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Peaks Island, Maine

4.50 avg. rating (88% score) - 4 votes

Adjectives ensue on the ferry ride to Peaks Island from Portland, Maine. Frothy, brilliant, sparkling, sea-salty. Everything that a quick, 20-minute ferry ride should be, until you dock at Forest City Landing, where Casco Bay ferries have been landing since the 1880s.

It’s easy to dream here on tiny Peaks Island. Of tall ships and seaside cottages and endless blue seas and crisp breezes. You can bike the circumference of this 1×2-mile knob of land in 40 minutes, according to Brad, who rents transportation at the unbelievable rate of just $15 for four hours, at Brad’s Island Bike Rentals (115 Island Ave.; 207-766-5639). But there’s no need to rush—beaches here are plentiful and accessible, a welcome change from the beach-rights squabbling that invades so many seacoast villages like red tide.

Time enough to pedal along Seashore Avenue and dip a toe in the vast brilliant water on the Atlantic “backshore” side of the island. Or explore the mysterious, leafy green paths winding inland, to little cottages festooned with porches, or the vestiges of concrete war bunkers, or the shadowy remnants of old Indian trails, weaving through sunlit pine groves. Easy enough to pass a lazy afternoon meandering along Island Avenue, just up the hill from the ferry landing, sampling a diverting assortment of shops and galleries sprinkled like beach glass: the Umbrella Cover Museum, the GEM Island Artists Gallery, and Take a Peak home and gift shop.

And then, park your bike at Peaks Island House, pick out a table on the veranda overlooking Casco Bay, and order up a Caesar wrap. Or kick back at the Cockeyed Gull, further down Island Avenue, where a chilled calamari cocktail meets orange curry yogurt, or sesame-encrusted salmon bumps up against a wasabi aioli seaweed garni.

Reason enough to pause as you circle the four-mile perimeter of Peaks Island. Dream a little dream.

Leaving Peaks Island and Heading Back to Portland

Back to Portland

Photo/art by Annie Graves

A view of the ferry

A view of the ferry

Photo/art by Annie Graves

And lunch to consider

And lunch to consider

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Weather to ponder

Weather to ponder

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Stone walls

Stone walls

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Paths to explore

Paths to explore

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Just the broad ocean

Just the broad ocean

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Rarely any cars

Rarely any cars

Photo/art by Annie Graves

And easy solitude

And easy solitude

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Pretty Lanes

Pretty Lanes

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Deserted beaches

Deserted beaches

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Rocky outcrops

Rocky outcrops

Photo/art by Annie Graves

and beach glass for sale

and beach glass for sale

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Roadside Honey

Roadside Honey

Photo/art by Annie Graves

With amazing views

With amazing views

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Everywhere

Everywhere

Photo/art by Annie Graves

And fanciful gardens

And fanciful gardens

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Hydrangeas mandatory

Hydrangeas mandatory

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Loads of charming cottages

Loads of charming cottages

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Easy cycling to accessible beaches

Easy cycling to accessible beaches

Photo/art by Annie Graves

He'll set you up

He'll set you up

Photo/art by Annie Grave

Walk to Brad's Bike Shop

Walk to Brad's Bike Shop

Photo/art by Annie Graves

The exodus

The exodus

Photo/art by Annie Graves

A glorious day to cross

A glorious day to cross

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Boarding the Ferry

Boarding the Ferry

Photo/art by Annie Graves

Ticket to Peaks Island

Ticket to Peaks Island

Photo/art by Annie Graves

And safe harbor

And safe harbor

Photo/art by Annie Graves

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