Bangor, once a rapidly expanding and prosperous commercial town during the height of Maine’s logging industry, went through some difficult years. Today, it emerged as a center for the arts and a lively cultural hub. This is mostly because of the charitable activities of its most notable residents, Tabitha and Stephen King. Also to the community who worked hard to develop the city into what it is today.
One of the best things about Bangor is the abundance of complimentary options available, from museums like the Hose 5 Fire Museum to natural attractions like Mount Hope Cemetery and the Orono Bog Walk. There are also many family-friendly activities available, including free admission to the museums like Maine Discovery and the Cole Transportation.
- List of the Top Things To Do in Bangor, Maine
- 1. Chase the Outdoor Pursuits at The Orono Bog Walk
- 2. Visit Mount Hope Cemetery
- 3. Take a Tour of “Derry” by Stephen King
- 4. Enjoy the Family Time at Littlefield Garden
- 5. Visit Cole Land Transportation Museum
- 6. Partake in One of City’s Many Guided Tours
- 7. Bring The Kids to the Maine Discovery Museum
- 8. Tour the Page Farm and Home Museum
- 9. Visit Hose 5 Fire Museum
- 10. Admire the Contemporary Arts at Zillman Art Museum
- 11. Enjoy the Variety of Dining Options in Bangor
- 12. Learn city’s Aviation Legacy at The Maine Air Museum
- 13. Explore the Maine Forest and Logging Museum
- 14. Ascend the Thomas Hill Standpipe
- When are you Planning your Trip to Bangor?
List of the Top Things To Do in Bangor, Maine
1. Chase the Outdoor Pursuits at The Orono Bog Walk
The bog walk is a one-mile accessible boardwalk that loops through a tranquil wetland forest. It is situated on the edge of the Bangor City Forest.
Visitors can explore on their own, with the assistance of interactive stations along the way that highlight the bog ecosystem’s distinctive flora and wildlife.
Additionally, there are guided tours available that allow tourists to learn more about the ecology of the region.
Visitors can also take advantage of the nine-plus miles of hiking trails at the City Forest, and it is among the top things to do in Bangor Maine this weekend.
It remains accessible all year long for biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and walking. Dogs are welcome in the city forest but are not permitted on the Bog Boardwalk.
Address – 54 Tripp Drive, Bangor, Maine
2. Visit Mount Hope Cemetery
The second-oldest garden cemetery in the country was created in 1836. Its undulating hills, towering trees, stone stairways, ponds, and decorative landscaping provide a stunning setting for the headstones.
It is also a well-liked destination for Stephen King devotees because it served as both a famous filming location in the first Pet Sematary . King used to spend a lot of time here thinking, writing, and getting ideas for his books.
The cemetery also has a number of memorials, including a Korean War Memorial, two monuments, and an unique burial honoring Mainers who died in the Civil War.
Although the cemetery is rather mountainous and has wide, concrete walkways that are wheelchair accessible.
Address – 1048 State Street, Bangor, Maine
3. Take a Tour of “Derry” by Stephen King
Even those who are not familiar with King’s work will learn a lot about the city and its history while visiting one of the top tourist attractions in Bangor. The city of “Derry,” Maine, which appears in numerous of his books, is a fictionalized version of Bangor that serves as much more than just a backdrop.
The typical three-hour group sightseeing tour includes stops at many King-related locations. It features those that served as the inspiration for characters and events, backdrops for many of his books.
Highlights of the tour include stops to the Thomas Hill Standpipe, the Paul Bunyan Statue, the Kings’ home, Mount Hope Cemetery, which served as the backdrop for the first Pet Sematary movie.
Address – 268 Odlin Road, Bangor Maine
4. Enjoy the Family Time at Littlefield Garden
The agricultural department of the University of Maine built the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden as a horticultural study garden in the 1960s.
Today, it is home to many of the most beautiful ornamentals, such as rhododendrons, approximately 200 lilacs, and more than 200 crabapple trees.
In addition, there are beds of landscaping plants that are being evaluated for their ability to withstand low temperatures in the garden.
There is also plenty of room to spread out and choose a grassy area to sit and take in the profusion of petals.
Visitors will need to make a brief stop with Campus Police near the entrance to obtain a free parking pass for day usage. It can also be used at nearby attractions.
Address – University of Maine Campus, 168 College Avenue, Orono, Maine
5. Visit Cole Land Transportation Museum
The Museum is the legacy of Albert “Allie” Cole, a Mainer who created Coles Express, a trucking company, in 1917. Inside, there is a sizable collection of vehicles as well as educational displays on as blacksmithing, harness making, and train stations.
Train cars donated by the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad and the Maine Central Railroad form one of the key attractions here.
The museum’s collection of automobiles will appeal to fans of vintage and classic cars. It features a 1923 Packard Roadster, a 1931 REO Royale Coupe, and a 1938 Lincoln V-12 Model K. One of the collection’s most valuable machines is a 1913 Stanley Steamer bread truck.
A World War II memorial and a variety of military vehicles are also present, both inside and outside.
One of the best things to do in Bangor Maine for kids who love this museum for obvious reasons. Visitors aged 18 or under are admitted free. Volunteers are constantly available to offer informative tours, respond to inquiries, and bring the exhibits to life.
Address – 405 Perry Road, Bangor, Maine
6. Partake in One of City’s Many Guided Tours
The “Best of Bangor” trip visits the city’s downtown area, stopping at the most important landmarks. The guide tells the context of Bangor’s rise as the center of the lumber industry and other notable events like the fire of 1911.
There is also a tour that is primarily focused on the fire, a tragic incident that utterly destroyed much of downtown, and is one of the fun things to do in Bangor Maine.
