Enjoying a view at the Orono Bog Boardwalk


My boyfriend Adam and I travel north towards Bangor. I went to school at the University of Maine, so I am excited to be heading back to the area I spent so much time in—this time as an adult.


6:15 p.m. @ Hilton Garden Inn

We check in and enter a beautiful lobby full of guests enjoying the restaurant and checking in. Our suite is quite large and equipped with everything we need.

7:30 p.m. @ 11 Central

We are starving after the long trip so we call my longtime friend, Carrie, and her fiancé, Rozzy, to meet up with us for dinner. In the heart of downtown at one of many candlelit tables we order a variety of pizzas to share.

9:00 p.m. @ Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway

Time to try our luck! The casino is buzzing with lights, noises, and a lot of cheering. The night ends with Adam and I losing money and Carrie winning $900 on the $1 slot machines.


8:30 a.m. @ Giacomo’s 

Settle, the owner, gives us suggestions, such as the lobster benedict or breakfast pizza. We wish we could stay longer, but we have so many places to see.

9:30 a.m. @ University of Maine

Adam and I both have roots here—hockey camp for him and college for me. We take a stroll around the campus together, and I show him my former classrooms and hangouts.

11:10 a.m. @ Orono Bog Boardwalk

We head out to the Orono Bog Boardwalk next, which was highly recommended by editor-in-chief Susan Grisanti. The one-mile loop exposes us to a fascinating, flat landscape with plants I’ve never seen before. Everything seems so small, as if we are in a story by Dr. Seuss.

12:30 p.m. @ Blaze

We follow the advice of Carrie and Rozzy, who recommended the haddock tacos and pulled pork tacos with duck fat fries, and savor every last bite.

2:15 p.m. @ University of Maine Museum of Art 

On a self-guided tour, we enjoy the collection of art, which focuses on modern works. We stop in front of pieces by famous artists, including Georges Braque, Francesco Clemente, Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso, Winslow Homer, Alex Katz, and Diego Rivera.

3:25 p.m. @ Sea of Cotton 

We duck into this adorable shop in downtown Bangor to admire the beautiful scarves, jewelry, and clothing. The shop owner, Joyce Mallery, shows us all kinds of places to visit in Bangor. I purchase a beautiful scarf for myself and an organic lotion for my mom.

3:30 p.m. @ West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse

We need a little pick-me- up so we get some iced coffees to complement the beautiful weather. Tandem Coffee Roasters, from Portland, supplies the beans used here, so I’m excited to have a little taste of home.

4:00 p.m. @ BookMarc’s Bookstore

My obsession with books is not known to many. I amlikeakidinacandy shop here. There are so many used and new books piling the shelves that I am overwhelmed with excitement.

4:30 p.m. @ The Rock and Art Shop

This shop has such unique items that it is easy to get lost in all of the details. We explore in here until we realize we should get ready for our dinner reservation.

6:00 p.m. @ Fiddlehead 

Laura Albin, one of the owners, seats us and tells us how the restaurant changes the menu to reflect what it can source from local farmers. We try the linguine and chicken with roasted potatoes. I would come back for the asparagus alone.

8:10 p.m. @ Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion

Downtown Bangor has a beautiful place for waterfront concerts. Dierks Bentley and Randy Houser are performing tonight. The stage is massive, and you can’t find a bad place for a view. Adam and I stop in and listen for a little while.

9:00 p.m. @ Dysart’s 

It’s time for a little dessert, and the pumpkin cheesecake rolls and homemade peanut butter cups are pure bliss.


9:00 a.m. @ Bagel Central 

The line is out the door. When it’s finally our turn, we order everything bagels with garlic and vegetable cream cheese and iced coffees, and find a seat by the window.

10:15 a.m. @ Paul Bunyan statue

A trip to Bangor would not be complete without a selfie in front of Paul Bunyan. This statue is crazy big, and taking a selfie is a bit of a challenge.

11:00 a.m. @ Bangor Farmers’ Market 

We walk around with all the locals trying to figure out what we want the most. We settle on a massive cookie from one vendor and a loaf of bread from another. Everything is so fresh it is hard to turn down, but not much will make the car ride home in this weather.

12:00 p.m. @ Geaghan’s Pub and Craft Brewery

We order a pound of boneless wings with reserve sauce. The wings are outstanding and we are glad to have full bellies before the show.

1:30 p.m. @ Cross Insurance Center 

You can always count on Bangor to have a killer show lineup, and today it’s Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo. We are both in awe of the entire show and can’t stop staring at the performers, who seem to do the impossible.

4:00 p.m. Portland Bound

We explored, ate delicious food, visited friends, met great locals, shopped, danced, and had a lot of laughs. Until next time, Bangor.