The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

What to Do in the Lew

Congratulations on your enrollment at Bates! You’ve made a great choice not just about your school but also about the area where you will live and learn for the next four years. Bates sits on Wabanaki land and is located in the Lewiston-Auburn metro area, a beautiful city with an interesting history and heritage; it is also the second largest city in Maine. The Lewiston-Auburn metro area is full of new ideas, passionate people, and a strong community. In this article, we will introduce you to some of our favorite destinations in the area.

Here is a crazy useful map that we worked very hard on, with every destination on our list!

Walking Distance

There are alternate ways of transportation for those without cars. First of all, Bates provides free L/A transport via the Bobcat Express. All you have to do is call them and tell the operator where you want to go. The Outing Club also sponsors trips throughout the year with transportation included. Lastly, there is the CityLink bus that can get you almost anywhere within city limits. But if you feel like walking, here’s a list of destinations within walking distance:

  • Mount David is barely 2 minutes from the center of campus, located right behind Frye Street. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunrise/sunset or meditate a bit — just be sure to bring bug spray and a snack!
  • Kim’s Kitchen is a 4 minute walk right across the street from Olin Arts Center.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts is a 5 minute walk all the way down and past Frye Street.
  • Aroma Joe’s is a little further, about an 8 min walk from campus. Be sure to try the caffeinated slushie, but be warned the pretzel is not worth it.
  • Crown Fried Chicken is a 6 minute walk down College Street and is fairly priced.
  • Tina Thai Express is a 10 minute walk down College Street and has the best boba in Lewiston, according to our friend Patrick Berbon ’26.
  • The Cupcakery is right next door to Tina Thai and is perfect for gourmet birthday treats!
  • Pure Thai is also a 10 minute walk down College Street. They also have some boba options.
  • Dairy Joy is about an 8 minute walk from campus and it has amazing ice cream for when you’re tired of the soft serve machine in Commons.
  • CVS and Walgreens are both an 11 min walk from campus – talk about a double whammy pharmacy situation!
  • The Androscoggin River Walk trail head is about a 16 minute walk, so super close to cam
    View from the Androscoggin Riverwalk, a lovely destination walking distance from campus. (Hadley Blodgett)

    pus, and great for running with plenty of cool views!

  • The Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary is about a 20 minute walk but it gives you access to some untouched nature where you can walk tons of trails!

In a 20 minute walk from campus you can get to downtown Lewiston where you can find:

  • The Maine Museum of Innovation, Learning and Labor is a museum about the mill and the textile history of Lewiston.
  • Forage Market is a classic Bates spot with a cute cafe and delicious bagel sandwiches.
  • Davinci’s has upscale Italian food and is the go to spot when parents come to visit.
  • Boba has pretty good Asian food, but try the boba only if you dare.
  • Orchid is not bad for when you’re craving sushi.
  • Mother India has some super tasty vegetarian and vegan choices.
  • Italian bakery is a longtime spot with delicious pastries and sandwiches.
  • Simone’s Hot Dog Stand is beloved and has been around for 100 years!
  • Heritage restaurant has Somalian food, reflecting a large portion of the Lewiston population.
  • Blue Jay Coffee is a cafe that just opened up that looks super cute!

Driving Distance

If you do have access to a vehicle, grab some friends and visit some of the following destinations:

  • Nezinscot Farm serves homemade artisanal food and a warm and welcoming cafe. They also have animals and a yarn and fiber studio. Everything is made from scratch!
  • Orphan Annie’s is a cutesy antique store in downtown Auburn.
  • There are various grocery stores like Shaw’s, Hannafords, Walmart, Food City, and Axis Natural Foods.
  • Target just opened last winter. It’s new and it’s glorious, filled with anything you may need.
  • There is a new Olive Garden. Also glorious if you’re craving some Italian food.
  • Mardens is a Maine institution, almost like thrifting but you’re buying surplus stock and salvaged items. Their slogan is “should’ve bought it when I saw it at Mardens.” Highly recommended!
  • Tabers and Roy’s are two golfing places around Lake Auburn! They offer mini golf and have grills. Note: They close for the season in October.
  • There are tons of disc golf options.
  • Both the Public Theater and the Community Little Theater offer tons of shows throughout the year which are definitely worth checking out!
  • The Rollodrome is a 50s style skate rink! It is relatively accessible (only $8 for admission and $3 for skates).
  • At Splittin Wood Axe throwing, you can use different axes and knives to throw at a wood target.
  • Bull Moose is a Maine chain where you can buy cool books, vinyl, and any CD ever made.
  • Rolly’s Diner and Happy Days Diner are side by side with classic food, check out this article about the two to pick which to head to first.
    Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub has fun outdoor seating!
  • 84 Court Pizza serves up Greek food and great pizza.
  • Fielder’s choice offers homemade ice cream with a fun baseball theme. It was started in Sabattus so be sure to support this local enterprise!
  • Val’s Drive In is a 50s style drive in that serves fried pickles and Maine red hot dogs.

