On Thursday morning, bright and early after a night of fun at Elf the Musical, Chris and I drove back into Boston to hop aboard the Amtrak Downeaster to go poke around Freeport, Maine. We didn’t even know that we could get up to Maine on the train, but now we know just how easy it is to plan a day trip somewhere fun and different.
The Amtrak Downeaster begins (for us folks close to Boston) at Boston’s North Station and ends at Brunswick, Maine, with lots of other cool stops along the way. We were debating between Portland and Freeport, but decided that since Chris had never been to Freeport, it would be fun to explore the shopping scene together. I hadn’t been to Freeport, Maine since 1995, so it looked really different to me. So much more built up with shops and restaurants. We were so happy we picked Freeport!
Let’s talk about the train. I recently took Amtrak to NYC with Aidan, so after realizing how comfortable and easy it is to travel by train, I jumped on the opportunity to travel north. Chris was pleasantly surprised too. We loved the spacious seats, the super full recline, the charging outlets for our phones and selfie sticks right at our fingertips and of course, the free Wi-Fi. The ride to Freeport from North Station was just about 3.5 hours long, putting us in Freeport just in time for a hearty lunch. The train station is literally right next to all the upscale outlets and shops, so we didn’t have to worry about any other transportation. So easy!
We grabbed lunch at the Broad Arrow Tavern, where we shared the most delicious calamari and I got to try their award winning Lobster Stew. Totally award-worthy in my book, but pricey for the the small amount of lobster that is actually in it. I paired it with a glass of Pinot Noir, at our cute little waitress’s suggestion, and devoured every last drop of all my liquids. YUM.
Next, we shopped. We loved all the trinkets and gifts found in The Mangy Moose and had fun poking around and laughing. They win “best store” on Main Street. I bought lots in the Mangy Moose. I had to have the Hatley Moose jammies for Andrew. I had to have the wooden sign for my kitchen. I had to have the frasier fir diffuser. I had to have the best secret Santa gift ever.
Freeport is home to the famous L.L. Bean campus, which is huge! So many different stores from home to ski to clothing. You could literally spend hours meandering through all the goodness of L.L. Bean. It’s amazing. Plus, the boots.
I got a new winter jacket at The North Face outlet. I love it. I want to go back and get the other jacket I fell in love with at Patagonia. Chris found an amazing deal on a pair of Patagonia Gore-Tex ski pants. Major score, so he’s happy too.
So we shopped and we ate and we relaxed. We had such an amazing day. Thank you so much to my amazing Mom for coming up from the Cape to watch the kids so we could get away. We really enjoyed ourselves. We loved the train to Maine.
Right now you can grab tickets on the Downeaster with their new Take Five – Pay $5 Deal. Gather a group on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of 2015 and bring up to five companions for $5 one way with the purchase of one full-price ticket! The Amtrak Downeaster is also offering a Train to Maine BOGO deal. Simply buy one full-price ticket and bring a friend for free! This promotion runs until December 31, 2015 and tickets must be purchased three days in advance of travel to take advantage of the discount. Offer valid on select trains. Be sure to visit traintomaine.com and sign up for the Inside Track newsletter to receive the latest information and special deals from the Downeaster.
Ok, here’s the fun part for you guys! We want YOU to experience the Downeaster! How would you like to win a pair of tickets for the Amtrak Downeaster? Right? SO fun. We know there are so many fun places to explore, but we really loved Freeport – highly recommended! And just think, you could even make it an overnight trip! SO easy to get anywhere on the line from Brunswick to Boston! So, let’s do it! Let’s give away two round-trip tickets on the Amtrak Downeaster! Enter to win below!
Amtrak Downeaster Destinations
- Boston, MA
- Woburn, MA
- Haverhill, MA
- Exeter, NH
- Durham – UNH
- Dover, NH
- Wells, ME
- Saco, ME
- Old Orchard Beach, ME
- Portland, ME
- Freeport, ME
- Brunswick, ME
Disclosure: I received 2 complimentary tickets, Cafe bucks and a gift card to take part in this campaign with Amtrak. We really loved everything about our trip!