Maine is a beautiful place that I paradoxically want to hoard to myself and share with everyone I meet.
Best Part About Lewiston?
All across New England, former textile mill towns collapsed when the industry moved overseas. In the last couple of decades many of these towns started revitalizing around tech, tourism, rebuilt downtowns and waterfronts, and increasingly diverse populations. Lewiston is one of these places. While it is a work in progress there is a lot of development happening; on the waterfront, in redeveloped mills, and in an increasingly diverse population that includes Somali refugees that have brought new energy to the commercial sector and neighborhoods, and have created a more vital city.
Here's a somewhat raw pov from a local:
I lived in Lewiston a few years ago, and it really isn't that bad. Especially if you go near Auburn a lot and you drive past Country Kitchen.
From what I've heard from older folks, Lewiston used to be a massive shithole, but a lot of that changed once the Somali immigrants started flowing in.
Worst Part About Lewiston?
The Social Scene
While Lewiston has been making a comeback it’s still pretty quiet socially. This isn’t a huge issue since Portland is just 20 minutes away but if you’re aspiring for the kind of high walkscore bar and restaurant scene you get in Portland you’ll be disappointed. While we expect the continuing revitalization to keep upping Lewiston’s game you should manage your expectations in the meantime.
Here's a local on the social scene options in the area:
Have you visited either area? Where are you coming from? Lewiston is definitely poorer, more run-down, and there is less “young people” activities (bars, restaurants, etc). But you’re right it’s substantially cheaper. If you squint your eyes just right you might call it “up and coming” but I would say not quite yet…
If you want a single person city experience I think Portland probably wins. If you want to save money and don’t care so much about trendy breweries and tapas bars, Lewiston could be a good choice.
Lifestyle In Lewiston
As was noted, the social scene in Lewiston is a bit spare, and although there are some new breweries/pubs and restaurants popping up, you don’t move to Lewiston to get your rage on. If you’re going out for a big night you’re probably heading to Portland. Lewiston lifestyle is much more about the outdoors: swimming or chilling on the incredible Maine coastline, hiking the Appalachian mountains and White Mountain National Forest, skiing at Waterville Valley or getting out anywhere outside in this beautiful state.
If you're interested in the social and culture scene in Lewiston check out the calendar of events: https://www.lewistonmaine.gov/290/Festivals-and-Events
Workstyle of Laramie
Lewiston has a pretty diverse and growing economy with 2/3rds of the population working for local firms. Big employers tend to be in healthcare including; Central Maine Healthcare, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Grand Rounds, all growing employers. There are also a variety of regional distributors in Lewiston and its twin city Auburn, housing Walmart and Geiger centers. If you’re looking for local work you’re likely to find it here.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
You know how you see a city or a neighborhood that has exploded and you mutter under your breath, “damn, I wish I’d bought a place here back before things went crazy”. Well if that’s you then move to Lewiston now, because things have not gone crazy yet but there is big redevelopment activity still in the relatively early stages. Progress is already happening on Riverfront Island, on the Main Canal, and the Androscoggin River with another 1.2 million square feet of mill space still to be developed. If you want in on the ground floor of a shift in the fortunes of a city then Lewiston could be your place.