Monday, December 21, 2020

Best Shopping in Mid Coast Maine – Our Favorite Shops

Add to your Mid Coast Maine itinerary – Retail Therapy - the fun activity of shopping in small coastal downtowns. There is a plethora of unique and niche retailers in the seaside villages of Camden, Rockport, Rockland and Belfast. Find treasures to bring home with you. Maine local shops need us more than ever, so get out there and treat yourself.

Some of our favorite small shops in Mid Coast Maine

Glendarragh Lavender Shop – Camden Maine

How can you not enjoy a store that has a moto of “a labor of lavender love”? From the minute you get within 5 feet of this store, your senses are overwhelmed with the loveliness of lavender. This store carries a great selection of all-natural lotions, soaps and salves to the handwoven Irish woolen throws to the cashmere scarves made in Italy. In addition to having a store in downtown Camden Maine, they have a farm you can visit in Appleton. Check out their website for more details:

Cashmere Goat – Camden Maine

For those that have been coming to Camden Maine for years, you will remember a Camden downtown staple, the Cashmere Goat. First situated on Elm Street back in early 2000, it is now nestled on a cozy corner on Bayview Street. Knitters and crocheters of all skill levels love this store for their large yarns, including traditional wools, alpaca, cashmere, cotton and other interesting blends. Locally hand-dyed and spun yarns are part of the mix. They are currently offering their products online, curbside and mail order. Check out their store online:

Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe- Camden Maine

Everyone that walks into Uncle Willy's feels like a kid again. This old style, traditional candy Shoppe offers a wide variety of candy favorites:  gourmet chocolates, fudge, brittles, “penny” candy, licorice, gummies, novelties, and many famous brands that you will remember from your youth. Visit this year round Candy Shop in downtown Camden Maine on Bayview Street.

The Grasshopper Shop – Rockland Maine

The Grasshopper Shop in Rockland is a great example of a Maine family business. The Grasshopper brand started in 1975, by Johanna Strassberg and Ken Schweikert, is now owned by their daughter, Sierra Dietz. Sierra stocks the store with Maine made and USA made items that provide comfort, charm, and surprise.  According to their website: “Everything on their shelves is hand-selected to make life a little brighter and more joyful”. Check out their online store and more details on their website:

Brambles – Belfast Maine

You are going to have to believe us on this one. Unfortunately, Brambles does not have a website, but that makes it more of a treasure hunt in Belfast Maine. This is a fun find. The shop offers a very interesting assortment of gifts and home decor as well as gardening/outdoor items, and a few antiques. A beautifully arranged store in a great building, gorgeous inside and extremely inviting. Friendly and experienced staff for a great shopping experience. Located in downtown Belfast Maine at: 2 Cross Street. If you put it in Google Maps, you will find it.

Maine Sport Outfitters- Rockport Maine

Our list would not be complete unless we mentioned Maine Sport Outfitters. This store is a favorite of locals and visitors. In the summer season, The Captain Swift Inn rents equipment and arranges guided outdoor tours for their guests at Maine Sport. They are known as the go to place for all Maine outdoor activities. Check out their website here:

Other Favorites:

Once A Tree - Camden -

Fiore - Rockland -

After shopping around the Mid Coast, return to the Captain Swift Inn, order a drink from the in- house drink menu and relax. The Captain Swift Inn is open year round, making it the ideal base to do a little retail therapy whenever you need it.


Monday, November 30, 2020

Top things to do this winter in Camden Maine 2020

Top Things To Do In Camden Maine This Winter 2020

Camden Maine is a Winter Wonderland

Although things have been unpredictable this year, we are certain that the upcoming winter here in Maine will not disappoint. The open spaces and crisp air will be a refreshing break that many pine for. The little seaside village of Camden Maine is ideal for those that want to surround themselves with seaside views, art, nature walks and some downhill or cross country skiing. The Captain Swift Inn is open this winter. Our cozy fireplace rooms and signature hot chocolate will be a wonderful compliment to your winter adventures.

