Maine is one of the northernmost states in the contiguous U.S. It was originally part of Massachusetts until its residents broke off and formed their own state in the rugged wilderness near the Canadian border. Located on the Penobscot River in the central part of the state, the city of Bangor is called the Queen City of the East. This small jewel of a city contains excellent dining, shopping, and lodging options, as well as many attractions for travelers to see. Here are the best things to do in Bangor, Maine.

1. University of Maine Museum of Art

University of Maine Museum of Art
© University of Maine Museum of Art

Since 1946, the University of Maine Museum of Art has been dedicated to helping students and the public develop an appreciation for contemporary art. The museum’s permanent collection contains over 3,800 works of 20th century art with an emphasis on photographs and original prints.

Notable artists with works on display include Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Richard Estes, Diego Rivera, and Pablo Picasso. The museum also hosts travelling exhibits and workshops, and it provides classroom resources and visits to schools in the Bangor area.

40 Harlow Street Bangor, ME 04401, Phone: 207-561-3350

2. Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park
© Courtesy of Zack Frank -

Acadia National Park is a rugged wilderness located just off the coast of Maine. The park, which is made up of Mount Desert Island and several smaller islands, is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River.

Acadia is home to Isle au Haut, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, the Schoodic Peninsula, and Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak along the eastern seaboard. Visitors can enjoy hiking, bicycling, boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, or horseback riding. Activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing are available in the winter. Acadia is open year-round. However, some roads and attractions may be closed in the winter.

3. Bangor Farmers Market

Bangor Farmers Market
© Bangor Farmers Market

The Bangor Farmers Market is an open-air gathering of merchants held every Sunday afternoon May through November. Local farmers and growers offer fresh fruits and vegetables for sale to the public. Cheeses, breads, coffee, baked goods, and locally raised meets are also available.

The market is held across from the library in Bangor. During the winter months, the market moves indoors to the Sea Dog Brewing Company. Market vendors accept cash, credit or debit cards, and SNAP benefits.

4. Cole Land Transportation Museum

Cole Land Transportation Museum
© Cole Land Transportation Museum

Land vehicles such as cars, trucks, and trains played an important part in clearing and shaping the land that would become the state of Maine. The Cole Land Transportation Museum seeks to preserve these vehicles and the history of the early pioneers and businessmen who settled here.

The Cole Foundation hopes that their stories will inspire future generations to work hard and achieve greatness. The museum features exhibits of early cars and trucks, trains, snow plows, fire engines, and more. There are also exhibits and memorabilia dedicated to the military servicemen and women of Maine. The museum is open daily from May 1st through November 11th.

405 Perry Rd Bangor, ME 04401, Phone: 207-990-3600

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5. Collins Center for the Arts

Collins Center for the Arts
© Collins Center for the Arts

Located on the University of Maine campus, the Collins Center for the Arts is a cultural hub for locals and visitors alike. The center contains the 1435-seat Hutchins Concert Hall, the Minsky Recital Hall, and the Bodwell Lounge Area. The Collins Center hosts a variety of events including concerts, shows, lectures, and films.

It also serves as a venue for the events and performances of the University of Maine School of Performing Arts. Miller’s Café on the center’s first floor provides food and refreshments during many performances. Upcoming show information can be found online. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or at the center’s box office.

2 Flagstaff Road Orono, ME 04469, Phone: 800-622-TIXX

6. Hudson Museum

Hudson Museum
© Hudson Museum

The Hudson Museum, a part of the University of Maine, is located on campus in the Collins Center for the Arts. The museum contains a large collection of historical artifacts and items from cultures around the world.

Permanent exhibits include over 2,000 pre-Columbian ceramics, Northwest coast art, 900 objects from the Maine Indians, and ceramic items from many other Native American cultures. The museum also hosts lectures, traveling exhibits, and field trips for elementary and high school students. Admission is free of charge.

