James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast
Brewery Tours in Maine 7 Sep 2014, 3:35 pm
Brewery Tours in Maine. Where are the local breweries and do they offer tours (and samples)? This is a question we are asked often, particularly with the onset of so many breweries opening in the area. For those of you who love beer, we are pleased to say that we have many brew pubs and there are a number of great ways to enjoy a tour and sample beer.
One of the easiest ways to sample some local beer is to head to two top spots right here in Freeport: Gritty’s and Maine Beer Company. Gritty’s originally started in Portland, Maine however, Freeport is a favorite destination. The place serves good pub fare and great beers, including Robin’s favorite Vacationland Ale. (He will proudly tell you he is part of the mug club, has been for three years). The beers rotate, depending upon the season. Also just down the street is Maine Beer Company, open for about one year now and highly popular. I am not a beer drinker and admit to knowing little about the process however, the signature beer at Maine Beer Company, “Peeper,” is a great beer that even I like. It is light, smells of herbs (to me) and goes down very smooth. It is worth a trip to taste this!
For those of you looking for a brewery tour and to do some sampling, there are a number of tours to choose from. One enjoyed by a number of our guests is Maine Beer Tours, www.mainebeertours.com. A number of tours are offered on select days including Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and a Sunday Brunch Tour. Tours leave from Portland’s waterfront and return you here once the tour is finished. The Maine Brew Bus is another fun tour and way to get to a number of breweries. Visit themainebrewbus.com to learn more about the breweries involved and schedules available.
Another popular favorite is Allagash Brewing. Featuring Belgian-style beers, Allagash is committed to making the best Belgian-inspired beers possible. Visit www.allagash.com to learn more about tours and the beers. The tours typically last about one hour and include samples of four beers.
For those beer lovers looking to learn more about your favorite Maine beers, make a trip to Freeport and include at least one of these beer tours as part of your stay. Be sure to buy some to take home or to sip and enjoy on the deck here at James Place Inn. The perfect way to spend a beautiful fall day!
Destination Freeport 20 Aug 2014, 11:51 am
Destination Freeport. Where else? All the benefits of a bigger city without the hassles of traffic and parking. Want to arrive by train? Got that. Check out the Downeaster, arriving daily from Boston and points north. There are often specials running, particularly as the holidays approach and shopping kicks into full gear. (there is a BOGO special now for back-to-school shopping. Check it out).Shopping in Freeport
Want to have a fine dining experience that includes top wines as rated by Wine Spectator? Got that. Azure Café and Maine Dining Room can take care of you. Want casual dining, including a lobster pound, on the waterfront? Got that. Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster is the perfect place to enjoy a lobster roll and fried clams, right on the docks in South Freeport. The view cannot be beat! Want a good burger and a great local beer? Got that. Check out Gritty’s, where all of the locals hang out. Need to do some shopping (ok, maybe you want to do some shopping)? Got that. Freeport is home to over 100 retail and outlet stores, including L.L. Bean. Want hiking, bicycling, water adventures? Got that. Want to put your feet up and catch a movie? Got that. Nordica Theatre offers six screens to choose from. Looking for a great place to stay, where service is second-to-none? Got that, too. James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast has been rated #1 on Trip Advisor for over five years and #1 on Yelp! for just as long. Known for service, hospitality and location, we work hard and will do whatever we can to be sure your stay in Freeport and Maine’s Mid-Coast is enjoyable. With all of this available, and within an easy walk of James Place Inn, make your destination Freeport. Why not?Destination Freeport Amtrak in Freeport Winslow Park Maine Dining Room Gritty’s
Lighthouses and Lobsters 26 Jul 2014, 1:36 pm
Lighthouses and Lobsters – the perfect Maine combination. Add a warm and sunny day, of which we have been having many, and you are ready to go. One of our favorite lobster shacks is right here in South Freeport, Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster, names after the Harraseeket River. It sits on the public docks in South Freeport (also called “SoFree” for “South Freeport”). This lobster shack features large family-style picnic tables as well as a dining counter that offers a great view of the boats coming in and out. Choose from a lobster roll or a full lobster dinner. And be sure to save room to try the blueberry pie – delicious!First lit in 1791 and considered the most photographed lighthouse in the world!
