Nov 292015
 
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While many New Englanders refer to the entire east coast of Maine as”Down East”, it’s actually just one particular coastal region of the state (from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border) – either way, though, Maine is such a lovely state to visit.  Ever since I was a kid, I have had a love for Maine and have always said that if I didn’t love Massachusetts so much, I would be living up in Maine.

My husband Chris & I recently spent a day in Freeport, Maine and our ride up to the pine tree state was nothing short of comfortable on board the Amtrak Downeaster.

**Disclosure:  I received two complimentary round-trip tickets, in addition to a stipend for our daytrip in order to facilitate this post.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

The Amtrak Downeaster strives to provide exceptional rail service to connect the New England communities in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. With five round-trips daily between Boston and Portland, and now two round-trips to Freeport and Brunswick, the Amtrak Downeaster is your car-free connection to exciting Maine destinations all year long.

The Amtrak Downeaster leaves from North Station in Boston (at the Garden) and can be accessed from the green & orange lines on the T, certain Commuter Rail lines or you can drive in & park at one of the many garages in that general area.  Chris & I took the T in to North Station on the day of our trip.

About 10 minutes or so before the train was set to depart, the track number was announced (on the board and it was announced over the intercom) so we knew exactly where to go to get on the correct train.

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There are two types of seats on the Downeaster: Coach and Business class.

Coach Class: Enjoy comfortable reclining seats with lots of legroom and plenty of space to move around. Fold-down trays, overhead reading lights, free Wi-Fi and electrical outlets are available at every seat. Each coach car is equipped with luggage racks and a restroom, and has at least one set of 4-seat chairs, which give friends and family the chance to enjoy the trip together.

Business Class: For only an additional $9, each Downeaster train offers a small business class section, which includes perks such as extra-spacious fully reclining leather seats, complimentary newspapers, and a free non-alcoholic beverage delivered to your seat. The business class section is conveniently located at the end of the train, adjacent to the Café. The next time you ride, ask about a business class upgrade!

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Chris and I sat in coach seats and were very comfortable.  There was plenty of leg room and most importantly, there were two outlets so we could each charge our phones on the way and again on the return trip.

Oh, did I mention that all Amtrak Downeaster trains have free wireless internet? That made for a very happy blogger, believe me.

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Another thing I really loved about the Downeaster is the Downeaster Café.  They have one on every train and they offer snacks, light meals (like burgers & hot dogs), soft drinks and alcoholic beverages at a very reasonable price. Many local and regionally made products are featured, such as Amato’s Italian Sandwiches, Wicked Whoopie Pies, Shipyard Microbrews, and more. The menu offerings change often to reflect seasons and special events.

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It was pretty cool being able to get a burger, chips & a cold Diet Pepsi for lunch on the way up to Maine.

The ride from Boston to Freeport, Maine was about three hours.  Once we arrived in Freeport, the conductor handed all the passengers getting off of the train a map of the area. We chose Freeport because going car-free is really easy to do there. The Freeport train platform is literally just steps away from hundreds of national retailers, name-brand outlets, and locally-owned boutiques.  Plus there are a variety of restaurants within walking distance of train, too.

And in case you didn’t know, Freeport is home to world famous L.L.Bean flagship store. Actually, it’s a whole campus of stores and they are only a block away from the train platform – and they are open all the time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our first stop of the day was Wilbur’s of Maine because Chris & I were both itching for something sweet & what’s better than a family owned candy store?  We got our fix alright…..

maine candy store

I think I have to say that the most interesting thing we saw all day was this McDonald’s:

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McDonald’s bought the property that the 1850’s Greek Revival colonial (apparently a former sea captain’s house) sat on and had planned on tearing it down until preservationists intervened.  Instead, the fast food chain gutted the house, but left the historic exterior intact and is a working McDonald’s to this day.

As we were walking, a sign that said “Wicked Whoopies” caught both of our eyes.  I have heard of Wicked Whoopies Whoopie Pies, but had never had the opportunity to try one before, so I was excited to happen across one of their two retail shops while we were in Freeport.  They make over 20 different varieties of Whoopie Pies, including the jumbo ones that Chris is pictured next to down below.

Maine whoopies

Chris and I each got a Whoopie Pie and they were only $1.75 each – what a bargain.  I almost wished I had gotten seventeen two!

We spent a good long time exploring the shops & outlets in Freeport.  After all, we had a lot of calories from Whoopie Pies and candy to burn off…..

