Cycle Maine this May to get ready for your summer events! As a former New York City cyclist, I was downright giddy on my maiden voyage here– hundreds of miles to explore and relatively light motorist traffic sharing the road. You’ll delight in all the options to explore our beautiful coast and build up your base. Just ask for some of my favorite routes leaving right from our door.
Then come back this summer for these great events right here in Freeport:
JUNE 4th–The Maine Women’s Ride, departing from our neighbor LL Bean, offers a fun and supportive atmosphere geared toward women and girls of all ages and abilities. Spend the day enjoying a 25, 50 or 62 mile route and return to our home to relax on on the porch and bask in your achievement.
AUGUST 26-27th — Farm to Fork Fondo highlights the symbiotic relationship between cyclists, farmers and beautiful landscapes. Participants enjoy the locally sourced bounty at all rest stops as well as the “Meet the Farmers” Dinner on Saturday night. The team at Wrenegade Sports has put together a terrific event and donates to the farmers it features.
SEPTEMBER 16th — Are you’re a tri-geek like me? Then you owe it to yourself to put the Lobsterman Triathlon on your calendar this year. This Olympic distance event uses beautiful Winslow Park for the swim and transitions. Get another “PR” on Saturday and enjoy chef Dave’s “PB” when you delight in the delicious 3 course breakfast the next day.
And I haven’t forgotten one of the great joys of spring…shop for your new kit or the latest accessories at the The LL Bean Bike, Boat and Ski store open 24 hrs/ 7 days.
So why wait? We’ve got all your bases covered- great accommodations, delicious food and training routes mapped out- book your May training with us now and pick your favorite room for your return trip this summer. I’ll even accompany you if you’re in need of a tour guide.
Happy Cycling!#Cycle Maine this May
Shop, Sip & Snooze this Mother’s Day! Can it get any better?! May 14th is almost here and you haven’t made special plans? Fear Not! We’ve put together a great Mother’s Day getaway sure to please. Treat the special mom in your life to deluxe accommodations, gourmet 3 course breakfasts PLUS a Cava (that’s Spanish sparkling wine) tasting, discounts to all your favorite shopping in town & a relaxing massage here on site.
All our Saturday evening guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary Cava tasting from 4-6 with our favorite wine aficionado, Colleen Callahan from SoPo Wines, on hand to walk you through the varietals while Dave pairs those with delicious Spanish meats & cheeses.
But how about a massage to indulge your mamasita? We’ve secured a talented massage therapist to be onsite from 11-4 on Saturday. Stay with us for 2 nights and moms can enjoy a complimentary 30 minute Deep Tissue, Reflexology or Thai massage or upgrade to a full hour for only $30 more.
Book now and we’ll sweeten the deal with homemade truffles awaiting your arrival.
Indulge yourself this May and be our guest at the Brewster House. This offer available via online or phone reservations only and can not be combined with other specials.
Guests at the Brewster House B&B often ask for our recommendation on what to see near Freeport. We’re always thrilled to share our number one recommendation: a drive up the coast to Harpswell! This scenic drive is the best way to enjoy beautiful coastal views and quintessential Maine scenery.
Harpswell is an an easy hour’s drive from the Brewster House Bed and Breakfast. Follow Route 1 north and hang a right on to Highway 24, a two lane road on which you’ll pass plenty of farm stands and lobster shacks. Your drive takes you from Sebascodegan (or Great) Island, to Orr’s Island and across the Cribstone Bridge to Bailey Island. Take a break to look through the quaint towns, stop to watch the lobstermen in their boats, or buy some fresh seafood at the lobster pounds. Keep driving straight south and you’ll find yourself at the romantic-sounding Land’s End–literally, the end of the island–with its beautiful view south over Casco Bay. You can scramble over the rocks, hang out on the beach, or just sit and witness a gorgeous sunset.
