The town of Freeport Maine is best known for outlet stores and LL Bean. It was voted the “Best Weekend of Shopping in New England” by Yankee Magazine Readers for the second year in a row.
Beyond being a shopper’s paradise, the town of Freeport is also known as The Birthplace of Maine. Colonists used to gather for meetings at Jameson Tavern, an establishment that is still active in Freeport today, to plot their separation from Massachusetts in 1820.
Many historical buildings are still standing in Freeport thanks to the local historical society, including many original homes, schools and churches.
In fact, the town is so dedicated to preserving their historical buildings that when a McDonald’s wanted to open up on one of the properties, it was only allowed to do so if it kept the original building preserving the unique New England feel.
Things to do in Freeport Maine
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park
Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport, Maine offers over 230 acres of land to explore. Surrounded by the rocky shores of Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River, common visitor attractions include kayaking, boating and even clamming!
Wolfe Neck Park has approximately five miles of paths that wind through its pine tree forests and along the seacoast.
Since the park grounds are relatively flat, this is an ideal destination for smaller children or physically challenged visitors who would have a harder time navigating other large state parks in the area. In the winter, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing throughout the park. Off one of the trails, visitors can view Googins Island, an osprey sanctuary.
Bird-watchers may want to pack their binoculars in the spring, when you can view babies or in the fall while they are getting ready to migrate south. Park Rangers at Wolfe’s Neck also offer one-hour guided nature programs and tours, focusing on the beauty of Maine state parks.
Desert of Maine
Freeport is home to one of the most unique tourist attractions in the state, the Desert of Maine. Just 4 miles from the shops of Freeport, you’ll step into history as you stroll across 30-acres of sand dunes formed from a glacial outwash during the Ice Age and tour the barn that dates back to the 1700s.
There is a guided or downloadable walking tour that explains all the rich history and the evolution of this geological phenomenon. Visitors can also walk well-marked nature trails, visit the unique gift shop and grab refreshments at the Oasis Cafe.
Kids have a blast digging in the sand for gemstones and climbing the natural playground. There’s even a campground right on the edge of the sand if you want to extend your stay.
South Freeport is home to a large working fishermen’s harbor, where visitors can dine on fresh steamed lobster and seafood while watching boats travel in and out of the Harraseeket River.
If you are looking for some adventure on the water, hop onboard a scenic ocean cruise or sailboat charter. Visitors can also rent kayaks or enjoy an LL Bean Discovery School tour with a Maine guide to explore tidal rivers full of wildlife.
DeLorme Map – Home of Eartha
The town of Yarmouth, south of Freeport, is home to Eartha, the largest full-scale rotating and revolving atlas in the world. A stop at DeLorme is great fun wtih the family, the kids will marvel at the big planet Earth on display.
Lodging in Freeport
A Freeport stay is centered around outlet shopping or waterfront settings. Most hotels, resorts and motels are located off of the Maine Interstate and Rt. 1 leading directly into the Freeport village only a short distance from the highway, which is not the case in many Coastal Maine towns. You’ll find bed and breakfasts with gourmet meals, brand name hotels for affordable stays, Maine resorts with extra amenities, and Inns in Freeport. You can even camp by Freeport’s waterfront on park grounds.
Shopping in Freeport
World-famous L.L. Bean flagship store is located right in the heart of Freeport, and takes hours to explore from ground to top floor. Leon Leonwood Bean started LL Bean in 1912 with a simple motto and guarantee that every customer be 100% satisfied with their purchase or they could return or exchange it at any time, a principle they still hold to a century later.
L.L. Beach is the premier outdoor apparel and equipment store in the country, celebrating over 100 years of business. They have everything for all your adventure needs, including tents, sleeping bags, kayaks and travel gear, plus ski equipment, clothing and their world-famous Bean boots.
L.L. Bean has also launched their Outdoor Discovery Schools, providing instruction and guided lessons in outdoor sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, cross-country skiing, archery and snowshoeing.
The L.L. Bean flagship store is open 24/7, 365 days a year for your convenience. There are also LL Bean Outlets stores in Freeport – for bargains on Bean shoes, clothes and camping gear.
Among the many things to do, Freeport Outlet shopping is also popular, with over 170 name brand retailers offering discounted options. Brand name stores include Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Coach.
Freeport is also home to some local shops featuring handcrafted jewelry, home decor, and specialty foods and treats. Chowder cafes and seafood restaurants line the Main Street in downtown Freeport, and on the Freeport waterfront you will find classic clam shacks and lobster pounds serving fresh Maine lobster rolls with a water view.
Events in Freeport
Freeport has fairs and festivals throughout the year, including free summer concerts in the park sponsored by LL Bean as well as outdoor movie nights.
Find more events in Freeport in our Annual Maine Events page.
Whether you come for the fabulous shopping, the natural beauty of Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park or just a visit to a charming Maine town, Freeport will not disappoint.