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When it came time for dinner, we decided on eating at the Jameson Tavern. The Jameson Tavern is one of the oldest operating Taverns in Maine.  Whether you are looking for the traditional Maine Lobster or a burger with one of their local micro brews, Jameson Tavern aims to please.

I am more of a burger & micro brew kinda gal, so that’s what I got – along with some homemade blueberry pie for dessert. Yum.

Maine food

The Jameson Tavern is located right beside the L.L. Bean retail store and they are open for lunch and dinner 364 days a year.  They have Happy Hour daily starting at 2:30 p.m.

Speaking of L.L. Bean, Chris and I spent a while in their flagship store just looking around & having a little fun checking out some of the displays.  If you are an outdoorsy type of person, you would be in heaven at the L.L. Bean campus in Freeport.  There are four separate stores (apparel, home, ski & and outlet store).

Maine ll bean

Once it got dark, it was time for LL Bean’s Northern Lights Celebration.  Trees around their campus, including their giant Christmas tree, were decorated with thousands of colored lights and synchronized with holiday tunes to create an amazing display.  You can catch the musical holiday light show nightly, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. (every half hour) from now until Christmas.

maine ll bean lights

On Saturdays only, you can also see some Carolers and even catch a horse drawn wagon ride.

Spending the day in Freeport was a great decision.  There was so much to see and do all within walking distance of the train station and we were never lacking for something to do the whole time we were up there.

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I have to say that it was really nice to be able to get from here (Boston) to there (Freeport) with no stress and no hassle in comfy, spacious seats on the Amtrak Downeaster.  Chris and I loved being able to explore all that Freeport has to offer all day and then be able to relax with a glass of wine from the Downeaster Café on the ride home.

Amtrak Downeaster Holiday Getaway Review and Giveaway

The Downeaster has options for everyone like monthly commuter passes, ten-ride passes, college 6TIX, corporate share pass, and $5 Black Friday fares. Their newest promotional tickets are Take 5 – Pay $5. Gather your group on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of 2015 and take advantage of their Take 5 – Pay $5 promotion. Buy one full-price ticket and bring up to 5 companions for $5 one-way.

They are also offering the Train to Maine BOGO deal. All you have to do is buy one full price ticket and you get to 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 this discount. Offer valid on select trains.

For more information, please visit http://traintomaine.com/deals.

Do you want to get away to Maine, too?  Well then you’re in luck because I am giving away two (2) round-trip tickets on the Amtrak Downeaster to one (1) lucky reader!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be chosen at random on December 13, 2015 and will be notified via email. Good luck!

Update: Congratulations to #129, Nannypanpan!

Visit traintomaine.com to explore all of the services available on the Amtrak Downeaster and sign up for the Inside Track newsletter to receive the latest information and special deals from the Downeaster.

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  136 Responses to “Take the Train to Maine on Board the Amtrak Downeaster #DowneasterGetaway #TrainToMaine”

  1. Never actually been to Maine to be quite honest, but this looks like the perfect way to travel there. Will have to keep this in mind for the future now.

  2. Yes, please! I’m totally needing to do this now.

  3. I really want to go to Maine..and honestly, it’s on top of our list. I really want to take the train and stop in Boston, Salem and Brunswick. So many beautiful cities to visit indeed..I sincerely hope we can make it pretty soon..

  4. That McDonald’s is the coolest thing ever. What a neat idea for them to do that!

  5. Looks like a great trip. We are from CT but spend alot of time in Maine and when we go to LL Bean it is definitely a full day trip.

  6. I’ve never tried a Whoopie Pie before #ohthehorrors

    that’s a really well-stocked food bar on the train… I almost thought it was an actual cafe on the street haha.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  7. You are so busy!! I’ve never been to Maine but have always wanted to. It looks so gorgeous in movies and photos I’ve seen. The train looks like it would be fun to take (I’ve never rode on a train!) and the upgrade to Business is totally do-able! Better than an upgrade price on a plane, that’s for sure! haha

  8. Sounds like you had a very comfortable trip. I’ve never been to Maine. I would love to go there one day.

  9. OMG I so want to ride a train. This one looks amazing and it is on my 50 before e50 list. Must go look to see if there is an amtrak available in FL.

  10. Sounds like fun! I have never been on the Amtrak before! I would love to make a day of this!

  11. This sounds like it would be a great day trip. Like a mini-vacation, but at least you don’t have to worry about driving yourself. I wonder if there’s anything like that around here.

  12. Wow what an awesome trip! I’m been to that LL Bean and that pub, what a coincidence! Oh and I wonder if our girls would love that Amtrak? What a great adventure, down to the colonial Micky D’s! Great story!

