What to do in Caribou? From berry farms and museums to skiing and snowmobiling, the northern Maine city and surrounding Aroostook County is known for family fun and lots of wintertime activities.
Note: This blog was originally published August 8, 2017. It has been updated August 16, 2019.
We often get asked for recommendations on what to see while visiting family and friends at Maine Veterans’ Homes - Caribou. Here are our top seven recommendations of things to do:
6 Recommended Places to Visit While in Caribou
1. Nylander Museum
The Nylander Museum of Natural History features the extensive collection of Olof O. Nylander, a self-taught naturalist and skilled geologist. Born in 1864, he worked as a field collector for the U.S. Geological Survey and was contracted by the Canadian Government and numerous colleges and universities to perform field research.
Along with his geology and paleontology skills, Nylander was very knowledgeable about flora and fauna of Maine and bordering Canada.
Museum exhibits include fossils of Northeastern North America, rocks and minerals of Maine, a prehistoric stone drawing, Central American butterflies, insects and flowering plants and lots more.
2. Goughan’s Berry Farm
Take the kids and your parents for a day on the farm. At Goughan’s Berry Farm in Aroostook County, there is something for the entire family.
The farm includes fresh maple syrup and flowers in the spring, a small petting zoo and mini golf course in the summer, corn field maze in the fall and Christmas trees and wreaths in the winter. There’s also daily homemade ice cream, homemade jams from fresh berries, herbs and more for sale throughout the year.
3.Trans-Atlantic Balloon Site Monuments and Balloon Festival
Two historic balloon flights are commemorated with a summer festival and hot air balloon monuments displayed in parks in Caribou and nearby Presque Isle.
On Aug. 11, 1978, a crew of three traveled in a hot air balloon, named the Double Eagle II, from a small field near Presque Isle, across the Atlantic Ocean to a field in France. This balloon became the first human-carrying free balloon to cross the Atlantic.
Six years later, a second balloon carrying one woman lifted from Caribou and landed five days later in Italy, setting a new distance record and making it the first solo-manned balloon to cross the Atlantic.
Each summer in Presque Isle, large crowds gather for a hot-air balloon festival that features balloon rides, a street fair, entertainment, food and a balloon glow after dark.
4. Maine Solar System Model
The Maine Solar System Model is a 40-mile route along state Route 1 with model displays of the sun and nine planets, from Mercury to Pluto, with moons for the Earth, Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto. The route extends from the Northern Maine Museum of Science at the University of Maine at Presque Isle to the Houlton Information Center.
5. Acadian Village
Listed on National Registry for the Preservation of Historical Landmarks, the Acadian Village preserves the roots of the Acadians, an ethnic group that migrated to North America in colonial times and settled in the northern Maine/Canada region known as “St John Valley.”
During the French and Indian War, the British took over the region and expelled the residents. Some returned to Europe, while many traveled down the 13 colonies and settled in the Louisiana Territory. They eventually became known by a shortened slang name, “Cajuns.”
The village includes authentic homes, buildings and historical artifacts from the 18th-20th centuries.
6. Presque Isle Air Museum
The Presque Isle Air Museum at the Northern Maine Regional Airport in Presque Isle is a collection of pictures, artifacts and historical information dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces who served at the air base, primarily during WWII.
The 23rd AAF Ferrying Wing, activated in June 1942, conducted aircraft ferrying to Europe. At the height of World War II, a large majority of the U.S. aircraft flew from Presque Isle to Europe. The museum continues to be a work in progress as more pictures and artifacts are donated.
7. Skiing, Snowmobiling, Birding & More in Aroostook County
Enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature and the many recreational activities available in Aroostook County.
There’s downhill, snowboard and cross country skiing available on the county gem, Big Rock, and along many other ski trails and hills throughout the countryside. Snowmobiling is also a top venture as the area is known for some of the best snowmobiling trails anywhere.
Whether you want to go hiking, sight-seeing, birding or for a family picnic, Caribou and the surrounding Aroostook County has the trails, lakes, rivers and parks to enjoy nature and time with your family and friends.
More About Maine Veterans' Homes
Maine Veterans’ Homes is an independent nonprofit organization with six locations throughout Maine, each welcoming our honored veterans. Whether your loved one is in need of rehabilitative care, therapy services, long-term care or dementia care, we work with you to provide the exceptional care, compassion and support you are looking for.
Download a free brochure to learn more about our services. You'll also get a free checklist of questions to ask when comparing senior living communities.