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When you visit Bangor, stop in and say ‘Hi’ to Paul. Paul Bunyan, that is, the lumber jack, all 31 fiberglass feet of him, standing tall over Main Street. So why does a grinning giant with an ax represent this major northern town? It’s the trees. Not so long ago, Bangor was the lumber capital of the nation.
Things to Do in Bangor
Bangor still has a lot to grin about. Because there are a lot of things to do in Bangor, the seat of Penobscot County. Its historic downtown is full of new shops, boutiques and restaurants. The restored Waterfront has been transformed into a major regional event center.
The city’s rich lumber history can be enjoyed on almost every street. The industry allowed local ‘lumber barons’ to build grand brick and wood mansions throughout the city. The Bangor Historical Society can show you a number on its city tours.
One of the many free things to do in Bangor is to visit the spot where many residents end up – Mt. 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.
Speaking of the afterlife, fans of horror master Stephen King should sign up for a specialized tour of area locations featured in King’s books, films and inspirations.
Concerts and events are a growing part of Bangor’s appeal. The Bangor Waterfront, on the Penobscot River, hosts a concert series in the Darling Waterfront Pavilion (16,000 seats) as well as the annual American Folk Festival. Close by is the Cross Insurance Center (8,500 seats for concerts). Downtown, the historic Bangor Opera House hosts the Penobscot Theatre Company.
Built inside a restored department store downtown, the University of Maine Art Museum specializes in modern and contemporary art. For something completely different, roll on over to the Cole Land Transportation Museum, open in the warmer months, that features 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.
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 Oriental Jade Restaurant & Bar for oriental food, McLaughlin Seafood for fresh Maine seafood and Carolina’s Sports & Spirits for pub grub. 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.