9. Portland, Maine
List price: $975,000
What beats one cozy seaside cottage on Maine's Casco Bay with sweeping water views of the Portland skyline to the west? How about these 2 saltbox cottages -- a main house and a fully urnished guesthouse -- on nearly an acre of rolling pastureland, conveniently located across the street from Centennial Beach and a mere 10-minute stroll to the Old Port ferry dock?
Listing agent Rhonda Berg of Harborview Properties says summer visitors and year-round residents alike prefer this Peaks Island location over other Casco Bay islands for the frequent 18-minute ferry service to downtown Portland, as well as the island's spectacular sunrise-to-sunset light shows.
"Compared to other Casco Bay islands, as well as Penobscot Bay and all the way down the coast, Peaks Island has the greatest number of trips to and from the mainland," she says. "The terminal on the mainland is within easy walking distance to shops, green grocers, coffee shops, Italian market, restaurants galore and public transportation, so no car is needed."
The average Portland home sells for $349,950, according to Realtor.com.
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What makes Portland special?
Berg says life on coastal Maine is like "living in the quiet beauty of a small seaside town with the attractions of Portland, including its world-class Portland Museum of Art, at your fingertips."