Bar Harbor Port Guide

Bar Harbor Port is strategically located at the eastern part of Mt. Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine. The biggest attraction for the Bar Harbor Port of call is the 41,000-acre Acadia National Park; one of the country’s smallest yet busiest National Parks. Bar Harbor cruise port is also a famous summer colony in the southern region of Maine; it is heavily visited by more than 100 ships every year.

Bar Harbor is a serene and charming little fishing village that has all the attractions of a major port. Visitors can watch the lobstermen work, drop by souvenir shops, tour a museum and enjoy a Maine lobster lunch experience.

Shopping

Just minutes away from the Bar Harbor cruise terminal, you can explore the best shopping boutiques on the island; along Cottage Street and Acadia Byway. During summer, most of the shops in town are open 7 days in a week with extended shopping hours. You can also check out the Alone Moose Fine Crafts which features a gallery of wildlife sculpture made up of wood and bronze. You can also find decorative pottery, jewelries and other art works by the local artists. If you are looking for souvenir items, you can check out Gooseberry Hollow and West Quoddy Gifts located on Main Street.

Visitors can drive to the quaint villages of Northeast Harbor, Somesville and Southwest Harbor. These harbor communities have interesting boutiques and restaurants. The Somesville bookstore is situated along Somes Sound. Somes Sound is often described as a fjord, although the surrounding mountains lack the height of those found along the fjords of Norway. The sound nearly divides the island in half.

Things to See

The Acadia National Park is definitely a must see. The park offers both active and relaxed ways of enjoying the beauty of nature. You can tour the entire island by hiking, biking or even a short drive will do. Visitors can hike or drive to the Peak of Cadillac Mountain. Enjoy a breath taking view from the summit; it is one of the first spots to receive sunlight in the U.S. as a new day begins.

When you’re in the park, be sure to visit Thunder Hole; it is accessible by the Island Explorer Bus via the park loop road. Here visitors can watch the seawater as it pounds against the rugged, pink granite coastline of Maine; a thunderous boom and water spouts as high as 40 feet occur as these waves rush into an inlet carved through the rocks.

For a bit of history and the town’s culture, you can drop by Bar Harbor Society Museum. Built in the year 1916, this historical edifice features a photo exhibit of opulent summer estates in the town prior to the great 1947 fire. It also has a rare collection of books, clothing and other memorabilia from Bar Harbor’s history.

During May through September, visitors can sail around the Porcupine Islands in Frenchman’s bay on the Natalie Todd; a 100 plus foot wooden schooner.  Whale watching tours are available from the Bar Harbor dock area.   

Restaurants and Bars

La Bella Vita is one of the prime gourmet restaurants in Bar Harbor. This elegant food café offers an authentic Italian gastronomic adventure. It also boasts a spectacular harbor view from their dining hall and awesome food selections like their handcrafted gnocchi and lobster ravioli. Quaterdeck is another restaurant that you and your friends shouldn’t miss. They offer the best seafood classics in town like oysters, steamed lobsters and pan seared halibuts. For casual dining, you can check out Route 66 where you can order almost anything from burgers to lobsters. Check out their huge collection of metal toys from trains to automobiles that are nicely displayed on the walls and shelves. 

The restaurant in the historic Bar Harbor Inn provides wonderful Sunday brunches. The inn is located near the dock and was once a hot social spot for wealthy industrialist families; e.g. the Vanderbuilts and Rockefellers.

Find a Cruise

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,