Only one day for Freeport

People visiting Freeport for the first time often stay only one night, not realizing how much there is to do in the area. That makes it a bit of a challenge when they ask what they should see in the short amount of time they can spend.

So, what should someone see if they have only a day?

To begin, let's set some priorities. Do you want to shop? Do you want to see the coast? Visit lighthouses? Farms? Bird sanctuaries? Hike? Sail? Kayak? OK, now we can begin.

Freeport MapFor the shopper, Freeport offers the L.L. Bean flagship store (open 24x7!) along with its Bike, Boating and Ski store, Hunting and Fishing Store and, of course, the Outlet. The Outlet is the only one not open 24x7 - its hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day but Christmas. There are also over 160 other shops and restaurants, almost all within a few blocks of us, so it is a nice walk.

If you enjoy hiking or the coastal scenery, you have choices, as you will not have time for more than one or two places to visit. Wolfe Neck State Park and Winslow Park are both within the Freeport area. Both are on the shores of Casco Bay and offer wonderful views of the bay, and Wolfe Neck offers hiking trails through the woods and along the shore. Another choice is to visit either Popham Beach State Park or Reid State Park, both offering sandy beaches, magnificent coastal views and views of the offshore islands, as well as hiking trails. Both Popham Beach and Reid are within an easy drive of Freeport.

For hiking of a more inland variety, there is nearby Bradbury Mountain State Park. Not difficult to hike, but somewhat more hilly than the others, Bradbury Mountain is only a few miles from Freeport.

If getting out on the water is your preferred way to see the coast, you have lots of choices. From the wharf in South Freeport you can rent a kayak and take the self-propelled route. Or, take a tour of Casco Bay to Admiral Peary's Eagle Island on an old lobster boat with Atlantic Seal. Looking for something quieter? How about a two hour cruise (or a sunset cruise) on an antique wooden schooner built in Maine? Portland Schooner Co. has two of them and offers several daily cruises.

Pemaquid Point LighthouseWere you thinking of whale watching and/or puffin watching, or even seeing lighthouses from the water side? There are whale watching cruises and lighthouse cruises from Boothbay Harbor, just a short drive from Freeport. If you want a puffin cruise, you can find one in New Harbor, just a bit farther north.

If lighthouses are something you want to see, we have lots - over 60 of them! Some, of course, you can only see by boat. Others may be too far away (Maine has a LOT of coastline, you know!). However, there are at least eight within an hour's drive from Freeport (that doesn't count the ones you can see on distant islands off the coast), and another 4 or 5 if you extend the distance to an hour and a half drive. Since lighthouses can be in remote areas, we also supply our guests with maps and directions or GPS coordinates of the places where they can be found.

If you're looking for a bird sanctuary or a working historic farm, you'll find those right here in Freeport. Mast Landing Bird Sanctuary is a serene Maine Audubon Society property, with trails to walk, places to picnic and, of course, bird watching. Not far away is Wolfe's Neck Farm, where cows, pigs, sheep and chickens may be seen at this organic farm on the shores of Casco Bay.

If you can only stay for a day, you'll have some tough choices to make. You may want to consider more than one day...