Greetings from sunny San Diego!

Let me tell you what I have: A sandy beach. Sunshine. And tacos for dayyyyyyys.

Let me tell you what I don’t have: THIS.

Camden Maine Sunrise. Photo taken 2/30/2017.

Camden Maine Sunrise. Photo was taken 2/30/2017.

It may be chilly, but downtown Camden is still the cutest place on EARTH. My heart pangs every time I see one of @sugrbug’s epic posts!

So Camden’s the cutest. How to stay warm, though?? Here are a couple of tips- a few of my favorite things, if you will 🙂

1. Camden Public Library
This library is AWESOME. It’s full of books old and new (the library turns 100 in a few years!), DVD’s, CD’s, and a top floor full of newspapers. There are regular book sales in the summer where you can buy a book for a buck. Sit outside on the children’s classics benches – icy in the winter, but flower and butterfly-filled in the summer. Inside you have Miss Amy, the most wonderful librarian, reading winners like “Blueberries for Sal.” (A Maine classic!) As you walk inside Edna St.Vincent Millay’s poem surrounds you – “All I could see from where I stood, was three long mountains and a wood…” It’s ridiculously cool. Website

2. Boynton-McKay’s
An old-fashioned apothecary, one of a kind, re-tooled as a cute place to drink hot coffee or grab a quick bite. Tuck into a yellow tiled booth and grab the vegetarian chili or coconut macaroon- it’s a hit with “townies” and tourists alike! Full disclosure: I did work here every summer for years back in high school, and it was the absolute best. The coffee’s self-serve and refills are free! Website

3. Glendarragh Lavender
This place is a gem and a half. Walk in just to sniff all the candles, lotions, and sachets made from lavender grown a few miles away! Lori, the owner, works the farm with her husband and kids and runs the store as well. She’s as lovely as her Omni Lavender Herb Balm – a staple that I don’t leave the house without. (As a nurse, with handwashing being a constant- this balm saves me!) SO I highly recommended it. There’s more than lavender here, with locally made jewelry and scarves, too. Poke on in- your nose will thank you! Website

4. The Smiling Cow
This store is the cutest! Kitschy gifts and bright colors galore adorn this store- pajamas that declare “I’m a BEAR in the winter!” with a grizzly, eye mask pulled low over his eyes. There’s a bunch of great local products: maple syrup, blueberry soap, fudge. Camden shirts galore (because did you even VISIT Camden if you didn’t get the shirt to prove it? 🙂 ) Before you leave, go alllllll the way to the back to the balcony overlooking Camden harbor- sometimes there are free coffee samples out there! Website

My Camden Wedding. Taken 2015. Copyright Amy Wilton

5. Camden Harbor
“One of the top ten most photographed harbors in the world!” is what I’ve heard for years. I’ll be honest- I googled this trying to find the source, without success. So here’s what I know for sure: Perhaps one of the most photographed harbors in the world. DEFINITELY worthy of an Instagram shot. And 100% one of the most magical places to be, even in the winter- the mist rising makes you feel like you’ve perhaps been transported to another time, another place. Don’t stay too long- you’ll end up a popsicle- but pop out for a peek. You’ll fall in love. Need proof? Website

6. Bagel Cafe
This place is a CAN’T-MISS. These bagels are made fresh daily – if you peek behind the front counter you can watch it happen! Hot, fresh, and quick. (I recommend the egg bagels, mmmmm, and salt! And soughdough! All winners.) Turn it into a sandwich with fresh veggies on it and enjoy at 7:00 am or 1:30 pm alike. After all, is it ever not time to chomp on a bagel?? Website

7. Rockport Blueprint
The happy place of my childhood- gel pens in every possible color, and with all metallic shades! As an adult entering in I was even more amazed- the sticker options are endless! Seriously though, this place has everything you need for that obscure craft you’re creating. Website

8. Camden Deli
One word: GRASSHOPPER. If you think this is just a cute lil insect, you are sorely mistaken- head to the dessert section and grab this minty chocolatey goodness STAT! Also, their egg and cheese croissants with the spicy brown mustard are EVERYTHING. Eat one while on their back deck, overlooking Camden Harbor. It’s the perfect beginning AND end of your day. Website

9. Camden Jewelry Co
Tiny, blink-and-you’ll-miss it – this jewelry store is perfection. A curated mix of local pieces and vintage treasures, their stock isn’t overwhelming, and a pleasure to behold, even if you’re only window shopping. The store owner and workers are knowledgeable about what they have, and where they got it or who made it. We found a perfect ring there, made by a Camden artist, that made me fully love this shop. Website

10. Seasons of Smiles dental office
This place is awesome. You get big smiles from Nellie upon entering, and a trinket from the treasure box on your way out! Plus, when you start crying before the novocaine because you’re so scared, the dentist hugs you and bribes you with an egg and cheese bagel from the Camden Deli (oh wait, maybe this is just me – there are perks to having your dad as the dentist 🙂 ) Seriously though, Seasons of Smiles is great place to get a smile makeover, winter and summer alike! Website

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