Visitors who stop only briefly in Camden often leave saying “I wish I’d known how much was here!” Forewarned is forearmed—prepare to have your expectations blown away.The beautifully restored Camden Opera House is a delight to experience and offers a year-round schedule of performances, concerts and theatre. Shakespeare in the Park is a Camden favorite, with performances held in the Camden Ampitheater overlooking the bay. An influx of artists in the area has led to a growth of art galleries in Camden and the adjacent Rockport, offering everything from handcrafted items to paintings and sculpture. In nearby Lincolnville world class craftsmanship and furniture-making is a draw at Windsor Chairmakers.
While public libraries are not typically an attraction for visitors from outside the area, Camden’s Public Library is a must-see destination and a true anchor the community. You have to see it to believe how Camden’s library has brought literature, history and culture into the center of the community.
Within a short drive of Camden you can take in Rockland’s Farnsworth Museum and its nationally recognized collection of works by American and Maine artists. Be sure to include time for a visit to the Olson House, one of the historic properties owned by the museum, which inspired the paintings of Andrew Wyeth. Close by the Farnsworth is the new Center for Maine Contemporary Art, named by the Boston Globe as the “best new museum of 2016” and included by The New York Times in its list of not-to-miss art venues to visit in 2017. A serious gallery district has sprung up around these two museums. The perfect way to experience it is the First Friday Art Walks sponsored by Arts in Rockland. Art Walks are held on the first Friday of the month from May through November, and can draw crowds in the thousands.
Rockport’s Bay Chamber Concerts features world-class artists in a variety of genres year-round, with July and August offerings dedicated to chamber concert series and festivals intended to redefine the standards for chamber music. In Rockland, the Strand Theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers a year-round schedule of film, live musical performances and more.