Things to Do in Bangor, Maine

Bangor, Maine (ME) is a charming destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. From exploring its natural beauty to immersing yourself in its rich cultural and historic sites, Bangor has something for everyone. Here are some main categories of things to do in Bangor, provided by local travel experts:

  1. Exploring Bangor’s Natural Beauty: Discover the picturesque landscapes, parks, and gardens that showcase Bangor’s natural beauty.
  2. Visiting Cultural and Historic Sites: Dive into the city’s history by visiting its cultural and historic landmarks, such as museums, galleries, and architectural gems.
  3. Enjoying Outdoor Activities: Engage in various outdoor activities like hiking, biking, boating, or fishing, and make the most of Bangor’s scenic surroundings.
  4. Shopping and Dining in Bangor: Explore the local shops, boutiques, and malls for unique finds, and indulge in the diverse dining options offering delicious cuisine.
  5. Attending Events and Festivals: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Bangor by attending local events and festivals that showcase the city’s cultural and artistic spirit.
  6. Exploring Nearby Attractions: Venture beyond Bangor and discover the nearby attractions and scenic spots that offer a unique perspective on the region.
  7. Getting Active in Bangor: Engage in various sports and recreational activities, including golfing, skiing, or participating in fitness classes, to stay active during your visit.
  8. Discovering Bangor’s Arts Scene: Experience the thriving arts scene in Bangor through galleries, theaters, and live performances that highlight the city’s artistic talent.
  9. Learning about Bangor’s History: Delve into the rich history of Bangor by visiting historical sites, landmarks, and museums that tell the story of its past.

In addition to these categories, there are specific topics that provide more insights into planning a trip to Bangor. These include the best time to visit, must-see attractions, hidden gems, local cuisine and dining options, family-friendly activities, transportation options, and safety considerations for tourists.

By exploring these options and gathering information about Bangor, you can plan a memorable trip to this beautiful city in Maine.

Exploring Bangor’s Natural Beauty

Exploring Bangor’s Natural Beauty is a wonderful way to experience the outdoor wonders of this Maine city. With many options to choose from, you can immerse yourself in the stunning scenery and enjoy the fresh air.

  • Hiking trails: Lace up your boots and explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through Bangor. From the beautiful views at the Penobscot River to the lush forests, there is a trail for every level of hiker.
  • Waterfront parks: Spend a relaxing day by the water at one of Bangor’s waterfront parks. Take a stroll along the Bangor Waterfront Promenade or have a picnic at Cascade Park while enjoying the serene beauty of the river.
  • Botanical gardens: Visit the Bangor Botanical Gardens to experience the vibrant colors and fragrant scents of the flora. Take a leisurely walk through the gardens and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you.
  • Nature reserves: Discover the diverse ecosystems and wildlife at the various nature reserves in and around Bangor. Whether it’s birdwatching at the Orono Bog Boardwalk or exploring the marshes at the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with nature.
  • Parks and green spaces: Enjoy a peaceful afternoon at one of Bangor’s many parks and green spaces. From the vast fields of Hayford Park to the hidden gem of Essex Woods, these parks offer a tranquil escape from the city.

Exploring Bangor’s Natural Beauty allows you to take in the splendor of Maine’s landscapes and create unforgettable experiences. Enjoy the great outdoors and immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery that Bangor has to offer.

Visiting Cultural and Historic Sites

When visiting Bangor, Maine, there are numerous cultural and historic sites to explore. The city is home to several museums, including the Maine Discovery Museum, which offers interactive exhibits that educate visitors about science, nature, and culture. Another notable site is the Bangor Historical Society, where you can learn about the city’s rich history through exhibits and artifacts. Additionally, the Thomas Hill Standpipe, a historic water tower, provides a unique perspective of the city and its surrounding landscape. For music enthusiasts, the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion hosts a variety of concerts and performances throughout the year. Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the famous Paul Bunyan statue, a symbol of Maine’s logging history. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or music, Bangor’s cultural and historic sites offer something for everyone.

Enjoying Outdoor Activities

Enjoying Outdoor Activities - Things to Do in Bangor, Maine

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When visiting Bangor, Maine, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy:

  • Explore Acadia National Park, known for its stunning landscapes and hiking trails.
  • Go fishing at any of the numerous lakes and rivers in the area, such as Moosehead Lake or the Penobscot River.
  • Take a leisurely bike ride along the scenic Bangor Waterfront Trail.
  • Have a picnic or play sports at Cascade Park, which offers beautiful views of the Kenduskeag Stream.
  • Enjoy a round of golf at one of the local golf courses, such as the Bangor Municipal Golf Course or the Penobscot Valley Country Club.
  • Go bird-watching at the Orono Bog Boardwalk, where you can spot a variety of bird species.
  • Try your hand at kayaking or canoeing on the Penobscot River.

Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure enthusiast, or simply enjoy being outdoors, Bangor offers plenty of opportunities for enjoying outdoor activities and relaxing in the natural beauty of Maine.

Shopping and Dining in Bangor

Shopping and Dining in Bangor - Things to Do in Bangor, Maine

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When it comes to shopping and dining in Bangor, there are plenty of options to choose from.

  • Shopping: Bangor offers a variety of shopping experiences. You can explore the Bangor Mall, which is the largest shopping center in the area with a wide range of stores and boutiques. For unique and locally-made items, you can visit the Downtown Bangor area, where you’ll find charming shops and galleries.
  • Dining: Bangor is a culinary hub with a diverse selection of restaurants. For a casual dining experience, you can try Pizza Napoli, known for their delicious wood-fired pizzas. If you’re in the mood for seafood, Geaghan’s Pub and Craft Brewery offers a menu packed with fresh and flavorful seafood dishes. For a fine dining experience, The Fiddlehead Restaurant is a popular choice, offering a menu of gourmet dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients.

Whether you’re looking for shopping or dining, Bangor has something to offer for everyone.

Attending Events and Festivals

When in Bangor, Maine, attending events and festivals is a must-do. Experience the vibrant culture and lively atmosphere by participating in these exciting activities:

  • Waterfront Concerts: Enjoy live music performances by renowned artists at the Bangor Waterfront. From rock to country, there’s something for everyone.
  • American Folk Festival: Immerse yourself in traditional music, dance, and crafts from various cultures across America. This annual event showcases the rich heritage of different communities.
  • Penobscot Theatre Company Productions: Get entertained by world-class theater performances at the Penobscot Theatre Company. From Broadway hits to thought-provoking dramas, they have a diverse lineup.
  • Greater Bangor Beer Week: Celebrate the thriving craft beer scene in the region by attending tastings, brewery tours, and special events during this week-long festival.

One unforgettable experience I had while attending an event in Bangor was during the American Folk Festival. The vibrant music, energetic dances, and mouth-watering food took me on a delightful journey through diverse cultures. I made new friends, danced to unfamiliar beats, and indulged in delicious ethnic dishes. It was an enriching experience that truly broadened my perspective and deepened my appreciation for different traditions. Attending events and festivals in Bangor allows you to immerse yourself in the local community and create lasting memories.

Exploring Nearby Attractions

When exploring nearby attractions in Bangor, Maine, there are several options to consider. You can visit the beautiful Bangor City Forest, where you can hike along the trails and enjoy the scenic views. Another option is to explore the Penobscot River Walkway, which offers stunning waterfront views and a peaceful atmosphere. If you’re interested in history, you can visit the Maine Discovery Museum, where you can learn about the region’s rich cultural heritage. Additionally, the Cole Land Transportation Museum is a must-visit for transportation enthusiasts, with its extensive collection of vehicles and exhibits. Lastly, don’t forget to check out the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion, where you can catch live concerts and events. With so many nearby attractions to explore, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests in Bangor, Maine.

Getting Active in Bangor

When visiting Bangor, there are plenty of options for getting active in Bangor and enjoying the outdoor opportunities the city has to offer.

  • Explore the Bangor City Forest, a vast natural area with numerous trails for hiking and biking.
  • Take advantage of the Penobscot River for water activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding.
  • Enjoy a round of golf at one of the city’s golf courses, such as Bangor Municipal Golf Course.
  • Join a local sports league or participate in organized sports events at parks and recreation areas.
  • Engage in outdoor fitness activities like running, walking, or biking along the scenic waterfront paths.
  • Visit the Bangor YMCA for a wide range of fitness classes and facilities, including swimming pools and gym equipment.
  • Participate in seasonal activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing at nearby ski resorts during the winter months.

Getting active in Bangor offers a variety of options to suit different interests and fitness levels. Whether you prefer intense workouts or leisurely outdoor strolls, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Discovering Bangor’s Arts Scene

Bangor, Maine offers a vibrant arts scene that is worth exploring. Discovering Bangor’s arts scene can be a truly enriching experience. Here are some activities to immerse yourself in the city’s artistic offerings:

1. Visit the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and indulge in the soul-stirring melodies of classical music or attend one of their outdoor performances during the summer months.

2. Explore the Bangor Art Society, a collective of local artists showcasing their works in various mediums such as painting, sculpture, and photography. This is a great place to discover Bangor’s arts scene.

