Augusta Tourist Information and Tourism

(Augusta, Maine - ME, USA)

There is no question that for a state capital, Augusta is small, in fact it is the third-smallest capital in the whole of the United States, with its population not yet even reaching 20,000 residents. However, its size does create an altogether different, more intimate character for a state capital, although the tourism offerings are far from extensive, as astute holiday makers would perhaps expect.

Augusta became the capital of Maine in the year 1827, with the state government choosing to continue meeting in nearby Portland, on the Atlantic Coast, until the city had completed its majestic granite State House. Today, the Maine State House remains one of the most important sights in Augusta and offers tourists regular guided tours during the week.

Those willing to travel a little will find that a selection of sandy beaches accompany the rocky coastline, roughly an hours' drive from Augusta. Alternatively, seasonal ski resorts and a choice of golf courses are also within reach for those with a rental car. For tourist information about the offerings both in and around the city, the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce on University Drive (close to Robinson Hall) is the place to come.

Augusta Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

While it is quite fair to say that Augusta isn't exactly brimming with dedicated tourist attractions, there are a number of offerings that you may like to consider, if you are here on holiday. Close to the University of Maine campus, the Augusta Civic Center is a sizeable multi-purpose arena, where regular sporting events, concerts, exhibitions, galas, trade shows and conventions take place. If you prefer something outdoors, then perhaps a round of Frisbee golf is in order at the Quarry Run Disc Golf Course, or maybe a visit to nearby Messalonskee Lake, where you can fish for salmon, sail, swim, birdwatch (eagles and ospreys) and even sleep, although the cozy lakeside cabins are always in demand. More information about Augusta Tourist Attractions.

Although the Maine State House does rather serve as the city's principal landmark, there are a number of other very important sights dotted around downtown Augusta. The Governor's Mansion on State Street is a particularly attractive building and dates from the early years of the 1830s, being often referred to as the James G. Blaine House. Close to the Blaine House and still on State Street, the Samantha Smith Statue is worth looking out for and has an interesting, rather poignant story to tell. Standing on the northeastern side of the city center, Old Fort Western is a former colonial outpost that has enjoyed much renovation work during the 20th century. Now open to the public (mainly during the summer months), this historical wooden log fort is actually the oldest of its kind in the United States. More information about Augusta Landmarks and Monuments.

A big part of the tourism scene in Augusta revolves around the very impressive Maine State Museum, which stands across from the Kennebec River Trail, where it is overflowing with information about the history and heritage of both the state and the city itself. Collections are made up of antiques, Civil War memorabilia, Native American artifacts, prehistoric tools and silverware, as well as numerous natural science exhibits. On a rainy day, local families often choose to spend time at the Children's Discovery Museum on Capitol Street, where interaction with the exhibits is encouraged. Standing alongside the Augusta State Airport, the Maine Military Historical Society Museum boasts extensive militaria collections, while if art is more your kind of thing, then the neighboring suburbs of Gardiner, Hallowell and Belgrade Lakes Village all contain notable galleries. More information about Augusta Museums and Augusta Art Galleries.

Getting out and about is a big part of any vacation in Augusta, since there are so many possible excursions to plan. During the summer, many people choose to visit nearby Waterville, which sits next to the Kennebec River and is known for its exciting Maine International Film Festival every July, as well as its aboretum and opera house. Nature lovers should consider a day trip to the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, where you can stroll along nature trails and enjoy some magnificent countryside scenery, as well as distant views of Mount Washington. The Belgrade Lakes region may also appeal, with its plentiful recreational activities and woodland attractions. For something altogether more urban, Portland, the largest city in Maine, is easily close enough for a visit, being a little over an hour away and to the southwest. Portland can be reached by simply following the I-295 for the majority of the journey, passing by Hallowell, Gardiner, Richmond, Brunswick, Freeport, Yarmouth, Cumberland and Falmouth along the way. More information about Augusta Attractions Nearby.

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