The finished "Greetings from Bangor, Maine" mural is seen on the Union Street-facing side of the McGuire Building in Bangor. The giant painting will greet those entering downtown from either Brewer or Main St via the Waterfront. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

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According to Travel+Leisure magazine, Bangor is Maine’s “best-kept secret.” Hopefully the secret is already out. But tell all your friends, just to be sure.

While we might quibble with the idea that many people don’t know about how great Bangor is, we’re not going to argue with the general premise of the piece: The Queen City is pretty awesome. And the more people who realize this, the better.

Writing for Travel+Leisure, Erinne Magee describes Bangor as “a place for travelers seeking good food, local beer, and a blossoming music and arts scene without the crowds.” Again, hard to argue with that (though it depends on your definition of a “crowd”). And it’s hard to find fault in Magee’s short list of suggested places to go and things to do here.

You can’t go wrong with a treat from  Frank’s Bakery. Nocturnem is a great place to grab a drink. The City Forest has received national recognition, and for good reason.

Our only complaint is that there are too many great places here to include in one list — and that’s not really a complaint. It’s just a happy fact.

Too often, pieces like this by national outlets feel like someone parachuting in during the summer months for drive-by, superficial coverage. In this case, it doesn’t seem that way. It may help that Magee is based in Maine (her writing has also appeared in the Bangor Daily News).

If we may, we’d add a few other suggestions. And again, these are not meant to be comprehensive: Wicked Brew makes a wicked good breakfast wrap. The Waverly continues to prove that dive bars never die, and even has some artwork from BDN cartoonist George Danby on the wall. And while municipal golf courses can sometimes be in rough shape, Bangor’s is a gem — and as popular as it’s been in decades. It even turns into a network of cross country ski and snowshoe trails in the winter.

As Magee mentions, another one of Bangor’s strengths is its central location and access to other wonderful places in Maine. Along with all the options in the city limits, it is a gateway for sorts to many parts of the state.

“Bangor is the ultimate base camp for visitors who want to taste, smell, and feel all that Maine offers,” Tim Cotton, an author and recently retired lieutenant from the Bangor Police Department who created the beloved Duck of Justice, told the travel magazine. When it comes to knowing Bangor and the surrounding area, clearly Cotton is no quack. 

So whether someone is a cruise ship passenger looking for a more “genuine” Maine experience, a state governor in Maine for a national conference, or even a member of the national media blending work and vacation, we hope Bangor is on their itinerary. And we can’t help but think again about our much-loved prediction from Oliver Frost in 1869.

“The time may soon arrive when the three great cities of North America — Bangor, New York, and San Francisco — shall be representatives of the wealth, population, intelligence, and enterprise of the eastern, central and western divisions of our country,” Frost said.

Bangor might not be widely considered one of the “three great cities of North America,” but it is a great city. Let’s not keep that a secret.

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Opinion Editor Susan Young, Deputy Opinion Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked for the BDN...