If you want to go out with your family to a less touristy city, Augusta in the State of Maine may be a great option. You can go through a city with a lot of cultural heritage, tourist sites, and romantic places that you can share with your partner. Augusta is located in Kennebec County, part of the State of Maine, one of the 50 states that make up the United States of America.
You can go to one of the three smallest capital cities in the U.S. with a population that barely exceeds 25 thousand inhabitants. Augusta is in the top 3 of the smallest state capitals along with Montpelier in Vermont and Pierre located in South Dakota. Augusta’s potential in tourism is immense, so if you are in Maine, you should visit it.
How to get to Augusta, Maine?
Although Augusta is the State Capital of Maine, it only has a small regional airport. You can still decide to land at Augusta State Airport, but first, you have to catch a flight to Boston. From there, Cape Air, the local air service company can fly you into Augusta.
An easier option is to fly into Portland, Maine. You can easily rent a car in Portland and drive up to Augusta. This is the less convenient, but most of the time cheaper option.
You can reach Augusta, Maine from Portland very easily. All you have to do is follow Interstate 95. Conveniently the I-95 starts all the way down in Florida. There are plenty of opportunities to drive onto I-95 and be on your way to Augusta, Maine.
By Public Transport
You can also take a Bus to Augusta. Buses are available from Boston, Portland, and Bangor.
The 17 Best Things to do in Augusta, Maine.
For you to be convinced that Augusta, Maine is the right city for sightseeing, you should know its most important points. You can find out if the city has a museum, botanical gardens, old mansions, or a beautiful square where the inhabitants gather. Let’s dive into the best things you can do in Augusta, Maine.
What are the things to do in Augusta, Maine that will get you close to nature?
1. Visit Viles Arboretum
You can start your tour of Augusta by visiting the gardens and woods of the Viles Arboretum. This peculiar site comprises 220 acres of land, where you will find several trails and picnic spots. You can also see a huge collection of trees, plants, and shrubs that would make the perfect place for a photograph.
If you are looking to walk the garden paths in Augusta, you can choose between the fine gravel or the forest paths. You can walk for more than six miles that make up the garden. There are some more interesting options available as well, as you can go horseback riding, bike riding, or bird watching if it’s your hobby in this garden.
2. Kennebec River Rail Trail
If you want to feel connected to nature, the Kennebec River Rail Trail may help you achieve that. You can have a wonderful day trying to hike the park’s trails that are home to over 6.5 miles. You can skate on the paved areas, run, or cycle on the enabled trails on the Kennebec River Rail Trail.
Some trails in the park run along the Kennebec River and even an old city rail line. You will be in an excellent tourist spot if you want to take many pictures in the middle of so much nature.
3. River Kennebec
To tell your friends that you went to Augusta in Maine, you will have to take a picture of yourself on the Kennebec River. Certainly, it would help if you did not ignore the amazing Kennebec River that covers more than 270 kilometers throughout Maine. You can see the sunset on the river from any point set up for tourists.
Very close to the Kennebec River are the city’s most popular parks for you to visit. You can organize a picnic with your family, enjoy the lake, walk or even participate in some games.
4. Brook Bond Recreation Area
Augusta, Maine, has several interesting areas where nature gains participation to encourage you to visit it. You may be interested in Brook Bond Recreation Area because of how beautiful the area is and all the things it has to offer. This recreation area has 270 acres of land where you can hike, bike, or Nordic ski.
The Brook Bond Recreation Area operates year-round, although the ideal time to visit is in winter. In these months of low temperatures, you can practice the Nordic Sky and be delighted with the sport. Brook Bond Recreation Area has 20 trails available to the public, and the park is dog-friendly for you to reach your pet.
What are the most important historic sites in Augusta, Maine?
5. Governor Hill’s Mansion
If you adore the architecture of the old buildings in Augusta, you can find a very representative mansion. Governor Hill’s house or mansion is a tourist spot in Augusta because this property is used for different cultural events. The mansion was built in 1902 for the governor of the state at that time.
Although Governor Hill’s mansion belonged to his family after WWII, it was donated to the state. In this mansion, you can see various cultural events. Additionally, even today, some of its rooms serve as offices for different state services.
6. Capitol Park
Can’t get enough of seeing the history of Augusta, Maine? Then your next point of interest may be Capitol Park. This grand building is almost two centuries old and still retains its beautiful architecture, old windows, and wooden doors. Capitol Park is a living example of the landscaped gardens to be built by the 1825s.
The monument is near the Kennebec River and comprises 34 acres of land, so you have a long way to go. To boost tourism in Capitol Park, the inhabitants decided to plant Olmos silver, achieving a great contour. Over time Capitol Park was adorned with gravel paths, and the entire park was renovated for residents to use.
7. Monument to Samantha Smith
Maine gained fame in the 1980s when Samantha Smith participated in activist campaigns against the cold war. Manchester in Maine was the home of the young Samantha Smith, who made a huge change in the Cold War at less than 12 years old.
The young woman sent letters to the USSR and the United States to a cease-fire and thus end the cold war. Samantha’s activism caused generals in countries in conflict to reconsider her position. However, she never saw the cold war over the young woman because she died in a plane crash in 1985 when she was only 13 years old.
You can visit the monument of Samantha Smith to pay your respects to a brave young citizen. It’s located right next to Capitol Park.
8. Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery
Paying a visit to the Veteran’s Memorial can be a very emotional experience for everyone. You can visit the Memorial Cemetery to see the heroes of Maine that fought for the world we have today. It’s a truly beautiful place full of well-maintained trees and plants.
The Memorial Structures are well designed. You can take a moment to stroll across them and read some of the names who have made the world a more peaceful place.
9. Holocaust Human Rights Center Of Maine
In Augusta, Maine, you can have access to fun or serious tourist areas that might interest you. One such attraction is the center for human rights. You can walk into the University of Maine and stumble upon the human rights center that shares brilliant architecture. These facilities have a 21st-century design; it is very large and striking that you will not hesitate to photograph it.
Inside the human rights center, you will find some temporary or permanent exhibits for you to admire. These facilities are also suitable for cultural shows.
10. Old Post Office
When you walk through the streets of Augusta, you may come across a large castle that, to your surprise, is a post office. In Augusta, you will not stop seeing eccentricities such as the old post office built in 1880. The peculiar thing about the building is that it looks like a small castle, it is very much in the Renaissance style, which will cause you enthusiasm when you see it.
You will be able to visit a two-story building with large windows and a typical rocky color characteristic of the 19th century. Inside the Museum, several products reflect how the old post office worked for you to visit.
11. Old Fort Western
If you are very close to the Kennebec River in Maine, you may be interested in visiting Fort Western. You can take some good pictures of this fort built in 1754 while France and India were being fought. Within the walls of Fort Western, there are more than 250 years of history in Augusta, and that is why it gains such importance on a tourist level.
You will come across a huge monument made of solid wood that has been renovated over the years. Fort Western offers guided tours of its Museum to give you an in-depth understanding of Augusta’s history. As the fort is close to the Kennebec River, you will have an impressive view for you to admire when sunset comes.
12. Colburn House State Historic Site
Historic sites in Augusta, Maine, don’t end, and the Colburn House State Historic Site might be your next tourist spot. Major General Rubén Colburn built this house in 1765, and he lived there with his entire family. The Colburn house won a lot of participation in the battle for independence, which is why it is considered a tourist area.
You can visit a huge house with a characteristic red color that will undoubtedly be perfect for a photograph. Inside the Colburn house, you will find various articles from the Colburn family and a lot of information about the struggle for independence.
What are the museums to visit in Augusta, Maine?
13. Maine State Museum
If you want to know one of the most representative points of Augusta, Maine, you can go to the State Museum of Maine. The Museum was reopened in 1971, although it was originally rebuilt in 1836 but was closed for repairs. With this reopening, the Maine State Museum hopes to open its doors to new works of art, biological or geological, that the citizens will be attracted to.
If you are passing through downtown Augusta, you must visit the Maine State Museum. This Museum is open every day for you to access its facilities and see the different exhibits. Among the famous works, the Museum offers the fight of the Native Americans.
14. Sonny’s Museum
If you want to get your geologist’s side on your visit to Augusta, Maine, you can go to the Sonny’s Museum. As you enter the Museum, you will see various colors of the beautiful stones on display. In the Sonny’s Museum, you can see several hand-molded rocks characterized by all the colors they have.
This Museum in Augusta has collected various rocks globally and is bringing them in for you to admire for a moment. You can also buy some exclusive rocks inside the Museum so that you can take a souvenir of the city with you. However, you are not obliged to buy the rocks so you can also go to the Museum to see and photograph them.
