With a population of less than 5,000, Sabattus is like many of Maine’s small towns in that it’s surrounded by natural beauty and full of historic quaintness and charm.
It’s located in Androscoggin County close to the twin cities of Lewiston-Auburn, and for much of its existence, it was called Webster.
Its name was changed to Sabattus in the early ’70s to honor a former chief of the Anasagunticook Native American tribe that called the area home for generations before it was settled by those of European descent.
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Sabattus, Maine.
1. Sabattus Disc Golf
For those not familiar with disc golf, it may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that it’s attracted quite a following in recent years.
It’s almost always less expensive than regular golf, can be played year-round, and doesn’t require a significant investment in specialized equipment like clubs, shoes, and balls.
Located on Bowdoinham Road in town, Sabattus Disc Golf is considered one of the state’s premier disc golf facilities and includes three separate 18-hole courses.
The courses are wheelchair, child, and family-friendly, and there’s a pro shop on site that carries everything you’ll need for a full day on the links.
2. Willow Pond Farm
Located on Middle Road in Sabattus, Willow Pond is small by farm standards, but its scenic location and interesting history more than make up for what it lacks in size.
Portions of the farm are certified organic, and in addition to fruits and vegetables, there are also horses, sheep, chickens, and pigs.
In 1989, the farm was part of the first community agricultural product in the state’s history which allowed interested locals to become shareholders, much like they’d be in a co-op.
It’s an interesting idea that increases awareness, education, and builds a sense of community investment not found in typical private farms. It’s now open to the public.
3. Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream
With five locations in Maine, sweet-toothed travelers are never too far from a Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream location.
With a variety of dairy and non-dairy ice cream and sorbet options, there’s a little something for everyone. Though Fielder’s is only open seasonally, they see many of the same customers year after year.
Fielder’s also offers baked goods like brownies and cookies; there are even a few sugar-free options for those counting calories and watching their figures.
Their locations are in Sabattus, Brunswick, Manchester, Old Orchard Beach, and Auburn, so check online for directions and their seasonal schedule.
4. The Public Theatre
For five consecutive years, The Public Theatre on Maple Street in Lewiston was named the best theatre in Maine.
Those are pretty impressive statistics, especially since the theatre hasn’t been around nearly as long as many of its competitors.
It’s the area’s home for high-quality, low-cost, family-friendly entertainment, and features a variety of productions both on and off-Broadway.
The theatre’s a quaint and intimate venue that fits the small-town charm perfectly. With a top ticket price of just twenty bucks, an evening out won’t cost an arm and a leg.
For children under 18, the cost of admission is significantly reduced.
5. Flux Restaurant
With so many all-natural, organic farms and dairies in the state, it’s no wonder that Maine has more than its fair share of trendy restaurants as well.
Located on Main Street in nearby Lisbon Falls, Flux is a favorite dining destination for those looking for a comfy atmosphere, traditional favorites with a twist, and an all-around bang for their hard-earned travel dollars.
Most of the ingredients used are from local suppliers, and they offer an eclectic mix of options – from burgers to kimchi and a little bit of everything in between.
Flux also carries a wide variety of local and regional beers that go well with food.
6. Vista of Maine Vineyard and Tasting Room
Located on North Hills Ridge Road in Greene, Vista of Maine Vineyard and Tasting Room not only provides visitors with a delectable variety of locally-produced adult beverages, but also incredible vistas of western Maine’s majestic mountains.
You’ll also find seasonal produce, non-alcoholic cider, and fresh baked goods that are the perfect accompaniment, especially when relaxing at the outdoor picnic tables.
During the spring and winter months, they host a variety of entertainment activities. Since they’re just a few minutes from the Lewiston-Auburn and Sabattus areas, you won’t need to spend half the day in the car.
7. Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary
The Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary is located on the grounds of the Stanton Bird Club in Lewiston and offers guests an array of year-round activities in addition to bird-watching.
The bird club and sanctuary are comprised of more than 400 acres of preserved area that are home to numerous native bird species. The sanctuary also features two ponds, plenty of outdoor seating areas, and an amphitheater.
There are plenty of trails open to walkers, joggers, mountain bikers, and cross-country skiers in the winter months.
