Freeport is not the largest complex of “Outlet Stores,” but it’s probably one of the best known and one that people from all over the world want to experience.The centerpiece is the flagship original L.L. Bean Store which has become a shopper’s amusement center with it’s specialty stores that are always open (24/7/365). Bean’s “unconditional customer satisfaction warranty” is legendary – if you are ever dissatisfied with your purchase, return it for a full refund, no questions asked! By the way, it’s still a “family business.” It’s truly an addicting customer experience. Some people who can’t sleep drive to the store in the middle of the night , buy a cup of designer coffee, pick out an interesting book, cuddle up in a big leather chair and morph into a indescribably therapy of “happy… happy.” It’s great for not only purchasing the best quality products, but wonderful for “people watching.” Strangers do seem to welcome “eye contact” and many are eager to chat. Be sure to see the inside trout pond, the 50-foot trout tank, the taxidermy (especially, the locked-antler moose battle) and, of course, their factory outlet store offering significantly-reduced prices for returned items. During major holidays, Beans go all out to celebrate the seasons with eye-popping decorations including free concerts of big-name entertainers during their summer concerts.
I have inserted a terrific video below about L.L.Bean for those of you who have computers. I don’t think it works with iPads.
“L.L.Bean Story” http://www.visitmaine.com/rich-media/videos/misc/#
Note: Clicking on the URL address (above) will unfortunately not take you directly to a page that provides an opportunity to open this video… because it’s not a hyperlink, only the internet address of where the video lives. Not a Problem! Follow the steps below to view to the video.
- Drag the cursor over the entire URL to highlight it. It’s above after the video title (“L.L.Bean Story”)
- Right mouse click on the highlighted text.
- Click on the “Go to ” option.
- Bingo, it appears in a video format similar to the ones we have seen on YouTube.
Freeport offers something for everyone’s taste and preference, but here are my suggestions for “doing Freeport.” By the way, Freeport is a great way to spend a rainy day if you are on vacation and can’t go to the beach.
Arrive at 10:00 in the morning and park in the huge L.L.Bean parking lot or the very-convenient underground parking garage across from the Main Store. People are constantly going and coming, so try your luck at cruising the parking lot rows. Watch for people with bags walking to their cars. No one fights over spaces, signal your intention to take a clearing space. I usually, head for the basement coffee shop at Beans to get a fresh pastry and a cup of coffee to sort of easy my mind into a happy mood. Next, I will walk all of their stores (saving their factory outlet store for later in the day).
If it’s lunch time, I’ll do either the Tuscany Brick Oven Bistro (https://www.tuscanbrickovenbistro.com/home) across from the Post Office or walk a little farther to the Azure Café (http://www.azurecafe.com/) hoping to get a table on the outside dining area (I really like their antipasto). If I’m in the mood for a terrific “pub experience,” I’ll drive down the road a little to Gritty McDuff’s Pub (http://www.grittys.com/ to get a USDA Prime hamburger with fries and cold slaw. Oh, yes and a draft glass of their “Bitter Brown Beer.”
Next, here is my “other favorite-store circuit:”
The Moose Store, Jockey, Crabtree & Evelyn, Patigonia, North face, Toad & Company, J.L. Combs, J. Crew,… up the stairs to Nike, Brooks Brothers, Bean’s Factory Store, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Cole-Hann (be sure to checkout the 3rd floor bargains), Hartman’s, Bass, Timberland, Abacus, the Gap, Clarks, Banana Republic and maybe Abercrombie & Fitch. That will pretty much do it for me; however, there are many other stores – depending on your interests.
Freeport is a wonderful day – well spent.
Living in Maine might make you a happier person!