The Camden Snow Bowl

The Camden Snow Bowl has announced that it will be open for their 2020-2021 season. The staff at the hill have enacted a Ski Well, Be Well program – encouraging visitors to work together for everyone’s safety. The lodge will temperature check all employees and increase cleaning and disinfection protocols per State directions. They are asking skiers to wear face coverings, social distance, arrive together – ski together, stay home if you are sick and asking everyone to plan ahead. Recreation is proven to improve mental and physical wellness – so get out there and enjoy this Maine winter. The Camden Snow Bowl has 20 trails, 11 glades, 2 chairlifts and night skiing, making it a great destination. In addition to the downhill options, The Snow Bowl is working with Coastal Mountains Land Trust and Mid-Coast NEMBA to provide a variety of winter experiences. There are fat biking, snow shoeing and Nordic trails available. Download a winter trail map here:

Camden Hills State Park

The trails of Camden Hills are open year-round. The auto road is closed when there is substantial snow. Many locals walk up the auto road in the winter. During the end of November and the whole month of December, in addition to the beautiful ocean views, hikers are rewarded with seeing the Mt. Battie Star. On the evening of Thanksgiving, the Town of Camden lights the traditional Mt. Battie Star. This star is lit each night until New Years Day. Experienced hikers know that winter hiking is enjoyed most when you are prepared. Be sure to bring, a heavy coat, ice trackers for your shoes and some hand warmers to keep in your pockets. The Inn is not far from the trails of Camden Hills which makes it an ideal spot to come back to and warm up.

The Camden Downtown

There are many options to dine in the downtown this winter. Whether you prefer to eat at a restaurant or take out and enjoy back at the inn, you have many selections. Long Grain, Tomi Sushi and Noodle Bar, Fresh and Camden Deli have been consistently good for take-out. Add a drink or a bottle of wine from the Captain Swift Inn drink list to complete your take out experience If you prefer dining at a restaurant, Blaze, Camden Waterfront, Camden Sea Dogs and the new Ports of Italy are larger restaurants with spaced out tables and in door dining.

Visit a Museum

The museums in downtown Rockland are a great place to get out of the cold and enjoy some Maine art. The Farnsworth Art Museum and the Center forMaine Contemporary Art are open. For detail about times and tickets, please see their websites.

We look forward to welcoming you to Camden Maine this winter. If you are not ready to travel yet, we understand and hope you are cozy and comphy where you are. If you are coming, please check out our Winter Lodging Packages here: and Winter Specials Here:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wedding planning in Camden Maine

Camden Maine Weddings

Imagine a wedding at sea, on a mountain top, near a lighthouse, in a small chapel or a historic landmark park, all of these options are here and what make Mid Coast Maine a picture perfect location to host a wedding or an elopement. Destination weddings are perfect for couples that have family and friends scattered all over the country. Your guests will be delighted to reunite where the mountains meet the sea. Rent the entire Captain Swift Inn for friends and family. For details on this option, read more here.

When to Get Married in Mid Coast Maine:

Mid Coast Maine and Camden Maine are year-round communities. Although summer and fall are prime times to be outside, winter has its own charm. We recommend choosing the late spring to early fall for an event. The weather is warm and there will be many activities for your guests to choose from in their down time. If you and your friends are snow fanatics, the Camden Snow Bowl is usually open for skiing mid-December to early March.

Where to Get Married in Mid Coast Maine:

Your guest list will determine where you should host your wedding ceremony. The celebration may have to be at another location. In MidCoast Maine, the popular ceremony locations are: A schooner, on top of Mt. Battie, Vesper Children’s Chapel in Rockport, the famous Camden Amphitheatre or at one of the many churches in the area. If you are eloping, you might want to consider kayaking out to Curtis Island, or walking out to the Breakwater Lighthouse.

Where to host a Wedding Celebration:

Again, you guest list will determine your wedding celebration venue. Some of our favorites are the Barn at Primo, The Camden Yacht Club and the Group Picnic Shelter at Camden Hills State Park. Each one has a unique feel and can be catered to different budgets. At Primo you will have seasonal food created by two time James Beard award winning chef, Melissa Kelly, in a unique, customizable post and beam Barn. At the Camden Yacht Club, you will have a front row view of Camden Harbor that can be customized with a stargazing tent and your choice of many caterers. The clubhouse and facilities are available to the public for rentals from mid-May to mid-June, and again after Labor day until the club closes in mid-October. The Picnic Shelter at Camden Hills State Park is a fun park experience with amazing views of Penobscot Bay. If you are planning on hosting in the winter, Union Hall in Rockport is a great option. Located near Rockport Harbor, this beautifully restored building is perfect for a classic New England wedding.

