Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: travel

Visit Maine Like A Mainer! Greater Portland and Casco Bay (Part 1)

June 16, 2009 by Scott Gile

Babb's Bridge, South Windham, Maine
The region known as Greater Portland and Casco Bay includes not only Portland and its neighboring communities, but also several surrounding areas that are popular with visitors, and stretches north on US-1 as far as Freeport, which deserves a separate description of its own. Because there is so much that is fun to do in this region, we’ll discuss Portland and its immediate neighbors in this post, and the next post in this series will look at Freeport and some of the other neighboring areas.

A metro area population of 230,000 and a Portland city population of 64,000, make Portland and its metro area Maine’s most populous. For the visitor from larger cities, such as Boston, New York, London, Paris, Chicago, Tokyo, etc., Portland can be an amazing destination.

Small, compared to these other cities, it is easy to find your way around Portland, and it is not far from the busy downtown streets to the bay or to the open countryside. Yet it has the feel of a much larger city, and many of the amenities, as well.

A favorite thing to do in Portland is eat. There are many fine restaurants (often far more than you would expect for a city of this size), with chefs who have departed the hustle and bustle of New York or Boston for the more relaxing atmosphere of Maine’s famous port city. Many can be found (with reviews) on the Food in Portland website.

A stroll along the Old Port district takes you to shops, art galleries, museums, restaurants and historical landmarks – even a section of the Berlin Wall on display. You can take a sail on an antique schooner, a sightseeing tour of Casco Bay and Portland, walking tours, or even a tour on a lobster boat – pulling your own lobster traps!

Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, MaineVisit the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow house and museum, or see a bit of Victorian America at the Victoria Mansion.

If you are looking for something a bit more rural and unusual, a 30 minute drive west and north will bring you to South Windham, where, on Covered Bridge Road, you can see one of Maine’s historic covered bridges, the Babb’s Bridge, built in 1864 (and rebuilt in 1976 after vandals destroyed it in a 1973 fire).

Of course, no visit to Portland is complete without a visit to Cape Elizabeth’s Fort Williams Park, and Portland Head Lighthouse. The park is maintained free of any entrance fee by the citizens of Cape Elizabeth as a gift to visitors to the area. There is a small fee to enter the museum at the lighthouse. The park also includes remnants of military forts, an old mansion, a playground and a small beach. It is a great location to spend most of a day.

Of course, in a short article like this, it is impossible to discuss every activity in an area, and there are many, many, more adventures to be had in and around Portland.

There’s more to Maine!

BBC Spot on Tourism in Maine – Brewster House Mentioned

June 11, 2009 by Scott Gile

BBC News video of Maine Tourism and Brewster House B&B
We posted this on our Facebook page and on Twitter when we learned about it, so apologies to our friends there who have already seen it. However, we didn’t want to omit our friends on the blog, so we’re providing the information (and a bit more detail) here, as well.

The short version of the stoy is that BBC News did a short spot on tourism in Maine. Much of it was filmed at Brewster House, and Scott appears, talking about the coming season. The video can be seen on the BBC web site.

There is, of course, a bit more background.

We were contacted by Greg Dugal of Maine Innkeepers Association, who is interviewed on the segment, asking if we would like to talk with BBC News about such a story. Of course we were interested, and spoke with the producer by phone. They also asked how we were attempting to increase interest and attract guests, and we told them about our packages with Portland Schooner Co. They loved that idea, so they also contacted them about the video.

A few days later the BBC News crew arrived, cameraman, producer and on-air personality Philippa Thomas (we’re not related, as far as we know). They were all delightful and professional.

First they filmed an interview on our guest porch with Greg Dugal, who gave them quite a lot of information on Maine and the outlook for tourism. Unfortunately, they only used a small portion of that interview. Then they came inside, and filmed Scott with Philippa Thomas walking through the ground floor rooms and discussing the house, the business climate, etc. Again, only a small amount was used in the clip. Next they were off to Camden to film the harbor (seen in the opening shots), and the next day to film at Portland Schooner.

Part of the BBC News objective was to report on the outlook for tourism in the face of a weak economy, so much of the clip sounds discouraging. However, all three of us (Greg Dugal, Scott, and Scott Reischman of Portland Schooner) feel that things are better than portrayed and attempted to say so. Unfortunately not many of those comments made it on the air.

The clip aired on Monday evening, June 8, 2009, but unfortunately they forgot to notify us (as they had planned to do), so we didn’t see the clip until the next day when they informed us of the location on the BBC web site.

We hope to obtain a DVD of the full interviews, so we can see how the entire thing came out.

Visit Maine Like a Mainer! The Maine Beaches

June 9, 2009 by Scott Gile

For many in the eastern United States the area of Maine that is most familar is the southern Maine region known as the Maine Beaches.

Nubble Lighthouse, Cape Neddick, MaineThe sandy beaches stretching across 30 miles of coastline have made this jewel of Maine a favorite of vacation visitors for many decades. Beginning only little more than an hour’s drive north from Boston, or an hour east of Manchester, New Hampshire, the region encompasses the outlet malls of Kittery, the beaches and coves of York and York Beach, Wells, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and Old Orchard Beach.

Detailed information on lodging, restaurants and activities can be found at the Maine Beaches Association website, the Maine Tourism website, or the State of Maine’s tourism website.

Among the well-known attractions are the Ogunquit Playhouse, celebrating 75 years of Broadway at the beach, and the Seashore Trolley Museum.

The Yorks are home to Cape Neddick Lighthouse (the Nubble) and When Pigs Fly, bakers of exquisite breads.

US-1 is a two-lane highway that runs from the Southern border of Maine, directly up through the towns of the Maine Beaches region. All along it you’ll find antique shops, outlet centers and one-of-a-kind shops, as well as restaurants, including the historic Maine Diner, Bed & Breakfasts, hotels and motels, and many other things.

Lodging recommendations can be found at the Maine Innkeepers website, the Maine tourism sites mentioned above, or the Chamber of Commerce sites of any of the towns mentioned – all linked in the regional site.

Even for the experienced visitor, there’s more to Maine!

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