New England's Best Small Towns: Camden, ME
With the Camden Hills as a backdrop and an oh-so-lovely harbor, this is small-town Maine so classic it might have come off a Hollywood backlot (Peyton Place was filmed here, in fact). The most iconic view is right through the historic heart of Camden, where every block has a story to tell. —Rachel Levitt
• The one-story building that now holds the Smiling Cow gift shop was rolled down Main Street from the village green in 1919.
• The town nearly burned to the ground in an 1892 fire, which started here.
• The spire of Chestnut Street Baptist Church, built in 1837, is a focal point of Main Street.
• Boynton-McKay Food Co. opened in 1893 and still features an art deco marble soda fountain counter rumored to have cost as much as a small farm.
• After the 1892 fire, this side of Main Street was rebuilt entirely of brick.
• The town held its first, and only, lobster festival here in 1947—with all-you-can-eat lobster for $1. (Too many littered shells saw the festival moved to nearby Rockland.)
Photo by Todd Dionne