18 Great Things to do in Bethel, Maine
There are so many great places to visit when you’re in Bethel! Some of the popular things to do include visiting the Androscoggin River, getting some fresh mountain air with a hike in the woods, or even taking a trip out to the famous ski slopes. Join us to explore the top things to do in Bethel, Maine.
Where is Bethel?
Bethel is a town in Oxford County, Maine, United States. Bethel is home to Brown’s Square, which features antiques and arts & crafts. The Appalachian Trail runs through Bethel, offering hikers the opportunity to explore the picturesque mountains of Western Maine. There are many things to do in Bethel, including sporting events at nearby Hebron Academy, or you can explore the historical town of Paris, 14 miles away.
Fishing is also available on the Androscoggin River, which borders Bethel. The river features both warm water and cold water species, including salmon and trout. You can find fishing guides that can take you out for a memorable day in the great outdoors.
How to get to Bethel, Maine?
Getting to Bethel, Maine by Plane
Portland, Maine is the biggest international airport close to Bethel, Maine. When you are looking for cheap flights to Bethel, Portland is your best bet. It’s around 1h 45mins away. You can also opt to fly into Boston, which is a bit further from Bethel but has more flights.
Getting to Bethel, ME by Car
Coming from the south we recommend that you take the I-95 up until St Johnsbury, Vermont. There you can change into US-2 which will take you directly to Bethel, Maine.
Getting to with Public Transport
Unfortunately, there are no good options when it comes to Public Transport. We recommend only visiting Bethel, Main if you come in your own car or rent a car at the airport.
History and Heritage
Bethel has a rich history, and there are many museums, such as the Bethel Historical Society Museum. This museum features exhibits on Bethel’s storied past, including its paper-making origins, early settlement and industry, growth and development, transportation, and others. You can also visit The Jackson Homestead or stop by the Cram Quarry, which features an outdoor amphitheater.
Bethel’s history dates back to 1798 when it became the first town chartered by Maine. Brown’s Square is named for Captain John Brown, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and was one of Bethel’s most prolific businessmen, owning a sawmill, paper mill, grist mill, and an iron foundry which produced some unique items including firebacks for hearth fires and iron wheels for Conestoga Wagons.
Bethel’s paper-making heritage can be seen in many historic landmarks, including Brown’s Square, Abbot Public Library, and the Porter Paper Mill Museum.
The town was home to more than 30 apothecary shops. It is currently one of the oldest continuously operating apothecary shops in Maine, Mayhew’s Pharmacy. The town is also known for its many antique stores, located throughout Brown’s Square, one of Bethel’s most picturesque areas.
What to do in Bethel, Maine?
There is no shortage of things to do in Bethel, Maine, including sporting events at nearby Hebron Academy, or you can explore the historical town of Paris, 14 miles away. Fishing is also available on the Androscoggin River, which borders Bethel.
Bethel also offers many recreational activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and boating. Bethel is home to one 18-hole golf course, Meadow brook Country Club, which has hosted the Maine State Amateur Championship four times since 1993. It is located at 365 Middle Road in Bethel. In addition, you can enjoy tennis, basketball, softball, and volleyball at the local high school.
Read More: Top Things to do in Ellsworth, Maine
Planning a visit to Bethel? Travel Tips!
During the winter, be advised that some of our attractions might not be running. For example, if you want to go skiing in Bethel, check with a local ski resort before visiting to know what is open for business! Also, bring your camera during the autumn when leaf peepers are out in a flurry of bright colors!
Attractions in Bethel, Maine USA Bethel Artisans’ Guild
Are you looking for jewelry, pottery, or paintings? The local artisans’ guild is open to visitors and has everything from painted glassware to handmade candles. Don’t forget to check out their live music events too!
Skiing In Bethel, Maine
Looking for a great place to go skiing? Look no further than Bethel, Maine! Ranked 10th best in the East by Ski Magazine, you’ll be sure to have a blast on their slopes. With a variety of trails and hills, there’s something to suit everyone, from beginners to experts.
Bethel boasts two ski resorts: the famous Sunday River and the lesser-known Shawnee Peak. Both resorts offer skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and hungry mountain trails that are sure to satisfy.
