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Old Post Office in Augusta, Maine

9 Popular and Exciting Things To Do In Augusta, Maine (2023)

Augusta, the Capital City of Maine, is located in the heart of the Kennebec Valley region. Known as the perfect summer destination Augusta has been around since the 18th century. Once a small town, Augusta today is the focal point of entire Maine, be it for the economy, business, finance, politics, or more. However, Augusta hasn’t been Maine’s leading tourism destination like cities including Portland or towns including Bar Harbor. It though has a lot of cultural and special festivals, but tourism fame has never been at the top.

However, with time, today, Augusta draws its fair share of tourists not just from Maine but from all across New England and other Eastern neighborhoods. The capital city is densely populated and has quite a lot of things to do. From live entertainment to historical landmarks and museums, Augusta has quite a variety of tourists. Being here, you will feel energetic, entertained, and eclectic. So, what are you waiting for?

9 Popular and Exciting Things To Do In Augusta, Maine

Read out the list and find out the Best Things To Do In Augusta. Have a Look:

1. Explore the Extraordinary Maine State Museum

When in Augusta, begin with Maine’s best tourist attraction, the Maine State Museum. Operating since 1836, this State Museum has gone through a lot of good and bad days until it finally got speed in 1971 and then never closed again. The United States, one of the oldest state-funded museums, features a grand collection that focuses on Maine’s pre-history, history, and natural science. The museum is located right adjacent to the Maine State House and is a great place to learn more about Augusta and Maine. A visit here will introduce you to gems and minerals, Maine’s natural resources and industries, Maine’s animals, birds, and plants in different ecosystems, archaeological artifacts, forestry, granite, agriculture, fishing, unique cultures, and almost everything you can think of. This culturally and informationally rich facility also houses a working three-story water-powered woodworking mill along with a craftsmen’s working area.

2. Get a Chance to Visit the State Capitol Building.

Also known as the Maine State House, the State Capitol Building is right adjacent to the Maine State Museum. Exploring it from the inside out is probably one of the most popular things to do in Augusta. The Capitol Building is located on the corners of Capitol and State Streets in Augusta and is open to the public year-round. Overlooking the Kennebec River, its copper-clad dome glows like a heavy crown and is almost mesmerizing to see. The Maine State House is still a working government building, and therefore only a selective section is open to the general public. As you will walk inside, you will come across portraits of governors and other notables who have served Maine. In addition, there are antique furnishings, historical artifacts, and more such beautiful features. Visitors can also watch representatives at work each day, given it is still the center of Maine’s legislature. Under reservation, people can enjoy free tours of the Capitol building.

TIP: While visiting the State Capitol Building in Augusta, do spare some time for Capitol Park as well. Maine’s earliest documented designed landscape, this large green space is the State House’s USP. The impressive gravel paths, green grasslands, a formal granite entryway, and historic elms add four moons to the sight. Capitol Park is a stunning landmark to enjoy the Kennebec River and nearby mountain views.

3. Spend Some Peaceful And Rejuvenating Time At Viles Arboretum

Viles is an Arboretum and a Botanical Garden covering 224 acres in Maine’s capital city Augusta. This extravagant green outdoor landscape is profound for its natural beauty, serenity, and tranquility. The entire landscape is loaded with over 300 species or varieties of trees and shrubs, many native Maine trees, and different fisheries of wildlife. The entire garden is well connected with 5 miles of trails that allow nature walking, cycling, and horse riding. These trails are kept quiet and basic, with simple forest floors to crushed gravel and dirt. None of them are strenuous, and therefore everyone can explore them quite conveniently. However, the path isn’t very smooth for bringing wheelchairs and kids’ strollers. This landscape is also ideal for birdwatching and nature photography. The best part about Viles Arboretum is that it operates year-round from dawn to dusk and is absolutely free to visit.

