Want to get away for the weekend? Freeport, Maine, approximately two and a half hours from Boston, is a fabulous family-friendly road trip for a weekend away. The drive is relatively easy – just head north on 95 to 295, and you’re there.
My family got the chance to test this road-trip our ourselves during a recent FAM (media familiarization) trip to the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Freeport. While most of the attendees flew in to Portland, we made the easy drive in my car.
Freeport, which is most famous for being the hometown of LL Bean, has a lot more to offer, most notably charm and atmosphere. Even chain eateries, like Starbucks, McDonalds, and Friendly’s are housed in unassuming, charming little buildings. Among the smaller shops are some big-name outlets, including Cole Haan, Coach, Gap, Banana Republic, and (my favorite) Calvin Klein.
On Friday night, we ate at a local restaurant, the Azure Cafe, which was absolutely amazing. While it is elegant, it’s also kid-friendly and has a great kids’ menu. My two behaved like little cherubs during our delicious dinner. On Saturday, we chose the more low-key Gritty McDuff’s brew pub, which has good food and a louder atmosphere.
During the day on Saturday, we visited a few shops, and also attended the Fall Festival at the nearby Wolfe’s Neck Farm, where the kids loved seeing the animals, taking a hay ride, and picking and decorating pumpkins. We also spend some time at the LL Bean Factory Store, where my children enjoyed the giant fish tank, and fun-filled kids’ section.
As I mentioned, our trip was sponsored by the Hilton Garden Inn, which is really a nice place for families to stay. While the rooms are relatively standard, there are refrigerators and microwaves in each room. There’s also an indoor pool, and free WiFi in every room. The hotel is spotless and new, and if the weather is nice, you can walk to the shops and restaurants.