James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast

11 Holbrook Street, Freeport, Maine 04032
Innkeeper(s): Tori & Robin Baron
 

Spring Arriving to Freeport, Maine 15 Apr 2015, 11:37 am

Spring Arriving to Freeport, Maine

Spring has finally arrived here in Freeport, Maine.  After the long harsh winter, I think we are all ready to welcome it and enjoy being outdoors in the sun.  Despite receiving a few inches of snow just one week ago, the past four days have produced temperatures in the 60’s and all of our snow is gone!  We have had a slow melt and little rain, resulting in essentially no mud season.  If you have been wanting to make a visit, spring is an ideal time to be in Freeport.

Wolfe’s Neck Farm

The warm sun invites you to enjoy a walk about the town, perusing the shops and enjoying a bite to eat.  Take the opportunity to update your spring and summer wardrobe with our more than 120 shops to choose from.  Once you have had enough shopping (or if you are not a shopper), enjoy a nice walk at one of the surrounding parks.  Choose from our town Winslow Park (one of my favorite spots as the views of Casco Bay are spectacular), Wolfe’s Neck State Park, or Bradbury Mountain.  All offer great views, all of them different.  If you visit Wolfe’s Neck State Park, be sure to stop by Wolfe’s Neck Farm to visit the newly arrived lambs.  Having grown up on a farm, the arrival of the new baby lambs always reminds me of spring.  They are so cute and fun to watch.

If you are in search of a new bicycle, the L.L. Bean bicycle weekend is coming up.  Hundreds of bikes are available to choose from and take for a short test spin.  There are often sales to accompany this promotion, so check out their web site.  Also, take the opportunity to check out the Outdoor Discovery School.  Perhaps your Freeport weekend is a good time to try fly fish casting (their pond is finally thawed) or stand up paddle boarding.  Whatever you choose, it is sure to be fun and offer new adventures, plus it gets you moving outdoors and enjoying this beautiful spring weather.  Whatever your reason, plan to spend a weekend in Freeport and your stay with us here at James Place Inn, a great way to herald in spring!

Wolfe’s Neck State Park Winslow Park

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Girlfriend’s Getaway Weekend June, 2015 7 Apr 2015, 6:13 am

Girlfriend’s Getaway Weekend June, 2015

It has been one long winter and I think we are all looking for an excuse to get out, take a break, and enjoy spring.  What could be better than grabbing your BFF, or two or six, and heading to Freeport for a weekend of catching up, shopping, dining and trying something new. Girlfriend’s Getaway Weekend is happening in Freeport June 5-7, 2015.  The weekend coincides with the Maine Women’s Ride and L.L. Bean Paddle Fest.  The Paddle Fest is a really fun event and a great way for you and your friends to get out and try something new.  Events include Standup Paddle Boarding and Kayaking.  Try your had at the Paddle Boarding and you will be hooked!  The events are situated on Casco Bay and provide a great activity and a chance to be out on the water enjoying the sites.  Kayaking is another opportunity to explore the Maine coast from the water.  Both of these water sports are free for the weekend and offered by L.L. Bean. There will be plenty of other activities going on throughout Freeport as well, stay tuned for exact details.

Girls Wanna Have Fun

Freeport offers world-class shopping and dining as well.  There are over 120 stores and outlets to choose from, including specialty boutiques such as Jill McGowan and Rapid River.  There are styles and options for everyone, making it easy to do your spring and summer shopping here in Freeport.  For those of you really on the ball, start your Christmas shopping early.  Need a break from the shopping?  Hit one of the many dining options including everything from a lobster shack on the docks to fine dining at an award-winning restaurant.

James place Inn is the ideal place to stay while enjoying your girlfriend weekend.  The location is ideal for parking your car and walking to all shopping and dining.  In addition, we are offering you your choice of a bottle of Prosecco and box of local hand-made chocolates OR a $25.00 gift card to Azure Café (www.azurecafe.com) to enjoy lunch or dinner (one gift per room).  Have a number of BFFs coming to Freeport?  Book two or more rooms for two consecutive nights and receive 10% off each room.  What more do you need?  Reserve your rooms now and look forward to reconnecting with your friends!

Never Too Old for a PJ Party!

 

innkeeper

Things To Do IN Portland, Maine 2 Apr 2015, 6:23 am

Things To Do IN Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is an easy 20 minutes from Freeport (just south on I-295), making Freeport an ideal location to base out of.  Many of our guests like the relative quiet and charm of Freeport but also want to see sights in Portland.

