Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: beach

Eight Awesome Mid-Coast Maine Things To Do

May 1, 2014 by Scott Gile

Boothbay_Harbor_High_Tide-21. BOATS– In our view, if you really want to appreciate Maine (or at least our part of it), there is no substitute for experiencing our gorgeous coastline, islands & peninsulas on a boat. Whether that be the Portland Water Taxis, Atlantic Seal Cruses out of Freeport, an antique schooner trip,  the experience of where the land and water meet is intoxicating! If you have the time, spend the day cruising out of Boothbay or New Harbor to Monhegan. It’s 8 or 10 miles offshore, high, windy & naturally stunning with huge cliffs and puffins nesting in them, populated by a few hardy fishermen, and a thriving year round artists colony, and a 100+ year old hotel. One fabulous breather!!

2. BEACHES– Maine has some beautiful beaches, as different in character from each other as the far reaches of our huge State! South of Portland, there are several long sandy stretches, from the black long sands of York, to the white beaches of Wells, Ogunquit and Old Orchard Beach. In Freeport, we have our own Casco Bay facing beach at Winslow Park, and at either end of the Kennebec River two stunningly wild, different and unspoiled State Parks including both Popham Beach on the west, and Reid State Park at the east end of the River.

3. LIGHTHOUSES– There at least five of these within an easy drive of Freeport, including Cape Neddick Light in York, Goat Island Light on Cape Porpoise, and the Portland sisters, Cape Elizabeth (or Two Lights) and the photogenic queen, Portland Head. Less than an hour east of here, you’ll find the Pemaquid Point Light, sitting on a huge striated, slanted granite ledge that can only be described as breathtaking! DON’T MISS the lighthouse boat tours of the Kennebec lighthouses offered by the Maine Maritime Museum either (see link in “Museums)! We have specials at Brewster House built around these explorations!

4. OUTDOOR ADVENTURE– Wow, this is a HUGE category!! I’d put such diverse items in this box as kayaking, bicycling, golf, white water rafting (see Kennebec, Dead & Penobscot Rivers) Northern Outdoors, hunting, fishing, cross-country, Discovery Outdoor Center, ziplines and downhill skiing, mountain-biking, ATVS, snowmobiles…..and so on!!

5. RAINY DAY?– Museums such as the magnificent Maine Maritime Museum in Bath , Portland Art Museum, the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum  (the man who saved the Union Army at Gettysburg), or the Sabbaday Village on Rt. 26 where you can experience a still active Shaker village and their magnificent furniture and handworks, or check out the DeLorme Maps store and 30’ globe 5 miles south on Rt. 1!

LLBeanBoot-sm6. SHOPPING, ETC. – This one is obvious; Freeport being the center of the LL Bean Universe, (5 separate stores) and all of the surrounding outlet stores is 3 blocks south of Brewster House! Kittery and its outlet stores are about 40 miles to the south. If you’re of the gambling persuasion, there is the Oxford Casino, about 30 miles northwest on Rt. 26 too (1/2 mile paved racetrack nearby)!

7. EATING– Again, HUGE category, Freeport has a pretty high food bar, as well as the adjacent towns – Brunswick & Bath! Portland has really become elevated as a “Foodie” center of the east coast. Pahk your cah at Congress Square in Portland and check out the amazing choices of cuisine, or head to the waterfront for ATMOSPHERE+!! Obviously, seafood and fresh local meat and produce is a big part of that program. Check out our neighbors at the Azure Café.

8. DRINKING – Many, many choices for wine, beer or martini lovers within a very short drive!! For beer in Freeport, check out The Maine Beer Company or Gritty’s McDuffs. Both microbreweries, and Gritty’s is a pub style restaurant as well. There is a relatively new “wine bistro” in Freeport, very popular among locals (yes, we’re working our way there too!) called “Conundrum”. Last summer, some guests from Georgia shared their fabulous experience with “Wine Wise Events” of Portland, who does wine tasting cruises, restaurant samplings and other really fun such imbibing adventures ! I’ll be talking more about Christa’s company soon.

That should get you stahted this summah!!

LATE OCTOBER RIDE!

