15 Best Things to Do in Lewiston (Maine)

Written by Trishia Bourgoin
Updated on
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Located in the Androscoggin County, I discovered the vibrant city of Lewiston, proudly holding the title of Maine’s second largest. Established in 1795, this historic city now thrives with a population of approximately 36,000 residents. Known for its multicultural atmosphere, affordable living, excellent healthcare accessibility, and remarkably low crime rates, Lewiston offers a promising haven for both residents and visitors.

Lewiston’s diverse landscape extends beyond its demographics, encompassing a flourishing tapestry of commerce, education, business opportunities, and religious institutions. This amalgamation of vibrant sectors contributes to the city’s allure, making it an ideal place to call home and a captivating destination for tourists.

These carefully curated recommendations promise to captivate your senses and offer a true taste of the vibrant spirit that thrives within the heart of Lewiston. From cultural landmarks to hidden gems, each attraction on our list offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s rich tapestry of history, art, entertainment, and natural beauty.

So, whether you’re a local seeking new adventures or a visitor eager to discover the wonders of Lewiston, let’s dive into the top 15 attractions and unearth the treasures that await in the captivating city of Lewiston.

1. Visit the L-A Museum

L-A MuseumSource: Museum L-A: The Story of Work and Community in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine / facebook
L-A Museum

As I explored the fascinating Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Area, I stumbled upon a hidden gem known as the L-A Museum. Contrary to its name, this museum isn’t dedicated to Los Angeles but instead pays homage to the rich legacy of the local community, encompassing its economic, social, and technological achievements.

Stepping into the museum is like embarking on a captivating journey through time, connecting present generations with the remarkable stories of those who came before us. The exhibits proudly showcase the diverse industries that have shaped the region’s identity, including the thriving mill industry, the artistry of shoe craftsmanship, the legacy of the brickyard industry, and much more.

The L-A Museum offers a delightful experience for both young and old, transporting visitors to a bygone era filled with ingenuity, hard work, and the relentless pursuit of progress. Immerse yourself in the captivating tales of the past, as you witness the triumphs and challenges that have shaped the Lewiston-Auburn community into what it is today.

2. Take a walk on the Auburn Riverwalk

Androscoggin RiverSource: Jennifer Yakey-Ault / shutterstock
Androscoggin River

Embark on a scenic adventure along the majestic Androscoggin River, the natural divider between the enchanting cities of Lewiston and Auburn. As I strolled along the riverbank, I was captivated by the breathtaking sights that unfolded before me—a tapestry of wonders that truly showcased the river’s splendor.

The path that winds alongside the river is impeccably maintained, offering a delightful and invigorating experience for all who venture upon it. With each step, I encountered magnificent sights that left me in awe—a symphony of massive rocks jutting proudly from the riverbed, cascading waterfalls that danced with glistening vitality, and the grandeur of sturdy bridges spanning the river’s expanse, facilitating the passage of both cars and trains.

The trail thoughtfully caters to weary wanderers, providing numerous benches along the way where I could pause, catch my breath, and immerse myself in the tranquil ambiance. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll, an exhilarating bike ride, an energizing jog, or simply a delightful saunter with your four-legged companion, the Androscoggin River trail accommodates all.

The Androscoggin River trail beckons to those who yearn for respite, inviting you to explore its idyllic surroundings at your own pace.

3. Hike to the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary

Thorncrag Bird SanctuarySource: stantonbirdclub.org
Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary

Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature and indulge in thrilling outdoor activities at the magnificent Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary. As I ventured through this serene haven, I discovered a captivating tapestry of sights that left me in awe.

The journey to the sanctuary was as enchanting as the destination itself. Along the way, I was greeted by breathtaking vistas that seemed straight out of a postcard—a picturesque landscape adorned with two serene ponds, ancient rocks whispering tales of time, and a remarkable stone fireplace that stood as a testament to the sanctuary’s rich history. The allure of an amphitheater further added to the sanctuary’s charm, hinting at the possibility of captivating performances amidst nature’s grandeur.

I found solace in the presence of inviting benches, inviting me to pause and bask in the tranquil ambiance or enjoy a delightful picnic with my loved ones. As I wandered amidst the sanctuary’s lush foliage, a sense of blissful seclusion washed over me, transporting me to a forest retreat, despite being just a stone’s throw away from the city.

4. Visit the Basilica Saints Peter and Paul

Basilica Saints Peter and PaulSource: Captain Morgan / Wikimedia
Basilica Saints Peter And Paul

As I stood before the grandeur of the Basilica Saints Peter And Paul, I couldn’t help but marvel at its striking resemblance to the renowned Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. This architectural masterpiece stands tall and proud, gracing the Lewiston skyline with its magnificence.