4. Visit the Governor Hill Mansion

Governor Hill Mansion is another exciting thing to visit in Augusta, Maine. The Mansion was once home to Maine’s 45th governor, John Fremont Hill. This executive home is located in State’s highest political position flaunting work by John Calvin Stevens, Maine’s most prominent architect. Its elegant exteriors and interiors are definitely a delight to be seen. The Mansion has three floors that were kept in mind to function as someone’s office. However, rather than a state affair, Governer Hill Mansion is for family property.

Originally built in 1902, it today operates as a historic house and museum for tourists. Though some parts are leased out as offices and for public events, other beautifully preserved sections are open for public exploration. When in Maine, do pay a visit to its grandest examples of Colonial Revival architecture.

5. Check Out The Children’s Discovery Museum And Sonny’s Museum & Rock Shop

When in Augusta with kids, check out the Children’s Discovery Museum. Entertaining guests for nearly three decades, the museum features interactive events and a range of activities. Everything presented here is developed keeping young visitors in mind. The museum isn’t very large but is quite popular amongst families in Augusta since it retains kids easily for a few hours. Particularly the craft area where kids can engage their curious and creative minds.

Next, drive for 20 minutes and reach Sonny’s Museum & Rock Shop at 226 Water Street, Augusta. This unique and inviting landmark is where you can enjoy shopping for a range of quirky things. The shop cum museum has a range of things on display, including rocks, minerals, fossils, jewelry, books, crystals, and more. They even are quite popular for selling spiritual and metaphysical-related items. The facility also offers Reiki sessions and psychic mini-readings, and therefore youngsters find it quite entertaining.

6. Unleash Yourself on the Kennebec River Rail Trail

If you are someone who loves walking through nature, then the Kennebec River Rail Trail is definitely for you. This 6.5 miles long forested trail stretches from Augusta south to Gardiner. It is ideal for nature walkers, runners, cyclists, and skateboarders. While people explore their journey through this beautiful pathway, accompanying them alongside is the charming Kennebec River shoreline. Not just that, but what also comes across is the old railroad line. During winters, the same Kennebec River Rail Trail turns a free-hand wonderland for skateboarders and cross-country skiers. Kennebec River Rail Trail is also a popular spot for an annual half marathon that comprises a route down and back.

7. Get Mesmerized by Augusta’s Castle-Like Old Post Office and Court House.

One of the most iconic post offices in the world includes the one in Augusta as well. Built in the Romanesque Revival style during the late 1880s, the old post office and courthouse are the finest examples of Roman architecture in the east. The entire structure was built using local granite and stones that contributed beautifully to its castle-like structure. From the outside, the structure looks like something brought straight out of a comic book or maybe from Disney land. During the late 1960s, the entire building was sold to private ownership. Today it is open for public visits and is quite a fascinating place to check out in Augusta for people of all age groups. The attraction is located in downtown Augusta and operates year-round.

8. Do Not Dare To Miss Exploring Fort Western

Probably a top-rated tourist attraction in Augusta, Maine, Fort Western is a must-visit. This open-air attraction was built back in 1754 during the French and Indian War. Located on the banks of the Kennebec River, this landmark narrates the story of Augusta, covering over 260 years. Also a National Historic Landmark, Fort Western has grabbed the title of the most important historical monument in Augusta and Maine simultaneously. The entire Fort Western is made up of wood, and a visit here takes you to live in the past. The property is open for public exploration through guided tours. A walk inside will introduce you to how after so many years, the fort still retains its authentic construction and originality. Even though when repairs were made, nothing was done to the fort’s authenticity.

9. And Make Sure You Attend The Annual Kennebec River Brew Fest

The Annual Kennebec River Brew Fest is Augusta’s most popular festival to be a part of. Not only locals but people from states and across reach here to enjoy those tremendous celebrating vibes. This annual event organizes every year in the month of August, featuring both the food and beverage community. Around 60 different offerings from craft breweries, distilleries, food carts, seafood delicacies, and more are gathered in one single place. Though everything here some for money, when enjoying it with family and friends, it is all worth it.

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