Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: things to do

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!!

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: Visit Covered Bridges

November 13, 2012 by Scott Gile

The New England states are known for many things – among them their covered bridges.

Babb’s Bridge

Like most of the states in this area, Maine has its share of the beautiful old bridges, providing shelter in a storm while providing a safe crossing of the many rivers around the state. And several are within a reasonable drive from Brewster House. Each has its own interesting past, as well as an unusual beauty, providing a unique window into the transportation of a bygone era.

The nearest of these covered bridges is Babb’s Bridge (built in 1864), in South Windham. It is only about 45 minutes drive from Brewster House.

Hemlock Bridge

The next nearest bridge, about an hour and a half away, is the Hemlock Bridge (1857), near Fryeburg, Maine. Don’t be surprised when, to visit this bridge, you must take an old wagon road (it feels as if you are driving through a farmer’s field). It is well worth the adventure!

Artist’s Bridge

Another bridge, somewhat hidden from the casual visitor, is Artist’s Bridge (built in 1872, and so-called because of the number of paintings done of this beautiful bridge). Not far from the Sunday River resort, near Newry, Maine, this bridge is just off the current roadway, but requires a couple of side trips to find it. It is about 2 hours from Brewster House.

The State of Maine’s VisitMaine website has a full list of Maine’s covered bridges.

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

Things to Do Near Freeport: Reid State Park and Five Islands

November 6, 2012 by Scott Gile

Now that the fall foliage season has pretty well drawn to a close, things have slowed down a bit, and we have had a little more time (not much!) to get out and enjoy some of the things we send guests out to see all through the year.

This week we returned to Georgetown Island, just a few minutes from Brewster House in Freeport, where we visited Reid State Park and the lovely village of Five Islands.

Reid has a wonderful sand beach (not that common in this part of Maine), with piles of granite rock at one end, which you walk up like stairs, then view the islands offshore, the beach, and the mouth of the neighboring river. It is a beautiful area, and one we really enjoy visiting and photographing.

At the very end of the road is Five Islands, home of Five Islands Lobster Co., and its wonderful lobster shack, where you can enjoy your favorite crustacean at a picnic table on the docks, while the lobster boats come and go. This late in the season, the boats were quietly moored, and the lobster shack was closed, but that just makes it an even more picturesque setting to visit!

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

Things to Do Near Freeport Maine: Walk Along the River

October 23, 2012 by Scott Gile

As we drive north on US-1 from Freeport, we often enjoy the views along the Androscoggin River, north of Brunswick’s downtown area, and we see the walking path along the river. We regularly tell ourselves that “one of these days” we need to hike that route. This past Sunday was the day!

Railroad bridge across the Androscoggin River

Once the guests had left — some checking out to go home, others exploring nearby lighthouses and the Maine coast – we packed up the camera and drove the few minutes north to Brunswick, to hike along the Androscoggin River. To find the entrance, we had searched online and discovered that there are actually two different trails. One is the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham River Walk, crossing the historic swing bridge to Topsham, along the river, back across the busy Maine Street bridge, then along Mill Street to the swing bridge again – a distance of about a mile and a quarter.

However, our plan was to walk the “other” Androscoggin River Walk, without its own website, and a search discloses that the page on the Brunswick municipal website has moved. We remembered that we had been told the entrance was at the end of Water Street, so we drove there, and found ample parking, and headed north.

Remnants of fall color along the trail

The route is paved, with a dividing line to separate bicycles from pedestrians, and is marked in quarter mile increments to show how far you have come. The route is about 2.6 miles each way, so about 5 1/4 miles in total, from the end of Water Street to the end of Grove Lane, both of which have parking and access to the walk.

Most of the walk is along the river, so the scenery is lovely, especially with remnants of the fall foliage on many of the trees. Short bits are along US-1, which can be quite noisy, but you are soon back by the river, with a buffer of trees to diminish the noise.

Stop and rest on one of the convenient benches

This is really a wonderful afternoon’s walk, good exercise, not too challenging, as the hills are not many and not steep, but with wonderful views of the river.

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

Three Wonderful Days in Freeport!

October 16, 2012 by Scott Gile

Recently several guests have stayed with us and visited Freeport for the first time. They have all had similar reactions. The first reaction is “Wow! We didn’t know there was so much Freeport shopping!” You see, not being from the northern New England area, they were unfamiliar with Freeport, and many had no idea that it was the home of L.L. Bean.

The second reaction, for all of them, was, “We had no idea there was so much to do within a short drive of Freeport! What a great location to base our stay, so we can take day trips to see lighthouses, visit lobster shacks, beaches, etc.” They had no idea what a perfect location Freeport is for sightseeing.

