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Having moved to Boston just a month ago, we’ve been slowly exploring our new home city and the surrounding areas.
Maine, a short drive from Boston, or a 2.5 HR train trip on the Amtrak, is definitely a state that we want to see more of. A couple of weeks ago, we did a weekend trip to Portland and we recently spent a day in Freeport.
As we’re not quite comfortable driving here yet (driving on the opposite side of the road to what you’re used to is a scary prospect!), we took the Amtrak from the Boston North Station to Freeport.
It took a bit over 2.5 HRs due to some track works they were doing between Boston and Haverhill, but other than the brief bus detour, the train ride was comfortable and had some spectacular views. I am a big fan of train travel, as it allows you to see more of the country you’re in.
The station at Freeport is very convenient for train travellers and is less than a 5 minute walk to the main downtown shopping area.
Freeport is famous for being home to the L.L. Bean Flagship store, and their presence in this town is evident through the four (that’s right, FOUR!) L.L. Bean stores. If you’d like to stock up any of their goods, this is definitely the place to do it!
Freeport is known as an Outlet shopping haven, so in addition to L.L Bean, is home to other popular outlets such as Patagonia, North Face, J.Crew and Nike.
If you’re not much of a shopaholic, there are plenty other outdoor activities in the area, however if you don’t have access to a car, these can be difficult to include in your visit.
There are a couple of hikes/walks which are short drives from downtown (which you could probably Uber to if you had more than a day or if you were not interested in shopping), and the L.L.Bean Discovery School also offers a range of outdoor activities and the cost of the activities includes transport from their campus.
Most of the food in downtown Freeport unfortunately is not particularly inspiring and may remind visitors of expensive tourist trap restaurants near big tourist spots, however we did stumble across a gem at the Lobster Cooker and Grill. This eatery has an upstairs full-service area as well as an area downstairs with counter service and seating outside. We ordered a mouth watering lobster roll and fried haddock with chips.
Definitely recommended for others visiting Freeport!
In all, we definitely had a successful shopping trip with some worthwhile deals and some good food. We’re looking forward to exploring the area more once we find our feet with driving in America!
Have you been to Freeport or Maine? What did you think?
SUITCASE TRAVEL NOTES
How to get there?
We travelled to Freeport, Maine on the Amtrak Train Service, which took approximately 2.5 HRs from Boston. Amtrak have 2 trains that depart daily from Boston that head along the Downeaster which includes stops in Freeport and Portland in Maine.
US$40 total for 2 people, return.
Make sure you book your trip early, as the cheaper saver or value fares sell out early (try to aim for at least 2 weeks in advance – any less than this and saver fares are usually more expensive or are sold out)
The L.L. Bean Outlet mostly sells returned goods (a by-product of their flexible return policy) at anywhere between 10 to 30% off the original price.
If you are a fan of the brand, the discount will be most welcome to you, but if you are after super low prices, a trip to Freeport alone for this purpose may not be worth the cost of travel for you. If you are after a pair of their signature Bean Boots, you will be able to find a discounted pair here for $10 off the full price.
On the weekend we visited we were able to get 20% off the already discounted price on woollen socks (which for Aussies who don’t have appropriate winter clothes is definitely a good bargain!) If you are new to the brand or winter boots in general, it’s worth going across the road to the flagship store and trying on boots with someone who is able to help you with fit. After this, if you’d like a discounted pair, you can simply walk across the road to the outlet store to try to find the style/size that you’re after.