Most of us have weekends at Colby when we’re itching to get off campus for just a few hours. I know I’ve been there, but I’ve realized quickly that there are so many amazing opportunities for fun day trips that our surrounding area has to offer! Here are my top five picks!
- Acadia National Park
If you’re willing to make a bit of a drive (1 hour and 45 minutes), Acadia National Park and the Bar Harbor area are worth it! I like to start my day in Acadia with a smoothie bowl from Thrive Juice Bar. There are dozens of cute shops in Bar Harbor, as well as docks and lookouts for viewing the boats that are passing by if you visit in the spring or summer. The National Park is a 5 minute drive from the center of town, but will allow you to have a completely different experience. I would highly recommend taking a hike on the Ocean Path (or a more difficult trail if you’re more adventurous), visiting the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, or strolling along Sand Beach.
Insider’s Tip: If you’re feeling ambitious, wake up extra early to catch the sunrise at the top of Cadillac Mountain!
- Portland, Maine
When I first came to Colby, I began to miss the feeling of walking around a city. I soon discovered Portland, which has the resources and shops of a city with a small town feel. If you have an urge to shop for brands you love such as Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, or Anthropologie, look no further than Portland! And don’t forget to stick around for at least one meal, because the food options in this city are endless. To name a few, my favorites are Street and Co (for an upscale dinner), Mi Sen Noodle Bar (for a casual meal), LB Kitchen (for avocado toast), and Blake Orchard (for a smoothie bowl). Finally, if you want to break a sweat on a Sunday morning, head over to Lila East End Yoga and ask for the college student discount on a class!
- Mount Battie, Camden
The Mount Battie hike is described as “moderate to strenuous,” but is only half a mile long. Your hard work will be paid off by the ocean views from the top. The seaside town of Camden has plenty of small boutiques if you’re looking to shop, and it’s less touristy than Bar Harbor during the warmer months. In the town, I suggest eating at a waterfront restaurant such as Peter Ott’s on the Water.
- Freeport, Maine
As college students, we’re always looking for ways to save a little money while still keeping up with fashion trends. The outlet stores at Freeport include Patagonia, J. Crew, and L.L. Bean and have amazing deals, especially if you go right after Christmas! Make sure to check out Rustic Arrow, a female owned business that is heaven for succulent-lovers!
- French Mountain, Oakland
This hike is much closer to Colby in case you only have a couple of hours but still want to get in some time outdoors. French Mountain has a moderate 0.8 mile loop with spectacular views. While you’re in Oakland, check out one of my favorite places to eat, Riverside Farm Restaurant!
Even though Waterville has plenty to offer, if you’re ever wanting to venture outside of our bubble, take a peek back at this list and step outside to see what opportunities the Pine Tree State has to offer!