God must have been bored when he scribbled out this tortuous stretch of coastline, full of long and skinny peninsulas and saltwater bays. Thankfully the scenic highway of Route 1 cuts through the area to hit the main population centers—though a detour down at least one rocky peninsula is essential.
This is one area where a car is essential to exploring. While some towns, such as Bath  and Boothbay Harbor , offer in-town trolley service, there are just too many inviting shoreline roads to limit yourself solely to public transport.
To drive to the region, take I-295 north from Portland  to exit 28, then U.S. Route 1 north to Brunswick  (25 mi., 30 min.). From Brunswick, continue north along U.S. Route 1 to Bath (8 mi., 12 min.) or Wiscasset  (20 mi., 30 min.). For Popham Beach, take Route 209 south from Bath (15 mi., 30 min.). For Boothbay Harbor, head south along Route 27 from Wiscasset (15 mi., 30 min.). For Pemaquid Point, continue north from Wiscasset along U.S. Route 1 to Newcastle, then take Route 130 south to the lighthouse (25 mi., 40 min.).
In addition, buses run by Concord Coach Lines (800/639-3317, www.concordtrailways.com ) service many towns along Route 1, including Brunswick (Mobil Mart, 101 Bath Rd./Rte. 24), Bath (Mail It 4 U, 10 State Rd.), Wiscasset (Huber’s Market, 279 Rte. 1), and Damariscotta (Waltz Pharmacy, 167 Main St.).