You Can Get There From Here
by Jamie Thompson
Although visitors may not make pilgrimages to Route 1 like they do to Route 66, the East Coast thoroughfare does make for an attractive summer road trip. The coastal stretches of Route 1 in Maine are particularly appealing. Freeport, Brunswick and Bath are all within 18 miles of one another, and they boast a mix of historic atmosphere and modern flair, with eclectic boutiques, fine restaurants and, of course, a diverse art scene.
Freeport is a popular tourist destination for its charming historic architecture and plethora of outlet stores, not to mention L.L. Bean, a mecca for the outdoorsy. But, there is more to the town than shopping opportunities. Start your journey early to take advantage of the irresistible offer- ings at Frosty’s Donuts (45 Main St.). Adjacent to Frosty’s is the Freeport Historical Society, which presents fascinating exhibits about the town’s history, such as “You Can Get There From Here — How Transportation Defined Freeport,” on view through February 1, 2015. Step into Abacus Gallery (36 Main Street) for upscale arts and crafts, including an extensive and dazzling jewelry selection, quirky gifts, and the ever-popular giclée prints and calendars by artist Dana Heacock.
Head northeast on Main Street to visit Frost Gully Gallery (1159 US Route 1) on your way to Brunswick. Frost Gully is Maine’s oldest year-round contemporary art gallery, boasting an impressive roster of artists including Dahlov Ipcar, Laurence Sisson, Stephen Etnier and William Kienbusch. Gallery owner Thomas Crotty is knowledgeable and passionate about contemporary art. A talented realist painter in his own right, his works are also on display at Frost Gully.
Home to Bowdoin College, Brunswick’s youthful energy and old-fashioned New England hospitality are inviting. Points of View Artists is a group of 17 Brunswick-area artists who work in various media, including acrylic, watercolor, photography, collage and clay. Their work is on display at
the Points of View Art Gallery (18 Pleasant St.), which is currently showing the group exhibition “Earth, Fire, Water.” Across the street, Tao Yuan (22 Pleasant St.) offers delicious Asian-inspired dishes for lunch and dinner, created by chef and owner Cara Stadler. Maine Street is just a block away, offering a variety of shops and eateries.
Gelato Fiasco (74 Maine St.) is a must for those with a sweet tooth. Their flavors run the gamut from the classic, like Madagascar vanilla bean, to the daring, such as turtle cheese- cake. A few doors down is Bayview Gallery (58 Maine Street), specializing in contemporary American realist and impressionist painting. Landscapes and seascapes capture the beauty of Maine and surrounding environs in the masterful works on display.