Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: travel

Make Freeport Your Destination!

October 7, 2010 by Scott Gile

At Brewster House we recently had an opportunity to host a photographer for a travel magazine, Steve Levine who was here on behalf of Destinations Travel magazine.

Steve was very interested in Maine, in Freeport, and in Brewster House. While he was here, he visited local eateries and sightseeing destinations, and found lovely photo opportunities wherever he went. You can read more about his travels on his blog.

In addition to featuring Brewster House in the article, Destinations Travel magazine also produced a “Sunday Drives” application – a downloadable app which provides a complete itinerary for the drive through Maine, including a stop a Brewster House.

This was a really fun experience for us, and we certainly hope you browse the article and/or check out the app, and then make plans for your next trip to Maine!

2010 Lighthouse Day Scheduled

July 29, 2010 by Scott Gile

Following the great success of last year, the 2010 Lighthouse Day has been scheduled for Saturday, September 18, 2010.

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, overlooking Quoddy Narrows
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

The State of Maine, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the American Lighthouse Foundation have again banded together to organize the second annual Maine Lighthouse Day. This year 25 of Maine’s wonderful lighthouses will be open for visits by the public, including some that are not normally open for public viewing.

You’ll have to transport yourself to the lighthouses, but once there you’ll have a rare opportunity to view these navigational wonders, up close and personal!

In celebration of last year’s first Lighthouse Day, we prepared a map of Maine Lighthouses, which is provided below, so you can find your way to the lighthouses you would like to visit.


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

Our Lighthouse Tour package, our Sail into the Sunset package, and our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package are perfect for lighthouse lovers, too!

C’mon to Maine and visit some of our greatest treasures!

Let’s Look at Lighthouses! West Quoddy Head Lighthouse

June 23, 2010 by Scott Gile

The distinctive red and white stripes of West Quoddy Head Light are readily visible overlooking the Grand Manan Channel and the Bay of Fundy at America’s easternmost point.

West Quoddy Head Light Station, Maine Just off the rocky beach below the lighthouse, Sail Rock protrudes ominously from the surface of the water, ready to tear apart any vessel daring to approach too closely. In 1806 a light station was authorized by Congress, to assist mariners traveling in these treacherous waters, just south of Canada’s Campobello Island, and west of Grand Manan Island. The light station was established in 1808, and a fog signal added in 1820.

Owing, at least in part, to the harsh winter climate, West Quoddy Light Station was not well-constructed, and not well-maintained, so the tower was rebuilt in 1830, and the present 49 foot tower was constructed in 1857, sitting 83 feet above sea level, with its 35,000 candlepower beacon visible about 18 miles offshore. The red and white stripes appear to have been added shortly after the present tower was erected.

West Quoddy Head Light, courtesy US Coast GuardIn the latter part of the 1800’s West Quoddy was considered a good assignment for a lighthouse keeper, in part as a result of its proximity to the town of Lubec, Maine. In fact, when one of the keepers of the light failed to keep up the maintenance of the site, he was transferred to a less desirable location as a punishment. He resigned, rather than return to the harsh conditions at the station to which he was to have been assigned.

West Quoddy Head and Quoddy Narrows, MaineThe lighthouse grounds are now part of Quoddy Head State Park, and there are trails along the coastline, and through the woods, with picnic tables, and steps down to the rocky shore. Whales and bald eagles can often be spotted near the lighthouse. It is a site that is well worth a visit. While there, a short drive takes you to the town of Lubec, where you can see Maine’s Lubec Channel lighthouse, cross the bridge to Canada’s Campobello Island, vor iew Mulholland Lighthouse across the channel.

West Quoddy Head Light Station is about 4 hours from Brewster House, but it is well worth the drive. The drive itself is a beautiful one. We left after breakfast, had lunch at Quoddy State Park, and still had time to explore Lubec, then make several stops on the way back home, for a full day of exploring.

