25 Best Things to Do in Augusta, ME

Augusta, ME
Sean Pavone / shutterstock.com

Augusta, the capital city of Maine, is a perfect destination for summer vacations.

The city has been around since the 18th century and was originally a trading post.

What once was just a small city is now a major source of art and economic inspiration for the entire state of Maine.

Augusta also pays tribute to all those whose efforts resulted in its development, and this is visible in most of its historical sites and monuments.

This city will make you understand how important it is to support your local traditions and products and take pride in them.

Along with a lot of cultural and special festivals, Augusta has a lot for tourists to see and explore.

Over the years, the city has welcomed more and more tourists; and thanks to its enthusiastic locals, Augusta has been able to provide very warm and welcoming hospitality to visitors.

It is home to a lot of museums, parks, restaurants, and more amazing places that will make you feel great, relaxed, and happy about choosing this city as your vacation destination.

These are the best things to do in Augusta, Maine:

Pay a Visit to the Maine State Museum

Display at Maine State Museum
Theresa Lauria / Shutterstock.com

The Maine State Museum first opened in the year 1836.

However, its story is full of ups and downs, as it was closed six times before its final opening in the year 1971.

At present, the museum is funded by the state to ensure that it does not close again.

Exterior of the building that houses Maine State Museum
ARK NEYMAN / Shutterstock.com

It has a very diverse variety of exhibitions, which include representations of old stores, blacksmith shops, a sewing room, a working mill, and a locomotive.

Some of the museum's most popular displays showcase science-related items.

This museum is a perfect place to learn about the history of Augusta and that of Maine.

Lion locomotive displayed in Maine State Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Back in Time at Fort Western

Daytime view of Fort Western
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Fort Western was built in 1975 and is a living memory of the French and Indian War.

This fort has received its title as one of Augusta's most important historical monuments.

The entire fort is made out of wood.

Interior of a house at Fort Western
David E. Heath / Shutterstock.com

It is a sort of museum that describes the city of Augusta's 260-year history.

This place also provides excellent opportunities to learn about the way of life that people used to follow in the 18th century.

The fort has been able to retain its authentic construction and originality over the years and is a perfect place to visit and enjoy some wooden aesthetics.

Barricades at Fort Western
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

Fall in Love with Stunning Flowers at Viles Arboretum

Flower in Viles Arboretum
Rebecca Falcone / Shutterstock.com

Viles Arboretum is a property that covers almost 220 acres of ground and has a large number of trails that enable visitors to enjoy its natural beauty.

The arboretum is loaded with different fisheries of wildlife, plants, and other natural resources.

Wildflowers at Viles Arboretum
Rebecca Falcone / Shutterstock.com

It is home to more than 300 different species.

There are multiple trails on which bikes and horses are allowed.

The place is also ideal for people who enjoy birdwatching.

Lovely flowers at Viles Arboretum
Rebecca Falcone / Shutterstock.com

Participate in the Annual Kennebec River Brew Fest

The Kennebec River Brewfest is one of Augusta's most famous festivals.

During this event, you can have your fill of craft beer and enjoy fantastic musical performances.

This festival started out as a family event and is now very famous among locals and tourists.

What makes this festival more connected to the city of Augusta is that all the beers and drinks are sourced from local producers that proudly use homegrown ingredients.

The Kennebec River Brew Fest takes place every year during the month of June and is definitely worth attending.

Join in on the Festivities at the Augusta Civic Center

The Augusta Civic Center is a vast building covering 49,000 square feet.

It offers almost all the entertaining activities that you could think of in one place.

Various events are also organized in this place.

There are gun shows that continue for over two days and showcase different types of guns and military weapons.

The center also holds concerts that are always lively and welcome some very famous artists from around the world.

Craft shows also take place at this venue, exhibiting artifacts and other items that are produced by the artists and crafters in the city.

The craft shows are generally organized in the month of November.

