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Waterville, Maine grew up on the banks of the Kennebec River, its rise powered by water and mills. Today, this brick-lined city on the river is a vibrant center of education, cinema and the arts.
Things to Do in Waterville
Waterville is home to two private colleges — Colby and Thomas. The campuses provide activities and experiences for the community and for visitors. One good example, the Colby College Museum of Art, was founded in 1959 and contains nearly 8,000 pieces of art, many in its specialty, American and contemporary work. Fans of the museum know it for its many paintings by artist Alex Katz. The museum is tucked away inside Colby’s leafy campus on a hillside outside the downtown. Admission is free.
Another arts staple is Railroad Square Cinema. This theater, the second Railroad Square (the first burned down), has been heralded as one of the best art-house cinemas in New England and the country. It’s also one of the sites of the annual Maine International Film Festival, going strong after more than 20 years. The mid-summer festival spreads out over ten days to screen nearly 100 films from around the world.
The festival’s other venue, the Waterville Opera House, is smack in the middle of downtown. It’s been entertaining the region since 1902. Newly renovated, the theater has more than 800 seats and offers movies, plays, musicals and other events throughout the year.
Speaking of downtown, Waterville’s is being revived with new construction and renovations. A favorite spot to stop is at the Downtown Waterville Farmers’ Market. It’s held throughout the year and features goods from local producers. In summer, come enjoy The Taste of Greater Waterville, a festival that includes lots of local food, music and fun.
Want to get out? Try the Quarry Road Trails. In winter, this park provides groomed cross-country ski trails along with areas for walking and snowshoeing. Come the warmer months, the trails are available for walking, running and biking. And there’s a boat launch so paddlers can put in their canoes or kayaks and access almost 5 miles of flatwater on Messalonskee Stream.
Where to Stay in Waterville
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night, check out the Best Western Plus Waterville, the Fireside Inn & Suites - Waterville, the Hampton Inn Waterville, The Pleasant Street Inn and these additional suggestions. You can also scroll down the list of regional businesses below.
Restaurants in Waterville
Looking for Waterville, Maine restaurants? Consider Selah Tea Cafe, Jin Yuan, 18 Below, The Last Unicorn and these additional suggestions. You can also scroll down the list of regional businesses below.