Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: lighthouses

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!!

THE NEW LONELY PLANET

February 23, 2014 by Scott Gile

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

THE NEW LONELY PLANET!!
It’s not easy to come up with new & dynamic subject matter when it’s so (relatively) quiet and, unless you’re skiing (skating, curling, etc.), outside time tends to be limited.  We did have a busy Valentines Day weekend, with great guests though, and we enjoyed that!
We are involved in a new collaboration that will likely be THE great travel tool for all of you with mobile phones.  I’m going to guess that at least 40% of the guests I spoke to here since May 2013 used their phone at some point in the travel process here!  Of course, those numbers will explode in the next few years.
Brewster House is committed to a new effective website for you, and is always interested in improving on your ability to access ways to more easily enjoy your
time off.  To that end, we recently signed up to be a partner in a mobile travel web-site called GO TRIPPIN www.go-trippin.com.  GO-TRIPPIN is an affiliate of Google’s new Niantic Labs FIELD TRIP site.  Google is betting that mobile phone apps are already moving to dominate how folks find eating, playing, drinking, historic and other fun and interesting places.  Brewster House is the exclusive correspondent for Freeport, and as such, will be offering monthly articles and photos about THE BEST PLACES TO BE AROUND FREEPORT, whether it means eating, boating, beaching, shopping, etc.!
Do yourself a favor and add this app to your phone (it’s free)!  www.fieldtripper.com.  It is amazing in it’s growing depth and complexity!  Play with it, and be aware it can be as proactive, and as intrusive, or in the background and as limited as you choose, but I guaranty this will be the best tool you will see for a long time to enjoy wherever you may be!  If you dare, leave Field Trip running attached to Siri  and drive through an interesting area, , and you’ll start to understand what I’m presenting here!     
Our first piece will be for Azure Café, our local favorite place to eat and drink.  Since the pieces we write cannot be colored with our prejudices, I will reserve that for a monthly blog post, so keep checking in to share in the best that Freeport has to offer!    


We will be sharing a new recipe monthly in our blog, so keep an eye out for it.  My next blog is going to have you wetting yourselves with my latest “When I’m 64″ misadventure!  

Here’s a photo of our snowpack at it’s maximum last week!  I think I cleared the property FOUR TIMES in the last week.  Love to ski on it, but moving it……..
At least the sun is starting to feel like the sun when it’s out!  Next time I write, the Cape Neddick Room will be brandy new!

Christmas 2013 Blog

December 23, 2013 by Scott Gile

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

Christmas 2013 Blog
Ah, Wow and Thank God for another Christmas!  I saw a very melancholy Facebook post from an old friend who unintentionally reminded me how lucky the Giles are, and after our wonderful family, that would include owning Brewster House and having the privilege of knowing all of you!
What has been exciting and powerful is the early winter, which I understand is not unique to Maine!    We got about 20” of snow here between last Sunday and Tuesday, and Tuesday AM was -3 degrees Fahrenheit!!  I’ve been skiing a couple of times already, and the last time was on 14” of new natural snow – VERY NICE!  There were some great photo ops, but to be honest, I just couldn’t face removing my fingers from my mittens long enough to take a picture, sorry!
Brewster House looked gorgeous all dressed up in snow and lights, and our guests have really enjoyed hanging by the fireplace in the living room.  Seeing our guests relaxing there truly makes us smile, as the point of refurnishing it was to make the salon a place you would feel at home in….having a glass of wine, reading the paper, playing cards with friends, NICE!!!
Poor Buddy’s been not feeling well for a month, with digestive/ eating problems.  Scary to watch your dog lose ¼ of his weight in a couple of weeks!  He seems to be coming around, we’re working at it as we really do love our dog!  As you can see, he’s still dashing in his Christmas coat, Red Sox leash & collar!
Photo
Here’s the link for the New Years events in Freeport, including Fireworks at 6PM!  http://www.freeportusa.com/events/l-l-bean-northern-lights-celebration-new-years-eve-celebration/
Don’t for get  your outdoor winter options here that I alluded to in my Early Wintah Blog for the January Winter Carnival Weekend & Flavors of Freeport in February.  Also, LL Bean offers regular “learn to” cross country ski, and snowshoe adventures at their Outdoor Discovery School http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/1000001692.  This Winter is certainly shaping up to be a fine one for playing in the snow, and believe it or not, we’re getting a little busy in January!!
Scott & Ruth recognized their frequent guests with a discount.  We think that’s the right thing to do, but where we don’t necessarily know you all as well, will formalize a program so when you book, we will automatically know you as “Friends of Brewster!”  So, visit us four times, and from the fifth visit on, we will “take special care of you!”  Of course, this discount will be outside of special discount promtions such as our “Winter Wonderland” promotion for January. 
Lastly, if you’re not on the Newsletter list, you might’ve missed my mention of our success and interest in Reconnect Weekends.  We can offer you a fabulous price if you can commit to renting all 7 rooms from us on any 2 day weekend that’s available in January, March, April or May.   We need a leader of a group to commit to a full weekend for 7 rooms, & we’ll ask for a 50% deposit up front.  In return, you own Brewster House for a weekend for just over 50% of the per room rack rates!!  Of course, we’ll serve the same elegant breakfasts, and can offer additional wine, or breakfast cocktails and our dining and living rooms for your pleasure.  Call for details!!
Thanks for being so kind and forgiving in our first half year of learning to be inn-keepers, and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!!

