Bangor On a BudgetLocated along the Penobscot River in the U.S. State of Maine, modern Bangor really took off as a center for lumber and shipbuilding industries. Logs could easily be floated down-river to be processed and shipped from port on the Atlantic Ocean 30 miles downstream. Eventually lumbering turned to pulp and paper and shipping turned to railroads, but Bangor remains a city symbolic of industry. The city also has much to offer in shopping and entertainment with bookstores, cafés, restaurants, galleries, and museums located in the downtown area.
SightsEvidence of the city's lumbering past stills lies throughout the city in its architecture and monuments. Greek Revival and Victorian mansions sit as elaborate examples, once the homes of the lumber barons who ran the industry. Visitors can tour places like the Isaac Farrar Mansion or the Thomas A. Hill House & Civil War Museum to get a sneak peal of Bangor's history. There is even a 31 foot high statue of the mythical lumberman Paul Bunyan, who stands on Main Street welcoming visitors into the city.
Another impressive sight to see is the Mount Hope Garden Cemetery, the second oldest in the United States. It was designed and built in 1834, the same year that Bangor became a city. Not only does this serve as the resting ground for Bangor's 19th and early 20th century elite, but it also is laid out as a romantic park with ponds, groves, grottos, and a great variety of plants and flowers. It is a beautiful escape for the living and the dead. One of the most popular parks is Cascade Park, overlooking the river, but it is one of many green spaces dotted throughout the city.
NeighborhoodsDowntown Bangor is the hub for activity, arts, and culture. Bisected by the Kenduskeag Stream and hugging the Penobscot River, the area is surrounded by scenic waterways. Lined with locally-owned shops and restaurants, Downtown Bangor offers all kinds of shopping from books to keepsakes and all kinds of food from ethnic cuisine to homegrown cafés and pubs. Beyond day-to-day life, the downtown area also hosts events like Waterfront Concerts, a national recognized contemporary art museum, and the American Folks Festival, as well as locally-organized storytelling sessions, historical walking tours, and neighborhood outdoor movies.
ActivitiesIn addition to Bangor's many parks, Bangor City Forest is a large recreation area consisting of about 650 acres. These large green spaces, as well as Bangor's proximity to the water, make the city a hot spot for outdoor activities like hiking, sailing, canoeing, hunting, and fishing plus skiing and snowmobiling in the winter months. The Penobscot River Walkway is also a great location for a casual stroll along the water.
Sightseeing tours are also offered to see the hot spots of the city's historic and cultural heritage, as well as a great number of galleries and museums. One of the more popular attractions is the Cole Land Transportation Museum, which houses a large collection and of Maine's transportation equipment and memorabilia. Other activities include shopping in the downtown area, seeing a show at the Penobscot Theatre Company, or catching a harnessed horse race at the Bangor Raceway.
Food and DiningThe state of Maine is famous for its wild blueberries and lobster. Like any New England town, Bangor is full of opportunity to try traditional fare from clam chowder and lobster rolls to blueberry pie and ice cream. Many of the downtown restaurants are locally owned, doing their best to serve farm-to-table products. For those looking to get a closer look at the homegrown scene, try visiting the Bangor Farmers Market held every Sunday from May to Thanksgiving across from the Bangor Public Library. Enjoy anything from fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables and naturally raised meats, along with milk, eggs, cheeses, baked goods, coffee, seedlings, cut flowers, and more. As far as restaurants go, some of the top-rated on TripAdvisor include Timber Kitchen and Bar, Blaze, Dysart's Restaurant, Moe's Original BBQ, and 11 Central. In addition to local cuisine, Bangor also serves up a wide variety of ethnic flavors.
TransportationBy air, Bangor International Airport is the closest and is served by Allegiant, American, Delta, and United Airlines.
Three bus lines provide service to Bangor. Cyr Bus Line, which operates out of Old Town, provides regular service from Bangor to northern Maine and tours to events in Boston, Quebec City, in addition to regular trips to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Concord Trailways provides daily service from Bangor to South Station in Boston and points between, as well as to northern Maine. Greyhound Lines also serves Bangor. Its station is at the corner of Main and Union streets downtown, providing service along U.S. Route 1, with stops from Portland to Bangor.
By car, Bangor sits along interstates I-95 and I-395; U.S. highways US 1A, US 2, US Route 2A; and state routes SR 9, SR 15, SR 15 Business, SR 100, SR 202, and SR 222.
Local transportation for Bangor and the surrounding towns is provided by The Bat. The Bat runs Monday through Saturday and serves all of Bangor and parts of Hampden, Brewer, Veazie, Orono, the University of Maine, and Old Town.