The mighty Penobscot River cascades down from northern Maine’s timberland past Orono and between the sister cities of Bangor and Brewer on its way to the Gulf of Maine. In the mid-1800s the vast supply of harvested trees that flowed down the Penobscot helped establish Bangor as the leading lumber port in the world. At the time it was considered the world’s richest city per capita and called the “Queen City of the East.”
If you enjoy outdoor activities visit any of the 30 recreational areas, woodlands and waterways, including the 650-acre City Forest. You’ll find miles of trails for jogging, biking, cross country hiking, sailing, fishing and winter sports.
You’ll also discover scenic paths along the Penobscot River and Kenduskeag Stream, famous for its annual canoe race. Bring a picnic to Grotto Cascade Park where you’ll see a lighted water fountain and 20-foot water fall.
Kids will have fun in the Maine Discovery Museum and music lovers will enjoy the Bangor Symphony. Established in 1896, it’s the oldest symphony in the U.S. You can also hear free concerts in city parks performed by the Bangor Band.You’ll find many art studios and galleries downtown. Don’t miss the summer sidewalk art festival.
You have the Bangor Mall for shopping, one of the country’s oldest state fairs provides agricultural exhibits and entertainment, Cole Land Transportation Museum, art galleries, music festivals, the Bangor Raceway, and the Hollywood Slots, Maine’s first slot machine center.
North along the river is Orono, first settled in 1774 and home of the University of Maine. Starting with 2 teachers and 12 students in 1868, today the enrollment is more than 11,000. When you tour the campus you’ll see the Maine Center for the Arts, Hudson Museum, the Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium and Observatory, a theater, art museum, modern sporting facilities and the state’s largest library.