Once the world's largest lumber port (with over 150 sawmills operating along the Penobscot River), Bangor was home base to industry barons who lived large. Now, as "Gateway to the Maine Highlands," the Greater Bangor region offers business groups the majestic mountain and woodland scenery of a dozen federal and state parks, paired with the culture and cosmopolitan conveniences of one of Maine's largest cities. Bangor event venues and attractions range from the grand mansions of 19th-century lumber barons to a Stephen King Tour.
Bangor International Airport (BGR) has more than 50 daily flights connect with major cities in the Northeast as well as national and regional hub cities. Bangor also has easy driving access from Interstate 95, Routes 9 and 15 and other major state roadways.
Chief among Bangor event venues is the Bangor Civic Center Auditorium State Fair Grounds. The civic center has 22,000 square feet; the 6,000-seat auditorium features more than 16,000 square feet of exhibit space. Other event venues in Bangor include the 103-room Bangor Motor Inn & Conference Center, with 12,000 square feet of space; the 141-room Hilton Garden Bangor, with 9,000 square feet; and the 111-room Four Points by Sheraton Bangor Airport, with 5,000 square feet.
Unique cultural offerings include the Cole Land Transportation Museum, which displays a cross section of Maine's land transportation equipment; the Penobscot Indian National Museum, which is dedicated to preservation and sharing the heritage of the Penobscot and Wabanaki people. Hudson Museum in The Collins Center for the Arts on the University of Maine campus in nearby Orono has 9,000 square feet of exhibit space and galleries filled with Native-American artifacts, as well as performing arts venues for touring artists and events. Maine Discovery Museum, the largest children's museum north of Boston, is also one of the arrays.
For entertainment after a day's sessions, groups can enjoy the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, which dates to 1896 and is one of the oldest continually performing orchestras in the country. The Bangor Band was founded in 1859, and performs free weekly concerts in the city's parks during the summer. The Penobscot Theatre Company is a professional theater company based in the historic Bangor Opera House.
Alternative cultural options include the Stephen King Tour - a ride around Bangor as seen through the renowned author's best-selling books - and festivals such as the Bangor State Fair and the KahBang Festival, a nine-day event that showcases independent artists in music, art and film. The American Folk Festival is a three-day event at the end of summer that draws thousands to Bangor.
Groups convening in Bangor should not miss the opportunity to visit nearby amazing parks, such as Acadia National Park and the Down East Acadian Region around Penobscot Bay; the 209,501-acre Baxter State Park; and the Moosehead Lake region, as well as an excellent launch point for exploration of central, northern and eastern Maine.