Another favorite place for lobster is The Lobster Shack at Two Lights. Besides great lobster rolls (I am all about the lobster roll; all the benefit without all of the work!), the view is spectacular. Not only is this lobster shack located along the beautiful rocky coast of Cape Elizabeth but it also offers a great view of Portland Headlight. Portland Headlight was first lit in 1791 and is considered to be the most photographed lighthouse in the world. What could be better than having your lobster while enjoying this view! Be sure to visit Portland Headlight as it is one of the few lighthouses you can actually enter. There is also a museum to visit while you are here.
Heading north along the mid-coast is the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse was first constructed in 1827. Located in Bristol, Maine, Pemaquid Point is surrounded by stunning park grounds. This is a perfect place to pack a picnic lunch (lobster – what else?!) and enjoy the day taking in the sites, scenery, and sun.Morning Light
Be sure to check out our Lighthouse and Lobster Package. We will provide you with the map, a special lighthouse souvenir map with all of the information and history, that is your to keep. And we will point out the best lobster shacks for you to visit along the way.
Visiting Freeport, Maine in August 16 Jul 2014, 5:30 pm
Visiting Freeport, Maine in August. There is still plenty of summer to be had! Don’t let it slip away without a visit to Maine. There is plenty to do, or nothing at all if you just need a break from everything. Hit the beaches of Maine. There are quite a number to choose from within a short drive of Freeport, depending upon what you like and what you are looking for. Maybe you want to hike. We have that, too. Again, a number of great parks exist between 10-15 minutes of Freeport. Bicycles are available for rent and there are great places to ride bikes around Freeport.Maine-check it out!
Looking to get on the water? We can make several recommendations. The Schooner Alert sails out of Bailey Island. It is a beautiful drive, about 25 minutes, and the sail is a great experience. Grab a picnic lunch and bottle of wine and you are ready to go. How about a ride aboard a lobster boat, the Atlantic Seal, to Admiral Perry’s Eagle Island (first person to the North Pole). Captain Tom has an amazing amount of experience to share and even pulls a lobster trap along the way. Make it complete with a lobster roll at Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster. Now that is a great day!
Another great experience is to take a ferry out of Portland and check out the islands of Casco Bay. See Portland Head Light and Bug Light from the water. Looking for Lighthouses? We have plenty of those to see! Check out our “Lighthouse and Lobsters” package.Maine Lobster
We will help you plan your route and make sure you have your fill of lobster.
Another great experience is the LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School. For just $20.00/person you can experience Standup Paddleboarding (SUP), Kayaking, Fly Fish Casting, Archery, and Clay Shooting. All instruction and equipment is included. What a great value and vacation memory!
Top 10 Experiences of Mid-Coast Maine 14 Jul 2014, 1:19 pm
Top 10 Experiences of Mid-Coast Maine
- Hit The Water: There is no better way to experience Maine’s scenery and coastline than being on the water. This can be anything from a classic windjammer schooner, Atlantic Seal Cruises of Freeport, kayaking with LL Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools, or a Mail Ferry from Portland Harbor. However you decide to experience the water, get out and enjoy the experience and the views.
- Beaches: Mid-Coast Mane has some of the prettiest beaches you will see anywhere, period. Our favorite is Popham Beach, part of a State Park that is unspoiled and well maintained. The beach is sandy, about 1 1/2 miles long, and has a number of small islands you can walk to and explore when the tide is out. Reid State Park offers another fabulous beach with a totally different experience, opening at the East end of the Kennebec River. Another favorite is Crescent Beach of South Portland.
- Lighthouses: Maine boasts many lighthouses along our beautiful coast. We are conveniently situated to put you within easy reach to several of the top ones in the state. Cape Neddick Light in York is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country, along with Portland Head and Two Lights, both of Cape Elizabeth. Pemaquid Point Light is less than an hour east of Freeport and is not to be missed on your lighthouse tour. Looking for a Lighthouse Tour Package? Check ours out, including a great souvenir lighthouse map from Delorme.
- Lobster Shacks: So many to choose from! Our own Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster here in Freeport is always a crowd pleaser. Red’s Eats in Wiscasset is among the most famous in Maine and Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth is another favorite. Many guests are on a “lobster tour” as they work their way through Maine!
- Museums: Weather keeping you in? No worries! The Maine Maritime Museum is a great place to spend the day as you explore the history of ship building and enjoy a trolley tour. The Portland Museum of Art offers wonderful exhibits, rotating about every four months. The Victoria Mansion in Portland offers a glimpse into the past as you tour this beautiful historic home, dating to pre-Civil War times. The Christmas holidays are especially beautiful when the house is decked out in its finest.
