A quaint wooden town 150 mi/240 km northwest of Helsinki, Rauma is well worth a day's visit to shop in its outdoor market and to stroll the pretty streets. The town is one of the best-kept in the area, and it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rauma is also a center for the production of lace (a lace festival is held there every July, attracting participants from all over the world). In early August, the city stages the Rauma Festivo Music Festival.

If you want more music, the large port of Pori hosts an international jazz festival each July (one of Europe's largest). If time allows, visit the Pori Art Museum (art and historical displays) and the intriguing Juselius Mausoleum, built to commemorate a local magnate's daughter who died at age 11. The Yyteri Sands (beautiful beaches) in nearby Yyteri are another attraction. Allow at least one night in the area.

The idyllic 17th-century seaside town of Uusikaupunki makes a nice stop on the way to Rauma and Pori. The town has a delightful collection of old windmills in a beautifully landscaped park. And it also has one of the country's more whimsical museums, the Bonk Museum—it's named for the fictional company created by artist Alvar Gullichsen. His visually interesting "inventions" have one thing in common: They don't actually do anything. The museum has a "Baby Bonk" area for children. Uusikaupunki is also known for its Finnish handicrafts.

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