15 Best Things to Do in Caribou, ME

Caribou, ME
iStock.com / DenisTangneyJr

Caribou, and Maine in general, sits at the border between the United States and Canada.

Its culture and environment tend to be different from what you usually see in the rest of the United States.

It may not be the first thing you think of when considering vacation spots, but the place does have a lot to offer in both natural sights and history.

Here are just a few things you can do if you ever do decide to visit Caribou, Maine:

Hike to Camden Hills State Park

Scenic view from Camden Hills State Park
E.J.Johnson Photography / Shutterstock.com

One of the places where you can appreciate Maine’s natural beauty is Camden Hills State Park.

Stand atop Mt. Battie to get a great view of the land.

Then, once you’re done marveling at the view, take a break, have a seat, and enjoy a picnic with your family and friends.

Observation tower of Camden Hills State Park
Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the cool Maine air, eat good food, and have exciting conversations with your loved ones at the lovely site.

And it’s not just the view that makes this park unique; there are several activities to do, such as following hiking trails, going horseback riding, mountain biking, or cross-country skiing.

One of the best trails you can follow is the one that leads to Mount Megunticook.

It’s almost a mile long and ends at a monument to Elenora French, a 12-year-old whose misadventures in 1864 gave the site its name.

A hiker's silhouette at the peak of Camden Hills State Park
Madelaine Martens / Shutterstock.com

Visit the Nylander Museum of Natural History

The Nylander Museum of Natural History, located at 657 Main Street, houses the collections of the self-taught scholar and scientist Olof O. Nylander.

You can view a wide variety of exhibits that would pique your interest there.

Travel back in time and view photos from the early twentieth century and imagine yourself stepping into a world of a time long past.

You’ll see the houses they built, how they dressed, their different jobs, cars, etc.

Start Your Journey at Aroostook State Park

What better place to start your journey than Maine’s first-ever state park?

Aroostook State Park was formed in 1938, just three years after creating the Maine State Park Commission.

The place is the perfect site for camping, featuring thirty wooded areas where you can set up a tent or park your trailer.

Besides camping, this park is also terrific for appreciating local wildlife.

If you visit at just the right time, you may catch sight of various creatures, such as the black bear, some moose, and smaller critters like squirrels, foxes, and chipmunks.

Travel to the Acadian Village

The Acadian Village is a quaint little sight that any traveler would find fascinating to visit and interact with.

The Acadians are the descendants of the French who settled in present-day Quebec and parts of Maine during the 17th and 18th centuries and have their own unique culture and architecture.

The area itself, located in the St. John Valley, houses 17 buildings overlooking the St. John River, and the Heritage Vivant built the village itself.

And until now, it’s the hard work and efforts of people from nearby areas that make sure these buildings and the site are correctly maintained.

One of the buildings you might find interesting is the Notre Dame de L’Assumption Chapel, a replica of an eighteenth-century log church that houses one of the oldest bells in the area.

Another one worth visiting is the Morneault House.

The structure was built between 1855 and 1857 and is the oldest house in the entire valley.

Stay at the Caribou Cabins

If you’re not into outdoor camping or don’t have your RV, that shouldn’t stop you from appreciating Maine's beautiful and majestic scenery.

The Caribou Cabins, located at 269 Lombard Road, is a great place to stay if you’re looking to visit the area and keep in touch with nature.

The site's cabins have access to high–speed Internet, a bath with a tub, cable tv, and so many other amenities.

The place also has its hunting ground, so you can have the time of your life and express your passion for the activity in a safe and controlled environment.

If you’re not a fan of that, don’t fret.

Caribou Cabins is also only a short walk away from some good snowmobiling and skiing routes.

Marvel at the Sights of Lake George Regional Park

Another park in Caribou worth visiting would be the Lake George Regional Park, located at 414 Madison Ave.

The park's centerpiece is the gorgeous lake that sits right in the middle, but there are other sights to see.

There are two sand beaches, a boat launch, and hundreds of acres of land that visitors are free to wander.

The place also hosts several events throughout the year, so make sure to catch at least one and have fun with fellow visitors and the locals.

The kind of activities you can do in this place depends on when you visit, so plan accordingly.

For example, swimming, fishing, and boating are great things to do in the summer, while during winter, you’re better off trying out ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Go Skiing at BigRock Mountain

Maine is probably most well-known for its cold weather during winter, so why not take advantage of that?

Visit BigRock Mountain on Mars Hill and take advantage of the facility's many snow-related activities.

Feel the cold winter wind against your skin as you follow one of their skiing trails, and don’t worry if you’re just a beginner since the site has people ready to assist you at a single moment’s notice.

And once you’re done with that, take a break at the nearby pub, warm up, and relax with your traveling companions to be ready for another adventure the next day.

