There's a palpable mix of reflective nostalgia and horizon-scanning adventure at this wonderful museum, which preserves the Kennebec's long shipbuilding tradition with paintings, models and hands-on exhibits that tell the tale of 400 years of seafaring. The on-site 19th-century Percy & Small Shipyard, preserved by the museum, is a working wooden-boat shipyard, and there's no shortage of enthusiasts on hand to answer questions on such craft.
In summer, the museum offers a variety of boat trips ($34 to $50 per person, 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.