Greetings from the Harraseeket Inn! We're pleased to announce that travel restrictions have been dropped for our Bay State neighbors to the south. Residents of Massachusetts can now visit for the day or week without having to quarantine, and with several weeks of great foliage yet ahead, we hope to see you all very soon. There are many gorgeous back roads to explore, nearby coastal hikes to connect you to nature, and lots of delectable food right here at the inn to savor morning, noon or night. Use those trivia vouchers and treat yourself to a great Maine escape. You deserve some pampering just for enduring the challenges of 2020, and we're here for you. Gather around the fire pit and make some lasting autumn memories!
We're honored to be recognized as one of the top hotels in New England by Conde Nast Traveller 2020 Readers' Choice, and we thank all of you who took the time to vote for us this year. We appreciate your patronage and your loyalty!
Our guests are as special as our staff, many of whom we've come to regard as part of our extended "Harraseeket" family over the years. Every time I step through the doors here (and I've been doing so for over 35 years) there's a sense of gladness and homecoming. The warm hospitality of the inn and the friendly familiar faces make me feel happy no matter how fast the world is spinning or how incredibly crazy this year has been. My mom's absence still hits pretty hard, but her spirit will always be a part of the Harraseeket Inn.
Speaking of spirits, Halloween's coming right up, along with the second full moon of October, both on the 31st. What could be more perfect than that? The Covid pandemic will no doubt throw a cautionary monkey wrench into trick or treaters' plans this year, but kids will find a way to have fun, no matter what, especially on dark and spooky nights. Here in Maine the darkness is something to be embraced! Our starry night skies are gathering international attention as a destination for serious star gazers. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has been designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary
in May of 2020 and there are many other places in Maine that would most certainly qualify. There's something about gazing up into the Milky Way that transports us back through time and is humbling, awe inspiring and quite frankly, mind boggling. I doubt the trick or treaters will be star gazing on October 31st, but if you visit Maine, there are quite a few special places very close to the inn that will connect you to the galaxy in a way that you'll never forget. Some smart entrepreneurs in Maine will one day build a lodging in the Maine woods with glass roofed rooms and bill themselves a "five billion star hotel".
The Moose is on the Loose!
It's moose hunting season in Maine, and I'm happy to report that not all moose are shot with a rifle. The above photograph, taken recently by guest and good friend Dennis Raymond while bird hunting up near Moosehead Lake, perfectly illustrates the majesty of Maine's most iconic animal. What a beautiful photo! Thank you for sharing this special moment with us, Dennis.
If you take a walk in the Maine woods this time of year, be sure to wear a hunter orange vest and hat. Archery and cross bow season for deer starts in October, along with youth hunting day, and there's moose hunting and hunting for birds and bear. November is a hunting month as well, primarily for deer. Be aware, and keep your dogs on a leash or under strict voice control. My younger brother Paul got a moose permit this year and was a couple weeks shy of heading to camp in mid-October when he suffered a heart attack. Our grandfather died of a heart attack at that same camp while deer hunting back in the sixties. He was the same age as my brother Paul, who's fine now thanks to his wife's fast action and the excellent doctors at Maine Med. It might have turned out very differently had he been at camp, which is very remote. As for my brother's moose, that magnificent beast will have to be shot with a camera after he's made a full recovery. We're all very thankful that he's okay.
Speaking of being thankful, Thanksgiving is on the horizon. As difficult as this year has been, we have much to be thankful for. This year we're showcasing a different format than our typical Grand Buffet, but it will be no less grand! We'll be serving a reverse buffet, which means the food you select will be served to you from a buffet that you can see but don't have direct access to. We'll be serving far fewer guests this year in order to keep social distancing at the safest levels. Seating times will be staggered through the day starting at 11:30 am between our multiple dining areas. As always, the food will be superb and the service excellent. Reservations are required in advance because of the state's guidelines limiting capacity to keep our guests safe. We'll be offering our regular menu for dinner service in The Broad Arrow Tavern after 5 pm, and of course there will be Thanksgiving Day specials as well.
Tis the season for everything pumpkin, and this recipe for pumpkin rolls fits the bill. Recipe taken from "Favorite Recipes of the Harraseeket Inn":
Stir together in a bowl:
1 Cup warm water
1/2 Cup warm milk
2 TBS dry yeast
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Cup molasses
Let dissolve and bubble, then add:
1/4 Cup butter
1 can pumpkin puree
2 TBS kosher salt
2 TBS cinnamon
1/2 TBS nutmeg
2 tsp allspice
2 Cups wheat flour
Blend and add white flour until dough comes together. Knead until soft. Let rise until double in bulk. Form into rolls, let rise until double again. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes. Brush with butter when you remove from the oven. Enjoy!
