Only a handful of miles from New Brunswick, Canada, Presque Isle is a city of little more than 10,000 people; but it is home to a campus of the University of Maine. Its name derives from the French word for peninsula, presqu’ile. Presque Isle event venues are rich with the flavor of northern life, which includes winter sports activities, Native-American heritage and more.
Currently, the nearest airports are Fredericton International, New Brunswick (YFC), or Bangor International, Maine (BGR). The former, three miles to the northeast, has service only to the Canadian cities of Halifax, Montreal and Quebec, while the latter, miles to the south, has service to the U.S. cities of Detroit, New York City, Orlando-Sanford and Philadelphia.
Among the venues, Presque Isle Forum, which puts on numerous hockey and skating events, is the nearest to a convention center, with 25,000 square feet of exhibition space and 4,800 seats. Hotel venues include the 120-room Presque Isle Inn & Convention Center, impressively large for this destination, with six meeting rooms and 10,000 square feet of banquet space for up to 1,000 persons. Its sibling, the 72-room Caribou Inn & Convention Center, in nearby Caribou, has 8,000 square feet of function space.
Special event venues in Presque Isle include the Northern Maine Museum of Science, which is in the University of Maine Presque Isle’s Folsom Hall; Micmac Cultural Community Education Center, with its history dating back 9,000 years; and Nordic Heritage Sports Club, which has all manner of winter and summer sports, lessons, rentals and a welcome center for events. Two attractive country clubs in the area are the Presque Isle Country Club, which has an 18-hole golf course and a restaurant and lounge; and, also in keeping with simple names, the Caribou Country Club, which has a nine-hole course and a clubhouse for rental.
There are a handful of restaurants that cater to groups: in Presque Isle proper, the Crow’s Nest Restaurant & Event Center, which has an all-American menu and space for up to 700, as well as dedicated events manager and private entrances and restrooms; Bonanza, a chain steak house that has private space in all its locations, and Gram Russo’s at the Presque Isle Inn & Convention Center, which has an Italian menu and a private dining room for 20 persons. Other choices in the area include in Fairfield, right on the Canadian border, the celebrated Canterbury Royale, which has a Victorian look and a dining room that can be rented out for eight persons, and Boondock’s Grille, which has a surf ’n’ turf menu and other dishes sure to scare weight watchers. Note that hereabouts dinner is usually an early affair.