West Dorset's main coastal resort, Weymouth, is known for its sandy and pebble beaches and its royal connections. King George III began seawater bathing here for his health in 1789, setting a trend among the wealthy and fashionable of the day. The legacy of this popularity is Weymouth’s many fine buildings, including the Georgian row houses lining the Esplanade. Striking historical details command attention: a wall on Maiden Street holds a cannonball that was embedded in it during the English Civil War, while a nearby column commemorates the embarkation of U.S. forces from Weymouth on D-Day.
Weymouth and its lively harbor provide the full bucket-and-spade seaside experience: donkey rides, sand castles, and plenty of fish-and-chips. Weymouth and Portland hosted the 2012 Olympic sailing events.