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L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine | A Visit to the Flagship Store

With 3 million visitors each year, the flagship L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine is arguably the town’s largest attraction, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This means that whether it’s slippers, sweaters, or a new duck decoy you want at 2:30 AM, well…you’re in luck. Heading home from the Maine mid-coast on a recent winter Sunday afternoon, I decided to swing through Freeport and check things out.

LL Bean Freeport

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
The Hunting & Fishing entrance at the flagship L.L. Bean store in Freeport, ME.

L.L. Bean was founded in 1912 by avid outdoorsman Leon Leonwood Bean as a quality retailer of recreational outdoor boots and outdoor gear, and has grown significantly over the years. Today it operates a thriving catalog, online, and retail presence, still adhering to the brand’s dedication to quality, customer service, and a love of the outdoors. This, coupled with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and recent free shipping policy, has earned “Bean’s” a loyal legion of fans not just in Maine and New England, but throughout the world.

The flagship store opened in 1917 (they went 24/7 in 1951), and is one of four L.L. Bean stores in Freeport (the company’s Home, Outlet, and Bike, Boat & Ski stores respectively have their own buildings), making the area an unofficial L.L. Bean campus, complete with a 16.5-foot tall all-weather Bean boot for a mascot. Don’t forget to take a photo with it on the southwest side of the main building.

LL Bean Freeport Boot

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
The famous Bean Boot at the Freeport flagship store.

Here’s a little trivia – L.L. Bean says that if the boot was a real boot, its size would be 410. That’s pretty big…

Inside the store (there are several levels), signs lead the way to different departments — from Camping, Hunting, and Fishing to Pet Supplies, Kids, Apparel, and entire walls dedicated to boots and slippers.

LL Bean Freeport Store

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Should I leave a trail of blueberries before I start?

Love L.L. Bean’s signature totes? They’ve got ‘em here in every color (not just red). Need some rain boots? No problem.

LL Bean Totes Boots

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Totes and Boots

How about a polka dot bathing suit or some snuggly slippers? Ayuh.

LL Bean Slippers

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Suits and Slippers

Or maybe a sleeping bag? How about a Magum Honker (“offers deeper and goosier tones”) for your next goose hunting trip? Sure thing.

LL Bean Sleeping Bag

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Sleep vs. Sound

Camo “big game hunting” bib overalls and a retro-inspired Coleman cooler? You can get those here.

LL Bean Camouflage

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Camo and Coolers

Fancy a new fishing rod or sturdy carrying case? Maybe a cheery red knit cardigan? Yup.

LL Bean Fishing Poles

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Fishing and Fashions

While L.L. Bean is especially known for its outerwear and comfortable, casual sportswear, my favorite section (besides the totes — I am a sucker for the medium, long-handled, no-zip totes) is actually the L.L. Bean Signature Collection — a line launched in 2010 featuring updated prints, modern lines, and a more tailored fit.

LL Bean Signature Collection

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Bean’s “tailored for today” Signature Collection.

While you’re shopping, watch out for the indoor trout pond (but keep your pennies in your pockets — those fish inside are real!).

LL Bean Freeport Pond

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
The indoor trout pond at the Freeport store.

And if you’re not shopping for clothes or gear, there’s still plenty to peruse in the souvenir and gift displays throughout the store. Here they’ve made good use of a canoe to house a trove of wares.

LL Bean Freeport Canoe

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Souvenirs by the canoe-ful.

Scented balsam pillows (there are lobster ones with “Maine” on them, too), iced Bean Boot cookies, pure maple syrup, lobster pots, L.L. Bean editions of Monopoly, cookbooks, gummy lobsters…the list goes on and on, proving that at L.L. Bean, there really is something for everyone.

LL Bean Freeport Gifts

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Scented pillows, cookies, syrup, and more for sale.

Even those with no money to spend won’t leave the store with nothing. Taxidermied animals are positioned throughout the store for your educational entertainment.

Mounted on walls…

LL Bean Freeport Hunting

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Ready, aim….

Positioned in thoughtful groups…

LL Bean Freeport Animals

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
“Hello, we are watching you browse…”

And in the case of The Locked Moose of New Sweden, Maine, magnificently on display.

LL Bean Freeport Locked Moose Antlers

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
“The Final Charge” – an impressive and rare display of locked Maine moose antlers.

One of only two like it in North America, “The Final Charge” depicts two Bull Moose in battle, their antlers locked. As the accompanying sign explains, the antlers were found on the property of a New Sweden resident in 2006, still locked together from the previous fall when the pair had perished. The resident donated them to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, still locked together, which then contacted L.L. Bean with the idea of re-imagining and displaying the “final battle” at the store. It’s truly something to see, and I’m only sorry that I couldn’t get a better photo – the display has a window on the other side for folks looking in from the outside, and the sunlight coming in made it hard to photograph. You’ll just have to see it in person!

If fish are your thing, in addition to the enormous Fishing department, you’ll want to check out the 3,500-gallon, 24-foot long Riverbed Aquarium near the main entrance, where rainbow, brown and brook trout and landlocked salmon swim by in muted, yet still brilliant, color. All of the fish come from Maine state hatcheries approved by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

LL Bean Freeport Riverbed Aquarium

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
The in-store Riverbed Aquarium.

Examples of Bean’s century of history are also on display throughout the store, making it feel at times like a mini-museum. The company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012 and is rightly proud of its longstanding role in encouraging us to enjoy the many facets of the great outdoors.

LL Bean Freeport Display

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
A pair of 1953 custom moccasins on display in the Freeport store.

And if you’re really pooped and need a coffee, snack, or even a meal (like I did), the in-store 1912 Cafe is at your service. The Mediterranean Salad and root beer from Captain Eli’s Natural Maine Soda were just the thing to fuel me for the second leg of my journey home to Manchester, NH.

LL Bean Freeport Cafe

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Grab a quick bite or a hearty sandwich from the in-store 1912 Cafe.

In fact, sitting and relaxing is something they encourage in a few other spots while you flip through a guidebook or two. That is…if you don’t mind a little moose supervision.

LL Bean Freeport Fireplace

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Mindful moose.

And finally, if you like some fresh air with your sitting, there are free horse-drawn wagon rides outside.

LL Bean Freeport Wagon Rides

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
All aboard!

This is only some of what you’ll see at the Freeport store. What did I miss? What L.L. Bean item is your all-time favorite?

Don't Miss Arrow Freeport, Maine | Shopping & Exploring
New England Landmarks | Only in New England

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Aimee Seavey

Author:

Aimee Seavey

Biography:

Assistant Editor Aimee Seavey is a staff writer for Yankee Magazine and assists in the development and promotion of content for YankeeMagazine.com through blogging and social media outlets.
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4 Responses to L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine | A Visit to the Flagship Store

  1. Kayo Potato March 7, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    I consider myself to be among the proudest of Mainers, and even I have never successfully executed such a thorough LL Bean outing. Good show!

  2. V8 March 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    I have goatskin bomber jacket with sheepsking shearling, gloves with shearling too, which are perfect and also navy sweater with patches, best buys ever and this stuff is made to outlive the owner.

  3. mgw March 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    After reading this I need to make a trip up there real soon. Great job!!!

  4. Jeff March 23, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Love L.L.Bean.I’ve made the trip from my home in Ohio to Freeport Maine twice just to visit the flagship store,and I will make many more.it is a sight to see.it’s my version of Disney world. :-)

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