3. Attend a performance at the prestigious Penobscot Theatre Company, known for its exceptional productions ranging from classic plays to contemporary dramas. This renowned theater company is an integral part of Bangor’s arts community.

4. Wander through the Downtown Bangor Cultural District, where you will find numerous galleries and art studios showcasing the talents of local artists. This district is at the heart of Bangor’s arts scene.

5. Join art workshops and classes offered by the Bangor Museum and History Center, allowing you to cultivate your artistic skills or learn more about the region’s historical art forms. This is a fantastic way to delve deeper into Bangor’s arts scene.

Pro-tip: Don’t miss the First Friday Art Walk, a monthly event where galleries, studios, and businesses open their doors to the public, offering a chance to meet artists, view their work, and engage in the local arts community. This event is a must-attend for anyone interested in discovering Bangor’s arts scene.

Learning about Bangor’s History

Learning about Bangor

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Learning about Bangor’s history is a captivating way to comprehend the rich heritage of this historic city. The active participation of Bangor in the 19th-century lumber industry played a pivotal role in shaping the region’s economy. An exceptional aspect of Bangor’s history is its connection to the Underground Railroad, as it served as a stop for escaped slaves on their journey to freedom. Additionally, the city has a noteworthy military history, with a significant presence during the Civil War and both World Wars.

To delve into the past of Bangor, initiate your exploration at the Bangor Historical Society. There, you can fully immerse yourself in exhibits and artifacts that showcase the city’s development over time. Walking along the historic streets will lead you to well-preserved Victorian-era homes and buildings. The Thomas A. Hill House, which is one of the city’s oldest surviving buildings and now functions as a museum, should not be missed.

For a more immersive experience, consider joining a guided tour or visiting some of Bangor’s iconic landmarks. Discover the Stephen King literary trail, which features sites that inspired the chilling stories of the renowned author. Alternatively, pay a visit to Mount Hope Cemetery, a picturesque final resting place for many notable figures, including Civil War veterans and local luminaries.

By learning about Bangor’s history, you can acquire a deeper appreciation for its past and the unique role it played in shaping the region. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply curious about the city’s roots, exploring Bangor’s historical sites and stories will undoubtedly leave you with a greater understanding of this vibrant city.


Where to Stay in Bangor

When planning your visit to Bangor, Maine, you may be wondering where to stay in Bangor. Fortunately, there are numerous options available to suit all preferences and budgets. Whether you are looking for luxury hotels, budget-friendly motels, or cozy bed and breakfasts, Bangor has it all.

If you prefer the comfort and amenities offered by popular hotel chains, you can choose from well-established names such as Hilton, Marriott, and Holiday Inn. These hotels provide comfortable rooms and a range of amenities to ensure a pleasant stay in Bangor.

For a more unique and personalized experience, why not consider staying in a charming bed and breakfast? Here, you can enjoy personalized service and soak in the cozy atmosphere that these establishments offer.

If you are on a tighter budget, there are several affordable motels and inns in the area that provide comfortable and convenient lodging options. These options ensure you have a comfortable stay without breaking the bank.

When deciding where to stay in Bangor, it’s important to consider factors such as location, amenities, and price. By considering these factors, you can find the accommodation that best fits your needs and preferences for your visit to Bangor, Maine.

With the range of options available, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay during your visit to Bangor, Maine. So, start planning your trip now and look forward to a memorable stay in this charming city.

How to Get to Bangor

If you are wondering how to get to Bangor, here are a few options:

  1. Fly: One way to reach Bangor is by booking a flight to Bangor International Airport, which conveniently offers direct flights from major cities.
  2. Drive: If you prefer the freedom of the open road, you can easily access Bangor via Interstate 95, a road that runs through the state of Maine.
  3. Bus: Another option is to take a bus from nearby cities such as Portland or Boston, which will conveniently transport you to Bangor.
  4. Train: Although there is no direct train service to Bangor, you can opt for a train to nearby cities like Portland and then make a connection by bus or car to reach your destination.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Bangor is often referred to as the “Queen City of the East” and holds the title of being the third-largest city in Maine?

What Is the Best Time to Visit Bangor?

The best time to visit Bangor is during the summer months of June, July, and August. This is when the weather is warmest and most pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C). It is also the peak tourist season, so you can expect a lively atmosphere and a wide range of activities to enjoy.

  • During this time, you can explore Bangor’s natural beauty by visiting places like the Bangor City Forest, Cascade Park, and the Penobscot Riverwalk.
  • You can also take advantage of the numerous outdoor activities available, such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing.
  • If you’re interested in culture and history, visit the Bangor Museum and History Center, the Thomas Hill Standpipe, and the Bangor Waterfront.
  • For a delightful dining experience, try the local cuisine and dining options in Bangor, including seafood, craft breweries, and farm-to-table restaurants.