Looking at Lighthouses: Pemaquid Point

December 11, 2012 by Scott Gile

Sunset at Pemaquid Point

We haven’t done as many posts about Maine lighthouses this year as in some years past. This isn’t because we’ve lost interest, or for any other reason but that we were afraid we might be boring our readers!

As summer vacations and fall foliage visits have gone by, we’ve had a bit more time to explore (as can readily be seen by the photos of Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in a post from just over a week ago). Last week we were able to get out to one of our favorite lighthouses, Pemaquid Point, at sunset.

Pemaquid Point Moonrise

We went looking for one of those spectacular shows of color that a great sunset can bring. Instead we found a much more subdued, but very interesting, sunset. But there was an added bonus. Just after sunset was moonrise, so we were able to get a nice photo of the lighthouse at moonrise, as well.

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

The Secret of Bass Harbor Head Light

July 10, 2012 by Scott Gile

The first time we visited Maine, long before we became the owners and innkeepers at Brewster House B&B in Freeport Maine, we fell in love with Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

We spent a  few days of our trip on Mount Desert Island, in Bar Harbor, and visiting some of the really picturesque spots, from Acadia National Park to Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and Bass Harbor, but our favorite was Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

Not too long ago we revisited our beloved lighthouse, and were reminded of the secret we had inadvertently discovered on our first visit, but more about that in a moment.

To get to Bass Harbor, from elsewhere on Mount Desert Island, head for Southwest Harbor. At the intersection on Route 102 there is a sign indicating that Bass Harbor is to the right, but Route 102 makes a loop, so either way will actually work. If you’ve gone to the right, you’ll need to stay left where the turn for Tremont goes right, then take Lighthouse Road (which feels like a long driveway) out to the lighthouse location.

Since our first visit we’ve been back many times, and have recommended it to many guests, and a number of friends. Sometimes we hear back that they just didn’t see what was so wonderful about the lighthouse, as the view wasn’t that good. When they say that, we know that they’ve forgotten the secret.

The most recent time we were there, we pulled into the parking lot, where there is a large sign from the US Coast Guard, who maintains the light, directing visitors down the paved path to the right of the lighthouse (as you face the water), where you can see the lighthouse up close. However, up close doesn’t always make for the kind of photograph you are seeking.

Sure enough, there was a man, loaded down with photographic equipment, trudging dejectedly up the hill to the parking lot. Spying our camera bag, he asked if we knew where to get a “good” picture of the lighthouse. We told him to come with us – and the secret was revealed!

At the far end of the parking lot (near the restrooms) is an unmarked, dirt, path through the woods. At the end of the path is a wooden staircase, leading down to the rocks below, at the waters’ edge. From there you look up at the lighthouse as it perches on the cliff, and this is where the more dramatic photos can be taken.

And that’s the secret of Bass Harbor Head Light.

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

5 Shortcuts for Planning Your Maine Vacation in Record Time

February 14, 2012 by Scott Gile

Are you getting ready to plan your Maine vacation, but dreading the planning process? Take the pain out of the process by using these timely shortcuts for a great vacation, planned in record time!

Travel brochures

1. Plan Where You Want to Spend Your Time.
Maine is more than the Maine coast, and more than its mountains. There are eight distinct tourism regions, from the beaches in the south to the sparsely populated area in the north. They are described briefly in the Regions page at the State of Maine’s official tourism site.Our blog has an article with more details for each one in our guide to a Maine vacation, “Visit Maine Like A Mainer.” Some will want to tour all (or at least most) of the regions, while others prefer to find a region or two that they love, and spend their Maine vacation in those areas.

2. Decide When You Want to Visit Maine.
For a quick overview, the Seasons page from the Visit Maine site will provide basic information on seasons, and some activities that are particular to a season.The most popular time in most areas of Maine is the summer and Autumn (July through October). The weather is generally warmer, temperatures are mild for the most part (though most years see a week or two when we are happy to have air conditioners in our guest rooms). Later Spring can also bring Summer-like weather, with fewer visitors. Fall is the foliage season, of course, and is a very popular time to visit. In the mountains, Winter is very popular with downhill skiers, and cross-country skiers will find great locations throughout the state.

3. Take Advantage of Local Knowledge
If you plan to visit the Maine coast, to see lighthouses, visit Maine’s beaches or rocky coastline, you’ll want the latest information on the nearest lighthouse, the best beaches for your style of vacation, or the best locations along the Maine coast for photography. The very easiest way to find out where to go is to stay at the perfect alternative to a traditional Maine hotel – to stay in a Maine bed and breakfast, such as our Freeport Maine bed & breakfast. Your B&B innkeepers will be able to give you the information you need to find just the kind of activities that will suit your interests.

4. Look for Packages, Specials or Tours
Many bed and breakfasts will offer vacation packages, specials or tours to help you with your planning. For example, at Brewster House we offer several packages throughout the year, as well as seasonal specials, a Lighthouse Tour package and a Fall Foliage Tour package. If you take advantage of these specials and packages, you not only save money (there is even a small savings in the busy summer season), but you’ll have several activities pre-planned, so your Maine vacation will have plenty of opportunity to see things that many visitors miss, and you won’t have to spend your valuable vacation time wondering what to do next.

5. Be Sure to Include Unique Opportunities
For some, the uniqueness of Maine is the opportunity to visit the rocky Maine coast. For others, it is to see moose during their Maine vacation. Still others want to visit as many of Maine’s lobster shacks as possible.Whatever your interests, be sure you do a bit of homework (search the web, contact the innkeepers at your B&B, visit the VisitMaine website, etc.) to be sure you will be able to see the things that will make your Maine vacation a memorable one.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Maine vacation!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast

Winter: The Perfect Time to Visit Maine Lighthouses?

November 8, 2011 by Scott Gile

The guests at our Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast almost always enjoy visiting lighthouses. Many are looking for an opportunity to take nice photographs of the lighthouses and their spectacular ocean scenery.

We enjoy helping the guests plan their route to the different lighthouses, sometimes making a full day of it (or more), and sometimes just a quick visit to a single lighthouse.

One thing that sometimes stands in the way of the “perfect” lighthouse photo is the other visitors, all trying to get their own lighthouse picture. Is there a way to avoid this? Of course there is!

If a warm-weather picture is what you’re after, your best bet is to try to visit in late May through June. While the weather isn’t as reliably dry as it will be in mid-summer, most years we have a lot of good weather in these months, and there are far fewer visitors, so it is a perfect time to get those photos of lighthouses, and other popular attractions, without having to work around others who are after the same thing.

If you want a really different kind of picture, try coming when there’s snow on the ground. How many people do you know who have taken photos of lighthouses, and other Maine coastal icons, with a blanket of snow on them?

In addition, in December Cape Neddick Lighthouse (the Nubble) is lighted for the holidays, so that makes for even a more unusual photograph. For the less intrepid, however, the lighthouse is also lighted in July, so more people can see it that way.

Whatever your preference, Maine’s lighthouses are ready for your photographs, all through the year. We’re here, too, ready to help you plan your stay.

A Day Trip to Owl’s Head

August 16, 2011 by Scott Gile

Yesterday was a bit rainy, which, for guests in our bed & breakfast in Freeport Maine, usually means shopping at the Freeport outlets and shops. However, this time the guests had done all the shopping they wanted for the moment, and were looking for a great rainy day sightseeing adventure.

One of our favorite suggestions is a day trip north up US-1, and the Owls Head Peninsula, on Penobscot Bay. Turning north from Brewster House, US-1 passes through Brunswick and Bath, then Woolwich and then Montsweag, on to Wiscasset, Damariscotta and Newcastle, Nobleboro, Waldoboro, and Thomaston, before reaching Rockland, where you’ll turn right on Maine Route 73. Nearly all of these towns have interesting places to visit, and side trips down the peninsulas and islands take you to Bailey Island, Harpswell, Popham Beach, Five Islands, Boothbay Harbor, and Pemaquid Point and yield the beauty of sandy beaches, old forts, beautiful harbors and magnificent lighthouses, though some may not be quite the same on a rainy day, as you would see on a bright, sunny day.

If you enjoy lighthouses, you should stop in Rockland for a visit to the Maine Lighthouse Museum for a view of their extensive collection of lighthouse information and artifacts.

Turning down Route 73 into Owls Head, be sure to visit the Owls Head Transportation Museum. In addition to their huge display of collections of aircraft, automobiles, motorcycles, carriages, bicycles, and engines, they have special events throughout the year. From fly-ins to drive-ins, to antique auto auctions, there is something for everyone. What a wonderful way to spend a rainy day!

If the weather clears (or if you want one of those mystical photos of the lighthouse appearing through the fog, clouds, or rain), go the short way down Shore Drive to Owls Head State Park, where you’ll find Owls Head Lighthouse. The view of Owls Head Bay to the right is gorgeous, but when you climb the steps to the base of the lighthouse, you suddenly see that all of Penobscot Bay is revealed over the hill! What a magnificent sight!

If time and weather permit, go south on Route 73 to Saint George, then turn left on Route 131, through Tenants Harbor to Port Clyde. Near Port Clyde, Marshall Point Lighthouse sits at the entrance to picturesque Port Clyde harbor, where you’ll find photographers waiting for the sunset to take their photos. You may recognize Marshall Point lighthouse from the film, Forrest Gump.

After returning to US-1 via Route 131, be sure to stop at Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro for dinner (they serve everything from a grilled cheese sandwich to a full lobster dinner) or at least for some of their wonderful blueberry pie! It’s a genuine, old-fashioned, Maine diner experience.

From that point it is less than an hour back to Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport.

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.

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