Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: activities near freeport

Boating Portland, Part 1

June 21, 2014 by Scott Gile

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Wow, boating Portland offers so many great boating opportunities, this blog will be confined to that City, and I’ll follow up with a subsequent blog for boating choices from Freeport, and East.  Commercial St. is 20 minutes from our door, so after the bustle of a day on the water, and lunch or dinner around the Portland waterfront, there is no better respite than a glass of wine on the porch of Brewster House on the quiet north side of little ole Freeport!

Please refer back to my piece of July 29th, 2013.  In that blog I referred both to Atlantic Seal Cruises and The Portland Schooner Company.

Wendameen on a port tack

Wendameen on a port tack

The Portland Schooner Company runs two vintage, beautiful schooners “Bagheera” & “Wendameen” several times a day, including sunset cruises http://www.portlandschooner.com.  Sailing is a beautiful & unique experience in which the power of nature is both moving and soothing!   See their website for schedules.  This experience  is very economical and exhilarating, when there is wind!!  Our Seafarer Adventure Package includes a trip with Portland Schooners for two!

A simple and inexpensive approach to appreciating Casco Bay by ferry would be Casco Bay Ferry Lines http://www.cascobaylines.com.  They offer a great variety of adventures, everything from the “Mailboat Run” (to most of the inhabited islands in the Bay) for a 3 hour round trip for just $16, to “Sunset” and “Sunrise” runs.  Can you think of a better way to while away a few hours, taking in the Bay on a summer day?  I’ll bet you can bring your own cooler too!

Of the same ilk, but a hair more tourist oriented would be Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours http://www.portlanddiscovery.com.  While much of their business is bus based, they do sell a couple of “Lighthouse Tours” of the Portland Casco Bay area, one of which is a sunset tour!  All for a piddling sum!

White & Blue hulled lobster boat with smiling crew aboard

Lucky Catch Lobstering

One of our favorite themes is lobsters, so the Lucky Catch Lobstering Tours www.luckycatch.com are a hoot!  For $30 (adult), you’ll get to participate in being a lobstaman (or lobtsawoman) and even take home a lobster for dock price!!  These tours are 1 hour 45 minutes, and they also lead seal watches as well.  Seals remind me of dogs a bit.

Humpback tail on wate & Tour Boat

Odyssey Whale Watch

There are whale watch boats from both Boothbay Harbor and Portland, but for this installment, we’ll confine our attention to the latter.  Odyssey Whale Watch Tours http://www.odysseywhalewatch.com operate a good size boat (above) out of a Commercial Street wharf.  They leave at 2PM in season, and go out up to 20 miles out for a 4 hour trip, during which you may see humpbacks, fin whales, minke whales, and often porpoises.  Remember, on any of these trips, once you leave the dock, the air temperature will reflect the sea temperature (which is now in low 50’s), so bring an extra layer!  It is an amazing experience to hang at the bow of the boat looking down at porpoises riding the bow wave, as they turn and look back at you!

Whatever your taste in ocean adventure, Brewster House has the best beds (choice of pillows, choice of layered blankets, ironed sheets), quietest rooms and most incredibly delicious breakfast in Freeport, so come back to recoup!!   We’ll deal with the Nova Scotia Ferry as a whole other subject!  Remember, this is only Part One!  Next blog, we’ll work up from Freeport North and East to New Harbor, stay tuned!!

Things to Do Near Freeport Maine: Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park

November 27, 2012 by Scott Gile

Many (possibly most) of our guests want to see the beautiful Maine coast while they’re visiting the area. That seems to be true in almost any season – even in winter! However, some don’t want to drive far to see it, so we have the perfect answer for them!

Just a few minutes drive from Brewster House is Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, in Freeport. Located down one of the peninsulas that neighbor Freeport’s harbor, the park offers several trails, including the Casco Bay Trail, which runs along the edge of the rocks by the water.