Tall Ship Eagle

One must-see event happening in Portland this summer is the Tall Ships. It is the first tall ships festival for Portland in 15 years.  The event will take place over three days on Portland’s scenic waterfront.  The Coast Guard barque Eagle is among eight tall ships set to parade through Portland Harbor on July 18th and dock on the waterfront.  This is a particularly unique event in that you will be able to view these vessels up close, to go aboard and meet the crew, and to step into our living maritime history.

The Portland event will feature 4 of the 40 Class A tall ships currently operating.  In addition to the 295-foot Eagle, also in Portland Harbor will be the Oliver Hazard Perry, a 210-foot square-rigger out of Newport, Rhode Island; the 179-foot Picton Castle, a three-masted barque based in Lunenberg, Noa Scotia; and the 180-foot El Galeon out of Seville, Spain.  Other smaller ships will be in port for the weekend.  Portland is the final stop on the 2015 Tall Ships Challenge, a series of races in which tall ships crewed by young people are pitted against each other in a friendly competition.

Tours of the Eagle will be free and a single fee of $15.00 will cover the cost of tours of all of the other tall ships.  Some of the proceeds will go toward youth sail training, and education – a great way to support our local youths.  Make your plans now to visit these majestic beauties and enjoy the Maine coast.  We are looking forward to this event!

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Where to Stay in Freeport, Maine 25 Mar 2015, 6:13 am

Where to Stay in Freeport, Maine

You have many options when choosing where to stay in Freeport, Maine.  There are chain hotel properties, family owned hotel properties, camp grounds, pet-friendly properties…and then there are bed and breakfasts.

When thinking of bed and breakfasts, you often think of someone’s home converted into individual sleeping quarters, perhaps sharing a bathroom.  Not so here in Freeport.  Think of an experience more like a relaxed yet intimate boutique hotel.  For instance, James Place Inn offers seven guest rooms, all with a private bath, some with Jacuzzi tubs.  Each room is uniquely decorated and has its own “personality.”  Several rooms offer skylights, one has a tucked-away mini kitchen, another a wood burning fireplace and private deck.  The rooms are well appointed with waters, custom made soaps, shampoo/conditioner, and chocolates by your bed.  The in house DVD library lets you help yourself to the over 150 titles anytime, making viewing in the privacy of your room a pleasure.

Service is a distinguishing feature when looking at where to spend your hard earned vacation time.  You want to be at a place that takes care of you but doesn’t hover or interfere.  This is exactly the attention you will find at James Place Inn.  While the owners are just steps away, they have a private residence so that you are not sleeping in the room next door in someone’s home.  Guests enjoy the privacy of the inn, as well as knowing that the owners are available to answer questions, help with reservations, and bake those awesome fresh cookies in the afternoons.

Fresh Cookies!

Never stayed at a bed and breakfast?  Now is the ideal time to give one a try.  Individually appointed rooms, great hospitality and friendliness, great food, and ideal location make James Place Inn, as well as several other bed and breakfasts, the ideal place for you to explore the Maine coast for your summer vacation.

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Best Day Trips From Freeport, Maine 16 Mar 2015, 4:11 am

Best Day Trips From Freeport, Maine

Best Day Trips From Freeport, Maine

While Freeport is often known for its shopping, don’t let this fool you.  There is plenty to do for you non-shoppers as well.  Freeport is centrally located, offering many options within an easy 45-minute drive.  A few suggestions:

  1. Popham Beach – a favorite spot any time of year as this is one of the prettiest beaches I have seen anywhere.  With about 1 1/2 miles of beautiful sandy beach, this is a great walking spot.  Explore the fort or, when the tide is out, walk out to one of the small islands to explore the horseshoe crabs and periwinkles in the water.  Just be sure to be back before the tide rolls in!
  2. Botanical Gardens – located on the Boothbay Harbor peninsula, these gardens have been rated #2 in the country and are worth the 45-minute drive.  The gardens are open year-round and are constantly changing with the seasons.  There are paths leading down to the water for you to stroll and enjoy.  There is also a fabulous children’s garden, great for us big kids as well!
  3. Wolfe’s Neck State Park and Bradbury Mountain State Park – within 5-10 minutes of Freeport, enjoy a fun hike and spectacular views.  Wolfe’s Neck offers beautiful views of Casco Bay and the Osprey nests (and it will soon be that time again) while Bradbury Mountain provides more challenging hiking routes and views over the countryside.  Both are worth a visit.  Pack a snack or picnic lunch and go enjoy.
  4. Bailey Island – if you want to see a quintessential lobster community, this is it.  A short but beautiful drive from Freeport lie Orr and then Bailey Island.  Bailey Island opens straight to the Atlantic and is so picturesque.  Connecting Orr to Bailey Island is the only Crib Stone Bridge left standing in the world.  Walk about the bit of shore, enjoy a lobster roll and take a sail aboard Schooner Alert.  The water is one of the best ways to really see the shore and landscape.  This is one of our favorite areas to send guests.
  5. Lighthouses – your trip to Maine is not complete without lighthouses!  Portland, just 20 minutes to the south of Freeport, affords some of the best lighthouses.  Portland Head is a favorite.  Situated in Fort Williams Park, worth the trip alone, is one of the most photographed in the country and one of the few with a museum open to the public.  Two Lights and Portland Bug Light are close by, so check them out while you are here.
  6. Maine Maritime Museum – located in Bath, 20 minutes to the north of Freeport.  Ship building is part of Maine’s history, dating back to the 1600’s when the King of England sent slaves and army personnel to Maine to collect masts and build ships.  This, and more, including the lobstering of Maine, can be seen and enjoyed at the Maine Maritime Museum.  Situated on the beautiful Kennebec River, and next door to Bath Iron Works, explore this side of Maine’s heritage through trolley tours, boat building, and more.
  7. LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School – with options to suit everyone, this is a fun way to explore the Maine outdoors.  Summer courses include kayaking (including a sunset kayak experience on Casco Bay), standup paddle boarding, fly fish casting, archery, and clay shooting while winter sports offer snowshoeing and cross country skiing.  Offered several times each day and including all instruction and equipment for just $20/person.   Try something new and enjoy the fun.
Garden Path at Botanical Gardens

You get the picture here…Freeport is so much more than shopping.  We have many more great places we enjoy sending people, depending upon what you enjoy and what you are looking for.  Robin is great with suggesting motorcycle rides with spectacular views, being a rider himself.  We also have mapped routes for bicycle riders, both challenging as well as flatter routes.  Let us know what we can do to help you make the most of your Maine vacation.  We love to help!

Crib Stone Bridge, Bailey Island Kayaking Casco Bay at Sunset Lobster Roll!

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10 Family Activities in Freeport, Maine 19 Feb 2015, 9:34 am

10 Family Activities in Freeport, Maine

10 Family Activities in Freeport, Maine.

  1. Visit Winslow Park – just eight minutes from James Place Inn sits a gem on Casco Bay.  Winslow Park is a peninsula offering amazing views, trails to walk, and a small beach area as well.  Great for a picnic and family fun.
  2. Hike Wolfe’s Neck State Park or Bradbury Mountain State Park.  Both offer amazing views, one of the water, the other out over the countryside.  Visiting in winter?  Both are great places to practice your snowshoeing.
  3. Take a lobster boat to Eagle Island.  Atlantic Seal offers excursions daily, leaving from South Freeport docks.  Enjoy a ride with Captain Tom to Eagle Island, home of Admiral Perry, discoverer of the North Pole.  Enjoy the museum on the island, have a picnic lunch and explore.  The views are amazing.
  4. Try your hand at kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, archery, clay shooting or fly fish casting through LL Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School.  Just $20/person gets you instruction and equipment.  Visiting in the winter?  Check out the cross country skiing and snowshoeing options available.
  5. Depending on the age of your kids, “Smudge” is a great art studio in town that lets kids get creative, and messy!  Finger painting, clay, or my favorite, shaving cream “painting” are available, among other things.  An easy walk from James Place Inn and rates by the hour.  There is even an area for the adults to relax in while you organize the rest of your day.
  6. Head to Boothbay Harbor, about 45 minutes away, and take in a whale watching excursion or a Puffin ride.  This is a great way to get on the water and see some of Maine’s beautiful coast line.
  7. Did you know LL Bean does free concerts in the park during the summer?  Beginning July 4th weekend and running through Labor Day weekend, LL Bean offers free concerts on Saturday evenings.  Music covers all tastes from bluegrass to pop to folk, and everything in between.  Come check it out – it is a lot of fun and it is free!
  8. Beaches, beaches, beaches.  We have some of the best beaches anywhere, many within 30 minutes of Freeport.  Popham Beach continues to be our favorite any time of year.  Even the winter provides a beautiful walk and views straight out to the ocean.
  9. Schooner and windjammer excursions – another great way to get on the water.  Although schooner rides depart from many areas, our favorite is the Schooner Alert, leaving out of Bailey Island.  The views are spectacular, as is the ride.  And there are several great spots to enjoy lobster once your ride is over.  Or get lobster rolls to go and take them with you for a picnic lunch on the water.
  10. Lighthouses – Maine is home to over 50 lighthouses, six of which are within 30 minutes of Freeport.  Enjoy a piece of history, spectacular views, and all of those great lobster shacks often located by the lighthouses.
  11. OK, there is still more to do!  Shopping – Freeport is known for shopping, both retail and outlet.  LL Bean is always a draw however Freeport features some unique boutiques for that special souvenir.

There is plenty to do in and around Freeport.  Whether staying for one day, four days, or seven days, we can find plenty of fun activities to keep the family busy and well entertained.

Eagle Island Winslow Park Kayaking Casco Bay at Sunset Sun sets on the Lighthouse

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Things To Do In Freeport, Maine: Five of our Favorites! 10 Feb 2015, 11:59 am

Things To Do In Freeport, Maine: Five of our Favorites!

Things To Do In Freeport, Maine: Five of our Favorites!

  1. Hike/Walk Our Parks – Choose from three favorites: Wolfe’s Neck State Park, Bradbury Mountain State Park, and Winslow (town park).  Wolfe’s Neck and Winslow offer fabulous water views while Bradbury has great panoramic views, all the way to Mt. Washington on a clear day!
  2. LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School – try something new!  The Outdoor Discovery School is the best value around.  For just $20.00/person, you can experience kayaking, paddle boarding, archery, fly fish casting and clay shooting in the summer and fall or experience cross country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter.  All equipment and instruction is included.  Sign up online or at the LL Bean flagship store.
  3. Food!  One of our favorite is heading down to the water (seasonal) to the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster.  Enjoy a traditional lobster dinner (with steamed clams), a lobster roll, or fried clams.  The views cannot be beat as you look across at the yacht club, Wolfe’s Neck peninsula, and out to the area islands.  It is also BYOB, so stop at the local Maine Brewing, pick up some local beer, and head down for a great meal.  Save room for the blueberry pie!  Looking for something besides seafood?  There are plenty of great options to choose from right here in town, easy walking distance from James Place Inn.
  4. Bicycling – there are numerous routes to choose from that offer wonderful scenic views (and some challenging hills, if you like).  Bicycles are available to rent locally and we have maps available to send you on your way.  Your trip can take you to the water’s edge or to Brunswick, the next town to the north of Freeport, or anywhere in between.  Pack a picnic lunch and set off for the day to explore the area.
  5. Shopping, of course.  Freeport is known for its outlet shopping as well as the specialty shops and Farmer’s Market available for your perusal.  Find fabulous blouses at Jill McGowan or local specialty items made in Maine.  Whatever you are looking for, you are sure to find it at the more than 140 stores here in Freeport.

    The Great White Shirt

There is so much more, including museums, schooner rides, whale watches, botanical gardens…all within an hour of Freeport.   So much to see and do, you will need several days to take it all in.

 

innkeeper

Freeport, Maine Restaurants: Some of our Favorites 1 Feb 2015, 9:43 am

Freeport, Maine Restaurants: Some of our Favorites

Freeport, Maine restaurants: some of our favorites

We are fortunate to have many options when it comes to dining in Freeport.  After eight and one half years here, we have our favorite spots that consistently offer great service and great food.

Azure Café continues to be our personal favorite.  There is something for everyone at this intimate restaurant with minimal décor.  While noted for seafood, including the best calamari I have ever had, the menu extends to pasta and great locally sourced beef.   Robin does not eat seafood, so he tends to go for the beef or perhaps the pork tenderloin.  When fall rolls around, the Butternut Squash Ravioli is my favorite.  The restaurant also features a great wine list and is known for some of the custom drinks.

Petrillo’s is another favorite.  This casual dining spot is housed in the old rail station and is located directly across from the movie theaters, making it very convenient for date night!  The atmosphere is casual and the food is good.  The owner, Dom, can often be seen in the kitchen.  The soups here are delicious, including the Tomato Bisque.   The mussels are delicious, as are the Panini sandwiches, pastas…it’s all good!  Consistently good food at a good price with good service.

The Corsican Restaurant is often missed as it sits on Mechanic Street, about one-half block from Main Street.  This is however, a great locally owned place that offers good food in a very casual atmosphere.  The soups are one of my favorite things here, although the sandwiches are very good.  The lobster rolls here are some of the best in town.  In the evening, the food turns to home-cooked pastas and seafood offerings.  This is a great spot for a simple and reasonably priced meal.

Mediterranean Grill was delicious when we had it at an event hosted there the other week.  The hummus and warm pita bread were delicious, the falafel crispy outside, soft inside, the bean salad perfect.  It was all so delicious.  The atmosphere is warm and inviting and the staff friendly.  This is a great place for vegetarians, meat eaters and those who enjoy authentic Mediterranean food.

