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Maine Lighthouse Road Trip: Camden | Owl's Head, Marshall Point & Pemaquid Lighthouses

This past May, I went on a solo road trip through the coast of Maine in search of the prettiest coastline views and beautiful lighthouses. I covered a lot of ground, and if you'd like to catch up on some of my other destinations, I'd love for you to follow these links:

Okay, friends - when I last left you, I had made it all the way up to Lubec (almost to the Canadian border!), and now it's time to start working my way back down the coast. Next up on my adventure is Camden, as well as three beautiful lighthouses that are all relatively close to each other.

Camden was a town I had actually made a mental note of years ago when Josh and I drove through it during our first trip to Acadia. I remember driving down the main street area thinking it looked so picturesque and perfect for a weekend getaway, so I decided to spend two nights here for a little relaxation. 

Camden is another great home base if you're looking for a place to stay that has a distinct town feel with shops and restaurants, but also easy access to some other coastal sites and lighthouses. It's also only an hour from Boothbay Harbor, which I loved and you can read more about my time there here. You could definitely take a day trip to Boothbay, or vice versa (stay in Boothbay and day trip over to Camden).

There are three lighthouses I visited that are all an hour or less from Camden, but more on those in just a moment. Right now, let's talk about why Camden should be on your itinerary for your Maine adventure.


I chose to stay at the Blue Harbor House Inn and could not have been happier with my choice. The hosts are a husband and wife team, and let me tell you, they serve up some amazing food, which is included in your stay. Breakfasts every morning were a gourmet and comfort food treat, and every afternoon, I had the most delicious cookies waiting for me in the common area (labeled with my name on them and everything). They were so kind and helpful, and were just amazing people to be in the hands of for two nights.

Front porch of The Blue Harbor House Inn.

On top of all that, the location is perfect. It's a short 5-min walk on a nice little sidewalk into the main town area, and you're just far enough away from the hustle and bustle for very quiet evenings. Everything in my room was sparkling clean, insanely comfortable and homey. I really want to go back with Josh someday.

Tip for selecting a place to stay in Camden
If I haven't convinced you to stay at the Blue Harbor House Inn, just be sure that you find accommodations with parking included. Parking in-town is not easy, and with limited spaces, it can become challenging. The Blue Harbor House Inn had an on-site parking lot, which was another huge bonus.


Much like most small, coastal towns, Camden will kind of force you to relax because there's not a ton to do. But, that said, it offers enough to keep you occupied if you're looking for fun excursions. There are plenty of sailboat and regular boat tours that leave right from the harbor in downtown. I didn't do any of them during my stay, but many of them are very well-rated, and looked like lots of fun. I considered doing a sunset sailboat tour with Schooner Surprise once I got there, but ended up not really having the time. 

Camden's harbor is easily accessible from anywhere downtown, and you definitely can't miss it. It's pretty small, but it's insanely gorgeous. Everything from huge, stately sailboats to weathered row boats are docked here, and overlooking the harbor is a lovely little park. I came to the park to eat lunch and dinner here one day, and with a book, a picnic table all to myself in the shade and the sound of boats coming and going, it was so perfect.

View from the park overlooking the harbor.

Camden also has some really nice little shops. French & Brawn is an adorable little rustic market that had grocery basics, pre-made foods and delicious baked goods. I definitely grabbed a brownie and cookie from here to bring with me on excursions, and they were awesome. Camden has its fair share of tourist shops that sell t-shirts and such, but also had a great mix of unique boutiques. My favorite little shop was Jo Ellen Designs, which was just such a beautifully curated home decor and housewares shop. I ended up walking out with a really lovely coffee table book about lighthouses, but was so tempted to buy much more while here.

Camden Hills State Park is a very short drive outside of town and definitely worth a visit. There are hiking trails to explore here, but if you're not feeling like being super active (like me, after having hiked all over Acadia and Lubec the past few days prior), I decided to take a nice, easy drive up their auto road to the Mt. Battie summit. The spot offers unique bird's eye views of the harbor, and with it being so easy to access with a short drive, I would say it's a must-see. There are lots of different places to walk around once you're up there, and I hung out for a bit, watching bald eagles fly around in the sky. It was a really relaxing way to kill an hour or so. And of course, you can absolutely hike to the summit if you prefer. 

Looking down on Camden's harbor from the summit of Mt. Battie.

Tips: The entrance fee is $6 per person (if out of state) as of 2021, and they only take cash. So be sure to check your wallet before you pull in. If you want to take the auto road to the top, you'll want to take the park entrance on your left if coming from downtown Camden. It will be very clearly marked.


And, as promised, you can visit some beautiful lighthouses if staying in Camden: Owl's Head (25 min drive), Marshall Point (40 min drive) and Pemaquid Point (1 hr drive). These times will vary depending on if you drive straight there, or drive from lighthouse to lighthouse. Either way, you can easily see these all in a day from Camden.

One lighthouse that's a short 15 min drive from Camden is Rockland Breakwater Light, which I didn't have time to see. But it's a really unique one that's at the end of a mile-long rock jetty you can walk on, and a lot of people say this is a great spot for a sunset (as long as you time your walk out to the lighthouse with plenty of time to get back before it goes completely dark). 

Of the three, my favorite was Owl's Head (even though I pretty much loved them all). I went just after sunrise on a very overcast Friday morning, and I had the whole thing to myself for an hour and a half. It's just such a unique lighthouse, situated up on a hill, and the atmosphere here was peaceful. Hence, why I stayed for so long. There is also a little stretch of rocky beach on your way to the lighthouse. I stopped here for a bit after visiting the lighthouse, and I loved every minute of it here, too. 

The nearby Owl's Head Harbor was also a great little pitstop. It's very small, and mostly used for working fishermen, but, you know, I love my worn-in fishing village scenes, so I of course had to stop by.

Next up was Marshall Point Lighthouse, and this one's a bit famous since it was featured in Forrest Gump. If you remember the scenes in the movie where he just keeps running, and he runs up and down a lighthouse bridge - this is the one he runs on. I really love it here so much. It's also very peaceful, surrounded by quintessential Maine coastline, and it really is just a beautiful structure. You can walk all over the rocks below it and take in different views, too. The town of Port Clyde, where Marshall Point Light calls home, is also really lovely to drive around.

Lastly was Pemaquid Point Lighthouse & State Park. This one is the most popular of the three, and was fairly busy when I visited. But, it was definitely worth the stop. There's a big stretch of rocky cliffs to explore here to take in different views of the lighthouse, so even when it's crowded, you can still spread out. 

Tips for visiting Pemaquid Point: There is a $3 cash only entrance fee, and they also have a decent public restroom facility.

Close to Pemaquid Point is Pemaquid Seafood, and I was so happy they were open in May since most of these off-the-beaten-path-type seafood shacks in Maine were closed until Memorial Day. The lobster roll here was delicious. And since you're right on the water, the views are also perfect.

If you're feeling extra adventurous and want to take the scenic route, between Marshall Point and Pemaquid is a cute little town called Friendship. They have a lovely little harbor area, which I sadly didn't get any pictures of, and a very cool market that's super photogenic. 

And that ends my time in Camden! Next up, I'm going to do a short little post on an overnight trip in Bailey Island, which was such a pleasant surprise. It had one of my favorite coastline walks with some stunning views, and I'm really looking forward to telling you all about it.

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