Harpswell is much beloved by both artists and tourists because of its scenic beauty. There’s plenty to stop, see and do along the way:
Marvel at the Bailey Island or “Cribstone” Bridge
One of the most famous sites in Harpswell is The Cribstone Bridge, which connects Orr’s Island to Bailey Island. “Cribstone” refers to the way granite stones were laid over each other in what looks like an open lattice pattern. Granite slabs from Yarmouth, the same length and width, are laid lengthwise then crosswise, and it’s all held together through weight and gravity with no mortar or cement. The pattern allows the tides and currents to flow through freely. Sound kind of boring? Trust us, you’ll be more excited when you lay eyes on it, because it’s an engineering marvel and pretty cool looking. This bridge has held strong since 1928 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sail on Casco Bay
Want to get out on the water? Brewster House always recommends a Schooner Alert Windjammer Cruise. They offer a great two hour sail in the morning and at sunset.
Stroll along Giant’s Stairs
The Giant’s Stairs trail on Bailey Island is another popular destination that allows visitors to view dramatic coastal Maine scenery. Named in homage to its rock formations, the trail wends along the rocky coastline. Wildlife such as waterfowl and seal poke ride the crashing waves.
Enjoy fine dining
Hey, we’re not knocking lobster shacks, because Maine is ALL about the lobster shacks. But here are a couple of Brewster House recommendations for a nice sit down:
- Dolphin Marina & Restaurant: family owned and operated since 1966, the Dolphin features Maine coastal fare, including Maine lobster dinners, fresh, local seafood, and hand-cut steaks. Their waterfront location offers unrivaled views of Casco Bay and its many islands.
- Morris’s Cribstone: owned by life-long foodies whose families have fished for generations. Specializing in Harpswell lobsters . . . or, try something new like their famous Seafood Nachos.
- Check out this list for other dining recommendations.
Think you’re done? Not even!
Orr’s Island and Bailey Island have plenty of other boating opportunities, including seal sighting cruises and kayaking. Here’s great list of other points of interest, including how to get outdoors a million different ways (well, almost) in Harpswell.
Yup, at the Brewster House B&B, we’re pretty enthusiastic about visiting Harpswell and Land’s End. If you want to continue your drive even further up the coast, ask us about Poppham Beach and Reid State Park!
Have a hankering for a real small-town America Fourth of July? Well, we have limited availability, but if you hustle you might still snag a reservation at the Brewster House B&B. The day starts with the Freeport town parade rolling right down Main Street outside our door–watch it from the comfort of our front porch–and ends with a bang on the L.L. Bean Campus. . . literally!
Here’s the roundup of Freeport Fourth of July activities:
- Breakfast at the Brewster House B&B | 8:00 – 9:00 AM
Our three course breakfast will get your Fourth of July started right. Our coffee always gets raves.
- St. Jude’s 4th of July Pancake Breakfast | 7:00 – 10:00 AM
Want to enjoy a second breakfast? We won’t judge. Join St. Jude’s at 134 Main St for their annual pancake gorge-a-thon.
Adults: $7.00 | Children 12 and under: $4.00
- 10k Road Race and Fun Run | 7:30 AM
Run all that breakfast off with a 10k challenge or a one mile family fun run (or walk!)
Race: $25 Walk: $5 (online registration fee for both)
- Freeport 4th of July Parade | 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Pull up a chair and enjoy the floats, bands, fire trucks rolling down Maine Street from the front porch of the Brewster House Inn. (Free)
- All-day activities at Wolfe’s Neck Farm | starting at 10 AM
Feed the animals, go for a haywagon ride, rent a bike, canoe or kayak, or take a farm fields and livestock tour: Wolfe’s Neck Farm is a place for both kids and adults to visit animals and explore the natural world. Check out their weekend programming here. | $5.00 for some tours
- David Mallett and The Mallet Brothers Band | 7:30 PM
Rock out to original music that spans country, rock n’ roll, Americana and Folk. (Free)
- Town of Freeport 4th of July Firework Celebration | 9:30 PM
Finally, the Big Event! Watch it on the L.L. Bean Campus (Free)
I’m sharing these amazing five Maine Maritime Museum lighthouse excursions with you, because they are so fun and interesting that they book up well in advance! If you wait until just before you come to Brewster House, you probably either won’t get on the trip you most want, or may not get to go when you want. Not only is the Museum a fascinating depiction of the history of wooden (and modern) ship manufacturing as practiced on the Kennebec River and Bath, Maine, but also offers these dynamic river and coastal boat adventures, and Bath Iron Works & Town trolly tours. Share my passion and jump on one of these trips!
