Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: lighthouse tour

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!!

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!!

Touring Maine Lighthouses (with Lighthouse Map)

April 24, 2012 by Scott Gile

One of the most common things visitors to Freeport Maine want to do, it seems, is to visit our Maine lighthouses. We love lighthouses, so we completely understand. Nevertheless, there are over 60 of them in Maine (and some are miles out to sea), so seeing more than a few can be quite a challenge. However, our lighthouse map will help you find a way to include most Maine lighthouses on your tour.

If you click on the lighthouse icons, you can get driving directions to any of the lighthouse from the Google map below.

 
View Maine Lighthouses – Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in a larger map

We find the most effective way to make use of your time is to establish a base of operations in an area that is centrally located to several lighthouses. That way you can visit several lighthouses without having to move yourself from place to place too often.

For example, if you stay in Freeport, you can visit several lighthouses within an hour or so drive either to the north or south. A two- to four-night stay in Freeport will give you the opportunity to visit up to 13 lighthouses (and see at least three more offshore). Some of these lighthouses are in extremely picturesque locations – by their very nature, they are on high points overlooking the ocean, so these places are all great fun to visit, and to take photographs, in their own right.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

A hop up the coast to visit our friends in Camden, at the Inns at Blackberry Common, will give you an opportunity to see several more lighthouses in the mid-coast region (though some, like Curtis Island Lighthouse, can only be seen by air or from the water). While you’re in that area, don’t forget to stop at the Lighthouse Museum in Rockland.

If you stay on, or near, Mount Desert Island (whether in Bar Harbor, or one of the other lovely villages nearby), there are wonderful lighthouse on the island, or farther north, even up to Lubec, on the Canadian border.

Of course, as we’ve noted previously, you can actually make a visit to Lubec, and West Quoddy Head Lighthouse (the easternmost point in the United States) a day trip from Freeport, though it is a long day – about four hours each way.

If you are interested in lighthouses, Maine is the place to visit, as there are so many lighthouses, and they are remarkably accessible.

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

Fall Foliage and Lighthouses – What a Great Tour!

September 27, 2011 by Scott Gile

Up and down Maine’s midcoast region, really from Freeport north to Camden, fall colors are starting to appear, and the promise of really nice fall foliage is apparent.

Trees, Bailey Island

At Brewster House we always enjoy guiding our guests on our Lighthouse Tour of the Maine Coast, but we take special enjoyment when we can combine it with parts of our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf special – recently named one of the 10 Great B&B Escapes for Fall by Smarter Travel magazine.

For those who want the best of the lighthouse tour and the foliage areas, we start by sending you north to Brunswick on US-1, then out Route 24 from Cook’s Corner, across Great Island, then Orr’s Island, across the Cribstone Bridge to Bailey Island and Land’s End. Along the way you’ll see beautiful coastal scenery, and, as the trees begin to turn, some wonderful fall colors. From Land’s End you can see Halfway Rock lighthouse, almost appearing to float on the waters of Casco Bay.

Returning to the mainland and US-1, we turn north again, then take Route 24 toward Boothbay Harbor, but at Boothbay we turn off, heading for Newagen, where you can see the Cuckolds Lighthouse from the picturesque little harbor. After a brief side trip (and maybe a quick stop for an ice cream cone in Boothbay Harbor), we return to US-1, and continue north to Damariscotta, where the quintessential New England fall foliage photo-op appears, with the lovely New England village in view across the river, with a wreath of fall colors surrounding it.

The Cuckolds Light

Continuing out the peninsula to Pemaquid Point, the foliage can be magnificent, and the trekker is rewarded by the majestic beauty of Pemaquid Point lighthouse perched high on a rocky bluff, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

For most, this would be a full day, but for the hard-core foliage enthusiast, on the return south on US-1, you can exit at Woolwich, and Route 127, to Georgetown Island, where you can view wonderful foliage along the island, and stop at Reid State Park, where you can walk on the beach and see Seguin Island lighthouse about 2.5 miles offshore. On a clear day you can also see the Cuckolds light.

