Located in Maine’s Somerset County, Fairfield was once an English outpost and colony and has played its fair share of interesting roles in the region’s history, which dates back to its original settlement in the 17th century.
Located in the south-central portion of the state near the Kennebec River and the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s a great place to stay while exploring the area.
Full of old-fashioned New England charm that most visitors find alluring, it’s near to many of the state’s most popular historical, cultural, and natural wonders.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Fairfield, Maine.
1. Hillman’s Bakery
Located on Western Avenue in Fairfield, Hillman’s Bakery is a throwback to eras past, when baked goods were largely made by hand, onsite, and with many local ingredients.
Most of the items that Hillman’s offers are made fresh daily; they’re particularly known for their donuts, bread, pies, cakes, and biscuits.
They sell tasty coffee as well, making it the perfect stop for your morning or afternoon caffeine and sugar fix.
The pleasant aromas wafting from their ovens might make you weak in the knees, and prices are very reasonable, so get out there and support the local economy.
2. Common Ground Fair
Many locals consider the Common Ground Fair one of the area’s most memorable events.
Like many fairs, it’s full of games, great food, and a variety of booths, but part of its purpose is to educate and promote the idea of sustainable farming practices, which are now becoming very popular in rural areas like Fairfield.
It’s a unique mix of environmental awareness, science, and fun that you won’t find in many other places.
The cost of admission is reasonable, and they’re also known for their great food.
The fair is held on Crosby Brook Road in nearby Unity, Maine.
3. Belanger’s Drive-In
If you spent time in New England years ago, you might remember the traditional lobster shacks that sprang to life in the spring and served up lobster rolls, French fries, and coleslaw.
Located on Main Street in Fairfield, Belanger’s Drive-in is one such place that may just induce a nostalgic memory or two.
Their menu includes old classics like fried fish, seafood chowder, and the ever-popular lobster roll. Due to their comfortable atmosphere, great food, and reasonable prices, many of their guests return year after year.
It’s not a good fit for those who are watching their calories or have sworn off fried food.
4. Colby College Museum of Art
When visiting a new area, it’s always a stroke of good luck when you stumble onto something that exceeds your expectations and is free.
Located on the campus of Colby College in Waterville, the Colby College Museum of Art is one such place.
Full of amazing exhibits, many of the pieces on display were created by local and regional artists and depict local scenes.
Free audio guides are available at the reception desk; they are a great way to get a unique and in-depth insight into the things you’re seeing.
Plan on spending an hour or so taking it all in.
5. Enchanted Herbs & Teas
For those who are interested in learning about the supposed healing properties of herbs and teas, a visit to the Enchanted Herbs and Teas shop would be a great way to kill an hour.
The shop is conveniently located in downtown Waterville, and they also offer a variety of books and products that deal with natural healing in general. You may be surprised to learn that many of the items and methods they promote have been used for centuries by people all over the world.
Their selection of teas is second to none, and they offer tea leaf readings as well.
6. Two Cent Bridge
Located near the intersection of Temple Street and the Kennebec River in downtown Waterville, Two Cent Bridge is conveniently connected to a park that was completed in late 2018.
The bridge itself is interesting if unremarkable, but together they’re a great combo, and the perfect place to enjoy some natural wonder and fresh air after a day of shopping or running around seeing the sights.
The nearby River Walk is another pleasant area for a stroll and offers some of the most scenic and unobstructed views of the river that are worth a photograph or two.
The bridge, park, and River Walk are all suitable places for travelers with children.
7. Quarry Road Trails
Quarry Road Trails in Waterville is open year-round and offers a variety of calorie-burning activities, no matter what time of year you visit.
There’s a welcome center that’s worth a stop before heading out; inside, you’ll get an overview of the area’s layout and may learn of a few attractions you didn’t know about that you’d like to check out later.
During the warm months, the trails are popular with walkers, joggers, and bikers; they’re great for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter as well.
The trails are easy to get to and free to use.
8. Common Street Arts
Many small town galleries in rural America are full of amazing works in a variety of mediums, and a good proportion of them are produced by local and emerging artists.
Common Street Arts on Water Street in Waterville is one of the town’s most popular destinations for artists and art appreciators. They often host instructional and educational programs aimed at art students and those looking to perfect their skills and techniques.
It’s free to visit, and many of the works on display are very inexpensive. You just might be surprised at the quality of work you see, so stop by and pick up a masterpiece or two.
9. Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre
Drive-in theaters were once a popular means of recreation all across the country, especially for young couples looking to spend some quality time together.
Located on Waterville Road in Skowhegan, the Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre is a holdout from the past – one that should be taken advantage of while you still can.
The theatre is set in a wooded area, and remember that you’ll need a car to get in.
Whether you’re traveling with the whole family or looking for a unique date idea, catching a movie on the big screen is a taste of nostalgia that you won’t likely forget.
10. Lake St. George Beach State Park
Not to be confused with the famous Lake George in New York, Lake St. George Beach State Park in Liberty, Maine isn’t as well-known as its New York cousin, but it’s certainly not lacking in the natural beauty department.
Located about 30 minutes west of Augusta along Route 3, the lake is the park’s jewel.
The park features several campsites along the shore and is a favorite destination for bird-watchers, stargazers, and fishermen, who come to try their hand with the lake’s trout, bass, and landlocked salmon.
The lake and park are comprised of more than 1,000 acres.
11. Balfour Farm
Located on Webb Road in Pittsfield, Balfour Farm is a family owned and operated business that’s the perfect place to stop if you’re hungry for high-quality, homemade fare prepared with lots of tasty local ingredients.
Their menu runs the gamut from soups, sandwiches, and salads to more hearty entrees. Their old farmhouse-inspired restaurant is quaint, comfortable, and someplace you’ll probably return to next time you’re in the area.
In addition to a restaurant, it’s a bed and breakfast and working farm too. Their offerings are certified organic and include dairy products, meat, and lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
12. Vacationland Skydiving
For adrenaline junkies looking for something a bit more invigorating than an organic dairy farm or tame petting zoo, Vacationland Skydiving in Pittsfield should be on your itinerary.
Their home base is at the Pittsfield Municipal Airport Pittsfield. After an orientation and safety-course, guests will gear-up, board the airplane, and ascend thousands of feet above the countryside for an experience they’ll never forget.
All things considered, it’s reasonably priced, and will probably be one of the most memorable things you’ve ever done. They’re open seasonally, so check out their website or give them a call before making a special trip.
13. Apple Farm
New England has always been big apple country. The weather and soil are perfect for growing a wide variety of apples, and visiting the Apple Farm on Back Road in Fairfield would be a great way to spend some time outdoors.
U-pick farms are big hits for those with kids, and though the apples aren’t cheap compared to the national supermarket chains, you’ll taste the difference.
The farm has been run by the same family for more than 40 years, and if you’ve never been to New England during the fall, it’s a particularly beautiful time.
It just so happens many apples are reading for picking then as well.
14. Pittsfield Community Theater
The Pittsfield Community Theater is a true original in that it’s the only such venue of its kind that’s not owned privately, but by the town.
It’s an interesting idea, especially for a theater that’s been around for more than 100 years.
Though the theater has been renovated, it still retains much of its original charm, and now shows second-run movies for a fraction of the price you’d pay at larger commercial theaters.
Mondays are dollar night, which means admission is just a buck. Even if you can’t visit then, you’ll find the tickets noticeably cheaper than they are elsewhere.