Bath has been a shipbuilding center in Maine since 1607, when the Popham settlement decided one Winter was enough in Sagadahoc (Maine at the time) at the mouth of the Kennebec River, and built their escape ship onsite. The Bath Iron Works continues that tradition, now with contracts for guided missile destroyers, and hopefully in the near future for the new generation of US Coast Guard cutters. The Trolley Tours are centered on sharing the history of the Town and BIW’s history from the building of the “Ranger” Americas Cup winner in 1937, through todays generation of stealth destroyers based on the Zumwalt (DDG-1000) & Arleigh Burke classes. Although the schedule is not in place as I write this, it will be daily (except Sundays), $32 for Museum non-members. See Maine Maritime Museum Tours for details. For the best view of the yard from the River, combine this tour with the Shipyards & Lighthouse Cruise! Again, daily @ noon, one hour, $32.
All the Lighthouse and River Cruises run from 6/13 – 9/5 Maine Maritime Museum boat cruises. There is a 6 Lighthouse Cruise and a 7 Lighthouse Cruise, the first being mostly confined to the Kennebec River lighthouses (but does go out to Sequin Island Light beyond the mouth of the Kennebec), and the second is a slightly longer river tour that includes a full river circle, including the Sasanoa and Sheepscot Rivers. The first is 2 hours in duration, and is offered on Sunday and Tuesdays @ 3:30PM for $39. The 7 Lighthouse Cruise is 3 hours long, and takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays, for $44 for non-members.
The Lighthouse Lovers Cruise is a 4 hour cruise that takes in some coastal beacons further east along the coast. So, not only do you enjoy the River lighthouses and Sequin, but it also takes in The Cuckolds (off Boothbay), & Ram and Burnt Island lights. This is a much more relaxing way to enjoy these from the water, than driving out to end of all of these peninsulas – $50. These are only on Saturdays @ 3:30PM.
Last, but not least, the Wildlife of Merrymeeting Bay takes you upriver to this unique huge natural sanctuary of fresh water, formed by the junction of 6 rivers, that is home to scores of bald eagles, ospreys, and migratory birds and fish of all sorts. Sturgeon and striped bass spawn in this beautiful bay! This trip is 3 hours long and is only run on Thursdays at 3:30PM. Of course, a naturalist will be on board to guide and inform you.
Freeport is right at the hard glacial turn east of the Maine coast, and so an amazingly well centered point to tour the coast, mountains or City of Portland from. Brewster House is perfectly located just a couple of quiet blocks from the busy LL Bean shopping mecca of Freeport, and the most luxurious spot to rest your tired body and renew your metro seared spirit! Call and we can help plan your time here, or book directly @ Brewster House B & B!