5746 Collins Center for the Arts Orono, ME 04469, Phone: 207-581-1904

7. Maine Discovery Museum

Maine Discovery Museum
© Maine Discovery Museum

The Maine Discovery Museum is the place for kids to have “too much fun!” This large museum is dedicated to inspiring innovative learning, creativity, and a sense of wonder in children. Hands-on exhibits teach visitors about nature, plants and animals, the human body, art, technology, and world cultures.

Weekly clubs and programs dedicated to art, math, science, and fitness are also held here. Special camps are offered during school holidays. They even host birthday parties at the museum! Special group rates are available.

74 Main Street Bangor, ME 04401, Phone: 207-262-7200

8. Fork & Spoon

Fork & Spoon
© Fork & Spoon

Fork & Spoon Downtown Eatery is a great place to meet, converse, and of course, to eat! Visitors can start with a fruit and vegetable smoothie, then move on to one of their delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches.

All entrees are made with fresh produce and delicious meats, cheeses, and seasonings. For dessert, Fork & Spoon offers ice cream and baked goods made by local food artisans. Their menu also offers vegetarian and gluten free options, and their café has free Wi-Fi. The eatery is open daily for breakfast through dinner. Hours vary by day.

76 Main Street Bangor, ME 04401, Phone: 207-433-7646

9. Timber Kitchen and Bar

Timber Kitchen and Bar
© Timber Kitchen and Bar

Timber Kitchen and Bar lives up to its name. Located in the heart of Bangor, this trendy casual restaurant showcases stunning wooden décor and hearty local cuisine. Ceiling and wall planks made of real, unpolished wood combine with smooth wood floors and marble table tops to create an interesting, comfortable ambiance.

Diners can indulge in favorites such as breads, cheeses, seafood, burgers, pizza, and handmade pastas. Many dishes use fresh, local produce, artisan cheeses, and sustainably sourced meats. Guests can also enjoy a drink at Timber’s well-stocked bar.

22 Bass Park Blvd. Bangor, ME 04401, Phone: 207-433-0844

10. Mount Hope Cemetery

Mount Hope Cemetery
© Mount Hope Cemetery

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mount Hope is the second oldest “garden cemetery” in the United States. As the cities grew in population, residents began requesting areas outside of the city limits to bury their dead.

Mount Hope Cemetery was developed in 1836 and covers 300 partially-wooded acres overlooking the Penobscot River. Trees, shrubs, flowers, and monuments cover the carefully landscaped grounds. Paved roads allow for easy walking or driving through this peaceful resting place. The cemetery is open daily throughout the year. Hours vary by season.

1048 State Street Bangor, ME 04401, Phone: 207-945-6589

11. Paul Bunyan Statute

Paul Bunyan Statute
© Courtesy of Gerald Bernard -

For decades, tales of legendary folk hero Paul Bunyan have been told and re-told across America. The towering lumberjack, along with his double-sided axe and his big blue ox, cleared massive amounts of forest to make way for settlements and farms. Bangor is one of at least six towns in the U.S. to claim Paul Bunyan as their own.

However, Bangor’s statue of Bunyan is definitely the tallest! The fiberglass-over-metal statue stands 31 feet high and weighs 3700 pounds. Having a photo taken with Paul Bunyan is a must for any visitor to Bangor. The statue stands in Bass Park in front of the Bangor Civic Center.

12. Penobscot River Walkway

Penobscot River Walkway
© Courtesy of BSANI -

The Penobscot River Walkway is a paved, half-mile stretch along the Penobscot River in Bangor. The trail is open for walking, bicycling, fishing, and in-line skating, and it is wheelchair accessible.

The walkway is a part of Bangor’s Waterfront Park. The park contains picnic tables, restrooms, and boat slips for water traffic. Many events are held in the park throughout the year, including outdoor open-air concerts each summer.

13. Zillman Art Museum

Zillman Art Museum
© Zillman Art Museum

Formerly known as the University of Maine Art Museum, Zillman Art Museum is a museum in downtown Bangor with a focus on collecting and exhibiting contemporary and modern art. The museum's permanent collection features more than 4,000 works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Kara Walker, Diego Rivera, Susan Rothenberg, Robert Rauschenberg, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Edward Hopper, Judy Pfaff, Käthe Kollwitz, Jasper Johns, and many others. Artists with ties to the state of Maine are also celebrated, including works by Andrew Wyeth, John Marin, Alex Katz, Marsden Hartley, Yvonne Jacquette, and Berenice Abbott among several other artists.