What a great way to combine a drive through the fall colors with a tour of midcoast lighthouses!

A Day Trip to See Fall Foliage, Lighthouses and Lobster!

September 6, 2011 by Scott Gile

The latest in our Day Trip series (see Boothbay Harbor, the Kennebunks, Owls Head and to See Moose) is here, just in time to plan the perfect trip to see fall foliage in Maine, Lighthouses, and Lobster!

From your base at Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport Maine, this day trip will take as much time as you want to give it. There are lots of choices, turning off the main highways to see fall colors, lighthouses and visit lobster shacks. Fall foliage season usually starts near the end of September and continues through October. You can check the status of the foliage at the State of Maine foliage website, beginning September 14. Peak foliage generally starts in the far north and west of the state, then moves east and south. Besides the peak (which doesn’t last long), excellent foliage can usually be seen for quite some time on either side of the peak.

Since there is almost always a part of US-1 that is full of color during the fall foliage season, after your delicious breakfast at Brewster House, we suggest going north from Freeport along US-1, for about 45 minutes, to Damariscotta, where the fall foliage view of the town across the Sheepscot River is postcard-perfect. Exiting US-1 there, and heading out Maine Route 131, the peninsula is full of color, on the way to Pemaquid Point light house, one of the most spectacularly scenic locations along the coast.

Returning to Damariscotta, turn left just before US-1, and follow River Road through Newcastle and enjoy the foliage along the river, as you make your way to Maine Route 27, turning left toward Boothbay Harbor. Enjoy the lovely working harbor, and if it is time for a meal, try the Lobster Dock (they do close for the season some time between mid-October and the end of the month, so you may want to call ahead to be sure they’re open). Find time for an ice cream cone at Downeast Ice Cream (at the end of Wharf Street), before continuing on Route 27 toward Newagen, where you can see the seldom seen lighthouse known as “The Cuckolds” offshore.

Return on Maine Route 238 to Boothbay, where you’ll take Route 27 back to US-1, then head south to Woolwich. Just before crossing the river to Bath, take the exit for Reid State Park. You’ll see nice foliage on Georgetown Island, and can enjoy the views at Reid, or continue on the Five Islands, and the Five Islands Lobster Shack for a wonderful meal on the dock (where you can also watch the lobster boats unload their catch, if your timing is right).

If you’ve had enough driving, just return to US-1 and head back to Freeport for a bit of R&R and retail therapy. If not, take one more peninsula, by exiting US-1 at Cooks Corner, and take Maine Route 24 to Orrs Island and Bailey Island. The road winds through wooded areas and seaside, with plenty of fall colors, across the Cribstone Bridge connecting Orrs to Bailey Islands, and taking you past Cooks Lobster House, well-known for its fine lobster dinners.

You can go the the end of the road (called, appropriately enough, Land’s End) on Bailey’s Island, where you can see in the distance the lighthouse called Halfway Rock Lighthouse. The lighthouse almost appears to be floating on the water, as the rock it sits on is covered at high tide.

Returning on Route 24, watch for Mountain Road and turn left, cutting over to Harpswell and Route 123, to provide a different route back to US-1 via Brunswick, then back to Freeport.

Is it Time for New England Fall Foliage Yet?

August 2, 2011 by Scott Gile

Now that July is past, and the prime time for an August getaway has arrived, the news media has begun to talk about summer “drawing to a close” and getting ready for “back to school.”

Here in Maine, it seems that summer has just begun. The guests at this Freeport Maine Bed and Breakfast have been happily touring lighthouses, visiting lobster shacks, and generally enjoying all that Freeport and the coast of Maine have to offer. And all these things will continue through August, and even after “back to school”, throughout September.

That said, while the annual Maine fall foliage color changes won’t begin until about the first of October, it is time to begin to make plans to see it. In addition to checking availability and selecting your room, you should consider just how you will go about viewing the fall color.

One option, of course, would be to just come up here and explore by seeing where the roads lead. Another would be to buy a guide book.

