Classic schooners bobbing in the harbor: check. Pristine steepled churches: check. Tidy cottages with coastal roses climbing white picket fences: check. Camden is the New England town of your dreams, so picture-perfect, it could be a movie set. And it has been. Fifties-era tearjerker "Peyton Place" was filmed there, as were scenes from the musical "Carousel."
There are no franchises and no neon in this upscale waterfront enclave whose part-time residents include Hollywood glitterati like actor John Travolta and producer J.J. Abrams. Its classic, red-shingled yacht club dates to 1920. Its Victorian opera house has been lovingly restored. Its 19th-century Knox Woolen Mill now hosts shops.
The town is also the homeport of Maine Windjammer Cruises, a consortium of mostly historic schooners, making its harbor especially picturesque when the vessels are in port.
--By Jayne Clark, Cruise Critic contributor