For more information, see

Planning Your Maine Getaway

May 6, 2010 by Scott Gile

Lupine, near Freeport MaineSpring is a glorious time to be in Maine! The flowers are in bloom and the azaleas are budding. Can the lupine be far behind?

As you think about your Maine getaway, consider how many days you want to spend here, and also whether you prefer to be on the move, changing locations every day or two, or make one or two locations your “base of operations”, taking day trips from those spots.

It seems that most people who visit Freeport Maine either spend a night here, then travel on to their destination (to the north or south), or spend two or three days here, before going on to their next destination. Freeport is two hours drive north of Boston, and about three hours south of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Once in a while a group will spend their entire getaway here in Freeport. For those with only one day (almost all of whom leave wishing they had spent more time here!), we have to set priorities and limit ourselves to one or two activities, whether shopping, lighthouses, beaches, hiking, or whatever. Our “Only One Day for Freeport” article explores those possibilities.

If you have more than a day, we have suggested itineraries for you, with ideas for up to four days of activities based in Freeport. Nevertheless, we have had several groups stay as many as eight days, then leave saying there was so much to do here, that they would just have to return to do the things they missed.

Portland Head lighthouse, MaineTaking a hypothetical one week getaway, as you can see, we could suggest activities around the area that would keep you busy the entire time. However, if you want to see more of Maine, we would suggest spending three or four days in Freeport, and then another three or four days either in the northern parts of Maine (such as the Bar Harbor or Downeast Acadia area) or the western part of the state, where there are lakes and mountains (and a good chance of seeing moose in the wild). To see what the other areas in Maine have to offer, you may want to visit the State of Maine’s website, or read through our series on the different regions of Maine.

In either case, while in the Freeport area, we suggest visits to several of the area lighthouses – Portland Head lighthouse, Pemaquid Point lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse (Two Lights), Goat Island lighthouse at Cape Porpoise, Cape Neddick Lighthouse (the Nubble), Owls Head lighthouse and Marshall Point lighthouse are all easy to visit and provide beautiful views. Reid State Park and Popham Beach State Park each have lovely beaches and natural beauty. Wolf Neck State Park and Bradbury Mountain State Park offer hiking trails and wonderful vistas. Lest we forget, there are many art galleries and museums, antique shops, lobster shacks and wonderful villages, all worth spending a few hours exploring.

Now is the time to firm up those summer holiday and vacation plans! The traditionally busy weekends are either full or filling fast, but many (Independence Day holidays – July 2-5, and Labor Day Weekend – September 3-6, for instance) still have rooms available. Book online or contact us by email or phone.

No doilies or wallpaper, and only en suite bathrooms, here!

April 27, 2010 by Scott Gile

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast dining roomWhat is that title about? At Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport, Maine, we’re advocating truth in advertising!

A week or two ago the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) released the results of a study, asking travelers their perception of staying at bed and breakfast inns. The results revealed some interesting myths about staying in B&Bs. This link is an article listing the findings, and the myth-busting replies.

The list includes decor, shared bathrooms, breakfast seating arrangements, curfews, and whether or not children or pets are allowed. But are these really problems? We know some guests who prefer separate tables for each group of guests, and others who love the interaction of a single dining table. Some like a more modern style of decor, while others revel in the historic accuracy of period decor.

Stepping back a bit from the results, it really looks like the concern isn’t so much what the travelers say about the B&Bs, but what they don’t say. That is, they seem to be concerned that they just don’t know what they are going to get when they choose a bed and breakfast.

In truth, our experience indicates that bed and breakfast inns are as varied as their locations and the personalities of their owners. Some are themed around the surrounding area or its history, like one we know in an old bordello, or railroad cars, and others are very formal, in keeping with the mansions in which they are located. Some are quite casual, reflecting the attitude of the innkeepers, and some are less so.

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Room FourIn these days when the internet provides the opportunity for inns of all kinds to put their best foot forward, showing accurately what the guest can expect when they stay at that property. In fact, there really is no excuse for not showing the prospective guests exactly what they can expect, whether it is wallpaper or paint, doilies or not, separate dining or family style, etc.

