Published September 11th, 2012

For guests with the travel bug, it’s always a great perk when a wedding venue has some nearby attractions worth checking out. Take, for example, the only bridge observatory in the country, which happens to be located about a ten-minute drive north of French’s Point. The Penobscot Narrows Observatory is a strange and fun little Maine monument which boasts not only a great view but a rapid ride in the fastest elevator in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Opened in 2007, the Observatory hosts more than 50,000 visitors a year who take the 43-story elevator up to the stunning 360-degree panorama at the top.

The Penobscot Narrows Bridge spans the 2,120 feet over the Penobscot River between Prospect, Maine, and Verona Island, Maine, on the other. The 447-foot tall bridge was conceived of, designed, and completed in only 42 months for a total of $85 million. It was finished in 2006. The bridge is a very modern granite structure with decorative cables. The granite central to the bridge’s design honors the role the rock has played in the local economy. Don’t forget your camera — this one’s definitely worthy of a few photos, from the ground and certainly from the air.

The Observatory is open daily from May 31 to October 1 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended hours during July and August of 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission for adult residents is $5, adult non-residents $7, seniors $4, and children $3. Many visitors at the Observatory also stop at the country’s lesser-known Fort Knox, in Prospect. The fort is one of the best-preserved military fortifications in New England and is open during the same peak season months until sunset.

To get from French’s Point to the Observatory, take Rte. 1 north. Just before crossing the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, take a left onto Route 174. Enter the Penobscot Narrows Observatory through the Fort Knox Historic Site approximately 1/4 mile up on your right.