Augusta is the capital of the U.S. state of Maine. The city's population was 18,560 at the 2000 census, making it the third-smallest state capital after Montpelier, Vt., and Pierre, S.D., Located on the Kennebec River, it’s home to the University of Maine at Augusta.
Some sites of interest in Augusta include the Kennebec Historical Society and Museum, the Maine State House, the Maine State Museum, Pine Tree State Arboretum and the Children’s Discovery Museum. The 180-foot dome of the State House, constructed of Maine granite, is one of the most fascinating architectural features of the city. Augusta and neighboring Hallowell are former Native American villages. The pilgrims arrived in 1625 and set up a trading post along the Kennebec River. The rich history of the region is chronicled at The Maine State Museum, adjacent to the State House. The museum covers 12,000 years of Maine life through life-like exhibits and more than 2,000 artifacts dating from the end of the Ice Age through the 1800s.
Augusta’s Fort Western, built in 1754, is the oldest surviving wooden fort in the region. Today, its story is told through living history programs that emulate daily life at the fort during the 18th century. The historic buildings that line Hallowell’s main streets house a good selection of antique shops, specialty stores and several exceptional restaurants. Augusta is the gateway to the Lakes regions, laid-back resort communities where water-based activities are the order of the day. Belgrade is home to a top-ranked golf course, and Ernest Thompson wrote “On Golden Pond” while staying here. Visitors can ride in the mail boat made famous by the movie version of Thompson’s book as it delivers mail to residents along Great Pond.
Maine lobsters are considered the best in the world. A meal at a Maine diner can come with home-cooked chowders, muffins and blueberry pies, as well as some ethnic specialties.
If you’re arriving via small aircraft, you can land at Augusta State Airport.
Maine experiences a humid continental climate with warm (although generally not hot), humid summers. Winters are cold and snowy throughout the state, and are especially severe in the northern parts of Maine. Coastal areas are moderated somewhat by the Atlantic Ocean. Daytime highs are generally in the 75 to 80° F. range throughout the state in July, with overnight lows in the high 50°s F. January temperatures range from highs near 32° F. on the southern coast to overnight lows below 0° F. in the far north.