With all that in mind, we want to make it clear what you will find when you come visit Brewster House. We invite you to look through our web site, explore the photos of the rooms, look at the virtual tours, and really see what we have to offer. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • No doilies or wallpaper, and no patchwork quilts. Our rooms are painted (we have no wallpaper) with soothing colors – some relatively bold, some softer, with coordinating paint in the baths. Most of the beds have rich, designer, comforters, though a few have designer quilts. We do have antiques in the house, mixed with more modern furnishings, as well.
  • We have no shared bathrooms. All our rooms have baths in the rooms (that is, the bathroom is entered from inside your guest room, and not shared with other guests). In our two bedroom suites the bath is a pass-through between the two bedrooms, so it is shared by members of your own party, not with other guests.
  • You do not have to sit with strangers at breakfast, and dietary restrictions can be accommodated. We think our dining room has the best of both worlds. It has individual tables (most are for two, one is for four), so you sit with your own party, but the other guests are not far away, in case you would like to have a friendly conversation with them. We serve a set breakfast each morning, usually alternating between a sweet dish one day and a savory dish the next. We routinely ask about dietary restrictions, and can nearly always select something from our repertoire of breakfast dishes that will meet your needs.
  • We have no curfews. Each guest is given a room key which opens their guest room, but also opens the guest entrance to the house. Thus, while our check-in time is from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (and we can make arrangements for late arrivals, if needed), guests who have checked-in have no curfew and can come and go at any time using their room key for access to the house.
  • Not only for couples. It is true that most (by a good measure) of our guests are couples. However, with our two bedroom suites, we also often have either a group of four traveling together or a family, staying with us. Maine does not allow lodging properties to refuse accommodation on the basis that the guest is accompanied by children. In compliance with this requirement, we welcome well-behaved guests of any age. We do ask that guests with children be considerate of other guests, and supervise their children at all times, being aware that most of our guests are here to enjoy a quiet, romantic, getaway, often as a time away from their own children.

Each bed and breakfast makes its own decision whether or not to allow pets. At Brewster House we have a number of guests who are allergic to animal fur and are very sensitive to the presence of animals. Consequently we do not allow pets. However, there are excellent boarding facilities nearby, as well as other properties who do allow pets.

Whether you are traveling to Freeport, Maine, or anywhere else, you can almost certainly find a bed and breakfast where you will be welcomed like an old friend, with comfortable surroundings, a wonderful breakfast, appropriate levels of privacy and all the help you need for recommendations of restaurants, activities and directions. Look for a B&B for your next getaway!

A slight departure…

March 23, 2010 by Scott Gile

Cruisers Cafe, Route 66, Williams, AZMonday, March 22: The cross-country trip continues…

We first visited friends in Virginia for a couple of days. It was great to see the old gang again!

Then a two-day trek to Austin, Texas (with an overnight at a B&B in Jackson, Tennessee) for the 4 day PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) annual conference. We heard some great presentations and met many of the innkeepers we had relationships with online. Nice to meet them in person!

Next it was a super-long day, driving south to San Antonio, where we saw the Alamo, then up the west side of Texas (there isn’t much there but cactus and sagebrush!), through El Paso, and into New Mexico, then across to Tucson, Arizona. Next day we had a short drive north to Williams, Arizona, where we had a lovely stay at a B&B just off Route 66, and a great visit to the Grand Canyon.

Next a drive to San Jose, California to visit family and collect some belongings, then north to Salem, Oregon to collect more things that needed to come with us and visit more family. After that we went farther north to Seattle, Washington, to see more family, then headed east through Idaho, to Montana, and today, through Wyoming to South Dakota.

