Things to Do in Bangor

Although it lies just over an hour north of Bar Harbor, the inland hub of Bangor, ME, remains peaceful even during peak season, as visitors enjoy museums, shopping and outdoor activities.
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Photo By: Cole Land Transportation Museum

Photo By: Madeleine Holland

Photo By: Maine Discovery Museum

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Photo By: Justin Henry

Photo By: Justin Henry

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Photo By: Alexandra Robert

Photo By: Mount Hope Cemetery Corp.

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Cole Land Transportation Museum

Transport geeks will find themselves close to mecca at Bangor's Cole Land Transportation Museum. This quirky ode to vehicles preserves the history of land transportation equipment in Maine. Take a look-see at the fascinating collection of relic snowplows, logging vehicles and antique fire trucks while gazing at photographs depicting historic Maine. There's even a nifty exhibit of farm equipment used throughout past decades.

Get Spooked on a Stephen King-Themed Tour

It's only appropriate to pay homage to the Grand Poobah of horror novelists, Stephen King, when visiting his hometown of Bangor. The Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau offers the "Tommyknockers and More Tour" -- a literary bus tour through town that features spots in Bangor connected to King's writings.

Maine Discovery Museum

A visit to the Maine Discovery Museum is a must-do for tourists with tots. This kid-focused museum is Maine's largest museum, and features three floors of interactive exhibits and drop-in activities. Children come face-to-face with amazing creatures like geckos, stick bugs and turtles; explore the inner body by crawling through a giant intestine; and pump a heart to watch the circulatory system work. It's even possible to dig and identify fossils while learning about dinosaurs in Maine.

Catch a Show at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion

Set alongside -- you guessed it -- the waterfront, Darling's Waterfront Pavilion is a scenic spot to catch a concert or settle in to watch a music festival. Music lovers will find that an array of artists perform on the stage at the Pavilion, including Jack Johnson, Tony Bennett and Billy Currington. Other major events held at the venue include a "Tap Into Summer" beer festival, as well as the annual American Folk Festival.

Orono Bog Boardwalk

Bogs are little-heralded but very fascinating environments and Bangor's Orono Bog is no exception. This 600-acre bog is a haven for birdwatchers, and is home to dozens of species, including the double-crested cormorant, white-breasted nuthatch and ospreys. A 1-mile-long boardwalk winds through the bog, allowing visitors to admire the setting while keeping an eye out for wildlife and plant species.

Bangor City Forest

Explore the great outdoors in Bangor City Forest, a 650-acre spread that includes nearly 10 miles of trails ideal for cross-country skiing, running, snowshoeing, cycling and hiking. Most trails are family-friendly, like the Rabbit Trail or East Trail, but some are more difficult and require skills to maneuver around roots or rocks, like the Bear Trail or Grouse Trail.

Tap Your Inner Farmer on Open Farm Day

City slickers and country dwellers alike will find much to enjoy during Maine's annual Open Farm Day, when dozens of farms across the state open their doors to visitors. Try your hand at milking a cow; take a barn tour to see the inner workings of a farm; climb aboard a tractor for a hayride; pet cuddly sheep at a petting zoo; and purchase farm-grown products like beef and produce.

Bangor State Fair

The Bangor State Fair -- the largest state fair in Maine -- promises 10 days of down-home food, fireworks, amusement rides and agricultural competitions like the oxen and steer show. If farm animals aren't your thing, stop by one of the other family-friendly competitions like the lobster roll eating contest or demolition derby. Plan to stay for the evening concert, which has included acts like Grammy Award-winner, John Fogerty.

Visit the Bangor Historical Society

Maine's second oldest cultural institution, the Bangor Historical Society, collects, preserves and interprets the state's storied history. Discover the stories of Civil War soldiers from Maine, or take a society-organized walking tour to discover the town's historic architecture. Other tours include a walk through the Mount Hope Cemetery to learn about Bangor's legendary residents of days gone by, as well as a tour that commemorates the devastating Great Fire of 1911.

Snap a Picture With Paul Bunyan

One of Maine's -- and America's -- quirkier attractions, Bangor's 31-foot-tall, 3,700-lb. statue of Paul Bunyan wielding a double-sided axe pays homage to the mythical character who,  as it?s rumored, was born here. Indeed, Bangor also claims to be the birthplace of the lumber industry, which was once the town's industry mainstay. Sure, Minnesota also claims to be Bunyan's hometown, but while in Bangor, why not pay your respects to the gentle lumber giant?

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