A Walk Around Bar Harbor, Maine via a Cruise Ship Visit

by Janis on August 26, 2015

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.

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