Eastport and Bangor – Off the Beaten Path in Maine!

July 2015 – When we returned to Maine from our RV roadtrip around Nova Scotia, we did some sightseeing while we waited for our new trailer axle to arrive at Harvey RVs in Bangor. We parked the rig so we wouldn’t have to drive it around on its disintegrating tires, and explored some of the lesser known spots downeast.

Fifth wheel RV in the Maine woods

It was great to be back in Maine!

The whole northeast end of Maine is made up of skinny peninsulas and islands, like bubbles of land floating in a bath of water. It’s not always easy to see the ocean, because the woods are so thick, but whenever the vistas open up, the water views are lovely.

Cobscook Bay Maine

View of the islands and waterways in downeast Maine

We spent some time prowling around the wonderful little seaside town of Eastport, and we were floored that everyone we met in the streets, in the bakery and at the library booksale were all locals.

Buildings on the shore Eastport Maine

Buildings on the waterfront in Eastport, Maine

Easport is home to just 1,300 people, and one woman explained to me that their main wharf had been severely damaged in a storm and that that had affected the number of visitors they saw. The Navy ships couldn’t come in any more and tourism was suffering. “We aren’t seeing nearly the numbers of visitors we used to,” she said, adding that it would be a while before the wharf was fully repaired.

Sloop at Eastport tow dock in Maine

A classic old Friendship Sloop was at the town pier

I was amazed that something as basic as a damaged wharf could impact a town so deeply. What a shame, because this is one really sweet town. Eastport is wonderfully tranquil and very friendly.

Skinny house Eastport Maine

We saw some cute houses on the back streets of Eastport

It also has a fun spirit. The town dock has a statue of a fisherman holding a large fish. This isn’t just any old fisherman-with-a-fish statue like you see in so many seaside towns, however. It was created as a prop for the 2001 Fox reality TV contest, Murder in Small Town X! Sculpted by Jeff Poss, a group of citizens saw to it that the statue remained on the dock after the show was over.

Fisherman statue in Eastport Maine

This fisherman statue was originally a TV prop!

Just a few paces further down on the waterfront we found a delightful little library lending box. Lots of places have bookswaps where you can take a book from a bookshelf if you leave one of your own behind. But this one is special because it is a little mailbox style box on a post right on the waterfront! The glass door lets you see the books inside, and a simple wooden latch keeps the door closed. It even has a pitched roof for those blustery downeast winters!

Eastport Maine Little Library stand

What a great idea – a book swap box in the middle of town!

Another Maine treasure that doesn’t get a lot of glitzy promotion from the folks at the Maine visitors centers is Bangor. We ended up spending a lot of time in the Bangor area becuase of our trailer axle repair, and we were charmed by the many fun things there are to do.

Greetings from Bangor Maine

Bangor is often overshadowed by the more trendy seaside villages on the coast,
but we really enjoyed our stay here

The Kenduskeag Stream Trail runs right from the heart of town by the Sea Dog Brewery out into the hinterlands, taking you past the hustle and bustle of downtown into more rural areas in a fairly short walk. We loved the way the back sides of the city buildings and bridge reflected in the water!!

Kenduskeag Stream Trail Bangor Maine

Wonderful “urban” views — downeast Maine style — on the Kenduskeag Stream Trail

Kenduskeag Stream Trail Bridge Views Bangor Maine

Who knew the back side of Bangor was so pretty?!

While we were in Bangor we visited with very special friends who live there, and they took us on a whirlwind tour of some of the highlights in the area. Author Stephen King lives in Bangor, and true to form, his house stands behind beautiful wrought iron fencing that is decorated with gargoyles and bats!

Stephen King's house Bangor Maine

Stephen King surrounds his home with bats and gargoyles

A little south of Bangor is the town of Bucksport which is home to a modern engineering marvel, the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. Opened in 2006, this suspension bridge looks nothing like the classic old 1931 suspension bridge it replaced, a bridge that had also been a major engineering achievement in its time. Standing nearly 450 feet tall, there is an observatory at the top of one of the towers, and we rode the elevator up to have a look around the glass-enclosed observation room. What a view!!

Penobscot Narrows Bridge

The new Penobscot Narrows Bridge is the second engineering marvel to connect the two shores south of Bucksport

Down at the base there is a slice of the bridge that shows exactly how it is constructed — with a picnic table underneath!

Of course, visiting friends means downtime too, and Mark got some wonderful photos of our friend Bud’s flower garden.


Now THAT’s a flower!

A little north of Bangor we went to the University of Maine – Orono Bog Walk. This is a raised wooden platform path that winds all through a natural bog. Starting in thick woods and coming out into the wide open bog, we were intrigued by the peaceful beauty of this place.

University of Maine Orono Bog Walk

The Bog Walk

In our wanderings we saw a little spotted fawn in the distance.

A little fawn in Maine


Then a beautiful little bird with a yellow head started bopping around on a tree branch right in front of me. We later found out this was a black-throated green warbler.

Black-throated green warbler

A Black-throated green warbler bounced around right in front of me!

Heading up into the heavens for another bird’s eye view of the area, we climbed to the top of the Bangor water tower. Built in 1897, the Thomas Hill Standpipe is a round wooden tower that encloses a steel tank. Four times a year they open the tower for people to walk up inside and enjoy the open air views at the top.

Thomas Hill Standpipe water tower Bangor Maine

Inside the Thomas Hill Standpipe water tower…

It was neat going up inside this very old water tower, but even more fun was finding the evening news Live at 5 folks at the top rehearsing for their big moment. A guy had a huge camera on his shoulder and the newscaster rehearsed her spiel a few times. We stuck around long enough to get selfies with her, but didn’t see the real taping.

Evening news broadcast at Bangor water tower in Maine

At the top of the water tower the evening news broadcast was as cool as the views!

Maine turned out to be quite a highlight in our travels this year, from the wonders of Acadia National Park to the twin international lighthouses way downeast to Rockefeller’s Carriage Roads to the crazy Mail Boat ride to the Cranberry Islands, the misty Maine scenery in fog, and the stunning Schoodic Scenic Drive.

RV camping outside Bangor Maine

Mark is in his element with the flowers

When we came back to Maine with this big trailer repair on our minds, I wasn’t sure we could top the good times we’d had in this pretty state a month prior, but tiny Eastport and the Bangor area proved to be truly delightful.

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4 thoughts on “Eastport and Bangor – Off the Beaten Path in Maine!

  1. LOVE Eastport! There’s a wonderful campground out on a little peninsula just a couple miles from town….no website…..when we were there, there was only one other camper. Ocean views, we even saw whales from our lawn chairs! And really nice restrooms, they are each complete private bathrooms! Harris Point Shore Cabins & Motel, in 2012 it was only $21.40 a night with full hookups! They also have some funky old cabins that are cute as can be.


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