20 Things To Do In Augusta, Maine

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Augusta may be the capital of Maine but it’s not particularly large. The capital was chosen more than 200 years ago because of its location up river away from possible coastal attack. Augusta has a population of less than 20,000 so it’s definitely a small state capitol. Despite its size there are still plenty of things to do in Augusta.

From the state house to the Old Western Fort, from art galleries to river walks and much more, consider spending some time in Augusta when you next visit Maine.

Augusta, Maine

20 Things To Do In Augusta

buildings on the waterfront in augusta maine
Looking for things to do in Augusta, Maine? Check out our top 20.

1- Visit The State House

The imposing and beautiful State House is one of the most iconic buildings in Augusta.

The State House building is open to the public year-round from Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm and you can join a guided tour to learn about the building’s history.

The State House was finished in 1832 just after Augusta was made the capital of Maine.

The design is somewhat similar to the Massachusetts Capitol building.

If the building itself wasn’t impressive enough then there’s also an upstairs balcony that you can enjoy spectacular views of Augusta from.

State House is at Augusta, ME 04333.

2- Step Back In History At Governor Hill Mansion

Walk 15 minutes up the road from the State House and you will find the Governor Hill Mansion.

This building dates back to 1902 when it served as the residence for the State Governor.

The building was commissioned by the governor at the time, John Freemont Hill.

The building is undoubtedly grand and is made from locally sourced granite.

Though the mansion used to be owned by the Hill family after World War II they transferred ownership to the state.

You are allowed to enjoy this lovely building by taking a tour available throughout the day.

Governor Hill Mansion 136 State St, Augusta, ME 04330.

3- Explore British Colonial History At Old Fort Western

Old Fort Western is a former British colonial outpost.

This fort is one of the oldest wooden garrisons in the U.S., dating back to the French and Indian War.

While visiting the Old Fort you can check out the on-site museum.

Here you can learn all about the area’s history.

The fort itself is made of wood and parts of the fort have been reconstructed to reflect the original fort.

Old Fort Western is at 16 Cony St, Augusta, ME 04330.

4- Picnic In Capitol Park

Capitol Park is between the State House and the Kennebec River.

The park was created in 1827 when residents of Augusta donated 34 acres to the state for people to relax and enjoy.

This is a wonderful place to enjoy a gentle stroll or even a picnic.

There are benches to relax at and plenty of trees to catch some shade during a hot summers’ day.

In the park there is also a Vietnam Memorial commemorating the lives of those who lost their lives between 1955 and 1975.

Capitol Park is at 33 Union St, Augusta, ME 04330.

5- Explore The Kennebec River Rail Trail

augusta maine waterfront
Here are our recommendations of things to do in Augusta.

The Kennebec River Rail Trail is a wonderful place to explore, especially in autumn when the trees are vibrantly orange and yellow.

The trail stretches for 6.5 miles from Augusta to south of Gardiner.

This is a wonderful place to walk, bike, run and even skateboard for a picturesque views of the river.

To start the trail in Augusta you can head to Waterfront Park where there is parking and access to the trail.

The Kennebec River Rail Trail also hosts events like cycle rides, Ironman events and annual half marathons.

Parking for the Kennebec River Rail Trail can be found at Front St, Augusta, ME 04330 at Waterfront Park.

6- Visit Blaine House

Blaine House is the official home of the governor of Maine and is adjacent to the Maine State House.

The Blaine House was not initially meant to be the home of the governor.

It was built in 1833 and in 1919 it was donated to the state of Maine by Harriet Blaine Beale after the death of her son.

Today it is a government residence and a public building.

You can arrange to visit the Blaine House through the Maine State Museum.

Blaine House is at 192 State St, Augusta, ME 04330.

7- See The Trees At Viles Arboretum

Viles Arboretum is a 224-acre site that allows you to enjoy the beauty of woodland, forest and garden.

The botanical garden is free to visit and it’s a lovely and peaceful spot.

The park is home to six miles of trails and an abundance of wildlife.

Visit during winter and you can make use of the excellent snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails.

During the warmer weather, there are wonderful picnic spots throughout Viles Arboretum.

The park is home to 20 unique botanical collections.

There are tree species from all over the world, there are even tree species that have been sent to space!

Viles Arboretum is at 153 Hospital St, Augusta, ME 04330.

8- Shop At Sonny’s Museum & Rock Shop

If you are looking for shopping that’s a little different check out the Sonny’s Museum & Rock Shop on Water Street.

This museum and shops feature an array of rocks, minerals and fossils some of which are for sale and many which are part of the owner’s collection.

The rocks and gems that are on display have been gathered from around the world.

Here you can learn more rocks and geology.

Sonny’s Museum & Rock Shop is at 226 Water St, Augusta, ME 04330.

9- Visit The Holocaust and Human Rights Center 

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center is housed within the University of Maine.

This striking, modern design makes you think before you even start learning about the Holocaust.

The center, of course, pays tribute to the lives lost in the Holocaust but it also does much more.

It informs visitors in a respectful and invigorating way, not only about the Holocaust but also other genocides that are less publicly well known.

Keep an eye out for the exhibitions and special events held at the centre, they are often informative and interesting for individuals, students and groups.

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine is at 46 University Dr, Augusta, ME 04330.

10- Learn About Peace At Samantha Smith Memorial Statue

You will find the Samantha Smith Memorial Statue in front of the Maine Cultural Building close by to Maine State House and Capitol Park.

Jane Smith and her daughter Samantha are depicted in life-size form.

