Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Waterville, ME

  • Published 2022/06/30

Waterville, Maine, sits at the west banks of the Kennebec River and is home to Colby College and Thomas College.

It’s one of the principal cities of the Augusta-Waterville Maine Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Like most places in Maine, most of Waterville is in the suburbs, but it still has its own charms as a tourist destination.

There’s always something to do and see while you’re there.

Here are the best things to do in Waterville, ME:

Cross the Two Cent Bridge

The view from within the Two Cent Bridge

M.Bailey /

The Two Cent Bridge, also known as the Ticonic Bridge, is a suspension bridge connecting Watersville and Winslow’s cities.

It’s one of the oldest suspension bridges and the last known extant toll footbridge in the United States.

Side view of the Two Cent Bridge

Martin Ibert, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stop by for the view over the river, with the vast blue sky and another city across the water.

Take that moment of peace and savor it.

There are few opportunities for that, even on relaxing vacations, so take advantage.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at the Quarry Road Trails

The Quarry Road Trails is a year-round destination perfect for people looking for a little more adventure and excitement in their trip.

It has a host of different recreational activities that are open to people of all ages and walks of life.

They have separate trails for skiing and mountain biking; you can also go snowshoeing and hiking there.

The establishment also organizes various events, such as fun runs, so you can get the exceptional outdoor experience you’re looking for.

Dine at the Silver Street Tavern & Restaurant

Find the Silver Street Tavern and Restaurant downtown.

It offers delectable dishes, seasonal outdoor patio seating, and a full bar filled with fantastic specialty drinks.

Their menu and dishes are handcrafted and slow-cooked, so you’re definitely in for something unique when you go there.

This place has become a centerpiece of Waterville since its inception and remains a hub of culture and fun.

If you want to meet people in a place with good food and incredible drinks, stop by for the time of your life.

Learn Local History at the Waterville Historical Society

Founded in 1903, the Waterville Historical Society protects, collects, and preserves the historical artifacts of Waterville.

It’s also the home of the Redington Museum.

If you want to learn more about the history of Waterville, you can ask at the museum or visit their library.

They also have various display rooms to show off their collections better and promote learning and inquiry among their visitors.

Marvel at American Art at the Colby Museum of Art

Signpost of Colby Museum of Art

Popova Valeriya /

Founded in 1959, the Colby Museum of Art is a teaching museum and a great destination if you want to learn more about American art.

They have a host of exhibitions on display, permanent and rotating.

Exterior of the Colby Museum of Art

Colby Mariam, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll always see something interesting whenever you visit.

As part of its mission, the museum focuses on contemporary American art.

Some of their collections include the American Heritage Collection and the Lunder Collection.

See Amazing Antiques at the Hathaway Mill Antiques

Hathaway Mill Antiques has everything any antique lover wants.

Its building is gorgeous in its own right, with sunlight streaming through large windows and 16-foot ceilings that’ll make you feel like you’ve returned to the grand old days.

This place has more than 70 quality displays, each with unique and exciting pieces.

You can always ask their knowledgeable staff if you want to know more about their selections.

Grab Delicious Meals at the 18 Below Restaurant and Lounge

Seafood cravings can come at any time and place.

Fortunately, 18 Below Restaurant and Lounge will satisfy your needs.

Everyone on their staff has a culinary degree, so you can expect only the best food.

Besides great-tasting dishes, you’ll also find a visual treat with every serving.

Their cooks and staff believe that presentation is half the story; they want to give their patrons the best experience possible.

Check out their wide variety of appetizers and pick one that you think tastes best.

Of course, the entrees are the stars of the show.

The restaurant will give you a lot to choose from.

Some of the things you can check out are their stuffed crabs or the long-loin cod loin.

Once you’re done, don’t forget to ask about their dessert offerings.

See Quality Films at the Railroad Square Cinema

As the state’s only Sundance Art House Project cinema, the Railroad Square Cinema brings contemporary, independent, and classic films to Central Maine.

See unique and exciting films, experimental pieces, rare gems, and some old classics that you haven’t seen in a while.

The cinema’s film offerings change weekly, so prepare for a surprise if you ever decide to visit.

Take the chance and move out of your comfort zone.

See some films you’ve never seen before, and maybe you’ll even develop a taste for a genre you’ve never explored.

Examine the Herbs and Teas of the Enchanted Stores

Are you a tea lover or interested in the healing properties of certain herbs?

If that’s the case, then check out Enchanted Stores.

Buy teas, herbs, essential oils, tisanes, and so much more.

The establishment also offers hypnotherapy and reiki, as well as classes and workshops.

Buy some incense and peppermints for all your natural and alternative medicine needs.

See a Show at the Waterville Opera House

Marquee of the Waterville Opera House

Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Opera may no longer be the most popular pastime, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a great time watching it.

The Waterville Opera House is a beautifully restored building that can seat more than 800 people.

It brings the performing arts to the general public and cultivates a love for theater in the audience.

They host more than a hundred events each year, including a wide variety of performances like touring musicians, staged plays, and community theater productions.

Check out their shows while you’re there.

Stay and watch the incredible performances they have to offer.

Wander the Ticonic Gallery

The Ticonic Gallery, previously known as the Common Street Arts, provides a diverse and year-round program.

The gallery seeks to incorporate local, regional, established, and emerging artists in its exhibits.

It’s a place that any art enthusiast dreams of, filled with pieces full of life and exciting ideas.

The space shows off the diverse and comprehensive ideas the gallery prides itself on.

Likewise, the gallery provides a safe and encouraging environment for artists from all walks of life.

See the creative endeavors of people of all ages and backgrounds that help tell their story without using words.