April is a great time to review the three magical summer sea packages we offer at Brewster House to make your Maine vacation uniquely special! Since most folks come to Maine with our great and magnificent oceanfront at the fore of their imaginations, let’s start with lighthouses, boats and beaches.Lighthouses have to be the #1 draw for non-local visitors to Maine! Their lonely, rugged visages, and history of drama and life-saving must be the basis for their powerful draw. Our Lighthouse Tour Special offers a book and maps for the basis of your exploration, a lighthouse themed gift basket, $50 gas gift card and a $50 gift certificate to Freeport’s award winning Azure Cafe Restaurant. Be forewarned, although these beacons may be close by sea, many are a good distance apart by car! Lighthouse Tour Special
Our Maine Seafarer Adventure brings our guests into more intimate contact with Casco Bay, featuring an amazing sailing experience on a traditional schooner and a visit to the expansive and magnificent Maine Maritime Museum, on the mighty Kennebec River. The Museum includes the entire grounds of the Percy & Small boatyard, including the museum, blacksmith shop, boat shop, construction-ways, docks and even the owners personal residence. This is the only surviving 19th century wooden boatyard that has survived into the 20th century! I’m saving this for another blog, but in season the Museum also offers tours the Bath Iron Works shipyard (building stealth destroyers now) and all kinds of fascinating boat tours of the River and Coast. Of course, our special also includes a welcome backed and gift certificate to the Azure Cafe. Maine Seafarer Adventure
The Perfect Maine Adventure, Land & Sea, is our latest novel idea, and all of the guests we’ve discussed it with thought it an awesome offering!! Having sailed most of my adult life, some family members and I signed on the schooner Heritage for a 6 day voyage from the East Coast of Penobscot Bay, to Mt. Desert (Acadia National Park) & back. Gorgeous, powerful (145’), elegant, comfortable cabins and great food! Bring a good book or two, binoculars, and relax on deck, or jump in with the crew, raise the sails, play with their amazing sailing and rowing dinghies, wash off the anchor or discuss navigation with the Captains, YOUR CHOICE! Throw in your own case of wine for seem evening stargazing, and you’ll have on of the finest adventures of your life! Call me to discuss if you’re interested, but the idea here is to combine time on the schooner, with some soft time and legendary breakfasts and cookies at Brewster House, reveling in the pleasures of the Casco Bay area, Portland distractions, local beaches and other “mid-coast” pleasantries. IN OUR BOOK, THAT IS PERFECT!! Perfect Maine Adventure, Land & Sea
For the beaches, you’ll have to book a stay, let us spoil you, and be schooled on the best local secrets, while basking in the glow of your 3 course gourmet breakfast!! See us at Brewster House
One of our Brewster House offerings that consistently draws the most compliments is our coffee, and the magic of the french press. Of course the quality of the beans we buy helps immensely (We love our very own Freeport Coffee Roaster‘s Cafe Amigo)! I can’t tell you the number of guests we host who after having about how wonderful our coffee is, confess that they have a french press, but don’t use it because they don’t know how. So here is the “secret sauce!”
At this point, I will add that we use three different size Bodum Dome type french presses at Brewster House, depending on how many cups the table needs. (Follow the Bodum link to purchase one for yourself:) The press we use the most of is marketed as a 34 ounce, 8 cup or “1 liter” press. It will provide 3+ mugs of coffee. For a single, a “12 ounce” will do. For 3 or 4 coffee drinkers, we pull out the “Saturn C5” 51 ounce (12 cup or 1-1/2 liter) monster, that will provide up to 5 mugs.
Secret #1; Coarse grind the coffee beans! You can do that at the coffee display at a grocery store, or in your own grinder, but it may require a bit of a lighter hand with an inexpensive blade type grinder. We use a conical burr type grinder for its consistency, but we use a small blade type for decaffeinated beans to avoid mixing the two. With the conical burr version, we set the grind on just above coarse. When using the lighter grinder, I give it 3 or 4 short bursts, allowing the larger beans to drop down to maximize them getting ground, but to avoid making the whole grind too fine. The goal here is to simply avoid grinding the coffee so small that you end up spitting out coffee that snuck through the the press screen!
Secret #2; Add the correct amount of coffee to the press with the screen and press removed. That would be 4 level scoops for the medium press, 2 for the small press, or 6 for the “Saturn C5.” How many of you remember that rocket engine?? Saturn C5
Secret #3: Add BOILING WATER in the correct amount. I’m stressing boiling here, as that temperature is needed to bring out all that fine coffee beans have to offer! Simply fill the carafes to the base of the ‘arrow’ at the top of the frame of the device. By sizes that amounts to 8 ounces for the small press, 28 for the medium press, or 42 for the large press.
