Hope General Store's historic building's roots stretch back as early as 1832, and its rustic interior greets guests with imported goods, up to 140 varieties of beer, and a menu of sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. Graze on gourmet bites such as the Pinchy shaved-steak sandwich, a toasted sub stuffed with mushrooms, peppers, and swiss ($6.25) and the blue spinach salad, which hosts an army of creamy blue cheese and avocado as well as apples and mushrooms ($4.25). Adorn a customizable pizza ($4.50+) with an array of toppings, or opt for a predressed pie such as the France pizza, which delights diverse appetites with a quarter border of pineapple and ham, a quarter pepperoni, a quarter veggie, and a quarter cheese, united with a fried-egg centerpiece ($10 for a small 12” pizza; $15 for a large 16” pizza). Hope General Store's cozy interior is peppered with modern touches such as solar panels and WiFi, although the certified post office within the store allows guests to easily send a care package via mail instead of shoving it through a computer screen.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
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 City Sun Tanning. 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. 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".
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).
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.
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.