Downtown and Main Street
Great for shopping, The Kennebec Valley is home to three of Maine’s Main Street Communities—Gardiner, Augusta, and Skowhegan. Their streets are lined with shops, boutiques, and restaurants of all kinds. In addition, most, if not all, are run by local business people. Make time to browse in Hallowell, Monmouth, Belgrade, Waterville, and Madison—which are also gathering places for local celebrations and performances.
Antique and Vintage
Maine’s Kennebec Valley offers great antique shopping. Because of this, pickers come here and go home happy. Auctions are held on a semi-regular basis featuring all kinds of rural Maine finds and other “great stuff.” Antique malls overflow with mountains of oddities or treasure, while casual shoppers should head to Hallowell’s densely lined Water Street. After that, those looking to dig a little should head out of town. Drive along Route 201, to find spots like Jellison’s Traders in Augusta, Poulin’s, and the Fairfield Antiques Mall a mile or so off of the interstate in Fairfield.
Small local shops
Keep your eyes peeled as you travel along our byways and through our towns. You’ll find small, local shops in the most surprising places, gladly welcoming visitors inside. These artisans have their fingers on the creative pulse, whether it’s handmade earrings, a custom fishing fly, or a coffee mug. Tucked in between a barber and a realtor, you might find new fashions, collectibles, and things that go zoom for the kids. That gas station in town may make the best sandwich around and have a raincoat, a kayak paddle, and a first aid kit. Due to that, we should probably call them “necessity stores,” because if you need it, they’ll surely have it.
It’s all at the Mall
For some time now, Augusta has been home to some of the best shopping in Maine, because it’s outdoors and it’s way less crowded than Portland. So if you need something, or if you want to browse, visit The Marketplace at Augusta. It’s close to the interstate, and nearly all of the mega-retailers are represented—Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, Walmart, and Old Navy. There are also unexpected choices with brands like ULTA and Eddie Bauer Outlet. You can shop for bargains at Kohl’s or grab a bite with friends and family at Red Robin, Chipotle, or Olive Garden.
Crafted in Maine
If you find yourself headed north into the Kennebec Valley traveling along the interstate, jump off and take a break at the West Gardiner Travel Plaza. Once inside, you’ll find the Center for Maine Craft. Take time to wander around this amazing store organized and run by the Maine Crafts Association. It’s open year-round and offers nearly every kind of craft imaginable—from carved and turned wood pieces to delicate jewelry, fiber art, books, and even some food products. Everything in the store is created by Maine’s hugely-talented crafts workers. Those shopping for other Maine-made merchandise should visit the Maine Made & More stores in Belgrade and Waterville.
Shop for local Maine foods
There is a food revolution happening in Maine’s Kennebec Valley. Good food made here is showing up everywhere. Some of the best tomatoes in the world are grown in Madison. Gourmet chocolate from Waterville. Wines and spirits from Oakland. Ice cream from Skowhegan. Whoopie pies and artisan crisps from Waterville. Flour and grains milled in Skowhegan. Sauces and marinades from Canaan. Maple syrup from all throughout the region. Mushrooms from Gardiner. And microbrews from just about every town. Look for the Made In Maine brand when you are shopping and give our local stuff a try.