Maasdam in Bar Harbor, MaineOn July 3rd we visited Bar Harbor, Maine during a 7-Day Canada and New England cruise on Holland America’s ms Maasdam.

shore path, Bar Harbor, MaineAs soon as we arrived into the pier via the tenders (Bar Harbor is a tender port for all cruise ships), we headed to the shore path. The path is located just to the left of where you are dropped off from the tenders, and offers beautiful views along the waterfront before looping back to the main village.

ocean front cottage, Bar Harbor, MaineThe shore path dates to 1880 and offers front row views of the “cottages” in addition to ocean views.

Bar Harbor Shore pathSigns lead you from the path to Bar Harbor’s Main Street, via Wayman Lane. The map is from the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. We followed Main Street to the Village Green, where we headed left on Mt. Desert Street.

Bar Harbor Congregational Church On Mt. Desert Street, we passed by the Bar Harbor Congregational Church, St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church and the historic cemetery that is located in between them. The cemetery dates back to 1790.

Union monument, Bar Harbor, MaineBefore the village name was changed to Bar Harbor, it was known as Eden. This monument is in memory of the local residents of Eden who were killed during the U.S. Civil War.

history sign, Bar Harbor, MaineSigns throughout Bar Harbor detail the historical highlights.  The public library (gorgeous inside, and worth a stop), and the Abbe Museum are across the street from the churches.

Side Street Cafe, Bar Harbor, MaineWe were in search of the Side Street Cafe, which is located nearby at 49 Rodick Street. We had heard this was the place to go for the best lobster roll in Bar Harbor, but we needed to work up our appetites first.

2 cats, Bar Harbor, MaineMeanwhile, we headed to Cottage Street in search of the 2 Cats Restaurant. (During our first visit to Bar Harbor via a cruise ship, circa 1997, we had a fantastic latte at the 2 Cats, and still have a mug with the two dancing cats on it. At that time, 2 Cats was a coffee shop on Main Street, at least as we recall.) Today it is a restaurant and an inn, and had huge crowds waiting for breakfast on a holiday weekend, so we did not get to compare the coffee to what we remember.

History sign, Bar Harbor, MaineFrom Cottage Street we turned right on Eden Street, where we happened upon this sign that explained the Great Fire of 1947 that destroyed much of Bar Harbor.

view from West Street, Bar Harbor, MaineTurning right again, we headed up West Street, which offers terrific water views in between huge “cottages” and inns.

Bar Harbor, MaineWe turned left at Bridge Street, and headed to the waterfront. This is the place where you can walk across stepping stones to Bar Island during low tides. That will be on our to-do list for future visits to Bar Harbor.

blue chairs, Bar Harbor, MaineWe wandered around the downtown streets and shops, admiring this blue bench for two (and a place to put their wine glasses) outside a shop on Cottage Street.

lobster roll, Side Street Cafe, Bar Harbor, MaineHaving sufficiently worked up our appetites, we headed to the Side Street Cafe to consider our quest to find the best lobster roll. This one was delicious. However, it was only #4 on our list of the best lobster rolls on our Canada and New England cruise. There was tough competition from Prince Edward Island, and Sydney and Halifax in Nova Scotia.

Testa's, Bar Harbor, MaineStuffed, we walked around some more before heading down Main Street towards the town pier where the cruise ship tenders pick up passengers. We cannot comment on the food, but we give Testa’s points for a fun sign.

Acadia National Park is close to Bar Harbor, and is worth a visit. We explored it on two previous cruise ship stops, once via a bus tour, and once via bicycles that we rented in town. One can however, have a very fun day just walking around the town of Bar Harbor (and sampling the local lobster, of course.)

Fitbit tracker from Bar HarborAs a Fitbit Fanatic, I was thrilled to tally 13,020 steps or about 6.2 miles during our day in Bar Harbor.

Have you visited Bar Harbor? What is your favorite highlight of the area? Please share in comments below.

Check out these other posts related to our Canada and New England cruise:

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Alaska railroadPresident Obama will visit Alaska next week. He is scheduled to visit Anchorage on Monday, Aug. 31, to speak at a State Department conference, called GLACIER, on the future of the Arctic and Arctic politics, followed by planned visits to Seward, Dillingham and Kotzebue, Alaska.

Are you planning a trip to visit Alaska?

If Alaska is on your travel bucket list, we want to help answer your questions and encourage you to visit the 49th state.

We are huge fans of visiting Alaska: Mr. Jones was born and raised in Anchorage, his dad was a part of the military contingency that built the Al-Can highway during WWII, and we enjoy visiting friends, family and favorite fishing & watering holes as often as possible.

