Local Atmosphere

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Very Hard
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3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Lewiston, Maine is relatively boring which makes it the perfect atmosphere to attend school.

3 College Sophomore


3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There really isn't much to do in Lewiston.

2 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: There's a "Bates Bubble." Students don't really venture outside campus.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Lewiston/Auburn has a bit of a bad reputation, but for no reason. There's lots to do and so much character and life in Lewiston.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jessie Sawyer
Farmington, CT
English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a Spanish minor
View all previous student authors

Though Lewiston is probably the biggest drawback about going to Bates, the city probably isn’t quite as bad as most students make it out to be. There are some nice trails only about 10 minutes from campus, and while there honestly isn’t that much to do in Lewiston, Portland is less than an hour drive from campus. Portland is a fun city—it’s very artsy and cultural, with plenty for anyone to do. There are museums, restaurants, cafés, theaters, bars, shops, and a very nice waterfront not far from the city. For students who don’t have cars, the school runs a bus that goes to the Old Port about once a month. The area around Lewiston is nice as well, with ski areas and good spots for hiking. The Outing Club organizes numerous trips to local hiking spots, and there are deals on seasonal passes for Batesies at local ski areas. If you’re interested in outdoor winter sports, including snowball fights, Bates is a great school. If you’re interested in spending a lot of time hanging out in a booming, urban metropolis, you might be happier somewhere else.

The relationship between students and “townies” is generally very poor, since most people from Lewiston resent the “spoiled rich kids” going to Bates. With a few exceptions, Bates students are seldom involved in the Lewiston-Auburn community, preferring to stay in the “Bates bubble.” In truth, there is very little to do in Lewiston—the enormous Super Wal-Mart really is the town’s greatest attraction. Lewiston is not only boring, it can be dangerous. It isn’t safe for students to walk around the city alone at night, and the rape and stabbing that took place a few years ago didn’t help matters. For those who are interested in Franco-American or mill-town history, Lewiston-Auburn is a treasure trove of information, but most Bates students try to avoid the town as much as possible.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Lewiston is the second-largest city in Maine.
  2. The Lewiston-Auburn area is often referred to as "LA" by residents; there's even an LAPD.
  3. The Lewiston Sun Journal, established in 1893, is one of the most widely circulated newspapers in the state of Maine.
  4. Lewiston cited as one of the 100 best small arts towns in America by John Muir Publications.
  5. On May 25, 1965, in Lewiston's St. Dominick's Arena, Mohammad Ali knocked out Sammy Liston in the first round of a rematch with a quick, hard right punch to the head. The quick win for Ali was under scrutiny as people questioned whether Liston threw the fight.
Notable Natives
  • Gerard Robichaud - author
  • Patrick Dempsey - actor (born in Lewiston, but grew up in Turner, Maine)
Local Slang
  • LA: Lewiston-Auburn
  • Wicked: Very, as in, "That clam chowdah is wicked good!"
Points of Interest
  • Acadia National Park
  • The Androscoggin Historical Society Museum
  • Androscoggin River Walk
  • The Atrium Gallery
  • Bates Mill
  • The Franco-American Heritage Collection
  • Lewiston-Auburn Public Theatre
  • Lost Valley Ski Area
  • Railroad Park
  • Sabbath Day Lake Shaker Museum
  • Thorncraig Bird Sanctuary
Shopping Centers
  • Auburn Mall
  • Lewiston Mall
  • Maine Mall in Portland
Movie Theaters
Flagship Cinema
730 Center St.
(207) 786-8605
Movie Theaters
Flagship Cinema 10
Promenade Mall
(207) 777-5010
Major Sports Teams
  • Lewiston MAINEiacs: junior hockey
  • Portland Sea Dogs: minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Boston: MA: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Portland: ME: 45 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 13 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 13 responses

  • 0% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 0% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 23% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 54% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 23% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 13 responses

  • 38% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 62% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 0% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 13 responses

  • 0% Totally.
  • 23% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 77% No way.



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