Like sales more than sails? If so, start your engines at Kittery, on the southern edge of Maine, and travel north along Route 1 until you reach Freeport. Bring your cash, credit cards or checkbook because this 60-mile stretch yields bargains galore at hundreds of outlets that sell first-quality goods with discounts of up to 70 percent.
Kittery alone features more than 100 outlets, offering everything from children’s clothing to kitchen gadgets to fine linens. A collection of “premium” stores sells designer and brand name outfits from the likes of Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. You’ll find bargain-priced accessories at Coach, Cole Haan, Jockey and Wilson Leather. Housewares and home furnishings will tempt you at Le Creuset, Crate and Barrel, Brookstone, Bose, Calphalon and Villeroy & Boch.
On the other end of the shopping tour, at Freeport, you’ll encounter the L.L.Bean merchandising mecca. Anchored by its flagship retail store, the L.L.Bean campus includes several separate storefronts: Home Store; Fishing & Hunting; Bike, Boat & Ski; and of course, the ever-popular Outlet. (There also are L.L.Bean outlets in Ellsworth and Bangor.)
Upscale stores along Freeport’s Main Street (think Dooney & Bourke, J. Crew, Crabtree & Evelyn) sit next to regional retailers such as Yankee Candle and Lovell Designs. Sprinkled among these are independent storefronts offering Maine-made treasures from independent merchants—The Mangy Moose, The Beadin’ Path, Edgecomb Potters and The Pet Pantry. If those don’t lure you, consider this.
Frommer’s famous travel guide calls Freeport “the most aesthetically pleasing of the several outlet centers in northern New England.”
Tired of outlets and malls? Consider visiting Kennebunkport’s multiple craft galleries, Portland’s Old Port boutiques and specialty shops, or Hallowell’s renowned antique stores. From flea markets to fine arts, Maine has something to offer every type of serious shopper!