What Are the Must-See Attractions in Bangor?

Are you wondering about the must-see attractions in Bangor? Look no further! Here is a list of the top attractions that you shouldn’t miss when visiting this charming city:

  1. The Stephen King House: If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s novels, a visit to his iconic house in Bangor is a must. Take a stroll by and marvel at the place where the master of horror finds inspiration for his stories.
  2. Bangor Waterfront: Located along the Penobscot River, the Bangor Waterfront is a vibrant area that offers breathtaking views, scenic walking trails, and a wonderful spot for picnics and relaxation.
  3. Penobscot Theatre Company: Enjoy some fantastic live performances by catching a show at the Penobscot Theatre Company. Whether it’s plays or musicals, they have a diverse range of productions to suit all tastes.
  4. University of Maine Museum of Art: Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the University of Maine Museum of Art. Explore their extensive collection of contemporary and modern art.
  5. Bangor City Forest: Nature lovers will be enchanted by the Bangor City Forest. With its scenic hiking trails and beautiful forests, it’s the perfect place for outdoor activities and immersing yourself in nature’s wonders.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to check the opening hours of these attractions before planning your trip to make the most of your visit. Enjoy exploring the must-see attractions in Bangor!

What Are Some Hidden Gems in Bangor?

Located in Bangor, Maine, there are several hidden gems that are worth exploring. What Are Some Hidden Gems in Bangor?

  1. The Cole Land Transportation Museum is a lesser-known attraction that showcases the history of land transportation in Maine. It features an impressive collection of vehicles, including antique cars, trucks, and military vehicles.

  2. The Bangor City Forest is a peaceful retreat from the city, offering hiking trails, beautiful scenery, and even a small waterfall. It’s a great place to escape and connect with nature.

  3. The Maine Discovery Museum is a hidden gem for families. It’s a hands-on children’s museum that offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and play areas. It’s a perfect spot to keep the little ones entertained.

  4. The George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History at the University of Maine is another hidden gem in Bangor. It houses a diverse collection of natural history specimens and offers educational exhibits and programs for all ages.

  5. If you’re a fan of craft beer, check out the hidden gem of the Bangor Beer Company. They offer a wide selection of locally brewed beers in a cozy and friendly atmosphere.

Remember to explore these hidden gems while visiting Bangor to enjoy a unique and enriching experience in the city.

What Are the Local Cuisine and Dining Options in Bangor?

What Are the Local Cuisine and Dining Options in Bangor? When it comes to dining options in Bangor, you’ll find a variety of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a fine dining experience, Bangor has something to offer for everyone. Here are some local cuisine and dining options in Bangor:

  • Seafood: Being located near the coast, Bangor offers fresh and delicious seafood options. From lobster rolls to clam chowder, you can indulge in the flavors of the sea at restaurants like The Sea Dog Brewing Company or The Fisherman’s Catch.
  • American Cuisine: If you’re craving classic American dishes, there are plenty of restaurants that serve burgers, steaks, and comfort foods. Check out Timber Kitchen & Bar for a mouthwatering burger or Uno Pizzeria & Grill for their famous deep-dish pizza.
  • International Flavors: Bangor also offers a range of international cuisines. Try Paddy Murphy’s Irish Pub for traditional Irish dishes, Sing Ping Restaurant for Chinese cuisine, or Sarducci’s Italian Restaurant for a taste of Italy.
  • Cafes and Bakeries: If you’re in the mood for a cozy cafe or a sweet treat, Bangor has you covered. Grab a cup of coffee and a pastry at Bagel Central or satisfy your sweet tooth at Frank’s Bake Shop & Catering.

These are just a few options among many in Bangor. With its diverse culinary scene, you’re sure to find something that suits your cravings. So, go ahead and explore the local cuisine and dining options in Bangor for a delightful gastronomic experience!

What Are Some Family-Friendly Activities in Bangor?

When it comes to family-friendly activities in Bangor, there is something for everyone to enjoy. These activities offer a blend of outdoor adventures, educational experiences, and fun-filled moments. Whether you’re exploring the beautiful Penobscot River Walkway, discovering interactive exhibits at the Maine Discovery Museum, or hiking in the picturesque City Forest, you’re sure to create lasting memories with your family. And don’t forget to capture some special moments with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues. Finally, make sure to visit the Cole Land Transportation Museum to immerse yourselves in the fascinating history of transportation in Maine. Take the opportunity to enjoy quality time with your loved ones and create cherished memories in the family-friendly city of Bangor.