Now stir in the floating grounds, preferably with a wooden spoon (so as to minimize the possibility of cracking or breaking the glass carafe). 3-5 seconds will do!
Then replace the press parts in the press, being careful to place the pouring screen in the top in line with the spout on the carafe. Just settle the screen in far enough to keep the grounds below the surface at this point.
Secret #4: Check your watch and start the 3-4 minute wait to coffee nirvana. This is a matter of how strong you like your coffee! You could even go for 5 minutes, or add an extra scoop to meet your preference. Now, gradually press the screen down to the bottom of the carafe to hold the grounds out of your pour. Fill your Brewster House mug and let that fragrant, rich aroma bring you back to your time with us….. or just come back and enjoy your morning coffee, offset with the buttery sweetness of Mary’s amazing butterscotch scones!
With our European guests, I’ve learned a tradition of theirs that I like. You can agree with (or not) their practice of using more milk (as opposed to cream or 1/2 & 1/2), but I have learned to value their request of warming their dairy before serving it. Just 10 or 20 seconds in your microwave will do it! Their logic, “why spoil this delicious coffee by pouring cold milk in it?”
Bon appetit!! BUT COME TO BROWSER HOUSE AND LET US SPOIL YOU by doing all this (& more) for you!!
Admittedly, Spring can be a challenging time to attract folks to come to Maine (or anyplace else in Northern New England), but let’s face it, you crave a change of scenery and being spoiled at Brewster House is always a gift, so check out these six amazing Maine spring flings!We’ll open with “high culture,” the Maine State Ballet Theater company is putting on the classic, “Sleeping Beauty” from April 1 – April 17th. http://www.mainestateballet.org. The theater is on Rt. 1 in Falmouth, only 10 or 15 minutes south of us.
The Portland Home Show opens on April 8th and tuns through the tenth. For more information click, HTTP://www.homeshows.com.
There are some amazing photographers and subject matter for them in Maine! The Boothbay Region Art Foundation is presenting the renowned Maine Photography Show, running from April 9th – 29th. For details, see http://www.mainephotographyshow.com.
We love the little City of Bath, and aside from my favorite museum (the Maine Maritime Museum), another great reason to visit Bath will be the Bath Antique Show & Sale, held on both March 13th, and April 10th. To learn more, check out http://www.bathantiqueshows.com.
An easy 40 minute ride east of beautiful Rt. 1 through beautiful Brunswick, Bath and Wiscasset, a MUST DO for those gardeners/ landscapers in the room, the Maine Botanical Gardens reopen for the season on April 15th. Believe it or not, they have over 35,000 bulbs, among their 270 acres of shoreline and other dazzling plantings, they will be emerging for your visual and olfactory stimulation. http://www.mainegardens.org.
Also in Falmouth from May 6th to 7th , something Mary will be up for, is the Falmouth Kitchen Tour. A fabulous idea whether you’re re-doing your kitchen, or or just a kitchen voyeur! http://www.mainekitchentours.co
Of course, we’ve sweetened the pie with our Spring Serenity special, 3 nights for the price of 2! Come, let us pamper you in ironed sheets and breakfasts that will dazzle your tastebuds,while you slide into Spring! http://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/spring-serenity-buy-2-nights-get-1-free-special/Tags: Freeport, Home & Garden, Spring
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March is both the end of Winter and beginning of Spring, and so we all need an infusion of HOPE, so here are three fabulous March Ideas to “re-float your boat!”
It seems natural to start with the end of Winter, a perfect time to play outside! As those of you fellow Yankees know, early March can bring us some serious weather slaps in the form of BIG SNOW, while when the sun emerges, it is higher in the sky and brings on that magical warmth that’s been missing for a while. As you consider these dates, remember my last blog detailing Maine Restaurant Week, 3/1 – 3/12! So we open our offerings with a pair of outdoor weekend events to stir the souls of you adventurers.