A few fun details for planning:

Horse drawn Carriage: St George Carriage Company

Trolley company: All Aboard Trolley

Wine Tasting and Rehearsal Dinners: Cellardoor Winery

Whether your wedding is big or small, and if your celebration is in summer or winter, your guests will be delighted to spend a weekend in Camden Maine. Consider booking all nine rooms at The Captain Swift Inn and enjoy a 10% discount off your lodging during non-peak periods!  You’ll have the run of the Inn, can select the music you’d like to hear in our common sitting rooms; can suggest the breakfast entrée of the day as well as schedule a later breakfast time if you prefer! We can work with you to tailor your get-away to best suit your group’s needs.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Best Bike Routes in Camden Maine

MidCoast Maine is a unique place to ride your bike. The fantastic views and hilly landscape make a day of cycling very enjoyable. Whether you prefer road riding or dirt trails, MidCoast Maine has a ride for you. Many people call us to ask about riding on the nearby islands, but we prefer to recommend paths on the mainland. The roads on the islands are narrow and the views are not as spectacular. Also, you need to take a ferry to the islands, and getting to the ferries on a bike usually involves riding on State roads with limited side lanes. The paths we are recommending are near the Inn and in the backroads. Ideal places to stop and have a picnic or a quick swim. So whether you choose a paved lake view road or a rocky dirt road in the Camden Snow Bowl, we are sure your will enjoy a day of bike riding in MidCoast Maine. If you have a bike great, if you need a bike, we have bikes available at the inn on a first come basis.  

Scenic with Ocean views, historic homes and cows – 5 miles and very scenic – Casual and Easy. 

This easy 5-mile ride takes you around Camden and Rockport Harbor. Enjoy the historic homes and ocean views. There are many side stops you can make along the way. Enjoy the Andre the Seal Statue in Rockport Harbor, divert off Russel Avenue to the Children’s Chapel, or stop in and enjoy the belted Galloway Cows at Aldermere Farm. Link for: Beautiful, Scenic Bike Ride in Camden Maine and Rockport. 

To see loop - Click here: Casual Bike Ride in Maine 

Lake Views and backroads of Camden Maine. 

Enjoy a filling breakfast before you head out on this 16-mile, hilly bike ride. This ride takes you up Rt 52 to Lake Megunticook. We are cautioning you about the road near the lake, be attentive, the road gets narrow for about a mile. Stop at Barret’s Cove for a quick dip or picnic.  This ride can be difficult, please take caution. 

Link for Moderate to Expert Bike Trail in Camden Maine.

Dirt Trails at The Camden Snow Bowl. 

There are some fairly easy dirt bike trails at the bottom of Ragged Mountain, not to mention a pump track, most of the Snow Bowl's trails involve climbing. The climbs are manageable and lead to an extensive network of semi-technical trails. For more information on this unique riding experience in Camden Hills, see this link. 

If you want to ride on the islands (Isleboro, North Haven), or down the nearby peninsulas, we recommend that you pack your bike on your car and drive to a convenient starting point. Route 1 is not ideal to ride a bicycle because of narrow roads and lots of truck traffic. There are many great biking destinations. For more information see our Chamber of Commerce Biking Web page for more information. 

Rest assured, when you arrive back at the Captain Swift Inn, you can relax in one of our many common areas or in the comfort of your own private room. Refresh in your spa shower with 3 massage body sprays or put your feet up in front of a warm fireplace. Bike riding is a great way to see the coast and enjoy the fresh air of Maine. You will sleep well after your long ride in one of our luxurious beds with fine Comphy lines and down alternative blankets and pillows.  

Monday, August 31, 2020

MidCoast Maine Brewery Trail

Believe it or not, Maine has some of the best craft beers out there. There are more than 70 breweries in the State of Maine creating a fun itinerary for a stay-cation or getaway. Unlike a bar crawl, a brewery tour submerges you in a town’s culture. Each brewery reflects their landscape and showcases different Maine assets. In this blog post, we highlight 3 different breweries, each with their own unique experience. One on the beach, one near the lake and one in the back roads of Mid-Coast Maine. These are fun additions to any day-trip from the Inn.

-If you want to just want to stay local and walk from the Inn, you can enjoy the Camden Maine Breweries: Camden Sea Dog and Camden Blaze.  

Beach Brewery

Waterman’s Beach Brewery

Head down the peninsula to South Thomaston and this seaside brewery. For those that have been to Maine before, they might remember this place used to Waterman’s Beach Lobster. You can still get a great lobster roll here in addition to some tasty beer.   Waterman Beach Brewery offers three beers—a blueberry wheat, a pale ale or an IPA. Please note they only accept cash.. There is an ATM on the premise. Customers can sit under the cover of a roofed-in deck and enjoy the view or they can walk past the rows of lobster traps and grab a seat outside.  You can even show up in a boat and order right off the pier.  The beach is small, but has real sand! So kick off your shoes and enjoy a local ale. 

The brewery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 2 to 7 p.m.

For more information visit their Facebook page.

