One of the best parts of living in a coastal area is the fact that coastal cruises are a fun option when the weather improves. And with the gorgeous weather we had this past weekend being a good indicator that we're on track to get to that point in time, it's even greater news that CruiseMaine announced that we'll be able to hit the waters again later this month!

According to a press release on the CruiseMaine website, American Cruise Lines' protocols have been given the all-clear by the Maine CDC, and two ships will hit the Maine waters once again over the next two months.

Independence, which will carry 96 passengers, will return later this month on May 22, followed by American Constitution, which will begin operation on June 14. There's also no real "catch" with this other than a mandate is in place that passengers will have to be fully vaccinated in order to board either ship and participate in the cruise.

Independence focuses on an all-Maine itinerary and leaves from Portland, while American Constitution covers all of New England and lasts 10 days, leaving from Boston. Both ships, pre-pandemic, were routinely seen in coastal towns from Portland to Bar Harbor, which means they'll be seen there again and not have to worry about passengers entering the restaurants and shops in those areas due to the full vaccination requirement.

What a great option for those still skiddish about traveling, allowing Mainers, Granite Staters, and other visitors to get a 10-day cruise getaway experience while also exploring parts of their home area they may not have fully explored yet, while also having peace of mind with fellow passengers also being fully vaccinated.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

LOOK: Full List of the Best Places to Live in Maine

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Maine using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks.

Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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