Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: lighthouse

Who Visits Maine Lighthouses in the Winter?

November 20, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

Who visits Maine lighthouses in the winter? We do!

Before we ever came to Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, we enjoyed visiting and taking photographs of lighthouses – in Maine and elsewhere. After a number of visits to Maine in the Spring, Summer or Fall, we finally made a trip to Maine in the winter. In the back of our minds was the possibility of a light snowfall, and a visit to one of Maine’s beautiful lighthouses to take photos of it. It didn’t quite go according to plan.

On the way north to Maine, we drove into a blizzard in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine that left the roads icy and visibility very poor. At one point we went into the highway median to avoid another car that had lost control – we were very thankful that we escaped unscathed and made it safely to Maine amid considerable snow, in the dark.

The next morning dawned sunny and white, so, undaunted, we headed to Portland Head Lighthouse to see what the snow had left for us. We found a charming winter scene, with a light blanket of snow on the gingerbread keeper’s house, and along the rocks. In the bright sunshine, we were able to take some very nice pictures of a favorite lighthouse, as we had never seen it before!

In addition to the unusual beauty of lighthouses in snow, the Cape Neddick lighthouse (the Nubble) is decorated with white lights for the Christmas season.

Considering a winter lighthouse excursion? How about some early Christmas shopping at Freeport’s outlets and shops? At Brewster House we’re running two specials – our Christmas Shopper from December 9 through 19, and our Wild Winter Getaway for the month of January 2013 – each provides 3 nights for the price of 2!

Get a jump on your Christmas shopping. Check out a lighthouse or three while you’re here!

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

Three Wonderful Days in Freeport!

October 16, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

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

A Clearing Storm at Portland Head Lighthouse

September 11, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

During the busy season in Freeport, Maine (July – October), we rarely get a chance to do our own sightseeing. However, this past Sunday afternoon we did have a couple of hours, so we packed up some camera equipment and headed to one of our favorite nearby lighthouses, Portland Head Lighthouse.

Last Saturday there was a bit of a storm, so we were hoping to see some nice cloud formations and waves. We were not disappointed!

In one of the traditional photo location, just south of the lighthouse, you’ll see (top) the clouds clearing just above the lighthouse. As we walked around Fort Williams Park, we also saw the large waves breaking on the rocks below the lighthouse (middle).

Then we were pleasantly surprised to see one of the antique schooners from Portland Schooner Company make its way past Ram Island Lighthouse, before turning to return to port from its noon sail (some of our guests were aboard!). Portland Schooner supplies the “surf” portion of our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package!

All in all, a lovely day, some nice photos, and a good walk. You should try it!

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

Things to do near Freeport: Lighthouses and Lobster Shacks

August 7, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

Lighthouses and Lobster Shacks – they make a great combination. When sightseeing from a base in Freeport, you can find plenty of Maine lighthouses and lobster shacks, but, even better, you can often find both of them together.

For example, let’s say you are staying at our Freeport Maine bed and breakfast, and you’d like to visit some lighthouses, but would also like to see some lobster shacks and enjoy a wonderful lobster dinner (or two).

After breakfast you might head south to Cape Elizabeth, where you can spend hours at Fort Williams Park, enjoying Portland Head Lighthouse and the museum in its keepers’ house, as well as the old stone house, the two forts (from different eras), the beach, playground, and hiking trails along the bluffs. When you are ready to leave the park, you simply turn left, and enjoy the drive along the water back to Route 77, then proceed to Two Lights, where you can enjoy the double lighthouse, plus Two Lights Lobster Shack, and the wonderful views from it’s perch on a hill. You can walk out the rocks above the water, and even see Portland Head Lighthouse in the distance, on a clear day.

After enjoying a break at Two Lights Lobster Shack, you might return north, taking I-295 to US-1 in Brunswick, then enjoy the drive to Damariscotta, then take Route 130 out the peninsula to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, where you can admire the spectacular views. Afterward, you can return only as far as Route 32, where you’ll find New Harbor, and Shaws Lobster.

