Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: fall foliage

Is it time yet? When is Fall Foliage in Maine?

April 10, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

It seems early to be thinking about fall foliage, doesn’t it? In much of the northeast, except for that weird week or two recently when the temperatures were near 80°, we’re just beginning to finish mud season and head into spring.

However, one of the most common questions we’ve received in recent weeks is “When is the best time to visit for fall foliage?”

The short answer is “it depends” but since we’re essentially talking about the weather, that should come as no surprise.

The State of Maine has a foliage website which not only reports the current status of foliage from about mid-September through the season, but it also has a chart of historical foliage data, showing when the foliage changed for each of the various regions of the state.

Freeport is in Zone 1 on the chart, so a quick scan shows that our peak foliage has historically been between the 14th and 20th of October.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind about the dates, however. First, the foliage season in Freeport usually extends from about the first of October (sometimes the last week in September) through the end of October (sometimes slightly into November). That means that there will usually be good foliage viewing in our area for at least four weeks, though the peak may only last a few days.

Second, as the chart on the Maine foliage website makes clear, the peak foliage occurs at different times in the different regions of the state. In a very general way, the peak moves from north to south and west to east. Having said that, there are areas in each region that will appear “out of step” with this pattern, due to the temperature, amount of sun or shadow, etc. Consequently, all through the foliage season there can be areas of beauty that are either early or late for their region.

Finally, one other thing to consider is the calendar. Since the peak foliage season is near mid-October, it conflicts with several other dates. Three local colleges have homecoming or parents’ weekends between late September and late October. That can make competition for available lodging very stiff. Add to that the Columbus Day (US – Candadian Thanksgiving) holiday in the middle of it, and you’ll find it more difficult than usual to find a bed and breakfast.

Our late-September and October weekends already have some bookings, but as of this writing there is still plenty of availability for our foliage weekends. Check our availability and book early to get the dates you want. Don’t forget to consider our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf special – called “A steal of a deal” by Smarter Travel magazine.

That was fast! Final foliage report for Maine…

October 19, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

fall-foliage-2011-2It seems like only a few short weeks ago that we were excitedly posting the first foliage report for Maine for 2011.

Oh, wait. It was only a few short weeks ago! Where did the leaves time  go?

Just last week we were driving along I-295, admiring the beautiful fall foliage, and thinking it would be just another week and the colors would be at their peak. But in the blink of an eye (OK, in just a few days) it has all passed, and we’re now past peak in virtually the entire state.

Of course, there are still isolated spots with nice color, but the sense that everywhere you turn is filled with beautiful color is already gone. Sigh.

Hence, we are moving on, and posted about the less well-known November activities in Freeport earlier this week.

And, moving on from there, we will be posting more in coming weeks about Freeport’s annual Sparkle Weekend, with its parades, sales, Christmas lights, and more, followed by all the holiday activities and the giant L.L. Bean New Years Celebration (don’t forget, 2012 is a leap year!).

A Day Trip to See New England Fall Foliage

October 4, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

Some of our guests in late September had hoped to be able to tour some of Maine’s fall foliage areas and see the vibrant fall colors we are known for. While the leaves have begun to turn in many places, it is quite clear that the best is yet to come.

Meanwhile, areas to the north and west of us are well along in their colors. As a result, to see the better colors while it is still a bit early for the best color in the midcoast area, you can drive north and west to see some wonderful foliage.

Just about two hours drive from Brewster House will bring you to Rangeley Lake and all of its wonderful wooded areas. They are very scenic in their own right, and our guests tell us that the trees are filled with color right now. While there, if you wait until dusk, you may even find some moose grazing by the roads.

Another option is to drive west on US-302 to Fryeburg, Maine, on the New Hampshire border, where you can see an old covered bridge among the fall foliage, then continue to North Conway, New Hampshire, for a bit of outlet shopping and a drive up the magnificent Kancamagus Highway for a view of the fall colors in the mountains. Even with all that area to cover, you’re still only about 2 hours from Brewster House.

Whether you visit the fall colors in other areas, if you come early, or here in Freeport, you’ll love the fall foliage throughout the New England region.

Fall Colors well under way!

September 29, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

fall-foliage-2011This week’s fall foliage report from the State of Maine reports that fall colors are well underway, with the northern part of the state having a high degree of color.

True to prior patterns, the color has begun in the western and northern parts of the state, and will be moving east and south over the coming weeks.

The highest color areas thus far are north and west of Bangor, with the areas from below Bangor to the coast and southern borders showing low to moderate color changes.

We look for good color to be present in spots throughout the more populated areas, increasing over the next two weeks, when we would normally expect to see peak color along the midcoast region.

Fall Foliage and Lighthouses – What a Great Tour!

September 27, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

Up and down Maine’s midcoast region, really from Freeport north to Camden, fall colors are starting to appear, and the promise of really nice fall foliage is apparent.