November 3, 2013 by Scott Gile

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

LATE OCTOBER RIDE!
You know, when I wrote that title, I was only thinking of my stunning motorcycle adventure this last Monday, but it certainly applies equally to our first 6 months here!
Mary, Siobhan, Ivy and I finally gave ourselves 5 days off this week after non-stop inn-keeping since the end of May.  Of course, Mary and I spent most of that time bettering our digs here in the carriage house, but we did squeeze in a little well deserved “R & R,” as well as procuring a few dashing (old) new furnishing additions for your visiting pleasure.
On Monday, Bella (my black Italian motorcycle) and I headed north-east on Route 1 for some exploration and adventure.   I brought the good ole Nikon point and shoot to contribute to a book we will start this Winter on “Adventures Available” from Freeport, for your perusal and pleasure on visiting with us.
Well, it was nearing 56 degrees on my departure north, so leathers and ski underwear were called for.  With no particular agenda, we decided to cut south on rt. 127 towards Georgetown Island and Reid State Park as soon as we crossed over the Kennebec River.  As we started south along the Kennebec, the view of the first of the stealthy new USS Zumwalt destroyer class at the bath Ironworks was very impressive in a Star Wars sort of way.  Check it out, http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2013/1030/Navy-new-destroyer-USS-Zumwalt-is-bigger-badder-than-any-other-destroyer-video. 
After several miles, the protected waters of Montsweag Bay started to appear between breaks in the spruce trees to my left.  Wow, what a place to have a camp or a home!  After 5 more miles, a state sign for Reid State Park appeared to my right.  What a lovely and diverse jem of nature!!  A long straight beach backed by an ocean meadow, and lovely rocky inlet to an interior bog.  A bus full of school kids in boots exploring the shallows, doesn’t even notice Bella.   Gotta go there again with Mary and Siobhan!

Back north on 127, we stopped to explore this sweet little cove, and take a couple of photos.  They used to build schooners here in the 1800’s.  Fuzz your eyes up a bit and it’s easy to imagine the sounds of cutting and shaping wood and the sounds and smells of horses and working forges!

Back to Rt. 1, not a thrilling drive in the best of conditions, even less so with squally rain and gusting winds!  East to lunch via Wiscasset and Newcastle, then to Thomaston, just west of Penobscot Bay….to the Maine State Prison Store.  I think legend has it that the prison that used to surround the rear lot behind the rear of the store was the same prison that was a model for “The Green Mile,” the Stephen King story.   The store is deceptively large inside and includes everything in the way of beautifully crafted woodshop craft from wood trivets to large bookshelves, ships, end tables, great toys, chess boards and on!!  I think we’re going back for a nice ash coat peg-board for our house.  As I go to leave and am getting ready to ride, my helmet gets blown off of the seat and rolls across the parking lot. WICKED P—–!!  If you don’t know, that’s a particular New England expression of disgust…..

Drove back north through Jefferson, then back west to Gardiner and south along the Kennebec on rt. 24 to home.  165 miles from where I started, I’m approaching home and it’s 47 degrees, and the sun is low on the horizon!!  Wish you were here, this was onefine Maine adventure!!

Beaches Near Freeport Maine?

April 3, 2012 by Scott Gile

When folks are inquiring about things to do in our part of the Maine coast, one of the questions they ask is where they can find the nearest beach. If you’ve never been to the Maine coast, it is understandable that you would ask, since most of us associate beaches with coastline, perhaps picturing a sandy beach with the warm wind wafting over the dune grasses, much like you might find in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, or elsewhere, where you can wade into the warm waters and relax.

In Maine, our coast is a bit different. Most of it is rugged and rocky, pounded by the wind and waves of the North Atlantic (often with lighthouses perched on the rocks). It also averages about 10-20° F colder than the water temperature in the Carolinas, so the beach experience in Maine is a bit different than you’ll find farther south.

With all that in mind, there are indeed some sand beaches not far from Freeport that make for a very enjoyable visit.

Winslow Park, Freeport. In Freeport you’ll find Winslow Park – a large park with acres of grass along Freeport’s harbor, with excellent views of the nearby islands, and a tiny sand beach area. The grass makes it a perfect spot for activities, but the beach is not large enough for many people to share it.

