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Moving to Bangor

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello ladies,

We're thinking about moving to Bangor from Minneapolis and have a couple of questions about the area if you have a minute

What kind of terrain does it have? Is it fairly flat or does it have a good bit of hills? How available is organic meat/raw dairy? Are there any good chiropractors or physical therapy places around? And would we be able to find a physician that's not going to flip if we don't do flu vaccines, or any others?

And if anybody has any pictures they wouldn't mind sharing...


post #2 of 20
Hi there... I live in Bangor... let's see if I can help.

Terrain: definitely more hilly than flat. Bangor is situated on the banks of the Penobscot River and there are many mountains nearby. Is there a particular reason you ask? Then maybe I could give you a better answer.

Meat/Dairy: There is a great farmer's market in Orono (about 15 minutes north of Bangor) every Saturday. They have a wide variety of products, from grassfed beef to free range chickens & eggs, as well as raw milk. I am told the raw milk that is sold at the farmer's market is also sold at one of the stores in Orono but I have not personally looked for it there. Once winter time comes, the farmer's market still happens on a scaled down basis. I think once they get to the dead of winter they're really just bringing in orders for their regulars. Bangor also has the Natural Living Center, a health food store. Not sure if they have raw milk but they do have organic meat and I think they are another spot where you can place an order with a local farm and pick it up there.

I don't personally do chiro so I can't give you specifics, but if there's no one in Bangor you can definitely find someone on the Midcoast. Belfast is a very crunchy town about an hour south of us - that is where my wonderful homebirth midwives have their office But I would be willing to bet you can find someone who fits the bill here. I know Dr. Gilmore in Bangor does a good deal of adjustments even though he is in general practice.

As for vaccines I wouldn't worry too much about it. While this area may not be super crunchy, people have a very "live and let live" attitude.

Hmmmm... pictures.... there are a few on Wikipedia if you search for Bangor. If I come up with better ones (DS is 12 weeks old, my brain doesn't quite work yet) I will let you know.

Anything else you'd like to know, just ask!
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Wow, that was a wonderful reply, thank you so much

The question about terrain is due to a very long story... My dh and I moved down to Florida 10 years ago from NH and just managed to escape this past spring (way too hot and very flat) and I had loved NH very much. We had looked briefly at NH when deciding where to move to and it was just really expensive house-wise and not a lot of brick-and-mortar jobs for what dh does (web developer, went telecommute but wanted brick and mortar available just in case)

Well, fast forward to Minneapolis. It's very lovely up here and infinitely better than FL but turned out to be flatter than I'd like (except for the area we're living in), bigger than I'm comfortable with (figured that one out after we moved ) and the tornado sirens send my blood pressure through the roof X-)

Now that dh feels more comfortable and confident with the telecommuting it opens up many more possiblities. I started looking back east and NH just didn't have enough to compete with Minneapolis but when I started looking at Bangor it seemed really good. It seemed like a decent sized metropolis with more of a small town feel and the housing seems pretty reasonable and a pretty good homeschooling group

So, the one concern I had left was the terrain, I really like hills and the only hilly area around here is super uber expensive (everyone else likes it too) and I was having a hard time finding good pics that show the terrain around there. The trees look phenomenal though! We are going to be coming over there next spring and would hopefully be looking to move in 12-18 months (have to recover from the first move

Again, thank you so much for your response, I really appreciate it Oh and congrats on the baby

post #4 of 20
The pp was very thorough but I would add that there is also a farmer's market in Brewer, and that the CSA we joined this year does organic meat in addition to veggies. I know you can get a meat share from them. We don't do red meat so we haven't tried anything but their chicken, but that was tasty.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Very cool, just keeps sounding better and better.

Now I know the city is pretty big, over 50,000 people. How big does it feel? Is it a serious high-rise city, or does it feel smaller?

Thanks so much for the response ladies
post #6 of 20
The natural living center does sell raw milk from a local organic farm - $5/gal

Having recently made a search for a primary care physician for new insurance, there are at least 3 that would not object to not getting vaxs.

When you are in Bangor itself, you don't notice the hills, but driving just 5 minutes out of the town, you start to appreciate the location. Since Bangor is in the Penobscot river valley, it is not especially hilly, but it is surrounded by the coastal range to the east and the White mountains to the west.

Originally Posted by fljen View Post
Very cool, just keeps sounding better and better.

Now I know the city is pretty big, over 50,000 people. How big does it feel? Is it a serious high-rise city, or does it feel smaller?

Thanks so much for the response ladies
Bangor doesn't feel big IMO, and while there's plenty of big box shopping opportunities, my from-the-city friends tell me it's pretty limited in what they would consider "good restaurants". It's nowhere near as big as the Twin Cities. Downtown building are - maybe - 4 stories. But, it's pretty friendly, and has a *giant* library for its size. (Thanks, Stephen King!)

Too bad you aren't looking to move now - DH and I are just finishing grad school and looking to sell our house...
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey, a giant library and some big box stores are good enough for us We try not to get out to fancy stores/restaurants too often and Portland is close enough for that

We'd love to move now but we're still paying off the enormous debt we accrued moving to MN, next time we move at least we've learned a little more about saving money, hopefully!

