Out of Town (26-50 miles)
* Penobscot Marine Museum – “Discover your maritime past at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine.” Visit www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org.
* Fort Knox & Penobscot Narrows Observatory – This isn’t where the gold is kept, but is is the first Fort Knox. Originally built to protect the Penobscot River Valley from British naval invasion, particularly to keep them from sacking Bangor (then a very important port), Fort Knox never actually saw combat. The benefit to its construction is that we can enjoy it today. Tour the countless dark stone corridors, see where the barracks were, visit the jail cells, climb on the many historic cannons (and even in the big one, if you can fit!), or just enjoy the well-kept grounds (walking, picnicking, etc.). Get a bird’s eye view of the river and valley in the Penobscot Narrows Observatory. Visit: www.FortKnox.MaineGuide.com.
* Acadia Zoo – Located on Route 3 in Trenton, between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, the 15-acre Acadia Zoo exhibits 45 species of animals. There are Maine natives such as birds, porcupines, foxes, white-tailed deer, and of course moose. There are also exotic species not native to Maine, such as monkeys, gibbons, leopards, and reindeer.
* The Bar Harbor Oceanarium and Lobster Museum & Hatchery – Lobster is synonymous with Maine, and here you can learn all about them. And while you’re there, visit the harbor seal tank and other attractions at the Oceanarium. This is located off Route 3 and across the causeway.
* Acadia National Park – Originally started from land set aside by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913, today Acadia National Park is in the top 20 visited parks in the nation. It’s easy to see why. Whether you’re driving or climbing up Cadillac Mountain, walking or biking the famous Carriage Trails, visiting the awesome Thunderhole, sunning and swimming on Sand Beach, or picnicking on the beautiful grounds, the beauty of Acadia is something nobody visiting Maine should pass up. Visit www.Acadia.National-Park.com.
Acadia National Park named #2 Outdoor Destination by the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice
* Bar Harbor – World-famous Bar Harbor is well-known as the perfect companion to Acadia National Park. On Mt. Desert Island and on the Atlantic Ocean, downtown Bar Harbor has something for everybody in the way of unique shops and Maine wares. The waterfront gives access to The Cat Ferry (which goes to Canada), the Bar Harbor Whale Watch (a must-do event if you’re in Bar Harbor, especially if you’ve never seen a whale before), and more. Visit www.BarHarborInfo.com.
* Wendell Gilley Museum of Bird Carving – Founded in 1981, the Wendell Gilley Museum of Bird Carving is the major showcase for the work of world-renowned bird carver Wendell Gilley, a Southwest Harbor native who was one of the two or three recognized pioneers of this indigenous American art form. For 50 years before the Museum opened in 1981, Wendell Gilley carved in his home garage-workshop, a few blocks away. There, Gilley developed a hobby into a profession and earned a reputation as one of the best bird carvers in America. He sold carvings, from miniature songbirds to life-size birds of prey to collectors from near and far and all walks of life. At the same time, Gilley’s wife built a collection of over 100 of her husband’s carvings. Gilley estimated that he carved over 10,000 birds, hundreds of species. When the Gilley home became crowded with eagles, chickadees, owls, ducks and other bird carvings and the steadily growing stream of visitors, became too much for the couple to handle, fellow carvers, friends and patrons took steps to establish the Wendell Gilley Museum. Visit this extraordinary site at www.WendellGilleyMuseum.org or, better yet, stop by and check it out.
Day Trip (51+ miles)
* Moosehead Lake Region – Taking Route 15 out of Bangor (it begins as Broadway), a few hours of pleasant driving will bring you truly into the Maine wilderness. The Moosehead Lake Region is replete with lakes and ponds as well as forests. Moosehead Lake gets its name from its distinctive moose-like shape when seen from the air.
* Baxter State Park – Former Maine Governor Baxter donated this beautiful expanse of land to the State of Maine for the enjoyment of its people and visitors. The hiking and nature trails are many here, but most notable is the eminent Mt. Katahdin. Katahdin marks the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, and at 5,267 feet, it is the first spot in the United States to receive sunlight in the morning. Only 13 feet short of one mile high, for years climbers have summitted Baxter Peak and added their contribution to a towering pile of rocks; eventually, it’s hoped that the pile will grow to hit that elusive one mile mark.
* White Water Rafting – If whitewater rafting is your thing, try the famous Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
* Roosevelt Campobello International Park – RCIP was formed in 1964 under a joint agreement by President Lyndon B. Johnson and Canadian Prime Minster Lester B. Pearson (who recognized the importance of FDR in the histories of both countries. Here you can visit the cottage and the grounds where Franklin Roosevelt vacationed, and the woods, bogs, and beaches where he tramped. Just offshore are the waters where he sailed and relaxed. This international park is an excellent stop on your trip. Visit www.FDR.net.