Even though it has a small population of just 8,000 people, the city of Caribou is still the second largest in the Aroostook County of Maine. The National Weather Service Forecast Office is located here and it’s also an important center for agriculture and tourism.
The first settlers were lumbermen and trappers and they arrived here in 1810. There were many changes and disputes over the years; Caribou was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1967.
If you happen to be in Caribou or the nearby areas, here are the top things to do here:
1. Visit the Goughan’s Berry Farm
This is a family owned farm where you can wander freely, admire the animals and witness an authentic countryside experience. They have plenty of activities for every season that you can either watch or participate in.
Among other things, you can create maple syrup just like it used to be made hundreds of years ago. Then, of course, you get to taste it; it’s delicious thanks to this unique recipe.
A friendly place for the entire family, the kids will love to pet the animals. The owners are welcoming and, depending on the season, they will offer you hot drinks or ice cream.
2. Shop at Works of Heart
This delightful little gift shop offers a wide variety of products; most of them are handcrafted by the local Amish community. Not only will get a special souvenir for yourself or a gift for someone back home, but you will also support the local economy and art.
You can find candles, furniture, knitted items, pottery, bowls, fresh honey and jams, decorative items and much more. Overall, it’s a great place for some gift shopping and the owners are very friendly.
3. Have a pizza and a drink at Sport’s Inn
If you’re looking for a good meal in Caribou, Sport’s Inn is the place to go. Many people say that they have the best burgers in the area – and the pizza is great too.
The service is good and the prices are reasonable, so the entire family can have a great time here. Plus, there’s a bowling alley for those who like the game or just want to try something new.
4. Visit the Loring Military Heritage Center
If you want to explore some of the area’s history and see an old airfield, you should stop by this place. This museum was founded in 2005 and named after the pilot Charles J. Loring.
The goal is to preserve the rich history of the base and commemorate the memories of those who served the country. A new addition was added in 2011, hosting various artifacts and even a KC135 Jet Engine.
5. Spend the night at the Old Iron Inn Bed and Breakfast
While this place might initially look like a museum, it is actually a nice, comfortable B&B where you can have a good night’s rest in Caribou. The design is cozy and they have a wide collection of antiques.
The beds are big and the rooms large enough and a TV; a delicious breakfast is included as well. The staff are friendly and polite and guests enjoy staying here. It’s no wonder that it is the #1 B&B in Caribou.
6. Camp at the Aroostook State Park
Located a 30-minute drive south of Caribou, this natural park is a gem in the state of Maine. It is a clean and well-maintained place that has all the facilities you need for a great time.
You can hike through the beautiful trails and admire the scenery, or enjoy some of the many outdoor activities on offer such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, skiing or snowshoeing.
7. View the Maine Solar System Model
Located in the nearby city of Presque Isle, this site includes scale replicas of the planets of the Solar System. Spread over a large area, it is quite a challenge to find them all.
You’ll be able to get a better idea about the size of each planet and also read some interesting facts about each one. The nearby park and surrounds are quite beautiful; you can spend an entire afternoon with the family while doing a scavenger hunt to find all the planets.
8. View the Double Eagle Balloon Site
Located near to the solar system model, this small monument was built in the honor of the first people to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in a hot air balloon.
The three men left directly from this spot and arrived in Paris six days later, making history. It’s a cute little place to stop by, take some photos, and imagine how it would feel to spend six days in such a tiny balloon basket.
9. Have a beer at Northern Maine Brewing Co. LLC
If it’s a hot day, a cold beer is the perfect pick me up after all the outdoorsy exercise you’ve been doing. Stop by this little oasis to taste some of the brews produced right here on the spot.
Come with an appetite too, because Northern Maine Brewing Co. LLC is also the best-rated restaurant in Caribou; it offers delicious meals at affordable prices in a great location.
The staff are friendly and the overall ratings for this place are very good. It is a popular hangout for both locals and tourists, so make sure to stop by as well.
10. Pray at the Calvary Baptist Church
While not a big or impressive building, this church is simply a place where you can have a moment of silence and reflection, say a prayer, and then move on with your journey.
Founded in 1964, it has spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ ever since. Feel free to stop by for mass or just pop in when you’re in the area.
11. Enjoy a book from the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Public Library
This library is located in the nearby city of Presque Isle and includes a wide variety of books on all topics, including some very old ones. They have provided learning and personal growth to the local community for many years now, and are the go-to place for locals passionate about reading.
There is a café and comfortable seats, so you can spend a few hours with a good book in front of you. If your timing is right, you might also catch some nice art exhibitions or cultural events that take place at this library from time to time.
12. Have fun at the Caribou Parks & Recreation Department
This organization is dedicated to meeting the recreational needs of the residents of Caribou, whether they are active or passive. They offer a wide variety of activities for all people of all ages.
The department includes many locations and facilities, such as parks, walking tracks, ski trails, snowmobile trails, ATV trails, playgrounds, a wellness center and much more.
Among the activities and games, you will find basketball, pickle ball, Zumba, and playgrounds for the kids. Whether you’re looking for some indoor fun or outdoor activities, make sure to visit the recreation department of Caribou.
13. Play a round of golf at the Caribou Country Club
Gracefully integrated into the rustic countryside of Aroostook, this beautiful golf course has nine holes and was designed by a popular architect back in the 1970s.
The course is quite challenging but very enjoyable thanks to the splendid scenery. The 9th hole has a small pond that is usually inhabited by wild ducks and geese.
You might even spot some deer, moose or other animals out on the course, making you feel like you are truly a part of nature and not on a man-made facility.
14. Visit the Nylander Museum
This museum of natural history was founded way back in 1939 and boasts a wide variety of items. Here, you can admire rocks, minerals, fossils, shells, crustaceans, insects, plants, old photos, papers, and much more.
The admission is free and you can easily spend a few hours here admiring all the interesting items while learning more about their history. Overall, it is a great place to spend some quality time with the entire family.
15. Rent a kayak from Perception of Aroostook
If you happen to like outdoor adventures in a kayak (or always wanted to try this but never got the chance), you can drive south from Caribou to the Perception of Aroostook company.
They sell and rent kayaks and canoes, with all the necessary accessories and equipment. The staff are friendly and professional and will gladly assist you with the entire process. You can then go on the Aroostook River and have an unforgettable adventure.