Freeport, Maine and L.L. Bean

Freeport Maine was a great little town to stay in for a few weeks.  It has a nice look and vibe and for those that love to shop, a number of outlet stores and the well known L.L. Bean shopping complex.  Some of you might know L.L. Bean as a mail order business that specializes in outdoor clothing and supplies.  The headquarters and flagship store are located here with a large building that sells clothing and sporting goods 24 hours a day.   In addition, there are a few other buildings on the property that sell kayaks, boats, bikes, hunting and fishing supplies.   It all started in 1911 when Mr. Leon Leonwood Bean returned from a hunting trip with cold, damp feet and decided to develop a boot with leather uppers and rubber bottoms.  From there the line of clothing grew with the catalog beginning in 1927.  In the picture above I am standing next to the huge L.L. Bean boot, 16 feet tall in front of the store entrance.

L.L. Bean also has outdoor discovery schools offering a variety of classes including fly fishing, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, camping, hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.  After checking out the offerings, I thought it would be fun to take a few of their classes.  Although I had never thought before about taking an archery class, it looked interesting, something new to try and I signed us up.

It turned out to be a fun class with encouraging and helpful instructors.   Mark did pretty good at hitting the target and although I wasn’t as much of a sharpshooter, at least my arrows landed most of the time somewhere on the round backboard.

With all the waterways in Maine, I knew I wanted to do a kayaking class and the L.L. Bean Flying Point Paddling Center located on Casco Bay was just the right place to go.   Although I have kayaked before, it had been awhile and a class sounded fun.   Some of my favorite outdoor memories are of kayaking in Monterey Bay, California.   I loved paddling with buddies around Fisherman’s Wharf and the Cannery Row area with seals and sea otters swimming close by and colorful jellyfish swarming in the water.   I thought it was one of the most relaxing experiences I have had immersed in the ocean rhythms with sea life all around.

This L.L. Bean class was a great learning experience in a gorgeous setting.   I didn’t bring my camera or phone to take pictures while paddling as I didn’t want to accidentally drop anything in the water.  After settling into our kayaks our destination was a very small island, over a mile and a half out.   Do you see the picture above with the little puff ball island in the center?   When we arrived, we were able to dock and take a rest with snacks provided.  This scenic island was a delightful stopping point.  From one of the instructors, I got some good information about Maine’s islands.  There are many of them and most are privately owned.  The instructor talked about how this was not good planning on the part of the state of Maine as the islands should have been made public parks available for all.   In order to access these private islands a pass can be purchased that allows boaters to travel to privately held islands where owners allow visitors.   Each owner sets up rules for the island such as day use or overnight camping.  As we explored this state, I found the islands to be a real treasure and one of the attributes that makes the coast so scenic.

After returning, I hung around the grounds taking in the wonderful views of the Bay where we kayaked (above).   The weather was perfect that day, sunny and clear.   The Center has some neat programs for kids where they camp and do activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, ropes course and archery.  I couldn’t help but think what a great program it would be for our grandsons.   When Mark and I checked out the Center on another day prior to my class, we saw kids in the water in their kayaks and on paddle boards having a ball.

L.L. Bean strives to give back to the community of Freeport and each summer hosts a series of  free outdoor concerts at their campus.   For July 4th, we went to hear a great singer and band from Nashville and then after enjoyed a fireworks show.

While traveling we really like checking out local bakeries and Freeport might have the best bread bakery we have come across called, “When Pigs Fly.”

Unlike most bakeries where the breads are behind the counter and have to be retrieved by workers, this place has loaves sitting attractively in large baskets all throughout the store.  You pick out and bag what bread you want before paying.   There were also a number of samples of these unique breads.  One day we got a wild blueberry, eight grain loaf that Mark declared was perhaps the best bread he had ever eaten.  Below is a picture of just a few of the many breads displayed.

When we arrived at our RV park in Freeport, Matt and Emma had already been staying there for several nights and we got to see them for their last night before they headed on to explore more of Maine and Canada.   We ate at a great bistro where we had the most delicious wood fired pizza, trying several different ones.  Thought I would close with a picture of these two cuties!

Thanks for checking in!

2 thoughts on “Freeport, Maine and L.L. Bean”

  1. Love Portland! Really cool you got to try all the outdoors stuff. That was such a great dinner. Amazing shot with the fireworks.

    1. Thanks for such a nice comment! Yes, it was a great place to stay and enjoy some of the outdoors! So glad we got to see you guys there too!

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