Ring in the New Year at the Coziest Place on the Coast

new years eve restaurants champagneThis December 31st, wrap the festivities around a long weekend at the Camden Harbour Inn and plan to wine and dine at one of the best New Year’s Eve restaurants in all of New England—Natalie’s, located right in the Inn. Situated in the seaside town of Camden amongst a breathtaking landscape of rugged mountains and rocky shorelines, you and your loved ones can spend your holiday weekend in comfort at the luxurious Inn. Once you’ve checked in, sit and relax near the fireplace, or go out and explore. You’ll find much do! Camden and all the surrounding communities of mid-coast Maine have much to offer.

Hit the Slopes

Do you like to ski? Hit the slopes at the town-owned ski area, the Camden Snow Bowl. Located on Ragged Mountain, the ski area has a near thousand-foot vertical elevation and over twenty runs that equal some of the best mountains in Maine for alpine skiing—plus stunning ocean views! For cross-country skiers, the Snow Bowl, in conjunction with the Coastal Mountains Land Trust and Mid Coast NEMBA, has miles of Nordic trails in and around the Bowl for beginners and advanced cross-country skiers.

Cozy Up in a Reading Nook

Find yourself strolling through Camden’s vibrant downtown? Drop in the Owl & Turtle Bookshop over on Bay View Street. The cozy neighborhood café and independent bookstore has been a friendly gathering spot for over 40 years. The shop has a good collection of fiction and non-fiction, a great children’s section, and for the culinary-minded, a nice assortment of cookbooks. There’s also a Maine-centric selection of books, and the café has locally-roasted beans from Coffee on the Porch, and an assortment of local treats from area bakers.

A Day at the Museum

In nearby Rockland, in the heart of the downtown arts district, while away an afternoon at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. The museum advances and promotes contemporary art and artists with ties to Maine. The building, with its iconic sawtooth roofline, was designed by New York architect and North Haven resident, Toshiko Mori. You won’t be disappointed. The CMCA houses exceptional exhibitions and programs throughout the year.

Lights, Camera, Garden

Have you heard about the festival of lights? Less than an hour’s drive south of Camden, experience the biggest holiday light show in all of Maine at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. The Festival of Lights runs from mid-November through December 31. The gardens are a festively lit wonderland. With hundreds of thousands of lights decorating the central gardens and buildings, it’s a dazzling light display that leaves travelers and locals alike in awe. The event is wildly popular, if you go, the purchase of advance tickets is recommended.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

If your interests lean to live music, go no further than the Strand Theatre in downtown Rockland. The beautifully restored theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This December 28, Portland, Maine’s very own, The Ghost of Paul Revere, will be performing there. As the band’s following is grows regionally and nationally, there’s still a chance to see, hear and enjoy the three-part, densely layered harmonies of this exciting band in an intimate venue.

Camden’s Best New Years Eve Restaurants

Finally, when New Year’s Eve arrives, you’ll find the inn and restaurant decorated for the festivities and ready for the celebration. Enjoy a glass of champagne, a selection of hors-d’oeuvres and listen to live swinging Jazz, and then savor a delicious 8-course Celebration Dinner from the award-winning executive chef team Chris Long and Shelby Stevens. The New Year’s countdown party features live music, the Dutch pastry “oliebollen,” hors-d’oeuvres, party favors, and a midnight champagne toast!

If your stay is early or longer than New Year’s Eve, be sure to experience Natalie’s Winter Bistro, a new alternative dining option at the award-winning restaurant. The bistro offers a casual approach to dining with the same locally sourced, farm to table seasonal ingredients.

Whatever your plans, have a Happy New Year!

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