40 Harlow St, Bangor, ME 04401, 207-581-3300

14. Bangor City Forest

Bangor City Forest

Rolland F. Perry City Forest, also known as Bangor City Forest, spans over 650 acres of working forest and wildlife habitat. The forest also has over four miles of access roads, as well as over nine miles of multi-use trails for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, biking, hiking, and running. These trails vary in difficulty and length. There may also be maintained, yet unmapped trails. Owned by the City, Bangor City Forest is open year round to visitors. A hill connected to the forest's southern access provides scenic views and is also a great spot for sledding during winter weather.

54 Tripp Dr, Bangor, ME 04401, 207-992-4490

15. Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor

Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor
© Aerial Mike/

The Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway in Bangor, Maine offer spacious guest rooms and an on-site casino that offers a gaming space of 30,000 square feet. The casino features an array of different games, including 7-stud, four poker tables, over a dozen gaming tables, and more than 900 slot machines. In addition to its gaming, Hollywood Casino also provides diverse offerings of food, ranging from more "grab-and-go" choices like sandwiches and salads at the Take Snack Bar to great pub food and 99 brews at HOPS House 99. Guests can also catch live horse racing at the racetrack.

500 Main St, Bangor, ME 04401, 877-779-7771

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More Ideas in Maine: Hartstone Inn & Hideaway in Camden

Built in 1835, the Hartstone Inn & Hideaway is a historic Mansard-style Victorian bed and breakfast in Camden, Maine. Located in the heart of the village, the award-winning retreat offers elegant and refined accommodations with private en-suite bathrooms, modern amenities and private gardens with lovely views. Suites add spacious living areas with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs, and a complimentary gourmet breakfast is served every morning. Stylishly decorated common areas feature a collection of over 400 orchids, hors-d'oeuvres and drinks are offered in the afternoons and guests can enjoy added extras such as cooking classes and spa services for an additional fee. The Hartstone Inn & Hideaway is perfectly located for exploring the seaside village of Camden, which offers a host of activities and attractions such as hiking, biking, and kayaking to world-class golf courses, art museums and galleries, and boutique shops.

Guest Accommodations

The Hartstone Inn & Hideaway offers guestrooms in two different historical coastal Maine buildings, namely the original Hartstone building and the more secluded Hideaway. The Hartstone features 14 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, while the Hideaway is home to seven guest rooms and suites, all of which are exquisitely decorated in a classic style with elegant furnishings.

All guest rooms and suites have king or queen-size beds with pillow-top mattresses, deluxe linens and duvets, and hypoallergenic pillows, and en-suite or shared bathrooms with shower/bath combinations, whirlpool tubs (suites only), thick towels and bathrobes, and organic bath products. Spacious sitting areas have comfortable seating, writing desks and chairs, and some have fireplaces, while special touches include fresh flowers, original artworks, and handmade chocolates on arrival.

Modern amenities abound and include flat screen televisions with cable channels and DVD players, iPod/MP3 player docking stations, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards, air-conditioning, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Guest can enjoy a variety of in-room extras for special occasions and celebrations, including Champagne and strawberries, cheese and wine platters, couple’s or single massages, in-room hot stone therapy and other spa services, gourmet picnic lunches, and bouquets of fresh flowers. Other delights include handmade chocolates, delicious fruit baskets and specially prepared food dishes of choice.


A complimentary gourmet breakfast is served in the elegant dining room every morning, which includes a variety of fresh fruit and juices, cereals and yogurts, freshly baked bread and muffins, and hot entrées along with coffee and tea. The Inn’s restaurant is open to both guests and the public for dinner and serves a sumptuous five-course meal accompanied by award-winning wines from around the country and the world.

