Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Bangor, ME

  • Published 2023/01/18

Other than the fact that Stephen King resides in the city, Bangor, Maine, has much more to offer to its visitors.

The city has fun-filled activities for people of all ages and choices.

Here, you can make your summers memorable with its umpteen outdoor activity options.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 20 best things to do in Bangor, Maine:

Watch an Orchestra at the Bangor Opera House

Exterior of Bangor Opera House

Wangkun Jia /

Enjoy one of the fantastic professional productions at the classy Bangor Opera House staged by the excellent Penobscot Theatre Company.

This is a legendary orchestra and has been playing back since 1896.

You are sure to get a taste of classical vintage music here.

This community orchestra is one of the oldest in the United States.

It is known for the musicianship of its expert players, some of whom have been playing for many decades.

Front view of Bangor Opera House

Brian Logan Photography /

Bike around the City

Get on your two-wheeled mechanical friend and head into deep treks around Bangor.

You could cycle in the Bangor City Forest, follow along the Kenduskeag Stream Trail, or pedal around the vast expanses of the Univerity of Maine.

If you have not carried your bike along, fret not, as you can pick up a bike on rent from Ski Rack Sports.

You can enjoy fresh mild, breezy gusts and vast expanses of pristine greenery along these trail paths—just the perfect way to begin your Bangor holiday.

Wander around Mount Hope Cemetery

The grounds of Mount Hope Cemetery

Svetlana Miljkovic, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A cemetery might look like an odd item on the itinerary things-to-do list.

The Mount Hope Cemetary is a bit different, though, and you can head out to experience a leisurely light stroll around its premises.

It is one of the country’s oldest garden cemeteries.

Gravesite at Mount Hope Cemetery

Rdcurrent, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here, you can find a variety of natural flora within its precincts.

If you are a botany buff, you will find plenty of less-known plants to explore and work your botanical brains.

Otherwise, you can hang out in these gardens for a calm, beautiful, lazy day.

Pay a Visit to Thomas Hill Standpipe

Exterior of Thomas Hill Standpipe

Michael Chamberlain /

To get a bird’s eye majestic panoramic view of Bangor, you need to climb to Thomas Hill and look down at the vast city expanse from the strategically located Thomas Hill Standpipe.

The views from up here can be stunning.

It is a prime historical location in Bangor and the epitome of civil engineering mastery.

This historic site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is recognized as an American Civil Engineering Landmark.

One of Thomas Hill Standpipe's window

Garrett Fitzgerald, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is an exclusive monument and offers detailed tours in its vast precincts just four times every year.

If you are visiting Bangor as a tourist, it’s recommended that you inquire about the next public-tour opening schedule for the Thomas Hill Standpoint and plan your visit accordingly.

Visiting this historical engineering wonder is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Experience the SK Tours of Maine

House of Stephen King

Pinkcandy /

How can any Bangor holiday be complete without experiencing SK Tours of Maine?

The city is home to several sites and buildings. Some of them have reserved their place in King’s writings.

He made these places spring with life by weaving fantastic little tales around them.

The gate of Stephen King's home

mark stephens photography /

You would be thrilled to walk around Bangor on a “Stephen King” tour and see these sites and buildings in solid stone and concrete right before you.

You can view the famous haunted water tower and stand and stare as all those Stephen King classics replay in your mind at that moment.

Sculpture on the grounds of Stephen King's home

Angela Holmyard /

Shop at Bangor Farmers’ Market

You might want to eat at the many excellent restaurants in Bangor.

The Bangor Farmer’s Market is the perfect place to procure aromatic local fresh ingredients for your cooking adventures.

The market is packed with exotic and toothsome local produce that brings in new flavors and aromas to whet your appetite.

You can then gather your haul and proceed to the Pine Tree Inn, which has a small kitchen attached to every room.

Bring your culinary creativity to the table, and cook the most sumptuous local recipes to delight your taste buds.

Pay a Visit to Cole Land Transportation Museum

Exterior of Cole Land Museum

User: Stilfehler at wikivoyage shared, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Cole Land Transportation Museum is one of the top places to visit in Bangor.

This famous museum exhibits terrific artifacts that tell the story of transportation in Maine.

Here, you’ll see all sorts of vehicles and devices, from the old classic trains to powerful snowplows and full dairy wagons.

The museum also showcases many memorabilia depicting important events in the region’s military history as a tribute to war veterans who fought in the past.

Aircraft on the grounds of Cole Land Transportation Museum

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Read a Book or Two at Bangor Public Library

Exterior of Bangor Public Library

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bangor Public Library is a bookworms’ heaven.

The building itself is grand in its architectural splendor.

You can spend a few minutes viewing it closely and marveling at its craftsmanship.

You will also find many friendly locals who are happy to come and enlighten you with some of their city’s legendary tales and anecdotes.

You can also get a close glimpse of the culture as the books, architecture, and locals carry some mark of their tradition and roots.

The dome of Bangor Public Library

SarekOfVulcan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the Duck of Justice at Bangor Police Department

The Duck of Justice is famous for being the default logo on the police department’s official Facebook page.

The mascot has been going viral for years and is the subject of many hilarious and exciting social media posts and tweets.

You can have your encounter with the legendary Duck of Justice here yourself.

Build your photo collection with cool and cheeky clicks hanging around the duck.

Short of getting his autograph, you can have any friendly interaction with the duck here and capture it in your photo album.

Go Skiing at Hermon Mountain

Daytime view of Hermon Mountain

י.ש. at Hebrew Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Maine winter can be harsh, and if you are traveling to Bangor in one of the cold winter months, you might feel stocky and locked inside for long periods.

