6. Bangor, ME
Although Bangor is known as the lumber capital of the world, there is no shortage of entertainment. Weekends can be spent exploring the Forest and Logging Museum, dining at restaurants, or visiting the mansion of Stephen King. The town’s location along the Penobscot river means that there is plenty of outdoor recreation.
Students come to Bangor for the high-quality education provided by top schools in the state. Beal is a business college with a strong legacy, whereas Husson is ranked by US News as the lowest-priced private university accredited by NECHE.
The bustling downtown has plenty of events that draw students into the town center. The Bangor Waterfront Pavilion can seat as many as 16,000 guests and hosts big names from KISS to Luke Bryan. It’s also home to the American Folk Festival during the summer.
Schools in Bangor: Husson University, Beal University, Eastern Maine Community College
5. Orono, ME
Due to Orono’s public schools, amenities for families, and nightlife, Niche has ranked it as the #1 best place to live in Penobscot County. In Orono, residents are surrounded by beautiful scenery with plenty of destinations to take it in from the Fay Hyland Arboretum to the Orono Bog Boardwalk.
The University of Maine plays a big part in the community and its 11,000 students are actively engaged through volunteering and internships. Along with being the largest university in Maine, UMaine is also the only Division I school in the state. Residents of Orono can enjoy watching top collegiate athletics and root for their home team.
The flagship campus of the state’s university system brings museums, parks, and other activities to the college community and surrounding area, making Orono a top college town in the state.
Schools in Orono: University of Maine
4. Portland, ME
With a population of over 65,000, Portland is the most populous city in Maine. The residents and students from nearby colleges enjoy the city’s unique blend of art, outdoors, and good food.
As with most college towns, Portland has a convenient and environmentally friendly transport system to get around the different areas. The Arts District in Portland is home to museums, libraries, and galleries while the Old Port district is well-known for its distinctive architecture and nightlife.
Portland was named as the 2018 Restaurant City of the Year by Bon Appetit due to its high number of restaurants per capita. Foodies can enjoy a variety of cuisines along with a high number of bars, clubs, craft breweries, and food and beverage festivals.
Schools in Portland: Maine College of Art, UMaine School of Law, University of New England, University of Southern Maine