***COVID-19 TRAVEL ADVISORY RESOURCES***
There are still many unknowns at this time, but we're doing our best to respond to the situation as it evolves. We're monitoring health & travel advisories & mandates put forth by the federal government and the state of Maine, and we've collected some resources here for your reference. Currently, travelers from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are not required to certify that a quarantine or negative Covid test have been completed when entering the state, and that of course applies to Maine residents as well.
Important Notice: If you're traveling to Maine from out of state, please call ahead to ask about any certification of quarantine/testing measures in effect. We'll do our best to answer any and all of your questions and help you with your travel plans. All of our guests are expected to wear masks in public areas unless seated at tables in one of our restaurants. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
While 2020 has changed many things in the tourism industry, one thing that hasn't changed, and never will, is our focus on true Maine hospitality. We've missed seeing many of you this year, and look forward to welcoming you back. Maine remains one of the safest and most beautiful places in the nation, and to celebrate our much cherished natural and national treasure, we've come up with some great packages to entice you to rediscover what makes living and vacationing here so special. Check out our web site for more packages and please don't hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns, or for assistance in planning your vacation. We're here for you!
Special Offers and Upcoming Events:
Maine Autumn Harvest Adventure!
*Two nights lodging in our best available accommodations
*Scrumptious cooked-to-order Breakfast for two in the Maine Harvest each morning, served to your table
*Special welcome cheese and seasonal fruit plate upon arrival
*A bottle of house red or white wine or local Cider
*An afternoon treat of assorted fresh cookies
*$50 Broad Arrow Tavern dinner credit
*Fresh Maine Lobster Roll Picnic Lunch for Two (includes one lobster roll each, chips and coleslaw, a sweet treat and bottled water - packed in individual lunch boxes)
(*Harraseeket Inn black logo masks can be added to your package for $6 each if you want to sneak in some great shopping during your downtime while in Freeport Village!)
$549 plus tax week day*
$579 plus tax weekend*
*Rates are based on double occupancy for the two nights, and the best available room time at the time of booking. Tax and gratuities not included.
Our "Mainer" Staycation Getaway Package
isn't just for Mainers anymore!
Enjoy a fun-filled vacation and experience all the amazing things Freeport and the Maine coast has to offer! Our Getaway Package includes everything to make your visit a truly memorable one:
*Two nights lodging (ask one of your favorite desk agents for the best available room type)
*Dinner for 2 one night in the Broad Arrow Tavern
*Lunch for 2 one day in the Broad Arrow Tavern
*Breakfast for 2 each morning in the Maine Harvest Dining room
*$50. gift card to L.L. Bean
*$25 Irving Gas Card (to fill up your tank from your drive in)
*L.L. Bean tote bag
*Two glasses of wine to relax and enjoy the roaring fire pit on our patio one evening (age restrictions apply)
Through October 25 (rates starting at):
Weekday - $695 Weekend - $795**
October 26 - December 30 (rates starting at):
Weekday - $495 Weekend - $795**
**subject to availability, does not include 9% state lodging tax, cannot be combined with other discounts, deluxe accommodations available for an additional charge, pet friendly rooms available for an additional charge.
Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the afternoon sunshine and relax with a bite to eat on the tavern patio (or indoors if you prefer)! We also offer take-out, of course.
Call us with any questions: (207) 865-9377
***Visit Freeport Everything "Freeport" in one handy website. Your virtual shopping connection!
***Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment A wonderful farm to visit in any season. It's just a few miles from the inn, right next to Wolfe's Neck State Park. Check out their monthly calendar and watch the afternoon milking, gather the eggs from the poultry house or take a goat for a private walk through this beautiful salt water farm. Lots of fun activities to choose from and plenty of space for social distancing right on the shores of Casco Bay.
Enjoy a great selection of family oriented and educational outdoor events planned at the park, just a short drive from the inn. Beautiful wooded walking, snowshoeing and skiing trails along the rugged shoreline of Casco Bay. A perfect place to escape the chaos of our modern world. Stop by Wolfe's Neck Farm while you're out there, and say hello to all the pastured animals!
This month's trivia question is an easy one: How rare is a full moon on Halloween? All correct answers win a voucher worth $5. toward food or lodging on your next visit. You may redeem up to 12 vouchers at one time, a total of $60. One voucher per family, please, and only one set of vouchers may be redeemed per guest room. Please be patient with my replies, it takes time to answer hundreds of responses. To answer the trivia, simply "reply" to this newsletter and your response will automatically be sent to our dedicated newsletter email.
Enjoy the beauty of autumn, stay safe, and we very much look forward to hosting you again!
The Gray family