advertisement

Wiscasset is a cute riverside town just inland from the Atlantic (no views), and it's not shy about letting you know: THE PRETTIEST VILLAGE IN MAINE boasts a sign at the edge of town and on many brochures. Whether or not you agree with this assessment (and not all locals do), the town is indeed attractive, even if the charm is diminished somewhat by summertime traffic snaking through the town center. Still, it makes a good stop for stretching one's legs and grabbing a bite to eat en route to other coastal destinations.

The Boothbays, on Route 27 about 11 miles south of Route 1, are a string of several small, scenic villages down a peninsula -- East Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Boothbay -- close to the ocean that, in some cases, actually provide frontal views of it. Bland, boxy motels hem in the harbor, where side-by-side boutiques hawk T-shirts emblazoned with puffins; still, there's some charm to be found here among the clutter and cheese, especially on days when foghorns bleat mournfully at the harbor's mouth.