From the moment I laid eyes on its immense structure, I was captivated by its sheer size and grandeur. The basilica is a testament to the remarkable craftsmanship that went into its creation, both on the outside and within its hallowed walls. The intricate paintings and stunning stained-glass windows that adorn the interior only further enhance its beauty.

Whether attending a mass or a captivating concert, the sacred space offers an immersive experience that is bound to leave a lasting impression. Even if you’re not a person of religious faith, the Basilica Saints Peter and Paul is an absolute must-see when in Lewiston or the surrounding area. The basilica’s presence is not merely confined to its religious significance; it serves as a cultural and architectural gem that enriches the local community and attracts visitors from far and wide.

5. Have a beer at the Baxter Brewing Company

Baxter Brewing Co.Source: Baxter Brewing co. / facebook
Baxter Brewing Co.

When the sun beats down on a scorching summer day in Lewiston, there’s one thing on my mind – quenching my thirst with a refreshing, ice-cold beer. That’s where the Baxter Brewing Company comes in, offering a diverse range of their own craft beers that are sure to hit the spot.

Stepping into their tap room, I was greeted by the friendly and knowledgeable staff who were more than happy to guide me through their brewing process and provide insights into each unique brew. It was evident that their passion for beer ran deep, as they shared stories and recommendations with genuine enthusiasm.

The tap room itself was a cozy and intimate space, offering a respite from the bustling bars filled with throngs of people. It allowed me to truly savor the flavors of their self-made beers in a relaxed atmosphere.

6. Admire Veteran’s Park

Veteran’s ParkSource: Katie Edwards / facebook
Veteran’s Park

Nestled by the river, just a stone’s throw away from a breathtaking waterfall, lies the poignant Veteran’s Park—a solemn tribute to the brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Stepping into this hallowed ground, I couldn’t help but be moved by the reverence and respect that permeated the air.

The park stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the veterans who selflessly served our nation. Adorning the park are numerous plaques and benches, each bearing the names of these heroic individuals. It was a humbling experience to read their names, tracing the footsteps of history and honoring their unwavering dedication.

The majestic river flowed nearby, its gentle currents echoing the resilience of those we commemorate. And the nearby waterfall cascaded with a serene grace, whispering tales of bravery and sacrifice.

It’s a place where quiet contemplation takes precedence—a space to reflect, pay homage, and carry the legacy of these heroes forward.

7. Watch a play at the Public Theatre

Public TheatreSource: The Public Theatre / facebook
Public Theatre

Stepping into the realm of the Public Theatre in this quaint city, I quickly realized that I had discovered a hidden gem beyond compare. This is no ordinary theater—it is an award-winning institution that has garnered well-deserved accolades. From 2014 to 2017, it proudly held the title of “The Best Theatre in Maine,” a testament to its unwavering commitment to excellence.

Within these hallowed walls, I was privileged to witness remarkable performances that left an indelible impression. The stage came alive with some of the finest plays, including renowned productions from Broadway, featuring a stellar cast of top-notch actors from around the country. Each scene unfolded with precision and passion, captivating the audience in a mesmerizing display of theatrical brilliance.

What truly sets the Public Theatre apart is its unwavering dedication to accessibility. The belief that exceptional theater should be accessible to all is at the heart of their mission. The Public Theatre aims to ensure that everyone can experience the magic of live performances, breaking down barriers with each carefully crafted production.

In their endeavor to cultivate a love for theater among the younger generation, the Public Theatre goes above and beyond. As a testament to their commitment, children under the age of 18 are granted the opportunity to witness these captivating shows for a mere $5. By fostering a love for the performing arts at a young age, the theater plays an integral role in nurturing the next generation of theater enthusiasts.

8. Visit the Bates College Museum

Bates College MuseumSource: Bates College Museum of Art / facebook
Bates College Museum

As I ventured into the hallowed halls of the Bates College Museum, I was immediately struck by the wealth of artistic treasures that awaited me. This esteemed establishment serves as a vital wellspring of beautiful works of art, drawing both locals and tourists into its captivating embrace. With each step, I discovered a vast array of masterpieces that included captivating paintings, intricate drawings, evocative photographs, and cherished personal items, all lovingly crafted by a talented ensemble of local artists.

What makes this museum truly special is its ever-evolving nature. The exhibitions are thoughtfully curated and changed frequently, ensuring that each visit brings forth a fresh wave of artistic inspiration. Even if I had the pleasure of experiencing the museum’s wonders before, I knew that returning would unveil new layers of artistic expression, awaiting my eager gaze.

