LLBean: Bike, Boat, Ski, Hunt, Fish, Hike and kit out your Cabin or Home


I hate camping ...


Don’t you just love this cartoon which I saw in The New Yorker earlier this year? It really sums up the last full day of our holidays this year. We stayed at a rather smart hotel in Portland, Maine for the final two nights and spent the afternoon at one of our favourite stores. It’s an amazing place and this was our third visit.

Hiking list

To make sure you don’t forget anything

About a twenty minute drive north of Portland is the town of Freeport. And Freeport is the home of LLBean. In fact Freeport is given over almost entirely to shopping (there are many outlet and other stores) with some hotels and restaurants thrown in. I suppose some people live there but you wouldn’t notice.

LLBean 2009

The Flagship Store : we visited on 11 September 2009 (hence the flag at half-mast)

LLB Main entrance

The Main Entrance

L.L.Bean, Inc. has been a trusted source for quality apparel, reliable outdoor equipment and expert advice for over 100 years. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as one-man operation. With L. L.’s firm belief in keeping customers satisfied as a guiding principle, the company eventually grew to a global organization with annual sales of $1.56 billion. Our company headquarters are in Freeport, Maine, just down the road from our original store.

LLBean sign

With over a century in business, a satisfied customer is still our most important goal. We’re proud of our heritage and values, and we invite you to celebrate with exciting events and activities throughout the year. In the meantime, you’re welcome to browse the stories, facts and figures in this section and learn more about our company, our heritage and our history.” [From the website]


Bean Boot MoBile

The Bootmobile

LLBean never closes! There are no locks on the doors and it’s even open on Christmas Day. However, although all of this sounds like a gimmick the goods are all excellent quality and, with the current exchange rate, reasonably priced. I came away with a couple of pairs of walking trousers (trail pants) and another fleece (I have bought four of these altogether on different visits). In the past I have bought a tote bag, waterproof over trousers, other casual trousers etc all of which are still in use.

But the main store is not just of interest to me as shopper. There’s also lots of history : how they enjoyed the outdoor life in the past and how it’s all come a long way since!

Camping artefacts

Camping Artefacts

Fly fishing artefacts

Fly Fishing Artefacts

Dew Drop Inn

One of LL’s early camps “The Dew Drop Inn”



Nearest I came to a bear

The Nearest I came to a Bear!


6 comments on “LLBean: Bike, Boat, Ski, Hunt, Fish, Hike and kit out your Cabin or Home

  1. ms6282 says:

    Wow, what a shop. Beats “Go outdoors” any time!
    Are you really sure that bear wasn’t just asleep? 😉

    • I know it seems rather cheesy to praise up a shop … but LLB is a bit special and quite an historical landmark. I snapped the photo hastily and moved on as quickly as possible … just in case it woke up!

  2. Fran says:

    I ordered from LL Bean pre-internet days, early 90’s I think….still have the shorts and cotton trousers. Along with a cotton throw I bring out every summer. Love their range but the customs payment here does rather rack up the price.

  3. […] our last full day in New England, before heading off to LLBean, I joined a morning tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, located right in the middle of Portland […]

  4. […] Longfellow House and The Portland Observatory. Yesterday following our morning’s outing to LLBean we headed for the Casco Bay Lines booking office and bought two tickets for the afternoon […]

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