Popham Beach State Park. The Maine mid-coast area is made up of islands and peninsulas, so very few things along the coast are also near the primary north-south road up the coast, US-1, and Popham Beach is no exception. From Freeport, you travel north just a few minutes to Bath, but then turn right and go out a peninsula past Phippsburg, to Popham Beach State Park. The park is quite large, and contains a large beach (with some of the grasses and dunes people expect), and is very popular with families during the summers. There are also a number of interesting antique shops and coastal villages to explore on the way from Bath to Popham.

Reid State Park. Bath is on the south side of the Kennebec River. Crossing the bridge to Woolwich, on the other side of the river, you turn right and cross a small bridge to Georgetown Island. Driving nearly to the end of the island, you come to Reid State Park. Almost directly across the river from Popham, Reid is another State Park with large, sandy beaches, as well as other areas for hiking and exploring. Nearby is Five Islands, where you’ll find the Five Islands Lobster Company, and it’s wonderful lobster shack. Georgetown Island is also where you’ll find Georgetown Pottery and the Robinhood Free Meetinghouse – a fine dining establishment run by a former Maine Chef of the Year.

The beach experience in Maine is unlike any other. If you are open to something different, you’ll find it along Maine’s rocky (and sandy) coastline!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast

Going to the beach . . . in Maine?

July 30, 2009 by Scott Gile

For first time visitors to Maine it is a bit surprising to see the quizzical looks from locals when they ask where the nearest beach may be found. You see, once you travel north of the southern Maine areas of the Yorks, Wells and Ogunquit, there are very few places with sand beaches. In fact, the rugged and rocky coastline is one of the most attractive things about the Maine coast!

The relative rarity of sand beaches, and the particularly cold temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Maine make beach-going and swimming somewhat less common than in warmer climes.

Popham State Park BeachHowever, for those determined to seek out the sand, it certainly can be found. One of the most popular beaches for families, or anyone seeking a broad expanse of sandy beach (just beyond the grasses in the photo), with views of the offshore islands and lighthouses, is Popham Beach State Park. Besides a wonderful beach, hiking trails and the usual State Park amenities, it is not far to Fort Popham, an unfinished Civil War fort, which can be explored.

If you’d like to have the best of both worlds, you would have a hard time beating the views at Reid State Park. While only about 4 miles from Popham Beach State Park by water, it is more like 27 miles by road, as you must return to Bath, Maine, then cross the Kennebec River, cross the short bridge to Georgetown Island, and drive out near the end of the island to find the park.

Reid State Park beach from rocksReid, too, has a wonderful sand beach, but also has the craggy granite boulders that allow you to walk to the top and have a magnificent view of the beach, the islands with their lighthouses, and the mouth of the Sheepscot River.

While we can help you find these parks, with their sandy beaches, we can’t take responsibility for the water temperature! It is usually very cold!

Visit Maine Like A Mainer! Greater Portland and Casco Bay (Part 2 – Freeport)

June 30, 2009 by Scott Gile

Wolfe Neck State Park, Freeport Maine
Our series on Visiting Maine Like a Mainer turns now to the Freeport and environs area of the region known as Greater Portland and Casco Bay (previous posts have included the Maine Beaches, Greater Portland and Casco Bay (Portland area) and Downeast and Acadia).

Freeport is widely known as the home of retail giant L.L. Bean. In fact the well-known outlets and stores in Freeport are all around the L.L. Bean campus, with its flagship store, hunting and fishing store, bike and kayak store, and its outlet store. Oh, and the L.L. Bean home store is slated to open later in the year. Around it sit over 160 other stores and restaurants, providing something for everyone.

Not quite as well-known are the two beautiful state parks, Wolfe Neck State Park and Bradbury Mountain State Park. Both have excellent hiking trails. Wolfe Neck offers trails along the edge of Casco Bay, while Bradbury Mountain, as its name implies, takes you up above the neighboring communities for a view across the coastal areas.

