Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

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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

Things to Do Near Freeport Maine: Walk Along the River

October 23, 2012 by Scott Gile

As we drive north on US-1 from Freeport, we often enjoy the views along the Androscoggin River, north of Brunswick’s downtown area, and we see the walking path along the river. We regularly tell ourselves that “one of these days” we need to hike that route. This past Sunday was the day!

Railroad bridge across the Androscoggin River

Once the guests had left — some checking out to go home, others exploring nearby lighthouses and the Maine coast – we packed up the camera and drove the few minutes north to Brunswick, to hike along the Androscoggin River. To find the entrance, we had searched online and discovered that there are actually two different trails. One is the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham River Walk, crossing the historic swing bridge to Topsham, along the river, back across the busy Maine Street bridge, then along Mill Street to the swing bridge again – a distance of about a mile and a quarter.

However, our plan was to walk the “other” Androscoggin River Walk, without its own website, and a search discloses that the page on the Brunswick municipal website has moved. We remembered that we had been told the entrance was at the end of Water Street, so we drove there, and found ample parking, and headed north.

Remnants of fall color along the trail

The route is paved, with a dividing line to separate bicycles from pedestrians, and is marked in quarter mile increments to show how far you have come. The route is about 2.6 miles each way, so about 5 1/4 miles in total, from the end of Water Street to the end of Grove Lane, both of which have parking and access to the walk.

Most of the walk is along the river, so the scenery is lovely, especially with remnants of the fall foliage on many of the trees. Short bits are along US-1, which can be quite noisy, but you are soon back by the river, with a buffer of trees to diminish the noise.

Stop and rest on one of the convenient benches

This is really a wonderful afternoon’s walk, good exercise, not too challenging, as the hills are not many and not steep, but with wonderful views of the river.

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 Maine: Bailey Island and Cook’s Lobster

October 9, 2012 by Scott Gile

Trees on Bailey Island

Often our guests looking for things to do near Freeport want to see the “authentic” Maine coast. One of our favorite places to go is on Route 24 from Brunswick, across Great Island to Orrs Island and across the Cribstone Bridge to Bailey Island.

The scenery is wonderful, and small vacation rental homes are intermingled with homes of lobstermen, with their traps and buoys dotting the lawns. You can view the water from the road much of the way, and sometimes on both sides of the road at once. It is a photographer’s paradise!

At the end of the road, at Land’s End (nothing to do with clothing), you can see the rocky shore, view the islands offshore, the fishermen’s memorial, see Halfway Rock Lighthouse in the distance, or, much nearer, the memorial to the sinking of a tourist boat, decades ago. You can also see Eagle Island in the distance, where Admiral Peary (the arctic explorer) once lived.

Cribstone Bridge from Cook’s Lobster

Of course, no trip to Bailey Island would be complete without a stop at Cook’s Lobster for a wonderful meal. Our latest trip we enjoyed their fine hospitality, and views of the Cribstone Bridge, while savoring a lobster casserole and broiled scallops. Oh, and don’t leave without trying the homemade blueberry pie (made with Maine wild blueberries!). Yum!

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

Maine Fall Foliage Back Roads

October 2, 2012 by Scott Gile

The colors have definitely started to turn, on the back roads leading inland from Freeport.

These just have to be seen!

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

Things to Do Near Freeport: Day Trip to Boothbay Harbor

September 25, 2012 by Scott Gile

Boothbay Harbor is a wonderful day (or half-day) trip from Brewster House, and it is only about 45 minutes away!

Boothbay Harbor

After finishing your wonderful breakfast in our dining room, take US-1 north in front of the house, and pass through Brunswick, Bath, and Wiscasset, then just across the river and up the hill you’ll see the sign to turn on Route 27 for the “Boothbay Region.”

The drive is scenic, with plenty of lupine to view in the spring, and foliage in the fall. The road winds through farmland and villages, passing through the village of Boothbay, and on to Boothbay Harbor.

Once there, you’ll find wonderful local shops with everything from tourist souvenirs to clothing to home decorating and even art galleries.Add to that charming restaurants, a lovely public park by the town dock, and a footbridge across the harbor, where you can walk to the Lobster Dock restaurant and view the town from the other side of the harbor.

The harbor is filled with islands and boats – fishing boats, whale watching tours, and pleasure boats. It is a photographers’ dream! Especially at sunset (or sunrise!).

Treat yourself to a delicious ice cream cone at one of Maine’s best ice cream parlors, before heading back. You may want to take a side trip to East Boothbay to admire the views, or to Southport Island and Newagen, where you can see a bit of the Maine coast, “up close and personal,” as they say.

In Boothbay (about 2 miles from Boothbay Harbor) you can also stop at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, where beautiful gardens are always in season!

Boothbay Harbor is one of our favorite things to do near Freeport!