Many of the sanctuary’s trails include significant changes in elevation and can get slippery during wet weather, so dress accordingly.
8. Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
Built mainly by Canadian immigrants of French descent in the late 1800s, the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is the second largest church of its kind in New England. It is a truly impressive and awe-inspiring structure regardless of one’s faith.
The Basilica is located on Ash Street in Lewiston and still holds regular masses, so ask a local or check online to find out the best time to visit.
Both the inside and outside parts of the building are truly magnificent throwbacks to past eras, when churches and basilicas were one of man’s earthly attempts to express his faith.
9. Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum
Dedicated to the lives of two Bowdoin College alumni who explored the Arctic more than a century ago, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum is a unique attraction that’s really in a class of its own.
This museum is located inside the building that was formerly the college’s library. It is full of an amazing collection of equipment, photographs, clothes, and other odds-and-ends used by the pair on their journey.
The campus of Bowdoin College is located in Brunswick, and the museum is free to visit.
The museum’s exhibits are interesting for adults and children alike, and it’s a great place to escape the elements for an hour two during inclement weather.
10. Wild Oats Bakery & Café
Located close enough to the campus of Bowdoin College to walk to in just a few minutes, the Wild Oats Bakery and Café is the perfect place to stop for a little caffeine and nourishment after checking out the museum mentioned above.
Everything is made on site from scratch with local, all-natural ingredients when possible.
Wild Oats is part bakery, part café, and part deli; they offer a wide variety of options, like soups, sandwiches, muffins, scones, and even homemade cakes and pies.
There’s indoor and outdoor seating, and they’re fully accessible for those in wheelchairs. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they offer gluten-free and vegan options as well.
11. Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum
The Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum was the home of a former governor of Maine who led an interesting and historically significant life.
The home and museum are conveniently located on Maine Street in Brunswick on the campus of Bowdoin College. It’s staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers who offer guided tours that previous guests have found both educational and entertaining.
Tours generally last an hour and delve into the man’s childhood and professional years. The exhibits include an impressive variety of clothes, weapons, historical documents, and military paraphernalia, including a bullet that nearly took his life as a relatively young man.
12. Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Comprised of more than 20,000 objects of art, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art is one of New England’s most complete repositories of significant works and is worth a stop while on the campus of Bowdoin College.
The museum’s collection started small in the 1800s but has steadily grown over the years and is now one of the college’s most popular centerpieces.
The items on display include paintings, sculptures, and drawings, and many of them have been donated by local townspeople, collectors, and alumni.
The museum also features cultural and historical artifacts from civilizations around the world, and it’s free to visit year-round.
13. Museum L-A
Located in the Bates Mill Complex on Lewiston’s Canal Street, Museum L-A is focused on preserving the area’s cultural, economic and historical pasts.
In particular, the town’s shoe manufacturing and textile industries are well-represented; the exhibits are designed to give visitors an in-depth insight into the industries that drove the area’s prosperity for much of its existence.
Unlike many museums that focus on famous historical figures, most of the items on display at Museum L-A represent the everyday working people and their families, many who’ve called the Lewiston-Auburn area home for generations.
Admission is inexpensive, and children under six get in free.
14. Auburn Riverwalk
Much of the Lewiston-Auburn area sits on the shores of the scenic Androscoggin River. The Auburn Riverwalk is one of its most popular destinations for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and the live performances that are popular weekend attractions during the spring and summer months.
The riverside area wasn’t always such an attraction, but has undergone a redevelopment and renaissance in the last few years that’s attracted a loyal following.
There’s also a scenic waterfall along the paved trail. For those full of energy, it’s possible to walk across the river on a railroad bridge that’s no longer in use.
15. Community Little Theatre
Auburn’s Community Little Theatre was founded in 1940 and was once the building that housed the local high school’s auditorium.
The venue’s name has changed frequently over the years, and the facilities have undergone updates and renovations, but it hasn’t lost its small-town charm, which is one of the things that guests seem to appreciate the most.
The theatre’s productions are mostly managed and performed by locals, though many guests note that their experience far exceeded their expectations, and that it was a surprising highlight of their trip.
The best way to keep abreast of what’s on their calendar of events is to check their website periodically before your trip.