    Val’s Drive-In is a local drive-in movie theater. (Had)
  • There are quite a few pizza places in town. Check out Lewiston House of Pizza, Pat’s Pizza, George’s Pizza, OTTO, Antigoni’s Pizza, or Cibo Pizza.
  • Flagship Premium Cinemas is a very nice movie theater complete with heated seats that recline! Tuesday movies are $6.
  • Sparetime recreation is perfect for all of your bowling needs. (It’s a 15-minute bike ride if you have your own bicycle or want to check one out from the library.)
  • The Auburn and Lewiston Public Libraries are excellent resources to check out.
  • Quiet City Books is the local used bookstore.
  • Range Pond is a Bates classic. It is a state park with a beach for swimming. It is only a 15 minute drive from campus. (Be warned some people pronounce it “rang”.) It’s super popular during Short Term.
  • If you feel like swimming, also check out Martin’s Point Park on Sabattus Pond.

Hikes Nearby

Lastly, here are some hikes in the area:

  • Mt. Apatite is located a 15 minute drive from Bates. It has miles of trail systems located on the site of abandoned quarries. It is known for its cool rocks and tourmaline, quartz specimens, and, well, apatite. In the winter it’s used for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
  • Androscoggin State Park is also about 15 minutes from campus. It has beautiful flatter trails along the river with giant boulders!
  • Lake Auburn has hiking trails and picnic benches to look out over the peaceful body of water and picnic!
  • Mt. Pisgah is 25 minutes from campus. It is a fun hike with cool views and an awesome fire tower.
  • Poland Springs hiking trails are a 25 minute drive from campus. This hike is around the area where Poland Springs (yes the water bottle company) is. The trail also passes by the Maine State Building, one of the few remaining buildings from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair!
  • Packard Trail is a 30 min drive from campus and it goes on the shores of South Pond and has two little waterfalls. It is a super cute hike and the beautiful forest will make you feel like you’re in the middle of the woods.
  • Streaked Mountain is also 30 minutes from campus. There’s two ways to go up and at the top you can see the whole mountain range in the area!
  • Tumbledown Mountain is a 1.5 hour drive from campus. This is a 5.3 mile loop and 3058 feet (935m) elevation. But at the top, there’s a pond that you can take a dip in!
  • Lost Valley has a couple of hiking trails to enjoy for when you aren’t skiing.

Of course, the best spots and traditions are discovered by you. Part of college is exploring the area around you and discovering how you can make a positive impact on your surrounding community. Have fun on your explorations!

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About the Contributors
Catalina Passino
Catalina Passino, Managing Features Editor
Catalina is a sophomore from Leesburg, Virginia. She plans to major in Psychology and minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Outside of her studies, Catalina dabbles in baking, basketball, and frolicking. During her freshman year, Catalina began as a contributing writer and later became a staff writer for the Bates Student. Though she is now in features, she also enjoys the news and forum sections.
Leah Belber
Leah Belber, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor

Leah is a sophomore from Washington, D.C. who will likely major in English with a minor in French. Deeply opinionated about food, she enjoys trying new restaurants and baking elaborate birthday cakes. You can find her filming TikToks for Bates on the quad or attending PAUSE on Wednesday nights!

In her first year, Leah was a staff writer writing primarily for Arts & Leisure, continuing her work from high school at The Augur Bit.

Hadley Blodgett
Hadley Blodgett, Assistant Arts & Leisure Editor
Hadley (she/her) is a Sophomore from Buckfield, Maine which is really close to Bates. She is a member of the Brass Ensemble and also the Jazz Band, and does music in her free time too. In her free time volunteers with the Auburn Community Concert Band providing free community concerts through the summer and winter. Besides a minor interest in music she also enjoys being outside and exploring parts of Maine she hasn’t been to before. Her favorite hike is currently Eyebrow Loop Trail. In her free time she writes, works, and also dabbles in photography.
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