Though modest in size, this intimate museum holds immense significance among art enthusiasts. Its reputation is well-deserved, and it continues to earn the admiration of those who appreciate the transformative power of art. The museum is not simply a repository of art but a sanctuary that invites contemplation, reflection, and a profound appreciation for the human spirit.

Throughout my visit, I was delighted to discover that the museum’s commitment to fostering a deeper understanding of art extended beyond its exceptional collection. A dedicated and knowledgeable staff member stood ready to guide me through the exhibits, offering insights, answering questions, and further enriching my experience.

9. Listen to classical music at the Franco Center

Franco CenterSource: Gendron Franco Center / facebook
Franco Center

As I approached the Franco Center, an intriguing question tugged at my curiosity: why does this majestic structure resemble a church, yet bear a different name? The answer soon unfolded before me, revealing a fascinating transformation that breathed new life into this sacred space. Once known as the St. Mary Church, this hallowed ground had been decommissioned and reborn as the vibrant Franco Center.

The architectural grandeur and the captivating stained glass windows bore witness to the building’s past, serving as a poignant reminder of the spiritual devotion that once resided within these walls. But the Franco Center had evolved, embracing a fresh mission that brought the transformative power of music to the forefront.

Within these hallowed halls, a harmonious symphony of classical music orchestras, resonant opera performances, and uplifting religious melodies now reverberated. The center’s remarkable reinvention had given rise to a diverse array of captivating concerts, enriching the cultural fabric of the community.

While the performances captivated my senses, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the exquisite details that adorned the building’s interior. Here and there, I discovered precious relics and artifacts, testaments to the Franco Center’s storied past. These cherished mementos offered a glimpse into the lives of those who had once gathered in prayer and worship, serving as a bridge between the past and the present.

10. Watch a game of hockey at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee

Androscoggin Bank ColiseeSource: The Androscoggin Bank Colisée / facebook
Androscoggin Bank Colisee

If you’re seeking an exhilarating sporting experience or simply yearning for something novel, make your way to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee arena. Here, amidst the electric atmosphere, you can immerse yourself in the fast-paced world of hockey and cheer on the local teams as they battle on the ice.

As I entered the arena, I was greeted by the pristine surroundings and impeccable maintenance, a testament to the dedication of the venue’s staff. The seating arrangements ensured an unobstructed view of the thrilling on-ice action, allowing fans like myself to become fully engrossed in the game. And fear not, for your cravings for delectable snacks and refreshing beverages will be satisfied, as the arena boasts a diverse selection of food and drink options to indulge in during the game.

But the Androscoggin Bank Colisee isn’t solely reserved for hockey. On days when the ice lies dormant, the versatile arena transforms into a captivating stage for an array of other sports and events. From adrenaline-pumping combat sports to electrifying concerts, lively parties, mesmerizing car shows, and even immersive tattoo expos, this arena pulsates with an endless tapestry of entertainment.

11. Get a good book from the Lewiston Public Library

Lewiston Public LibrarySource: Kenneth C. Zirkel / Wikimedia
Lewiston Public Library

If you’re an avid reader or simply seeking a peaceful retreat by the scenic Androscoggin River, a visit to the Lewiston Public Library is a must.

The library’s shelves were adorned with a diverse array of books, inviting me to embark on new adventures, delve into intriguing mysteries, or expand my knowledge on various subjects. I was particularly captivated by the Marsden Hartley Cultural Center, a dedicated section that showcased an enriching assortment of materials celebrating art and culture.

What impressed me even more than the vast collection was the warm and welcoming demeanor of the library staff. Their passion for books was evident as they guided me in my quest to find the perfect read, ensuring that I discovered hidden gems aligned with my interests. Their invaluable assistance transformed my visit into an engaging and personalized experience.

As I explored the library further, I stumbled upon a delightful activity designed for the younger audience – “reading to a dog.” Witnessing the joy on the children’s faces as they shared stories with their canine companions was truly heartwarming. It was even more delightful to learn that these young readers were rewarded with chocolate dog bones, a delightful treat that added an extra touch of whimsy to their literary adventures.

12. Have a wine at the Vista of Maine Vineyard & Cidery Tasting Room

Vista Of Maine Vineyard & Cidery Tasting RoomSource: Vista of Maine Tasting Room - Vineyard, Orchard & Cidery / facebook
Vista Of Maine Vineyard & Cidery Tasting Room

Located in the serene town of Greene, just a stone’s throw away from Lewiston, lies the enchanting Vista Of Maine Vineyard & Cidery Tasting Room. This idyllic haven boasts an impressive selection of delectable wines and ciders that are sure to delight your taste buds.

