Inn.  

Winter Hike

Take a winter nature hike at Beech Hill Preserve, in nearby Rockport. This nature trail weaves through lush wild blueberry fields. Because of the blueberry bushes, there is a lack of foliage or evergreen trees, allowing the sun to warm winter hikers as they meander up the hill.  You will find wonderful views of Penobscot Bay from the top of Beech Hill. Another highlight is a historic sod-roofed hut known as Beech-Nut near the summit. 

Skiing, Downhill Tubing

Camden Snow Bowl is the place for winter sports and it's not far from The Captain Swift Inn.  Here you can grab a half a day or full day lift pass and enjoy downhill skiing on one of their many trails of varying levels appropriate for all skiing levels - all with views of Penobscot Bay in the distance. There are also a number of beautiful nature trails for cross-country skiing, and the new one for the 2021-2022 season is DOWNHILL TUBING! 

Whether you're looking to book a family winter vacation or a romantic couples getaway, The Captain Swift Inn is the perfect place for you to lay your heads between memorable winter excursions. Located in beautiful downtown Camden, with new ownership and a total renovation in 2019, you can expect upscale lodging with a great breakfast! 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Lincolnville Maine, the hidden gem next to Camden Maine

The charming town of Lincolnville abuts Camden Maine via road, mountains, and sea.  A trip to the area is not complete without a tour of this charming town. From the gorgeous year-round views and serene coastlines to the local wines and amazing outdoor opportunities, you cannot go wrong spending the day in lovely Lincolnville. 

Cellardoor Winery 

For a truly delightful experience, the Cellardoor Winery has a state-of-the-art winery for creating distinctly Maine-made wines. The five-and-a-half acre estate vineyard has developed hardy hybrids to withstand Maine's climate, and today you'll find traditionally fermented wines like Bulles Rosé, dessert wines like Late Harvest Frontenac Gris, and their first-ever Ice Wine produced in 2018. You can choose from pre-set tastings, individual glasses of wine, or buy a bottle to enjoy with a locally-sourced cheese plate. Cellardoor Winery is open on the weekends. Reservations are required and can be made online. 

Enjoy the Local Trails 

The Ski Shelter Trail at Camden Hills State Park is a wonderful choice for all types of outdoor enthusiasts. It is a moderate, five-mile trail that follows the base of Megunticook, where you can see everything from forest to bogs, and an abundance of wildlife. As a multi-use trail, it is well graveled and popular with hikers, horseback riders, ski mobiles, and bicycles. It is open all year and is a popular cross-country trail in the winter. You can also access several trails in the northern section of Camden Hills State Park, including local favorite Bald Rock with its gorgeous views.  You can check out the trail map and plan the perfect route. 

Megunticook Lake Access

Another favorite spot for hikers, Fernald's Neck Preserve, is a nature preserve along Megunticook Lake. The mature trees of the uninterrupted forest are a sight to see. The trail system is a great place for wildlife viewings, such as bald eagles and loons that live on the lake. There's a lot to see on the 3.6 miles of trails, so be sure to plan ahead so you can take your time taking it all in. Near balance rock, there is even a place you can get your feet wet or take a swim in the freshwater lake.

Lincolnville Beach

Lincolnville Beach is a beautiful place to take a quiet stroll, lay on the real sand beach (at low tide), or watch the boats come and go from the nearby Iselboro ferry terminal. You can enjoy kayaking, boating, swimming, and fishing. There's no shortage of fun and exploration along the coast, and the bay is protected from big waves by the islands. You can also take a short ride out to the nearby island of Isleboro.

Lincolnville General Store

This charming Lincolnville General Store is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch. They use their wood-fired oven daily to cook pizzas, breads, meats, veggies, and more, so you're sure to find something delicious to try. A wide variety of baked goods, fresh salads, a unique wine selection, and locally crafted beers are some of the other treats you can find here. Of course, they also offer a great selection of grocery items and gift items. You're sure to find something tasty and unique at this local store! 

After a day of wine tasting, hiking, or enjoying the coastline, come back and relax at the Captain Swift Inn. Lincolnville is a short 15-minute drive from our front door and is a nice addition to your Camden Maine vacation. Contact us today to book your lodging for your next MidCoast vacation. We promise you'll experience the warm welcome and excellent service you deserve! 

