About as picturesque as they come, Ogunquit has a slightly more frivolous spirit than its Kennebunk neighbors, and it is a very popular gay resort spot 60 mi/95 km southwest of Portland. Once a fishing village, the town is now something of an art center with lots of galleries and shops lining the streets. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is highly regarded and well worth a visit (http://www.ogunquitmuseum.org). The Ogunquit Playhouse has maintained a reputation for high-quality performances since it first offered summer theatrical productions in the 1930s (http://www.ogunquitplayhouse.org).

You shouldn't miss Bald Head Cliff—you reach it by walking the Marginal Way, a winding, paved route that follows a cliff edge along the waterfront (the waves crashing against the cliff add to the drama of the scenery). Open-sided trolleys run through the center of town and as far as Footbridge Beach between July and Labor Day. Pay a visit to Perkins Cove, where you can see a drawbridge that's used exclusively by pedestrians (the only one of its kind in New England).

In nearby Wells, the Wells Auto Museum displays more than 70 antique cars, as well as vintage arcade games and other relics (http://www.wellsautomuseum.com). We found the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm an excellent place to spend an afternoon. This 1,600-acre/650-hectare parcel of wetland provides many hiking paths, and you can see an exceptional variety of birds—herons, egrets, kingfishers, glossy ibis and Canada geese. Take along binoculars (http://www.wellsreserve.org). Nearby, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a 1-mi/1.6-km loop through a white-pine forest and a salt marsh (http://www.fws.gov/northeast/rachelcarson).

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