The capital of Maine, the city of Augusta, is in the heart of the beautiful Kennebec Valley in Central Maine, just an hour from Portland. The powerful Kennebec River divides the city and was key to the area’s thriving mills in the 19th century. Today, the copper-domed capitol building looks over the river dotted with fishing boats.
Things to Do in Augusta
Visit historic downtown Augusta, where Victorian architecture lines Water Street and new restaurants and businesses have opened in recent years. Augusta is also a nationally designated Main Street community, recognizing its dedication to restoring its historic downtown. Augusta celebrates the Whatever Family Festival in Mill Park with events and activities from June to July each year along the banks of the river.
You can learn more about Maine and Augusta at The Maine State Museum, which is adjacent to the State House. You can also visit the Old Fort Western Living History Museum at the oldest surviving wooden fort in Maine and New England, built in 1754. Benedict Arnold used this fort as a staging point for his assault on Quebec during the American Revolution. Near the fort is Waterfront Park, where the Augusta Greenway Trail begins, great for walking and biking. It’s part of the 6.5-mile Kennebec River Rail Trail, which extends from Augusta down to Gardiner. Nature lovers also enjoy strolling through the Viles Arboretum’s six miles of trails over 224 acres.
Where to Stay in Augusta
The Senator Inn in Augusta is the city’s award-winning hotel, spa and restaurant. There are numerous hotels by the Augusta Civic Center, like the Comfort Inn and Fairfield Inn & Suites, which are near the University of Maine at Augusta.
Restaurants in Augusta
No trip to Augusta is complete without dining at the Senator Inn’s Cloud 9 restaurant. Another Augusta staple is the Red Barn, serving foot-long lobster rolls and other Maine classics. In downtown Augusta, there are several new restaurants, including Cushnoc Brewing Co., serving wood-fired pizzas and locally crafted beer, and Otto’s on the River for casual fine dining. There are also many excellent restaurants in nearby Hallowell.