Will you be moving away from Maine after grad school?
post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by fljen View Post
Hey, a giant library and some big box stores are good enough for us We try not to get out to fancy stores/restaurants too often and Portland is close enough for that

Will you be moving away from Maine after grad school?
I will really miss the Bangor library when we move.... we are headed back to the UP of Michigan to be closer to my extended family (and DH's, although they live downstate) and to build a house on the farm where my grandmother was born . But, if we didn't have compelling reasons to head back to the midwest, we would probably stay in this area of Maine, although probably move out of town and into the sticks a little bit further! . Bangor's not a big city, but it's starting to feel a little big for us...
post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by fljen View Post
Very cool, just keeps sounding better and better.

Now I know the city is pretty big, over 50,000 people. How big does it feel? Is it a serious high-rise city, or does it feel smaller?

Thanks so much for the response ladies
Bangor is actually just over 32,000 people. It's sort of a weird thing, because the city itself would be considered a town in most areas, but it's the 3rd largest city in the state AND it provides services for a huge chunk of the state. (Take a look at a map of Maine - everybody north and east of Bangor comes to Bangor for shopping, medical specialists, arts & culture events, etc.)

It definitely feels more like a small town to me. I was born & raised here but spent 5 years living in metro DC/Baltimore. Coming from Minneapolis it's going to seem very much like a town to you, I'd bet. But for a town of its size there's a lot going on - I mean we actually have an Indian restaurant AND a Pakistani restaurant . This summer they did a Concerts on the Waterfront series and got Jason Mraz, Miranda Lambert, some big name country guy who's name escapes me... that was a huge deal for us.

So yeah, despite that, definitely a small town feel. If you come in spring, make it late spring, because we don't have spring here... we have mud season, and it's gross!
post #10 of 20
I'm from Portland and Bangor seemed about half the size. I'm glad you all mentioned the library, it was my favorite part!
post #11 of 20
Welcome to Maine! We do all raw dairy, and we can get raw organic milk, cheese, butter and yogurt at pretty reasonable prices (milk $5-6 a gallon, cheese, $7-8 lb, butter price just went up to $9 a pound, yogurt I make my own so I'm unsure but I know it is available). This is the third state I have lived in in the past three years and we have the best organic meat selection I have ever experienced. The Orono Farmer's Market goes all year (every other week in the winter) and we also have a local buying club in Orono that gives us access to foods from all over the state at great prices.

This part of Maine is flatter than I'd like, but not mid-west flat. Western Maine is more like New Hampshire- here we really just have rolling hills.

We don't vax and managed to find a doctor who is okay with it.

One piece of advice I have- cost of living is highly variable in all the little towns surrounding Bangor. Do your research before you decide on one.

Good luck with your decision!
post #12 of 20
We love the library. It has good children's programs, too-- besides traditional story hours, my 8yo does a "book club" and there are several therapy dogs you can sign up to read to (excellent for beginning readers!).
It feels smaller than its size to me, although it is good-sized for Maine-- but it hasn't been too hard for us to find community here.
post #13 of 20
hi and maybe welcome!!!

love bangor area. moved here for school, moved away for more school, then couldn't wait to get back. I love the coastal areas as well, but the schools in town are a bit better than in the midcoast. since you are homeschooling, you'd have much more flexibility. Belfast, for example, is adorable!

you do have to find your "spots" for everything. i am a bit far from the orono farmers market, so usually go to the brewer one, but the orono one is huge with a great meat and dairy selection. last time i went i saw lots of kids and BWers!

i still haven't completely found my community yet, but that is really more because i am so busy with a new job and lots of family commitmens, that i don't give myself much time to connect. it's not because Bangor is lacking...
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey all, thanks for the replies, we really really appreciate them.

As of right now we are 98% sure that we are going to be moving out there next summer and 2% sure we'll be there in 2 years

How's the rental market out there? We do have 3 pets and two children (does that make 5?) and woud be looking to rent for a year before buying a house

It sounds absolutely wonderful and I know my family is looking forward to being within an hour of both mountains and the ocean

post #15 of 20

rental market is pretty great.  lots of inventory since the housing market is really slow.  i found my rental on craigslist and/or bangordailynews.com - its not a house, but that was my choice because i wanted a place that heat was included, so we are in a family friendly condo.


just found out they are opening a cloth diapering/BWing/cheesemaking/brewing/sustainable living shop in downtown, so I am excited about that!

post #16 of 20

I am looking forward to checking out the new store-- was just reading about it. I haven't gotten out much lately because our new little guy is still so tiny, but I think we will be making an outing there soon.

post #17 of 20

 Ooh! I want to know more about that store! Is it open yet? Where is it? Not that I find myself in Bangor that often, but when I do it's nice to know where the interesting shops are.

post #18 of 20

Central st.-- right off of main st.



I need to go check it out soon. looks like they have a music session for littles every other week. not sure sam will appreciate it yet but maybe i will take him just to get out a bit. :) one of my other children had music with miss julie at preschool and loved her.

post #19 of 20

I went.  They had a decent selection of cloth diapers and carriers.  Not huge, but a nice variety.  I did a BWing 101 seminar that I found out about from BangorBaby, but mostly seasoned BWers were there LOL.  They carry a SSC I wanted to try and so that was cool.  I was hoping that they might do consignment of carriers and diapers, but I don't think they will - which is a shame, b/c selling online is such a pain.  The people were really nice though!  I'd def be spending $ there if they had a consignment system.

post #20 of 20

i would love a consignment store for diapers and carriers, especially diapers.

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