Everyone knows about Portland, but if you keep driving northwards, you’ll reach the beautiful city of Bangor, which is only a short drive from Acadia National Park. It may be a little sleepier than its southern counterpart, but there are still plenty of things to see and do.

Cole Land Transportation Museum

Open from May through mid-November, the Cole Land Transportation Museum celebrates the rich history of the myriad ways to get from here to there, in addition to the contributions of the U.S military. While it’s fun for all ages, kids will especially love exhibits like Fire Engine Lane and Farm Place.

Penobscot Theatre Company

Take in a live performance at this family-friendly institution, which has been operating since 1940 and is now housed in the historic Bangor Opera House. Seasoned actors interpret a variety of popular and lesser-known productions; this season’s shows included The Wizard of Oz and August: Osage County.

World's Largest Paul Bunyan StatuePaul Bunyan Statue

Sure, it’s just a statue, but think about the photo ops! Indeed, while you can also find his likeness in Portland, Oregon, the Bangor tribute is actually the largest in the entire world … perhaps because it’s the famous lumberjack’s birthplace! Constructed from fiberglass and metal, this statue has been standing in Bass Park since 1959 and is completely hurricane-proof. City officials have been known to dress up the statue for special occasions, like adding a bandana before a Willie Nelson concert in town.

Cascade Park

Perfect for a picnic or a stroll, Cascade Park promises a peaceful oasis — complete with a waterfall and walking trails — not too far from downtown Bangor. At night, it can be the ideal spot for a romantic walk, as the falls light up at night.

Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway

From May through November, visitors can place their bets and enjoy live harness horse racing. The rest of the year, simulcast racing is broadcast, and guests can win big money in other ways at the blackjack tables and slot machines inside the casino. The hotel also offers live entertainment nightly.

Riverfront Walk

After enjoying a day of shopping and dining in downtown Bangor, take a walk along the Penobscot River and take in the gorgeous views. The waterfront also plays host to many events annually, including concerts, the Wheels on the Waterfront car show, and the American Folk Festival.

Quick Guide to Bangor, Maine