At one point, you could practically wade to the nearby islands at low tide – if they weren’t protected. In fact, the closest island, Googins Island, is a protected refuge for Osprey. But the large birds of prey aren’t the only thing you’ll see there, as twilight can bring herons, ducks and other waterfowl out for a bit of evening air.

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Who Visits Maine Lighthouses in the Winter?

November 20, 2012 by Scott Gile

Who visits Maine lighthouses in the winter? We do!

Before we ever came to Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, we enjoyed visiting and taking photographs of lighthouses – in Maine and elsewhere. After a number of visits to Maine in the Spring, Summer or Fall, we finally made a trip to Maine in the winter. In the back of our minds was the possibility of a light snowfall, and a visit to one of Maine’s beautiful lighthouses to take photos of it. It didn’t quite go according to plan.

On the way north to Maine, we drove into a blizzard in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine that left the roads icy and visibility very poor. At one point we went into the highway median to avoid another car that had lost control – we were very thankful that we escaped unscathed and made it safely to Maine amid considerable snow, in the dark.

The next morning dawned sunny and white, so, undaunted, we headed to Portland Head Lighthouse to see what the snow had left for us. We found a charming winter scene, with a light blanket of snow on the gingerbread keeper’s house, and along the rocks. In the bright sunshine, we were able to take some very nice pictures of a favorite lighthouse, as we had never seen it before!

In addition to the unusual beauty of lighthouses in snow, the Cape Neddick lighthouse (the Nubble) is decorated with white lights for the Christmas season.

Considering a winter lighthouse excursion? How about some early Christmas shopping at Freeport’s outlets and shops? At Brewster House we’re running two specials – our Christmas Shopper from December 9 through 19, and our Wild Winter Getaway for the month of January 2013 – each provides 3 nights for the price of 2!

Get a jump on your Christmas shopping. Check out a lighthouse or three while you’re here!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Things to Do Near Freeport: Visit Covered Bridges

November 13, 2012 by Scott Gile

The New England states are known for many things – among them their covered bridges.

Babb’s Bridge

Like most of the states in this area, Maine has its share of the beautiful old bridges, providing shelter in a storm while providing a safe crossing of the many rivers around the state. And several are within a reasonable drive from Brewster House. Each has its own interesting past, as well as an unusual beauty, providing a unique window into the transportation of a bygone era.

The nearest of these covered bridges is Babb’s Bridge (built in 1864), in South Windham. It is only about 45 minutes drive from Brewster House.

Hemlock Bridge

The next nearest bridge, about an hour and a half away, is the Hemlock Bridge (1857), near Fryeburg, Maine. Don’t be surprised when, to visit this bridge, you must take an old wagon road (it feels as if you are driving through a farmer’s field). It is well worth the adventure!

Artist’s Bridge

Another bridge, somewhat hidden from the casual visitor, is Artist’s Bridge (built in 1872, and so-called because of the number of paintings done of this beautiful bridge). Not far from the Sunday River resort, near Newry, Maine, this bridge is just off the current roadway, but requires a couple of side trips to find it. It is about 2 hours from Brewster House.

The State of Maine’s VisitMaine website has a full list of Maine’s covered bridges.

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Things to Do Near Freeport: Reid State Park and Five Islands

November 6, 2012 by Scott Gile

Now that the fall foliage season has pretty well drawn to a close, things have slowed down a bit, and we have had a little more time (not much!) to get out and enjoy some of the things we send guests out to see all through the year.

This week we returned to Georgetown Island, just a few minutes from Brewster House in Freeport, where we visited Reid State Park and the lovely village of Five Islands.

Reid has a wonderful sand beach (not that common in this part of Maine), with piles of granite rock at one end, which you walk up like stairs, then view the islands offshore, the beach, and the mouth of the neighboring river. It is a beautiful area, and one we really enjoy visiting and photographing.