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

Fall Colors in New England Starting to Change

September 18, 2012 by Scott Gile

Fall colors in Maine have begun, ever so slightly, to change to the golds and hints of red that promise a wonderful, vibrant foliage season.

Yankee Magazine’s foliage map shows change beginning throughout most of New England and all of Maine. The weekly reports on the Maine foliage site indicate (as of last week’s report) that the western and northern parts of the state had begun to change. No doubt this week’s report will show more progress in those areas, as well as some change in the eastern and southern parts of the state.

In our own back yard (literally!) we have one tree that has partially changed to yellow, and begun to shed some of its leaves. In addition, our “yardstick” tree, across the street, has now reached its brilliant colors of yellow and red that it normally displays in late August.

The fall colors normally progress from west to east and from north to south. So far, they are following that pattern, perfectly. They can move quickly, though, depending on the weather.

Lately we’ve had cool nights and crisp mornings, which make for excellent foliage, but also make it appear quickly.

Don’t miss out – our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package starts this week, and runs through October.

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

A Clearing Storm at Portland Head Lighthouse

September 11, 2012 by Scott Gile

During the busy season in Freeport, Maine (July – October), we rarely get a chance to do our own sightseeing. However, this past Sunday afternoon we did have a couple of hours, so we packed up some camera equipment and headed to one of our favorite nearby lighthouses, Portland Head Lighthouse.

Last Saturday there was a bit of a storm, so we were hoping to see some nice cloud formations and waves. We were not disappointed!

In one of the traditional photo location, just south of the lighthouse, you’ll see (top) the clouds clearing just above the lighthouse. As we walked around Fort Williams Park, we also saw the large waves breaking on the rocks below the lighthouse (middle).

Then we were pleasantly surprised to see one of the antique schooners from Portland Schooner Company make its way past Ram Island Lighthouse, before turning to return to port from its noon sail (some of our guests were aboard!). Portland Schooner supplies the “surf” portion of our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package!

All in all, a lovely day, some nice photos, and a good walk. You should try it!

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

Things To Do Near Freeport Maine: Fall Foliage Tour

September 4, 2012 by Scott Gile

Regardless of how early our Freeport Maine fall foliage may be this year, one of the best things to do near Freeport is to tour the foliage areas and check out all the fall colors.

There are a lot of great books on great scenic drives in Maine, and many include drives to see fall foliage. Far be it from us to discourage the use of these books. We have some of them, and we use them, too!

One thing we suggest, that doesn’t seem to be in any of the tour books we’ve seen, is to combine your drive with something else that interests you. For example, you might take a look at our map of Maine lobster shacks and create your own driving tour through the foliage areas, from one lobster shack to the next. Or, you might combine visits to some of our wonderful Maine lighthouses with a foliage tour. Another idea would be to combine both lighthouses and lobster shacks with fall foliage – what an idea!

You can accomplish some or all of those combination drives to see fall colors in our very popular Fall Foliage Surf and Turf package, which provides for two nights at Brewster House, a $50 gas card and our own driving tour of foliage areas (with turn-by-turn maps), plus a gift card for shopping at L.L. Bean (and of course you also have all the other Freeport outlets to visit), and a gift certificate to Azure Cafe, and more.

If you prefer, just explore the area’s scenic back roads and you’re sure to find some beautiful areas!

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

Will Maine Fall Foliage Be Early This Year?

August 29, 2012 by Scott Gile

We’ve had a bit of a debate around the house lately about when this year’s fall foliage in Maine is likely to be at its best. We’ll give you the points of view, and you can cast your vote, and we’ll see how well we do at predicting when the colors will change.

Neighboring tree – prior Augusts

Most years the best time to see fall foliage along Maine’s Midcoast region, and down into Freeport and Greater Portland is from about the beginning of October (possibly the end of September) through almost the end of October, with the peak time being the second and third weeks in October.

The debate has arisen this year (2012) because of the extremely mild winter we had, and the unusually early blooming of all the plants as a result. So the question becomes, “Will that change the dates for fall foliage?”

Ruth’s view is that the trees will behave like the other plants have this year, and they’ll be ahead of schedule, so she says you can expect colors to begin changing in September, and the peak will be in early October this year. As “proof” Ruth points out that some of the trees in the area (mostly along the highway) have already begun to show signs of changing, and it is only August.

Neighboring tree – 2012

Scott disagrees (some would say that is not surprising). He says that the amount of rain we had early in the summer will mitigate the effects of the early spring, and we’ll have a normal foliage season, with the peak in mid-October, or possibly even later. As proof, he looks at our neighbor’s tree across the street, which is always the first tree in the neighborhood to begin the fall foliage color change. In most years that tree has turned vibrant colors by August (photo at top). This year it has barely a hint of color (second photo).

You decide! Let us know when you think peak foliage in Freeport will be this year in the comments. Then come visit it at Brewster House in Freeport!

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

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