9 Top Cultural & Arts Experiences In Bangor, Maine (2023)
Bangor, the beautiful city, is in the Northern and Central parts of Maine. Since Bangor is in the Central part of the state, it offers an easy getaway to pristine Northern Maine wilderness, lush, green agricultural lands, and rock-bound coast. A few decades back, it was a wealthy center of commerce and saw heights of growth. However, soon enough, some difficult years started showing around, and the commercial charm took a seat back. But that was when Bangor took a U-turn and came out profoundly as a center for the arts and a vibrant cultural hub.
Art, Culture, and Entertainment are there in a wide variety in Bangor. Also referred to as the ‘Queen of East,’ this astounding city has something to do year-round. Bangor has excellent dining options, pleasant shopping places, museums, galleries, malls, and festivals, and the list doesn’t end very soon. Not just indoors, but upon exploring the outdoors, you will find that Bangor’s landscape is a natural work of art in and of itself. Want to learn more? Continue reading our exclusive ‘Tourist Guide to Bangor.’
9 Top Cultural & Arts Experiences In Bangor, Maine
The list contains all the Popular things to experience in Bangor. Have a look:
1. Cole Land Transportation Museum
Individuals who have even a bit of interest in vintage automobiles must check out the Cole Land Transportation Museum. This outstanding museum space covers an acre of indoor exhibit space housing an extravagant collection. The exhibits focus on a large collection of vehicles along with sections for blacksmithing, harness shops, train stations, and many supporting industries and aspects. The museum is even home to train cars donated by Maine Central Railroad and Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. All these train cars are placed on a built-in railway track near the rear of the museum building. In a dedicated WWII exhibit, the museum also showcases a selection of military vehicles both on the outdoor ground and inside. Other items on display include a collection of motor vehicles, historic agricultural equipment, and early snow management vehicles. The diverse collection of vintage automobiles at Cole Land Transportation Museum appeals to visitors of all age groups.
2. University of Maine Museum of Art’ Zillman Art Museum’
For an ultimate art and cultural experience in Bangor, visit the Zillman Art Museum. This museum is operated by the University of Maine and is one of the best tourist attractions in Bangor. Its collection consist of more than 4000 artwork which are dedicated photographs and original prints of 20th-century art. The collection has some excellent pieces by notable artists, including Pablo Picasso, Diego Riveria, Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Richard Estes, and more. Due to the size of such a humungous collection, the art here is exhibited on a rotating basis. In addition, Zillman Art Museum also hosts traveling exhibits and workshops that add a distinctive flavor every now and then. The best part about the University of Maine Museum is that even though when it is so grand (in terms of its collection), visiting and exploring this place is absolutely free.
3. Hudson Museum
A must-visit for cultural enthusiasts, Hudson Museum again is an entity of the University of Maine. The museum is located on the campus of the Collins Center for the Arts and features a huge collection. A visit here will introduce you to a large collection of historical artifacts and cultural items from all across the world. The collection consists of everything from 900 objects from the Maine Indians, more than 2,000 pre-Columbian ceramics, Native American cultures’ ceramics, Northwest coast art, and much more. Not just the permanent collection, but the museum also hosts field trips for elementary and high school students and traveling exhibits. In addition, they also focus on programming lectures from time to time and ensure presenting only the best. Hudson Museum is free to visit and operates Monday through Saturday, from 9 am to 4 pm.
4. Hose 5 Fire Museum
Hose 5 Fire Museum currently operates as a museum but back in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a working fire station. The fire station was built in 1897 and has worked successfully for nearly 100 years. This small but exciting museum today is a center of attraction for many, especially the ones who are enthusiastic about the fire station and its operations. Hose 5 Fire features an impressive collection of exhibits that contains hand tools to original ladders, hand-drawn hose carts, Gamewell fire alarm boxes, brass poles, antique SCBAs, life nets, and historic fire-fighting tools. The highlight of their display is the 1939 Seagrave Pumper and a 1930 McCann Pumper, two very impressive vehicles. The museum operates from May 1st to October 31st, Saturdays from 9 am to noon. Admissions here are free, and a visit here is absolutely worth it. While one browses through old station log books and photos, things go extremely interesting.