  13. There are so many things to do and explore in Maine.I hope to visit it one day.

  14. I see why you like Amtrack Downeaster. I am all for convenience and stress-free. I like that there is a mini café in every train. I just hope that it’s still maintained and is kept clean.

  15. What a fun trip you took! My son has always wanted to ride a real train! Amtrack to Maine sounds like a great time

  16. I love taking the train whenever I can. It’s such a stress-free way to travel, especially to downtown Chicago.

  17. We spend Christmas in Maine once and we loved it. Our entire family went on a week-long skiing trip to Maine and we would love to go back some day. It looks like you and your husband had a really fun day and I LOVE that McDonalds. Whoopie Pies? Yes, please!

  18. Well taking the Amtrack is on my bucket list….still have not gotten around to doing this but considering it

  19. I’ve lived in Maine my whole life! It definitely is a lovely state, and I can see why we get so many tourists during the summer months. I have taken the train to Boston and back before, and it was a really smooth, comfortable ride. I loved not having to worry about finding parking when I got there, or having to drive myself home in the dark after the concert I went to.

  20. That sounds like a really fun trip. I have never been to Maine and it has been on my bucket list forever.

  21. I’ve been on a train a few times. I love it. It’s super convenient, and it gives me time to read.

  22. That train sounds like a great experience, thanks for the great photos 😀

  23. It looks like a great way to travel. I like the idea of not having to drive.

  24. We went to Maine before and loved it. But, it was such a long drive. I wonder if we drove part way and caught that train how many miles it would save. I need to check that out since we want to go again.

  25. My son is stationed out east. This would be great for him to win.

  26. What a lovely trip. It’s always so nice to ride a train with someone special. The food looks really delicious and looks like you guys really loved the tour!

  27. I love the history in this post. What a great trip for you guys. I’ve never actually been on a train like this, but I hear it’s a lot of fun! I want to go!!

  28. To be honest, I would be happy to take a train ride any where. I think it is romantic. We have Amtrak come here in Reno, I was thinking of taking it to Los Angeles in August.

  29. I have to admit travelling by train can be so nice, as long as you have some room and a comfy seat I’m away. x

  30. We have a train that goes to New Orleans. We keep saying we’re going to take the kids 🙂

  31. I have never been to Maine (or that side of the U.S to be totally honest with you) but it’s on my bucket list. I have heard it’s beautiful in the fall so that’s when we are planning on going there.
    I also have never heard of a whoopie pie..that must be an american thing!
    Looks yummy though and HUGE!!

  32. My son is begging to go on a train ride, I wish we lived closer to this one. This would be fun! All that food on a train, why travel any other way?

  33. We live out west so we are a little far from this train, but I will have to check to see what they have closer to us. You all looked like you had a blast!

  34. I have never been to Maine before but that train looked like an awesome experience. Glad that you had a good time!

  35. Maine is on my travel bucket list! It looks like there is so much to explore there. I should have had you get me a Whoopie Pie to mail to me 😉 Looks scrumptious! And woo hoo on comfy travel getting to Maine! It definitely looks like the way to ride!

  36. What a fun trip! I’m in AZ and there is a total lack of public transportation here. I love taking Amtrac when I travel to the East Coast.

  37. My sisters in laws are from Maine. This would be an awesome way to travel there!!

  38. I’ve taken the train to Boston before, but never Maine. We have relatives in Portland and we’ve always driven. Might be fun to do a train trip with the kids to visit them!

  39. I have always wanted to go to Maine. Sounds like a great trip.

  40. I sure wish we had a train like that here in Hawaii, especially on my island. Everything is so far away and I hate long drives, I’d much rather sit and relax until I reach my destination.

  41. I would love to take a trip on the downeaster! I have never been to Maine and this looks like so much fun!

  42. I have always wanted to visit Maine! Wow, looks like such a comfy ride!

  43. I would love to visit Freeport. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit. The train would be something I would like to do as well.

  44. We took the train from Boston to NYC last year. It was so much fun!

  45. I haven’t been there, it looks fun, I would like to visit there next year with my wife.

  46. How fun! I took an Amtrak from Niagara Falls ON to Toronto – I didn’t have a great impression and actually had to complain HOWEVER i took a trip again on the same trip (different time about a year later) and I was impressed. I would love to take a trip again on an Amtrak!

  47. I’ve never taken Amtrak, but I would love to. It seems like it would be so much easier than driving all the way and finding parking at your destination.

  48. I have always wanted to travel by train and the experience you had looks far better than I would have imagined. Sure wish I lived closer to enter this awesome giveaway!

