The City of Bangor lies within an area of natural splendor with coastlines, mountains, rivers, lakes, and some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the world. Once the Lumber Capital of the World, Bangor Harbor is home to a 9.4-meter (31-foot) statue of lumberjack Paul Bunyan. It is also filled with mansions built during the lumber boom in the 1830s. Author Stephen King lives in Bangor Harbor, and many of his books are set in actual Bangor Harbor sites. Some 500 members of the Penobscot Nation live just north of the city on Indian Island Reservation.
Bangor Harbor is in the northern part of the humid continental climate zone where there are large differences between seasons. Summers can be hot, and winters can be severely cold. Snowfall is sometimes heavy and often deep. Summer rains come with thunderstorms and an occasional tropical storm. Temperatures range from an average high of 26°C (79°F) in July to an average low of -13°C (8°F) in January. Bangor Harbor gets about 40 inches of rain per year and about 68 inches of snow. While rain is fairly even throughout the year, heavy snows last from December until March.
Bangor Harbor's Waterfront has had a facelift over the last two decades. Where it was once an industrial area, it is today a lush green area with many open spaces and trails. Following the banks of the Penobscot River, the waterfront in Bangor Harbor offers picnic tables, benches, and walking trails for residents and visitors alike. One of the city's most popular assets, cruise ships dock at the Bangor Harbor waterfront where travelers and citizens enjoy cultural events like the American Folk Festival, Waterfront Concerts, craft shows, and the Wheels on the Waterfront Car Show.
Bangor Harbor boasts many wonderful parks. One of the most popular parks in Bangor Harbor is Grotto Cascade Park. The park contains a 6-meter (20-foot) high waterfall, a gazebo, picnic tables, walking trails, and a beautiful water fountain. Bangor Harbor's Rolland F. Perry City Park covers over 680 acres of working forest and wildlife habitat. With over 14 kilometers (nine miles) of trails for hiking, biking, running, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, it is open all year. Next to the City Forest is the Walden-Parke Preserve. Covering over 300 acres, the Preserve offers almost five kilometers (three miles) of trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and skiing.
Bangor Harbor's Thomas Hill Standpipe is a 34-meter (110-foot) tall water tower that offers marvelous views of the city. Open for tours on a seasonal basis, the tower has an imposing 100 steps and no handicapped access. The 1.7 million gallon riveted steel tank is enclosed in a hard pine and cedar shingle shroud. The Standpipe was built in 1897 to maintain water pressure for Bangor Harbor's downtown area, and it is still in use today. It is a National Historic Landmark. Open houses are held in March, May, July, and October. The Bangor Water District sponsors the open houses and is the source for further information.