Salem, Brunswick, and Freeport

Welcome to the second edition of our New England recap! Today we will be talking about some of the towns we visited along the coast.

The second half of Saturday and the following morning of our New England trip were reserved as mostly travel days. Although the drive from Boston to Bar Harbor is only 4 hours, we wanted to make the most of it by trying to see as much of New England as possible. By stretching our trip out over two days, we were able to add a few extra towns to our itinerary!

We left Boston shortly after lunch, and headed straight to Salem. Salem is only about an hour away from Boston by car, and it seemed like a shame not to make a stop here. Perhaps we should have expected this, but the thing that surprised us the most about Salem were all the hokey Halloween-type activities. If this is your cup of tea, then you might want to make a day out of Salem. However, for us, we were more interested in the history of the town than the "Chambers of Torture" that some man in a Jason mask tried to lure us into, so a half day there was just the right amount of time.

Salem is a small town, and the best way to see it is by foot. Because of this, a walking tour fit the bill perfectly. Nearly every tourism company in Salem has some sort of witch-related name, so it can be difficult to discern which tours are going to show  you the town and which are just full of ghost stories. We finally settled on Hocus Pocus Tours, and the tour ended up being great! 90% of the tour was focused on the history of Salem, which was just what we wanted. Our tour guide also made sure to point out the areas used in filming the movie Hocus Pocus (which Sarah loved!) and even threw in a ghost story or two for laughs.

Sunday morning, we headed straight to Freeport, Maine. For any LL Bean lovers out there, this is the home of the flagship LL Bean store. Calling this location just a "store" is a little misleading, as it's actually a complex of 3 massive stores split up depending on what is sold there--the standard clothing store; a hiking, biking, and boating store; and the home goods store. We got to LL Bean mid-morning, which was the perfect time as it started to get much busier around lunch. If you happen to pass through Freeport, keep in mind that LL Bean is actually open 24/7, so it's worth a stop even if you aren't passing through during normal business hours. Our number one item we left with were three of these pullovers. While the flagship store is definitely worth looking around and snagging a pic by the giant bean boot, there's also an LL Bean Outlet right across the street in case you are in search of some deals.


After our visit to LL Bean, it was back on the road. We stopped about 15 minutes away in Brunswick, Maine for lunch. After some research, it was decided that we should stop at Gurnet Trading Co., a small seafood shack on the side of the highway. Nearly all the seafood sold at Gurnet is freshly caught, and we noticed several locals coming in throughout our meal to buy fresh seafood by the pound to cook at home. We settled on some haddock sandwiches and a lobster role. The best part about Gurnet Trading Co. is the seating area, which is just a collection of adirondack chairs overlooking the river it backs up to.


After lunch, it was on to finish our last leg of the trip to Bar Harbor. Check back later this week to hear about our time in Bar Harbor!