Nearby, also, in addition to Portland and its shopping and fine dining, are the Portland Head Lighthouse and Cape Elizabeth’s Two Lights. To the north is Bowdoin College, Eagle Island, Bailey Island, Georgetown Island, Reid State Park, Popham Beach State Park, and the hideaway village of Five Islands. Maine’s Desert is also nearby.

Freeport‘s central location makes it ideal for adding to your shopping vacation with golf, and exploring all the Maine coast has to offer.

Visit Maine Like a Mainer! The Maine Beaches

June 9, 2009 by Scott Gile

For many in the eastern United States the area of Maine that is most familar is the southern Maine region known as the Maine Beaches.

Nubble Lighthouse, Cape Neddick, MaineThe sandy beaches stretching across 30 miles of coastline have made this jewel of Maine a favorite of vacation visitors for many decades. Beginning only little more than an hour’s drive north from Boston, or an hour east of Manchester, New Hampshire, the region encompasses the outlet malls of Kittery, the beaches and coves of York and York Beach, Wells, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and Old Orchard Beach.

Detailed information on lodging, restaurants and activities can be found at the Maine Beaches Association website, the Maine Tourism website, or the State of Maine’s tourism website.

Among the well-known attractions are the Ogunquit Playhouse, celebrating 75 years of Broadway at the beach, and the Seashore Trolley Museum.

The Yorks are home to Cape Neddick Lighthouse (the Nubble) and When Pigs Fly, bakers of exquisite breads.

US-1 is a two-lane highway that runs from the Southern border of Maine, directly up through the towns of the Maine Beaches region. All along it you’ll find antique shops, outlet centers and one-of-a-kind shops, as well as restaurants, including the historic Maine Diner, Bed & Breakfasts, hotels and motels, and many other things.

Lodging recommendations can be found at the Maine Innkeepers website, the Maine tourism sites mentioned above, or the Chamber of Commerce sites of any of the towns mentioned – all linked in the regional site.

Even for the experienced visitor, there’s more to Maine!

10 Things to do Near Freeport Maine (Other Than Shopping)

May 26, 2009 by Scott Gile


Maine’s premier shopping destination is Freeport. Not only are there over 160 shops, outlet stores and restaurants, but it is the world headquarters of retail giant L.L. Bean, and home to its several stores (the flagship store, with everthing from clothes to camping gear, furniture, home goods, gifts and more), the hunting and fishing store, the bike, ski and boat store, and the L.L. Bean Outlet, with a full-scale home store in the works). But what else is there to do in Freeport, Maine?

There is plenty to do in addition to shopping! In this post we’ll cover 10 popular things to do in or near Freeport, for those who aren’t here to shop (is that possible?), or when you’d like to take a break from the shops and see a bit of Maine!

1. Bird Watching

There are several great spots for birding near Freeport. From the Audubon Society’s Mast Landing Bird Sanctuary, providing a serene property, perfect for walking, enjoying a picnic and bird watching, to the Audubon Society’s Gisland Farm Sanctuary, with nature trails winding through meadows, woods and estuaries. Enjoy art exhibits and an extensive collection of mounted mammals and birds representative of Maine’s ecosystems. Also, some of the other locations below provide excellent opportunities for birding.

2. Adventure

The folks at L.L. Bean put on a series called the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools which include their $15 Walk-on Adventures. There you can learn to fly fish, paddle a canoe or kayak, cross-country ski, snowshoe, or practice archery or clay target shooting. They also have more advanced courses for the more experienced visitor.

3. Beaches

Yes, beaches. In Maine. Astonishing! In Freeport, there is Winslow Memorial Park, a lovely town park along part of Casco Bay. Most of the waterfront is grassy, and excellent for picnics and playing, but there is a small sand beach, as well.

Larger beaches are found at two State Parks, Popham Beach and Reid State Parks. Both are north on US-1 about 10 minutes, then east about 15-20 minutes more to the end of their respective points of land, where there area beautiful large sand beaches, restrooms, and camp and picnic facilities. The scenery is breathtaking.

4. Visit Lighthouses

Of Maine’s 60+ lighthouses, several are not far from Freeport. Since we recently posted on lighthouses to visit nearby, please see that post for all the scoop. This doesn’t include several small lighthouses on Casco Bay, in and around Portland’s harbor.

