Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: Freeport

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

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

Starting to Plan for New England Fall Foliage?

August 21, 2012 by Scott Gile

The first sign of fall is that schools are starting. This year, earlier than ever before, schools are starting in August, so fall foliage in New England must be just around the corner.

Fall colors, Kancamagus Highway

Nature’s changing fall colors don’t follow schedules imposed by school boards, but follow instead their own pattern as the vibrant annual display begins and ends. From Vermont, through New Hampshire and into Maine, and down into Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, the change of colors generally moves from West to East and North to South. At the far northern and western areas, mid-September will begin the color changes, while the farthest southern and eastern areas will not reach their peak until the second half of October. Yankee Magazine’s foliage predictor gives a good overview of this.

For us in Maine, the far northern reaches will begin in September, but along the midcoast, down through Freeport and Portland, most of our change begins in early October, reaches its peak in mid-month, and finishes up in the latter part of the October. You can keep up with the changes with weekly updates from the State of Maine’s foliage website, beginning in mid-September.

If you’re really interested in wonderful foliage travel, a great trip might begin in Vermont in late-September, working your way to New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway, and the White Mountains by early October, then into midcoast Maine, and Freeport by mid-October. To carry it even further, from there you can head south, seeing southern New England, then down to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where you’ll find fall foliage that is beautiful, and later still than the New England fall foliage.

Along our Fall Foliage tour route

Our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf special (called “a steal of a deal” by Smarter Travel) includes two nights at Brewster House, a welcome basket, our own self-driving fall foliage tour with detailed maps and directions, a $50 gas card to help with the driving, a two hour schooner cruise on Casco Bay (can you imagine viewing foliage from the decks of an antique schooner, matey?), plus dinner, shopping and more.

If you’re planning a visit, though, you should make lodging reservations soon – especially if you’ll be here on a weekend! At our bed and breakfast in Freeport Maine we’re already seeing a lot of weekend bookings for October (only partly due to fall foliage plans – there are also college reunion and homecoming weekends in October).

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: Lighthouses and Lobster Shacks

August 7, 2012 by Scott Gile

Lighthouses and Lobster Shacks – they make a great combination. When sightseeing from a base in Freeport, you can find plenty of Maine lighthouses and lobster shacks, but, even better, you can often find both of them together.

For example, let’s say you are staying at our Freeport Maine bed and breakfast, and you’d like to visit some lighthouses, but would also like to see some lobster shacks and enjoy a wonderful lobster dinner (or two).

After breakfast you might head south to Cape Elizabeth, where you can spend hours at Fort Williams Park, enjoying Portland Head Lighthouse and the museum in its keepers’ house, as well as the old stone house, the two forts (from different eras), the beach, playground, and hiking trails along the bluffs. When you are ready to leave the park, you simply turn left, and enjoy the drive along the water back to Route 77, then proceed to Two Lights, where you can enjoy the double lighthouse, plus Two Lights Lobster Shack, and the wonderful views from it’s perch on a hill. You can walk out the rocks above the water, and even see Portland Head Lighthouse in the distance, on a clear day.

After enjoying a break at Two Lights Lobster Shack, you might return north, taking I-295 to US-1 in Brunswick, then enjoy the drive to Damariscotta, then take Route 130 out the peninsula to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, where you can admire the spectacular views. Afterward, you can return only as far as Route 32, where you’ll find New Harbor, and Shaws Lobster.

As an alternative, you might visit Five Islands Lobster Company, on Georgetown Island. From that lovely location you can watch the lobster boats return with their catch, and enjoy it on the picnic tables on the dock, while gazing across the mouth of the Sheepscot River at Hendricks Head Lighthouse.

Another option, if you go south of Portland, is to find your way to the hidden gem or the area, Cape Porpoise, where you’ll find Pier 77 Restaurant and Grille – not exactly a lobster shack, but a great place for a nice meal (lobster or otherwise), and just offshore is Goat Island Lighthouse.

Still farther south is Cape Neddick Lighthouse (“the Nubble”), and Fox’s Lobster. Cape Neddick is one of Maine’s most photographed lighthouses, and provides a great backdrop while you enjoy your feast!

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

Is That Moose Crossing Sign For Real?

July 24, 2012 by Scott Gile

Just a mile or so north of Brewster House on US-1, as you leave Freeport, Maine, there is a “Moose Crossing” sign. It fascinates many of our guests.

One reason for the fascination is that most of the guests don’t see “Moose Crossing” signs (let alone moose) near their homes. Another reason might be that they’ve never seen a moose anywhere near the “Moose Crossing” sign.

The conventional wisdom is that, if you want to spot a moose, you should go inland, to one of the areas in Maine known to have a fairly sizable moose population, then make sure to be there at either dawn or dusk, and you’ll be likely to see a moose, or maybe even more than one. We’ve tried that, and it certainly is a good way to go about finding a moose.

One of our guests was determined that he was going to see a moose near the moose crossing sign, so he got up early and headed up US-1, and figured he’d go find a coffee shop open all night, then see if there was a moose near the sign.

When he returned for breakfast, he told us he had seen a moose, off in the brush near the “Moose Crossing” sign. Since this fellow was known to exaggerate a bit, we were naturally a little dubious. We thought maybe he had seen a deer.

Our skepticism increased when he came back the second morning saying he had seen a moose that day, too! But we realized he was giving us a true story when his tale was confirmed by another long-time guest that we trusted, who had gone out the same route for a drive, and had seen a moose in the same spot!

So you can follow the conventional wisdom if you’d like to see a moose. Or you can come to Freeport, get up early, and hang out near the “Moose Crossing” sign. It seems to work!

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

It’s Puffin Time!

July 3, 2012 by Scott Gile

It’s July, and the puffins are at Eastern Egg Rock!

Every the puffins return to their historic breeding ground on the tiny island off the Maine coast, after being painstakingly re-established there by volunteers from Project Puffin, and later in conjunction with the National Audubon Society. These tiny, and fascinating, sea birds come ashore to nest, but otherwise spend their time at sea in the North Atlantic, ranging from Maine to Newfoundland to Iceland to Ireland and Scotland’s northern islands, and even to France.

Several harbors not far from Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport Maine offer Puffin Cruises. Two are nearer to us than others. Cap’n Fish‘s Audubon Puffin Tours is in Boothbay Harbor, about 45 minutes from Brewster House. Hardy Boat Cruises, in New Harbor is about an hour away. Since Eastern Egg Rock is a bit north, Hardy Boat provides a somewhat shorter ride to the nesting area.

Both cruises have an Audubon representative on board, to help with information about the Puffins, as well as identifying the other sea birds you’ll see on the cruise.

We took a cruise with friends and had a wonderful time, seeing many puffins flying, and in the water, as well as on shore. There were also many other birds that are not often spotted on the mainland. It is a cruise well worth taking. We also had a bonus of seeing whales and dolphins, as well.

The puffins nest only until about late August, when the chicks are able to float away on the currents, and, if they survive, to fly off to the North Atlantic.

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

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