  49. I would love to experience this! And for just $9 more, those reclining leather seats sound awesome! Definitely a big perk that the train offers free wi-fi.

  50. I haven’t been there, I’m sure my husband would love to go there.

  51. We did the Amtrack from Va to FL. So fun!

  52. The inside of the train looks so spacious and comfortable. It’s great they have food on board so you can get something on the way to your destination. I can’t believe that’s a working McDonald.

  53. I have had positive experiences on Amtrak too. I would love to go in that McDonalds.

  54. I’ve never taken a train but would love to!

  55. seems like a great trip! i love the chrismas tree! it so big

  56. I love taking the train! And Maine… So beautiful. I would love to go back there.

  57. A cafe on a train? Nice. I took a train to NY when I was in high school. It was a little long but I would do it again. I imagine its way cheaper than flying.

  58. Such a great time! I love traveling by train, so relaxing

  59. Sounds like a nice trip. I’m hoping to take a trip on a train sometime soon with my family. We were actually just talking about riding on a train a few days ago. It’s way cheaper then flying!

  60. I intended to take a train trip long time ago but never got the chance, we drove to Maine, but now I am tempted to take the train 🙂

  61. I have always wanted to take the Amtrak! This looks like such a fun trip. And it has a cafe? Super coo!

  62. The train looks like a comfortable way to travel. The leg room is great especially if you are tall. Looks like you had a great trip to Freeport.

  63. I love taking the train when i travel. It is a fantastic way to travel without the stress of driving.

  64. We have always wanted to take the kids on a train trip. It always sounds like such a better idea than driving. And to go to the outlets? How cool

  65. I have always wanted to take a train! We have one about an hour from us that I have thought about taking, but just not done it yet. I still love flying.

  66. This sounds like a wonderful experience all around. What a fun time and special memories.

  67. That sounds like a lot of fun. Our public transportation system here sucks big time.

  68. I used to love to take the train down the coast when we lived in CA. It was a great way to travel with the kids.

  69. That seems like fun. I’ve never really been on a train long-term.

  70. Oh, I wish I’d known you were up this way! I live about 20 minutes north of Freeport! It sounds like you had a wonderful train ride and lots of fun checking out the shops in Freeport!

  71. Wow! This looks like lots of fun. We don’t have anything even close to this!

  72. I road the Amtrack across several state lines and it was awesome. 3 days on a train and we were entertained, fed well and laughed a lot! I would love to do this

  73. What a fun trip – we go to Maine every year and have a fab time. Did you shop around LL Bean and head into downtown Portland, too? How convenient for the train!

  74. That McDonalds is so charming! Also, I love whoopie pies so I am so jealous that you got to try a Wicked one

  75. Looks sweet. and i think it would be a fun experience we love to do this with my hubby

  76. That sounds like a blast! I would love to sit back, relax, and enjoy the wifi.

  77. Looks like you had a wonderful trip! Fun adventure for you and your husband. I would love to visit Maine

  78. I would love to visit Maine again as I haven’t been there is years. What a fun, relaxing and scenic way to see this beautiful northern most state

  79. Fun trip, and great sponsored post! I’ve never been to Maine, but it’s on my list. Seems like Amtrak is the way to travel!

  80. We traveled to Maine from Boston a few years back but we rented a car. This would have been a great way to travel, stress free. I will have to remember this the next time we are on the east coast.

  81. Convenient transportation is always a plus! Sounds like you had a great trip!

  82. That sounds like a great way to take a fun day trip. I love how convenient it is all around, especially to get food while you’re on the way to Maine. I wish I lived closer to I could do it.

  83. Looks like you had a fun day trip to Maine. Always loved Amtrak for traveling so much fun to sit back and relax.

  84. I would love to experience Amtrack too! It sounds like you had a great time!

  85. I’ve never been to Maine! One of the States on my bucket list!

  86. I have wanted to do this for so long. I can’t seem to talk my partner into the romance of train travel, but hope endures! Looks like you had a blast.

  87. Haven’t been on a train ride (aside from the subway lol) in a long time. Need to change that. Thanks for the reminder!

  88. Wish we lived closer! Looks like a great way to travel too.

  89. Family owned candy stores really ARE the best! And this whole trip looks fun!

  90. having an internet while travelling is really great!

  91. I lived in New York for 7 years and as far as I know the Maine is just few hours drive from NY. Maine is such a beautiful place to go and of course don’t forget the Appalachian trail

  92. One day, I would love to take a train ride with the family. What a great day trip.

  93. I have never taken the Amtrack anywhere. I would love to take a train ride and take my kids. I think it would be fun!

