The 10 Best College Towns in Maine

3. Waterville, ME

Waterville Maine
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Waterville and Colby College are prime examples of how colleges and college towns go hand in hand. Waterville residents raised over $100,000 so Colby could buy their current campus and go on to become one of the most selective liberal arts institutions in the country.

Today, Colby is giving back to their community by investing in the town. This revitalization drives economic development, job opportunities, and making Waterville one of the top college towns in Maine to live in and visit.

On the west bank of the Kennebec River, Waterville has plenty of activities including farmers markets, quarry road trails, and boat launches. The Railroad Square Cinema shines as one of the best art-house cinemas in New England. It is also the home of the Maine International Film Festival, which provides plenty of entertainment for residents.

Schools in Waterville: Colby College, Thomas College


2. Brunswick, ME

Brunswick Maine
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Brunswick is a coastal community that combines both village and city living. In this college town, professional retail businesses coexist with traditional farming, foresting, and fishing. Residents enjoy a variety of amenities including specialty shops, outdoor spaces, and restaurants in the pedestrian-friendly downtown.

Brunswick has been inspiring creatives for decades. Harriet Beecher Stowe famously wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin while she lived in the town and Bowdoin College continues to upkeep her home to this day.

The city also enjoys rich art and culture due to Bowdoin’s museum, theater, and sports activities. Bowdoin has a rich history as the first college in the state of Maine. Today, the school is one of the top liberal arts colleges that emphasized community engagement.

Schools in Brunswick: Bowdoin College, Southern Maine Community College


1. Lewiston, ME

Bates College in Lewiston, Maine
photo via Wikimedia Commons

As a top college town, Lewiston has a significant impact on the diversity, commerce, and economic power of the region. The town has the largest French-speaking population in the US as well as a vibrant Somali community that enriches the town’s culture. 

Lewiston is a business and cultural center in the state, attracting many top companies. This historic college town features parks, museums, performing arts centers, multiplex cinemas, and shopping centers. 

Lewiston is also home to many popular festivals year-round for the community to enjoy such as the Greek Festival, the Ice Festival, and Emerge Film Festival.

The town’s amenities have attracted students from across the country. At Bates, students are encouraged to give back, with each class performing over 80,000 hours of community-engaged work over the course of their four years in Lewiston.

Schools in Lewiston: Maine College of Health Professions, Bates College, Kaplan University, Central Maine Community College

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