Augusta is Maine's capital city. It's one of the most popular choices in the state for tourism. The historical city is the home of many cultural and historical attractions that draw visitors from around the world. Augusta is a beautiful city that offers plenty of things to do. If you're not familiar with the city, you could miss out on some of its most exciting attractions and things to do. We've prepared a list of the twenty best things to do in Augusta to help you have a memorable visit filled with many wonderful memories of your trip.
20. Walk through the Pine Tree State Arboretum/Viles Arboretum
The Viles Arboretum was formerly known as the Pine Tree State Arboretum. It's one of the most beautiful places in Augusta. Here you'll find a native plant garden, a beautiful rock garden, and collections of lilacs and conifers. The Arboretum contains 36 species of trees chosen for their ability to thrive in an urban setting. It's a wonderful place to relax and unwind and view some of the most beautiful trees and native species of plants in the area.
19. Visit Capitol Park
Capitol Park is a 20-acre natural space near the Augusta State House. It's a great place to have a family picnic under the trees or use the large public lawns to play games. It's a public gathering area near the historic buildings that offer a place for visitors to relax and unwind after a busy morning or afternoon of sightseeing. It's great for families and sometimes you can catch a community event at the venue.
18. Visit Old Fort Western
Old Fort Western is a historic site in Augusta with a history that goes back to its inception in 1754. It's the oldest wooden fort in America, that has survived for nearly 250 years. It's a popular attraction in Augusta that offers the 1770 James Howard building with a general store that was stocked by Mr. Howard to sell to settlers when they arrived. Old Fort Western gives you a look into what it was like to live in Augusta before the area was fully settled. You'll see what kinds of products the store offered to those passing through on the way to their new homesteads in the wilderness.
17. Tour the Governor Hill Mansion
The Governor Hill Mansion offers four areas for the public to rent, but you can also tour the building. The Parlor is large enough to host up to 54 people while the largest venue is Columbus Hall with room for up to 250 persons. The other rooms are the receiving room for up to 10 people and the Gold room for up to 15. It's a stately building with lovely rooms. It makes a great place to take tourist pictures as momentous of your visit.
16. See the Samantha Smith Statue
The Samantha Smith Statue is a bronze statue of a young girl named Samantha Smith. She was an activist who wrote a letter to the new leader of the Soviet Union in the 1980s, asking about his plans for averting nuclear war. The leader was touched and responded to her letter, hosting the girl and her family for two weeks in the Soviet Union. She continued activism for world peace until she and her father died in a commuter plane crash. The Soviet Union issued a stamp in her honor and Maine erected this statue in honor of her memory. You can learn more about her story through the information shared on the statue that tells of this brave young girl and how she worked to bring two nations together in peace.
15. Visit the Maine State Museum
The Maine State Museum is a Natural history museum that contains more than half a million artifacts about the history of the United States. The museum is home to a collection of flags from the Civil War, and the largest collection of archeological exhibits and natural history specimens that go back to the early 1800s. You can learn much about the United States history at the museum but if you plan to visit, you should spend two to four hours if you want to see everything it has to offer.
14. Spend an hour at Sonny's Museum
Sonny's Museum is a specialty museum that displays the local geological history of the state. Here you'll find some of the most amazing gemstone and rock specimens mined from the local regions. guests may also purchase semi-precious gemstone jewelry, fossils, and stones from the retail store at the museum. The chances are if you see something you like, they have one for sale. Sonny's Museum is a must-see for all rock and stone lovers. You can visit the website to view and purchase merchandise.
13. Take the kids to the Children's Discovery Museum
The children's Discovery Museum is the ideal attraction for families with young children. Kids can get lost in play for hours at a time. They can touch the marine life displayed in the touch tank, climbed into the treehouse, create art, make music, or pretend they're at work. Options for playwork include banking, construction, running a grocery store, or working in a restaurant. It's a great place for kids to pretend they have jobs in the careers of their interests.
12. Visit the Old Post Office
The Old Post Office in Augusta is one of the most spectacular works of architecture in the city. The building was completed in 1890 featuring a Romanesque Revival style. It's an old Federal building that is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can walk down by the river and take the loop that reveals other architectural wonders along the river. Brilliant views of bridges and other scenic areas are nearby. It's an excellent place to take photos with the historic and beautiful architecture in the background.