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Experience The Best Of Fall Foliage In Camden & MidCoast Maine

6 Ways to Enjoy Autumn in the Camden Maine Area

1. Hike the trails
2. Corn maze and hayrides
3. Enjoy local beer
4. Ocktoberfest
5. Enjoy a taste of fall at local restaurants
6. See the foliage from the sea

Leaf peeping season in MidCoast Maine is just beginning and lasts until the end of October. Some of the best fall foliage in New England can be found in the Camden and MidCoast areas, and there are a plethora of fun autumn activities. Located minutes away from shops, restaurants, and the coastline, our bed and breakfast serves as a base camp for exploring all that MidCoast Maine has to offer. Here are six activities that anyone can enjoy while taking in the beautiful Maine fall foliage.

Camden Hills State Park

Located along US Route 1, less than ten minutes from our inn, Camden Hills State Park has hiking and walking trails that lead to stunning views of fall foliage and Penobscot Bay. Each trail in Camden Hills ranges from easy to moderate difficulty, with most trails being less than one mile long. While every trail in this State Park is bounding with beautiful flora and fauna to learn about, two trails are part of Maine's Natural Heritage Hikes. These trails are historically significant and give hikers a chance to learn about Maine and New England history while basking in glorious fall foliage. The Megunticook and Ocean Lookout Trail lead to the summit of Mt. Megunticook, which has a stunning view of the ocean and forest that you just hiked through. You can read about the natural and cultural history of this trail here

Beth's Farm

Beth's Farm Market in Warren, Maine, has a quintessential fall corn maze and hayride. If you visit all the checkpoints within the maze, you get a free mini pumpkin. Beth's has a wide variety of fresh seasonal produce. In season now there are apples, beets, strawberries, and corn. 

Odd Alewives & Waterman's Beach Brewery

Odd Alewives Farm Brewery is located along Old Route 1 in Waldoboro. You can make reservations to sit by their fire pit and enjoy their variety of ales and wood-fired pizza. All of the ales at Odd Alewives are made with 95 to 100% Maine-grown ingredients. Their menu accommodates a variety of dietary restrictions and preferences, with ingredients like fennel and apple sausage, Tromboncino squash, and Cubanelle peppers. Located in South Thomaston, Waterman's Beach Brewery has a variety of artisanal brews including IPA's, stouts, and pale ales. Their Boat Builder Brown ale is perfect for fall with notes of dark caramel, cedar, and plum. Breathe in the salty air, listen to the waves, sip those hops, and relax before heading back to the inn.

Sterlingtown Public House - OktoberFest Beer Garden

The Sterlingtown Public House and Beer Garden is located in Union. Their menu includes appetizers like fresh bruschetta, main dishes like Baja tacos, and their Thai peanut rice bowl. Sterlingtown has non-alcoholic beverages like the local favorite Moxie. Their alcoholic beverage list changes regularly and includes Maine craft beer, local craft cider, and wines from around the world. Sterlingtown does not take reservations and has indoor and outdoor dining available.

Fresh & Co. and The Happy Clam - A Taste of Fall

One of our favorite fall menus is from Fresh & Co. The chef's use of local mushrooms, honeycomb, arugula, and apples throughout the menu sets the mood for fall enjoyment. Located in the heart of Camden, Fresh has global cuisine for every appetite. If you want to add a little Oktoberfest to your leaf-peeping, we suggest taking a drive out to South Thomaston to enjoy The Happy Clam. This pub is right near Tenants Harbor and is a favorite for fresh seafood and cocktails, like a Bloody Mary. The Happy Clam also has many classic German dishes such as Schnitzel and German Goulash. 

Schooner Surprise

For a view of the foliage from the ocean, there's no better boat than the Schooner Surprise. Located less than five minutes from our inn, Schooner Surprise invites passengers to come on day cruises and sunset sails through mid-October. The Surprise can even be rented on private charters for a minimum of two hours.  The Surprise offers birding and marine life tours during the day, so you can do your leaf-peeping and bird watching on the same cruise.

At the end of the day, retire and enjoy the Captain Swift Inn. We are Camden's newest totally renovated bed & breakfast inn, with inviting guest rooms and suites. Reflect on your leaf-peeping journey while lying on our plush mattresses, relax after a day of being outdoors in our spa showers and wrap yourself in a Turkish towel. Our three-course candlelit breakfast is a memorable way to begin your next adventure. Contact us today to book a stay at the Captain Swift Inn to receive the finest hospitality in Camden.