Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Hospitality runs deep at The Harraseeket Inn. Two histories – one of place and one of heart – collide to create a story reminiscent of a Hallmark Channel mini-series.

Generations follow a destiny fueled in by part genetics and in part by gut.

Nancy Dyer Gray, the owner and visionary behind the Harraseeket Inn, grew up on a small Maine Island. She discovered her life-long passion at an early age while doing odd jobs at her parents’ hunting and fishing lodge. From assistant cook to housekeeper, Nancy continued to work in the family business refining her skills as an innkeeper. She graduated college, married and soon joined her sister in managing family properties in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Twenty-five years and three properties later, Nancy made her way back to Maine to create her own little piece of heaven.

A property in Freeport caught her eye. Instinct and business smarts kicked in; Nancy saw great potential in a run-down apartment complex on five prime acres situated the north end of town.

Location, location, location!

The setting was ideal for a Bed and Breakfast Inn; guests could easily walk to shopping and the legendary L.L. Bean flagship store. The main building of the complex, a traditional cape cod, had an illustrious past, serving as a stage stop and stable in the 1700s. Nancy opted to restore the historic post and beam structure. She converted it into a quaint 8 room inn, respectfully naming it the Carriage House. Harraseeket’s new larger central inn was later built in an adjacent field. In 1997, an expansion plan began with the addition of nine extended-stay town homes and property upgrades. Today, the Inn offers a total of 84 rooms, 9 suites, 9 townhouses and 2 restaurants. Chip Gray, Nancy’s older son, has taken over the reins as General Manager. Chip’s daughter, “Little Nancy”, keeps with tradition working at the Inn making her Grandmother very proud. The legacy lives on.

Harraseeket, the American Indian name of the nearby river, serves well as the Inn’s moniker. The name means “River of many Fish”.  With gratitude, an appreciation for the abundance in nature prevails at the property. As a Green Certified hotel, conservation and protecting the environment are top priorities.

The Inn’s restaurants feature organic and naturally raised ingredients and foods. The fish is fresh from local waters. And, even the milk, free from hormones and antibiotics, comes from regional Maine dairies.

The mission and message – savor and save this special piece of paradise.

The Inn’s staff will happily help you customize a daily adventure – an outing that is sure to be challenging but cherished for years to come.

Hardcore outdoor enthusiasts will delight in activities that will push limits – ranging from sea kayaking to cross country skiing.

Retail wranglers will meet their match at the 100+ outlet stores and the round-the-clock (yes…24 hours) access to the L.L. Bean mega-center.

Whatever your passion…Freeport and The Harraseeket Inn will not disappoint.

Voted #1 Hotel in Freeport 150_logo-11900-2_Trip Advisor

Hotel Highlights:

  • 84 Guest Rooms/9 Suites/9 Townhouses
  • Jacuzzi and Fireplace Rooms Available
  • Handicap Accessible
  • Indoor Heated Pool/Fitness Center
  • 5 acres of grounds and gardens
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary Parking
  • Complimentary Buffet Breakfast
  • Pet Friendly
  • 2 Restaurants featuring fresh local dishes
  • Concierge and L.L. Bean Discovery Program Booking Services
  • Certified Green Hotel/ AAA 4 Diamond Property
  • 2 Ballrooms/Meeting Space

Location: Freeport, Maine (20 minutes north of Downtown Portland)

For more information, special promotions and reservations, visit The Harraseeket Inn website or call 800-342-6423.

Top Ten Reasons to Visit:

  1. It’s Maine. Nature’s Bountiful Beauty at its Best! Cooler temps…Cool in every way.
  2. A playful coastal escape to clear your mind and recharge your spirit. The Harraseeket Inn’s patio makes the perfect spot to people watch, star gaze and toast the adventure.
  3. Fresh Finds. Eat & Drink Like a Local – Maine brews, cheeses, blueberries, seafood and more.
  4. The L.L. BEAN Flagship Store. Take a selfie with the Big Boot, sign up for a fly-fishing, kayak and adventure tour, or simply shop for incredible outlet deals.
  5. Wolfe’s Neck Farm- A beautiful campground and barnyard learning center set on 626 acres of farmland and forest with over 4 miles of Casco Bay views. Hiking Trails, Summer Camps, and Farm-to-Table Events. Open to the Public.
  6. Meet a Musher. Penelope Gray is a part of the Inn’s family but is best known a Maine Master Guide, writer and professional musher with a team of 20+ sled dogs. You are likely catch up with her as she enjoys her morning coffee during her weekly visit to the Inn to offer a helping hand.
  7. An Authentic Maine Lobster Roll. Harraseeket’s Boone Tavern serves up a hearty lunch special that includes lobster stew, a classic lobster roll and a Maine microbrew. Or, opt to snag a lobster roll “to go” at the Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen counter at the L.L. Bean Retail Center.
  8. Mast Landing Audubon Sanctuary. Three miles of trails that wind along a stream, tidal marsh and through orchards, fields and forest. The sanctuary is home to shorebirds, songbirds, woodland mink, white tailed deer other wildlife.
  9. Exclusive Maine Shops. Check out the Thos.Moser Furniture and Art Gallery for handcrafted timeless designs. And, explore the fine woven textiles, blankets and bedding at Brahms Mount.
  10. Experience Moon Pie Madness.  The Moon Pie, despite disagreements over its true origin, is Maine’s official State treat. The pie, a cake version of an oversized oreo cookie oozing with a sweet creamy filling, is a coveted confection found in select bakeries. In Freeport, a visit to Wicked Whoopies, with over 20 varieties, is worth the trip and the calories.

A Weekend Fall Favorite – The Freeport Fall Festival: A two day art and music festival on the L.L. Bean campus featuring New England artists, regional foods and Freeport’s popular Chili and Chowder Challenge.

For your all your trip planning needs, visit the Maine Tourism website.

Photos Courtesy of The Harraseeket Inn and Sheila Gaspers.

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