Lake Brewery

Lake St. George Brewery

Going to enjoy a day on the lake? Lake St. George is a State Park and loved by the locals as a special swimming spot. Only about a half hour drive from Camden downtown, this lake is easy to get to. Enjoy the morning swimming and kayaking on the lake, then in the afternoon, head to the nearby barn for some local beer and snacks. The location houses a new 15-barrel brewery. The courtyard is comfortable in the shade with a fire pit that seems to be lit all summer long. You can find locals sitting by the fire knitting and enjoying libations. The brewery is presently open seven days a week and will remain open year-round with truncated hours in the winter (likely Thursday through Sunday). For more information go to their website:

Back Road Brewery

Odd Alewives Farm Brewery

Although it’s nice to have views of a lake or a beach, the backroads of Waldoboro, also known as, Old Rt 1, is a lot of fun. The location of this brewery may be off the beaten path, but many already know where it is because it is near the famous Moody’s Diner. At the top of Old Rt 1 is a colorful, welcoming farm. Like the Lake St. George Brewery, the courtyard has a big fire pit with large comfortable chairs. The surrounding buildings are painted in bright colors and there are gardens to stroll through. In addition to the great beer here, the farm offers brick oven pizza! This is a great place to enjoy lunch or a light dinner. After your visit, you can either stop in Moody’s for some pie or drive down the peninsula to enjoy a sunset at nearby Marshall Point Lighthouse. 

Whatever brewery you choose, we are sure you will not be disappointed. Since we suggest not drinking too much while you are site seeing, know that you are welcome to bring these great beers back to the Captain Swift Inn and enjoy them near the firepit or in the comfort of your room. We also sell many beers and can have them waiting for you when you check in or after a day out sightseeing. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Pick Your Own Farms In MidCoast Maine

Fun, Outdoor, Pick Your Own Farm Options

Have you found a new love for cooking and gardening while you have been inside the last couple of months? We are finding that simple, back to the earth pleasures are attracting guests to the Mid Coast of Maine. In addition to forest bathing in Camden Hills State Park, our guests are enjoying strolling around admiring the New England gardens on the coast.  Our guests are also searching out farms for u-pick fresh fruit. The fresh fruit can be brought home for canning, pies and other sweet treats. Maine is famous for their small, delicious blueberries, but did you know that the Coast of Maine also has great strawberries, apples, pears, pumpkins and raspberries? Channel your inner farm and head to Camden Maine. These short-day trips are relaxing as you reconnect with nature. Here is our list of great day trips for Mid Coast Maine Pick Your Own Farms. 

Can’t come this summer, start planning for the fall when the pumpkins and corn mazes are abundant!

Rockport Maine. 

Beech Hill – want to do some hiking and then pick some blueberries and raspberries. Beech Hill is a conservation property in Rockport Maine. The conservation sells the blueberries as a fundraiser to maintain the property, but 1 day a year, they allow a community Free Pick day. The hiking trail through the property culminates at the top with a historic sod roofed stone hut. The hut is open on select days to welcome the community for fundraiser activities. The views in the distance reveal nearby islands and the Maine coastline. The trail is a favorite of locals because the blueberry and raspberry bushes are low allowing the sun to warm you on colder fall and winter days. 

Washington Maine.

Sweet Season Farm -Located in the quaint little town of Washington, this farm has a storefront, cafe, ice cream stand and great views of Appleton Ridge. This sweet, family farm is a short 30-40 minute drive from the Inn. U-Pick hours are from 7am to 7pm Wednesday – Sunday. The farm does not use pesticides 

Hope Maine. 

Hardy Farms Orchards & Hope Orchards- Both of these family farms are located in the nearby town of Hope. You could visit both in one day and come home with apples, pumpkins and pears. Both Farms are a impressive drive up Rt 52 and are great places to watch the sunset as they both have vistas of Camden Hills. Hope Orchards has events during the season, check their website for details. 

Whitefield Maine

Sheepscot General Store and Farm is a unique addition to this list because in addition the delicious, certified organic berries they grow, they also grow hemp, which they harvest in September. This farm is a little further away in Whitefield, but make a day of it, the 1 hour drive over Rt 17 is scenic and easy. You could pick in the morning and then enjoy a delicious lunch from the quaint farm store. 

We love watching our guests enjoy the fruit of the land here in Mid Coast Maine. When they return to our Camden Maine Inn, they relax by the fire-pit and then stroll downtown to enjoy a meal on the water. We are confident that when they return home they will look fondly on their time at the farm and the back to the earth experience they found in Mid Coast Maine. 

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. 

Lake Megunticook

            The locals love Barret's Cove, located at the head of Lake Megunticook.  This great, public lake beach area, off Rt. 52, Mountain Street, has picnic benches, bathrooms and a fun dock for the kids to swim out to. This is also an ideal place to watch the sunset behind the mountains. 

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. 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
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

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 décor 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.