Located in coastal Maine’s Hancock County, Bucksport is ideally situated near many of the state’s most significant and popular natural and historical sites, both inland and near the sea.
With a population of just less than 5,000 residents, Bucksport is particularly well-known for the Penobscot River and the iconic Penobscot Narrows Bridge.
During the summer season, the town’s population swells with tourists, especially those destined for nearby Acadia National Park.
The quaint town is full of old-time charm, and finding ways to occupy your time won’t be an issue.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Bucksport, Maine.
1. Stubborn Cow Glass
Located inside a historic building that once housed a local bank, Stubborn Cow Glass on Main Street in Bucksport is the perfect side excursion for those interested in seeing a showroom full of locally-made and one of a kind glass items.
From jewelry and lamps to vases, glasses, and bowls, there’s a little bit of everything. The gallery carries products from many local artisans, so each piece has its own individual story and style.
They also offer classes for those interested in learning how to work with glass, but class sizes are limited to just six students.
Free to visit, it’s a great place to pick up a unique keepsake.
2. Bucksport Golf and Country Club
Though it’s only a nine-hole course, Bucksport Golf and Country Club is a favorite of locals, who appreciate its value and the fact that it is beautiful, challenging, and only takes a few hours to play.
The course is nearly 3,400 yards and offers a variety of tee box locations for men, women, and children.
There’s an onsite pro shop too, and like most golf courses, the tee times often go quickly, especially on the weekends during the summer months.
If that’s when you’ll be visiting, check their website or give them a call to reserve your spot in advance.
3. Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park is just a short drive from the town of Bucksport and offers visitors a variety of year-round outdoor recreation options.
Fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking are popular. When the weather cooperates, it’s possible to see the iconic Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park from the park’s elevated viewing area on Mount Battie.
Due to its coastal location, the towns and fishing villages in the area are amazingly quaint and picturesque and are home to some of the state’s oldest and most popular seafood restaurants.
The state park offers a variety of campsites as well, but they’re snatched up quickly during peak season.
4. Fort Knox State Park
Located on the Penobscot River’s western bank, Fort Knox State Park and historic site is in the town of Prospect and was built in the mid-19th century.
Unlike other forts from the era that were built with lumber and earth, Fort Knox was constructed using locally quarried granite, which made it incredibly strong and resistant to attack and the elements.
The fort was built to protect the vital Penobscot River waterway and the towns just inland from foreign maritime attackers. Its massive iron cannons are still perched in their turrets as they have been for more than a century.
5. Mount Waldo
At just slightly more than 1,000 feet, Mount Waldo isn’t the region’s largest mountain, but its convenient location and scenic views make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts year-round.
Just outside the town of Frankfort, Mount Waldo is known for the course granite that’s quarried nearby, which is famous for its coarse yet beautiful texture and patterns.
The Quarry Trail leading to the summit is four miles long and is only moderately difficult.
Even more panoramic scenes are available for those brimming with energy; though the views are always beautiful, they’re especially so in the fall when the foliage has changed.
6. Verona Island
Once the center of the Maine shipbuilding industry, scenic Verona Island has changed with the times but has retained much of its original quaint charm, making it a popular destination for those looking to avoid hordes of tourists.
The island is easily reached by car from the Bucksport on the mainland via U.S. Route 1, and the recently refurbished Waldo-Hancock Bridge affords travelers amazing views of the Penobscot River and bay.
The island’s small town is in many ways frozen in time, though now it’s dotted with gift shops and eateries and is an especially popular area for kayakers and paddleboarders.
7. Winterport Winery & Penobscot Bay Brewery
Located in Winterport, the Winterport Winery and Penobscot Bay Brewery is the perfect place to end a long day on your feet out in the elements.
For nearly two decades, the facility’s tasting room has been pairing their wines and beers with great food, and it’s an easy drive from both Bangor and Bucksport.
They’re closed for January and February and on all major holidays and have different seasonal hours during the spring, summer, and fall.
It’s been a family-owned business from the beginning, and their products are available online as well, so check out their website for specific information.
8. Great Pond Mountain Wildlands
Protected by a nature conservancy trust, the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands is a favorite of hikers who value their alone time with Mother Nature, and not surprisingly, most of them would like to keep the area a closely guarded secret.