Our suggestion is to try our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package. In addition to two nights at Brewster House, and Ruth’s fantastic breakfasts (a guest today said it was the best breakfast he’d ever had), you’ll also get a self-driving tour of some of our favorite foliage areas, with maps and turn-by-turn directions and commentary (we even include a lighthouse or two). But there’s more! There is also a two-hour cruise on one of Portland Schooner Co.’s antique, Maine-built, schooners, so you can see the foliage along Casco Bay from the water. All this, plus a dinner gift certificate, an L.L. Bean gift card (and a gasoline card to help with the driving costs), and a Maine welcome basket with souvenirs.

With the Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package you’ll see foliage by land and by sea!

This is not your ordinary fall foliage tour!

To expand your fall foliage viewing even more, you can also do as one of our guests did, and drive across Maine to New Hampshire, and enjoy the foliage along the Kancamagus Highway – which is absolutely breathtaking!

However you decide to see the New England fall foliage, we are here to help you with suggestions, maps and directions.

Don’t miss it.

Maine Lighthouse Tour (Part 2)

June 21, 2011 by Scott Gile

Last week we presented Part 1 of our Lighthouse Tour, heading south from Brewster House B&B in Freeport, Maine, and visiting Portland Head Lighthouse and Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights), as well as Cape Neddick Light (The Nubble).

This time we’ll turn to the north and take US-1 an hour or so north to Rockland, where you can optionally visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum. You can also go just a bit farther on US-1, to Camden, to enjoy the beautiful harbor town.

Owls Head Lighthouse

From Rockland, we’ll turn south, toward Owls Head, and visit Owls Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse, standing atop a small hill, but steep enough to require stairs to the top, overlooks Rockland Harbor and Penobscot Bay, providing magnificent views. The lighthouse was lighted in 1825 to help guide mariners safely into Rockland Harbor.

Leaving Owls Head, you may want to stop for a tour of the wonderful Owls Head Transportation Museum, with its antique automobiles, as well as old aeroplanes (all still in working order!) and more. Driving down the peninsula past Spruce Harbor and St. George, there are other lighthouses we can not see – Two Bush Island Light, Tenants Harbor Light, and Whitehead Light – all of which can only be seen from the water (or by air). Next we turn toward Port Clyde and Marshall Point Lighthouse. Be sure to visit the Port Clyde General Store, and view the harbor from their picnic tables (perhaps while eating lunch).

Marshall Point Lighthouse

Marshall Point Lighthouse, marking the entrance to Port Clyde Harbor, was first built in 1832, then rebuilt as it currently stands in 1857. The beautiful setting is popular with photographers, who gather at the site early, awaiting a spectacular sunset opportunity.

Returning to the north, we come to Thomaston, a lovely town with restored Victorian homes, shady trees, and a quaint downtown. Proceeding south on US-1, you’ll pass Moody’s Diner, where you can get almost anything, from a grilled cheese sandwich to a lobster dinner, and their blueberry pie (or ‘most any other you like) is always worth stopping for!

Pemaquid Point Light

At Damariscotta we’ll turn off US-1, pass through the pretty village, and follow Route 130 to the end, where we’ll visit Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. First built and lighted in 1827, the structure wasn’t sound, and was replaced in 1835. There is a magnificent view from the bluff where the lighthouse stands, and you can easily walk down the rocks to view the lighthouse from below. When volunteers are present you can go up in the tower, and there is a museum in the Keeper’s house.

The Cuckholds Light

Returning to Damariscotta and US-1, we can take the turnoff for Route 27 toward Boothbay Harbor, then turn toward West Boothbay and Newagen, where, near the end of Southport Island, we can see The Cuckolds Light. This lighthouse is not well known, and dates from 1892, when it was erected to prevent vessels from running aground on the ledges nearby.

We’ll return after a visit to Boothbay Harbor (and maybe an ice cream cone), taking US-1 south to Brewster House.

Get all the information on our Lighthouse Tour on our specials page.

Lighthouses in Maine: Tour (Part 1)

June 15, 2011 by Scott Gile

At our Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast we’ve recently seen quite a few bookings for our specials and packages, especially our Maine Lighthouse Tour package. What is the attraction? Let’s see if we can find out.

