When visiting your parent or grandparent at our Maine Veterans’ Home - Augusta, take time to enjoy our beautiful capital city.
Note: This blog was originally published June 15, 2017. It has been updated August 16, 2019.
Whether you’re looking for historical or military sites, children’s activities, a place to take your loved one or a recommended eatery, check out our listing of top things to do in Augusta.
7 Recommended Places to Visit While in Augusta
1. The Maine State Museum and Maine State House
The Maine State Museum is one of the nation's oldest state-funded museums and places strong focus on preserving the city’s historical significance as an English trading post on the Kennebec River.
The museum, located within the Maine State House complex, shows the best of Maine. From beautiful nature scenes with live trout, to a dramatic three-story working mill, to objects created by Maine's earliest people, the museum's exhibits highlight Maine's history, environment and pre-historic past.
While visiting the museum, schedule a tour of the State House and home of Maine’s governor, the Blaine House. Check out the museum’s to see what’s new for special events, such as free family Saturdays.
2. Old Fort Western
If you’re a history buff, don’t miss Old Fort Western, the oldest surviving wooden fort in the U.S.
It was built in 1754 by the Kennebec Proprietors, a Boston-based company seeking to settle the lands along the Kennebec River that had been granted to the Pilgrims more than a century earlier.
Fort Western served as a storehouse with supplies shipped via sloop and schooner from Boston up to four times a year, stored at the Fort and then taken to Fort Halifax. James Howard’s Company guarded the Fort in the 1750s and 60s. Benedict Arnold used the Fort as a staging point for his assault on Quebec during the American Revolution.
3. The Maine Military Historical Society Museum
Presently the only museum dedicated solely to Maine’s military history, the museum is for those who have served and those who want to learn more about the commitment of Maine’s dedicated men and women.
The museum has artifacts from all branches and components of the Armed Forces of the United States.
4. Children's Discovery Museum
A perfect way to spend a day with the young and young at heart.
The Children’s Discovery Museum is focused on hands-on, interactive displays, such as the Pizza Kitchen exhibit where children “work” a restaurant, from taking orders to preparing creative meals.
Other exhibits at the museum include a grocery store to learn about fruits and vegetables and play games involving counting, colors and shapes. There’s also an Ocean Touch Tank, where you can hold a starfish or try to find the lobster, and exhibits involving mathematical skills, theater, music and more.
5. Kennebec River Rail-Trail
Take in beautiful weather and nature with a stroll down the Kennebec River Rail Trail, a walking path that is accessible with more than a mile paved.
The rail-trail follows the railroad right-of-way that once connected Portland to Augusta. Granite quarter-mile markers mimic the original larger markers the railroad once used.
The trail also follows the 120-mile Kennebec River, a historic waterway named by the Abnaki Indians and meaning “long, quiet waters.” The river is a thriving habitat for fish and wildlife, including the rare Atlantic sturgeon.
The trail begins beneath Augusta’s Memorial Bridge, where you’ll find parking and an information kiosk.
6. The Viles Arboretum
Bring your family and your dog to visit The Viles Arboretum, which includes six miles of trails on 224 acres.
A good introductory trail is the one to Viles Pond, which takes you through the hosta garden, past the rock garden and to the pond for birdwatching.
The 224 acres also includes the second longest wetland boardwalk in the state, where photography opportunities abound, and a large variety of trees botanically labeled throughout the forest habitat.
Stop by the visitor’s center to check for events and activities, such as guided birdwatching tours and art exhibits.
7. The Red Barn
Don’t leave Augusta without enjoying a meal at The Red Barn, a former dairy barn/ice cream stand turned into a family restaurant in 1977.
Still owned by the same family, The Red Barn is known for its fried Maine scallops, shrimp and clams, friendly service and strong community support. In fact, The Red Barn is a great supporter of the veterans we serve here at Maine Veterans’ Homes.
While visiting your loved one at Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta or if you’re stopping by for a tour, feel free to ask our staff for other recommendations for outings and places to visit in Augusta.
More About Maine Veterans' Homes
Maine Veterans’ Homes is an independent nonprofit organization with six locations throughout Maine, each welcoming our honored veterans. Whether your loved one is in need of rehabilitative care, therapy services, long-term care or dementia care, we work with you to provide the exceptional care, compassion and support you are looking for.
We encourage families and veterans to download our free brochure and learn more about our services. You'll also get a bonus checklist to help you compare senior living communities.