Gritty McDuff’s is always a favorite local hangout.  For those of you who enjoy good local brews, this is it.  The food is good pub food, the service friendly.  This is a great family-friendly restaurant, especially in the summer when the kids can hang out on the outdoor playground.

Buck’s Naked BBQ – if you like BBQ, this is your place!  Called “naked” as it is dry rubbed and smoked right on the premises.  There are then a number of sauces you can choose from to add on your own.  The Blueberry BBQ sauce is awesome, offering just enough heat.  The onion rings are a must and the pulled-pork sandwich is one of my favorites.  If you go, the portions are very generous so start small.  You can always order more!

Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster (seasonal) is a must for those seeking a good lobster roll or fried clams.  It is about three miles from Freeport and sits on the town’s working docks, offering fabulous water views to Wolfe’s Neck.  If you are here in-season and want lobster, this is the place to go.  It is even BYOB, so stop and pick up your favorite along the way.  And save room for blueberry pie!

There are more places to dine, too numerous to list here.  No matter your taste, there is something for everyone when in comes to dining in Freeport.  We will happily help you find yours!

 

 

innkeeper

Freeport Maine Hotels: Why A Bed and Breakfast Is Better! 19 Jan 2015, 5:35 am

Freeport Maine Hotels: Why A Bed and Breakfast Is Better!

Freeport Maine Hotels: Why A Bed and Breakfast is Better!

  1. Personalized Service – we are the owners and the operators.  We pride ourselves on service and creating a great experience for you.
  2. Unique Properties – ever wake up in “another hotel” and wonder where you are because they all look the same?  All seven of our rooms are uniquely different, offering their own personality.
  3. Gourmet Breakfast – we prepare everything from scratch and work to source as many things locally as possible.  No prepackaged food here.
  4. Freshly baked snacks – the cookie jar is always full!
  5. Concierge Service – we are here to help before and during your stay.  Looking for places to go hiking, kayaking, shopping, dining…you name it, we can usually find it.
  6. Packages designed for you – if you are looking to help surprise that special someone, we have packages designed for you.  Looking for something different?  Let us know and we will work with you on that, too.
  7. Nice people – bed and breakfasts attract nice people.  Our guests are great!
  8. Great location  – due to the smaller size of our bed and breakfasts, we are situated into the neighborhood and are part of the town, convenient to local attractions.
  9. Hang where the locals hang – want to know where the locals go for great seafood, or where the best beach in Maine is?  Who better to ask than us, the ones who live and work here.
  10. Did I mention personalized service?  We truly love what we do and we are here for you.

I realize a bed and breakfast is not for everyone.  Some people like the anonymity of a larger hotel property and many families like the indoor swimming pool.  However, if you are looking for that romantic getaway or your goal is to try something new, give us a call.  After one experience, most people are hooked!

 

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Flavors of Freeport – February 20-22, 2015 10 Jan 2015, 9:53 am

Flavors of Freeport – February 20-22, 2015

Flavors of Freeport, sponsored by FreeportUSA and presented by the Hilton Garden Inn, features the Chef’s Signature Series and Flavors Ice Bar, in an event showcasing chefs and food producers in the Freeport area. Enjoy delicious samples from some of Maine’s best chefs, sample local brews and beverages, and learn about what’s new in Freeport. Best of all, the great variety will leave you delighted and coming back to Freeport for more! The Flavors Ice Bar features an ice luge, cozy fire pit, delicious BBQ, and a DJ to get you moving!

The Chef’s Signature Series is from 5:00pm to 8pm.  Freeport’s finest chefs and top food artisans prepare award winning tastes of their best dishes to showcase their culinary skill and style. Plus, sip local hand-crafted beer, wine and spirits compliments of Maine purveyors!

The Ice Bar also takes place from 5:00pm to 8:00pm: The ice bar features a martini luge, ice sculptures, roaring fires, and groovy tunes. Bundle up in your warmest winter wear and enjoy a night of festivities outside with family and friends, sipping on your favorite beverage and sampling delicious Buck’s Naked BBQ!

Tickets to Flavors of Freeport offers access to both the Ice Bar and Chef’s Signature Series (21 years and older, please be ready to present ID at the door) and are yours free when you stay Friday and Saturday nights, February 20-22, 2015, at James Place Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Make your reservation and mention “Flavors of Freeport” tickets and we will make sure two tickets are ready and waiting for you upon your arrival.  What better way to slip into the weekend than trying something new and attending Flavors of Freeport.

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