Paul Bunyan, the legendary lumberjack, is said to have been born in Bangor and he (well, a massive fiberglass statue of him) welcomes visitors to the city. This eclectic city draws visitors for a variety of fun reasons, and today Paul Bunyan competes with a taxidermied wood duck as the city’s favorite icon. The Bangor Police Department’s Duck of Justice is a fan-favorite and is found in a small museum in the police station.
Things to Do in Bangor
After visiting the Duck of Justice, head to Bangor’s historic downtown along the Penobscot River - full of shops, boutiques and restaurants. The restored waterfront has been transformed into a major regional event center. Walk along the Bangor Waterfront Trail past sculptures and food trucks. Learn about the city’s fascinating history with the Best of Bangor Walking Tour hosted by the Bangor Historical Society or enjoy their guided tour of the Mount Hope Cemetery. Opened in 1836, Mt. Hope is the country’s second-largest garden cemetery which, true to its name, is full of lawns, trees, and ornate grave markers.
The lush City Forest has 80 acres of wildlife habitat and forest to explore with more than 9 miles of trails for running, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Looking for spooky fun? Fans of author Stephen King should sign up for a specialized tour of places that have inspired his stories and actual film locations. Bangor is King’s inspiration for his fictional town of Derry. Or take your own tour to see his former home, a Victorian mansion owned by the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation that will soon serve as a writer’s retreat.
Want to watch a Stephen King film in a private theater? You can at Queen City Cinema Club, a private movie theater, board game lounge, and arcade with a full bar and kitchen in downtown Bangor.
The city has a dynamic music and event scene. The Bangor Waterfront hosts an outdoor concert series in the Maine Savings Amphitheater featuring big names in today’s pop, rock and country. Close by is the Cross Insurance Center. Downtown, the historic Bangor Opera House hosts the Penobscot Theatre Company.
Built inside a restored department store downtown, the Zillman Art Museum University of Maine specializes in modern and contemporary art featuring works by David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso, Marsden Hartley and Winslow Homer. For something completely different, roll on over to the Cole Land Transportation Museum, open in the warmer months, featuring historic cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowplows and train cars. The Maine Forest and Logging Museum, just outside Bangor in the town of Bradley, explains the industry that built the region. The Maine Discovery Museum is Maine’s largest children’s museum with three floors of fun.
Restaurants in Bangor
Need to refuel? Try some Bangor restaurants. Point the car to Dysart’s. This truck stop and diner has been a Bangor-area institution since 1967. They’ve got pancakes the size of hubcaps and pies as good as your Grammy’s. Also consider 11 Central, The Tarratine, McLaughlin Seafood for fresh Maine seafood and Paddy Murphy's. You can also scroll through the list of local businesses below or check these additional suggestions as well.
Where to Stay in Bangor
Bangor has a number of accommodations including historic properties and popular hotels near the Bangor Mall. Check out the list of local businesses below and these great places to stay.