Visitors and locals alike love Bucksport’s working waterfront and charming downtown – in fact, it was named USA Today’s #1 Seaside Small Town in 2021. In a lovely spot along the “narrows” of the Penobscot River, Bucksport has drawn people for millennia. In fact, 5,000 years ago, what is now Bucksport was home to the Red Paint or Maritime Archaic people. This highly advanced ancient civilization used distinctive red ochre to paint their graves. Later, the Abenaki Tribes and then early settlers came to Bucksport.
Things to Do in Bucksport
Enjoy a stroll on the mile-long Bucksport Waterfront Walkway for gorgeous views of the Penobscot River, Fort Knox and the impressive Penobscot Narrows Bridge. To see the bridge and the breathtaking views from the 437-foot observatory, visit Fort Knox for tickets. This is the only bridge observatory in the United States and only one of four bridge observatories in the world. It's open from May to October. Fort Knox was built in 1844 and is one of the best-preserved Civil War-era forts.
Check out the seasonal Unique Rock Shop for Maine tourmaline or to cut a geode. The town was partially burned by the British during the Revolutionary War and was occupied by the British in the War of 1812 and you can learn about the town’s storied past at the Bucksport Historical Society housed in an old railway station. Lighthouse Arts Center on Main Street has something in its gallery to appeal to everyone, with more than 100 artists represented.
In July you can enjoy the annual Bucksport Bay Festival with fireworks, a parade, music and more – along the waterfront. In November, catch the Maritime Film Festival.
Enjoy nearby nature at the Silver Lake Park, a popular spot for smallmouth bass fishing and hiking on the trails.
Where to Stay in Bucksport
Fort Knox Inn is the best place to stay with views of the bridge and fort. If you want to shop for antiques and stay in a B&B, try the nearby Old Winterport Commercial House or stay in a historic church at Crooked Steeple Hall.
Restaurants in Bucksport
The Franciscan’s of Bucksport operate The Friars’ Brewhouse, a taproom and gastropub, so stop by the brewery for an award-wining draft and some tasty grub, served by actual friars! For all things seafood and much more, Carrier’s Mainely Lobster is the place to go. For comfort food, head to the family-owned Warren’s Waterfront Restaurant. A local favorite is MacLeod’s Restaurant, serving classic American fare and seafood. Across the river in Winterport is the Winterport Winery, known for its tasty fruit wines.