Bangor, Maine, is the second-largest city in the state and home to famed horror novelist Stephen King. It is also a city rich with moments of significance to U.S. history. French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Revolutionary War patriot Paul Revere and women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony each have ties to this cultural center of Northern Maine. But history is not the only draw for the traveler. Bangor, only 20 minutes from the Atlantic Coast, is a great summer vacation destination.
One of the more popular Bangor attractions for Stephen King fans is the author’s home on West Broadway. The spider-web gate is a dead giveaway that the home belongs to Bangor’s own best-selling author. One of the companies that offer tours related to the author's books and life is SK Tours of Maine. Many Bangor visitors are intrigued by the role Stephen King and his wife Tabatha have played in the community. The two have contributed funds to many causes, from medical and educational, and from sports to art and culture.
Spooky sites are not the only attractions in Bangor, which is home to the largest children's museum north of Boston. Visiting the Maine Discovery Museum on Main Street in the downtown area is one of the best things to do with kids. Bangor visitors with the younger set particularly enjoy Booktown, an interactive exhibit. Young readers are free to open doors and walk into their favorite stories. Families also take pleasure in Mission: Discovery, an exhibit where youngsters can freeze their shadows, and nature trails, where they can create hydropower.
Another of the popular things to do with kids in Bangor is Blackbeard's. Visitors can sail their own remote controlled pirate ship, play miniature golf, take a swing in the batting cages and race go karts. Blackbeard's is only five minutes from downtown on Odin Road.
Just one block south of the Maine Discovery Museum is the Bangor Opera House, where the Penobscot Theatre produces shows such as Annie, Becky's New Car and Wit. The production company also offers classes for both adults and children. Bangor visitors who serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces should be sure to take advantage of a discounted ticket price when making show reservations.
Travelers who delight in the fruit of the vine can indulge their passions at the tasting room of the Winterport Winery. The award-winning Berry Chocolate dessert wine blends raspberry and blueberry wines with natural chocolate flavor. This family-run enterprise operates three affiliated businesses at the same South Main Street location: the Penobscot Bay Brewery, Bay Brew Ice Cream and Pairings.
Foodies love the fine-dining at the Fiddlehead Restaurant on Hammond Street, a short trek from the Penobscot Theatre. Among the offerings are duck cacciatore and a bouillabaisse with haddock, shrimp, scallop and calamari. Geaghan's Pub and Brewing Company, south of the theatre on Main, provides a more relaxed atmosphere. The Molly Malone, a sandwich created with breaded Atlantic Haddock, is a signature dish.