Bangor + Brewer in 48 Hours
With nearby recreational opportunities, longtime cultural institutions, and a burgeoning downtown, the Bangor region is a worthwhile weekend destination.
Downtown accommodations and local bites
As you start your weekend, you won’t regret stopping at Bangor Wine and Cheese on Route 2 heading into downtown Bangor. Choose from a wide selection of wines, local and imported beers, cheese, and charcuterie. If you need help, owners Eric and Christine Mihan will recommend something to drink and eat. For this trip, a bottle of Casas del Bosque pinot noir pairs perfectly with an olive baguette and herbed chevre.
Just down the hill you’ll find The Charles Inn, built in 1873 and nestled in the center of downtown. Surrounded by locally owned restaurants, bars, and shops, the inn is an ideal location for exploring Bangor. The inn’s history is reflected in the antique furniture and other decor in the lobby and each guest room.
If you’re looking for farm-to-table dining, you won’t want to pass up The Fiddlehead Restaurant, a women-run favorite that creates beautiful dishes with fresh, local ingredients. The menu offers a variety of dishes, from beef tourtière to seared scallops. Finish your meal with the dark-chocolate crème brûlée and a glass of port.
Sunrise coffee and lively art
West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse, in the same building as the inn, is a perfect place to spend a Saturday morning. Snag a window seat and watch downtown come to life while sipping an almond milk latte.
The Antique Marketplace and Cafe has two floors filled with unique treasures, each with its own history. For an even more eclectic shopping experience, visit The Rock and Art Shop. Specializing in oddities of the natural world, the family-owned store has taxidermied creatures lining the walls, plants hanging from the ceiling, crystals on shelves, and more.
Leisurely strolls and sunset views
Across the street from the Rock and Art Shop is Bagel Central, one of Bangor’s most popular breakfast and lunch spots. Open at 6 a.m. every day, Bagel Central offers take-out options, catering, and meeting space for private events. If you don’t want to eat one of the house-made bagels (although you really should), you could get a salad, sandwich, or even pancakes.
If an afternoon stroll is needed after a big lunch, there are few better places in the area than the Bangor City Forest. The 650-acre stretch of greenery, just a 15-minute drive from downtown, offers more than nine miles of hiking, cycling, and cross-country ski trails.
For those in search of something more literary, head over to the house of author Stephen King on West Broadway. Stephen and Tabitha King are in the process of turning the home and a house next door into an archive for Stephen King’s work and a writers’ retreat.
To catch the sunset over Bangor, cross Penobscot River to Brewer, where you’ll find a view of Bangor’s Waterfront Park from the patio of Mason’s Brewing Company. Along with great beer, this brewpub has an extensive menu of sandwiches, salads, burgers, pizza, and more, with plenty of seating indoors and out. If you’re looking for seafood and a riverside deck, stop at High Tide Restaurant and Bar, which often hosts live music and has one of the best lobster rolls in the area.
Small delicacies to curb a crave
Return to downtown Bangor for relaxing dinner at Novio’s bistro. The intimate restaurant has a seasonal and thoughtful menu and beautifully crafted cocktails. On Friday and Saturday evenings, reservations are recommended.
Enjoy a nightcap at the lively Blaze. The bar and restaurant offers more than 50 draft lines, a diverse wine selection, and unique cocktails. With a warm atmosphere and the aroma of wood-fired pizza, you end up wanting to stick around for a late-night snack, too.
Stroll across the street to The Grind House for a strong cup of coffee and the popular OMG breakfast sandwich, with sausage, ham, maple-and-black- pepper candied bacon, egg, and cheese on a griddled glazed doughnut. If you’re here for lunch hours, try one of the grinder sandwiches, savory flatbreads, or well-garnished hot dogs.
The larger-than-life Paul Bunyan Statue neighbors Hollywood Casino Hotel and Cross Insurance Center on Route 202. The 31-foot-tall statue was built to commemorate Bangor’s 125th anniversary in 1959.
If it’s nice out, you can conclude your trip with a leisurely stroll down the Penobscot River Walkway along Bangor’s waterfront. Lined with greenery, the short, scenic walk is the perfect way to stretch your legs in the fresh air before your drive home.
Located in downtown Bangor, The Charles Inn offers 30 guest rooms, including some themed for local history, such as the Hannibal Hamlin Room, celebrating the 15th vice president of the United States.
The Best Western White House Inn, situated outside of the city near I-95, offers a fitness center and an outdoor pool.
Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway is equipped with plenty to keep you busy, includ-ing live entertainment, restaurants, and, of course, gambling.
Yoshi Japanese Restaurant in Brewer has fresh sushi and a variety of Asian- inspired cuisine, including Cambodian and Vietnamese dishes.
In a historic downtown Bangor building, Evenrood’s classic American dishes and comfortable atmosphere make it the kind of place where everyone can find something they like.
Orono Brewing Company’s tasting room in downtown Bangor has a friendly and fun atmosphere and allows guests to bring in their own food.
History + Culture
Mount Hope Cemetery is the second-oldest garden cemetery in the United States; the Bangor Historical Society offers tours of the picturesque grounds.
The distinctive and stout Thomas Hill Standpipe, built in 1897 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, is open for tours once each season.
The Maine Discovery Museum provides programs, activities, and exhibitions that promote creativity and interactive learning for children and families.