As an alternative, you might visit Five Islands Lobster Company, on Georgetown Island. From that lovely location you can watch the lobster boats return with their catch, and enjoy it on the picnic tables on the dock, while gazing across the mouth of the Sheepscot River at Hendricks Head Lighthouse.

Another option, if you go south of Portland, is to find your way to the hidden gem or the area, Cape Porpoise, where you’ll find Pier 77 Restaurant and Grille – not exactly a lobster shack, but a great place for a nice meal (lobster or otherwise), and just offshore is Goat Island Lighthouse.

Still farther south is Cape Neddick Lighthouse (“the Nubble”), and Fox’s Lobster. Cape Neddick is one of Maine’s most photographed lighthouses, and provides a great backdrop while you enjoy your feast!

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

The Secret of Bass Harbor Head Light

July 10, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

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

Maine Lighthouses Near Freeport

February 28, 2012 by Kelleigh Dulany

You may also want to view our newer article, Touring Maine Lighthouses (with Lighthouse Map).

“Where is the nearest lighthouse?” “How long will it take to visit a lighthouse?” “Can we go up in a lighthouse?”

These and other questions are routinely asked by guests at Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport. A couple of years ago we wrote an article introducing some of our favorite lighthouses, and our Maine lighthouse map.

 

As you can see from the small version of the Maine lighthouse map, above, there are actually a number of lighthouses not far from our Freeport Maine bed and breakfast. The nearest ones you can see are off the coast just a little north on US-1, and can be seen from Harpswell Neck or from Bailey Island’s extreme end (called Land’s End), but neither is accessible without a boat. A bit farther up US-1, turning toward the coast from Bath, Maine, there are several small lighthouses along the Kennebec River, and can be seen from either side (from the road to Phippsburg, Maine, or from Georgetown Island), and then there are more lighthouses on islands offshore.

Similar to the smaller lighthouses elsewhere, Portland Harbor has two small lighthouses that can be visited, but the lighthouse most want to see in the Portland area is Portland Head Lighthouse. Commissioned by President George Washington, the lighthouse is the oldest in America, and is beautifully restored. The museum in the keeper’s house is very interesting, and provides wonderful insights into the life of the keeper, and area history. The park is a great place for a picnic, or to just while away the afternoon, watching kites overhead and sailboats on Casco Bay. You can only go up the tower at Portland Head on Maine Open Lighthouse Day, each year in September.

The nearest lighthouse where you can climb the tower is Pemaquid Point, near Bristol, Maine. It is about an hour from Brewster House, and is open whenever there is a volunteer available to assist you, seasonally. This lighthouse stands at the top of a rocky bluff, with ocean waves crashing on the rocks below, making a dramatic place to enjoy the lighthouse and the natural beauty of the area. As the map above indicates, there are many other lighthouses to explore, and quite a few of them are not far from our bed & breakfast. In fact, our Lighthouse Tour special will help you find your way to several of them!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast

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!

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.

Where Do All the Guests Go After Breakfast?

July 21, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

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

Most people who visit our Freeport Maine Bed & Breakfast arrive planning to spend a bit of time shopping at the Freeport outlets and shops, or sightseeing along the Maine coast. However, as happens a few times each year, the other morning found a couple at breakfast who had no idea there was shopping in Freeport, had never heard of L.L. Bean, and didn’t know where all the other guests were going after breakfast!

Where are all the guests going?

Shopping

About 2 out of every 5 guests walking from Brewster House to the Freeport shops and outlets, which begin just about a block from our door. FreeportUSA says there are over 200 shops and restaurants in Freeport, but that number belies the charm of the historic buildings along Main Street.

In addition to L.L. Bean’s campus, which includes four of its stores (all four of these are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week), most of the shops and restaurants are located in historic buildings, dating to the late 1800’s. Even the McDonalds in Freeport is in a house that dates back before 1870. In the midst of all this is Freeport Village Station, which is a modern collection of shops and eateries, built to blend in with the historic buildings around it, and which included the L.L. Bean Outlet, which is the only L.L. Bean store that closes.

