Located in the heart of the Pine Tree State, Lewiston, Maine, is a city that often goes unnoticed by the casual traveler. However, those who take the time to explore this hidden gem will find a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From its humble beginnings as a small farming community to its current status as Maine’s second-largest city, Lewiston has a lot to offer. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just someone looking for a unique travel experience, Lewiston is a destination that’s sure to surprise and delight.

History of Lewiston

Founded in 1795, Lewiston started as a small farming community. However, the arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century transformed the city into a bustling industrial center. Lewiston became known for its textile mills, which produced goods that were shipped all over the country. Despite the decline of the textile industry in the 20th century, Lewiston has managed to reinvent itself and remains a vibrant city to this day.

Population and Location

With a population of approximately 36,000, Lewiston is the second-largest city in Maine. It is located in the southern part of the state, about 40 miles north of Portland. The city is situated on the banks of the Androscoggin River, which provides a beautiful backdrop for many of the city’s attractions.

Landmarks and Attractions

Lewiston is home to several notable landmarks and attractions. The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts. This stunning church, built in the Gothic Revival style, is one of the most impressive structures in the city.

For those interested in history, the Museum L-A is a great place to learn about Lewiston’s industrial past. The museum is located in a former textile mill and features exhibits on the city’s textile, brick, and shoe industries.

Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, a 372-acre nature preserve that is home to a wide variety of bird species. The sanctuary offers several miles of trails for hiking and bird watching.

Nearby Attractions

While there’s plenty to see and do in Lewiston, the city is also a great base for exploring other attractions in the region. The beautiful coastal town of Portland is just a short drive away, as is the historic city of Augusta, Maine’s capital. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, the White Mountain National Forest in neighboring New Hampshire offers hiking, camping, and skiing opportunities.

While Lewiston may not be as well-known as some other cities, it has made its mark on popular culture. The city was the setting for the 1994 film “The Beans of Egypt, Maine” and has been mentioned in several TV shows, including “Murder, She Wrote” and “The X-Files”. In addition, Lewiston has been the subject of several books, including “Empire Falls” by Richard Russo, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2002.


With its rich history, beautiful scenery, and unique attractions, Lewiston is a city that deserves to be discovered. Whether you’re a resident of Maine or a visitor to the Pine Tree State, make sure to include Lewiston on your list of places to explore. You’re sure to find something that captures your interest and leaves you with lasting memories of this hidden gem.


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