If you're not familiar with Maine's MidCoast islands yet, now is the time to change that. With countless hiking trails and scenic cliff views, these islands are magical retreats from the main town of Camden that can generally be explored within a day. Most of these islands are only accessible via kayak or boat, making it even more of an adventure to visit. Whether you are seeking a relaxing staycation or an epic adventure, we've got you covered with our beautifully renovated guest rooms, impeccable hospitality, and local-only trip recommendations. Here are our top four day trip picks for exploring MidCoast Maine:
Curtis Island is a quaint, gem-like 5-acre island located on the exterior of Camden Harbor. It is only accessible via boat or kayak. After enjoying a candlelit breakfast at the inn, head over to Maine Sport Outfitters. Rent a kayak or canoe and make your way across the calm, soothing waters. The island has multiple trails that you can explore, along with wooden chairs all around where you can picnic and enjoy lunch with beautiful views of the water. During low-tide seasons, you can also dip your toes or go for a light swim in the water. Get up close and personal with the Curtis Island Lighthouse, the pride and joy of this island. Although it is not open to visitors, you will find yourself in awe by simply looking at this magnificent landmark.
One of the best day trips from Camden is taking a boat to Monhegan Island, a treasured retreat about 10 miles off the coast of the mainland. Make sure that you start your day early to ensure that you have plenty of time to explore the island. From the inn, drive about 35 minutes south to Port Clyde. From there, you can take a one-hour ride on a ferry boat to Monhegan Island. It is highly recommended that you follow the ferry schedule here and reserve tickets in advance. Once you are on the island, you will have access to many hiking trails and scenic views. For lunch, treat yourself to a creamy bowl of homemade chowder at The Barnacle. Wash it all down with craft beer at the family-owned Monhegan Brewing Company. After you are refueled, take a nature hike to the east side of the island where you can see a shipwreck and soak in incredible views of the coast.
Mount Desert Island
For a jam-packed day trip, look no further than Mount Desert Island. This island is covered by Acadia National Park and is home to 18 mountains (blessing you with a myriad of hiking paths). This island is accessible by car and is about an hour and a half drive away from the inn. Start your day as early as possible so you can trek the glorious Cadillac Mountain and catch an epic sunrise. Due to the number of people that visit, there are timed entries, so make sure you reserve that in advance. Make your way to the town of Bar Harbor and feast on a well-deserved brunch at Cafe This Way. Before embarking on another hike, check out the local gift stores and house-made ice cream shops. Spend the rest of your day exploring the beautiful trails, beaches, waterfront cliffs, and mountains that this island has to offer.
Islesboro is a fourteen-mile island in Penobscot Bay known for its beautiful nature preserves and peaceful island life. Only a 20-minute ferry ride from Lincolnville, this island is mostly free of commercialization and prides itself on offering raw and untouched landscapes for those who want to really experience nature at its finest. Make sure that you prepare your own food prior to going, as there are no food options available on the island. Go on a bike ride to explore hidden coves and nature preserves such as Herbert Preserve. For a more unique and remote adventure, take a boat to Warren Island State Park for an unbeatable nature experience. After exploring the beautiful coves and hiking trails, you will realize that you have discovered one of Maine's best-kept secrets.
After a full day of exploring any of these islands, make your way back to Camden and treat yourself to one of the many neighborhood eats that we recommend. Take off those hiking boots and indulge in a relaxing bubble bath in our whirlpool tubs. Slip your feet into our plush room slippers and order a glass of wine from our extensive wine and spirits menu before ending the night. After all that exploring, don't hesitate to set aside a full day with us at the inn and book one of our relaxing in-room massages. Your body will thank you. Contact us today at Captain Swift Inn to book one of our beautifully appointed guest rooms and get treated with the best hospitality you will ever experience!