First of all, there are over 60 lighthouses in Maine (check out our Maine Lighthouse Map for the locations), so seeing all of them in a day is somewhat challenging – especially when you consider that some are well off-shore! So we’ve made some hard choices, and come up with a tour that will take all day if you do it all, but will take you to seven lighthouses (and you’ll pass tantalizingly close to a few more), and some of the most beautiful and dramatic views along the Maine coast.

Portland Head Light

We begin by getting on Interstate 295 in Freeport, and heading south toward Portland. We’ll exit at Forest Avenue, wind through town a bit, cross the Casco Bay Bridge, and navigate through the beautiful and stately old homes of Cape Elizabeth, until we reach Fort Williams Park. Entering the park (Free Admission!!), we pass old barracks, a playground, the parade ground, and park near the gun battery. We can explore the grounds, including the old stone house, and another fort, or sit on a hill overlooking the lighthouse, watching kites and sailboats. Portland Head was originally commissioned in 1785 and first lighted in 1790. There is a nice museum in the keeper’s house.

Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights)



Turning left as we leave the park, we’ll make our way through Cape Elizabeth to the road which leads to Two Lights State Park, but rather than going into the park, we’ll pass it by and go to the end of the road, where we can see the twin lighthouses known as “Two Lights,” built in 1828. If there’s room, we’ll park in the dirt lot at the end of the road, then walk out the rocks to get a good look back at the towers, and, if the weather is clear, back down the coast to Portland Head Light. Climbing a small bluff, where Two Lights Lobster Shack is located, there is a great view of the lighthouses, and also out across the bay.

Cape Neddick Light (The Nubble)

We have a choice of returning to US-1 to continue south, or getting on Interstate 295/95, but in either case we’ll want to get back to US-1 at Biddeford, then take the drive from Kennebunk to Kennebunkport on Route 35. This pretty drive goes past some beautiful old homes with interesting histories. If you like, you can also take a small detour to Cape Porpoise, hidden away just above Kennebunkport, and home of Goat Island Light, just offshore.

Continuing back to US-1 from Kennebunkport, you pass through several interesting towns – Wells, Ogunquit, York and York Beach, before winding toward the sea and Cape Neddick Lighthouse, built in 1879 (which, interestingly enough, is located in York Beach, not the town of Cape Neddick). The lighthouse is located just offshore on a rocky island, hence the nickname “The Nubble.” The keeper used to cross via boat (and it could be waded at low tide, but that was treacherous, until a gondola and cable system was installed.

Cape Neddick Lighthouse is lighted in white lights at Christmas, but since many who visit there choose to come in warmer weather and would otherwise never see its decoration, it is lighted again for the month of July each year.

In our next installment, we’ll head north of Brewster House to see more lighthouses!

How to Vacation and Save on Gas

April 12, 2011 by Scott Gile

With all the news about rising gasoline prices, what could be more timely than special offers from Bed and Breakfasts, including our B&B in Freeport Maine, to help you save on gas prices, while still being able to enjoy your vacation?

Brewster House has several gas-saving packages throughout the 2011 travel season. We’re participating with the Better Way to Stay program, to help travelers enjoy their travel time, without worrying about fuel.

Our Maine Lighthouse Tour package provides a self-guided driving tour, with complete turn-by-turn directions, map, and guidebook, with a $50 gas card to offset some of those driving costs! In addition, you’ll have a two night stay at our delightful Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast, with full, hot, gourmet breakfasts each morning, shopping at L.L. Bean and the Freeport outlets and shops, and a $50 dining gift certificate.

If you’re thinking of vacationing in the fall to see the fall colors, our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package is just what the doctor ordered! Two nights at Brewster House, a $100 gift card to L.L. Bean, a $50 dinner gift card, and a self-guided tour (with guide book and maps) of some of the best fall foliage areas. This special has been called “a steal of a deal” by Smarter Travel.

We also have a scaled-down version, Fall Foliage Lite, which includes two nights, the foliage tour, and a $25 gas card.

Whenever you plan to come, we have a getaway that will help you enjoy your vacation in Maine!

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