The town of Bethel in Maine is commonly called the “jewel of Oxford County” due its beautiful location in the mountains. It’s a scenic and tranquil place for either a peaceful getaway or outdoor adventures. Originally a logging and farming settlement, the town has become a tourist spot popular for its recreational activities, such as hiking, kayaking, and skiing. An ideal destination for anyone looking to enjoy some time in the mountains, Bethel offers more than nature to visitors, such as a walkable and charming downtown, art galleries, unique museums, and delicious food. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Sunday River Ski Resort

Sunday River Ski Resort
© Denys Kurbatov/

The Sunday River Ski Resort is considered by many to be the place to go in the Bethel area in Maine for winter sports. The resort offers opportunities for snowboarding and skiing throughout the entire year, along with a number of other winter activities. Guests can hit the slopes on their own or take a lesson at the Sunday River Ski Resort, which offers a good ski school for kids. Along with the year-round winter activities thanks to the resort’s snow making facilities, visitors will also find summer activities as well, such as rock climbing, ziplines, hiking, and biking.

15 S Ridge Rd, Newry, ME 04261, Phone: 800-543-2754

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2.Grafton Notch State Park, Bethel, ME

Grafton Notch State Park, Bethel, ME
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Grafton Notch State Park is a beautiful parkland spread across a vast amount of land, providing visitors with outdoor recreation opportunities in abundance, particularly backcountry hiking along part of the Appalachian Trail. Day hikes in the park are well signposted, including the Old Speck summit and the Table Rock Trail. These shorter walks guide hikers to gorges and impressive waterfalls. Longer hikes can take a couple a days, such as the Grafton Loop Trail, and offer more chances to see spectacular natural scenery and wildlife. During the winter months, snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers visit Grafton Notch State Park.

1941 Bear River Rd, Newry, ME 04261, Phone: 207-824-2912

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3.Sunday River Covered Bridge, Bethel, Maine

Sunday River Covered Bridge, Bethel, Maine
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The Sunday River Covered Bridge is a historic bridge known by locals as the Artists Bridge. Built back in the year 1872, the covered bridge is one of the last surviving covered bridges from the nineteenth century in Maine and was added in 1970 to the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is located adjacent to the Sunday River Road crossing over the Sunday River, northeast of Bethel’s Sunday River Ski Resort. Open today to pedestrian traffic, the Sunday River Bridge is approximately twenty feet wide and one hundred feet long, with a height totaling twenty-two feet.

Bethel, ME

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4.Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, Bethel, Maine

Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, Bethel, Maine
© Maine Mineral and Gem Museum

A good place to spend an hour or two in the town of Bethel, the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum is home to an excellent collection of the state’s geological history, featuring exhibits including an array of rocks and minerals from the local area, as well as “extra-terrestrial rocks.” The Perham Collection, however, is perhaps the most famous of the permanent exhibits. This collection of rocks have been viewed by the public for generations, originally located at a local mineral store that was around for ninety years. Pieces at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum vary in structure and size.

99 Main St, Bethel, ME 04217, Phone: 207-824-3036

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5.Elements Art Gallery, Bethel, Maine

Elements Art Gallery, Bethel, Maine
© Elements Art Gallery

The Elements Art Gallery is housed inside of a renovated cattle barn dating back to the 1800’s. This art gallery, as well as store, was originally opened as a way for the towner to showcase her artworks, as well as an outlet for her artistic development. Over time, the Elements Art Gallery has expanded and is now home to works of art and other creations by more than fifty crafts masters and artists from across the local area. Other items include those offered by Community Sports, Little Bits Children’s Consignment, Slope side Rentals, and Bethel Toys and Trendz.

162 Main St, Bethel, ME 04217, Phone: 207-357-0189

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6.Gourmet in a Pinch, Bethel, Maine

Gourmet in a Pinch, Bethel, Maine
© Gourmet in a Pinch

Gourmet in a Pinch is a place in the beautiful mountain town of Bethel, Maine that believes in superior ingredients being the foundation for any “well prepared meal.” The variety of soups, appetizers, main dishes, and desserts are carefully prepared by a skilled culinary staff, specializing in creating delicious meals that customers can enjoy at home without having to deal with any of the mess and fuss of cooking. Gourmet in a Pinch focuses on making upscale meals available to everyone, as well as helps customers pair specialized beers or a bottle of wine with their choice of meals.

312 Mayville Rd, Bethel, ME 04217, Phone: 207-824-6000

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6 Best Things to Do in Bethel, Maine

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