As the tanning bed's lid closes, a cool breeze starts to blow, a gentle mist cools your skin, and the scents of aromatherapy transform a 12-minute tanning session into a miniature vacation. This S-Class bed is just one of the approximately 10 tanning options that fill each of City Sun Tanning's locations. Staffers help clients select the right bed, leading them down hallways to an iBed sunbed—which features rotating facial lights—or a X-2 High Pressure bronzing stand-up, which can bronze pallid skin in ten minutes. Alternatively, visitors step onto the AutoBronzer's open-air platform, which evenly sprays UV-free tanning solution and candy sprinkles. In June of 2009, this sunless system caught the eye of New York Magazine, which lauded City Sun Tanning for having one of the "top five spray tans." The tanning salon has also garnered accolades from Citysearchers, who for several years, named it "Best of Citysearch".
Camden's shingled cottages, rocky shorelines, and picturesque harbor embody a postage-stamp-worthy archetype of coastal New England charm. Coffee shops and boutiques line Main Street, and seafood restaurants dot side streets that overlook the water. In the fall, the tree-covered hills surrounding the town come alive with fiery autumnal colors. As the last leaves drop, fresh snowfall blankets the nearby Camden Snow Bowl, where skiers and snowboarders zoom down Ragged Mountain while looking out on icy Penobscot Bay.In the tiny village of Rockport, 4 miles south of Camden along the coast, lobster fishers ply their backbreaking trade throughout the fall and most of winter. These hardworking men and women are usually more than happy to share a few words with visitors or squint photogenically at the horizon. For a chance to see boat builders at work, The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, about a 15-minute drive from Camden, opens its workshop to the public, offering a porthole into the timeworn art of making wooden boats. On select weekends, families can craft their own sleds as part of the shop's two-day toboggan-building classes.
Amalfi On The Water woos taste buds with fresh seafood dishes peppered with organic and locally farmed ingredients, an extensive wine list, and flavorful Shag Rock Brewing Co. ale brewed on-site. The chalkboard raw-bar menu tempts tongues with local oysters ($13 for six) and a ceviche of scallops, cucumber, and red onion doggy-paddling in citrus juices ($10). The short but well-appointed dinner menu offers netfuls of fresh fish, from the baked haddock filet, conspiring with crab in a pool of lemon beurre blanc ($21), to the pan-seared scallops, dressed in a savory tux of mushrooms, sherry, and cream ($22). Unrepentant carnivores can nibble the rosemary-and-cabernet-butter-adorned New York strip steak ($24) or proudly chomp into the port scaloppini’s tenderloin medallions nestled with roasted-apple compote in a cider sauce ($18).
The dough-slinging doyens at Gerard’s Pizza have populated their expansive menu with homemade pies and sides since 1964. Eschewing the popular practice of using frozen or hand-me-down pizza crusts, Gerard’s makes its own dough from scratch before bringing it to floury fruition inside of a deck oven. Then it bedecks the large 16-inch sphere with sauce and cheese, customizing it with the customer's choice of two toppings, such as italian sausage, pineapple, chicken, and banana peppers. Gerard's also regales dine-in guests with a small side of wings, a two-liter bottle of soda, and a bottomless supply of oxygen molecules free for the breathing.
Bowlers descend upon 20 prepped and polished lanes to partake in the New England tradition of candlepin bowling at 1-7-10 Bowling & Entertainment Center or Good Times Lanes. Candlepin bowling ups the ante on normal alley games, arming competitors with three smaller balls sans holes and mercy to hurl at thinner pins standing in the place of their curvy counterparts. After the devious pins are toppled, they are left lying in the pin deck for additional pummeling until the end of each player's turn before being swept off and reset. As bowlers glide their way through multiple challenging rounds in slick-bottomed footwear, arcade games jingle and flash in the background to distract pins that have developed human intelligence. Free bumpers help tykes eliminate discouraging gutter balls, and groups of six refuel by slurping from an included pitcher or 2-liter bottle of soda. Five TVs glow on the walls of 1-7-10, reflecting the pizzas served at Splitters Sports Bar and Grille.
Hand-painted tables depicting colorful images of dogs, mustaches, and maps sit beneath lustrous, polished hubcaps in the dining room of Lisa's Legit Burritos, where founder Lisa Liberatore dishes up casual Mexican cuisine with finesse that earned her profiles in USA Today and the Morning Sentinel. Amid the eatery's diverse décor, the chef and her staff slow-roast chicken, beef, and pork with an eclectic potpourri of traditional Mexican spices such as chipotle peppers and chilies. The flavorful meats join salsa and cheese to mosey across tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and unadorned cowboy hats. A smattering of quarter-pound hot dogs topped with chili and fritos bolster the south-of-the-border selection, and sweets such as chocolate-covered jalapeños and a dessert burrito cradling cheesecake and berry preserves wrap up meals.
Lisa's Legit Burritos is also home to Book It, a bookstore of lightly used books whose proceeds benefit the Gardiner Public Library's renovation efforts. Guests can settle into a rocking chair to read the collection of tomes, which includes popular genres and flavors.