First-Year Favorites


Hannah Kothari

Lewiston Riverside Trail.

As the second semester comes to a close on my freshman year at Bates, and as I have started to find my footing on (and off) of campus, I have established my opinion on a few things in and around campus. Without a further ado, I present to you my first-year favorites:

Off-Campus Destinations:

Ski Resorts:

  • Sugarloaf Mountain: This mountain (in my opinion) is the best in Maine. The Loaf boasts a wide variety of terrain, ideal for all levels of skiers—and is a big mountain with a small mountain feel. Trust me, the near two-hour drive time is well worth it.
    • Eighty 8 Donuts: Fantastic donuts on a fantastic ski mountain. Need I say more?
  • Sunday River: I must admit, the location of this mountain is ideal for Bates students, as it’s only an hour away from campus. Sunday River has more of a resort-like feel to it (and typically is busier because of that), and I’ve found the runs to be shorter than those at Sugarloaf. It’s still a great mountain regardless, perhaps more ideal for a half-day of skiing, though.
    • Butcher Burger: About a ten minute drive away from Sunday River, this burger place is the perfect place to stop before heading back to Bates after a ski day. Make sure to try their sea salt and vinegar fries!
  • Lost Valley: Free skiing for Bates students, about an eight minute drive away from campus. If you’re into night skiing, I highly recommend making a few trips here during the winter semester.

Towns & Cities:

  • Portland: Good food. Good vibes. If you’re looking for a good bite to eat or some good shopping, the biggest city in Maine is definitely worth a visit.
  • Bath: A small town located about 25 minutes out from Brunswick, Bath is an adorable location to visit. There are a number of bookstores, affordable and handmade jewelry shops, and coffee shops along the coast.
  • Freeport: The city sporting the infamous L.L.Bean flagship store, Freeport is the perfect place for a shopping day trip.

Short Term Discoveries:

  • Chipman’s Pick-Your-Own Tulip Farm: For a few weeks during short term, this farm grows tulips for the public to pick. Farm-goers are charged by the bulb, and have the opportunity to choose from a variety of colored flowers.
  • Range Pond State Park: This pond is a great destination to visit during the warmer months. During Short Term, Bates students will frequent this location. This is a perfect spot for a picnic, reading, trail walks, or just hanging out with friends. The entry fee is $8 for non-Maine residents.
  • Lewiston’s Riverside Trail: A trail walking distance from campus, perfect for a quick run or walk (solo or with friends!).

Restaurants in Lewiston/Auburn:

  • Boba: It’s in the name—boba. If you’re looking for a sweet treat and some good Asian food, Boba is a great spot to visit. Its location is close to campus, at about a four minute drive.
  • Orchid: Located in the same general area as Boba, Orchid is another great location to visit if you’re looking for Asian Food—particularly sushi.
  • Forage: A yummy bagel spot with yummy coffee! Forage is a great place to visit for a study session, or with friends. I highly recommend their breakfast sandwiches.
  • Pure Thai: This restaurant is a short walk from campus, and is a great option if you are looking to eat off-campus. Good Thai food, good boba.
  • DaVinci’s Eatery: If you’re looking for some good Italian food that isn’t too far from campus, Davinci’s is a great place to visit. Their pizzas are great to share,
  • Baxter Brewing Co.: Located in the same general area as Davinci’s, this restaurant boasts great pub food; think burgers, fried pickles and pretzels.
  • Terry and Maxine’s: This incredible diner, located in Turner, is well-priced and absolutely delicious. It is not too far from campus, and has the best breakfast food (though the serve lunch and dinner as well).
  • Dunkin’: My best friend told me to add this (he frequents Dunkin’ on the daily). To be fair, it’s walking distance from campus, and a hop, skip, and a jump from Frye Street.

Other Restaurants in Maine:


  • Cheese Louise: Some of the best grilled cheese I have ever had. This restaurant, founded in New Hampshire, sports some of the most creative grilled cheese flavors, with great homemade pickles.
  • Gross Confection Bar: Don’t be afraid of the name – this dessert location, while a bit more expensive, is a wonderful place to split interesting sweet treat combinations with friends.
  • Uncharted Tea: This boba place is my favorite in Maine so far. They have creative boba tea flavors (and well-cooked tapioca) in a fantastic location – perfect for studying, solo or with friends!
  • Crunchy Poké: Boba, poké, and ramen! What more could you ask for? This restaurant is located in the middle or Portland – right next to some great shopping, and across from an ice cream shop!
  • Boda: This yummy Thai restaurant is one of my all-time favorites. With plenty of noodle dishes, rice, and protein options, this restaurant has something for everyone.


  • Burano’s Pizza: Some of the best pizza in Maine! This pizza place is a very popular location, and has great outdoor ambiance in the warmer months.
  • JR Maxwell and Co.: Great spot for some classic, northeastern comfort food. Delicious burgers, salads, and warps – as well as lobster rolls!
  • Cafe Creme: Known for its baked goods and fantastic coffee, this cafe
  • Birches Coffee Bar and Market: A bit off the beaten path, this coffee shop has a variety of cold and hot drinks to choose from, as well as toasts, bagels, and eggs.

Commons Foods:

After consulting with fellow students, here is a list of 2022-23 Commons favorites:


  • Tuesday Omelets
  • Waffles
  • Tater Tots/Hash Browns
  • Pancakes


  • General Tso’s Chicken
  • Spicy Chicken
  • Lemon Chicken
  • Chicken Fritters
  • Falafel
  • Vegan Pad Thai
  • Margarita Pizza
  • Hamburger/Hot Dogs (an American classic)


  • Red Velvet Cake
  • Classic Brownie
  • Soft Serve (with cereal)
  • S’mores Bar