Bethel’s ski slopes were once home to the national slalom championship. The Bethel Inn & Conference Center also hosts its own Ski For Light program, a nationally recognized program for people with visual disabilities. This is just one example of the various skiing opportunities Bethel has to offer!
Fishing In Bethel, Maine
Take a trip out to the Androscoggin River and try your hand with one of our local guides! From fly fishing to warm water species, you’ll have a chance at catching just about anything from trout to salmon. Who knows? You might bring home dinner!
The Androscoggin River is home to some of the country’s top fly fishing waters. So take a trip out and try your hand at catching trout, salmon, or anything in between.
Bethel Outdoor Adventure Center (BOAC)
Are you tired of the same old thing? Head to BOAC for a variety of outdoor activities, including hunting, mountain biking, and kayaking! In addition to providing equipment and advice, they also offer classes that range from fly fishing to yoga.
Located on Main Street next to the Town Office, The BOAC provides a wide assortment of gear, including firearms and archery equipment, hunting/fishing/outdoors apparel, and much more!
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Are you looking to catch a show? The Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center is a great place to enjoy both national and local performances. From Neil Sedaka to So You Think You Can Dance? There’s something for everyone!
Middle School Sports
Middle school sports are an excellent way for young athletes to get their feet wet before high school. Bethel’s middle schools compete in all the major winter and spring sports, including cross country, track & field, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, volleyball, and soccer!
Parks & Recreation
Looking for a place to have a picnic? Or want to go on a scenic hike? Bethel has it all, from small neighborhood parks to vast conservation areas. Check out what we have to offer and experience it for yourself!
Key West style fishing trips
The unique style of Key West ensures that you will catch fish. In addition, their experienced skippers have some serious credentials, including being fully licensed masters with the coast guard, captains with the state of Maine, and have fished these waters for more than 15 years.
Snowmobile Tours in Bethel Maine
Are you tired of walking? Why not try a fantastic guided snowmobile tour in Bethel! Get up close and personal with the beautiful Maine wilderness on a guided tour across wide-open fields. And don’t forget to stop at one of their rustic snack shacks for a quick bite!
The Bethel Outdoor Adventure Center offers snowmobile tours in the beautiful Maine wilderness. So whether you’re looking for a quick half-hour trip or a longer excursion, we have something for everyone! Experience some of Maine’s most beautiful sights and enjoy the great outdoors up-close and personal.
For those who want to explore the great outdoors up-close & personal, then this is just for you! Hop on a guided tour and enjoy some great scenery as you cruise through our vast trails.
Tubing & Water-slides
Looking for a way to beat the summer heat? Bethel has some awesome tubing hills with fun & refreshing water slides! So bundle up and head to one of these great locations when it’s hot, or, if you’re brave enough, go when it’s cold and use it as an opportunity to make some new friends.
Read More: Things to do in Rockland, Maine
Bethel Farmers’ Market
Are you looking for fresh, local food? Bethel has its own Farmer’s market where you can find all your favorite fruits and vegetables.
The Bethel Farmers’ Market supplies high-quality, locally grown and produced fresh fruits, vegetables, meat products, eggs, honey, baked goods (including gluten-free), seafood (fresh & smoked), organic dairy products (milk/cheese/sour cream), canned goods (jams/pickles/salsas), herbs and herb plants.
Biking in Bethel Maine
Bethel is the perfect place to go biking! Experience the beautiful Maine wilderness by hitting one of our many trails. Great for both beginner and advanced riders; there’s something to please everyone!
Boating & Canoeing
A trip along the Androscoggin River might be just what you need after a hard week. Rent a canoe or take one of the many boat tours that stop along the river’s shores and see all the wildlife Bethel has to offer!
Relax on the water with a canoe or boat tour! See all that Bethel has to offer from the water’s edge. Rent your own vessel or go with a local guide!
Transportation In Bethel Maine
It’s easy to get out and explore everything Bethel has to offer with a car rental. Easily accessible by car, you’ll be able to get around top destinations like Portland and Brunswick easily. Parking is plentiful in Bethel, Maine, USA.
You can even try renting a motorcycle or moped for the ultimate motorized experience!
Of course, if biking is more your speed, feel free to bring your own vehicle! There are plenty of trails to choose from here in Bethel.
With all the options available, there is no reason not to explore!
