Hawthorn Inn

9 High Street, Camden, Maine 04843
Innkeeper(s): Ted and Lisa Weiss, Owners/Innkeepers

Your Guide to the Ideal Workcation in Maine 26 Jan 2021, 6:54 am

Workcation is not a recently coined-term. As early as 2015, The Wall Street Journal described a workcation as logging in remotely from a vacation destination. In normal times, not “unplugging” from work for a true vacation can lead to burnout. In these pandemic times, you have been working from home for the last 9 months. As a result, it is likely that you have not had your typical summer vacation or holiday gatherings. You missed out on a much-needed recharge. We have the perfect solution. Here’s your guide to the ideal workcation in Maine at the Hawthorn Inn.

In December 2020, CNBC published a survey that stated 41.8% of Americans were fully working remote. If you are working remote for the last 9 months, you may be looking for a change of scenery. The Hawthorn Inn is here to help. We provide a COVID-19 safe stay in compliance with Maine travel restrictions.

Rise and Shine

Imagine waking up to a beautiful sunrise viewed from your bedroom window.

First sunlight coming up over horizon as seen from Hawthorn Inn

Enjoy the pink and purple reflection over Camden Harbor from your bedroom window.

Reflection of pinks and purples during sunrise over the Camden Harbor

Go for a morning stroll. Get some fresh air to work up an appetite for breakfast. We will provide a contactless delivery of a breakfast tray to your room between 8:30 and 9:30am.  Need it earlier because of your work start time?  No problem discuss that with us in advance, we will work it out.

Breakfast tray delivery to guest room

Breakfast includes a carafe of coffee or tea, juice, a starter course and a cooked entry. Bring the tray into your room. Enjoy private dining for the two of you in your room.

Coffee, juice, breakfast apple crisp, and breakfast taco delivered to room.

After you are appropriately fueled to start your day, place your tray outside your door and we will take it away.

Work Day

Ready to start work? Two of the guest rooms, Norfolk and Watney, have desks. All other guest rooms have tables for work spaces. All guest rooms have business grade WiFi with Internet download speed of 190Mbps and upload speed of 10Mbps.

Carriage house rooms have mini-refrigerators to store the snacks you bring for the day. There are also in-room Keurig machines.

Need a printer or something copied? You can email documents to the inn’s printer and we can deliver it to your room. We also have a limited ability to make copies.

Lunch and Dinner

Some local restaurants are doing dine-in, but many local restaurants are doing take-out or curb-side pick up. Some are also doing delivery. If you order from a restaurant that does not deliver, call Craft Delivery Service. Hawthorn Inn has a partnership with Craft. We will pick up the delivery fee (gratuity is NOT included).

Non-Work Hours

During your non-work hours, enjoy all of midCoast’s fun winter activities. Not enough time to enjoy these, stay longer.  Check out our Promotions for extended stay and other specials.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Hawthorn Inn for the ideal workcation in Maine.

The post Your Guide to the Ideal Workcation in Maine first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

Maine Quarantine Information from Camden Hawthorn Inn B&B 20 Jul 2020, 1:22 pm

Updated on December 31, 2020 for the travel restriction modifications.

There are many questions with regards to Governor Mills’ Keep Maine Healthy program and a Maine Quarantine. The well-intended premise is to keep both Maine residents and tourists safe! What could be better than that?  Tourists, from anywhere, knowing that not only are they coming to a beautiful state with a relatively low infection rate and wide variety of outdoor activities, but also know that other people here are either infection free or staying clear of other people.  Visitors from states other than ME, NH, or VT must sign a Certificate of Compliance when staying in a lodging facility.  The visitor must attest that ONE of the following is true:Maine COVID-19 Prevention Checklist logo

  • I have received a negative antigen or molecular test result for COVID-19 on a specimen taken no longer than 72
    hours prior to my arrival, consistent with Maine CDC guidance,
    OR
  • I am getting a test taken in Maine and will remain in quarantine until I get a negative antigen or molecular test
    result
    OR
  • I will quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Maine or for the duration of the stay,
    OR
  • I have completed a 10-day quarantine in Maine prior to my stay,
    OR
  • I had a positive PCR test taken within the last 3 months and already completed my isolation.

The first bullet causes much angst for several reasons:

  • With an uptick in COVID-19 cases in many places, testing is not readily accessible in some states
  • If testing is available, it is often not possible to get results within 72 hours
  • To some visitors, testing is cost prohibitive

In states where it is not possible to know before you go, you may test in Maine. They are working on expanding the number of swab and send sites.  This currently presents some problem in that one must quarantine while waiting for the results.

Personally, I am not sure that I would want to subject myself to a COVID-19 test to go on vacation.  However, once one understands the quarantine requirements, it is my idea of a perfect vacation anyway!

Quarantine Requirements

According to Keep Maine Healthy’s Frequently Asked Questions for Visitors (Visitor FAQ), visitor’s may quarantine at a lodging establishment as long as they meet Maine’s quarantine requirements. The quarantine requirements allow for leaving your house (or place that you are staying) for outdoor exercise activities, such as swimming, hiking, provided that you abide by physical distancing guidelines and avoid contact with other people. For more information see Visit Maine Travel with Care page.

The Visitor FAQ specifically states that someone in quarantine may not visit Maine restaurants, businesses, and crowded public spaces and they may not use shared facilities and dining rooms.  Initially visitors comment, well why bother coming to Maine.  For some visitors, that may be true.  For many visitors, once they understand, it is not a big deal! Although one definitely does not want to miss the midcoast food scene, many are not up for eating in a restaurant. Many visitors are coming for the great outdoors and prefer NOT to be around many other people.

What can I do on my Maine “quarantine” vacation?