You can pack up your stuff, put on those extra pairs of gloves and heavy jackets, and take a plunge into the wintery exteriors by going for an adventurous ski in the snow-clad Hermon Mountain.

You can enjoy hours of meandering as you ski along the vast slopes of this mountain packed with thick deep snow during the chilly winters here.

You get much-needed physical activity and a refreshing boost with all the excellent dopamine release!

See the Historical Sites around the City

Historic blocks in Bangor

Wangkun Jia /

Bangor is an old city with quite a bit of colorful history.

You should register, take a comprehensive historical tour of Bangor, and enjoy exciting tales and events from its rich historical past.

Bangor was a major lumbar port many years ago, and you would still spot some remnants of that era as you go around the town.

Exterior of Thomas Hill Museum

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The underground railway here was one of the earliest to be constructed, and for vintage railway lovers, you can have a great peek into the beautiful railways of the past here.

You can check out the Bangor Historical Society for one of their guided historical tours around the city.

Thomas Hill Museum, which appeared earlier on this list, is another place to visit.

Have Fun while Learning at Maine Discovery Museum

Building sign of Maine Discovery Museum

Wangkun Jia /

Maine Discovery Museum offers unique educational opportunities for kids and families in Maine and is situated in the center of Downtown Bangor.

The museum is essential to educating Mainers, particularly in the fields of math, and STEM or science, technology, and engineering (STEM).

Strong STEM programming is offered both within and outside the museum, along with three floors of interactive displays.

Exterior of Maine Discovery Museum

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit their fascinating, hands-on displays, and spend the day having a blast while learning with your family.

Discover science, nature, geography, kids’ books, music, art, anatomy, and daily programs.

Maine Discovery Museum provides private rentals for events, parties, and birthdays.

Dine at Timber Kitchen & Bar

One of the most well-known places to go out in Bangor is Timber Kitchen & Bar.

The “Work Hard, Play Hard” motto they embrace sums up the restaurant’s laid-back vibe.

The kitchen and bar utilize wood stoves, soft linens, handmade millwork, and a range of wood species as wallcoverings and furniture.

In addition to a chef’s table that overlooks a wood-burning oven and private chambers for small parties, Timber has a unique bar and lounge section with a vast communal table.

Timber Kitchen & Bar mixes elegance and friendliness to give customers the ultimate dining experience in Bangor.

View a Live Performance at Gracie Theatre

Pay a visit to Gracie Theatre, a hub of culture for the Greater Bangor community!

Gracie Theatre was constructed in 2009 as a “Bridge to the Bangor Community” for the arts, bringing the thrill of live performance to the locals.

Husson University’s Gracie Theatre is ideally situated in the center of Bangor, Maine.

This lovely 490-seat performing arts facility takes great pride in its role as a presenting theater.

Students from the New England School of Communications majoring in digital media, live audio, sound mixing, and technologies use Gracie Theatre as a learning resource.

Check Out the Exhibitions at Zillman Art Museum

The mission of the Linda G. and Donald N. Zillman Art Museum is to serve as a cultural resource for the state of Maine and the University of Maine.

It aims to foster an appreciation for and interaction with visual art through various contemporary exhibitions, a permanent collection focused on pieces created after 1945, and educational initiatives.

Over 4,000 works of art make up its permanent collection, with a focus on photography and unique prints.

They provide an accessible downtown location for your meetings or other special events.

A multipurpose room is also available for rent within operating hours.

Attend an Event at Cross Insurance Center

Lumberjack statue in front of the Cross Insurance Center

Gchapel /

Since its unveiling in September 2013, which was held at the Cross Insurance Center, iconic performers like Sir Elton John, Ringo Starr, and other contemporary performers have performed onstage.

The 5,800-seat multi-use arena is located in Bangor, Maine, in the United States.

The arena has an adjacent 2,000-person convention center and can accommodate up to 8,500 people for performances.

Meetings, conferences, conventions, or banquets frequently occur at the convention center.

You may purchase tickets at the Cross Insurance Center, attend an event, schedule a meeting, and more.

Exterior of the Cross Insurance Center

LittleT889, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Fort Knox Historic Site

Far view of Fort Knox

Emily.Begin12313 /

The Old Fort Knox is a mammoth structure made of solid granite, which has stood the test of time over all the long years of its existence.

Walking through the fort and browsing its many exciting displays, you can learn juicy historical tidbits about the local region.

It would be best if you headed out to the Penobscot Narrow Observatory Bridge.

The grounds of Fort Knox Historic Site

Yingna Cai /

This is one of the engineering marvels in Maine and a sight to watch and admire for the sheer excellence of its craftsmanship.

Additionally, you can take a light walk over the bridge and feast your eyes on the sumptuous panoramic visuals of the amazing Penobscot River.

Interior of Fort Knox Historic Site

Yingna Cai /

Visit Orono Bog Walk

Orono Bog Walk in Bangor, Maine

Justin Henry from Portland, ME, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For hiking enthusiasts, the Orono Bog Walk is the perfect place!

Loiter along this friendly walk path alone to get lost in the trance of the dynamic silence.

Alternatively, take one of your buddies along and nibble on some much-needed friendly chit-chat.

The Orono Bog Walk is unique because it is a hiking path that even little kids can navigate.

Additionally, Orono Bog Walk has been set up to be even more enjoyable for wheelchair walkers.

Many exotic and local birds can be spotted here.

Final Thoughts

Before beginning to reemerge in the last several decades as a dynamic cultural city and a center for the arts, Bangor went through some challenging years.

The charming modest city offers tourists a wide range of activities and top-notch establishments to shop, dine, and relax.

If you’re seeking family-friendly entertainment, fun activities, things to do in the rain or snow, or ways to spend time outdoors during the summer, Bangor is the perfect place to go!

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