Explore Nature at the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge Admin Building And Visitor Contact Station

Winter view of Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge
Credit: USFWS, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is located in the northeast corner of Maine and was established in 1998.

It has more than 4000 acres of land dedicated to conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, and plant life.

You can do several things when you visit, just as long as you make sure to be careful and help the park in its mission of conserving the area’s natural flora and fauna.

For example, you can go wildlife watching or boating to appreciate the environment better.

You can also take a guided tour to explore the area in depth and experience the wildlife in its natural setting.

Have a Good Meal at the Par N Grill Restaurant

Take a break from traveling and sightseeing by having a good meal at the Par N Grill Restaurant at 6 Carroll Street.

It’s open seven days a week and offers lunch and dinner specials, don’t forget to stay for happy hour if you can!

Their menu is wide and varied, ranging from chicken fingers to fried mushrooms for appetizers and different kinds of burgers, hand-tossed pizzas, and hotdogs for their main dishes.

The restaurant also has a golf simulator where their guests can entertain themselves and host mini-competitions amongst themselves.

Have Fun at the Nordic Heritage Center

The Nordic Heritage Center is one of the top sites in Maine, and any visitor worth their salt will stop by there to experience traveling to this great site.

This establishment’s mission is to promote healthy outdoor recreation and economic vitality, and they are incredibly dedicated to this.

If you’re into sports or outdoor activity, this is where to be.

It has 20 miles of marked bike trails, a 30-point biathlon range, a ski loop, and ski rentals.

Whether you’re going there to train or try out these new activities, the Nordic Heritage Center is a great place to visit and have fun with your traveling companions.

Celebrate Happy Hour at the Northern Maine Brewing Company

Another place you can visit if you’re looking for good drinks is the Northern Maine Brewing Company at 22 Main Street.

Their beer, made using local ingredients, is brewed using a custom Austrian brewing system to ensure they only serve the best products for their customers.

They also serve different dishes made with local ingredients to complement their drinks, so try those out.

The establishment also hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, so make sure to join in if you have the chance and take the opportunity to celebrate good fun and good drinks with your friends and loved ones.

Rest at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center

Maine has many outdoors to appreciate, but if you’re looking for comfort and luxury in between your travels, then the Caribou Inn and Convention Center is the place to go.

Known as “The Hub of the County,” the place is one of the best full-service hotels in the county and will surely provide you with all the creature comforts you need.

They have over 70 guest rooms and executive suites available for rental so that you won’t be lacking choices.

The rooms have high-speed internet and HD televisions to keep their guests happy and entertained.

There’s also a full-service gym you can take advantage of if you want to work out and get some exercising in a while on your fun and relaxing trip.

The place also has a conference center and an extensive bar to accommodate all your needs.

Eat a Scrumptious Meal at the Greenhouse Restaurant

And while you’re at the Caribou Inn and Convention Center, remember to stop by the Greenhouse Restaurant, one of the best dining establishments in the entire state.

The place has a calm and relaxed atmosphere designed to put every visitor at ease and wash all their worries away.

Begin your day of traveling by having breakfast there, and make sure to order doubles of their handcrafted American and international dishes so that you’ll have energy for all the things you plan to do.

Their dishes use fresh ingredients, served with your choice of beers and wines.

They also offer unique seasonal specials, so try those out while you’re still there to get the whole experience.

Visit Madawaska Lake

Madawaska Lake is the place that steals the breath away from anyone who lays eyes on it.

It’s a significant, majestic thing that’ll make anyone believe in the magic and wonder of the world the moment they see it.

There are forest trails around the area that you can follow if you want to explore the local wildlife and experience nature at its most beautiful and untouched.

But don’t worry about straying too far from civilization since the lake sits near several communities, so you won’t be wandering too far before finding residential establishments.

Stay at the Old Iron Inn Bed and Breakfast

End your trip by visiting this gorgeous inn and having their excellent cooking as your last meal before leaving.

The place has three unique rooms, each with its quirks and personality; any visitor who stays here will feel special indeed, given how different the site is from other establishments.

You can also rent out one of their cottages if you want something more significant.

And if you’re not ready to leave Caribou just yet, that’s fine too.

The owners are locals, so it’s easy to ask them if there are any other sites you missed or if there’s anything else you should check out while you’re still there.

Final Thoughts

Caribou sits at the very edges of the United States, but it’s not something that’s quickly tossed aside or forgotten.

Its beautiful sights and fascinating history make it a worthwhile destination for any traveler looking for a unique experience.

The climate may be a bit colder than what you’re used to, but that’s just part of its charm.

So, pack up your winter gear, explore Caribou, Maine’s unique environment, and have the time of your life with your friends or family.