Van Buren, part of the St. John Valley Cultureway, is surrounded by the vast, rolling hills of the St. John Valley in Aroostook County, Maine’s largest, northernmost county. Although named for President Martin Van Buren, the town was settled in 1785 by Acadian exiles from Nova Scotia. It was originally part of a town called Grande-Rivière, which was divided by an international border in 1842 and today is two communities - Van Buren and St. Leonard, in New Brunswick, Canada. Most people still speak French at home to this day.
Things to Do in Van Buren
Each August, Van Buren hosts Summer Fest – a day of fun, music and fireworks. Eighteenth and nineteenth century Acadian culture is preserved at the Acadian Village in Van Buren where you can see original and replica Acadian buildings and homes. The village is one of the largest historical sites in Maine, complete with a log chapel, schoolhouse, general store, square-hewn log homes, blacksmith shop, a gristmill and a wool-carding mill. The village is on Route 1 and is open daily from mid-June to mid-September.
For a remote outdoor adventure, the 61 miles of the Bangor & Aroostook Trail is perfect year-round for dog sledding, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, horseback riding and biking. The gravel trail extends from Stockholm, Maine, to Van Buren.
Where to Stay in Van Buren
The welcoming Aroostook Hospitality Inn is located on Route 1, near the border crossing into Canada, making it the perfect place to stay and enjoy both Maine and New Brunswick.
Restaurants in Van Buren
Tasty Food in Van Buren lives up to its name. A drive-in-style restaurant, where you can get ice cream, burgers and even lobster rolls. A child-sized chessboard draws families for a quick meal and fun.