5. History

Visit historic Wolfe’s Neck Farm and see a 626 acre farm on the Maine coast dedicated to sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and community well-being.

Nearby is Desert of Maine, a famous natural phenomenon, creating a desert in Maine (of all places!).

If you enjoy maritime history, the Maine Maritime Museum is in Bath, about 15 minutes from Freeport, and is filled with history about Maine’s maritime past and present.

6. Golf

If you would enjoy a round of golf in a wonderful setting, there are several courses that would suit you nearby. Closest is the Freeport Country Club’s 9-hole track. Brunswick’s Brunswick Golf Club is a nice 18-hole course, and only about 10 minutes away. Fox Ridge Golf Club, past home to the Maine State Open, is not much farther away, and provides a real challenge to golfers of any ability. Others are a bit farther away, near Portland or Boothbay Harbor.

7. Hiking and Nature

Two of Maine’s great State Parks, Wolfe Neck State Park and Bradbury Mountain State Park, are located within about 10 minutes drive from Freeport. Wolfe Neck State Park is on Casco Bay and offers hiking trails in the woods and along the bay. Bradbury Mountain State Park offers fine views from its trails at higher elevation.

8. Boating

Canoes and kayaks can be rented nearby for the self-powered enthusiast. There are also tour boats for everything from puffin and whale watching tours and lighthouse tours to tours of Arctic explorer Admiral Peary’s Eagle Island home. Some are as close as 5 minutes from Freeport, while others are from 10 to 50 minutes away. Sails on an antique schooner are as close as Portland harbor.

9. Art Galleries

In Freeport you’ll find a group of artists at Freeport Square or the new Wonderful Art Gallery, right in Freeport Village, or just a bit up US-1 is the Frost Gully Gallery, featuring 20 Maine artists at Maine’s oldest gallery.

10 Antiques

OK, so hunting for antiques is a form of shopping. Still, it isn’t quite the same thing, is it? Just 5 minutes up the road in Brunswick is the Andross building, containing a large antique mall with a variety of dealers. Brunswick also has several independent antique dealers. A few more minutes up US-1 in Bath, there are several individual antique shops along the streets, and others along Route 209 toward Popham Beach.

Do you have any favorite places in Maine? Let us know in the comments.

Our Favorite Things to See in Maine

May 19, 2009 by Scott Gile

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… these are a few of my favorite things.” So go the familiar words of the song from The Sound of Music. One of our favorite things is to introduce first-time visitors to Maine to some of our favorite things. Here are a few of them:

Lighthouses

Readers of previous posts will not be surprised to hear that our very favorite thing to do in Maine is to visit lighthouses. There are over 60 in Maine, and many can be visited (a surprising number are within only an hour or so of Brewster House).

Portland Head LighthouseWe have visited fewer than half of them. Actually, visited is a bit of a stretch, as some can be seen from shore, but can only be reached by boat.

In any case, of the lighthouses we have visited in Maine, Ruth’s favorite is Portland Head Lighthouse. Commissioned by President George Washington, and a favorite location of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whose poem, “The Lighthouse” is said to be inspired by this majestic beacon.

Scott’s favorite (though he says it is a close call) is Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, which stands above a rocky slope down to the pounding surf, which affords wonderful opportunities for photos of the lighthouse.

Moose

Like many who visit Maine, looking for, and photographing, moose is a great adventure for us. As we’ve discussed previously, there are several places where searching for moose is likely to be successful. Having a favorite is easy, though, since we haven’t (yet) visited any other. We thoroughly enjoy the beauty of the Rangeley Lake area, and have always been able to find moose.

Exploring the Coast

We love the craggy rocks along the Maine coast, so exploring it is one of our favorites. We love the rocky coastline near Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, or near Bass Harbor Lighthouse, but our all-around favorite is much nearer to home. We love to visit Reid State Park and the village of Five Islands. The views are absolutely magnificent, and at Reid the boulders give way to a sandy beach that glistens in the sunshine. For us, this is Maine!

Where are your favorite spots? Leave replies in the comments!

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