  1. Go hiking!  Check out our blog post on The Top 5 Hiking Trails near Camden.
    Hiking Maiden Cliff

    Hiking Maiden Cliff trail in Camden Hills State Park

  2. Get out on the water! You will need to make some modifications to the recommendations made in Water Activities in Maine. You would NOT be able to go on a public schooner ride, but there are several charter boats available for hire to create your own unique adventure for your appropriately sized private party. Cutter Owl has some pretty amazing ideas for your private charter adventure in compliance with COVID-19 guidance!
    Cutter Owl sailing in front of Curtis Island Light House

    Cutter Owl sailing in front of Curtis Island Light House

  3. Rent a row boat and row over to Curtis Island, picnic, and explore the island.
    Woman sitting on park bench on Curtis Island with Row Boat below

    Relaxing on a park bench after rowing over to Curtis Island

  4. Go explore the many lighthouses in the area.
    Owl's Head Lighthouse in MAine

    Owl’s Head Light

  5. Rent a bike from Maine Sport Outfitters using their contactless delivery service and explore the area. Plan ahead, deliveries must be scheduled at a minimum of 48 hours in advance.
    Working out while traveling-Couple riding bikes

    Rent Bikes

  6. Do a private history or haunted Teletour with Red Cloak Tours. A private guide will do a tour with your group on the phone and will tailor the tour for your interests. The tours are available in many coastal Maine communities.

Many of the same things one came to Maine to do before the novel corona virus!

Dining during my Maine “quarantine” vacation

Guests ask if I am “in quarantine” what will I eat? There are some restaurants that have opted not to open yet for indoor dining for the safety of their staff and guests and are ONLY doing contactless take out or delivery.  Including a few of those featured in the New York Times travel section article, 36 Hours in Camden and Rockport, Maine (and Environs); Long Grain, Nina June, and Boyton McKay.

4 Cold Toes Tacos and 2 glasses or red wine

Chef/Owner of Boynton-McKay, Brian Beggarly, is doing Take Out Tacos for Boynton-McKay to survive the pandemic. Innovative tacos with local, fresh ingredients. OUTSTANDING!

One can look at the Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Who’s Open page to see who is doing curbside pickup or delivery. Curbside pick up and delivery meet the quarantine requirements.

Guest say, ok, but I don’t want to eat in my hotel room.  The local towns have set up picnic tables in the parks to provide seating for the take out services.  If you are staying at the Hawthorn Inn, there are ample places to eat outside on the grounds or on your deck so that you do not have to eat in your room.  (Unless it rains.) At the Hawthorn Inn, we are serving guest breakfasts on our socially distanced decks/patios or bringing a tray to guest room door.

You can still visit a Lobster Shack as well. McLoon’s is offering contactless ordering and carhop service!

Stay safe stay small logo

 

So as you can see, a “quarantine” Maine vacation complying with Governor Mills’ program is a safe vacation!  Check out our Promotions page, select your room and book your Maine vacation.

The post Maine Quarantine Information from Camden Hawthorn Inn B&B first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

Requested Breakfast Recipe at Bed and Breakfast in Camden ME 27 Apr 2020, 3:01 pm

In case you have not asked for it before, we thought that we would share the most requested breakfast recipe at our bed and breakfast in Camden, ME.  Guests often ask Ted if he has any culinary training.  His answer, no but I can follow a recipe.  Long before we decided to purchase a bed and breakfast, we discovered Dana Moos’s The Art of Breakfast. It quickly became our “go to” cookbook for week-end breakfasts. You are likely to experience at least one breakfast from Dana’s cookbook when you stay at the Hawthorn Inn.

Breakfast, the Most Important Meal of the Day

There are many studies that show that breakfast is a very important meal. Some of the touted benefits of eating a healthy breakfast include having a lower body mass index (BMI), consuming less fat through the day, and having better memory and attention.  Of course to have these benefits, it is important that the breakfast is healthy.  some suggestions for what to include are high-fiber cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat milk or soy or rice milk substitute and protein.  In this respect, the Cinnamon Oatmeal Bake can be a very healthy breakfast choice.

According to Healthline, oats are among the healthiest grains on earth.  They are a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Oats are high in the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels in addition to promoting healthy gut bacteria.

Most Requested Breakfast Recipe

As I refer back to The Art of Breakfast to share Dana’s recipe (with her permission of course), I noticed that she made the same comment.  When she had her bed and breakfast, this was one of her most requested recipes as well!  Many guests tell us that they are not oatmeal fans when we are describing breakfast.  Ted tells them he is not either, “but if you have to eat oatmeal, this is the way to do it.”  The Cinnamon Oatmeal Bake is not like your typical breakfast porridge.  One prepares it the night before so the oats have time to adsorb all of the liquid.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Bake with Rhubarb Sauce and Fresh Strawberries is our most requested breakfast recipe

Breakfast Recipe

This recipe makes 10 servings

  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cup half and half
  • 6 cups thick-cut rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixer EXCEPT the oats. Beat until well combined. Add the oats and mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×13 glass baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dish from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature while the oven heats.
  4. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until lightly brown on top. Cut into 10 squares.

Garnish

  • Vanilla Bean Creme (recipe below)
  • Rhubarb Sauce (recipe below)
  • sliced strawberries

Vanilla Bean Creme – note — this will make much more than you need for the Oatmeal Bake

  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree for about 10 seconds.  Scrape down the sides and blend again for another few seconds.  Store in a container in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for 4 weeks.

Cubed rhubarb used in the preparation of our most requested breakfast recipe

Rhubarb Sauce makes 2 1/2 cups

  • 4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  1. Cook all ingredients in a medium saucepan, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes until soft.
  2. Remove from the heat and puree in a blender until smooth.  Serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate until ready to use.  Warm in the microwave before serving. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 4 weeks.

