Bangor lies on the Penobscot River in the US state of Maine and is a city of pleasing 19th century architecture. The town center and the historic waterfront have been restored and are now pleasant places to explore with cafes and restaurants, galleries and museums as well as several bookshops. Part of the city was destroyed by fire in 1911 and the rebuilt area has been preserved and is known as the Great Fire of 1911 Historic District. Museum lovers will find several of interest, such as the Police Department Museum and the Maine Discovery Museum for children. Evening entertainment can be found at the Penobscot Theater or in the Opera House. For brilliant panoramic views of the area, especially of the surrounding woods when the leaves change colour in September and October, climb the 100 steps to the top of the Thomas Hill Standpipe, an old water tower. The area around the city is great for sports enthusiasts and nature lovers, with its rugged mountains and stunning scenery. All sorts of sporting activities are available, such as hiking, cycling, whitewater canoeing, snowmobiling and kayaking. Acadia National Park is a comfortable hour’s drive away with its beautiful pink granite hilltops and blue lakes.
The winter months of November to March can be extremely cold with heavy snowfall but ski enthusiasts will find plenty of resorts close by. For sightseeing the best times to visit are between May and October, when the temperatures are more comfortable. Be prepared for rain though, as it is fairly heavy all year round. The Bangor State Fair, one of the oldest in the US, is held every July and combines an agricultural show with carnival and live concerts. Another annual event which attracts visitors is the dangerous Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race which takes place in April.
The historic areas of Bangor and its waterfront are all easily accessible by foot. A lack of local bus services means that a car or campervan is necessary if you wish to explore further afield. Public roads are scarce to the north and west of Bangor and permits are needed to cross the private roads that run through the woods. There are several quirky guided tours on offer in Bangor itself. Madams & Murders will take you into the city’s murky past and Ghostly Bangor is an evening tour. The town is very photogenic and the Mt. Hope Tour for Photographers will help you take advantage of this in the early morning light.