- Outdoor Adventure: While Freeport is known for shopping, we would be remiss if we didn’t say that there is So Much More here! Hiking, biking, paddleboarding, cross-country, fishing…the possibilities are limited only by your interests!
- Concerts, Music, Theatre: This is huge in Maine! Local bands, national and international artists all find their way here. LL Bean hosts Summer in the Park and includes 6-8 acts every summer, ranging from folk to rock to blues. Bowdoin College is home to Maine State Music Theatre and features four productions each summer. Bowdoin International Music Festival is also located here for five weeks each summer. World class theatre and music just 15 minutes from Freeport. Looking for more? Portland activities offer music and theater every weekend in a variety of venues, too much to list here!
- Shopping: Need we say more? LL Bean and 150 more stores await the avid shopper. And if you enjoy antiquing, there is antiquing aplenty in the area!
- Eating: Maine has hit it big on the food scene in the past few years. Farm to Table can be found here in Freeport, numerous places in Portland, and at many amazing restaurants as you move up the coast. For those who enjoy more casual dining, we have that, too. Some of our favorite places are what I call “joints.” They are fun and casual places that offer great food and atmosphere, several farm to table as well.
- Strolling: There is something to be said for a nice stroll with beautiful scenery on a lazy summer day. Winslow Park is one of my favorite places, watching the water and boats. The Eastern Promenade in Portland is a beautiful place for an evening walk, following the contours of the water and Munjoy Hill section to take in the beautiful homes.
Summer In Maine 30 Jun 2014, 8:13 am
Summer In Maine.Can you smell the salt air?
It has arrived, and what could be better? Long days stretching before us with nothing to do but relax and enjoy them (well, at least for our guests)! We are enjoying the start of the season here in Freeport and the opportunity to greet old friends and make new ones. We continue to say, after almost eight years as Innkeepers, that meeting new people is the best part of our job. People from all over the world come to Freeport, Maine and the James Place Inn. Perhaps they are on vacation, visiting family, or maybe passing through on business. No matter the reason, many have been wanting to come to Maine, and Freeport, for years. They have seen pictures in magazines, read about it in books, or maybe heard stories from a friend. The comments are always about how beautiful Maine is. We have beaches, mountains, hundreds of miles of coastline, lighthouses, lobsters…the list of things to see and experiences to have is endless.
One of my favorite things to do is stare at the water and smell the salt air. Sounds crazy, perhaps a little boring, but it has such a calming quality to it. The ocean is but one mile from Freeport and has one of my favorite lobster shacks, Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster (www.harraseeketlunchandlobster.com). It is a great place to sit and have a bite and recharge your batteries. The scenery is beautiful and the lobster could not be more fresh. The smell of the salt air is the perfect accompaniment to lobster and leaves you ready to tackle the rest of the day.
Still looking to plan your summer vacation? Whether it is a week or two or a day or two, make your way to Maine. There is so much waiting for you. Freeport is an ideal location as there are many things to do within a one hour radius of here. Take a little break from the city and the daily chores. Set your sites on Freeport, Maine. Summer in Maine. Waiting for you.
Summer In The Park 23 Jun 2014, 8:13 am
Summer In The Park. L.L. Bean Discovery Park, that is. We at James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast are fortunate to live in Freeport, home and headquarters to L.L. Bean. L.L. Bean is a great company and very generous to the visitors and those living in the community. One of the great things they do is Summer in the park. July 4th weekend kicks off the various activities taking place throughout the summer, starting with the Freeport Parade Friday, July 4th in the morning. Later that evening, the concert series kicks off with “Toad The Wet Sprocket” at 7:30pm, followed by fireworks at about 9:00pm. The events continue throughout the weekend, with “FAQ: A Circus Collective” Saturday, July 5th at 7:30pm. This contemporary circus company, featuring graduates from the prestigious National Circus School of Montreal, specializes in creative improvisation. The show will include an impressive combination of trapeze, acrobatics, juggling, contortion, wire walking, clowning, dance and theater. Free fun for the whole family and sure to please!
There are concerts and activities every weekend through Labor Day. And the best part? James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast is located just one block away! Park your car, grab your lawn chairs (or borrow ours) and you are off for free fun and entertainment.
