Bath is a small city of around 8,000 people, located in the county of Sagadahoc, in the state of Maine. It is also the county seat and a popular attraction for tourists thanks to its old buildings from the 19th century.
The first colony was established in the area in 1607 but it took many years to be incorporated as a town in 1781, and then as a city in 1847. Through the years many industries flourished here, including those of lumber, iron, ice, coal and brass.
But the most important of all was that of shipbuilding, and this is why Bath is also known as “The City of Ships”.
1. Visit the Maine Maritime Museum
Located on the banks of the Kennebec River, this museum displays hundreds of items, galleries and exhibits from various eras and for people of all ages. You can admire them inside, but the museum also has an outdoor area.
Here you can view plenty of ships and boats from various times, and also learn more about how the small city of Bath built some of the biggest wooden sailing ships ever made.
You will also learn about the lobster industry in the state of Maine and then be able to enjoy some lobster in the lunch area.
2. View the Seguin Island and Lighthouse
Seguin is a small island nearby. It hosts a lighthouse which is the tallest in Maine and one of the oldest in the country. The scenery here is splendid and it’s definitely worth the trip.
There are various boat rides that can take you here, and then you can spend an entire afternoon hiking on the island and visiting the lighthouse. You can also take a guided tour, and learn more about the history of this place.
3. Shop at Bath Farmers Market
If you want to support the local economy and also to be able to purchase a wide variety of goodies, make sure to visit this market. It is located by the river and provides some nice views and a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
Here you will find organic fruits and vegetables, home-made bread, cheese, sausages, flowers and much more. The people are lovely and they will gladly help you to find the best products for your needs and tastes.
Parking is easy and you can even bring your dog. So if you’re looking for some fresh and local goodies, then this is the place to go.
4. See Maine’s First Ship
Located here in Bath, this was the first ship to be built in the state of Maine. You will be able to admire the skeleton of the ship from multiple angles and learn more about how it was built.
It is a free exhibit where anyone can come and be amazed by this huge construction. The staff is friendly and will gladly answer any questions you might have related to the building of ships.
People of all ages come here and admire the reconstruction of a very old wooden ship.
5. Shop at the Green Lion Gallery
This cute little place is both a studio and an exhibition space for local artists. It displays a wide variety of handmade prints, which are unique pieces of art that can be bought as gifts or souvenirs.
The collections are always changing, so even if you have been here before, make sure to come again. You can even learn more about the printmaking process and witness a live demonstration.
The displays are beautiful and so is the space itself.
6. Visit the Chocolate Church
While this place used to be a regular church in the past, it has now been converted into a place for cultural events. The building is big and impressive, and is painted brown, hence the non-religious name.
Here you can expect to see various theater plays, musicals and concerts from both local artists and touring groups. The shows usually receive great reviews from audiences.
The acoustics are great and the church can hold up to 300 people.
7. Take your Dog to South End Park
This huge dog park is right near the river and it has plenty of open space for the dogs to run freely and have fun, and plenty of beautiful scenery for their owners to admire.
There are also benches along the way where you can stop by for a quick picnic. There is even a stairway to the river, in case you want to allow your dog to take a swim.
The place is well maintained, safe for both humans and dogs, and equipped with waste bags, trashcans and a drinking fountain for man’s best friend.
8. Have a Swim at the Sewell Pond Conservation Area
Located across Kennebec River in the quiet community of Arrowsic, this pond is the perfect place for kids to come for a swim, or for dog owners to bring their beloved furry friends.
The pond is clean, while the nearby area is pristine, offering you a beautiful spot for outdoor activity. If you want to avoid the crowds of kids that come here after school, you can go early in the morning.
And if you happen to have all the gear, you can even do some stand up paddle boarding on Sewell Pond.
9. Take a Hike at Josephine Newman Sanctuary
This beautiful piece of nature is owned by the Maine Audubon Society, and it offers some well-marked hiking trails for locals and tourists.
Regardless of the trail you choose to take, you will be able to admire some splendid scenery and if you’re lucky, even some wild animals. Just be careful to wear bug spray as there are also plenty of mosquitoes.
Some of the trails might get steep from time to time, so also have plenty of water with you and proper hiking equipment. Overall it’s a nice and quiet place for you to spend a relaxing afternoon.
10. Admire the art at Markings Gallery
Yet another beautiful gallery, this place displays a wide variety of art forms from various local artists. It includes paintings, jewelry, pottery, leather bags, wooden carvings, felted hangings and much more.
The visitors were absolutely pleased with the works of art displayed here, and they are also available for sale. So whether you want to get a nice gift for someone special back home or you wish to get a souvenir from Bath, make sure to stop by Markings Gallery.
11. Visit the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum
Located in the nearby city of Brunswick, this beautiful museum hosts a wide variety of paintings, photos, furniture, weapons, books and other items related to the Chamberlain family who lived here during the time of the Civil War.
The tour is given by a World War II veteran who used to personally know some of the family members, so he is very knowledgeable about their lives and about the items displayed.
While you are in the area, you can also visit the statue of Joshua Chamberlain and his grave which are located nearby.
12. Walk Through Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park
If you love Mother Nature and outdoor activities, then this natural park located nearby should definitely be visited. Take a hike, ride a bike or just walk your dog along these beautiful trails, and enjoy the splendid scenery of Casco Bay.
There are also some more difficult trails for those who like a challenge, and along the way you might also encounter some wild animals. The location is peaceful and serene, no matter the season.
13. Watch a Play at the Maine State Music Theatre
Located nearby in Brunswick, this state theatre offers beautiful plays and musicals, played by very talented local actors. Some reviewers considered the performances so good, that they are worthy of a Broadway show.
Stop by this place for an entertaining night with your loved ones, and then continue your journey through Bath and the state of Maine.
14. Attend an Event at the Winter Street Center
If someone has invited you for a wedding or a special event here in Bath, it is probably taking place at this venue. The Winter Street Center is a traditional and romantic place with a vintage feeling and it offers all the facilities for a great wedding or party.
It is located right across from the park, so happy couples can go and take plenty of photos there. Besides private parties and weddings, there are various other events that take place here, so if you see anything interesting don’t hesitate to come over.
15. Go to the Bath Regional Information Center
For even more useful information about Bath and the nearby areas and fun activities to try, visit this center and get some directions. The people at the front desk are very friendly and knowledgeable and will make great suggestions, including where to eat, where to sleep and where to have fun.
You will also find maps and souvenirs here. Overall it’s a good place to start a visit to Bath, or to pop in when you are out of ideas what to do next.