Apart from the artistic events, the center also organizes entertaining events like basketball games, wrestling matches, boxing fights, fencing matches, and even cheerleading competitions.

Dance events are also held here and are always a delight to watch.

Treat Yourself to a Pamper Day at Senator Inn Spa

Senator Inn Spa is one of the best places to seek some relief from all the exhaustion that can come with traveling.

The spa is perfect for spending some personal time in the city.

It offers various treatments such as massages, sessions, pedicures, manicures, body wraps, and other spa services that are great for rejuvenating your skin and body.

The spa has a lot of packages to choose from, as per your preferences.

With Senator Inn Spa's incredibly tranquil and relaxing setup, any treatment you avail of will definitely be worth every penny you spend.

Explore the Many Trails in the Brook Bond Recreation Area

The Brook Bond Recreation Area is a property covering 270 acres and offers various recreational activities to visitors.

This area is suitable for activities like walking, skiing, and biking on numerous trails.

The property has 20 trails in total, which can be used depending upon the season that you are visiting.

The Brook Bond Recreation Area is quite easily accessible and has ample parking space for additional comfort.

A perfect place for spending some quality time with friends and family, this attraction will surely be one of your favorites in Augusta.

Shop for Beautiful Gems at Sonny's Museum and Rock Shop

Sonny's Museum and Rock Shop is a famous place for shopping for some different items in Augusta.

It is known for selling colorful and handmade items like rocks and gems, which are perfect for gifting and decorating your homes.

These rocks and gems are collected from various parts of the world and attract a lot of buyers.

Sonny's Museum and Rock Shop also has a lot of rock items that are used only for exhibitions and are not available for purchase.

Even if you are not in the mood to buy something, you should definitely check this place out and enjoy its beautiful and unique interiors.

Invite Your Kids to Unleash Their Creativity at the Children's Discovery Museum

The Children's Discovery Museum is a family destination in Augusta.

This is a perfect place where you can get a wide range of activities that impart educational, interactive, and craft-related skills to children.

Even though the place is not very large, it is still suitable for retaining a number of youngsters and your family.

The most famous attraction in Children's the Discovery Museum is the craft area, where the young visitors can enjoy painting, crafting, and using their creativity to produce their own art pieces.

Visit the Castle-Like Old Post Office and Court House

Exterior of the Old Post office
Ken Morris / Shutterstock.com

The Old Post Office is one of the most iconic places in the city, as it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

It was constructed during the 1880s using the Roman revival style of architecture and presents one of the finest examples of Roman architecture in the state of Maine.

The entire building was constructed using local granite and stones.

It spans two and a half floors and three towers.

The Old Post Office is also a courthouse and is located in the city's downtown area.

At present, the building is privately owned and open for visitors to enjoy its beautiful interiors and architecture.

See the Statue of Samantha Smith and Be Inspired by Her Story

Statue of Samantha Smith
ARK NEYMAN / Shutterstock.com

The Samantha Smith statue will infuse your spirits with pride and courage.

Samantha Smith was a 10-year-old girl who became a very famous peace activist during the Cold War.

She also wrote many letters to the President of the USSR, pleading for peace between the two states.

At the age of 13, she was offered a film contract in 1985.

However, before starting her career as an actress, she lost her life in a plane accident.

The statue right, situated close to the State Capitol, is dedicated to her courage and high-headedness.

A tribute to a young girl, this attraction is definitely worth checking out to get some inspiration.

Tour the Fascinating Colburn House State Historic Site

A famous shipbuilder and a patriot, Major Ruben Colburn lived in this family home that was constructed in the year 1965.

Surrounding the house, a brickyard, mill, and boat yard were the major infrastructures that resulted in the development of this area.

Proudly standing as an attraction listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, the Colburn House State Historic Site represents the Colburn family's efforts and determination toward developing the area.

The house looks beautiful and is a fine example of great architecture.

Join a Guided Tour of the Maine State House

Exterior of Maine State House
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

Constructed in 1832, the Maine State House is the state capitol of Maine.

