We've finally arrived in Maine. From Northampton, we overnighted at another Walmart in Rochester, NH. We booked the first part of our stay at Recompence Shore Campground at Wolfe's Neck Farm. It is, to date, my favorite campsite. We lucked out as we hadn't really done our research into our options but ended up picking a campground that many of our nomad friends have enjoyed on their own travels.
Recompence is located in Freeport, ME - just 30 minutes from Portland (or , "Portland East", for those PDX fans out there). It is a family-friendly campground set on over 600 acres of farm and forest. There are 100+ sites available ranging from wide-open, sunny loops to cozy spots nestled deep into the woods. There are a few prime waterfront spots, as well, that get scooped up quickly during peak season. We were visiting towards the tail end of the season, and even with the chilly breeze and frosty mornings, there were a few dedicated tent campers anchored down (go VU!) in the waterfront spots. I was a bit envious of the view they had as they drank their morning coffee.
The property on which Recompence is located is actually Wolfe's Neck Farm . The land that is now Wolfe's Neck Farm was puchased in 1947 by Eleanor and her husband Lawrence Smith of Philadelphia. At its peak production, the saltwater farm was host to up to 40 cattle. The campground area was established soon after the farm as a place for visitors to enoy the beauty and tranquility of the land. "Recompence" means repayment, and the name was chosen to represent the Smith family's focus on giving back to their community.
If you're interested in visiting Recompence, keep in mind they offer both work-camping positions throughout the season and also host two property-wide clean up weekends in May. You receive free camping in exchange for volunteering your time and muscles to their clean-up effort! We would seriously consider this volunteer opportunity should we be in the area.
The town of Freeport, just a 5 minute drive up from Recompence, is known by many as an outlet mecca. I have distinct memories of visiting Freeport during my whirlwind college tour of the United States during the summer before my senior year in high school, and - believe it or not - Jeremy made the same pilgrimage with his mom while touring colleges. While in Freeport we visited the Patagonia, Toad & Co. and North Face outlets, along with L.L. Bean's gigantic outlet and Corningware's shop. I snagged a few great pieces from Patagonia while Jeremy made out like a bandit at L.L. Bean. We also picked up a pair of zero gravity chairs in L.L. Bean's camping department. We finally have a way to lounge and relax outside our rig - just in time for the bone-chilling cold to set in!
L.L. Bean holds the anchor spot in Freeport with their retail HQ spread across a beautiful campus. L.L. Bean's strong retail presence was established in 1912 when Leon Leonwood Bean opened a store in the basement of his brother's shop and sold the Maine Hunting Shoe, also known as the "Bean Boot". Note - the flagship store at L.L. Bean is open 24 hours, 365 days a year!
There were a few dining opportunities in Freeport we took advantage of, but we really held out for some serious lobster feasts at a neighboring waterfront seafood joint twice during our short stay. What we ended up sampling while in Freeport ultimately falls into the snack category. Our first day in Freeport we fueled up mid-shopping spree at Frosty's Donuts. The cinnamon-sugar dusted cake donut was a solid winner.
I couldn't resist when we walked by Linda Bean's Lobster Roll at L.L. Bean. A lobster roll was ordered and promptly devoured. It was perfect for a nosh-while-you-walk kind of treat.
We could not leave Freeport without having sampled Wicked Whoopies. I was known as the "whoopie pie girl" for a good two years in Nashville when I was at the helm of my baked goods business, sweet betweens. Turns out I wasn't the only one to have heard of Wicked Whoopies. The Food Network, Oprah, Rachael Ray and more have all featured these gigantic sugar-filled treats at one point or another. Personally, I found the whoopies way too sweet for my taste. The frosting filling is shortening-based and leaves that tell-tale film in your mouth long after you're finished eating. I did, though, take the store manager's suggestion and pop the chocolate-mint combo in the freezer before I indulged. Eating it frozen made it taste + feel more like an ice cream sandwich which I quite preferred. Jeremy had no such delimma as the vanilla bean whoopie won over his taste-buds for an after dinner treat.
What Jeremy and I were most looking forward to eating, though, was a seafood feast at Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster. Jeremy and his mom had visited this casual waterfront spot during that college tour trip, and he had great memories of pulling up chairs to the harborside counter, picking through his first fresh cooked lobster.
I hope Jeremy and I didn't disappoint, you Deb. We would've sampled one of everything on the menu had we been in the area any longer! We can, though, highly recommend the lobster plate (steamed lobster with a la carte boiled potatoes and corn), the chowder and the fried clams. I also had one of the tallest whoopie pies of my life while at Harraseeket.
Now that we've offered you a glimpse into our stay in Maine, hold on tight. Read about our visit to Portland (East), here!