Part of Summer in the Park includes the Freeport Farmers’ Market. This runs every Friday afternoon, starting June 13th and running through September 12th from 1-5pm. Enjoy local offerings of fruits and vegetables, delicious baked goods, handmade items and more. This is a fun place to stroll and perhaps pick up some fresh berries for snacking or a treat to take home. (Strawberries are just coming into season – yum)!
Make your plans to come enjoy this fabulous (and free) entertainment happening right here in Freeport, Maine. A night under the blue skies of Maine, music, fireworks…what could be better?
Celebrate Life at James Place Inn 18 Jun 2014, 8:11 am
The marriage was something really special. The rains passed hours before the special celebration took place, with vows exchanged at a small park with a perfect wooded path tucked into the trees. The couple was beautiful and perfectly relaxed as they exchanged vows. We were lucky enough to be witness to such a special day.
There are so many events to celebrate every day. The next time you have a birthday, anniversary, or “just because” occasion, make James Place Inn part of your plans. We will work with you to plan that surprise and really help to make a memory.Relaxing in the hammock
Stay, Sail and Dine at James Place Inn 10 Jun 2014, 8:09 am
Stay, Sail and Dine at James Place Inn. Summer has arrived! Finally! (Just had to add that as it has been a long time coming). We are having days in the low 70’s and nights in the low-to-mid 50’s. Perfect temperatures in my book. Why not take advantage of these picture perfect days and head to Freeport before the busy months of July and August set in? Our Stay, Sail, Dine Package is the perfect package for everyone, combining outdoor experience with food and shopping. (Not a shopper? Let us know and we will customize the package for you). The package allows you to enjoy a sail in scenic Casco Bay aboard a classic windjammer. Portland Schooner is host to two beautiful windjammers, Bagheera and Wendameen. These classic boats sail Casco Bay and include views of Portland Head Light and Bug Light. After sailing, enjoy dinner at one of our favorite Freeport restaurants, Azure Café. Top all of this off with a shopping spree to LL Bean. Not a shopper? Looking for more outdoor adventure? The gift card can be deleted from this package or used at the LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School. The Outdoor Discovery School allows you to experience a number of different sports. Choose from kayaking, fly fish casting, archery, clay shooting, or stand up paddle boarding. All of these fun adventures take place less than ten minutes from James Place Inn.
Wedding Venues in Freeport, Maine 2 Jun 2014, 3:36 pm
Wedding Venues in Freeport, Maine. There are many to be had in this beautiful state. Depending upon your tastes and the size of your wedding, you might be after a hotel ballroom, country club, or yacht club. A big trend these days are casually elegant farm and barn weddings. We are pleased to be partnering with a new wedding venue in Pownal, just ten minutes from Freeport.
William Allen Farm (www.williamallenfarm.com). What a beautiful and special place. We have known Heidi and Al for quite a few years and have always enjoyed their company. Hard working, kind and wonderful people. We were a bit skeptical when they announced that they were “remodeling the barn to host weddings and events.” Having seen it, we are believers. We would get married here if we weren’t already married. The barn is a thing of beauty (I love old barns). The work has been done by Al and Heidi – wonderful craftsmanship that is hard to find any more. It really is elegant in the understated fashion: high beams, chandeliers for lighting with wall sconces to match; a long aisle for the bride, and bridal party, to make an entrance that then opens out to a beautiful lawn with a pond and fire pit, and views of the rolling hills. Heidi’s beautiful gardens and “Boom Boom the cat” complete the picture.
A separate area for the caterers has been set up, complete with electrical and doors large enough to bring in the equipment for a lobster bake, if you like. A list of vendors is already developed, with more being added. All of this, just ten minutes from Freeport.
Heidi has great taste and creative ideas for decorating. Over the years, she has collected many items that you can rent for your barn wedding, including mason jars with bale wire (perfect for hanging floral arrangements), baskets, a roll-top desk for your guest book and a great wheel barrow for gifts. She has plenty of other great ideas. Just ask!
James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast is the perfect spot for you and your wedding party, your family or your guests to stay. We have seven guest rooms here and you are easily able to walk to all shopping and restaurants. This is especially handy when you have not rented a car for the event, choosing to carpool with others instead. We can help with recommendations of things for your guests to do in the area, spas, restaurants…whatever you might need.
Looking for that special wedding venue? Check out William Allen Farm, and stay at James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast. You will be glad you did!