  94. My husband and I love Maine … we just spent three weeks there RVing this past spring. We’ve never spent any time in Freeport, though … maybe we can add it to our next trip. (Those Whoopie Pies look awesome!)

  95. It looks like you had a great time on the train!! I have always wanted to take the train somewhere and I think I may just do that!!

  96. I wish our trains looked like yours. Here your main concern is fitting in and the baby roaches. 🙁 It looks like yours is very comfy.

  97. The husband and I were just talking about trains yesterday. 🙂 I would love to go to Maine and travel there by a train. Bet it’s going to be exciting!

  98. I love Amtrak! I’ve taken it to Boston and NYC. Great service always!

  99. I did some whale-watching in Maine before and it was a great trip.
    I love the idea of a train though – your pictures are awesome; the shot of the train is real cool!

  100. I have never traveled too far by train. Usually I took the train for 45 minute trips into the city when I lived near Chicago, but this sounds like a blast!

  101. I took the train from DC to NYC a few years ago. I was impressed by the train and loved that everyone had outlets to charge their phones!

  102. Looks like you had a super fun trip! I would have enjoyed taking the train somewhere as well. We do not have that option in western Canada, but years ago I was in the UK and took the train around to different cities all the time. So easy, and so comfortable too.

  103. what a fun getaway! I’ve never been on the Amtrak train before but I’m excited because I will be taking one to New Orleans for Christmas.

  104. Can you believe I have never travel via train. That looks like an awesome adventure.

  105. This sounds like it was so much fun!! I have to travel by train more often with my kids and Maine is pretty close!

  106. I saw that McDonalds when you posted it on instagram. I had to do a double take! Ours definitely don’t look like that!

  107. I used to live in that area of the country and it is so beautiful! Loved seeing the pictures in your post. Great memories of both Mass. and Maine!

  108. My husband and I took a train to Chicago and we really enjoyed it! I would recommend taking the train whenever you can!

  109. I would love to take a train ride. Especially with my boys.

  110. We rode one of these on our trip to France. It was a new experience. 🙂

  111. What a wonderful trip you had! I’ve always wanted to visit Maine and would love taking the train!

  112. This would make travel such a new experience! I would love to go on the train!

  113. I live in Maine so this was really cool to read that you visited places I have been before. =) Great giveaway!

  114. It looks like you had such a fun time! I love taking the train to the city so this would be fun!

  115. I have always wanted to go to Main! I was just in Boston this past Summer. I didn’t know they had a train to Main. To bad I won’t be back anytime soon! This gives me ideas!

  116. We wanted to visit Maine last summer when we visited Boston but ran out of time. Freeport was actually where we were going to go! Kicking myself now because it looks amazing and I had no idea about the train!

  117. How fun!!! When I was a kid we use to take the train from where we lived in RI to Boston all the time! Being a little kid at the time I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

  118. I love train rides! I would love to go on business class. 😛 My daughter hasn’t been on a train yet, I’m sure it will be an adventure for her.

  119. There’s something about sitting on a train, watching the landscape zip by and sharing the journey with others that really appeals to the writer in me. And whoopie pies at the end definitely makes it worthwhile!

  120. What a great trip and even greater give away! You made me want to go to Maine very soon

  121. What a lovely trip! I actually never been on a train ride, but it’s something that I’d love to do someday.

  122. I will be honest, I have NEVER been on a train. I would like to but there just has not been a reason. I think I’m going to take the kids and do the Polar Express this year just for the experience.

  123. What an awesome trip!! I havent been on a train in so long but I totally want to now that I’ve read this. lol.

  124. I live Norht of you, and never knew this was a thing! I would love to take a ride on the Amtrak!

  125. I’ve only been on a handful of train trips, and I like them. I would like to take a longer one with my sweetie sometime soon. I love when trains have wireless access.

  126. I’ve never been to Freeport. Looks fun!

  127. Sounds like the trip was a lot of fun. It made me remember the days when I used to rode trains in SG lol.. since we never had one like that where I am.

  128. What a fun trip! This is a really awesome giveaway!

  129. I’d go to ll bean have been there before and love that store

  130. The Amtrak is such a fun a to travel! It looks like you had a great trip!

  131. Your experience sounds amazing. Too me the coach class seating sounds better than the business class. This is something I definitely would love to experience. Thank you for sharing.

  132. I love taking the train, especially with the kids. It seems to be less stressful than taking a plane.