The far-ranging mind of Dr. John Howard Wilson, a Victorian-era geologist, forms the basis for the astounding collection in the Wilson Museum (107 Perkins St., 207/326-9247, www.wilsonmuseum.org , 2–5 p.m. daily late May–Sept., free). The menagerie inside includes African prehistoric artifacts, Balinese shadow puppets, fire department memorabilia, and old maps and ships’ logs.
A short and pleasant walk from downtown is Dyce’s Head Lighthouse, a 19th-century classic tapered white tower.
In the summer, midshipmen conduct tours of the State of Maine, the 500-foot training vessel owned by the Maine Maritime Academy (Pleasant St., Castine, 800/464-6565, www.mainemaritime.edu ). Though not available for tours, be sure to notice the academy’s other beauty, the schooner Bowdoin, which Maine  explorer Adm. Donald MacMillan took on his many expeditions to the North Pole.