Tips and Tricks

The recipe is very adaptable as well. When we have guests with dietary restrictions, Ted tries to prepare a dish that he can adapt for everyone. For guests with nut allergies, he uses all canola oil.  For guests with dairy sensitivities, he has used soy or coconut milk  instead of the milk and half and half.

In Maine, we can get rhubarb in April through June.  Apparently, it is also grown in green houses and depending on where you live, may be available year round.  We usually stock up in spring so that we have it available most of the year.  When we buy it, Ted washes it, cubes it and freezes it in 4 cup portions until he is ready to make the sauce.

Cubed rhubarb in freezer storage bags

 

This recipe is great for feeding a crowd.  Several of our repeat guests have come back and told us that they serve the cinnamon oatmeal bake for holiday brunches.  Since you prepare it the night before, it makes the baking in the morning easy.

The cinnamon oatmeal bake freezes really well.  Make a whole tray on a weekend and freeze leftovers in individual servings in freezer bags.  Pop in the microwave to heat when you are ready to eat.  If you cannot find rhubarb or don’t care for it, try frying sliced apples with cinnamon to put on top.  I often eat a slice of leftover oatmeal bake with a dollop of vanilla bean yogurt and some fresh berries or bananas.

Oatmeal bake with yogurt, berries, and banana

 

Check out our breakfast page for some of the other favorites.  Mouthwatering?  Book a stay at the Hawthorn Inn and try the breakfasts for yourself.  Hope to see you soon!

The post Requested Breakfast Recipe at Bed and Breakfast in Camden ME first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

Small Maine Wedding at the Hawthorn Inn in Camden 21 Apr 2020, 6:17 am

One of the knot’s The Top Wedding Trends of 2020 is the Micro-Wedding. Other top trends include a Green Wedding, Inclusive Menus, Edible Flowers, and the Cheese Hour.  A small Maine wedding can fit the bill for all of those trends. One can make it as affordable or as elaborate as one wants. The Hawthorn Inn can provide the perfect place for a small elegant wedding and reception for less than 25 people.

 

Bride, Groom and bride's family at a small Maine wedding

Photo Courtesy of Becky Lowe Photography

 

Bride, Groom and groom's family at a small Maine wedding

Photo Courtesy of Becky Lowe Photography

Trendsetters

Melissa and Cory were trendsetters in 2019. First, the gift bags welcoming their guests contained local treats. Then, the wedding was a small intimate gathering of their immediate family members.  Afterwards, Ted prepared a luncheon with gluten-free and vegetarian options. Later, they headed to dinner at one of the local restaurants.

Ted enjoys working with our guests to find a menu featuring local products that meets the guest’s requirements and budget.  In addition, our guests can choose to work with a caterer that we have worked previously or one of their own choosing.

Camden Public Library and Amphitheater

The January 2020 Real Maine Weddings included the Camden Amphitheater in the Top 5 Midcoast Maine wedding sites.

Wedding in Camden Ampthitheater

Photo Courtesy of Dave Waddell of Siousca photography. Same photo that appeared in the article.

Hawthorn Inn is the closest lodging establishment to the Camden Public Amphitheater and Harbor Park. The amphitheater is a beautiful venue for a coastal Maine wedding. There is not a “bridal suite” where the bridal party can have final preparations before entering the amphitheater. As a result, if one stays at one of the other lodging establishments in Camden, one has to either walk through town or find a parking space.  Generally speaking, in high season, parking places near the amphitheater are hard to find.

Bride and bridesmaids getting dressed for wedding

Photo courtesy of Dave Waddell of Siousca photography.

Grooms men getting ready before the wedding

Photo courtesy of Dave Waddell of Siousca photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hawthorn Inn has a gate that exits the rear of the property into the amphitheater parking lot.  Therefore, guests staying at the Hawthorn Inn do not have to worry about finding parking.

Back gate from Hawthorn Inn to Camden Public Library Amphitheater

Back gate from the Hawthorn Inn to the Camden Public Library parking lot, adjacent to the amphitheater.

Wedding party returning to Hawthorn Inn after ceremony in Amphitheater

Photo courtesy of Dave Waddell of Siousca photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many venues in Midcoast Maine for wedding ceremonies and receptions.  The Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce Regional Guide is an excellent resource for this information. The guests from the wedding above enjoyed a cocktail reception in the Hawthorn Inn gardens while the photographer took the wedding photos of the bridal party.  Following cocktails, the party walked to High Mountain Hall around the corner for the reception. Along the coast of Maine, one must always be prepared with a plan B.  If the weather did not cooperate, the cocktails would have been at High Mountain Hall.

Wine and Beer table for the cocktail reception at the Hawthorn Inn

Table set up with wine, beer and soft drinks for the cocktail hour.

Guests enjoying cocktail hour at the Hawthorn Inn after the wedding ceremony

Wedding guests enjoying the appetizers in the gardens of the Hawthorn Inn.

Elopements

The Hawthorn Inn welcomes elopements.  We do not have a standard package. The elopement can be simple with ceremony, cake and a toast or more elaborate. Each couple describes what works best for them. The couple decides if they want us to make arrangements or if they would prefer suggestions to select and orchestrate themselves. Elopements are available year-round.  Couples can marry inside the inn, on the inn property or one of the many Midcoast Maine wedding sites.

 

Bride and Groom in front of the tower at the top of Mount Battie

Photo Courtesy of Kayla Holcomb in Portland

 

 

 

The January 2020 Real Maine Weddings also included the top of Mount Battie in the Top 5 Midcoast Maine wedding sites.  Megan and Alex had been together for a number of years. In fall of 2019, they decided to get married in Maine.  Megan and Alex planned everything themselves.  It was just the two of them and the officiant at the top of Mount Battie.

