Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: maine coast

AMAZING BOATING FROM FREEPORT EAST

July 7, 2014 by Scott Gile

“Boating Portland, Part I” http://brewsterhouse.com/2014/06/21/boating-around-freeport-maine/, was the first part of this encyclopedic  compenduim, so start there and catch up before you dive in here!

Tour boating captain in blue shirt standing at the helm of his boat

At the helm – Atlantic SealCruies

OK, so we’ve moved up the coast from Portland to Freeport!  I’d love to tell you that there were multiple boating options from our hometown, but I only know of one, Atlantic Seal Cruises, with Captain Ring from Harraseeket Harbor in South Freeport (& Cook’s Lobster House on Bailey’s Island), but when you add in “the neighborhood,” there are AMAZING BOATING CHOICES FROM FREEPORT, & east!   Captain Ring is very entertaining, and works most of the year a commercial tug caption.  You’ll pick up some lobster traps, he’ll show you some seals, osprey, eagles and you’ll spend an hour on Eagle Island at what was the former home of the famous Arctic explorer, Admiral Peary!  Tom and his Wife actually owned a B & B on the Harraseeket waterfront, and he always raves about Brewster House when he stops by! He also does some special trips to Seguin Island light and fall foliage cruises.

A new opportunity locally is a husband and wife team, Bethany & Perry, who would love to share their 31’ ketch, “Tevake”, or their new acquisition, a beautiful dark green 70’ schooner, “Alert.” They sail out of Cooks by the Bailey/ Orr Island granite bridge, off Harpswell Neck. They offer a myriad of 2 hour to 6 hour charters on either yacht. Both boats are beautiful and they sail the local waters of Merriconeag Sound to Casco Bay. I can’t wait to have the time to sail with them! I would recommend this as the premier local sailing opportunity, the dock is a gorgeous 30 minute drive from Brewster House and their prices are very reasonable, and lunch or dinner awaits at Cook’s!   https://www.facebook.com/SchoonerAlert

We don’t get a lot of questions about boat fishing, but enjoying ocean fishing myself, I’ll offer a little information.  The “Barbarian III” out of Harpswell is a good example.  Chartering a sport fisherman is a blast, but it’s expensive enough that you’ll want to share the trip (& the stories) with some buddies.  $350 – $450 for a four hour trip is typical (for the whole boat), with $700 – $800 for an 8 hour shark or tuna fishing adventure.  Further, keep in mind, the premier sport fish in Maine are stripped bass or bluefish.  As they are both pelagic (they migrate), the fishing is best in either mid May to the end of June, or September to mid-October.

White cabin cruiser boating opportunity with outriggers at dock

Further afield (or should I say abay), but one heck of a daylong adventure, would be a trip to the lovely, rugged and wild Monhegan monheganwelcome.com. This would be an excellent adventure for those enjoying longer stays at Brewster House!  The May edition of Down East Magazine has a great piece about Monhegan, and it’s struggle to keep a year round population. The island is about 8 miles offshore, just short of 2 miles long, and very high and rocky. Its’ jewels are a year round community of artists and a very hardy community of lobster fisherman who only pursue their quarry in Winter, when prices for the delicious sea spiders are higher. It is a lovely place to hike and explore, and at the end of your hike, there’s even a local micro-brewery (the Monhegan Brewing Company) to reward your efforts! You can depart from either Boothbay or New Harbor (either of which is about 50 minutes east of us). Ferries depart at 9AM or 2PM, and you are asked to be there 45 minutes early hardyboat.com. I would recommend reservations. Bicycles are not welcome, although, you can arrange to bring your kayak!

Yellow & white hulled large schooner at anchor with blue sky behind

Schooner Heritage at anchor

Lastly, and really more of a “mid-coast” adventure is life experience you should not miss! That would be the traditional fishing schooner Heritage at anchorschooner charter fleet that sails out of Penobscot Bay www.sailmainecoast.com. These are largely classic, former fishing schooners, 75 – 150’ in length, that go out for 3 to 10 day trips, complete with crew, all meals provided, and you participate in running the boat as much (or as little) as you like. My Sister, cousin and myself took a 6 day trip on the “Heritage” in August a few years ago and had a wonderful, relaxing trip…..no TV’s or other distracting electronics, laying on deck at night watching the meteors and satellites, just quiet, extraordinary views of the sea, mountains, islands and marine life aboard a comfortable large, powerful schooner equipped with fabulous water toys, like sailing dinghies, rowing dinghies, etc. Food is prepared on a woodstove and of remarkable quality and taste. Don’t forget your wine!! And, don’t forget to start and/ or end you adventure in the luxurious comfort of Brewster House, at the turn of the Maine coast!

 

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!!

Epiphany

March 23, 2014 by Scott Gile

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

Epiphany
I know, I know, it sounds so overused, so trivialized!  Sometimes, maybe it’s simply a matter of re-examining your situation, or gaining a different perspective when we feel these little light-shafts of joy and revelation.  I also believe they usually come at a quieter time when you have the opportunity to really listen and feel, and not over-think your situation.  I had such a moment while touring the FABULOUS Maine Boat Builders Show with my good friend Mike last week!
It was one of those forty degree, sunny days in late winter when spring feels like a real promise, plus, being proximate to the ocean (like the mountains) always offers a promise of renewal and opportunity.  Mike and I can be comfortable effortlessly, and immersing ourselves in that cleansing boat/ ocean fantasy that was that fine exhibition was the perfect backdrop for such reflection and appreciation of our new home and work here in Maine!  I’ve been to lots of boat shows, but none so replete with the melding of artistic line, extreme quality, and expert craftsmanship, whether sail, power or human powered as this show!  Know that a similar show will be offered on the waterfront in Rockland at Harbor Park from August 8th to 10th, including a boat dog contest.  I will remind you!  Check out www.maineboats.com for details.
Rowing Canoes!
Anyway, I regress…….it occurred to me how lucky we are to be living in a thinly populated State complete with such enormous raw beauty and natural opportunity, and for us, working at a job where our guests are sharing our pleasure!  We get to take in the world from the top on those cold, crystalline days, before dancing down that magical white silent carpet through such magnificent wild forests.  In the spring & summer, we get to watch our world be reborn in soft greens and lilac smells, and that salty, earthy tang that comes with the tides breathing in and out.  Then there’s the water…..full of living things, especially where it splashes against the rocks, and the wind to ride with sails billowing!  In summer, we’re too busy to play in boats, but you aren’t!  I miss it!!  I think all of that is why coastal Maine has such a pool of amazingly talented cooks, artists, innkeepers and adventurers concentrated here. 

Top of Jordan Bowl, Sunday River
The more we visit Portland, the more I appreciate what a great place it is to spend time!  There is an AMAZING number of fabulous restaurants, and much of the waterfront looks like it might have in the 1800’s heydays of fishing sloops, packet ships, coastal schooners and world circling clippers.  The 3 and 4 story brick warehouses, many complete with old signs from the early 20thcentury, give it a very unique and warm flavor.    
I mentioned this in a previous blog, but it’s now official, the Nova Scotia ferry left Singapore last week and will be arriving in New England in early May, including a stop in Boston to show off.  She will start trips to Yarmouth on May 15thfor $79 each way, including an on-board casino and sleeping cabins.  So, stop here on the way out, or the way back and let us spoil you with a side adventure in Maine.  http://www.novastarcruises.com.     
Here’s a gift for putting up with my reverie;
OATMEAL WAFFLES W/ TRIPLE BERRY SYRUP
Serves 6
Ingredients-1            ½ cup flour
                        1 cup quick cooking oats
                        3 tsp baking powder
                        ½ tsp cinnamon
                        ¼ tsp salt
                        2 eggs separated
                        1-1/2 cups milk
                        6 tbspns melted butter
                        2 tbspns brown sugar
In a large bowl, mix first 5 ingredients.  In a small bowl, mix 2 egg yolks, cooled melted butter & milk w/ brown sugar. Add the egg yolk and milk mixture into dry ingredients.  In a medium bowl beat 2 egg whites until light and fluffy then fold into waffle batter.
Note:  To make this recipe lactose free, substitute 6 tablespoons vegetable oil for butter, & substitute soy or almond milk for milk.
                       
TRIPLE BERRY SYRUP
Ingredients-   1 cup of sugar
                        2 tbspns cornstarch
                        1 cup water
                        1 tbspn lemon juice
                        1 tbspn butter
                        1 cup frozen mixed berries
Note:  Fresh berries can also be used        
Combine sugar & cornstarch in a saucepan on stove.  Slowly add water & whisk until incorporated.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  When thickened, add 1 cup of mixed berries & reduce heat.  Simmer until the berries begin to burst.  Remove them from heat & add lemon & butter.
Serve over waffles w/ fresh crème fraiche or whipped cream & berries as a garnish.

Next time we make them, I promised I’ll take and post a photo! 

TOTALLY PATHETIC!!

March 2, 2014 by Scott Gile

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

Thanks to my children, one of the few skills I’ve learned in life is that there are times when you need to be able to laugh at yourself, and this one’s a classic!
Needless to say, our snow blower has had some serious exercise this winter.  Before the recent thaw, when the snowpack was at its peak here, we had a veritable glacial pack of ice on the slope of our driveway, leading down to the lower parking lot.  So, about a week and a half ago, my sister and I were headed out for a ski day, but the afternoon/ evening before we were bathed in about a foot of powder snow.  Of course, the inn-keeper cannot leave the inn and Mrs. Innkeeper in such an inaccessible situation, so after digging out a path from the cellar to the driveway for my trusty snow-blower, this veteran team (Scott and his trusted Ariens) headed down the path to attack the blanket covering the driveway.
Before we started our snow clearing campaign, my Wife warned that I should be wearing my elastic/ metal stud cleats over my boots, but of course I knew I could handle the ice with only the aid of my vintage LL Bean boots, and gazelle-like reflexes.  Well, it was SLICK as I and my trusted machine turned down slope, but only on the return up-slope swing would the folly of my ways become apparent!  About a third of the way up the hill, my feet started to slip and at the same time, it was so slick (think hockey rink), the snow-blower itself started sliding left as the knobby tires were desperately clawing for grip.  At about this point, yours truly assumed the grace of a seal on wet seaweed, so helpless that my death-grip on the blower handles only limited a catastrophic collapse to a cursing, graceless slide down-hill.  “Damn” I thought, “better get the cleats as Mary suggested.”  A PAINFUL MOMENT INDEED!
I managed to use the rougher snow beside the driveway to slog my way back up the driveway, muttering curses, to climb back inside (head bent low, having lost the first skirmish) and do as Mary suggested, before we went back into battle.  Having pulled my trusty LL Bean cleats over my boot soles, I headed back out to whop that hill.  OK, so now I can JUST make it up the hill, but the snow-blower is not wearing the same cleats.  The only strategy that got us both up the hill was the “dig into the deep side” with the left blower wheel, but it was crystal clear that the hill was NOT to be defeated that night.  So, with visions of being mangled by a helpless Ariens snow-blower, we reduced our plan to flanking the enemy, cleaning off only the upper driveway.  Man, am I clever, or what?       
After about ½ course up the upper lot, I felt the one cleat drop off of my boot.  OK, OK, so I STOMP back over to the back steps with the lost cleat in hand, plant my butt on the step and stretch that freakin thing back over my boot!  A couple of turns up and down the upper parking lot, I became aware that my left foot was feeling noticeably higher than my right, realizing with great irritation that one of the cleats had dropped off of my right boot AGAIN, searched up and down the lot for the bright red cleat.  UNBELIEVEABLY, that red cleat had disappeared!  ALRIGHT THEN, maybe it’ll show up in Spring!
So, I managed to follow the blower to the end of the job with my weird gait, left foot higher than right.  I should explain at this point that one cannot wear cleats on one’s beautiful maple wood floor without making it into a “distressed” floor, so there is a delicate ballet that goes with donning and removing them, as one leaves and re-enters the house.  After climbing back through the back door to drop my rear end onto the chair and wondering if I’d ever see the right cleat again, I removed the remaining cleat from my left boot.  As the cleat came off my left boot, I could feel something strange under the cleat.  You know the Beatles song “When I’m 64?”  There was cleat #2, RIGHT UNDER CLEAT #1!!

My Wife and Sister didn’t stop laughing and gasping for air for at least ½ hour!  TOTALLY PATHETIC!   Skiing was excellent the next day though!

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!

WINTAH’S ARRIVAL

December 1, 2013 by Scott Gile

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

WINTAH’S ARRIVAL BLOG
Today my Dad & I took a little men’s adventure to the Maine Maritime Museum, out to lunch and a Home Depot stop for building stuff.  Cold!  Must’ve been 17 or so Monday AM, still a little snow here and there, after the winter gales of the last 2 days.  Got the flipside Noreaster on the way for the day before Thanksgiving.  Laid in bed last Monday night, listening to the wind lifting the shingles.  Rained buckets Tuesday night through Wednesday, then the gift you see above!
I digress….so, Don (my Dad) and I spent several hours absorbing the amazing models, histories, painting and artifacts at this breathtaking Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.  One of my favorites was the model of the 360’ J. P. Morgan Jr. motor yacht that was built in 1930 at the Bath Iron Works.  It really is a stunning place to experience, and only 20 minutes from here!  It also has a fabulous store with all kinds of books, drawings, artwork, photos, souvenirs, crushed mussel shell coasters, etc.  We plan to replace a lot of the more uninteresting wall decorations here over the winter with Maine stuff.  We know you will enjoy the changes.
Ice boat

We’re also refurbishing several rooms in the inn this winter (when not skiing or entertaining you).  We’re also going to work on the Brewster House Good Times book this winter, so no matter how long you’re here, no matter what the weather is, no matter what you like to do, we’ll have an awesome “on the spot” resource! 
LL Bean is whooping it up big for the Holidays!  Since they erected their enormous tree, every ½ hour on weekend evenings, they have an amazing coordinated music/ light show with their block-wide decorations!  Too bad you didn’t book earlier for Sparkle Weekend!
When you’re a downhill skier, one of the great features of being busy all summer and fall is quiet weekdays in the Winter to visit Sunday River (or “The Loaf”), just 65 miles from here.  This was taken a few days ago!  Ah, we love the corduroy!!!!

If your skiing ambitions are more the cross-country variety, sledding, dog-sledding, horse drawn sleigh rides or the snow-shoe touring sort, come up for the LL Bean Winter Carnival Weekend January 19th & 20th http://www.llbean.com/shop/retailStores/media/docs/121228_MK24535.pdf!!  Believe it or not, we STILL HAVE ROOMS!!  It will take place at the LL Bean Sports Center, near Wolf’s Neck, and advance registration is required, SO PLAN NOW!!
Finally don’t forget FLAVORS OF FREEPORT, including the Chef Signature Series, and Flavors Ice Bar, including a DJ, fire pit and luge to get you slipping and sliding into mid-winter on Friday, Feb. 21st http://www.freeportusa.com/flavorsoffreeport/!!
We have shovels full of winter deals available for you!  See our website and latest newsletter for a summary and GET UP HEEAH!!
    

Things to Do Near Freeport Maine: Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park

November 27, 2012 by Scott Gile

Many (possibly most) of our guests want to see the beautiful Maine coast while they’re visiting the area. That seems to be true in almost any season – even in winter! However, some don’t want to drive far to see it, so we have the perfect answer for them!

Just a few minutes drive from Brewster House is Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, in Freeport. Located down one of the peninsulas that neighbor Freeport’s harbor, the park offers several trails, including the Casco Bay Trail, which runs along the edge of the rocks by the water.

At one point, you could practically wade to the nearby islands at low tide – if they weren’t protected. In fact, the closest island, Googins Island, is a protected refuge for Osprey. But the large birds of prey aren’t the only thing you’ll see there, as twilight can bring herons, ducks and other waterfowl out for a bit of evening air.

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

Things to do near Freeport: Cruise on an Antique Schooner

June 19, 2012 by Scott Gile

Maine has a well-known heritage of boatbuilding. Much of its history can be seen on display at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. But that is another post for another day.

Wendameen, an antique schooner in Maine

If you would like to sail a bit of history, our friends at Portland Schooner Company have just the thing! Their two antique schooners, Wendameen and Bagheera, are both vintage Maine-built boats, designed by renowned yacht designer John Alden and built in East Boothbay. Wendameen was launched in 1912, and has a great history as a fast, private ocean schooner. Her story is told in Wendameen, Life of an American Schooner, by Capt. Neal Parker. There is more information about Wendameen on Captain Parker’s website.

Bagheera, in her turn, was a Bermuda racer, then was taken to the Great Lakes, where she won the Chicago-Mackinac race several times.

Both boats have been fitted out for passenger transport, and sail from Portland, providing two-hour cruises, private charters, overnight sails, and more.

We work with Portland Schooner Company for our Sail into the Sunset package, our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package, as well as arranging a two-hour cruise for guests who would like a bit more than the average tour of Casco Bay!

Come on and sail an old wooden schooner! How often do you get a chance like that?

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

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

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