Besides its leading exhibition, the gallery hosts various shows to promote its featured artists.

Try the Pizzas of Grand Central Cafe

Wood-fired pizzas are some of the best out there.

Drop by the Grand Central Cafe if you want to try one.

They prepare various pizzas, including some specialty flavors you won’t find anywhere else.

They also have vegetarian options to avoid meat in your diet.

If none of the options catches your eye, you can also build your own pizza and make a flavor that caters to your specific tastes.

They also offer other dishes that you’ll want to try out.

They have homemade soups to complete your dining experience and leave you looking for more.

There are also salads and sandwiches for people looking for lighter dishes.

Break Out of Mainely Escapes

Escape rooms test your mental ability and problem-solving skills.

However, solving various mysteries and figuring out the hidden plot is a lot of fun, especially if you’re doing it with friends.

At Mainely Escapes, you’ll choose from various rooms escape, each with unique themes and puzzles.

You can try breaking out of prison or entering a school of complex locks.

Likewise, you only have 60 minutes to escape, so make the most of your time playing detective for a day.

Relax at the Apollo Salon and Spa

What better place to relax than a salon and spa?

Get a makeover to give you a fresh and new perspective on yourself and the world around you.

Revel in the relaxation of an entire spa day.

The Apollo Salon and Spa have all the answers to your relaxation needs; it’s also more than capable of chasing away your worries.

The place has a warm and nurturing atmosphere.

Its well-trained staff can fill your every need.

You can also do various things to fit whatever relaxes you the most.

You can take a dip in their tub or enter the sauna.

Likewise, feel your worries eased and kneaded away with an hour-long massage.

The place even provides couples massages for the people who want to make a trip.

You can also get a custom facial, manicure, and pedicure while you’re there to enhance the experience.

Try Out Gifford’s Ice Cream

The charm of ice cream simply never fades.

Gifford’s originally started as a small family business at a dairy farm.

Later, the business grew and expanded because of their generous servings of ice cream.

They’ve been making these cold delights for more than forty years and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon.

All their ingredients are locally sourced and offer more than a hundred unique flavors.

Whether you want to try a single flavor or a combination, you’ll enjoy a delectable treat you won’t find anywhere else.

Sample the Greek Dishes at OPA

If you’re craving Greek while exploring Waterville, then Opa is your best choice.

The word Opa is well known amongst Greek speakers as an expression used to celebrate life, and that’s exactly the kind of atmosphere you’ll find when visiting this place.

Located in Main Street, this establishment has an extensive menu filled with new and exciting dishes you’ll certainly fall in love with.

One of their best dishes are their Greek comfort foods, such as the souvlaki, mousakka, and brizola, so make sure to give those a shot when dining at the fine establishment.

Watch a First-Run Movie at Flagship Cinemas

Catching a newly released movie while getting around Waterville isn’t an issue in the city; thanks to Flagship Cinemas.

The movie theater shows first-run movies with stadium seating and excellent sound quality.

What makes it more tempting for movie-goers is the theater’s heated recliners, making it more comfortable while enjoying the movie.

There are concessions to grab your snacks, especially the warm and delicious popcorn!

Also, if you come here on your birthday, you’ll get a free movie ticket.

You just have to show your ID to claim it!

How cool is that?

You can find Flagship Cinemas at Kennedy Memorial Drive.

Hang Out at Mainely Brews Restaurant & Brewhouse

After a long day of outdoor adventures in Waterville, a beer or two would be great to cap the night, and Mainely Brews Restaurant & Brewhouse doesn’t disappoint!

Located in a basement with cool digs, the pub serves 6 varieties of microbrew beers on tap, which you can try while enjoying your time here.

Its appetizers and main dishes are delicious, including its pizza, wings, mac & cheese, haddock, and more.

Also, there are Trivia Nights, Karaoke Nights, and live music!

Mainely Brews Restaurant & Brewhouse is located at Post Office Road.

Take the Kid to the Children’s Discovery Museum

The little ones are always curious, and to spark their curiosity and allow them to explore and discover, bring them to the Children’s Discovery Museum.

It’s a perfect place for curious minds with lots of interactive exhibits, adventures, and exciting activities that allow them to play, learn, and grow,

The museum will soon add more exhibits, and there are also programs and summer camps that kids can participate in.

Your little ones can spend some time here, which is a great way to burn off their energy while learning at the same time.

Children’s Discovery Museum is located off Eustis Parkway.

Buy Gifts and Souvenirs at Paragon Shop

Before heading back home, browse the unique items at Paragon Shop, which will surely find you something interesting and unique for a gift or souvenir.

The gift shop features many unique finds, including greeting cards, home decor, vases, tableware, clothing, jewelry, accessories, and more.

And if you need to wrap an item for a gift, the shop can also wrap it for you.

Also, don’t miss checking out its scented candles and wax melts, which are all perfect for homes!

You can visit Paragon Shop on Main Street.

Play Golf at Pine Ridge Municipal Golf Course

Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, playing golf at Pine Ridge Municipal Golf Course is one for the books!

The 9-hole golf course in a par 3 setting will challenge all skill levels with its postage stamp-size greens, which are secured by bunkers and rough.

It’s one of Maine’s short golf courses with holes ranging from only 103 to 248 yards.

Pine Ridge Municipal Golf Course also hosts tournaments.

There’s also a restaurant on-site if you need to grab a hearty meal while waiting for your round.

Pine Ridge Municipal Golf Course is located off West River Road.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for peace, then go to Waterville, Maine.

It’s also a hub of culture and art where you can wander various galleries and theaters.

Start planning your Waterville today!

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