Wiscasset is 11 miles NE of Bath; The Boothbays begin 11 miles S of Wiscasset

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 self-assessment (and not all locals do), the town is attractive, even if the persistent line of traffic snaking through the center of town through the summer diminishes its charm somewhat. Still, it makes a good stop for stretching one’s legs and grabbing a bite to eat en route to other coastal destinations.

South of Route 1 on Route 27, you’ll pass through the Boothbays, a string of several small, scenic villages down a peninsula—East Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Boothbay—set so close to the ocean that, in some cases, they actually provide frontal views of it.

Bland, boxy motels hem in the harbor, where side-by-side boutiques hawk T-shirts emblazoned with puffins (and it is a ghost town in the off-season); 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.