The panoramic views of the majestic White Mountains and the glistening Sabattus Lake painted a picture of tranquility and natural beauty. The knowledgeable staff warmly greeted me and guided me through a delightful tasting experience. With a diverse range of wines and ciders to choose from, I was able to savor the distinct flavors and aromas of each carefully crafted creation. From crisp and refreshing ciders to rich and velvety wines, every sip revealed the artistry and passion infused within each glass.

What I truly appreciated about Vista Of Maine Vineyard & Cidery Tasting Room was the opportunity to sample their offerings before committing to a full glass. This thoughtful approach allowed me to explore their assortment, ensuring that I could savor and relish the flavors that resonated most with my palate.

13. Buy some antiques from Orphan Annies

Orphan AnniesSource: Orphan Annie's / facebook
Orphan Annies

Orphan Annies is a haven for those seeking a touch of nostalgia or a piece of history. The vast array of offerings spans a wide range of categories, ensuring there is something to captivate every visitor. From exquisite lamps and dazzling chandeliers to delicate glassware and timeless jewelry, the displays overflowed with objects that evoked a sense of charm and elegance. Intricate figurines, stylish clothes, and an eclectic assortment of gifts further enriched the assortment, guaranteeing an experience that catered to diverse tastes.

If you have an affinity for all things antique or simply desire a special memento from Lewiston or a unique gift for a loved one, a visit to Orphan Annies is an absolute must. From the moment I stepped inside, I was enthralled by the meticulous organization and the treasure trove of distinctive items that awaited me.

What truly impressed me was the clever sorting system implemented at Orphan Annies. Each item was thoughtfully arranged, allowing for effortless exploration and discovery. This thoughtful organization not only facilitated the search for the perfect gift or keepsake but also enhanced the overall browsing experience. It was a joy to peruse the carefully curated sections, each brimming with unique treasures waiting to be uncovered.

14. Skate at the RolloDrome

RolloDromeSource: Rollodrome / facebook

From the moment I stepped onto the smooth surface of RolloDrome, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement. Skating is a timeless activity that transcends age, making it an ideal outing for the whole family. Whether you’re gliding gracefully or taking hesitant strides, the atmosphere at RolloDrome is filled with laughter and camaraderie.

One thing that sets RolloDrome apart is its vibrant ambiance. The air is alive with a diverse range of music, creating an energetic backdrop that adds to the fun-filled experience. From classic tunes to the latest hits, there’s a soundtrack to suit every skater’s taste.

For those who want to catch a break from skating, RolloDrome goes above and beyond by providing a large screen to watch sports games. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a breather, sip on a refreshing beverage, and cheer for your favorite team alongside fellow enthusiasts.

15. Play golf at the Fox Ridge Golf Club

Fox Ridge Golf ClubSource: Fox Ridge Golf Club / facebook
Fox Ridge Golf Club

From the moment we arrived at the Fox Ridge Club, their friendly staff welcomed us with open arms and provided us with all the necessary tools for a memorable experience.

Even if you’ve never swung a golf club before, there’s no need to worry. The knowledgeable instructors are on hand to guide you through the basics and ensure that you feel confident on the course. With courses designed for both beginners and advanced players, everyone in the family can join in the excitement.

As we made our way through the well-maintained fields, we encountered an array of challenges, including refreshing water hazards that added an extra element of thrill to our game. The stunning surroundings of Fox Ridge Club made each swing feel like a moment of pure tranquility, allowing us to truly appreciate the beauty of the sport.

After a satisfying round of golf, we took advantage of the clubhouse dining area to refuel and recharge. The comfortable atmosphere provided the perfect setting to relax, recount our favorite moments from the game, and savor delicious meals that catered to all tastes.

Before we left, we couldn’t resist stopping by the shop. It offered a diverse selection of golfing essentials, from top-quality equipment to stylish attire.

15 Best Things to Do in Lewiston (Maine):

  • Visit the L-A Museum
  • Take a walk on the Auburn Riverwalk
  • Hike to the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary
  • Visit the Basilica Saints Peter and Paul
  • Have a beer at the Baxter Brewing Company
  • Admire Veteran’s Park
  • Watch a play at the Public Theatre
  • Visit the Bates College Museum
  • Listen to classical music at the Franco Center
  • Watch a game of hockey at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee
  • Get a good book from the Lewiston Public Library
  • Have a wine at the Vista of Maine Vineyard & Cidery Tasting Room
  • Buy some antiques from Orphan Annies
  • Skate at the RolloDrome
  • Play golf at the Fox Ridge Golf Club