So now for the “departure” – recommending something outside of Maine! I know, but you have to hear this…

We had no reservations heading for Mount Rushmore, so pulled out the ol’ smartphone, and checked out area B&B’s and found none (!) that took online reservations or showed availability. Because the area B&B’s are spread out among a number of small towns, it wasn’t feasible to just drive around to find one with vacancy, so we checked TripAdvisor for hotels near Rapid City, SD. The number one listing was a small motel, called Big Sky Lodge, owned by a nice couple, Jay and Alicia. The reviews were absolutely overwhelmingly positive. We found them to be right on the money. The rate was very inexpensive, the room a bit dated looking, but super-clean and comfortable, with cable TV and WiFi included. The view over the city is wonderful. Jay recommended the Colonial House (about a mile away) for dinner, and it is a family place, where many locals go, and the food was incredible, and very reasonable.

So… if you’re going anywhere near Mount Rushmore, I can’t do better than to recommend Big Sky Lodge and Colonial House Restaurant.

Meanwhile, we’re on to Mount Rushmore tomorrow, then eastward…

On the Road Again

March 10, 2010 by Scott Gile

Texas highwayAs many of our guests and readers know, we’ve been making a number of changes at Brewster House, including redecorating Room Five, painting the hallways and stairways, new carpet on the third floor (the second floor got new carpet last winter), repainting Room Six, and a few other details. We still have some more nice changes in the works, for April/May, but it was also time for a break.

This month (March), we are attending the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) conference in Austin, Texas. This annual conference for innkeepers includes keynote speakers on marketing, food presentation and preparation, technology issues, and more, as well as a trade show where we can meet the vendors we work with, meet new vendors, establish (or rekindle) friendships with innkeepers throughout the country (or the world), etc. Scott is also presenting sessions on choosing reservation software and on reputation management.

We drove to Austin, stopping for a few days in Virginia to visit some dear friends, and are currently enjoying the Innkeeping conference. From Austin we drive to Tucson, Arizona, then to the Grand Canyon, and on to San Jose, California, where we’ll visit friends and family. The next stops will be Salem, Oregon, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, for more family visits. We’ll be turning for home after that, with stops at Mount Rushmore, in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Jackson, Michigan to visit still more family, and finally a return near the end of March.

Once we’re back in Freeport, we’ll be preparing for the Flavors of Freeport festival which takes place April 9-11. If you haven’t booked your rooms for Flavors of Freeport, we still have rooms available (and we do have our reservation book with us!).

Visit Maine Like A Mainer! Plan Your Trip – Optional Additions

September 8, 2009 by Scott Gile

As we conclude the “Plan Your Trip” mini-series, within the Visit Maine Like A Mainer! series, we have some side trips to suggest, if they tickle your fancy.

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport

Starting near the southern part of the state, one of the popular side trips (or a destination, in itself, of course) is the Kennebunks. Aside from being beautiful old New England towns, filled with lovely older homes, they are charming and quaint, with a wonderful drive along Route 35 connecting the two towns. There is also Walker Point, the home of former President George H.W. Bush, and Cape Porpoise, home of both a nice lighthouse and a good lobster shack. There are also a good collection of antique shops along the outlying roads.

Babbs Bridge

If you enjoy the old covered bridges, Babbs Bridge is one with an interesting history. Built in 1864, it was burned by vandals in 1973 and rebuilt, then reopened in 1976. It is one of the nine remaining covered bridges in Maine.

Boothbay Harbor

Just north of Wiscasset on US-1 is a turn marked “Boothbay Region”, where Route 27 heads out toward Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. In Boothbay you’ll find the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, with its dramatic ocean views and lovely gardens, and in Boothbay Harbor there are interesting local shops, ice cream parlors, restaurants, lobster places, and boat tours of the area.

Penobscot Narrows Bridge, and environs

Near Bucksport is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, which opened in 2007, replacing the much older bridge nearby. The new bridge has an elevator taking you 420 feet in the air, then two more flights of stairs to the observatory, providing a 360 degree view, with identification panels showing how to locate nearby mountains, lakes and towns.

Nearby is Fort Knox, a defensive fortress defending the area from water attack.

Not much farther north on US-1 is Searsport, home to many antique stores – so much so that it could take days to explore them all.