 

 

 

 

Bride and Groom looking out ver Penobscot Bay from the top of Mount Battie

Photo Courtesy of Kayla Holcomb in Portland

 

Wedding Guests

The Hawthorn Inn provides an excellent opportunity to extend the wedding celebration into a several day event to savor with friends and family.  Several couples have opted for their entire families and close friends to stay at the Hawthorn Inn. Each day of their stay they enjoy breakfast together. The inn has common spaces where the entire group can gather. Read what prior guests Joe F. and Ryan L. said about wedding weekends at the Hawthorn Inn.

Plan your stay

Whether you are planning your elopement, wedding, or your stay in Camden for someone else’s wedding, find your perfect room at the Hawthorn Inn.  We look forward to meeting you.

The post Small Maine Wedding at the Hawthorn Inn in Camden first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

COVID-19 update 17 Mar 2020, 11:22 am

As of May 21, 2020, we will not be keeping this page current.  Please see our Policies Page to know how our procedures and policies have changed in light of COVID-19.

We wanted to share with you what the Hawthorn Inn is doing with regards to COVID-19 in these unprecedented times.  The local situation in Maine has changed significantly in the last several weeks.  We are keeping abreast of these changes and continue to evaluate and modify our processes where appropriate. We are following the recommendations provided by the Maine Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. CDC on COVID-19. We have instructed all of our team members on these measures.

Ted and Lisa greeting guests

  • Where we previously would greet your with a hearty handshake, now it will be a heartfelt smile.
  • There is a large container of hand sanitizer on the front desk.
  • Cleanliness is always a top priority at the Hawthorn Inn.  Many of our guest reviews make a note of this.
  • Ted, Deb and I are ServSafe certified and have trained our team on the importance of frequent and proper handwashing.
  • We are decontaminating high touch surfaces such as counters, doorknobs and handrails frequently.
  • At this time of year, the inn is not full so social distancing is not a problem.  No one has to sit at a communal table for breakfast. We have modified this practice in compliance with Governor’s Mills executive order and are delivering breakfasts to guest rooms.
  • We instruct staff that are not feeling well to stay home.
  • If you have questions or concerns, please call us at 207-236-8842.

Modification to Cancellation Policy

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat (in some patients)

If you experience these, please stay home.  We will miss you, but you will enjoy your stay much better when you are well.  During this difficult time (projected until the end of August), we will refund your deposit without a cancellation fee if you booked directly with us. Alternatively, we can issue a travel voucher for use within the next 2 years to reschedule your much needed trip after the environment has settled. If you booked through a third party On-line Travel Agency (OTA), you must cancel the reservation where you made the reservation.  The fee will be waived at this time there as well.

Status in Maine

Governor Mills had declared a civil state of emergency in Maine on March 15, 2020 and subsequently extended it to May 8, 2020. All public programming in the area has been cancelled. A number of the restaurants are doing take out and/or delivery services. The situation changes daily in response to the Maine COVID-19 Testing results and CDC recommendations.  For news on COVID-19 in the Camden/Rockland area consult the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus News page.

As of April 5, 2020, Governor Mills mandated an Order Establishing Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in Maine. We are only allowed to provide lodging in the following circumstances until the end of May,

  • Housing vulnerable populations, including children in emergency placements, persons at risk of domestic violence, and homeless individuals as permitted by the State.
  • Providing accommodations for health care workers or other workers deemed necessary to support public health, public safety or critical infrastructure.
  • Use of lodging properties as self-quarantine or self-isolation facilities as arranged by the State.
  • Limited verifiable extenuating circumstances for the care and safety of residents as otherwise approved by the State.
  • If you need a room in compliance with the above, please give us a call at 207-236-8842.

On April 28, Governor Mills released her plan for Restarting Maine’s Economy. It describes 4 stages to re-open businesses in a slow controlled approach. There are a number of uncertainties and questions regarding Phase 3.  As this time, we are waiting for further clarification.  The hospitality associations in Maine are working with the Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson to find alternate solutions to the current stated approach. If you have questions about a current reservation or making a new reservation, please give us a call 207-236-8842 to discuss.

Future Reservations

We recognize that people are anxious to get back to normal and are interested in planning future getaways. Yet they do not want to lay out the money for the deposit in this time of uncertainty. To this end, we have temporarily suspended the requirement for a deposit.  The reservation system will still ask for the credit card information to hold the room.  We will not charge the deposit when you make the reservation.  Together, we will wait and see what the situation is as we get closer to the check in date.  If travel restrictions are still in place as the check in date nears or your ability to make the trip changes, we will cancel the reservation without a penalty.  Once travel restrictions have been lifted, we will return to taking the one night deposit.

We will be here waiting for you when the uncertainty has lifted.  Until then, practice social distancing, be kind and patient, stay healthy and safe, and wash your hands frequently. Hope to see you soon.

The post COVID-19 update first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

Holiday Happenings near Camden, Maine 15 Nov 2019, 5:00 am

As a Christmas junkie, I look forward to the holiday happenings near Camden, Maine. Boothbay, Rockland, Camden, and Rockport all have entire weekends devoted to holiday activities. Then, there are all the midweek activities to get you through to the next weekend. It requires serious planning to get in all of the Midcoast Maine Christmas and holiday celebrations!

Updated November 2, 2020 for the impact of COVID-19 on these events.