On the weekend of March 5th/ 6th, we offer two local unique sorts of outdoor events that beg for your participation. The first on March 5th is an evening ski with the folks at the LL Bean Outdoor Adventure School that is a 6 – 9PM cross country ski tour. March 8th is a “new moon,” so the view of the Milky Way and planets should be magnificent! For details, check out http://www.llbean.com/llb/event/88012?occurrenceId=60054&locationId=515&feat=33-ods. $40 is the cost to play, and will take place on their own groomed trails a few miles east of Freeport, as well as hot chocolate and snacks at the event.
On Sunday 3/6, is the final event in the Bradbury Mountain Snowshoe Series, “The Bradbury Blizzard.” http://trailmonsterrunning.com/bradburysnow They will offer 3 levels of competitive courses around and up the mountain in this State Park 8 miles from our door. By the way, the view from the top reaches all of the way to Casco Bay.
As a long time ocean aficionado (both sail and motor), one of my favorite annual spring events is the annual Maine Boatbuilders Show! The Show starts on Friday night 3/18 and runs through Sunday 3/20. It takes place at 58 Fore St. in Portland and is very accurately described as “a gathering of the finest fiberglass and wooden boat builders on the East Coast!” That weekend always seems ripe with Spring sun and balmy breezes, and the facility is on Portland Harbor, not to mention some of the finest eating and drinking on the East Coast is a walk from the show!! www.portlandcompany.com/boatShow/index.html
Of course, Brewster House is waiting to provide respite for your tired, weary bones, or your over-stressed, metro twisted head with a great bed, incredible breakfast, warm fire and relaxing hot bath…..and how could I forget, STAY FOR 3 NIGHTS FOR THE PRICE OF TWO with our SPRING SERENITY SPECIAL!! http://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/spring-serenity-buy-2-nights-get-1-free-special/
Maine Restaurant Week is an annual celebration of food & drink that takes place early every March, and is a fabulous excuse to “get out of Dodge” and enjoy the growing warmth of the sun, by the sea here! It runs from March 1 – 12, and some ticket sales are limited, so don’t wait too long to commit or your options may be limited.
The festivities open on February 28th with “Spirit Quest,” @ 2PM on Sunday in Old Port, with a walk including combinations of delicious “bites” and cocktails through some of the finest restaurants in Portland. The list of participating establishments is growing, but already includes such notables as David’s, TIQA, 555 and Liquid Riot! Looks like $40/ participant to us.
The list of participating restaurants is growing, as we speak, but will include some of the most amazing restaurants in the State of Maine, offering 3 course dinners for $25, $35, $45 or $55, + special MRW lunches for only $15! For sure our favorite, the Azure Cafe in Freeport will be participating. Some special MRW menus are already online, with more appearing daily, as more restaurants sign up.
Hey, on Sunday, March 13th, @ 2PM the “Coffee & Desert Pairing Event” is to be held in Portland. This sounds like a hot one to a boy with a very serious sweet tooth!! “Coffee by Design’s” roastery team is creating their best brews to go with bite sized tastes of the most incredible desert entrees from the likes of Dean’s Sweets, Two Fat Cats, Love Cupcakes and Scratch. More are signing up every day too! Tix are $35 and to sweeten the deal, this is benefit supporting the fine work of Preble Street (homeless shelter).
At Brewster House, we have the breakfast gig well covered, with your 3 course gourmet breakfast, and fresh ground coffee prepared in a french press, and home baked cookies and cakes for your afternoon delight! There are no more comfortable beds and linens, nor more commodious baths on the coast of Maine!and let’s not forget the fireplaces….. Make you reservation today. As a note, we will be away from 2/19 until 3/1, but our “Spring Serenity Special” kicks in on that date, meaning we offer 3 night stays for the price of 2 nights. See our Spring Serenity package for details!