Auburn is a city of around 23,000 people located in the state of Maine. It is the county seat of Androscoggin and the “twin” city of Lewiston, which is located right across the river; together they form the L-A.
Initially settled in 1786, it had different names and was officially incorporated as Auburn in 1842. It is said that the name was inspired by a village featured in “The Deserted Village,” a poem dating back to 1770.
The city is based on various industries and offers fun activities, shops, restaurants, parks, trails, and cultural experiences. So, let’s take a closer look at the 15 best things to do in Auburn:
1. Stroll along the Auburn Riverwalk
If the weather allows, this riverside walkway is a great place to spend an afternoon, whether you decide to do some jogging, ride a bike or just walk.
The trail is paved and well maintained and it’s usually not too crowded.
Along the way, you can admire the Androscoggin River with its waterfalls, rocks, and bridges, as well as the cities of Auburn and Lewiston.
2. Explore the Spring Road Trail
Another good place for a hike or jog, the Spring Road Trail offers some nice views of the area, the forest, and the lake – you might even spot some wild animals along the way.
If you have energy left after your exertions, you can continue to hike to the dam or to the picnic areas near the barn in West Auburn. The trail is well maintained, but you still need to have proper clothes and shoes.
3. Watch a hockey game at the Norway Savings Bank Arena
A game of hockey can be really fun to watch, whether you are a big fan of this sport or not. This venue is modern, offering all the facilities for both players and fans.
If you like skating, feel free to stop by the skate shop for all sorts of items and accessories.
When there are no hockey games, the arena also hosts various shows and expos.
4. See a play at the Community Little Theatre
This is a small yet cozy place where you can admire a good play held by the talented local actors. The sets are colorful and impressive, to better set the mood and feelings of the play.
The theatre is very popular in the area and always attracts lots of people, whether they are very passionate about this form of art or just want to experience something new.
Whether you watch a comedy, a drama, a musical show or something else, you will definitely be amazed by the sets, the costumes, and the actors.
5. Ski at the Lost Valley
If you happen to be in the L-A area during winter, stop by the Lost Valley. There are plenty of trails where you can ski and snowboard, regardless of your level and abilities.
It is a great place for the entire family and includes a learning program, a practice area and a lodge with a beautiful wood stove, dining area, and bar.
For those who need to stay connected, there is free Wi-Fi in the lodge, so you can post photos and videos from your day on the slopes.
6. Hike Mt. Apatite
As you may notice, Auburn has a lot of places suited for outdoor activities. This trail is easy to climb regardless of your fitness level, so you can bring the kids.
Along the way, you will admire beautiful scenery, see ponds with frogs and turtles, and find various rocks and minerals. It is a great way to spend a lovely afternoon with the entire family.
Make sure to wear appropriate clothing and bring food and water with you. There are plenty of spots along the way where you can stop for a picnic with a nice view of the city of Auburn.
7. Play mini-golf at Tabers Golf
Whether you have played this game before or not, it’s definitely worth giving it a try here at Tabers Golf. The course is simple and fun and includes a nice view of Auburn Lake and the surrounding area.
The area is compact, so you don’t have to walk too much like you would in a classic game of golf. The course is clean and well maintained, and so is the equipment.
When you are done playing golf, you can enjoy a meal or an ice cream at the burger stand. The staff are very friendly and helpful.
8. Get some gifts from Orphan Annie’s
This store has a wide variety of antiques, clothes, gifts, lamps, jewelry, glasses and much more. They are all well sorted so you can easily find what you are looking for, and there is something for everyone.
Feel free to stop by and spend a few hours admiring the items and choosing the ones that you like, whether as a souvenir to remind you of Auburn or as a gift for someone back home.
The owner has been collecting antiques for 40 years now, so he is very knowledgeable about his collection and will gladly answer all your questions.
9. Go golfing at the Fox Ridge Golf Club
If mini-golf is not good enough for you and you want to try the real thing, head to the Fox Ridge Golf Club.
Some holes are easier, while others will really put your golfing skills to the test. The staff are friendly and helpful and there is a dining area and shop.
The prices are good and most holes have wonderful views to enjoy as you slice and putt your way around the course.
10. Get some jewelry from Republic Jewelry & Collectibles
Ladies can spend an entire day here, while men can get some nice gifts for the special woman back home. As the name suggests, they have a large collection of jewelry and various collectible items, for all tastes and ages.
You will find many unique pieces here at great prices, and you can even create custom jewelry. The design team will gladly assist you and the rest of the staff will give you honest opinions on which pieces better suit your style and personality.
11. Take the kids to Family Time Dine & Play
The owners of this place have more than 11 years of experience in family entertainment, so both adults and kids can have a great time here.
They have plenty of arcade games, laser tag, pinball machines, inflatable slides, a three-story crazy maze, a jungle gym, and a bouncy house.
Overall, it is a great place for the kids to hang out, play and socialize with other youngsters and expel some of that excess energy!
12. Visit the Museum L-A
Located near to Auburn in Lewiston, this museum includes items related to the history of both of the “twin cities.”
There are plenty of exhibits related to the economy of this area in the past, including the mill industry, the brickyard industry and that of making shoes. This place connects the current generations with the previous ones.
The guide was born and raised in Lewiston and is very knowledgeable about all the exhibits and the history of the area. The museum is hosted in a building that used to be an old mill, where the famous Bates Bedspreads were produced.
History buffs will enjoy the L-A Museum, but it’s a fun place to visit for everyone.
13. Marvel at the Basilica Saints Peter and Paul
This church is an impressive structure that resembles the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Inside, you can admire some beautiful paintings and stained glass, and anyone is welcome to enter. Stop by for a concert or mass, or simply to admire its size.
The building can be seen from far in the distance.
14. Walk through Veteran’s Park
The park is located close to the river and has an impressive waterfall nearby. It was built to commemorate those who gave their life for the country.
You can come to admire this beautiful and tranquil place; along the way, you will find multiple commemorative plaques. Even the benches include the names of those who served the country.
15. Shop at the Auburn Mall
While not a huge mall, this place still has plenty of shops and activities for the entire family; you can easily spend a few hours here.
Of course, there is also a food court where you can have a nice meal before continuing the shopping spree.