The Holiday Event to Kick Off the Season

 

The first holiday event starts the weekend before Thanksgiving. In year 1 through 5 of this event, the Coastal Botanical Garden staff decorated the central gardens and building for Gardens Aglow. Due to COVID-19, this year’s Gardens Aglow will be a driving tour. Boothbay is about an hour away from Camden. This event is well worth the trip.  The Gardens Aglow gets bigger and better each year!  Read our blog post to learn about the 2015 Gardens Aglow. In 2020, Gardens Aglow will be open November 21 through January 2, 2021.  Tickets for a specific date and time must be purchased in advance.  For more information see Gardens Algow Frequently Asked Questions.

Some of the Boothbay Lights events have been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, one can still enjoy The Gingerbread Spectacular and/or the Lighted Boat Parade and Sparkle Fireworks to get into the holiday spirit.

Archway with Christmas lights at Gardens Aglow

Holiday Happenings Near Camden, Maine

Rockland Festival of Lights

Rockland’s Festival of Lights is the next holiday happening. It is always the weekend after Thanksgiving. The festival will be altered this year due to COVID-19 restrictions but still look for some familiar holiday happenings.

holiday happenings near Camden, Maine Lobster trap Christmas tree

Friday evening begins with the lighting of the Lobster Trap Christmas Tree.

The Festival of Lights continues on Saturday with a downtown fun holiday scavenger hunt and decorations.

The following events have been cancelled this year, but we hope to see them back in 2021.

  • Breakfast with Santa
  • The Farnsworth’s Share the Wonder – an annual family holiday celebration with model trains, music, and prizes
  • Festival of Trees at the Public Library
  • Tour of the Historic Inns of Rockland
  • The Parade.

The Festival of Lights parade is a wonderful community event. After the parade ends, each viewer can vote for the People’s Choice Float with a non-perishable food item or a toy. The donations go to the Salvation Army for Rockland families.

Camden Christmas by the Sea

Camden’s Christmas by the Sea festival is the first weekend in December. Events occur Friday, December 4, 2020 through Sunday, December 6, 2020.

Returning this year, Guini Ridge in Rockport will do a Christmas Market in the spirit of a traditional European Christmas market with local artisan’s wares for sale. Come celebrate the holiday season and pickup your trees, wreaths, garland and more!  Other events are being completely reimagined. The parade will happen in “reverse” this year.  The “floats” (displays) will remain stationary and parade goers will walk past.  There will be downtown music and a Kringle Jingle Scavenger Hunt.  One can find the complete list of events and details as they become available on the Camden Christmas by the Sea Facebook page.

For a detailed account of a previous Christmas by the Sea weekend, read our blog.

Santa arriving by float in Christmas by the Sea parade

Camden Opera House

The Camden Opera House is a beautiful venue in the center of downtown Camden. There is not a bad seat in the house. The Camden Opera House has done an amazing job of pivoting in this environment. Still bringing live shows to small audiences:  assigned seating, socially distanced, masks required, 45 minutes show for low ticket prices.

Check out their calendar to see concerts and shows are playing during the holiday season.

Lunasa Irish music band

In previous years, Lúnasa and special guest Ashley Davis were at the opera house to weave music, spoken word and more, taking concertgoers back to the band’s Irish homeland.

Rockport’s Holiday on the Harbor – Status unknown at the time of this update

Spend the afternoon of the second Saturday in December listening to concerts at the Rockport Opera House. Then head down the hill to Rockport Marine Park. Enjoy some of the 2000 luminaria throughout the village lighting the path to the harbor.

 

Wait for the Harbor Master to cross the harbor to set off the fireworks.

Harbor master boat with lighted Christmas tree

 

I like fireworks as much as parades and holiday festivals. These are quite special.

Fireworks over Rockport Harbor in December

For more details on Rockport’s Holiday on the Harbor, click here.

Lodging for holiday happenings near Camden, Maine

Hawthorn Inn's Christmas tree

A number of the holiday events near Camden, Maine, have been cancelled.  However, you still deserve a holiday break and probably need someplace to stay.  Consider making the Hawthorn Inn your escape from the every day, do some holiday shopping and catch one of the events that will still occur . Check out our Promotions page to find current specials to enhance the festivities.

May you have a truly blessed and happy holiday season!  Let’s hope that all of our special holiday festivals can return safely in 2021!

The post Holiday Happenings near Camden, Maine first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

Experience the Best of Fall in Camden, Maine 26 Sep 2019, 8:07 am

This blog post was updated August 25, 2020 for current status due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Two well respected travel resources, Frommer’s and Travel and Leisure include Camden, Maine in the list of best places to see fall foliage in New England. We certainly agree and it is easy to see why! The spectacular colors and views can still be enjoyed while socially distancing!

fall foliage in Camden, Maine

Town and Country named Maine’s coastal Route 1 as one of the 14 Incredible Spots to See Fall Foliage Across New England. Town and Country suggests starting in Portland and ending in Camden. The drive along coastal Route 1 provides glimpses of the ocean through colorful leaves. You may ask, but where should we stop to not miss anything? Here is one insider’s view of where to stop for the best experience of fall in Camden, Maine.

Maine’s Pumpkin Trail

Heading north on Route 1 from Portland, Maine’s Pumpkin Trail includes Freeport, Maine Maritime Museum, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta. Unfortunately, a number of the events have been cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the planners hope to bring all events back in 2021, bigger and better, I have not removed the information so that you can mark your calendars for 2021. Check out Maine’s Pumpkin Trail Event Calendar to find the events that will occur in 2020.

Maine Maritime Museum

At the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, one can board the Merrymeeting to cruise the Kennebec river viewing fall foliage, wildlife and lighthouses. The Merrymeeting offers an open upper deck and enclosed lower deck for those chillier days. There are a number of different cruises of varying length.