11. Take a tour of the State House
The Statehouse welcomes visitors for guided tours. the tours are arranged at the State Museum. Local granite was used in the construction of the house finished in 1832. Visitors are welcome to see representatives =s at work daily. Visitors are welcome for self-guided tours Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm or you can arrange for a guide from 9 am to noon. You'll also find a cafeteria on the ground floor for enjoying breakfasts and lunches. You can also enjoy the butterfly collection on display at the State House.
10. Enjoy a hike along the Kennebec River Rail Trail
If you're an outdoors person and enjoy walking or hiking, The Kennebec River Rail Trail offers a 6.5-mile trail that takes you through four towns. The fascinating hike starts in Gardiner, a town near Augusta, and takes you past numerous quaint coffee shops and restaurants to stop and take a break. You'll also enjoy beautiful views of the river on your journey. The trail intersects with the towns of Farmingdale, Gardiner, Hallowell, and Augusta.
9. Hike the Greenway Trail
Another fascinating hiking and walking area are the Greenway Trail. It begins at the Old Fort Western and follows the river. It leads to many historical places along the way. The trail extends for 381 miles so you can choose your turnaround spots. It's one of the best historic hikes in Maine.
8. Tour the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine
The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine developed from a Bowdoin College seminar held in 1984. founder Gerda Haas launched the Center with programs for schools and teacher seminars. She published several books and texts about the Holocaust, human rights, prejudice, and diversity. Multiple interviews with Holocaust survivors living in Maine are available for review at the center. It sponsors educational and community events.
7. Visit the Colburn House State Historic Site
The Colburn House State Historic Site was opened in 1765 when Major Reiben Colburn, who was a Maine shipbuilder and patriot built the home. The site sits on 6 acres of land with a Federal architecture. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places on July 28, 2004. It's a museum that offers historical displays and artifacts from the years 1765 through 1818.
6. Attend a fun event at the Augusta Civic Center
There's always something going on at the Augusta Civic Center. The building is 49,000 square feet and it frequently hosts various activities including gun shows, concerts, crafts shows, various dance events and sporting events, and more. Some of the recent events include Disney on Ice and Lord of the Dance performances. You never know what's going to be happening there.
5. Check out the Stained Glass Experience
The Stained Glass Experience is a shopping venue a few miles down the road from Augusta. It's in the city of Manchester. The store is open from 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday and from 9 am to 5 on Saturday. The retailer sells stained glass products as well as the supplies to make the crafts, along with other arts and crafts supplies. It also offers glass art classes to teach interested visitors how to create stained glass projects.
4. Unwind at the Senator Inn Spa
Traveling as a tourist and seeing all the sights can be enjoyable but it can also be exhausting. It's nice to let go and unwind sometimes. You can check out the Senator Inn Spa for any body treatment imaginable. The Spa offers body wraps, facials, pedicures, manicures, massages, and other relaxing therapies. The Senator Inn Spa offers a broad selection of affordable spa packages from which to choose. You can put your customized package together.
3. Eat a lovely dinner at Ottos On The River
Ottos On The River is a premier dining venue in Augusta. It's a waterfront dining establishment offering beautiful views of the Kennebec River from the outdoor patio and select locations in the restaurant. The eatery offers lunch and dinner menus with seafood, duck, steak, and vegetarian meals. It's wise to book your reservations in advance at the restaurant's website.
2. Enjoy your favorite brews and kick back at Brewfest
If you enjoy drinking beer, you won't want to miss out on the Kennebec River Brewfest. It's an event sponsored by the Whatever Family Festival. One of the best parts is that it offers free beer. If you're in Augusta, Maine, the last Saturday in June, it's an annual event that you can attend if you're of legal drinking age. Attendees purchase tickets that allow free 4-ounce tasting of craft beer made in Maine for up to five hours. They also offer 1/2 ounce spirits tastings.
1. Catch an enjoyable flick in an easy chair at Regal Augusta 10
Regal Augusta 10 is a movie theater in Augusta that offers ten screens of first-run feature films. The theater has reclining chairs to watch the movie in comfort and a snack bar in the lobby to stock up on goodies before the film begins. The technology is state of the art with RealID 3D and digital projection.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn