America's Coolest Small Towns 2013
Budget Travel readers have spoken! The competition was fierce, with towns across the U.S. vying for the 2013 title of Coolest. Did your town make our final list?
#10 Camden, Maine
Tall ships, hiking, and seafood where the mountains meet the sea
Why we love it: We've all been faced with the classic vacation dilemma: the mountains or the beach? But there's no need to settle, Camden's got them both covered. This mid-coastal town located on Penobscot Bay is one of only two places on the Atlantic seaboard where the mountains meet the sea. Those gorgeous vistas have been attracting vacationers to this former ship-building town since the 1800s, when wealthy families snatched up properties to build summer homes. What to do: Today, many of those mansions and estates have been converted to inns and bed and breakfasts, most within walking distance of the harbor. Go ahead, it's not cliché to dine on Maine lobster paired with a local wine at Fresh, a waterfront restaurant on Bay View Landing. Afterwards, browse the galleries, antique shops and general stores on Main Street for one-of-a-kind crafts, clothing and jewelry. When the ocean is calling, take sail from Camden Harbor on a tall-masted schooner cruise that explores the Maine coast, lighthouses, islands, and coves. Left your sea legs back at the B&B? No problem. Camden Hills State Park offers 30 miles of hiking trails in 5,700 acres of wooden hills including Mt. Battie, an 800-foot summit with stunning views of the bay.