Local Area

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Local Area


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3 College Freshman

Local Area: Colby is in Central Maine in the lesser known town of Waterville. It's only an hour away from Portland and its international airport, and only about 20 minutes away from Augusta, the state's capital. While I live in Southern Maine, closer in proximity to a lot of well known places, Waterville has more things to do than my hometown. There are Thai restaurants, Holy Cannoli, and a plethora of other restaurants including the infamous Big G's, a movie theater, bowling, locally grown food served in the dining halls, plenty of opportunities to volunteer (especially in the local schools as mentors), buses to local apple orchards and fairs in the fall, and SPB is always planning events on campus and off campus for the students on the weekends. COOT (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips) also bring Colby students all over Maine to enjoy the nature and beauty the state has to offer before they officially begin college. While maybe with less to do than a city, if you have a car (or a friend with a car) there is no shortage of things to do. Even if you are stuck on campus, there is a very real Colby Bubble in which you will find yourself cut out from the outside world, with an unending amount of opportunities on campus so it's like you never have to leave.

4 people found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Local Area: There is so very little to do in Waterville. You have to drive 1-1.5 hours to find anything.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Local Area: There are very little attractions in the Waterville area which is why everything for the most part stays on campus

3 College Freshman

Local Area: Waterville is up and coming with time. They are some really cute restaurants that often come and hand out snacks on campus. However, Waterville is not a walking distance, so you really need a car or friends with cars to go into town. Colby's car service, the Jitney, is not reliable.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Area: There is not a mall. Only Walmart.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Waterville is typically viewed as a tiny, quaint, and growing old mill town, and year after year, it is becoming more economically sustainable. Though Colby is situated away from Waterville on Mayflower Hill, one can always find Colby students roaming around downtown. To bridge the divide, the Colby Volunteer Center, Burst the Bubble Weeks, and groups like the South End Coalition are working hard to improve town-gown relations. Students also recognize some of the truly unique aspects of downtown Waterville. Railroad Square Cinema is a small, independent movie theater that is well loved by students and faculty, and the Waterville Opera House is a cultural oasis in a town that sometimes seems to revolve around Wal-Mart. The most recent addition includes a Starbucks.

Even though it is situated in central Maine, Waterville actually has quite good cuisine. Pad Thai Too, Last Unicorn, and Big G's are popular destinations for students looking for an alternative dining experience. The newly opened Barrels Community Market carries freshly grown food and organic meats. However, Waterville can be something of a culture shock, especially for students used to looking for trendy boutiques and unaccustomed to Wal-Mart greeters. Most students, though, accept its flaws and enjoy getting off the Hill every now and then. Almost every Colby student has spent time skiing at Sugarloaf, and the 45-minute drive to the Freeport outlets is well worth it.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Waterville is known as Maine's Elm City.
  2. The series Empire Falls, starring Helen Hunt, Ed Harris, and Paul Newman, adapted from Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, was filmed here. Helen Hunt was occasionally spotted working out in Colby's athletic center.
  3. Waterville has a large French-Canadian population and hosts great French-Canadian art festivals.
  4. The Colby campus was originally located in town, in between the river and the railroad tracks. It got too big and moved up to Mayflower Hill in the 1950s.
  5. Waterville is home to the Maine International Film Festival.
Notable Natives
  • David Kelley - Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and television producer
  • Jeff Libby - former professional hockey player
Points of Interest
  • Acadia National Park
  • Bar Harbor
  • Belgrade Lakes
  • Boothbay Railway Museum
  • Maine Maritime Museum
  • Old Fort Western
  • Owls Head Transportation Museum
  • Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
  • Sugarloaf
  • Waterville Opera House
Shopping Centers
Freeport Outlets
Movie Theaters
Flagship Cinemas
247 Kennedy Memorial Dr.
(207) 873-7801
Movie Theaters
Railroad Square Cinema
17 Railroad Sq.
(207) 873-6526
Movie Theaters
Regal Cinema
23 Marketplace Dr.
(207) 623-8016
Major Sports Teams
  • Portland Pirates: minor league hockey
  • Portland Sea Dogs: minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
Boston: Mass.: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics     Based on 39 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 36 responses

  • 0% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 6% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 61% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 0% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 33% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 36 responses

  • 19% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 58% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 22% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 35 responses

  • 6% Totally.
  • 37% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 57% No way.



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