Sightseeing

Most of the rest of our guests leave quickly after breakfast to cover as much ground as possible, as they have planned sightseeing trips for the day that will take them to as many as eight lighthouses, at least three beaches, hiking in one of at least five state parks, or even all the way to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park (now that is really a full day of sightseeing!). Our lighthouse map can help you find your way to the Maine lighthouses.

Lobster

Red’s Eats, Wiscasset

Some of our guests just can’t get enough lobster while they’re in Maine (imagine that)!

In addition to Freeport’s own lobster shack on the South Freeport dock, Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster, they will drive south to Kennebunkport to try the Clam Shack (reknowned for its lobster rolls), or north to Wiscasset to sample the rolls at Red’s Eats. Still others will visit Five Islands Lobster Shack, or head for Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, followed by a side trip to Shaws Lobster in New Harbor, or Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse and Two Lights Lobster Shack. Of course, we have a map of Maine lobster shacks, too.

Whatever your interest (and tastes), nearly all our first-time visitors (and more than a few of our returning guests) find that there is more to do than they can possibly fit into just a couple of days. They leave anxious to plan their next visit to Freeport, Maine!

Maine Lighthouse Tour (Part 2)

June 21, 2011 by Kelleigh Dulany

Last week we presented Part 1 of our Lighthouse Tour, heading south from Brewster House B&B in Freeport, Maine, and visiting Portland Head Lighthouse and Cape Elizabeth Light (Two Lights), as well as Cape Neddick Light (The Nubble).

This time we’ll turn to the north and take US-1 an hour or so north to Rockland, where you can optionally visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum. You can also go just a bit farther on US-1, to Camden, to enjoy the beautiful harbor town.

Owls Head Lighthouse

From Rockland, we’ll turn south, toward Owls Head, and visit Owls Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse, standing atop a small hill, but steep enough to require stairs to the top, overlooks Rockland Harbor and Penobscot Bay, providing magnificent views. The lighthouse was lighted in 1825 to help guide mariners safely into Rockland Harbor.

Leaving Owls Head, you may want to stop for a tour of the wonderful Owls Head Transportation Museum, with its antique automobiles, as well as old aeroplanes (all still in working order!) and more. Driving down the peninsula past Spruce Harbor and St. George, there are other lighthouses we can not see – Two Bush Island Light, Tenants Harbor Light, and Whitehead Light – all of which can only be seen from the water (or by air). Next we turn toward Port Clyde and Marshall Point Lighthouse. Be sure to visit the Port Clyde General Store, and view the harbor from their picnic tables (perhaps while eating lunch).

Marshall Point Lighthouse

Marshall Point Lighthouse, marking the entrance to Port Clyde Harbor, was first built in 1832, then rebuilt as it currently stands in 1857. The beautiful setting is popular with photographers, who gather at the site early, awaiting a spectacular sunset opportunity.

Returning to the north, we come to Thomaston, a lovely town with restored Victorian homes, shady trees, and a quaint downtown. Proceeding south on US-1, you’ll pass Moody’s Diner, where you can get almost anything, from a grilled cheese sandwich to a lobster dinner, and their blueberry pie (or ‘most any other you like) is always worth stopping for!

Pemaquid Point Light

At Damariscotta we’ll turn off US-1, pass through the pretty village, and follow Route 130 to the end, where we’ll visit Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. First built and lighted in 1827, the structure wasn’t sound, and was replaced in 1835. There is a magnificent view from the bluff where the lighthouse stands, and you can easily walk down the rocks to view the lighthouse from below. When volunteers are present you can go up in the tower, and there is a museum in the Keeper’s house.

The Cuckholds Light

Returning to Damariscotta and US-1, we can take the turnoff for Route 27 toward Boothbay Harbor, then turn toward West Boothbay and Newagen, where, near the end of Southport Island, we can see The Cuckolds Light. This lighthouse is not well known, and dates from 1892, when it was erected to prevent vessels from running aground on the ledges nearby.

We’ll return after a visit to Boothbay Harbor (and maybe an ice cream cone), taking US-1 south to Brewster House.

Get all the information on our Lighthouse Tour on our specials page.

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