What Are the Transportation Options in Bangor?

When it comes to transportation options in Bangor, there are several ways to get around the city and explore the area.

  • Public Transit: If you’re wondering about the transportation options in Bangor, the city operates a public bus system, known as the Community Connector, which provides transportation within Bangor and to neighboring towns. The buses are wheelchair accessible and offer affordable fares.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Bangor, providing convenient and reliable transportation. They can be hailed on the street or booked through a taxi company.
  • Ride-Sharing Services: Curious about the transportation options in Bangor? Popular ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft operate in the city, offering a convenient and often more affordable alternative to traditional taxis.
  • Bicycles: Looking for transportation options in Bangor? Bangor is a bike-friendly city with designated bike lanes and paths. Renting a bicycle or bringing your own can be a great way to explore the city and enjoy its natural beauty.
  • Walking: If you’re wondering about transportation options in Bangor, you’ll be glad to know that Bangor is a walkable city, particularly in the downtown area. Many attractions, restaurants, and shops are within walking distance, making it easy to navigate on foot.
  • Car Rentals: What are the transportation options in Bangor? If you prefer to have your own mode of transportation, there are several car rental agencies in Bangor where you can rent a car for the duration of your stay.

When choosing a transportation option in Bangor, consider factors such as convenience, cost, and the distance you need to travel. Whether you prefer public transit, taxis, ride-sharing, cycling, walking, or renting a car, there are options available to suit your needs and help you explore all that Bangor has to offer.

Is Bangor Safe for Tourists?

Is Bangor safe for tourists? Yes, Bangor is generally a safe destination for tourists. The city has a low crime rate compared to national averages, with 25% fewer property crimes and 37% fewer violent crimes than the rest of Maine. The local police force is diligent and responsive, ensuring the safety and security of residents and visitors alike.

However, as with any travel destination, it’s still important to take necessary precautions. Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas and be mindful of your surroundings. Keep your belongings secure and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded tourist areas. It’s also advisable to keep important documents, such as passports and identification, in a safe place.

Bangor’s safe environment allows tourists to explore its natural beauty, visit cultural sites, enjoy outdoor activities, and attend events and festivals without major concerns for their safety. So, whether you’re strolling through the city streets or venturing out into the surrounding areas, you can feel confident in your safety while enjoying all that Bangor has to offer.

Fun Fact: Bangor’s commitment to safety is reflected in its recognition as one of the safest cities in the United States, making it an ideal destination for tourists seeking a worry-free experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some popular outdoor activities in Bangor, Maine?

Some popular outdoor activities in Bangor, Maine include biking on trails in Bangor City Forest, Kenduskeag Stream Trail, or the University of Maine, exploring the Orono Bog Walk, taking a stroll through Mount Hope Cemetery, and enjoying the views from the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

2. Are there any historical attractions to visit in Bangor, Maine?

Yes, visitors can visit Fort Knox for a historical experience and explore the Cole Land Transportation Museum to learn about Maine’s transportation history and honor its veterans. Additionally, the Mount Hope Cemetery, featured in Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary,” offers impressive architecture and a glimpse into the city’s past.

3. What are some family-friendly activities in Bangor, Maine?

Some family-friendly activities in Bangor, Maine include visiting the Cole Land Transportation Museum, exploring the Maine Discovery Museum, taking a walk along the Bangor waterfront, having a family fun day at Treworgy Family Orchards, and watching new releases and classic films at the Bangor Drive-In.

4. Can I take a tour to see spots in Bangor that inspired Stephen King?

Yes, you can take a Stephen King tour in Bangor to see spots that inspired his works. This includes visiting locations such as the Thomas Hill Standpipe, which offers panoramic views of the city. Seth Noble, a historical figure and Bangor resident who inspired Stephen King’s character Captain Seth Hastings in the novel “It,” is also covered in the tour.

5. What are some recommended dining options in Bangor, Maine?

Some recommended dining options in Bangor, Maine include Timber Kitchen & Bar, offering a cozy ambiance and artisan dishes, 2 Feet Brewing, a family-operated brewery and pub with signature dishes like Maine lobster pot pie, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, a popular ice cream shop with unique flavors, and Frank’s Bake Shop and Catering, which has been serving delicious eats for over 70 years.

6. Are there any attractions or activities for a rainy day in Bangor, Maine?

Yes, for a rainy day in Bangor, Maine, you can visit the Penobscot Theatre Company at Bangor Opera House or the University of Maine to enjoy a professional show, explore the art galleries and museums such as the University of Maine Museum of Art, take an oil class with artist Rebecca Krupke, or visit the Bangor Public Library known for its beautiful architecture and extensive collection of books.

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