Waterville is a small city 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.
Kennebec Explorer, +1 207 877-5677, , a community transportation service available to the general public, operates two bus routes through the city Monday through Friday. A south line begins downtown and follows the Kennedy Memorial Drive and a north line runs between downtown and Fairfield.
Colby College Campus, (campus map at, student-led campus tours available from the Office of Admissions, +1 207 859-4828). 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.
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.
Perkins Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary - a 128 acre forest with almost two miles of hiking trails.
Downtown and Kennebec River - the city center's architecture reflects the city's textile mill past. Several large mills remain standing but closed. The 1903 Ticonic footbridge (also called the Two Cent Bridge) 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.
Redington Museum, 62 Silver Street, +1 207 872-9439, . 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, +1 207 861-8138, . 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, +1 207 873-6526, . 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 Street, +1 207 873-7000, . A grand theater space offering a variety of performances throughout the year. Also a venue for the Maine International Film Festival.
Atlantic Music Festival, Colby College, . Hundreds of student and professional musicians and composers participate in this classical music festival every summer, which features about 20 concerts, all free and open to the public. There is a variety of orchestral and chamber music performances offered, often featuring an emphasis on contemporary music.edit
Colby Bookstore, 5400 Mayflower Hill Drive (in the Roberts Union), +1 207 859-5400 (Toll-free: +1 800-727-8506), . 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 Street, +1 207 872-7378, . 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 Street, +1 207 872-6631. 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.
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.