Samantha Smith was an American peace activist and child actress from Manchester, Maine, who was famous for her anti-war campaigning during the Cold War.

She wrote a letter to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov in 1982.

She even received a personal reply to visit the Soviet Union.

In 1985 when she was just 13 years old her and her father were killed in a plane crash.

Though many believe it to have been foul play the U.S. investigated the matter and it was publicised that it was an accident.

The statue honours Samantha and her commitment to the peace process.

Samantha Smith Memorial Statue is at Augusta, ME 04330.

11- Learn Something New At Museum in the Streets: Canal Street

Between spring and autumn, Augusta hosts “Museum in the Streets” stations, most of which are located along Water and Commercial Streets in Augusta’s downtown.

These stations provide informative details about historic places and events.

Some topics that are covered include the Great Fire of 1865, an infamous Maine bank robbery and some of the first buildings and shops in Augusta.

You can enjoy wonderful views of Augusta and the Kennebec River while learning something new.

Museum in the Streets is at Canal St, Augusta, ME 04330.

12- Walk In Vaughan Woods

augusta road sign
You’ll find some cool things to do in Augusta (Maine).

While not technically in Augusta, Vaughan Woods are just six minutes’ drive outside the city.

The nature preserve has a woodland area, pastures and a brook with cute little bridges passing over it.

While visiting the woodland you can see the Historic Vaughan Homestead.

This beautiful home and garden are open for specific public programs or events but you can see the house from the outside.

Ask any Augusta or Hallowell locals and they may just refer to Vaughan Woods as Hobbitland, a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Though Vaughan Woods is charming and mysterious you probably won’t find any hobbits.

Vaughan Woods is at Hallowell, ME 04347.

13- See The Sunset At Cobbosseecontee Lake

Cobbosseecontee Lake is just 20 minutes’ drive from Augusta and it’s a great place to spend the day.

Head to the lake and you can enjoy swimming, grazing at Maine’s only lake island lighthouse (it’s super cute), fish for largemouth bass or paddleboard or kayak.

As the day draws to a close you can stay for a stunning sunset over the water.

Stay for even longer for a bit of star gazing.

14- Get Outdoors At Bond Brook Recreation Area

The Bond Brook Recreation Area is close to the University of Maine Augusta campus.

This 270-acre recreational area is a wonderful spot for some outdoor fun in nature.

You can walk around, go biking and even Nordic ski in winter along the park’s 20 trails.

This recreation area also welcomes dogs if they are on leads.

Bond Brook Recreation Area is at 21-25 Bond Brook Rd, Augusta, ME 04330.

15- Shop for Antiques in Hallowell

Not technically Augusta, but Hallowell is just a couple of minutes’ drive away and has some lovely shops.

Hallowell is known locally as being an antique hub.

Head to Water Street and you will find Hallowell Antique Mall, which is one of the best places to start your antique journey.

There are more than 60 dealers selling everything from vintage books to quirky knick knacks.

There’s also the Rusticators Emporium and the Susquehanna Antique Company.

A little further afield in Farmingdale is Another Man’s Treasure.

16- Visit The First Amendment Museum – Gannett House

The First Amendment Museum is a non-profit organization which aims to help American’s understand their first amendment constitutional rights.

The First Amendment freedoms include freedom of speech, religion, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble and the right to petition the government.

There are plenty of exhibits in the museum and you can even take a free guided tour.

The First Amendment Museum is at 184 State St #6406, Augusta, ME 04330.

17- Augusta Civic Center

If you are visiting Augusta, it is always worth checking out what is on at the Civic Center.

This community venue hosts an array of events and exhibits.

The Augusta Civic Centre has been known to host sporting competition, musical performances by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, live WWE events and even the Harlem Globetrotters have headed to Augusta, Maine.

Augusta Civic Centre is at 76 Community Dr, Augusta, ME 04330.

18- Play A Game Of Disc Golf

Augusta is ranked as the second-best place in Maine to play disc golf.

The Frisbee style take on the classic game of golf can be played at four courses in Augusta.

The four Augusta courses include: Ghost Tree, Quarry Run, Porcupine Ridge and Casper.

Grab a group of friends and head on down to one of the courses.

Whether you have played disc golf before or not, this is a wonderful way to be active and enjoy the outdoors.

Augusta Disc Golf is at 225 Hospital St, Augusta, ME 04330.

19- Have A Hit At Western View Golf and Pub

hand putting a golf ball on a t
Playing golf is one of the things to do in Augusta Maine.

To the east of Augusta’s downtown, close by to Togus Pond you will find Western View Golf and Pub.

This is Augusta’s only golf course and it’s open to the public.

Unlike many golf courses around the world, this one isn’t snooty or pretentious.

The course and the club are family orientated and tee times are not necessary.

This lovely 9-hole public course has wonderful views of Mount Washington from the club house deck.

For winter time there is a Trackman golf simulator to keep you in the rhythm until the snow clears.

Western View Golf and Pub is at 130 Bolton Hill Rd, Augusta, ME 04330.

20- Throw An Axe At Hatchet House

In recent years axe throwing has become a commercial business.

It’s not just for lumberjacks who find themselves deep in the forest you can enjoy this fun activity in the city too.

Hatch House has six axe throwing cages where you can throw axes at a number of interactive targets.

Perfect your axe throwing skills, practice your accuracy or just blow off some steam.

This is a super fun Augusta activity to enjoy with friends.

You can just practice your skills or you can compete against each other.

Hatchet House is at 2 Stephen King Dr, Augusta, ME 04330. 

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!