Lewiston + Auburn
The twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn straddle the Androscoggin River, which for decades powered mills along the shore. Some of the mills have now been redeveloped, with restaurants and other businesses occupying the expansive industrial space, while a walking path connects the landscaped public parks of the two cities.
3:00 p.m. @ the Dempsey Center
We stop by the Dempsey Center to take a tour. The work the cancer treatment center is doing is inspirational, and the resources for patients and their families are much needed.
5:00 p.m. @ Inn at the Agora
As soon as we arrive at our lodging destination, we are in awe of the architecture of the former monastery, now turned inn. Jan Barrett, the innkeeper, greets us, and we settle into our room. My four- year-old daughter, Aubrey, jumps on the bed to test it out before we leave to dine at one of our favorite spots.
5:45 p.m. @ Fish Bones American Grill
We just ate at Fish Bones American Grill two weeks ago, when the VIP reception for the Dempsey Challenge was held here, and we’re excited to return. Owner Paul Landry greets my girlfriend Sarah, Aubrey, and me, and helps us find our seats. The restaurant’s menu focuses on seafood, but there are plenty of other options as well.
8:00 p.m. @ Baxter Brewing Co.
Founded six years ago, Baxter Brewing in the Bates Mill offers tours and tastings Thursday through Saturday, including pours of small-batch beers that aren’t distributed elsewhere.
9:00 p.m. @ Inn at the Agora
Back in our suite, Aubrey is excited to find a little rubber ducky in the claw-foot tub in the bathroom. She plays with the duck while getting washed up and before heading to bed.
8:00 a.m. @ Simons’ Hot Dog Stand
A few friends recommended we eat breakfast at this iconic eatery, which has much more than just its famous hot dogs on the menu. It’s packed when we arrive— and for good reason. The staff is welcoming, and the breakfast left us in a happy food coma.
9:30 a.m. @ Wallingford’s Fruit House
We are visiting in the fall, so we decide to go apple picking. This family- owned operation in Auburn has a children’s play area, rows and rows of apple trees, and a corn maze. The store sells donuts, pies, hard cider, and a variety of other treats.
1:00 p.m. @ Kitchen Solutions
We are in the process of buying a home, sowedecidetohitupafew shops to get some ideas. We stop in to Kitchen Solutions in Auburn, and owner Bruce Landry shows us the different options for kitchen remodels.
2:15 p.m. @ Lighting Concepts
At the two-story showroom in Lewiston, owners Peggy and Mitch Deblois give us some much-needed guidance on what we should be looking for in lighting our home.
3:30 p.m. @ Gritty’s Brew Pub
Sarah and I take Aubrey back home, as she has plans with her grandma for the rest of the weekend. For a late lunch, we stop into Gritty’s in Auburn, alongside the Androscoggin River. We both order the Courage Ale, which is brewed specially for the Dempsey Challenge. We enjoy the view and relax after a busy morning and afternoon.
4:30 p.m. @ Auburn Riverwalk
After lunch, we stroll down to the river and take a walk. The weather is perfect to take in some views and check out the sculptures along the way.
7:30 p.m. @ Fuel
From the time we walk into Fuel, we know the night will be special. Eric Agren, who owns this French bistro in Lewiston, is very welcoming. We start with a Gruyere fondue and some cocktails, and my tuna entree is top-notch.
9:00 p.m. @ Lost Valley
It’s close to Halloween so the ski mountain is holding its Mountain of Terror, with a haunted house, chairlift rides, and a zombie paintball shooting gallery. The basement haunted house is scary enough that I’m still thinking about it when we get back to our room.
10:00 a.m. @ Inn at the Agora
Before we leave, we connect with Jan again to get a tour of the property, which also includes an event venue and wedding chapel, Agora Grand Event Center.
11:00 a.m. @ Forage Market
I follow a recommendation to Forage for breakfast. This market and bakery has a variety of sandwiches and coffee drinks. Saveur magazine also recently called out Forage’s bagels as some of the best in America.
12:30 p.m. @ Bates College
We take a walk around the beautiful campus to see the sights. The Museum of Art is closed today, but it’s always worth a visit.
1:30 p.m. @ DaVinci’s Eatery
For a late lunch, we decide on this popular Italian restaurant in the Bates Mill. The calamari is melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and the seafood cioppino is excellent, with plenty of seafood in a spicy tomato broth. The meal leaves us full and satisfied for the trip back home.