Here it is: the original outlet that started it all, launching myriad retail outlets across the nation, millions of catalogs, and God only knows how many hiking and fishing obsessions. Open since 1917, the three outlets of L. L. Bean (95 Main St., 877/755-2326, www.llbean.com )—the flagship store, the Hunting & Fishing store,, and the Bike & Boat store,—are just 20 minutes from Portland  and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, making them a favorite midnight-shopping road trip for college students all over New England.
In fact, more than three million people visit the Freeport stores each year. At the flagship, everything from camping and hiking to home furnishings and outdoor clothing for grown-ups and kids are under one roof—not to mention in-store archery clinics, clay shooting demonstrations, and lectures on training pointers and learning duck calls.
The Hunting & Fishing Store is full of fly- and spin-fishing equipment, hunting bows and firearms, and every kind of jacket you could possibly wear while angling for critters. Meanwhile, the Bike & Boat store stocks goods like cycling helmets, clothing, and kiddie seats; kayaks and canoes (plus accessories like paddles and flotation devices); and, in winter, skis and snowshoes.