At the very end of the road is Five Islands, home of Five Islands Lobster Co., and its wonderful lobster shack, where you can enjoy your favorite crustacean at a picnic table on the docks, while the lobster boats come and go. This late in the season, the boats were quietly moored, and the lobster shack was closed, but that just makes it an even more picturesque setting to visit!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Three Wonderful Days in Freeport!

October 16, 2012 by Scott Gile

Recently several guests have stayed with us and visited Freeport for the first time. They have all had similar reactions. The first reaction is “Wow! We didn’t know there was so much Freeport shopping!” You see, not being from the northern New England area, they were unfamiliar with Freeport, and many had no idea that it was the home of L.L. Bean.

The second reaction, for all of them, was, “We had no idea there was so much to do within a short drive of Freeport! What a great location to base our stay, so we can take day trips to see lighthouses, visit lobster shacks, beaches, etc.” They had no idea what a perfect location Freeport is for sightseeing.

We’ve decided to make Freeport a little more accessible for our guests by setting up our Fall Freedom package, with 3 nights for the price of 2! This provides the ideal opportunity to see the rugged Maine coast, visit lighthouses (there are at least a dozen within about an hour and a half drive of us), hike along the water or in the hills in our state parks, and more. Or, if you prefer, take a hike through Freeport and visit the 5 L.L. Bean stores (four of them never close!) and over 150 other shops and restaurants, all within a few blocks of us!

With three days here, you can really cover a lot of ground. Here is our suggestion:

Day 1 (arrival)

  • Arrive by mid-afternoon and check-in at Brewster House
  • Spend the afternoon exploring Freeport outlets and shops
  • Have a wonderful meal at one of Freeport’s excellent restaurants

Day 2

  • Have a delicious gourmet breakfast at Brewster House
  • Go north to visit lighthouses, islands and beaches
  • Have lunch at an historic and authentic Maine diner
  • Spend the afternoon exploring coastal harbor towns
  • Dine along the way, or in Freeport
  • Shop a bit before the end of the day

Day 3

  • Another delicious breakfast at Brewster House
  • Shop a bit to make sure you haven’t missed anything
  • Drive to the south to see lighthouses
  • Explore Portland’s Old Port district
  • Explore Kennebunkport and/or Kittery and/or Ogunquit, etc.

Day 4 (departure)

  • One last delicious Brewster House breakfast
  • One last shopping trip before checking out.
  • Bid goodbye to your new friends, and promise to return soon!

When will we see you here?

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Things to Do Near Freeport: Enjoy Maine’s Maritime Herigage

August 14, 2012 by Scott Gile

Just a short drive from Freeport is the town of Bath, home to Bath Iron Works, one of the few remaining locations where US Navy ships are built, and the wonderful Maine Maritime Museum.

This year (2012) marks the 50th anniversary for the museum, which celebrates Maine’s history of shipbuilding, its heritage and culture. The museum is filled with wonderful exhibits, indoors and out, showing how the old wooden ships were built, how they were used, and much, much more.

While there you can also schedule a tour of Bath Iron Works to see how the building of naval ships has changed, and a lighthouse tour or nature cruise, aboard the museum’s  Maine-built wooden boat Schoodic, which has a 40-passenger capacity.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum has a series of special exhibits that change. The museum web site has a list of current and upcoming exhibits.

If you’d like to combine visits to the Maine Maritime Museum (and perhaps Bath Iron Works, as well) with a cruise of your own on a Maine-built antique wooden schooner, in cooperation with our friends at Portland Schooner Co., we have arranged our Maine Seafarer Adventure special, with two nights at Brewster House, admission for two at Maine Maritime Museum, and a two hour cruise for two from Portland Schooner.

Ready to cast off?

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Things to Do Near Freeport: Tour the Area by Bike

July 31, 2012 by Scott Gile

For bicyclists, the Freeport area looks very tempting, with quiet back roads, rolling countryside, and ocean views. If you don’t mind some steep climbs, you’ll be rewarded with great views of Casco Bay and some of the wonderful islands and peninsulas of the Maine coast.