Where to meet the locals in Augusta, Maine, and what festivals you should attend?
One of the best ways to meet the locals in smaller towns is by attending their festivals. Let’s take a look at some of the best festivals you can catch in Augusta, Maine.
15. Augusta Civic Center
If you want to put aside the long walks on the trails in Augusta, you can go to an area very crowded with the locals. The Augusta Civic Center is the place to be if you want to make new friends, play basketball, or enjoy events. This social area has almost 50 thousand square feet where you will find several dances and sports rooms.
The Augusta Civic Center once served for singers Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen to perform. Today you can see various local artists showing their talents to the people who visit the center. You will have to give a small contribution to enter the civic center.
Due to the many types of shows that happen in the Civic Center throughout the year, we highly recommend that you check their website for the current schedule. If you are lucky, you can catch some great performances. Sometimes even the circus comes to the Civic Center.
16. Harvest Festival
In Augusta and several North American cities, the harvest festival is celebrated between September 21 and 23. You can schedule your visit to the city within those dates to not miss this great commemorative event. At the festival, you can enjoy lots of free food, beer, and traditional games.
17. Festival “What’s Family”
If you are scheduled to visit Augusta in June, you may stay to see the “What’s Family” festival in Mill Park. You can take your children to enjoy rides, share with clowns, and face painting. Sports tournaments are also held at this festival, distributing food and organizing concerts with local artists.
Where to eat in Augusta, Maine?
The Oak Table & Bar
TopFlightsNow Top Pick!
A superb restaurant that works with local produce and fresh materials. They always have a seasonal menu, which means you can try this place at different times of the year. We highly recommend the tasting menu for $49, which will get you four courses to try.
Address: 233 Water St, Augusta, ME 04330, United States
Maine Local Market
As the name of this restaurant suggests, it’s all about local produce. Everything is fresh and everything is locally made. From the meats to the vegetables you can support the businesses in Maine when eating at Maine Local Market.
The menu consists of mostly quick bites like sandwiches and salads. There is a great outdoor sitting area with nice views available. It’s a perfect stop to grab a bite and not worry about the freshness of ingredients.
Address: 136 Water St, Hallowell, ME 04347, United States
Lisa’s Legit Burritos
This place is all about Burritos. We highly recommend it to people who want to eat a big meal on a budget. You can’t really beat the price to value rating of Lisa’s Legit Burritos.
You have the chance to pick out the ingredients used for your burritos, making them truly fit your taste. A good and easygoing place with a friendly staff. It gets our recommendation.
Address: 185 Water St, Augusta, ME 04330, United States
Bonus: Cushnoc Brewing Co.
It’s a bonus item on the list, as the Cushnoc Brewing Co. is technically not a restaurant. It’s a brewery and pub at the same time. You can have a great time tasting local beers here.
They also serve some epic wood fired pies. From sausages to crabs they have all kinds of interesting fillings and you can even make your own pie as you like it.
Address: 243 Water St, Augusta, ME 04330, United States
Where to stay in Augusta, Maine?
Interestingly enough, there are no hotels available in center Augusta, Maine. This means you will be staying close to Augusta, but not really within walking distance to the attractions. For this reason, we highly recommend renting a car.
Second Street Bed & Breakfast
TopFlightsNow Top Pick!
Beautiful Bed & Breakfast just a few minutes from Augusta, Maine. There are five different bedrooms available. All of the rooms have different designs and they are all designed for comfort. Second Street Bed & Breakfast is a unique stay in a unique area of Maine.
Address: 68 2nd St, Hallowell, ME 04347, United States
Comfort Inn Civic Center
The Comfort Inn Civic Center will provide a much more hotel-like experience for your Augusta, Maine stay. With mostly uniform rooms, room service, a pool, and a nice dining area, this is a great pick for anyone looking to stay at a nice hotel.
Address: 281 Civic Center Dr, Augusta, ME 04330, United States
The city of Augusta in Maine has many things to offer, not to underestimate it because it has limited territory. You can go to the museums in Augusta or to the natural parks to spend a nice day with your family and other tourists. Many of these tourist spots are free to access, and others will ask you to collaborate to maintain the facilities.
Sightseeing in Augusta, Maine, is affordable, so you can motivate yourself to tour the city this summer. Even going to Augusta in the winter is interesting because you can practise a new sport like Nordic skiing. On your visit to Augusta, Maine, don’t forget to photograph the most interesting places so that you will be the envy of your friends.