Arts and Culture in Bethel
Bethel is rich in art and culture. If you’re looking to take a quick trip somewhere, check out the local theatre or art museum! The options are endless when it comes to arts & crafts!
There are several art galleries and museums to check out while you’re here. The real treat, however, can be found in local theatre performances. So don’t miss your chance to enjoy a show at the local theatre!
- Festivals and Events In Bethel, Maine USA
For those who love to celebrate, there are plenty of festive events going on throughout the year. With everything from annual snowman contests to art festivals, you’ll always have something going on in Bethel!
Winter Sports In Bethel, Maine
The Androscoggin Valley is home to the country’s top ski resorts. The Sunday River and Shawnee Peak Ski Areas make up a total of over 500 acres of skiing fun, providing both novice and experienced skiers with something to enjoy.
Even those with little to no experience will be able to tackle the slopes at Bethel’s ski areas. Each resort features its own tubing park and a slew of trails and hills for any level of skier!
Bethel is home to some of the country’s top skiing destinations. With Shawnee Peak and Sunday River Ski Areas just a short drive away, you’ll be able to enjoy everything skiing has to offer.
Whether it’s winter or summer that you’re into, Bethel has plenty of options to choose from! There are trails for every level of hiker and bikers alike. Don’t forget about renting a boat, kayak, or jet ski to make the most of the Androscoggin River!
If you’re an avid fisher, be sure to contact one of our local guides. Bethel is home to some of the country’s top fishing waters, filled with trout and salmon just waiting to be caught. You’ll even catch freshwater panfish in Bethel!
Bethel is full of activities for the winter sportsman.
- Annual Snowman Contest in Bethel, Maine USA
Every year in January, Bethel invites everyone to join in on the fun of building the world’s largest snowman! With cash prizes for contestants and plenty of inspiration through prior years’ entries, this is one contest you won’t want to miss out on.
- One of the many annual events held in Bethel, Maine, USA
February is also home to another fun event: The Annual Chili Cook-Off! Bethel invites everyone who loves chili to come out and enjoy all the different types that participants have whipped up. Judges are on hand to crown a winner in each category.
Big Adventure Mini Golf
In addition to being one of the longest and most difficult courses in the nation, the Championship Course’s 18 holes serve as the ultimate “putting challenge” for players of all skill levels and abilities. It’s simple to have a wonderful time with your family and friends when you play Big Adventure Golf.
There’s always something going on in Bethel!
Whenever you’re ready to eat, you can find just about any cuisine in Bethel, Maine, USA. From Thai food to Mexican foods and everything in between – there’s a little something for everyone.
Bethel is home to a diverse assortment of restaurants and eateries. Enjoy Italian cuisine at The Little Village Pizzeria or try Native American food at the Native American Center.
Thai food is some of the best in Bethel, which you can experience at Bangkok Spoon. There are plenty of choices when it comes to eating out in Bethel.
Stay the night at the Bethel Inn & Conference Center. This four-star hotel features comfortable
guest rooms and all of the amenities you’d expect from a luxury resort.
The Bethel Inn & Conference Center is just one of many accommodations you can choose from during your visit to the area.
Where to stay in Bethel, Maine?
Now that you are ready for an amazing time with tons of things to do in Bethel, Maine, we can’t let you go without some awesome hotel recommendations.
Holidae House Bed & Breakfast
The Holidae House Bed & Breakfast is one of our favorite lodgings in Bethel, Maine. Don’t take our word for it though. This charming hotel has very favorable reviews from guests who loved the atmosphere and romantic settings. It’s an especially great choice for couples.
The Inn at the Rostay
The best choice if you are looking for a budget hotel. The Inn at the Rostay is located outside of town in a lovely natural setting. Although this is a budget hotel it comes well equipped and offers a relaxing stay in Bethel. No wonder guests love to stay here!
West Bethel Motel
Finally, if you are looking to have the authentic small-town motel experience, then look no further than West Bethel Motel. It’s a classic American motel with lovely staff and affordable prices.
As you can see, Bethel, Maine, is full of exciting things to do! There is plenty to keep you entertained! From the famous ‘Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, where you can catch a show or even take classes, to outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. It’s no wonder that people come here from all over the state! We hope that our list has been helpful in your travel plans.
Cover Image: Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons