Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: maine 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!

Visiting Maine Lighthouses – Cape Neddick (The Nubble)

May 7, 2013 by Scott Gile

Cape Neddick Lighthouse (the "Nubble")

Not too surprisingly, Cape Neddick Lighthouse (nicknamed the “Nubble” or Nubble Light) is one of the most often photographed of Maine’s 60-plus lighthouses. That is because it is so accessible (see our Maine Lighthouse Map).

In the town of York Beach, less than half an hour from the New Hampshire border, the lighthouse stands on a small island known as the Nubble, less than 100 yards off shore.

Cape Neddick lighthouse is charming in its gingerbread Victorian keepers house, perched on the small island. It is decorated in white lights every year at Christmas time, and these photos abound on the internet.

Since many are not able (or willing) to visit Maine in December, the lighthouse is also lighted for the town of York’s “Christmas in July” – which falls this year on July 28. If you’d like to see it decorated, but don’t want to brave the New England winter, you may like to visit for Christmas in July.

Nubble Lighthouse is one of several lighthouses on our Lighthouse Tour special at Brewster House, as guests can easily visit it from our Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast.

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

Planning Your Visit to Maine

April 2, 2013 by Scott Gile

Freeport Maine shopping
Freeport outlet shopping

Every year a number of our guests call to make reservations for their visit to Freeport, and, in the process, ask our advice on other places to go and things to see – both while staying in Freeport, and as suggestions for the other parts of their trip.

We’re well aware that other people don’t always travel the way we do, but we can give some recommendations based on the way we like to do it.

We tend to find a place like Freeport, and plan to stay a few days. Perhaps just two nights (giving only one full day to explore), but more likely 3-5 nights. We use that as a base of operations, from which we can shop or explore the area with day trips, and we don’t have to pack up and move too often. After our several days are up, we move on to another location and repeat the process.

So, what do we suggest?

About two thirds of our visitors come into Maine from the south, so Freeport is likely to be their first stop. We suggest staying here 3-5 nights and visiting things within an easy drive of Freeport. Then, depending on the interests of the guests, and the overall length of their vacation, we suggest they visit the Bar Harbor area (or some of the nearby areas), or one of the inland regions like Moosehead Lake, or the Baxter State Park area. If they have time and interest, perhaps both.

What is there to do in these areas?

The Freeport area

Freeport is widely known as the home of L.L. Bean, and in fact L.L. Bean has five stores in town. All that retail has attracted even more retail, so there are over 160 other shops and restaurants all within a short walk from Brewster House. For most people, that provides a day or so of shopping, in itself.

Wolfes Neck Woods State Park
Wolfes Neck Woods State Park

If you like the coast, there are two state parks, Wolfes Neck Woods State park along the water, and Bradbury Mountain State Park inland, within a few miles of Brewster House. Both offer excellent hiking and views. A bit farther away, about 20 minutes or so, are Popham Beach State Park, with its beaches and historic Civil War Fort Popham on the shore, or Reid State Park, with trails, rocks, and beaches, are just the thing.

Then, of course, there are lighthouses – are there ever lighthouses! Maine has over sixty lighthouses, and many are within an hour or so drive of Freeport. We regularly send guests out with our maps, or more information if they are on our Lighthouse Tour package, to see some of the lighthouses north or south of us. Typically they can visit about six lighthouses to the south in a day, or between 3 and 6 to the north, depending on interests and endurance. Along the way, guests often want to visit some of the many lobster shacks we’ve identified on our map of Maine lobster shacks.

In two weeks, we’ll talk about Bar Harbor and the surrounding area

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

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

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

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.

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!

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