By Dan Bookham
Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Area Chamber of Commerce
We are not blushing: it’s just the color of the leaves! Camden, a community where mountains literally meet the sea, has been chosen by Yankee Magazine as one of New England’s best spots for fall foliage travel.
Yankee Magazine’s September-October issue ranked the top 25 towns in New England for fall foliage travel, a first for the publication. It ranked Camden sixth.
A variety of tourism professionals, along with some of Yankee Magazine’s writers and editors, got together to determine the Top 25 Foliage Towns in New England. After nominating communities across the region for an initial review and determining the top contenders, towns were scored on a scale of 0 to 5 in 14 areas that make up the perfect fall foliage travel destination, including color intensity, scenery, vistas, nearby water, scenic drives, hikes, culture, farmers markets and farmstands, orchards, covered bridges, state or local parks, the quality and variety of shops to browse, tourism amenities such as hotels and restaurants, and a category called “uncrowded” — giving a boost to less touristy locations.
This is just the latest accolade for the towns of the midcoast, following Camden’s selection as the prettiest harbor in Maine by the readers of Down East, and selection as one of New England’s best small towns by Boston Magazine in 2009. In addition, Rockport was selected by Forbes as one of “America’s Prettiest Towns” in 2008 and 2009, and Rockland was designated one of America’s coolest small towns by Budget Travel, also in 2009. It seems the national media has figured out what local residents have known for a long time; namely, that we live in a beautiful, livable and downright cool part of the coast.
As we head into the fall I think we can all be justifiably proud of the region we call home, not just for the accolades awarded by the national press but also because of the nature of the communities. One of them — Camden — is in the midst of a fascinating conversation about its economic future, and it’s a conversation that concerns all of us in the Midcoast given the intertwined nature of our towns.
The first of the public meetings on the subject took place last night, Sept. 8, but the conversation will be ongoing. Be sure to join in if you can so that along with our leaves, our harbors, our beauty and our coolness we also can be known as a great place to make a living.
Dan Bookham is the executive director of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce. Call 236-4404, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.visitcamden.com for more information.