Waterville is a small city (16,000 in 2020) on the Kennebec River, home to Colby College. Because of its location along a former migration corridor between Quebec and New England (now the Kennebec-Chaudière International Corridor), Franco-American culture is evident here.
From Portland: Take US Interstate I-295 North through Brunswick; this becomes I-95 North in Gardiner; follow signs for Augusta, then Waterville; Exit 127 for the Kennedy Memorial Drive which leads downtown; trip is seventy-five miles and takes seventy-five minutes.
From Bangor: Take I-95 South; Exit 130 for Main Street; continue south on Main Street past the strip malls to downtown; trip is 56 miles and takes about an hour.
From Quebec City: Take Autoroute 73 South to end; Continue on Route 273 (Route du President Kennnedy) following signs for St. Georges/Frontier; Jackman border crossing is open 24 hours/day 7 days/week; continue south on US201 to downtown Waterville; trip is 200 miles and takes about four hours.
- Vermont Transit Lines, 80 Airport Rd, ☏ . Waterville is on the Boston-Bangor line. Tickets can be purchased upon boarding or online from Greyhound The bus stops twice daily each way at by the local airport three miles southwest of downtown.
- Kennebec Explorer, ☏ . A community transportation service available to the general public, operates two bus routes through the city Monday to Friday. A south line begins downtown and follows the Kennedy Memorial Drive and a north line runs between downtown and Fairfield.
- TRI County Cab, +1 207-692-4029
- Enterprise, ☏ .
The city center's architecture reflects the city's textile mill past. Several large mills remain standing but closed.
- 1 Colby College Campus, ☏ . Student-led campus tours available from the Office of Admissions. A small liberal arts college founded in 1813. Stroll around the tree-studded hilltop campus with its fine Neo-Georgian architecture. The view from the steps of Miller Library (or from the library's tower during the few times the tower is open) stretches across the Kennebec River valley, particularly beautiful during fall foliage.
- 2 Colby College Museum of Art. Maine's largest art museum, containing important works by John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Richard Serra.
- 3 Perkins Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary. A 128 acre forest with almost two miles of hiking trails.
- 4 Two Cent Bridge. The 1903 Ticonic footbridge crosses the Kennebec between Waterville and neighboring Winslow, once allowing factory workers access to mills on either side of the river, now an interesting site to visit.
- 5 Redington Museum, 62 Silver St, ☏ . Memorial Day through Labor Day, Tuesday through Saturday. Maintained by the Waterville Historical Society, this house contains 18th and 19th century artifacts from its original inhabitants and other local families.
- Maine International Film Festival, ☏ . In mid-July, this festival showcases independent American and international film and highlights New England and Maine filmmakers.
- Colby College, Mayflower Hill Drive. The college hosts musical and theatrical performances, sports, lectures, and many other cultural events. Check the news and events page for listings.
- Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad Square, ☏ . Shows nightly and weekend matinees. One of Maine's leading independent and international movie houses and venue for the Maine International Film Festival. Art by local artists available for sale.
- Waterville Opera House, 93 Main St, ☏ . A grand theater space offering a variety of performances throughout the year. Also a venue for the Maine International Film Festival.
- Colby Bookstore, 5400 Mayflower Hill Dr (in the Roberts Union), ☏ , toll-free: . Not only the source for college textbooks and all manner of Colby gear, this independent bookstore features Colby authors, books on local topics, and contemporary fiction and nonfiction.
- Maine Made Shop, 93 Main St, ☏ . Souvenirs and Maine-made products of all kinds, from Maine maple syrup to Maine-knit socks.
Aside from these recommendations, fast-food and other chain restaurants as well as supermarkets can be found along Main Street and the Kennedy Memorial Drive between I-95 and downtown.
- Gifford's Ice Cream, 170 Silver St, ☏ . Waterville location of a Maine ice cream chain headquartered in nearby Skowhegan. Unique local flavors include Moose Tracks, Whoopie Pie, and Grape-nuts.
- Waterville Farmers' Market, Appleton Street (the Concourse). May-Oct Th 2PM-6PM; Nov-Apr every third Th of month 2PM-4PM. Farmers' featuring a variety of locally grown, raised, or crafted products.
- Jorgensen's Cafe, 103 Main St, ☏ . Coffee shop offering sandwiches, wine and gourmet treats.
- Mainely Brews, 1 Post Office Square, ☏ . Bar popular with both locals and college students.
- Big G's. A hidden gem in Winslow. They specialize in Breakfast and sandwiches and the portions are huge. Don't forget to try a whoopie pie!
Most accommodations (chain hotels and motels) are found along the Kennedy Memorial Drive and Main Street between I-95 and downtown. In addition to the following recommendations, other country inns and bed and breakfasts are located nearby in Belgrade Lakes.
- Fireside Inn & Suites, 376 Main St, ☏ , fax: .
- Budget Host Airport Inn, 400 Kennedy Memorial Dr, ☏ , fax: .
- The Elmwood, 455 Kennedy Memorial Dr, ☏ , fax: .
- Hampton Inn, 425 Kennedy Memorial Dr, ☏ , fax: .
- Best Western Plus Waterville Grand Hotel, 375 Upper Main St, ☏ .
- Pleasant Street Inn, 84 Pleasant St, ☏ . A three-room B&B close to downtown.
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Waterville - North, 332 Main St, ☏ .
- Waterville is a stepping-off point for the Belgrade Lakes and China Lake, two major lake areas with swimming, fishing, boating, and comfortable accommodations.
- Explore north along the Kennebec River (passing Skowhegan, The Forks, and Jackman, crossing the Appalachian mountains into the Chaudière-Appalaches region of Quebec en route to Quebec City.
- Head east to Belfast or Camden on the Mid Coast.
|Routes through Waterville|
|Bangor ← Fairfield ←||N S||→ Augusta → Lewiston–Auburn|
|Quebec City ← Fairfield ←||N S||→ Winslow → Augusta|
|Bangor ← Fairfield ←||N S||→ Winslow → Augusta|