My Favorite Maine Harbors

October 13, 2022  |  Maine, USA

Maine is a state with a lot to offer and explore. There are over 5700 lakes. 65 lighthouses. 14 mountains over 4000 feet tall. Many people visit to see lighthouses, to go hiking, or just eat seafood. Speaking of seafood, Maine also has 53 working fishing harbors that are worth checking out. So which ones are my favorite? Here they are, in no particular order.

Two red lobster boats lay at anchor in Lubec Harbor on Johnson Bay at sunset in Lubec in Maine.

In The Harbor at Dusk

Two red lobster boats lay at anchor in Lubec Harbor on Johnson Bay at sunset in Lubec in Maine.

Lubec Harbor, Lubec, Maine

Lubec is billed as the easternmost town in the continental United States. Located on Maine's Bold Coast, Lubec is home to about 1300 people. The town can probably best be described as sleepy, but it is surrounded by incredibly beautiful natural areas such as Cobscook Shores, which I have yet to explore, Quoddy Head State Park, and Cutler Coast Public Reserved Lands. This makes Lubec an excellent home base for a down east road trip. And downtown Lubec sits right on Johnson Bay, home to Lubec Harbor. Lubec Harbor is one of my favorites, partly because of the way the harbor is laid out and partly because I always seem to get something interesting there with my camera, such as the twin red lobster boats above, and the three brightly colored boats in the fog below.

Three colorful lobster boats lay at anchor on Johnson Bay on a foggy morning near Lubec, Maine.

Misty Morning on Johnson Bay

Three lobster boats, each with its unique color of green, red, and orange, lay anchored in Lubec Harbor, gently bobbing up and down in the calm waters of Johnson Bay. The colors of the boats stand out in stark contrast against the soft, hazy background, creating a warm and inviting scene. The thick fog that envelops the harbor adds a touch of mystery to the image, giving it an ethereal quality. The stillness of the water and the quietness of the harbor are only broken by the occasional sound of seagulls in the distance, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and serenity.

Friendship Harbor, Friendship, Maine

Friendship is located on Maine's midcoast, 31 miles south of Augusta, near the town of Waldoboro. Friendship was originally called Meduncook by the Abenaki in the area, which means "bays at the end of the sand bar". Friendship Harbor is lined by a series of wharfs and dotted by lobster boats anchored in its waters. One of the things I love about Friendship Harbor is evidence of activity there. Many of the wharfs can be found with lines and buoys strewn about, waiting to be loaded onto the boats, or stored away. From a photographer's perspective, these objects make for outstanding photographic opportunities.

Buoys and rope litter the dock in Friendship Harbor, Maine as the sun rises on a summer morning.

Buoys and Line

Limited Edition

The rising sun bathes Friendship Harbor, Maine, in a warm glow as vibrantly painted lobster buoys and rope lay strewn on the wooden dock. Lobster boats wait, anchored in the harbor's waters glistening with the orange and tangerine reflections of the morning light on this summer morn.

Available as a Fine Art Limited Edition of 100 prints, which includes a signed Certificate of Authenticity with serial number. COA will be shipped separately.

Bernard Harbor, Bernard, Maine

Located on Mount Desert Island's "Quiet Side", Bernard Harbor sits across the body of water known as Bass Harbor, from the village of Bass Harbor. Thurston's Lobster Pound is located right on the harbor for a bite to eat with a great view. The harbor is filled with lobster boats, lined with old houses and wharfs, as well as its share of pine trees. The dinghies tied to the dock make for great subjects here so I always enjoy focusing on them with lobster boats or the wharfs in the background. It's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the busier Bar Harbor.

A small boat floats in the waters of the harbor near Bernard, Maine, on Mount Desert Island. A pier rests in the background, stacked high with lobster traps.

Dory in Bernard Harbor

The southwestern corner of Mount Desert Island, known as The Quiet Side, is the location of this timeless down east Maine scene depicting a single dory tied to the dock in Bernard Harbor. A wharf stands in the background, piled high with lobster traps as the bustle of the day has ended and the harbor now sits peacefully at dusk..

Barney's Cove, Beals, Maine

Just south of Jonesport lies Beals Island, where Barney's Cove sits at the northwest corner. Barney's Cove is lined with wharfs and shacks, with dinghies tied up to take lobstermen out to the larger boats waiting in the harbor. I photographed one of my favorite harbor photos ever here when I captured the white rowboat in the mud at low tide with the harbor in the background. It's a quiet area overall, but beautiful to take a drive around the island and explore the area.

A dinghy sits in the mud in Barney's Cove near Jonesport, Maine, at dusk.

Dusk in Barney's Cove

This peaceful scene in Barney's Cove in Beals, Maine captures a quintessential fishing harbor. A small white dinghy lies left in the mud at low tide as the evening twilight dusts the sky with a lovely orange hue, illuminating the harbor in the distance, where several lobster boats are anchored. Before them, an old shack stands on a wharf in the shallow cove, giving the tranquil location a feeling of timelessness and nostalgia.

New Harbor, Maine

New Harbor is located in the town of Bristol on the Pemaquid Peninsula on the midcoast of Maine. A short drive from Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, New Harbor is home to Hardy Boat Cruises and Shaw's Wharf. From Shaw's Wharf, you have a beautiful view of the harbor while grabbing some amazingly fresh seafood. There are several places I like to photograph from there, but the image below was an image I made while having a meal there earlier this year. It seemed so calm and picturesque I couldn't resist.

A lobster boat sits at anchor in front of a fishing shack on a foggy spring day in New Harbor, Maine.

Foggy Day in New Harbor

A lobster boat sits at anchor in front of a fishing shack on a foggy spring day in New Harbor, Maine.

Five Islands Harbor, Georgetown, Maine

Five Islands Harbor is a beautiful harbor just off the Georgetown Peninsula on the Sheepscot River. The first time I visited there, I knew it was special. Five Islands Lobster Co. sits right at the end of the road leading to the harbor, and it's my favorite lobster roll in Maine. From the dock you have an amazing view the harbor, with lobster boats anchored everywhere. I like to visit in the morning at sunrise, catch the early light on the lobster boats and watch the lobstermen head out to haul. Once in a while you'll get a crazy fog that rolls up the river off the ocean, adding to the ambience and mood of the area.

Lobster boats anchored in Five Islands Harbor emerge from the fog on a summer morning in Georgetown, Maine.

Five Islands Fog

Lobster boats anchored in Five Islands Harbor emerge from the fog on a summer morning in Georgetown, Maine.

There is a romance about the working harbors of the Maine coast. These are my favorites, but there are plenty of others to choose from. Which one is yours?