With more than posts on this blog, you might have a hard time finding exactly what you are looking for about Alaska, so we’ve compiled this guide to Alaska posts that we’ve shared:

Why Go to Alaska?

If you aren’t already convinced to visit the Last Frontier, read the 5 Top Reasons to Visit Alaska.

The Log Cabin that serves as Anchorage Visitor's Center, AlaskaEducate Yourself Before You Go

A little advanced planning before heading to a new destination often improves your travel experience.   Learning interesting Alaska facts, and some potential trivia answers in  22 Fun Facts You Might Want to Know.  We’ve also compiled “Fun Facts” on these Alaska destinations:

We like to “Get in the Know” by reading about a destination. Here are  5 Books to Read on Alaska.

If you are on Pinterest, you might want to check out our Alaska board.

You also might want to register for the Free Official State of Alaska Vacation Planner here, which you can download immediately or have sent to you via snail mail.  If Anchorage is on your itinerary, and it is for most visitors, sign up for the Free Anchorage Alaska Vacation Guide here.  Again, you can choose to download immediately, and/or get a printed copy via the mail.

cruising AlaskaVisiting Alaska Via Cruise Ship

We love cruising as much as we love Alaska.
A cruise is a great way to experience Alaska, while a cruise tour will give you a more diverse visit to the largest state. Learn more in Visiting Alaska by Cruise Ship? Answers to Your 6 Top Questions.

If you choose to cruise, here’s 10 Tips for Planning Your Time in Port.

Exploring Alaska from a cruise ship does not mean you cannot venture past the standard shore excursion. Check out our Spectacular Do-It-Yourself Port Day in Haines, Alaska that involved renting a car and having one of the best hamburgers of our lives at mile marker 33.5.  If you take a land + sea tour, your itinerary might include the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge in Alaska, which is very near Mr. Jones family’s favorite fishing hole for more than 50 years.

Alaska suitcasesWhat to Pack for Alaska?

What to pack is generally one of the top questions that travelers planning a trip to Alaska ask. For a summer visit, you most likely won’t need a down parka but you might appreciate these 10 Tips on What to Pack.

For those adding a land tour to their cruise, check out Packing Advice for a 2-Week Land+Cruise Tour to Alaska.

Anchorage, AlaskaVisiting Anchorage

Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city and top destination for those arriving to the state by air. It’s our most often-visited Alaska destination so we have multiple posts on the city — ranging from information about Captain Cook to Binky – the infamous-but-deceased polar bear – to lots of insider tips from local residents.  Read them to learn insights such as how to avoid the high airport tax on rental cars:

ear in Alaska on the Kenai RiverWildlife and Glaciers

Two of the top reasons people want to visit Alaska is to see wildlife and glaciers. Wildlife sightings are unpredictable, unless you visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

glacier in Glacier Bay, AlaskaAwe-inspiring glaciers cover much of Alaska but our favorite glacier destination is best seen from a cruise ship (be sure your itinerary includes Glacier Bay, National Park and Preserve, Southeast Alaska.)

Homer, Alaska

The Spit, Homer, AlaskaHomer is a funky town at the end of the road — known for its artists, halibut fishing, and for being singer Jewel’s hometown.

Homer offers great food 5 Delicious Places to Eat and Drink in Homer, Alaska, an interesting museum the Pratt Museum, a world-famous bar: the Salty Dawg Saloon and a winery that makes wine with a combination of local fruit and grape juice from wine destinations around the world. Learn more about it in Words of Wisdom.

The People

One of the very best things about Alaska is the people that live there.

Check out this “Travel Chat” with James Minton of Visit Anchorage“I live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet ….” A Travel Chat with an Alaska Insider.

What else would you like to know about Alaska? Post your questions in comments below and we will answer them in a future post. 

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Highlights From Our Visit to Prince Edward Island Via Cruise Ship

August 24, 2015

During late June we visited Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island via a 7- Day Canada and New England cruise on Holland America’s ms Massdam. While Mr. Jones had visited as a child, it was my first visit to Prince Edward Island, allowing me to add another destination to my progress on The Travelers’ Century Club List […]

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Discovering a New Place to Take a Hike in Parkville, Missouri

August 23, 2015

Making new destination discoveries doesn’t mean that you have to travel to another part of the world.  You can make new discoveries close to home. Since I’m a Fitbit fanatic who’s also trying to get in more steps, I wanted to find a new place to take a Sunday hike. I googled “best hikes in Kansas City” […]

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