The State of Maine publishes bike touring information for many areas, including a bike tour of Freeport and Brunswick.Using that map (right) as a guide, you can enjoy rides ranging from 9 miles to 33 miles all around the area. The map is printable from the PDF file at the State’s website, or we have copies of the State’s book of Maine bicycle tour maps at Brewster House.

Freeport - Brunswick bicycle mapIf you feel energetic, you can do as one of our guests recently did (a word of warning – he competes in triathlons), and extend the route at the Brunswick end and go to Route 24, then out to Orrs Island and Bailey Island, then return via Mountain Road and Route 123, before coming back to Middle Bay Road, Mere Point Road, and Maquoit Road, and then returning as indicated on the map.

According to our guest, that made the route about 65 miles, with some “really big hills”, but he enjoyed the ride – even the flat tire he got along Mountain Road.

It may be an bicycling adventure that is not for the faint of heart, but it is an adventure all the same.

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Things to do near Freeport: Cruise on an Antique Schooner

June 19, 2012 by Scott Gile

Maine has a well-known heritage of boatbuilding. Much of its history can be seen on display at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. But that is another post for another day.

Wendameen, an antique schooner in Maine

If you would like to sail a bit of history, our friends at Portland Schooner Company have just the thing! Their two antique schooners, Wendameen and Bagheera, are both vintage Maine-built boats, designed by renowned yacht designer John Alden and built in East Boothbay. Wendameen was launched in 1912, and has a great history as a fast, private ocean schooner. Her story is told in Wendameen, Life of an American Schooner, by Capt. Neal Parker. There is more information about Wendameen on Captain Parker’s website.

Bagheera, in her turn, was a Bermuda racer, then was taken to the Great Lakes, where she won the Chicago-Mackinac race several times.

Both boats have been fitted out for passenger transport, and sail from Portland, providing two-hour cruises, private charters, overnight sails, and more.

We work with Portland Schooner Company for our Sail into the Sunset package, our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package, as well as arranging a two-hour cruise for guests who would like a bit more than the average tour of Casco Bay!

Come on and sail an old wooden schooner! How often do you get a chance like that?

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

30 Events in and Around Freeport This Year (and then some!)

May 15, 2012 by Scott Gile

Our website has long been a source of information on Freeport and Maine coast events, as well as about things to do near Freeport Maine, and along the Maine midcoast. We’ve just finished updating it with more events for this year, and there are over 30 events (and many are multiple day events) available for you to participate in, yet this year!

Of course, one of the biggest is the all-year-long L.L. Bean 100th Anniversary, but its Hometown Celebration in its home of Freeport, Maine, is July 4-7, 2012. This includes the Fourth of July celebration, parade, fireworks, as well as activities during the day, and free concerts July 6. July 7 will have the largest fireworks display in Maine history.

Throughout the summer there will be free concerts on select Saturday nights (the L.L. Bean Summer in the Park was formerly called the L.L.. Bean Summer Concert Series), as well as other activities for the entire family.

In addition there are festivals galore! There is the Great Falls Balloon Festival, the Yarmouth Clam Festival, the Moxie Festival, the Maine Lobster Festival, the North Atlantic Blues Festival, the Freeport Fall in the Village Art and Music Festival, the Maine Highland Games, and more!

We’ll also have the Lobsterman Triathlon, the Great State of Maine Airshow, the Maine Bike Rally, the Topsham Fair, plus local college Parents and Family weekends, homecoming, orientation, and more!

Practically every week throughout the summer and fall there is something for everyone. Lest we forget, the winter months will also bring Freeport’s beloved Sparkle Weekend, with parade (of course!) and Santa riding into town on a lobster boat, L.L. Bean’s giant Christmas tree, the L.L. Bean New Year’s Celebration, and, as Spring rolls around, the annual Spa, Knit and Spin weekend.

See you here!

Scott & Ruth
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine