So you’re headed to Freeport! Amazing! Freeport is a charming, old-fashioned New England town, but don’t let its small size fool you. There are plenty of things to do in Freeport, Maine, no matter your tastes or preferences. Here’s our vacation guide (written by a local!) to make sure that you don’t miss out on the best that Freeport has to offer!
Where is Freeport, and how do I get there?
Freeport is located in the Casco Bay region, just a twenty-minute drive up the coast from Portland. If you fly into Portland’s airport, Freeport is just a quick car ride away. (And yes, you do need a rental car for your trip to Maine). Freeport is also convenient from Boston; it’s just a two-hour drive, or take the Amtrak direct to Freeport from North Station!
Parking in Freeport is free and often easy, although it may take a few minutes to find a spot at peak times (think, summer holiday weekends, the lead-up to Christmas…) There are plenty of free parking lots, available to anyone, behind LL Bean, but I often have better luck finding a spot in the free parking garage under Freeport Village Station, right off of Main Street.
There are plenty of hotels, inns, and vacation rentals available in Freeport. If you’re visiting over a holiday weekend (or, really, any summer weekend), it’s a wise idea to book in advance, as lodging often fills up.
Isn’t Freeport all about shopping?
Freeport certainly is best known for its shopping. And shopping abounds! The centerpiece of downtown is, of course, the LL Bean headquarters, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There’s a big, flagship store featuring a giant Bean Boot and a large indoor aquarium, there’s an LL Bean Home Goods store, and there’s an LL Bean outlet store. All are worth a visit!
Don’t forget that Freeport also has outlet shopping galore! There are plenty of national chain retailers, as well as local gems. Modern-day hippies will love Mexicali Blues, and bookworms should hit up Sherman’s Book Shop, which also just may be the best place to pick up some Maine souvenirs!
Things to do in Freeport, Maine that AREN’T shopping!
LL Bean is a monolith in this small town, and it provides entertainment and activities year-round. In the summer, check out LL Bean’s free outdoor concert series, Summer in the Park, which often brings in some big names. Summer in the Park is more than just concerts, though; there are outdoor movie nights, food trucks, free yoga classes, and way more! Definitely something for the whole family!
LL Bean also puts on a huge array of events around Christmas, so there are always a TON of things to do in Freeport in December. LL Bean lights up their campus with beautiful lights, installs a virtual forest of Christmas trees, and brings in reindeer, holiday musicians and more! If you’re heading to Freeport in December, definitely be sure to check out their updated schedule of events.
And if that’s not enough, LL Bean provides affordable (or even free!) lessons year-round in all sorts of outdoor activities through their Outdoor Discovery programs. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to kayak in the ocean, or snow-shoe, or shoot a bow and arrow, or do tai chi, or fly fish, or paddleboard, or… you get the idea – now’s your chance to explore the natural beauty of Maine!
Don’t worry. There is more to Freeport than LL Bean. There are activities all year round! Why not tour Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Factory (and try a sweet treat or two), or take a hike in Wolfe’s Neck State Park? Stop into the Freeport Historical Society for a free, small museum visit on a rainy day. Check out Maine’s most unusual sand desert, or, right across the border in Yarmouth, the world’s largest revolving globe! And, although it’s not technically in Freeport, Bradbury Mountain State Park is a lovely, easy hike in the area (“mountain” is a bit of an exaggeration…)
Freeport has you covered on the restaurant front. For a cozy New England tavern, with comfort food classics, seafood, and a killer weekend brunch buffet, check out the Broad Arrow Tavern in the Harraseeket Inn, a historic hotel. Looking for something a little more casual? Try Antonia’s Pizzeria! For a classic Maine meal, hit up Day’s Crabmeat and Lobster – no frills, just seafood! And for a quick bite in the middle of a day of shopping, the 1912 Cafe right inside the LL Bean flagship is the perfect little spot.
Freeport also has its share of little bars and breweries that are 100% worth a try. The down-to-earth brewery Gritty McDuff’s is a regional classic that you shouldn’t miss, while the Maine Beer Company is new (and much-loved) in the region. On a nice summer afternoon, though, we’d most recommend heading across the border into Yarmouth to the Royal River Grill House for a cocktail, beer, or wine in outdoor Adirondack chairs with a view of the boats moored in the harbor. It’s the quintessential Maine experience.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Freeport, Maine? Let us know in the comments!
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