Freeport, Maine. 5/21/2013: The L. L. Bean stores were built on a boot. Mr. Bean started making boots and shoes in the early 1900's and selling by mail. After some trial and error, which led to his famous satisfaction guaranteed policy, Bean built a store and the rest is history. Today, there are five Bean stores in Freeport, covering some 220,000 square feet of floor space, all of it crammed with goodies that Americans seem unable..or not disposed..to resist. Neither can I, so off we went to Freeport, which you might say was built on Mr. Bean's boots as well. Great retailers have brought their stores to Freeport, too, making an outlet center by default. It's now a destination; sometimes in the summer, it's hard to get through the crowds.
When in Maine, you stop at Bean's first and and then Ralph Loren and all the rest. It's pretty darn neat.
This is the Grand Foyer to the main retail store..outdoor clothing for men and women, camping gear..including boots, of course..gadgets, guns and GPS. Browse to your heart's content--across the street is Bean's home store..furniture and whatever. Down the way, there's a Bicycle shop and so on.
I bet you can't leave without buying some little thing or maybe some big thing.
If you do come to Bean's, plan to spend the day. There are nice restaurants all through the shopping area, so carry in your goodies, have a bite and then get back out there and buy some more. The Chamber of Commerce will love you.
They love me, too..as you can see:
For the Traveler: Freeport is north of Portland, Maine, along Interstate 95. It's a toll road, so have your bucks ready. If you can't get to Maine, Bean's have a website and mail order catalogues.
But I bet you already knew that.
See you down the road.
Who knows what's next?