It was constructed using inspiration from the capitol building in Massachusetts.

This entire building is constructed using local granite.

Interior of Maine State House
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

The Main State House is the city's major legislative infrastructure.

Tourists can visit this place and see the city's representatives in action.

The balcony is also a great place for enjoying beautiful views of the city.

The Main State House offers tours to visitors from Monday to Friday.

The dome of Maine State House
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Take Inspiration from the Stunning Governor Hill Mansion

Exterior of Governor Hill Mansion
Ken Morris / Shutterstock.com

Established in 1902, the Governor Hill Mansion was originally the home of the state governor.

However, at present, the mansion is used as a venue for conducting some of the city's major events.

Front view of Governor Hill Mansion
Yurii Prohonnyi / Shutterstock.com

It has three floors, and like other buildings in Augusta, it was constructed using local granite.

The place was preserved beautifully and offers multiple tours to its beautiful and artistic rooms on a daily basis.

The mansion is also used for official purposes, and some of its rooms are rented out to accommodate these special occasions.

Try Augusta's Delicious Local Dishes at The Red Barn

If you are interested in tasting Augusta's local cuisine, The Red Barn is the perfect place for you.

This restaurant is considered to be a fan-favorite restaurant for its famous items such as foot-long lobster rolls.

The place is also known to serve the best seafood in the entire city, along with its delicious chicken and soups.

With its extensive menu, you are definitely going to enjoy your visit to this place.

Enjoy Beer and Wood-Fired Pizza at Cushnoc Brewing Co.

Cushnoc Brewing Co. is famous as a restaurant that offers delicious wood-fired pizzas at very affordable rates.

The restaurant offers various toppings, which are freshly procured and enhance the taste of their pizzas.

In addition, the place also serves tasty brews that are offered in its tasting room.

All these drinks are specially made by the brewing company for its customers.

Spend a Lovely Day Outdoors at Capitol Park

Vietnam memorial on the grounds of Capitol Park
Felix Lipov / Shutterstock.com

A short walk through the streets of Augusta is all it takes to find yourself amongst stately old trees and outside a beautiful river and park.

Between lush stately trees and the historical Kennebec River lies one of Augusta's most prestigious state parks: Capitol Park.

A former encampment site during the Civil War, Capitol Park was designated state property in 1827 when the capitol building was built.

Paved trail of Capitol Park
ARK NEYMAN / Shutterstock.com

The park has been a longstanding fixture in both the local community and for out-of-towners that find the unique location to be one of the ideal destination sites.

Currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Capitol Park enjoys tremendous diversity and vibrancy due to its location.

Today, it serves as a place for people to take a break from their busy days, enjoy the outdoors and admire various events and structures in the area.

A mausoleum at Capitol Park
ARK NEYMAN / Shutterstock.com

Soak up the Scenery of the Kennebec River Rail Trail

Nature trail at Kennebec River Rail Trail
Jill Pelton / Shutterstock.com

The Kennebec River Rail Trail seeks to provide enjoyment for locals and visitors alike as they explore the path that extends 6.5 miles alongside a remote, charming shoreline on the Kennebec River.

This trail stretches between Augusta's Waterfront Park and the city of Gardiner, with a stop in Hallowell and Farmingdale along the way.

It's set to welcome runners and joggers who wish to get into better shape.

View of a bridge at Kennebec River Rail Trail
Jill Pelton / Shutterstock.com

Cyclists are also encouraged to use the trail for their health and enjoyment.

You can even ride a skateboard or rollerblade along the trail with your friends and family.

Not only that, but dog lovers can now easily walk their dogs here as well.

River view from Kennebec River Rail Trail
Jill Pelton / Shutterstock.com

See Brilliant Exhibition and Multimedia Displays at the Holocaust Human Rights Center of Maine

When the Holocaust Human Rights Center of Maine first started as a seminar held at Bowdoin College, it was more than just an organization dedicated to educating the public on human rights issues.