In a pivot due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Cloak Tours are offering TeleTours. These TeleTours are private, live, guided walks done with your own personal storyteller via conference call on your phone. They are offered to your family or small group 7 days a week at times from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The price is only $19.99 for the whole group – up to 10 people. Family friendly topics offered include Haunted History, Maritime History, Historic Cemetery Exploration, in towns all along the Maine Coast.

Red Cloak Tour at Burnt Island

Red Cloak Tour at Burnt Island, Photo Credit: Red Cloak Haunted History Tours. Pre-COVID-19.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The next stop on Maine’s Pumpkin Trail is the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Located on 295 tidal acres along the MidCoast, it is the largest botanical garden in New England and offers a true Maine experience. In addition to the fall foliage, one can still find flowers in bloom.

Dahlias at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Dahlias at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Fall at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Fall at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta – CANCELLED for 2020

The final stop on Maine’s Pumpkin Trail, the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta, is cancelled for 2020.  This is one of the most fun, interesting fall events! Mark your calendar for 2021.   Most of the events take place over Columbus Day Weekend.  However, the decorated pumpkins line the streets of Damariscotta until the end of October.

Cinderella fairy godmother and coach pumpkins in Damariscotta

Cinderella Fairy Godmother and Coach Pumpkins

One of the most fun events to watch is the Pumpkin Regatta. There are 2 divisions of the regatta, the “Paddleboat” and the “Powerboat” Divisions. In the Powerboat division, participants craft boats out of pumpkins and outfit them with a 5-10 hp outboard motor.

Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta

Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta

And the winner in 2018 was the Viking, Russell Orms.

Man dressed as a viking in a boat carved out of a pumpkin

2018 Pumpkin Regatta Winner, Russell Orms

Camden International Film Festival — reimagined for the pandemic

Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) usually takes place for 3 days during September in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland, Maine. CIFF has completely pivoted this year in the pandemic.  The festival this year will take place from October 1 through October 12 and be a hybrid film festival.  For full details see the CIFF announcement.  Hawthorn Inn is a proud sponsor of CIFF. In years past, you would not find openings at the Hawthorn Inn during CIFF because we hosted CIFF festival guests.  This year, we have openings.  Come see why Peter Keough of The Boston Globe said “Camden has grown into a major documentary event.” 

Best Ways to View the Fall Foliage in Camden, ME

After leaving Damariscotta, continue north on Route 1 until you reach your final destination of Camden, ME.

Main Street in Camden, Maine with fall foliage

Main Street in Camden, Maine

One can do a scenic drive or walk through the beautiful tree-lined streets.  There are however, more unique ways to view the foliage. Where the mountains meet the seas, one can view the colorful leaves from the top of Mount Battie.

View of Camden Fall Foliage from the top of Mount Battie

View of Camden Fall Foliage from the Top of Mount Battie

Auto road coming down from the top of Mount Battie

Auto Road from the Top of Mount Battie

From the Harbor

One can take one of the many tour boats that run out of Camden Harbor.  As you cruise through the harbor, you can admire the spectacular colors on the shore.

Heading back into Camden Harbor after a boat tour in the fall.

Camden Harbor Fall Boat Tour, Photo Credit: Dan Dishner

Lake Megunticook

One can enjoy the colors as they reflect off the lake.

Trees lining Lake Megunticook in the fall

Tree-Lined Lake Megunticook

Or one can go rock climbing with Equinox Guiding Services, and get a whole different perspective.

Man rock climbing near Lake Megunticook during the fall.

Rock Climbing Near Lake Megunticook, Photo Credit: Equinox Guiding Services.

Camden Snow Bowl

Sundays in October Camden Snow Bowl offers chair lift rides to see the amazing colors and the ocean. Chairlifts will run in 2020.  Check Camden Snow Bowl for dates and times, not posted at the time of this update.

Fall chairlift rides at Camden Snow Bowl.

Fall Chairlift Rides at Camden Snow Bowl, Photo Credit: Camden Snow Bowl.

Find Your Home Away from Home in Camden

Reserve a room at our Camden Maine Inn. Check out the Promotions page to find our current offerings to enjoy the best of fall in Camden Maine! Follow the official report for status/progress of the changing leaves in Maine.

The post Experience the Best of Fall in Camden, Maine first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

Top Reasons to Plan a Maine Getaway in September 14 Aug 2019, 11:02 am

This blog post was updated August 25, 2020 to account for changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no better time to visit our quaint Camden Inn than in the fall! Outside of lovely day-time temperatures and fewer crowds, guests can enjoy an abundance of Maine attractions in September. This includes a plethora of ongoing summer outdoor activities, events, and seasonal happenings. Keep reading to learn the best time to visit Camden Maine for your fall getaway.

View of Hawthorn Inn, a Maine Bed and Breakfast

Perfect Temperatures

Unlike our neighbors to the north, Camden offers perfect fall temperatures averaging in the 70s throughout September. With gorgeous summer weather stretching into the fall months, guests are able to take advantage of all the wonderful outdoor things to do in Maine. As water temperatures are at their warmest, guest can enjoy sailing, kayaking, swimming, stand-up paddleboard, and other fun water activities without the crowds or cold weather.



Those wanting to explore the land and see the area from a different vantage point can choose from multiple scenic hikes in Camden. These include the Coastal Mountain Land Trust trails, the Georges River Land Trust trails, such as the Spruce Mountain hike, and Camden Hills State Park, which offers 30 miles of hiking bliss. We also recommend checking out trails to Bald Rock Mountain, Mount Battie, and Maiden’s Cliff. They all offer spectacular views!

Maine lighthouse and coast view

Seasonal Events

Like all seasons, fall offers a wide selection of unique festivals and Maine events. Due to COVID-19, there are a number of festivals and events that have been cancelled for 2020. Planners  hope to bring them back bigger and better in 2021.  However, there are some creative new events and some of the tried and true like apple picking in Hope Orchard.