We’ve decided to make Freeport a little more accessible for our guests by setting up our Fall Freedom package, with 3 nights for the price of 2! This provides the ideal opportunity to see the rugged Maine coast, visit lighthouses (there are at least a dozen within about an hour and a half drive of us), hike along the water or in the hills in our state parks, and more. Or, if you prefer, take a hike through Freeport and visit the 5 L.L. Bean stores (four of them never close!) and over 150 other shops and restaurants, all within a few blocks of us!

With three days here, you can really cover a lot of ground. Here is our suggestion:

Day 1 (arrival)

  • Arrive by mid-afternoon and check-in at Brewster House
  • Spend the afternoon exploring Freeport outlets and shops
  • Have a wonderful meal at one of Freeport’s excellent restaurants

Day 2

  • Have a delicious gourmet breakfast at Brewster House
  • Go north to visit lighthouses, islands and beaches
  • Have lunch at an historic and authentic Maine diner
  • Spend the afternoon exploring coastal harbor towns
  • Dine along the way, or in Freeport
  • Shop a bit before the end of the day

Day 3

  • Another delicious breakfast at Brewster House
  • Shop a bit to make sure you haven’t missed anything
  • Drive to the south to see lighthouses
  • Explore Portland’s Old Port district
  • Explore Kennebunkport and/or Kittery and/or Ogunquit, etc.

Day 4 (departure)

  • One last delicious Brewster House breakfast
  • One last shopping trip before checking out.
  • Bid goodbye to your new friends, and promise to return soon!

When will we see you here?

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

Things to Do Near Freeport Maine: Bailey Island and Cook’s Lobster

October 9, 2012 by Scott Gile

Trees on Bailey Island

Often our guests looking for things to do near Freeport want to see the “authentic” Maine coast. One of our favorite places to go is on Route 24 from Brunswick, across Great Island to Orrs Island and across the Cribstone Bridge to Bailey Island.

The scenery is wonderful, and small vacation rental homes are intermingled with homes of lobstermen, with their traps and buoys dotting the lawns. You can view the water from the road much of the way, and sometimes on both sides of the road at once. It is a photographer’s paradise!

At the end of the road, at Land’s End (nothing to do with clothing), you can see the rocky shore, view the islands offshore, the fishermen’s memorial, see Halfway Rock Lighthouse in the distance, or, much nearer, the memorial to the sinking of a tourist boat, decades ago. You can also see Eagle Island in the distance, where Admiral Peary (the arctic explorer) once lived.

Cribstone Bridge from Cook’s Lobster

Of course, no trip to Bailey Island would be complete without a stop at Cook’s Lobster for a wonderful meal. Our latest trip we enjoyed their fine hospitality, and views of the Cribstone Bridge, while savoring a lobster casserole and broiled scallops. Oh, and don’t leave without trying the homemade blueberry pie (made with Maine wild blueberries!). Yum!

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

Things to Do Near Freeport: Enjoy Maine’s Maritime Herigage

August 14, 2012 by Scott Gile

Just a short drive from Freeport is the town of Bath, home to Bath Iron Works, one of the few remaining locations where US Navy ships are built, and the wonderful Maine Maritime Museum.

This year (2012) marks the 50th anniversary for the museum, which celebrates Maine’s history of shipbuilding, its heritage and culture. The museum is filled with wonderful exhibits, indoors and out, showing how the old wooden ships were built, how they were used, and much, much more.

While there you can also schedule a tour of Bath Iron Works to see how the building of naval ships has changed, and a lighthouse tour or nature cruise, aboard the museum’s  Maine-built wooden boat Schoodic, which has a 40-passenger capacity.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum has a series of special exhibits that change. The museum web site has a list of current and upcoming exhibits.

If you’d like to combine visits to the Maine Maritime Museum (and perhaps Bath Iron Works, as well) with a cruise of your own on a Maine-built antique wooden schooner, in cooperation with our friends at Portland Schooner Co., we have arranged our Maine Seafarer Adventure special, with two nights at Brewster House, admission for two at Maine Maritime Museum, and a two hour cruise for two from Portland Schooner.

Ready to cast off?

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

Things to Do Near Freeport: Visit the Gardens

June 12, 2012 by Scott Gile

No, not our gardens (though they do look really nice this year, and our back garden is about to get a facelift for summer) – the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.

There is always something in bloom at the gardens, no matter the season. We love to visit in the late spring and early summer, to see the azalea and rhododendron and then the roses, viburnum and others follow along soon after. Of course, the summer is filled with color, but then the autumn brings the clematis, hydrangea, and daylilies. There are many more, of course, and the link above will help you decide what to see in any month you care to visit.

There are lots of special events, such as birding, photography, and, obviously, gardening events, throughout the year. Check the garden’s calendar for specific events and dates.

The gardens offer childrens’ programs, art and history programs, and various special activities and events.

Located near Boothbay, Maine, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are only about a 30 minute drive from Brewster House. We also partner with the gardens to provide discounted admission tickets for our overnight guests. Please ask about admission to the gardens when booking your stay at Brewster House, or when you are here.

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

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