Now, this prolific agency has spent about 40 years combating racism and prejudice while engaged in all types of community outreach, education, and fundraising.

The Holocaust Human Rights Center's stunning building is well thought out and modern, yet not particularly large.

The architect boasts an award-winning creation made specifically to draw your attention and to make you feel at ease.

There's an ongoing program of exhibitions, both permanent and temporary.

They also have inspiring presentations that highlight the most relevant issues we face today, with genocide prevention still being the main drive behind their existence.

Volunteers mostly run Holocaust Human Rights Center with fees collected upon entering, but you can also give donations.

Practice Your Golfing Skills at Western View Golf and Pub

For golfers, you can enjoy some time off at Western View Golf and Pub, which features a charming, challenging golf course for all skill levels.

The award-winning 9-hole golf course features small greens that are undulating; making it more challenging, and tee times are not required.

It's surrounded by beautiful terrains with amazing views of Mount Washington.

Western View Golf and Pub also hosts weekly leagues and special tournaments.

There's also a full-service restaurant if you need to grab a bite with delicious drinks.

You can find it at Bolton Hill Road.

Go On a Shopping Spree at the Marketplace at Augusta

Shopping also comes in handy at the Marketplace at Augusta, where you can choose from its wide selection of popular brands, restaurants, shops, and more.

Popular brands like American Eagle, Kohl's, Bath & Body Works, and Old Navy, among others, are all here.

After shopping, if you want to grab a meal with delicious drinks, you can grab a quick meal at Asian Noodle Bowl, El Agave’s, or at Jersey Mike’s Subs.

Look out for great deals so you can get discounts on your purchases!

The Marketplace at Augusta is Maine's largest open-air shopping mall.

It's located off Interstate 95 on Civic Center Drive.

Take Down Some Pins at 1-7-10 Bowling & Entertainment Center

Get the ball rolling and take down some pins with your friends and family at 1-7-10 Bowling & Entertainment Center.

The bowling alley offers candlepin bowling and features pool tables, an arcade, and a jukebox for karaoke nights in the lounge.

It's a kid-friendly spot, so you can always bring your little ones if you're traveling with them.

There's also a full bar and restaurant to have some tasty snacks, lunch, or dinner!

You can find 1-7-10 Bowling & Entertainment Center at North Belfast Avenue.

Get Your Caffeine Fix at Aroma Joe’s Coffee

Located in Big Apple Store on Western Avenue, Aroma Joe's Coffee is the go-to spot in Augusta for coffee lovers for its uniquely crafted drinks.

From energy drinks, deliciously infused blends, espresso, and fresh coffee, you can trust that you'll have a relaxing time at the coffee shop.

Try your coffee or espresso with its signature flavors, including mocha, coconut joy, Irish kicker, mint pattie, caramel way, and many other flavors.

Also, don't miss out on its breakfast sandwiches, bagels, hash browns, muffins, cookies, donuts, pretzels, and cinnamon.

So if you were to start your day with a cup of coffee and delicious pastries, look no further than Aroma Joe's Coffee!

Play Frisbee at Porcupine Ridge Disc Golf

If you play Frisbee, take your disc with you and have a few rounds at Porcupine Ridge Disc Golf.

Established in 2011, this 18-hole course features both beautiful field and wooded holes, tough tree-lined fairways, and two concrete tee pads for each hole.

There's also a Pro Shop for your Frisbee needs.

All skill levels can have a challenging time throwing a disc or two here with its diverse design, which progresses from easy to challenging elevations.

You can find Porcupine Ridge Disc Golf on Church Hill Road.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're traveling to Maine's capital city or visiting one of its many museums, you'll be sure to find many places worth checking out.

From art galleries and great museums to the old fort, various places will awaken your five senses and provide you with educational experiences both local and global.

When you plan your next trip, don't forget to take along this list of some of the best things to do in Augusta, Maine.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.