Pondsea Place

Peaks Island, Maine

Peaks Island, Maine

Boston Globe: May 15, 2011

New England summer travel in Maine-
Whether you want to kayak in the ocean, zip down a mountain, or just cozy up in a rocking chair on a country porch, your vacation is waiting at this destination.

Peaks Island

WHY GO Only a 20-minute ferry ride from Portland, 2-mile-long, 1-mile-wide Peaks Island gets you away from the mainland but not too far from civilization. One of four islands in Casco Bay with a year-round population, Peaks is a part of the city of Portland (though rumblings to secede come and go). You’ll find vast ocean views to the east, city lights to the west, and the slow-down vibe endemic to island communities. Yet there are enough services – art walks, library, grocery store, health center – to make you feel at ease. And you can always take the ferry to Portland for dinner.

THE BASICS Visit for a day, overnight, or the weekend – or a week, if you really want to settle in. The ferry runs nearly every hour (http://www.cascobaylines.com for schedule). The Inn on Peaks Island has six charming and airy suites with fireplaces (207-766-5100, http://www.innonpeaks.com; from $199) and a restaurant with seafood, salads, pub fare, and a kids’ menu. Homes and apartments are available for vacation rental. (See the classifieds on http://www.peaksisland.com or go to ashmorerealty.com or http://www.portisland.com.) History buffs may want to stay hostel-style in the Eighth Maine Regiment Memorial Museum and Lodge (http://www.eighthmaine.com; from $99). In case the quiet gets old, the Inn on Peaks Island features Shipyard brews and is host to live music, the occasional comedy night, and a gourmet brunch on Sundays. Jones Landing, an event hall adjacent to the ferry, rocks on Reggae Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m., in the summer.

DON’T MISS Circumnavigate the island via Seashore Avenue on foot, rented bike, or golf cart. It’s a 4-mile-long loop with wide-open water views and forested sections. Swim or search for sea glass at Sandy Beach. Paddle a kayak to a quiet cove (Casco Bay Kayak, 207-766-2650; Maine Island Kayak, 207-766-2373). Take a ferry to Long Island or Cliff Island, also in Casco Bay, for a walk and a picnic. Check out the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum (207-766-3330, http://www.fifthmainemuseum.org), a Civil War and local history museum, or the quirky Umbrella Cover Museum, open by chance or by appointment, mid-June to Labor Day (207-939-0301, http://www.umbrellacovermuseum.org).

– Nancy Heiser

Around Peaks

Want to learn more about this part of the country! http://www.visitmaine.com/region/portland/

Peaks Island has a great library: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/locations/peaks.htm

Portland! http://mainetoday.com/

There is a lot to learn about this amazing state: http://www.maine.info/

Want to kayak? Or learn to kayak? http://www.maineislandkayak.com/

There is a lot to learn about this beautiful island: http://www.peaksisland.info/index.htm

Want to ride horses while you are on Peaks? http://www.horseislandcamp.com/

 Go with the Pros on a Tour of Peaks Island in a golf cart!  http://www.peaksislandtours.com/

Come and Enjoy the Fest in June! http://peaksfest.webs.com/ 

Like Art? Like to walk? http://artwalkmaine.org/peaks-island-art-walks/ 

Sailing and Tennis Club – temporary memberships available: http://www.teiaclub.org/

Want to shop for something unique! http://www.antiquesonpeaks.com/

Love crafts and special gifts! http://www.knewellcrafts.com/

Peaks Island has a wonderful land preserve: http://www.preservepeaks.org/

Maine Lobster Bake Company | 207.415.8063 | http://www.cascobaylobsterbake.com/ 

Massage Therapist: Robin Carr, LMT | 42 Epps Street | 207.712.6307 | heronpeaks@yahoo.com  |  Licensed massage therapist offering theraputic massage, treatment, hot stone massage and thai yoga bodywork.