The Mount Hope Cemetery guided walking tour is one of the most well-liked excursions. Visitors will learn not only about the history of the cemetery but also about the lives and legacies of some of the cemetery’s most notable occupants during the tour. They provide after-dark tours of the cemetery every October, which include a few unexpected bonuses.
7. Bring The Kids to the Maine Discovery Museum
Formerly known as the Eastern Maine Children’s Museum was created as a setting for play-based learning. Its engaging displays and interactive exhibits offer lots of activities for both children and their guardians.
One of the most well-liked displays is Booktown, which encourages kids to participate with costumes, props, and stories.
Artscape is another creative center, with a huge light-bright that is equally popular with parents for its nostalgic charm.
One of the free things to do in Bangor Maine that also features an excavation site for dinosaur fossils, indoor nature paths, and cosmic exploration.
Address – 74 Main Street, Bangor, Maine
8. Tour the Page Farm and Home Museum
This museum is devoted to preserving the history of Maine’s agricultural sector and is situated on the campus of the University of Maine in Orono.
The museum is made up of a number of structures, including a post-and-beam barn built in 1833. There is also a one-room schoolhouse, the Chute Schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and the Winston E. Pullen Carriage House, which was transported from Holden.
A heritage garden on the property features heirloom kinds of vegetables and herbs. These herbs were cultivated in Maine in the second half of the 19th. Additionally, the museum holds unique activities all year round.
Address – University of Maine Campus, 168 College Avenue, Orono, Maine
9. Visit Hose 5 Fire Museum
This tiny but intriguing museum is housed in the city’s former fire station. It was constructed in 1897 and operated as a station for nearly a century.
Two of its most outstanding vehicles are on display: a 1939 Seagrave Pumper and a 1930 McCann Pumper.
The museum also exhibits a good assortment of antique firefighting equipment, including simple tools, hoses, copper hooks, and carts pulled by people.
Visitors can also peruse antique station logbooks and photographs. You also have access to the sleeping quarters used by the firemen when they were on duty.
Address – 247 State Street, Bangor, Maine
10. Admire the Contemporary Arts at Zillman Art Museum
What to do in Bangor Maine to explore culture? The Zillman Museum, run by the University of Maine, specializes mostly in modern and contemporary art.
The museum’s permanent collection features over 4,000 artifacts dating from the early twentieth century until today.
Due to the magnitude of the collection, works of art are shown on a rotating basis, but among the pieces are works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Winslow Homer.
Changing displays showcase the creativity of many artists who employ a variety of media to address a broad range of issues. There is no entrance fee to view the exhibitions.
Address – 40 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine
11. Enjoy the Variety of Dining Options in Bangor
Every palate will be satisfied by the incredible variety of dining options in Bangor. There are more than a dozen options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a quick meal or snack just downtown.
Visitors can discover Blaze Bangor in the city center, which specializes in wood-fired pizzas and traditional American fare.
The “build-your-own” ramen café Love Umami Noodle Bar takes this noodle dish to new heights.
The GrindHouse, located at the intersection of Hammond and Central streets, is the ideal midday stop for a freshly cooked sandwich or a fantastic cappuccino.
The Tarratine restaurant on French Street offers exquisite dining in a cozy, elegant setting with a seasonal menu. For supper, visitors may also discover a variety of ethnic alternatives right downtown on Main Street.
12. Learn city’s Aviation Legacy at The Maine Air Museum
The Maine Aviation Historical Society runs this museum. It features a number of displays that take visitors through Maine’s contributions to aviation history.
Visitors can examine antiques, actual documents, and images among the collection of historical things.
Visitors also have access to vintage Maine aviators to a tour of military crash sites throughout the state.
Additionally, the museum hosts professionals and aviators, both commercial and military, for special lectures and events.
The viewing platform over the fence at Bangor International Airport provides tourists with an unrestricted view of the jets. Hanging out here is one of the cool things to do in Bangor, Maine.
Address – 98 Maine Avenue, Bangor, Maine
13. Explore the Maine Forest and Logging Museum
A short drive from Bangor is Leonard’s Mills’ Maine Forest and Logging Museum. It is highly recommended for anybody interested in the state’s early logging history.
The property features a water-powered sawmill, a blacksmith shop, houses, a covered bridge, and many other ancient structures.
Every day during daylight hours, visitors are welcome to explore the grounds. On Tuesdays, volunteers do equipment demonstrations and field inquiries.
Visitors can also learn about daily life and other facets of existence in the 18th and 19th centuries by attending a variety of special events held throughout the year.
Address – 262 Government Road, Bradley, Maine
14. Ascend the Thomas Hill Standpipe
The 1.5 million gallon Thomas Hill Standpipe, an incredible engineering achievement and lovely historic landmark, continues to provide water to Bangor. It is particularly noteworthy since it is one of the few existing water towers.
The standpipe is only open to the public four times a year. If you happen to be in town, it is definitely worth the 100-step climb. A large observation deck offers expansive views of Blackcap Mountain to the east and downtown Bangor to the south.
Stephen King is also linked to the standpipe. It’s believed that he wrote a significant deal while seated on the bench directly below it. His book IT also features the tower.
Address – 41 Thomas Hill Road, Bangor, Maine
When are you Planning your Trip to Bangor?
Bangor, Maine is special because it has a great mix of both indoor and outdoor activities. From the historic drive along Elm Street to the walk in Orono Bog, and everything in between, Bangor will provide a different activity depending on your mood. If you’re looking for a fun day of something different, check out our list of the Top 10 Things to Do in Bangor, ME and choose one that appeals to you.