Trees, Bailey Island

At Brewster House we always enjoy guiding our guests on our Lighthouse Tour of the Maine Coast, but we take special enjoyment when we can combine it with parts of our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf special – recently named one of the 10 Great B&B Escapes for Fall by Smarter Travel magazine.

For those who want the best of the lighthouse tour and the foliage areas, we start by sending you north to Brunswick on US-1, then out Route 24 from Cook’s Corner, across Great Island, then Orr’s Island, across the Cribstone Bridge to Bailey Island and Land’s End. Along the way you’ll see beautiful coastal scenery, and, as the trees begin to turn, some wonderful fall colors. From Land’s End you can see Halfway Rock lighthouse, almost appearing to float on the waters of Casco Bay.

Returning to the mainland and US-1, we turn north again, then take Route 24 toward Boothbay Harbor, but at Boothbay we turn off, heading for Newagen, where you can see the Cuckolds Lighthouse from the picturesque little harbor. After a brief side trip (and maybe a quick stop for an ice cream cone in Boothbay Harbor), we return to US-1, and continue north to Damariscotta, where the quintessential New England fall foliage photo-op appears, with the lovely New England village in view across the river, with a wreath of fall colors surrounding it.

The Cuckolds Light

Continuing out the peninsula to Pemaquid Point, the foliage can be magnificent, and the trekker is rewarded by the majestic beauty of Pemaquid Point lighthouse perched high on a rocky bluff, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

For most, this would be a full day, but for the hard-core foliage enthusiast, on the return south on US-1, you can exit at Woolwich, and Route 127, to Georgetown Island, where you can view wonderful foliage along the island, and stop at Reid State Park, where you can walk on the beach and see Seguin Island lighthouse about 2.5 miles offshore. On a clear day you can also see the Cuckolds light.

What a great way to combine a drive through the fall colors with a tour of midcoast lighthouses!

Maine Fall Foliage is Offically Underway!

September 14, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

The official start of Maine fall foliage season has begun, as the state has issued its first 2011 foliage report, indicating there is a small amount of color in the northern part of the state, in the higher elevations.

Based on our (very) unofficial historical observations, you can expect the colors to change in a pattern that moves from west to east, and from north to south. That said, there are almost always areas within one zone that are well ahead, or well behind, their neighboring trees. That is why, while “peak” in a particular area is ideal, there are micro-locations that will peak earlier or later than the rest of the zone.

The Maine Foliage site also includes historical foliage peak information, which can help identify the best times to visit. The state is divided into 7 zones (Freeport is in Zone 1), then the peak date is charted by date and zone here. This chart makes it clear that, even though there will be good color near our Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast from late September through all of October, the actual “peak” is likely to be between October 15 and October 20, if the past 10 years are any indication.

Some have asked about damage from the recent tropical storm. There are a few trees that have lost their leaves – most likely due to salt spray brought inland by the strong winds – but their number is not significant, and will not have much, if any, impact on the foliage viewing for 2011.

A Day Trip to See Fall Foliage, Lighthouses and Lobster!

September 6, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

The latest in our Day Trip series (see Boothbay Harbor, the Kennebunks, Owls Head and to See Moose) is here, just in time to plan the perfect trip to see fall foliage in Maine, Lighthouses, and Lobster!

From your base at Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport Maine, this day trip will take as much time as you want to give it. There are lots of choices, turning off the main highways to see fall colors, lighthouses and visit lobster shacks. Fall foliage season usually starts near the end of September and continues through October. You can check the status of the foliage at the State of Maine foliage website, beginning September 14. Peak foliage generally starts in the far north and west of the state, then moves east and south. Besides the peak (which doesn’t last long), excellent foliage can usually be seen for quite some time on either side of the peak.

Since there is almost always a part of US-1 that is full of color during the fall foliage season, after your delicious breakfast at Brewster House, we suggest going north from Freeport along US-1, for about 45 minutes, to Damariscotta, where the fall foliage view of the town across the Sheepscot River is postcard-perfect. Exiting US-1 there, and heading out Maine Route 131, the peninsula is full of color, on the way to Pemaquid Point light house, one of the most spectacularly scenic locations along the coast.

Returning to Damariscotta, turn left just before US-1, and follow River Road through Newcastle and enjoy the foliage along the river, as you make your way to Maine Route 27, turning left toward Boothbay Harbor. Enjoy the lovely working harbor, and if it is time for a meal, try the Lobster Dock (they do close for the season some time between mid-October and the end of the month, so you may want to call ahead to be sure they’re open). Find time for an ice cream cone at Downeast Ice Cream (at the end of Wharf Street), before continuing on Route 27 toward Newagen, where you can see the seldom seen lighthouse known as “The Cuckolds” offshore.

Return on Maine Route 238 to Boothbay, where you’ll take Route 27 back to US-1, then head south to Woolwich. Just before crossing the river to Bath, take the exit for Reid State Park. You’ll see nice foliage on Georgetown Island, and can enjoy the views at Reid, or continue on the Five Islands, and the Five Islands Lobster Shack for a wonderful meal on the dock (where you can also watch the lobster boats unload their catch, if your timing is right).

