Described as a luxury country inn, the Harraseeket Inn is not only located in the heart of Freeport, Maine but it’s also an iconic lodging recognized by locals. Here’s why.
The History of Harraseeket Inn
Nancy Dyer Gray, owner of the Harraseeket Inn, was born and bred in Maine to a family that embraced the hospitality industry. It was only natural for her to answer the calling in Freeport, Maine a few decades ago.
She purchased a run-down three unit apartment building, originally built in the late 1700s. She completely renovated the structure with eight guest rooms to become the Carriage House. The main inn was built in the adjacent field with fifty-four rooms until the South Wing was added in 1997 with another 30+ rooms.
It feels like a pieced-together establishment but it does a nice job of blending old and new. It has a colonial coastal feel, which just feels right for Maine.
Whether you choose to stay in the main inn or in the south wing, you’ll find a quaint room with a fireplace or jacuzzi tub or both. While the room was perfectly comfortably for me, I’d love to see them updated a bit.
The L.L. Bean Guest House
For a return visit, I actually have my sights set on an entirely different building – the L.L. Bean Guest House.
As we were getting ready to check out, we were invited to take a quick peek at the L.L. Bean Guest House located right next to the main inn.
This is a historic home that’s been completely renovated and furnished entirely with L.L. Bean home furnishings inside.
It features three bedrooms, two bathrooms and sleeps up to nine. But the real value is with all of the gathering spaces in the living room or family room. In the summer, there’s a sun porch and deck outside. And there’s a full kitchen and dining room.
While you might this of a house like this for a large family gathering, I immediately thought of this as a perfect girlfriend getaway location! Not only is it within walking distance of the shopping district in Freeport but it’s nearly across the street from Azure Cafe where we enjoyed an amazing specially prepared meal.
Don’t Leave Without Eating!
When you mention to locals that you’re staying at the Harraseeket Inn, they all say the same thing. “Oh, have you tried their Sunday brunch? It’s amazing!”
Unfortunately, we were there for a mid-week visit but still got to enjoy their morning breakfast buffet in the Maine Dining Room, which is included in the room rate if you are staying at the Inn. I intended to have a light breakfast but couldn’t resist Eggs Benedict – my favorite!
We also had a buffet lunch in the Broad Arrow Tavern, which was decorated by Nancy Dyer Gray herself to look like a hunting lodge. (They are quick to point out that all of the animals on display were purchased as Nancy is most decidedly not a hunter!).
Don’t confuse the word buffet for lower quality food. The chefs were impressive and obviously proud of the gourmet display they create every day. Not only that, they were very accommodating to those in our group that had allergies.
The other meal option that I recommend (and sadly missed) is their Afternoon Tea which is served daily from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. I’m a bit of a tea aficionado and would have loved to experienced the event in the Drawing Room. They’re known to offer herbal and Maine-grown teas, along with a home-baked pastries and cookies, tea sandwiches, fresh fruits and artisan cheeses. If you are staying as a guest of the Inn, afternoon tea is included in your room rate.
Why Stay in Freeport
When I vacationed in Maine with family a few years ago, we planned to go to Bar Harbor along with thousands of other families. But I also wanted to see more off-the-beaten path destinations. Although Freeport is known as the home of L.L. Bean, a reason alone to visit Freeport, it’s a quaint getaway spot just a short distance from Portland.