Amenities and Recreation

Deluxe amenities and facilities at The Hartstone Inn & Hideaway include beautifully furnished common areas in which guests can relax, a complimentary gourmet breakfast every morning and hors-d'oeuvres and drinks in the evenings. The Hideaway building has an on-site spa, which offers indulgent massages, body treatments, and other spa services in a luxurious and tranquil atmosphere, and guest can also enjoy scheduled cooking classes with the Inn’s renowned chef at certain times of the year.

Located in the center of town, the Hartstone Inn is within easy walking distance of many of the town’s attractions and recreational activities, as well as boutiques and shops, cafés and restaurants, museums, galleries and more. The main harbor and beaches are a short walk away and offer an array of outdoor adventures such as sailing, cruising, kayaking, swimming, beachcombing, hiking, biking, and fishing. Slightly further afield, there are world-class golf courses, lighthouses, mountain climbing, museums and galleries to visit, and day trips to nearby attractions such as Belfast, Damariscotta, and Pemaquid Point.

41 Elm St, Camden, ME 04843, Phone: 207-236-4259

More Romantic weekend getaways in Maine

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More Ideas in Maine: The Ledges By The Bay

Located in Glen Cove, Maine surrounded by nine acres of beautifully manicured gardens overlooking Clam Cove and Penobscot Bay, Ledges By The Bay is a functional, family-run motel that offers comfortable accommodations with sea views and direct access to the beach. Nestled at the foot of a small cove with grassy lawns sloping down to the shore, the hotel features well-appointed guest rooms with modern décor and a private two-bedroom cottage with a full kitchen and ocean-facing deck. Complimentary continental breakfast is offered during the summer season and facilities at the motel include a heated outdoor swimming pool with a sundeck overlooking Penobscot Bay. Ledges By The Bay is situated within a few miles of the restaurants, cafés, museums, and galleries of downtown Camden.

Guest Accommodations

The Ledges By The Bay features 42 well-appointed ocean-facing guest rooms, a two-bedroom cottage and a private two-bedroom retreat for those wanting extra levels of privacy and seclusion. Overlooking the picturesque Penobscot Bay near Camden, guest rooms have comfortable single, double, queen or king size beds in crisp linens, and en-suite bathrooms with bath/shower combinations, clean towels, and branded bath products. Glass sliding doors open onto balconies or patios overlooking the bay and modern amenities in every room include air-conditioning and heating, mini fridges, televisions with cable channels, hair dryers, in-room telephones with free local calls, and complimentary wireless Internet. Guest rooms are available in Economy, Standard Oceanview, Deluxe Oceanview, and Superior Oceanview types.

The Ledges By The Bay also offers a seasonal two-bedroom Coveside Cottage and a private two-bedroom Coveside retreat. Conveniently located at the edge of the motel’s pool lawn with scenic views of Penobscot Bay, the charming Coveside Cottage boasts 1000 square feet of space with two bedrooms with queen-size beds and bathrooms with shower and bath combinations. The Coveside Cottage accommodates up to six people with a spacious living room and comfortable seating and an electric fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen and a large deck with spectacular ocean views.

The Coveside Retreat is also conveniently located at the edge of the property that can accommodate up to four people. The retreat has a queen master bedroom and private bathroom and a second bedroom with a double bed and a shared bathroom. The Coveside Retreat has a spacious living room and comfortable seating and an electric fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen and a large deck with spectacular ocean views.


A continental breakfast is served each morning during the summer season includes fresh seasonal fruit, hot and cold cereals, homemade granola, yogurt, assorted bread for toasting, and homemade pastries.

Amenities and Recreation

A complimentary continental breakfast is offered during the summer season and facilities at the motel include a heated outdoor swimming pool with a sundeck overlooking Penobscot Bay. Ledges By The Bay is ideally located for either a relaxing vacation by the beach or for exploring Camden and its many attractions and activities. These include the Camden State Hills Park, the Farnsworth Art Museum, and the Penobscot Marine Museum. Other attractions include the Owls Head Transportation Museum, the Merry Spring Nature Center, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art.

930 Commercial St, Rockport, ME 04856, Phone: 207-594-8944

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