Many of the area’s trailheads aren’t particularly well-marked, and that’s part of what makes them relatively undiscovered gems.
Once you’ve found the parking area near Orland, however, things will become clearer; you’ll have a variety of groomed and marked trails of varying lengths to choose from.
There’s a large map showing the trails, distances, and particularly scenic areas, so check it out before starting.
9. Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is one of the country’s natural treasures. It’s located along Maine’s Atlantic seaboard near the historic fishing and maritime village of Bar Harbor.
With dozens of individual attractions and unparalleled scenery, it’s been drawing crowds for ages; in recent years, it has surpassed three million annual visitors.
From museums and historic sites to art, science, and incredible natural wonders, there’s something for everybody, and the park could easily engage travelers for days.
Unfortunately, the crowds can get annoyingly large during the peak spring and summer seasons, so if that’s a scene you’d like to avoid, consider visiting during non-peak times.
10. Farnsworth Art Museum
Due to its long history and fantastic natural environment, Maine has been a magnet to authors, poets, and artists from the very beginning.
Not surprisingly, the state is home to a variety of galleries featuring both traditional and contemporary works; the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland is one of the most popular.
Its collection includes a variety of works by numerous members of the world-famous Wyeth family.
The works on display include illustrations and paintings, many of which capture the majesty of some of Maine’s most popular scenes – you’re likely to see a few of them on your trip.
The museum is inexpensive to visit and is the perfect destination when the weather isn’t particularly inviting.
11. Penobscot Marine Museum
Conveniently located off Church Street, the Penobscot Marine Museum is the premier place to explore the state and region’s nautical history, tracing its roots back to before the country was founded more than two centuries ago.
Maine’s Penobscot River and Harbor were important commercial and military centers, and the museum’s exhibits include paintings, marine and military equipment, model ships, clothes, and even some photographs from ages long past.
Unlike some museums, the Penobscot Marine Museum has a number of exhibits specifically designed for kids, so it’ll be educational and interesting for everyone in the family.
The museum closes for the winter and group tours are available if booked in advance.
12. Pentagoet Inn
If a national hotel chain that’s noticeably lacking in the character and charm department isn’t where you’d like to spend much of your Maine vacation, then the Pentagoet Inn in Castine would be the perfect alternative.
Built in the Queen Anne style, the inn overlooks the town and harbor, and a variety of attractions are easily reached by bikes that can be found on site.
The inn features an award-winning restaurant, beach access, and a variety of activities, including sailing and kayaking.
During the summer months, they host live jazz performances and weekly wine tastings , but make reservations in advance as their limited number of rooms fill up quickly.
13. Fort Point State Park
Comprised of more than 100 acres of rocky, windswept Atlantic coastline and unrivaled panoramic views, Fort Point State Park is located just off U.S. Route 1 in Stockton Springs, Maine.
Fort Point was built in the mid-1700s on a long peninsula stretching into the Penobscot River and Bay, which made it the perfect defensive position against foreign invaders.
The park has been open since 1974 and includes a diverse habitat which is home to a variety of animals. During low tide, there’s an exposed sand flat that’s fun to explore if the water isn’t too cold.
The park also features picnic areas, a lighthouse, and a garden.
14. Stockton Harbor Cruises
Though Maine’s rustic coast is beautiful from any vantage point, there’s something special about seeing it from the deck of a boat.
Originally built in the mid-40s as a fishing vessel, the robust, diesel-powered Yankee is nearly 50 feet long and is the tour company’s pride and joy. The captain has decades of nautical experience and knows a thing or two about local history as well.
Cruises are offered seasonally and may include several different options depending on the weather and the whim of the captain.
Remember that the conditions on the water are often much different than on land, so pack a few extra layers just in case.
15. Stewart’s Blueberries
During the short growing season, Maine produces bucketloads of tasty blueberries.
Located on U.S. Route 1 in Stockton Springs, Stewart’s Blueberries consists of nearly 20 acres of wild, uncultivated blueberries that are delicious and packed with a mega-dose of healthy antioxidants.
In addition to fresh berries, they also offer a variety of prepared products, like fresh baked goods and syrups. For those value-minded shoppers, fresh berries come in 15-pound packages.
In case you weren’t aware, blueberries freeze nicely, so consider buying one for now and one for later.
Check out their website for directions and their seasonal hours.