What are the top things to do in the Southwest Coast?

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Many Americans know about the Bush family’s compound in Kennebunkport, a postcard-perfect town along Maine’s southwest coast. Fewer know about the town’s history - it’s been a blueblood magnet for more than a century. Today the town is packed with upscale establishments, from notable restaurants and Victorian inns to fashionable boutiques and even a couple world-class spas. Here are three other Southwest Coast towns you’ll definitely want to hit:

Old Orchard Beach. A destination for more than 170 years, Old Orchard Beach has an old-fashioned pier flanked by miles of sandy beach (a Maine rarity). In warm-weather months, the pier features nightly entertainment like dancing, live concerts and fireworks. If you’re traveling with kids, the amusement park Palace Playland is nearby on the beachfront. There, your little ones will be mesmerized by Maine’s largest arcade, while you can relive memories of your own on the classic Ferris wheel.

Ogunquit. This resort town has an artistic heart and a cluster of galleries to match. When you’re done perusing the town’s art houses, check out the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. The museum overlooks the ocean and nearby sculpture gardens, and also features an excellent collection of 20th-century American sculpture and painting, with a special emphasis on arts affiliated with Ogunquit’s own arts colony.

Kittery. A quaint town with plentiful discounts, Kittery features 120 outlet stores for upscale retailers such as Izod, J. Crew and Calvin Klein. After you’ve scored a few good deals, head to nearby Fort Foster Park for some equally affordable fun. This impressive 92-acre park offers a pavilion, beach, baseball field, park and a fishing pier for a small entrance fee.

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