A quintessential coastal Maine town at the foot of wooded Camden Hills, the affluent village of Camden sits on a picturesque harbor that no Hollywood movie set could improve on. It has been attracting the gentry of the Eastern Seaboard for more than a century. The mansions of the moneyed set still dominate the town's shady side streets (many have been converted into bed-and-breakfasts), and Camden is possessed of a grace and sophistication that eludes many other coastal towns.
The best way to enjoy Camden is to park your car -- this may require driving a block or two off U.S. Route 1, which unfortunately runs right up through the center of town. The village is of a perfect scale to explore on foot, with plenty of boutiques and galleries. Don't miss the hidden town park (look behind the library), either: It was designed by none other than the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, the famed landscape architect who designed New York City's Central Park.
On the downside, some longtime visitors say that all this attention (and Camden's growing appeal to bus tours) is having a deleterious impact on the atmosphere; yes, there are T-shirt shops here. And there are occasional cries raised about the increasing snootiness of the place. As long as you don't expect a pristine, undiscovered fishing village, you'll be in good shape to enjoy the place.
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