James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast
Amtrak Downeaster to Freeport, Maine – Just $5! 19 Nov 2014, 11:56 am
Amtrak Downeaster to Freeport, Maine – Just $5! You read it right – November 27 & 28, take the train form Boston’s North Station for just $5.00 one way. Shop the many outlets in Freeport, taking advantage of Moonlight Madness and the many offers from over 120 stores, including LL Bean. Most stores will open at 12:01am on Friday, November 28th and will stay open until late Friday evening. Shop the night away, enjoy a snack and hot cup of cocoa or coffee at one of the local cafes, and keep right on shopping! Several trains will offer return fares of $5.00 early Friday morning or later in the day. Travel in style with roomy seats, plenty of room for packages, free Wi-Fi, and the café car aboard the Downeaster. Best part, no driving or parking hassles. Leave the driving to them. Need more than a day to complete your “to do” list? Extend your stay at one of the delightful Bed and Breakfasts here in Freeport. There are a number to choose from, including our James Place Inn. Conveniently located, walk the Freeport village and to all of the restaurants. Drop your packages whenever you need to. Perhaps grab a cup of tea and a fresh-baked cookie available all day in the dining area. Head back out for a great meal at one of the local restaurants. Return to your Bed and Breakfast for a good night’s rest and a full gourmet breakfast the next morning, before setting off for home, packages in tow. Looking to conserve your budget? We have two great consignment shops right here in town, offering clothing, dishware, books, etc. These are fun places to peruse and look for that perfect “find.”
No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it here in Freeport. So what are you waiting for? Check the Amtrak Downeaster schedule and get your ticket for a fun and festive kick off to the holiday season.
Christmas Event in Freeport, Maine: Don’t Miss These Three! 8 Nov 2014, 12:56 pm
Christmas Shopping in Freeport, Maine: Don’t Miss These Three! The holidays can be a crazy and stressful time of year. Take the stress and worry away and have a little fun, too. Head to Freeport, Maine and enjoy the holiday fun and Christmas spirit while you check those items off your gift-giving list.Maine Winter
Freeport has three fun events to put you in the holiday mood. Start with Midnight Madness on November 27th, when all of the stores open up for shopping. The festivities kick off at 11:30pm with a fun run through Freeport. Come chase Santa on his red Harley as he leads the runners along Main Street, working off that Thanksgiving feast! Afterwards, keep your running shoes on as you prepare to hit your favorite stores and scoop up those bargains. Stop for a coffee or hot cocoa, or have a bite to eat throughout the early morning. The bargains and fun will continue throughout the weekend.
Not a Black Friday shopper? Enjoy Freeport’s Sparkle Weekend December 5-7. This is a fun-filled family event not to be missed. The town celebrates the arrival of Santa with a Christmas parade Friday evening at 6pm. Kids have the opportunity to visit with Santa after the parade, Carolers stroll the streets, hot chocolate stands are available. Visit the talking Christmas Tree (always a hit) or enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride through the light-filled streets. This weekend will really get you into the Christmas spirit!
The Northern Lights round out some of the holiday festivities offered in Freeport. View the large Christmas Tree in Discovery Park on the LL Bean campus.Northern Lights at Discovery Park
The tree lights are set to music and are on display several times an hour beginning in late afternoon and continuing on through the evening. This is one of my favorite holiday traditions and I love to catch this display several times a year. Even more fun is to watch the faces of the kids as they take in the display. It is always a crowd pleaser. After the tree and lights, enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride through the streets of Freeport. These festivities are sure to put you into the Christmas spirit.
There are so many fun events to choose from: Midnight Madness, Sparkle Weekend, Northern Lights, craft fairs…the list goes on. Plenty of reasons to make Freeport your go-to place for fun and relaxation while also accomplishing that holiday to-do check list.
Christmas Shopping in Freeport, Maine: Why It’s So Easy! 30 Oct 2014, 2:42 pm
Christmas Shopping in Freeport, Maine: Why It’s So Easy! Shopping for the holidays can be quite a chore. Here in Freeport, things couldn’t be easier when it comes to your shopping list. With over 120 retail and outlet stores, more than 15 restaurants to choose from, the Amtrak Downeaster, and James Place Inn, your Christmas shopping just got a whole lot easier and a lot more fun!
What makes shopping so easy in Freeport? First, you have options for how you plan to get here; drive or take the Amtrak Downeaster’ from Boston.Amtrak Arrives in Freeport
The train arrives several times daily, leaving the driving to someone else. Sit back, relax and organize your list. Arrive refreshed and ready to hit the streets of Freeport. With over 120 stores, where to shop first? LL Bean might be the obvious answer however, they are open 24 hours a day, so save them for last, after the other stores close. Does your list have that hard-to-buy-for person? Head to Wishful Moon on School Street. Wishful Moon has been in Freeport for about eighteen months and is a hit when you are looking for unique gifts made by local artisans right here in Maine. Everything from hand made soaps to body scrubs to one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Freeport also has a number of unique and wonderful jewelry stores to choose from for that special someone on your list. Stores like Cole Haan, Clarks, Nine West, Bass, and more feature all of the latest styles in shoes and handbags. The British Goods Store features unique items from Britain, including specialty food items. Speaking of food, if you are feeling a little hungry yourself after all of this shopping, Freeport has over 15 restaurants to choose from, allowing you to have a smoothie or a full five-course meal, and everything in between.
You have many lodging options to choose from for your stay in Freeport. James Place Inn is conveniently located less than two blocks from LL Bean so that you can walk everywhere, including back to your room to drop off those packages. While you are making that bag drop, grab some homemade cookies and a cup of tea to keep you fortified and ready to head back out.Northern Lights at Discovery Park
When the sun goes down, head over to Discovery Park to see the Northern Lights display. The tree is all ready for Christmas and features a light show to music several times each hour. The decorations are stunning and help to build the holiday mood. Enjoy strolling the streets all lit up for the holidays. Head to one of the local restaurants for dinner and a glass of your favorite beverage as you review your list and check your progress.
With all of the shopping options here in Freeport, this is your one-stop shopping destination. Several places even offer gift wrapping for a small fee or donation. Or head to the local store selling gift wrap and have a wrapping party back in your room. You will head home feeling satisfied and stress-free in knowing that one item is completed and off your holiday “to-do” list. Shopping? Check!
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?