  • The Owl’s Head Transportation Museum (OHTM) will host two special events for antique, classic, vintage, and special interest vehicles of all production years, the Midcoast Auto Tour and Cars and Coffee.
  • The United States Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation normally sponsor Maine Open Lighthouse Day during the month of September. It has been cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.  Guests will have to wait until Saturday, September 11, 2021 for the rare opportunity to learn and climb over two dozen historic Maine lighthouses.  However, one can still commemorate the day be visiting the outside of the several light houses that that are close to Camden, such as Curtis Island Light, Owls Head, Pemaquid Point, Marshal Point, and Rockland Breakwater Lighthouses. Another way to commemorate the day is to take one of the Lighthouse cruises at the Maritime Museum in Bath.
  • The Penobscot Bay Chamber of Commerce has a few interesting events occurring this September.  The 2020 Chamber Challenge Golf Tournament is on Friday, September 11, 2020.  The Chamber is also having a raffle “Turning the Tide on 2020”.  Purchase a ticket and you could win $2020!
  • The Camden Opera House has live music most Friday nights in September! Tickets are $10 a piece.  45 seats per show, assigned socially distanced seats, and one set.  You can also live stream at home.

Couple eating pizza at a Maine Restaurant

Short Maine Getaways

For guests on a tight schedule who want to experience all the best things Maine has to offer, we recommend jumping on the 36 Hours in Camden and Rockport, Maine train, as seen in the New York Times Travel section. Even during the pandemic, many of the activities in the article are available!  Here is an update on what you can do from the article and/or adaptations to be made:

  1. One can do the following activities as they are described as long as you are following the COVID-19 restrictions of the establishment: visit Owl and Turtle Bookshop, hike Mount Battie, harbor tour with Maine Sport Outfitters, visit Cellardoor winery on a Friday through Sunday (tasting tours must be reserved in advance), and the museums in Rockland.
  2. Salt Water Farm is not running in person.  However, you can still learn from Head Chef and Instructor, Annemarie Ahearn. You do not even have to travel to Lincolnville.  She is doing classes online!
  3. If you’re a foodie, these Camden restaurants should definitely be on your bucket list. During the pandemic, some of the restaurants are only doing take-out: Nina June, Long Grain, and Boyton McKay as Cold Toes Tacos.  Others of the restaurants listed are doing dine in and take out 40 Paper, Fresh and Company, PRIMO and 18 Central.

With fewer travelers in town, comfortable temperatures, and a ton of things to do, September is the best time to visit Camden Maine for your fall getaway. Make sure to check out our specials and packages and book your incredible Maine getaway today!

The post Top Reasons to Plan a Maine Getaway in September first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

Indoor Activities and Unique Crafts 14 May 2019, 10:13 am

“Why would I want to visit Camden, ME if I am not assured of beautiful weather”, you ask?  The answer is there is a plethora of indoor activities in Maine to experience and enjoy!  These activities are available all year round. If you are anything like me, they are not activities that I want to participate in if I could be enjoying the great outdoors. So uncertain weather condition provides the perfect opportunity to explore the indoors.

It is truly fascinating to me how many artisans and skilled craftspeople there are in the midcoast of Maine. The artists run the gamut from culinary, to performing, to literary, to paint, to glass, to wood, to fiber arts.  Many of the artisans have open studios where one can observe the artisan at work.  A number of the artisans also offer the opportunity to try the skill through a class or workshop. One blog post could not do all of these art forms justice.  We will pick a few to describe here. In the future, we will share others.

Glass Blowing

Jacobson Glass Studio is in Montville, Maine about 45 minutes from Camden.  David Jacobson was trained in the Venetian Style of glassblowing, which incorporates elegant shapes, rich colors and masterful techniques. One can visit the studio to watch David at his craft (by appointment) or purchase one of his one-of-a-kind sculptures at his shop.

David Jacobson at work in his glass studio

David Jacobson at work in his glass studio.

​You can also learn how to blow glass with David and create a unique work of art to take home.  He offers a variety of different experiences for individuals, couples and groups.   

David teaching a student how to roll glass in the student's choice of color.

David teaching a student how to roll glass in the student’s choice of color.

Furniture Craftsmanship

Observation

Windsor Chairmakers are located in Lincolnville, 15 minutes north of Camden.  Their tagline is “handcrafting furniture one piece at a time.” All visitors are encouraged to wander through the workshop and to chat with craftsmen and women. One can observe the process and discover why they design and build the way they do.

a man working on a piece of wood

If you can afford to invest in such an exquisite piece of furniture, you, the customer, are part of the process. You choose the size, color and look of your finished piece. If you are not able to afford to purchase a piece of furniture, you can still admire them in the showroom and Shaker gallery.  You can see beds, tables, buffets, Shaker furniture, stools, desks, and other custom pieces.

Learning Opportunities

We here in the midcoast of Maine are fortunate to have 2 additional places where one can appreciate the use of hand tools to craft fine furniture.  Lie-Nielsen Toolwork’s mission is “to design and create beautiful, heirloom quality, hand tools that inspire woodworkers and other artisans.”  Lie-Nielsen Toolworks is located on Route 1 in Warren, 45 minutes south of Camden. You can visit the showroom and try out the full line of tools on one of their workbenches. They run workshops June through September to teach technique and use of the hand tools. On can also find a number of instructional videos on the Lie-Nielsen Toolworks YouTube Channel.

Making a three legged stool in a Lie-Nielsen workshop

Making a three legged stool in a Lie-Nielsen workshop.

 

Instructor's aide at a Lie-Nielsen workshop with her pet duck.

