Just down the road from out hotel is the town of Bath, which made the list in Smithsonian Magazine’s 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021.
We love Bath. The historic downtown has been preserved and restored. It sits right on the Kennebec River and has a lovely little city park overlooking the water and perfect for eating an ice cream cone or enjoying one of their free outdoor concerts.
The Smithsonian mentions Bath’s ship building history and the Maine Maritime Museum which is a great museum describing the history. It’s worth several hours to wander through then stand under the largest outdoor sculpture in New England – the ribs of a replica of a 6-masted schooner. It gives you a sense of just how big these wooden ships were. The museum has a great boat tour that goes down the Kennebec River and goes past river lighthouses and discusses how each one worked to help large ships navigate their way out to sea.
The article also mentions the hiking trails accessible right from town that go through several different nature preserves. They can be found on City of Bath maps available at the visitor center or at our hotel.
One thing they didn’t mention was the off-leash dog park located between the Maine Maritime Museum and downtown bath. While this might not initially sound like a place to visit without a dog, I go there often. It’s right on the river with a fishing pier with benches. It’s a great place to view both Doubling Point Lighthouse (one of the river lighthouses) and the workings of Bath Iron Works which makes destroyers for the Navy.
While you’re in the neighborhood check out the beaches at either Reid State Park or Popham Beach.