5. Bangor Historical Society
Bangor Historical Society preserves and presents the beautiful cultural past of this region. It is settled inside a historic Greek Revival home which is known as ‘the Thomas A. Hill House Museum. Besides housing the Historical Society, it also consists of an impressive American Civil War collection. Thomas A. Hill House Museum operates two days a week, and that’s when one can step inside to explore the things on display. However, visitors can enjoy regular walking tours of Bangor’s historic sights led by the society itself. There are tours dedicated to Mount Hope Cemetery, the Best of Bangor tour, and the one that explains how a devastating fire destroyed a large portion of downtown completely. In addition, they also offer after-dark tours of Mount Hope Cemetery, and this experience is definitely impressive and interesting.
6. Stephen King’s “Derry”
If art and culture in Bangor has an ‘Epitome,’ it has to be Stephen King’s “Derry.” It is a fictional town in Bangor, Maine, specifically in the Stephen King multiverse. Derry features different settings in several novels and stories and was first featured in ‘The Bird and the Album.’ This fictional world is far more than a background setting and has so much to explore. Operating as a top tourist destination in Bangor, Stephen King’s “Derry” offer a standard group sightseeing tour that lasts around three hours. The tour basically takes participants to numerous Stephen King sites, including the ones that were used for shoots, places that inspired characters and events, and more. It even moves towards Mount Hope Cemetery, Thomas Hill Standpipe, King’s home, and Paul Bunyan Statue, all of which were an inspiration for King. Derry is also home to the philanthropic contributions of Stephen and Tabitha and a very meaningful part, ‘The Stories.’ The tour guide also shares Stephen King’s personal stories, and believe it or not, they are astounding. All that this fictional town features also have immense photographing opportunities.
Other Popular Tourist Attractions To Visit In Bangor, Maine
7. Littlefield Garden
Littlefield Garden is a beautiful outdoor tourist attraction nearly 10 miles outside Bangor. It is basically an ornamental trial garden on the University of Maine campus in Orono. Along with the Littlefield Garden, this outdoor space also features a dedicated research center. The garden was established back in the 1960s as a horticultural research area though today is home to the loveliest ornamentals and a popular tourist site. Littlefield Garden is home to a range of natural displays that includes about 200 lilacs, over 200 crabapple trees, magnolias, rhododendrons, and other pretty ornamental flowers. In addition, it also houses various landscaping plants that are tested here for cold hardiness. When done with all of that, visitors can sit and relax at multiple given parking spots and enjoy the sun.
8. Acadia National Park
Bangor is nearly 43 miles from Acadia National Park and acts as a base for this extravagant tourist attraction of Maine. These towns connect with Acadia via multiple modes, including Bus, Taxi, and Car. The bus journey takes 3 hours and 46 minutes, whereas taxi and car journeys are faster and take no more than 1 hour and 15 minutes. And upon reaching Acadia National Park, you will fall out of words. Its beauty, diversity, extravagance, and opportunities know no end. Throughout the year and despite the seasons, this grand natural space has so much to do. The National Park is divided into sections, including Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Isle au Haut, and Schoodic Peninsula. When in Acadia, watch the world’s one of best sunrise and sunset from the Cadillac Summit. Next, take a drive through the Scenic Park Loop Road, check out the Bar Harbor Head Lighthouse, hike through the Precipice Trail and Beehive Trail, and bike on the Carriage Roads, and opportunities will never truly end.
9. Penobscot River Walkway
Penobscot River Walkway is a half-mile scenic, paved pathway by Penobscot River’s shoreline. The trail/ walkway operates for nature walking, cycling, biking, jogging, running, and in-line skating. It also allows people to access the Penobscot river for some excellent fishing opportunities. One can bring along a wheelchair and stroller as a way since the walkway is smooth and also has such access. Penobscot walkway also offers access to Bangor’s Waterfront Park. This facility, on its own, is home to boat slips for water traffic, restrooms, picnic tables, and much more. Not just that, but throughout the year, it also hosts several indoor and outdoor events. The outdoor open-air concerts each summer are worth attending.