The Northern Coast

There are a number of quaint and beautiful locations along the northern coast of Maine to stop and explore. One which we like is West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, the easternmost point in the US. The small towns and villages along the coast are sparsely populated and picturesque.

Wherever you travel in Maine, we hope you fall in love with it, as we have! Let us know your favorite places in the comments!

Visit Maine Like A Mainer! Plan Your Trip!

August 25, 2009 by Scott Gile

Stream, Rangeley, MaineOur Visit Maine Like A Mainer! series will conclude with a series of posts containing suggestions to help you plan your trip to Maine.

In each of the preceding posts in this series, we have provided links to the State of Maine tourism site, as well as the Maine Tourism site, and the regional sites for the region discussed in the post. We have also provided selected links to some of the attractions in the regions. These all provide a good starting point for gathering information. Now let’s put it together in a trip.

Of course, your own interests will dictate whether you try to see a bit of each region of Maine, or whether you focus on particular areas, or just one area. In addition, the time you can allocate will also determine how much you can see. We’ll provide two sample itineraries by type of region, as well as samples of differing duration. You should be able to mix-‘n-match the parts you like and the time you have available. Since the largest number of our visitors come from the south, we’ll begin there. Of course, if you’re coming from the north or west, you can change the starting point and carry on from there.

We’ll begin this series-within-a-series with a wilderness trip plan.

Days 1 and 2: Rangeley, Maine

Moose, Rangeley, MaineArrive by road, either from Boston (about 5 hours), Manchester, NH (4.5 hours), Portland, Maine (3 hours). Canoe or kayak on Rangeley Lake, or any of the rivers and streams nearby. Drive out State Route 16 at dawn or dusk to see moose grazing along the road. Hike at Rangeley Lake State Park.

Days 3 and 4: Moosehead Lake, Maine

Drive to Moosehead Lake (about 5 or 5.5 hours). Enjoy the magnificent scenery, along the way. If you start by dawn, you may even see more moose.

Canoe or kayak on Moosehead Lake. Try fly fishing for trout. Hike, camp, canoe, and generally relax!

Days 5 and 6: Baxter State Park, Maine

Enjoy the drive (about 3-4 hours) and the views! If you’re up to it, climb Mount Katahdin, at almost a mile above sea level, Maine’s highest peak.

Days 7 and 8: Aroostook County, Maine

Drive south to Millinocket, then work your way to the tip of Maine, Aroostook County. Visit Caribou, Fort Kent, Presque Isle, and other small towns along the Canadian border.

Enjoy the trip! We’ll have another itinerary in our post next week.

Map of Maine Lobster Shacks! Great Places for Lobster.

June 18, 2009 by Scott Gile


You may also want to see our 2012 update, Secret Lobster Shacks of Maine, with more info, photos, and an updated map!

Update: We’ve received suggestions for additional spots, so we’ve removed the “12” from the title, as that number is no longer correct – there are more!

Not too long ago we wrote a post about lobster in Maine (Visiting Maine Part 4 – Lobster, Lobstah, Ahhh, Heaven). In that post we mentioned an article from Travel + Leisure magazine from a few years ago, called “10 Best Lobster Shacks in Maine.” We noted that a couple of our favorites were missing from the list.

We’ve also posted previously about the seasons for lobster, hard and soft shells, etc., in a post called “Where Should I Go for Maine Lobster.

Little did we know, but Travel + Leisure has updated that article with a June, 2009 version of “10 Best Lobster Shacks in Maine.” There are some wonderful places for lobster in that article, but we still think they’re missing some good ones.

However, one of the questions we most frequently hear is, “Where should I go for a lobster dinner?” Consequently, we’ve put together a map of the top 10 from Travel + Leisure, plus a couple of our favorites, and release it below as a public service :^)


View Favorite Lobster Shacks (and similar spots) in a larger map>

If we missed your favorite lobster shack or restaurant, please let us know in the comments and we’ll see if we can add it for future reference.

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