One never knows who might show up at a workshop.

The Center for Furniture Craftmanship (CFC) is located on Route 90 about 15 minutes outside of Camden.  The CFC runs a wide variety of programs ranging from workshops lasting a weekend to two weeks to nine-month comprehensives.  See the CFC website for a complete list of programming. In addition to teaching skills, one has the opportunity to view rotating exhibitions of instructor and students’ work at the Messler Gallery.

Fiber Arts

One can visit the Swan Island Company located in a Northport, 20 minutes or so north of Camden on Route 1.  The post-and-beam farmhouse built in the 1800 houses the dyehouse and the weaving studio in addition to a showroom and shop. The Swan Island Company carries on the tradition of find American craftsmanship.  Mush of the fiber comes from local New England farms. They make each batch of dye with their own custom recipe to produce their signature rich, variegated tones.

Swan Island Company hand dyed yarns

Swan Island Company hand dyeing process.

One can stop by the farmhouse to observe the craftspeople operating the handlooms.

Hand weaving loom at Swan Island Company

Skilled craftsperson hand weaving a signature Swan Island blanket on a vintage industrial loom.

To schedule an educational tour, to visit the dyehouse, or for seasonal hours of operation, please call or email the Swan Island Company ([email protected]).

Stay in Camden

Reserve a room at our Camden Maine Inn. Check out the Promotions page to find our current offerings to visit these craftsmen in the Camden area!

 

The post Indoor Activities and Unique Crafts first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

Things To Do in Maine in Winter – Ice Climbing and More 21 Feb 2019, 7:46 am

Man ice climbing at Camden Hills State parkAt the beginning of each new year, many people resolve to learn a new skill or hobby or try something brand new.  Was this one of your resolutions this year?  Two months into the new year, did you do anything about it? If you have not, we have a few great suggestions of things to do in Maine in winter right here in Camden. One can experience ice climbing in Camden Hills State Park with Equinox Guiding Services, snowboarding, skiing or tobogganing.

Ice Climbing

Noah Kleiner of Equinox Guiding Service says of ice climbing, “It’s about celebrating a sense of adventure, challenges that widen our perception, and expand our comfort zones by getting outside.” Enticing, isn’t it?

Ice on the coast of Maine may vary significantly. The Atlantic, with her ebb and flow of moisture
and temperature swings, causes the ice flows to change with it. As a result, the same ice wall varies day to day.  This means the climb can be different each day.

Camden offers beginner friendly climbing with short flows of varying degree of steepness. The team at Equinox Guiding Services are certified guides. They provide all the climbing gear and knowledge of the Camden Hill State Park to customize your adventure. There are five locations in the park that 

that Equinox Guiding Services frequent, and each has multiple ice routes, with names like Everdrip and Neverdrip, Double Clutch, Dragon’s Tooth and Hot Spot. The beginner’s adventure is not the extreme sport that you see in the movies. The guide sets an anchor in the top of the ice wall. Each client climbs with a rope that is fastened to the anchor.  The guide is constantly cinching the rope so that if a climber slips, they will not actually fall. Ice climbing can be meditative as well since one is totally focused on your foot placement and using the ice picks.

For a sneak peak at what it would be like to ice climb with Equinox Guide Services, check out this video.

For a more detailed view, check out Bill Greene’s Maine video.

Equinox Guiding Services customizes each climb to the client.  If you are looking to build on existing skills and expand your knowledge on the sport, go out for a day of technical instruction on more difficult climbs.

 

Skiing or Snowboarding

We have written about the Camden Snow Bowl in previous blog posts, but this blog will provide some more details on learning new skills or resurrecting old ones. When we moved to Maine, I had not been on skis for 10 or 15 years. When I did ski, I was novice at best. Now that I am a little older and an innkeeper, I was concerned about falling and breaking a leg.  However, after seeing images like the one below, I really wanted to give it a try.

View after getting off the chairlift at the Camden Snow Bowl.

View after getting off the chairlift at the Camden Snow Bowl.

Here’s what makes Camden Snow Bowl a great place to learn to ski or resurrect your previous skills

  • Ocean views from the slopes
  • Small and family friendly (translation — no hot dogs speeding past you and knocking you over)
  • 1,000 feet vertical drop, not terribly steep
  • There are 20 trails that have been expanded in recent years
  • No long lift lines
  • Very affordable lift tickets, as well as half day passes
  • High caliber instructors providing private lessons

In summary, you don’t have to spend as much as you would at a larger resort to see if you like skiing or snowboarding. You get to enjoy the great outdoors and some great scenery.

Tobogganing

The Camden Snow Bowl is also home to the country’s only remaining, gravity-operated 400-foot-long wooden toboggan chute.  At the time of this writing, it costs $5/day/person to borrow one of the town toboggans and probably have one of the greatest thrills of your life. After being properly seated on the toboggan, the chute master pulls the lever. One tobogganer likened it to the sound of a wooden roller coaster release when you get to the top of the peak.  The lever releases the platform and the toboggan tilts forward in the chute.  The toboggan flies down the chute at up to 40 miles per hour. Tobogganers exit the chute onto frozen Hosmer Pond and glide out on the pond until they come to a stop. To get an idea of what it feels like to ride a toboggan, check out Jeremy T. Grant’s coverage of the US National Toboggan Championship.

The Jack Williams Toboggan Chute is  open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ice conditions permitting.

Stay in Camden

Reserve a room at our Camden, Maine B&B. Check out the Promotions page to find our current offerings to try out one of these skills in Camden!  And as Jeremy says, “Go discover something awesome!”

 

The post Things To Do in Maine in Winter – Ice Climbing and More first appeared on Hawthorn Inn.

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