While the Queen City of Maine might best be known to outsiders as “where Stephen King lives,” there’s much more to Bangor than our most famous resident. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities, things to do on a rainy (or snowy!) day, free activities, or ways to get outside during the summer, keep reading for 25 fun things to do in Bangor, Maine in every season.
1. Get outside for a bike ride!
Head to the trails in Bangor City Forest, Kenduskeag Stream Trail, or the University of Maine. If you don’t have a bike with you, there are rentals available from Ski Rack Sports.
2. Enjoy a night of sophistication.
Take in a professional show at the Penobscot Theatre Company at Bangor Opera House. Or head to the Bangor Symphony Orchestra at the University of Maine, which has been in operation since 1896 and is one of the oldest continually-operating community orchestras in the United States.
3. Visit Fort Knox and enjoy sweeping views from the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.
If you have a little time to explore, head out of town about 35 minutes to wander the granite fort and learn some local history through its interpretive displays. Then get a panoramic view of the Penobscot River and Bay at the new Penobscot Narrows Observatory Bridge.
4. Stroll Mount Hope Cemetery.
While it might seem odd to go for a walk in a cemetery, Mount Hope is a great spot to head on a nice day in Bangor, as it is one of the nation’s oldest garden cemeteries.
5. Hit the drive-in.
Got a beautiful summer evening free? Head to the Bangor Drive-In to catch new releases and classic flicks. While it’s technically in the town of Hermon, it’s only a 7-minute drive from the Pine Tree Inn.
6. Explore the Orono Bog Walk and Bangor City Forest.
Easy enough for kids to walk, The Orono Bog Walk is just as enjoyable for adults. Plus, it’s stroller- and wheelchair-friendly. It’s a great place to spot birds and other wildlife. If you have a little more time, keep your outdoorsy adventures going with a walk (or cross-country ski) in the adjacent Bangor City Forest.
7. Get a view of Bangor from above at Thomas Hill Standpipe.
While the city’s water tower might not seem that interesting, the Thomas Hill Standpipe is one of Bangor’s most historic locations. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is an American Civil Engineering Landmark. Just four times per year, it is open to the public for tours–and it’s one of the best places to take in a view of Bangor.
8. Take a Stephen King tour.
Speaking of the Thomas Hill Standpipe, there are plenty of spots around town that Stephen King fans will want to see. The water tower, for example, served as inspiration for the haunted water tower in It. You can even go on a guided tour if you want to get all the details!
9. Take a leaf peeping day trip in the fall.
Got a little extra time to explore and want to get out of town? Head to Greenville for a drive around Moosehead Lake, take a drive down to the coast to explore Acadia National Park, or go north to Baxter State Park and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
10. Get fresh, local food at the Bangor Farmer’s Market.
Bangor has plenty of great restaurants, but you’ll likely want to cook some of your own meals while you’re here, especially if you’re on a long-term work assignment. The Pine Tree Inn has a kitchenette in every room, so pick up some fresh ingredients at the farmer’s market in downtown Bangor (from April – Thanksgiving) and enjoy some of your own cooking.
11. Go back in time at the Cole Land Transportation Museum.
Consistently rated as one of the top things to do around Bangor, Maine, the Cole Land Transportation Museum showcases Maine’s transportation history–from trains to snow plows to dairy wagons. The museum also honors Maine’s veterans and has military memorabilia on display. Open seasonally, the museum is high quality and budget-friendly.
12. Get a feel for local life at the Bangor Public Library.
The library is not only a great place to mingle with locals, the building itself is worth stopping in to enjoy. Admire the architecture, pick up a local book, or attend an event at this beautiful library in downtown Bangor.
13. Get a selfie with the Duck of Justice.
Whether you’re from Maine or not, you might have seen the Duck of Justice on our police department’s viral Facebook page. You might not be able to get his autograph (stuffed ducks probably cannot sign things), but stop into the police to meet the crew and at least get a selfie.
14. Stroll the Bangor waterfront.
Take in the river views while you walk or enjoy a picnic on a beautiful day.
15. Get your art on!
Looking for artsy Bangor activities to enjoy? Check out the monthly First Friday Art Walk in downtown Bangor (seasonally), stop into the University of Maine Museum of Art, or attend an oil class with Maine artist Rebecca Krupke.
16. Have a family fun day at Treworgy Family Orchards.
From ice cream and a petting zoo in the summer to apple picking and a corn maze in the fall, this farm is a great spot for families. It’s very kid-friendly, and fun for teens and adults, too. Just 20 minutes from the Pine Tree Inn at the Bangor Airport, this is a great place to spend a few hours.
17. Wander downtown Bangor.
Explore the cute boutique gift shops in downtown Bangor. Pop into one of several downtown cafes to grab coffee on a cold day.
18. Try your luck at Hollywood Casino and Raceway.
Feeling lucky? Enjoy a night of slots, table games, and live poker at the Hollywood Casino, or head to the race track to watch live harness horse racing from May-November.
19. Taste the Maine Beer Trail.
Enjoy a tasting flight to try some of Maine’s best. You’ll have your pick with almost 10 breweries in the Bangor area that are on the Maine Beer Trail.
20. Head to Hermon Mountain to go skiing or tubing!
If you’re starting to feel the cabin fever that inevitably sets in during the cold, dark days of Maine winters, bundle up and head outside. While Hermon Mountain isn’t one of Maine’s major ski destinations, it’s a great spot to enjoy the slopes near Bangor.
21. Get a selfie with Paul Bunyan.
Stephen King might be Bangor’s most famous living resident, but Paul Bunyan is the most legendary. (Okay, he may be fictional, but Mainer’s are still proud to call him our own. Just don’t say he’s from Minnesota!) The Paul Bunyan statue is a top Bangor, Maine attraction that you shouldn’t miss.
22. Catch a summer concert at the waterfront.
Wondering what to do in Bangor, Maine during the summer? It doesn’t get better than seeing your favorite band at an outdoor concert by the river!
23. Go bird watching.
There are plenty of green spaces in Bangor for bird lovers to spot various bird species. Not only is this a free activity, it’s one that kids may enjoy as well! Check out these Bangor area birding hot spots for ideas.
24. Explore Bangor’s history with a historical tour.
From its days as a major lumber port to the Underground Railroad to a downtown fire, Bangor is full of interesting history! Check out a history tour with the Bangor Historical Society, or head to the Thomas A. Hill House Museum.
25. Embrace your inner kid scientist at Maine Discovery Museum. Maine’s largest children’s museum is located right here in Bangor, and the hands-on activities are fun for the whole family!
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