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When most people think of traveling to Maine, I’m sure Acadia National Park comes to mind, along with Bangor and Portland. While Maine is a big state in New England, it’s dotted with small towns, surprising scenery, helpful people, state parks, and mouth-watering food. Freeport Maine is a charming small town that’s worth taking 24 hours out of your trip to explore. Discover plenty of things to do such as shopping, dining, numerous trails, and outdoor activity that all join together to give Freeport, Maine a fun for the whole family experience.
Visit Freeport provided accommodations, meals, and activities on my visit. All opinions are my own.
FREEPORT MAINE LOCATION
If you’re not familiar with Maine, Freeport is about a 20-minute drive from Portland and a 3-hour train ride from Boston. New Englanders can take the Amtrak Downeaster for a smooth and comfortable ride to Freeport. Just about everything is walkable from the train station and you won’t need a car in Freeport.
For this trip, I was traveling solo. I attended the Women in Travel Summit that took place in Portland, ME. And while I was solo, I was not alone. A few other travel writers joined me for these 24 hours in Freeport, Maine.
We stayed at the Harraseeket Inn and I’ve never been more excited to be on my own. (sorry, kids!)
Maine charm oozed out of every wall panel in this 93 room luxury inn. The hotel boasts 23 fireplaces and I was lucky enough to have one in my room. While it was May when I visited, I had to have an evening fire. This Florida girl doesn’t get to curl up in bed with a crackling fire very often.
In addition, the Inn has an outdoor fire and seating area, a heated indoor pool, and a full delicious buffet breakfast and afternoon tea included. It was such a great place to stay.
While Portland is fast becoming a culinary destination, just 20 minutes away in Freeport, noteworthy dining exists.
Even though it’s in the Harraseeket Inn, the Broad Arrow Tavern is open to the public. This gourmet buffet was my favorite meal of the trip. The talented chef at Broad Arrow prepares seasonal, locally grown fare for an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. Items include seafood, wood-fired pizzas, salads, roasted root vegetables, and of course, Maine blueberry pie. The best part, this buffet is only $19.95 per person.
The Azure Cafe is another local restaurant that’s anything but a cafe. The Italian seafood grille hosted us for perfect seafood-infused Italian meal. The modern decor and beautifully plated meals were sumptuous.
Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster, no connection to the Inn, is your classic roadside seafood stand that I imagine is in every town along the coast of Maine. This is the definition of the sea to the table as it sits on the docks, with tanks and tanks of live lobsters waiting for your lunch. The lobster roll was okay, though I expected more sauce and butter. The seafood chowder was creamy, full of chunks of clams and lobster, and lightly salted.
One of the main attractions in Freeport is the LL Bean flagship store. More on that below. Inside the store however you can learn to shoot a bow and arrow. A certified professional archer teaches a class and you get pointers and instruction on shooting. And, of course, one of the best things, you get to shoot. The cost is $25 per person and the minimum age is 8. If you have younger children, you will get to watch through a glass wall, and spouses can take turns.
Find more of LL Beans Archery Programs here.
Wolfe’s Neck Center
Wolfe’s Neck Center is a short drive from the downtown Freeport area, near Wolfe’s Neck State Park. This sustainable and oceanfront working farm is a truly special place. For over 60 years, Wolfes Neck farms organic milk on over 600 acres. In addition to supplying Stonyfield Organic, the farm and center work to educate and entertain visitors.
First, visitors are welcome to tour the farm at any time. Additionally, low-cost activities engage children such as farmers for the morning, goat hikes, milking tours, outdoor activities, and more fun things to do. See their community programs here.
Yet there’s still more at the farm. Annual events such as Blueberries for Sal, one of our favorite books, and hello, Maine blueberries! Harvest dances and dinners, beers in the barn, canning workshops, and heaps more.
Finally, if you need a place to stay, Wolfe’s Neck Center has camping. Oceanfront campsites include tents only, electric and water sites as well as cabins in case you don’t want to bring your own camping gear. And if you’re flying to Maine and don’t want to bring your tent, LL Bean has a Wicked Easy Camping program that brings high-quality equipment to Wolfe’s Neck for you!
Driving onto the farm is free, as well as seeing the animals in the barn.
Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections
Oh, Wilbur, you had me at Chocolate. Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections and factory is a family-run business that also offers chocolate factory tours a few times a week. Started in 1983 by Tom and Catherine, Wilbur’s gift shop offers assorted chocolates, fudge, chocolate-covered blueberries (my favorite) Maine Mud, and plenty of other Made in Maine products and chocolates. They are truly the desert of Maine.
Our tour, of course, came with samples. The chocolate was perfect, smooth, creamy. And if you’ve never been inside a chocolate factory, it is everything you’ve dreamed of. The kids will thank you for this one!
The factory and chocolate shop are at 174 Lower Main St in Freeport or visit their downtown Freeport location at 13 Bow St.
Speaking of downtown Freeport, shopping is a key attraction. It would be impossible to spend 24 hours in Freeport, Maine, and not go shopping. In fact, the L.L. Bean flagship store, a popular destination is open 24 hours a day. L.L. Bean is possibly the one key tourist attraction in Freeport, and it’s not too far from the main drag. Imagine having the store to yourself at 3 am in the morning!
In addition to L.L. Bean, Freeport is known for its shopping outlets. Only a short distance away, the Freeport Village is full of shopping outlet stores such as the Banana Republic. Find the extensive collection of shops in the full store directory here.
And no visit to Freeport would be complete if you didn’t stop into Brown Goldsmith’s Jewelry store. When they say custom-made and quality, they mean it. Made in-house by certified designers and gemologists, the words exquisite, extraordinary, and unique are not enough to describe the pieces that come from Brown Goldsmiths. Stop in, shop, and ask for a tour. It will surprise you!
24 Hours in Freeport Maine
A Sample Itinerary to Freeport, Maine:
- Check-in for an overnight stay at the Harraseeket Inn
- Gourmet Buffet Lunch at Broad Arrow Tavern, so much great food!
- Shop the local shops and outlets
- Visit Brown Goldsmith’s and ask for a tour
- Get an Archery Lesson at L.L. Bean
- Dinner at Azure Cafe
- Roast Marshmallow’s at the Inn
- Do a late-night shopping excursion to L.L. Bean
- Breakfast at the hotel buffet
- Visit Wolfe’s Neck Farm or Go Kayaking in the nearby Harraseeket River.
- Tour Wilbur’s of Maine and take home some souvenir chocolates
- Enjoy a picnic lunch of a lobster roll at Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster along the Maine coast
While I was on my own for this trip, I can easily see bringing my family back to experience the town of Freeport Maine. One of my favorite places was Wolfe’s Neck Center and campground. It truly made a special impact on me as well as some of my fellow travelers.
Read Michelle’s account of the 6 best activities in Freeport, Maine here.
Christina describes her perfect day in Freeport here.