Things to do in Augusta: The capital of Maine, Augusta has a rich history, a vibrant arts & culture scene, and a host of natural attractions that add to its charm. Nestled on the Kennebec River, the city saw its beginnings as a trading post in the 18th century.
There are several historic sites throughout the city that offer a peek into its rich past.
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The city is home to several beautiful parks, impressive museums, excellent restaurants, and sprawling mansions.
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or an adventure junkie, the city won’t disappoint.
Planning your Augusta vacation?
Let’s help you curate a perfect itinerary with our list of the best things to do in Augusta for an unforgettable holiday: –
Soak in some history at Fort Western #1
Travel down the city’s past at Fort Western. Built in 1754, the fort is considered a living museum that offers a peek into the history of Augusta spanning 260 years.
Go for a guided tour to find out how it would have been to live here in the 18th century.
The main building was restored in the 20th century. You’ll also find a museum on the site’s history.
Want something to remember your visit by?
Get a souvenir at the gift shop. Make sure you check opening timings before going.
Rejuvenate your senses at Viles Arboretum #2
Love spending time amidst nature?
Viles Arboretum is a must-have on your itinerary.
Sprawled over 220 acres, it has numerous forests and gardens that offer a serene escape into nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
You’ll find around 300 species of trees, plants, and shrubs here. Take any of the numerous trails that range from forest floors to gravel & dirt trails and go on exploring this beautiful site.
You also enjoy biking, horse riding, and birding in this beautiful environment.
You can even bring your dog along.
Stroll around Capitol Park #3
Located near the Kennebec River, this impressive park is around 200 years old and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The landscaped gardens with beautiful gravel paths and towering deciduous trees exude tranquillity.
Built on the grounds, the State House adds to the grandeur of the place. If you’d like to visit the State House, you can go for a free guided tour between Mondays to Fridays.
There are several public gatherings and public speaking events held in Capitol Park.
You can also find the Vietnam Memorial here which has a paved area around it to enable accessibility.
Explore Vaughan Woods & Historic Homestead #4
With forested areas, beautiful pastures, and a brook flowing through, this nature preserve is perfect to relax.
You’ll also find the historic Vaughan Homestead which was constructed in the 18th century.
Hop on the stone bridge to enjoy river views, go for a photography session or join a sightseeing tour.
There are also guided trail walks available throughout the year.
You can access the trails from the Homestead property which are used by people as well as leashed canines.
Walk on the Kennebec River Trail #5
How about a refreshing walk?
About 6.5 miles long, the Kennebec River Trail is a multi-use trail that goes along an old and inactive railway from Downtown to Gardiner.
You’ll find joggers, cyclists, and runners as they go along soaking in the stunning river views along the way. Various events including a women’s cycle ride are held every year here.
You’ll find ample parking spaces around different access points of the trail.
Appreciate architecture in Downtown Area #6
Marvel at the architecture of historic buildings Downtown. One of the most notable structures here is the Old Federal Building, also known as the Old Post Office.
The granite building features beautiful archways, ornate columns, and charming turrets.
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another era. All along Water Street, you’ll come across many such buildings that feature different types of architectural styles.
If you’re an Art Deco fan, check out the Key Bank Building nearby. It is one of the best things to do in Augusta, Maine.
Attend a fun event at Augusta Civic Center #7
This gigantic building is sprawled over 49,000 square feet and regularly hosts various exciting events throughout the year.
From gun shows to concerts and craft shows that showcase works by local artists, there is a wide variety of events that take place here.
If you’re into sports, the venue is also the site for many basketball games, boxing fights, fencing matches, and also cheerleading competitions.
Admire gems at Sonny’s Museum and Rock Shop #8
This popular spot in the city draws children and adults alike. It features a variety of rocks and gems collected from across the globe.
While there are certain items only for exhibition, there is a vast collection of items that are available for purchase.
You can also find a variety of incense, essential oils, and books on spirituality here amongst many other fascinating items.
The vibrant interiors of the shop elevate the experience.
Whether you’re looking to buy something or are just here to explore, this charming spot is worth a visit.
Go back in time at the Blaine House #9
The residence of the governor of Maine, the house was originally constructed in 1833.
Donated to the state in 1919 by Harriet Blaine Beale in memory of her son who lost his life in the first world war, the home was restored later on.
If you wish to witness the interiors of the house, you can get a tour arranged through the Maine State Museum.
Enjoy a family outing at Children’s Discovery Museum #10
Visiting with kids?
Head to the Children’s Discovery Museum where they can get creative.
You’ll find a variety of activities that offer an immersive learning experience.
One of the most popular parts of the museum is the crafts area.
From painting to creating art and crafts pieces, there is a host of creative activities that’ll keep the kids entertained.
Learn something new at the Museum in the Streets #11
How about a museum visit in the open?
From spring through autumn, you can find several Museum in the Streets stations at various places in the city.
These highlight the significant historic places and events of the city, including topics such as the Great Fire of 1865 and a bank robbery amongst others.
You’ll find most of these along Commercial and Water Streets in Downtown.
Canal Street also has a group of such stations where you can learn about the city’s industrial past and more.
So, start with the one that attracts you the most and get ready for an epic vacation.
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Q. What is Augusta Maine known for?
Augusta Maine is known for the historic Fort Western, the oldest wooden fort in the country.
Q. Does Augusta Maine have a downtown?
Yes, Augusta Maine has a vibrant downtown with a beautiful riverfront and numerous shops, restaurants, and bars.
Q. What is it like to live in Augusta Maine?
Augusta offers a suburban vibe with all the offerings of a thriving city. From outdoor recreational activities to a rich arts & culture scene, Augusta has a lot to offer, making it a great place to call home.
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