On the western bank of the Kennebec River, this wonderful museum preserves the Kennebec's long shipbuilding tradition with paintings, models and hands-on exhibits that tell the tale of the past 400 years of seafaring. One highlight is the remains of the Snow Squall, a three-mast 1851 clipper ship. The on-site 19th-century Percy & Small Shipyard, preserved by the museum, is America's only remaining wooden-boat shipyard. There's also a life-size sculpture of the Wyoming, the largest wooden sailing vessel ever built.

In summer, the museum offers a variety of boat trips (per person $32 to $50, including museum admission), taking in assorted lighthouses and bird-rich bays. It also has a popular trolley tour ($30) that gives an insider's perspective of the Bath Iron Works (reservations recommended). See details and schedules on the website.