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Autumn is officially here and while you could spend your weekends going to various fall festivals featuring homemade crafts, hot apple cider and pumpkin carving – why not get away from the ordinary and try something a little more adventurous like jumping into a kayak and exploring the rugged Maine coast.
And the best part about this option is – it’s incredibly affordable --with some being cheaper than a night for two at the movies. We’re talking about a real bang for your buck.
Your adventure will start in the charming coastal village of Freeport, ME. , at the L.L. Bean paddling center located on Casco Bay where you will be greeted by world-class guides.
“The participants are given a safety briefing, get outfitted with the necessary gear and are given an on-land introductory lesson,” Mac McKeever, a senior public relations representative for L.L. Bean, told FoxNews.com. “Then folks are taken down to our dock and are situated into their kayaks. For this tour, we use very stable, easy to paddle tandem kayaks. They’re great for beginners and are a lot of fun. They’re like a bicycle built for two, but they’re kayaks.”
The tour he is talking about is the Fall Foliage Kayak tour, which allows participants to enjoy the beautiful colors of the season in a whole new way. Instead of being stuck in “leaf peeper” traffic, you’ll be paddling along the shores of Casco Bay while your guide shares facts about the area’s history, and if you’re lucky, you might just get to see some critters.
“We have many different routes we will take during the tour, depending on wind, tides and other factors, but one thing is for certain, folks will have a fun, relaxing time on the water, with plenty of opportunities to see Maine’s coastline, as well as a plethora of wildlife including birds, ducks, seals and more,” McKeever said.
The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and requires absolutely no experience. You can make this a romantic getaway or include the whole family. The minimum age for this tour is 10 years old, so kids are always welcome.
Cost: $59.00 per person.
Activity Level: Easy
Location: Freeport, ME.
Dates: October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16
Registration: You can register online at L.L. Bean or call 888-552-3261
If you can’t make it to Freeport – no need to worry. The company’s Outdoor Discovery program offers what they call “Walk-On Adventures,” which are featured at all of the company’s retail stores scattered throughout the Northeast.
“We cleverly developed these adventures to make it as easy as possible for folks to engage in outdoor adventures by keeping the price very approachable at $20.00, and by keeping them to a relatively short time frame at two and a half hours,” McKeever said. “And like our Fall Foliage Kayak Tours, all of the necessary gear and apparel is provided, as well as the instructional know-how. It’s a really unique concept. Folks can sign-up at the store and go kayaking that same day or they can call ahead and pre-register.”
Now, that’s a deal. Twenty bucks for a morning of kayaking with all the equipment and expert instruction provided. No wonder why this is such a popular program.
“Over the years, we have introduced literally tens of thousands of people to outdoor activities through these Walk-On Adventures. We also offer fly casting, GPS, archery and clay shooting Walk-On Adventures, depending on the location,” McKeever added. “Our adventures are meant to remove the most prominent barriers to participation, demystify the activities and empower people to discover how outdoor activities can add a wonderful element to their lives.”
Cost: $20.00 per person.
Activity Level: Easy
Location: Offered at L.L. Bean retail stores
Minimum age: 8 years old
Registration/Location/Dates: You can check dates, locations and register online at at L.L. Bean.
Fall deals don't just involve a day out on the water. Whether you choose to stay at a cozy bed & breakfast, a family-run motel or an upscale resort, there are plenty of places to kick back and relax and there are plenty of deals. Through the end of October, you can book the “Stay, Sail and Dine” package at the James Place Inn located in the heart of town. The package includes an afternoon or sunset sail out of Portland, a $100.00 gift card to the L.L. Bean Flagship store and a $50.00 gift card to one of Freeport’s most popular restaurants, the Azure Café.
The package starts at $545.00 for two-night stay. If you want to upgrade your room, the innkeepers Robin and Tori Baron, would be happy to oblige you. Oh, and one more perk, a full breakfast is also included each morning as well as fresh-baked snacks in the afternoon.
Cost: $545.00 for two nights
Location: Walking distance to shops and restaurants
Activities included: Afternoon or sunset sail out of Portland
Other Perks: $100.00 gift card to L.L. Bean and a $50.00 gift card to Azure café
Food: Full breakfast each morning and fresh baked goods in the afternoon Click here for more information about the James Place Inn.
So after you’ve enjoyed a day exploring the coast of Maine, check out what the town has to offer. After all, it’s only a 15 to 20 minute drive from the Portland International Airport. And if you opt to drive instead, head up U.S. Route 1 where you’ll see everything from lighthouses to antique shops and lobster shacks – or as New Englanders like to say – “lobstah.” Enjoy!
Click here more information about restaurants, accommodations and package deals in Freeport.