If you’ve had enough driving, just return to US-1 and head back to Freeport for a bit of R&R and retail therapy. If not, take one more peninsula, by exiting US-1 at Cooks Corner, and take Maine Route 24 to Orrs Island and Bailey Island. The road winds through wooded areas and seaside, with plenty of fall colors, across the Cribstone Bridge connecting Orrs to Bailey Islands, and taking you past Cooks Lobster House, well-known for its fine lobster dinners.

You can go the the end of the road (called, appropriately enough, Land’s End) on Bailey’s Island, where you can see in the distance the lighthouse called Halfway Rock Lighthouse. The lighthouse almost appears to be floating on the water, as the rock it sits on is covered at high tide.

Returning on Route 24, watch for Mountain Road and turn left, cutting over to Harpswell and Route 123, to provide a different route back to US-1 via Brunswick, then back to Freeport.

Is it Time for New England Fall Foliage Yet?

August 2, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

Now that July is past, and the prime time for an August getaway has arrived, the news media has begun to talk about summer “drawing to a close” and getting ready for “back to school.”

Here in Maine, it seems that summer has just begun. The guests at this Freeport Maine Bed and Breakfast have been happily touring lighthouses, visiting lobster shacks, and generally enjoying all that Freeport and the coast of Maine have to offer. And all these things will continue through August, and even after “back to school”, throughout September.

That said, while the annual Maine fall foliage color changes won’t begin until about the first of October, it is time to begin to make plans to see it. In addition to checking availability and selecting your room, you should consider just how you will go about viewing the fall color.

One option, of course, would be to just come up here and explore by seeing where the roads lead. Another would be to buy a guide book.

Our suggestion is to try our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package. In addition to two nights at Brewster House, and Ruth’s fantastic breakfasts (a guest today said it was the best breakfast he’d ever had), you’ll also get a self-driving tour of some of our favorite foliage areas, with maps and turn-by-turn directions and commentary (we even include a lighthouse or two). But there’s more! There is also a two-hour cruise on one of Portland Schooner Co.’s antique, Maine-built, schooners, so you can see the foliage along Casco Bay from the water. All this, plus a dinner gift certificate, an L.L. Bean gift card (and a gasoline card to help with the driving costs), and a Maine welcome basket with souvenirs.

With the Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package you’ll see foliage by land and by sea!

This is not your ordinary fall foliage tour!

To expand your fall foliage viewing even more, you can also do as one of our guests did, and drive across Maine to New Hampshire, and enjoy the foliage along the Kancamagus Highway – which is absolutely breathtaking!

However you decide to see the New England fall foliage, we are here to help you with suggestions, maps and directions.

Don’t miss it.

How to Vacation and Save on Gas

April 12, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

With all the news about rising gasoline prices, what could be more timely than special offers from Bed and Breakfasts, including our B&B in Freeport Maine, to help you save on gas prices, while still being able to enjoy your vacation?

Brewster House has several gas-saving packages throughout the 2011 travel season. We’re participating with the Better Way to Stay program, to help travelers enjoy their travel time, without worrying about fuel.

Our Maine Lighthouse Tour package provides a self-guided driving tour, with complete turn-by-turn directions, map, and guidebook, with a $50 gas card to offset some of those driving costs! In addition, you’ll have a two night stay at our delightful Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast, with full, hot, gourmet breakfasts each morning, shopping at L.L. Bean and the Freeport outlets and shops, and a $50 dining gift certificate.

If you’re thinking of vacationing in the fall to see the fall colors, our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package is just what the doctor ordered! Two nights at Brewster House, a $100 gift card to L.L. Bean, a $50 dinner gift card, and a self-guided tour (with guide book and maps) of some of the best fall foliage areas. This special has been called “a steal of a deal” by Smarter Travel.

We also have a scaled-down version, Fall Foliage Lite, which includes two nights, the foliage tour, and a $25 gas card.

Whenever you plan to come, we have a getaway that will help you enjoy your vacation in Maine!

Morning Glorious – the last fling of autumn

October 30, 2010 by Kelleigh Dulany

Every year our red maple across the driveway is the last to turn colors (it began only a couple of days ago), and one of the last to drop its leaves (should be good for another week or so, depending on wind, rain, etc.).

This morning, with the early morning sun coming up on it, the leaves seemed to glow a deep red and orange. What a beauty that tree is!

It is always with a tinge of sadness that we see it turn colors, however, as that is also the sure sign that autumn is nearly over, and winter will soon be here. Of course, the prospect of winter brings its own pleasures!

First, we have Sparkle Weekend, the first weekend in December, with parade, festival, L.L. Bean’s Northern Lights, and more! Then there is all of the traditional Christmas shopping and events, followed by New Year’s Eve and the huge celebration to ring in the new year. And then we start all over again, with January and snow and all that can be done with cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and more!

All that, from one little tree!

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