A 20 minute enjoyable ferry ride from Portland, leads to the small neighborhood of Peak Island. After docking at Forest City Landing, there are plenty of ways to get around the island, with the most popular being renting a golf cart. One can also explore the island via bicycle or on foot. In fact there is a lovely looped trail close to the dock, the upkeep of all trails belongs to the Peaks Island Preserve. Visitors may choose to explore the waters by hiring a kayak.
There are countless sandy beaches around the island, including Cairn Beach, a stunning beach with a lighthouse as a backdrop however one cannot swim on this beach. Centennial Beach, close to the ferry is another beach, with a wooden deck which makes for a romantic evening. Visitors can also give fishing a try. Peak Island is heaven for foodies, especially for seafood lovers. There are amazing restaurants as well as food stalls with Maine Lobsters being a delicacy, however for visitors with a sweet tooth ice-cream stalls and cinnamon buns are a must try.
The island offers quite a treat for history lovers, particularly with its historical ties to the second world war and the civil war. The island served as a World War II outpost, and visitors can still visit the Battery Steele, which was used as a weapons bunker during the same time. The watch towers and structure are still preserved and unless one is claustrophobic, visitors can also explore the underground tunnels. There is also a trail that leads to spectacular views of the battery and Casco Bay. Nowadays this historical structure has been given a new urban look as graffiti artists have left their mark on its walls.
The the Fifth Maine Museum takes visitors back to the time of the Civil war, when Fifth Maine Regiment fought in the war. The museum also shows respect to the veterans who built the building. There are other non-historical museums to visit, such as the Umbrella Cover museum. The museum celebrates the relatively boring parts of life, including an area celebrating the art of umbrella sheaths, nowadays there are sheaths from over 71 countries which gives the museum its name.
Peak Island, was previously known as the Coney Island of Maine, this name dates back to the 19th century, when there were amusement park rides on the island, however they have since then been destroyed or removed. Nowadays it serves as a summer residence or as a retirement location. In fact while the island’s beauty can be appreciated all year round, it’s population in summer increases heavily from 900 inhabitants to 4000. This can make getting around the islands a challenge, as both ferry rides, car parks and golf carts tend to be fully booked, so make sure to pre-book in advance. One can also consider overnight stays at one of the different bed and breakfasts on the island.
Peak Islands is the ideal get away location, offering a perfect balance of food, sea, relaxation and a good dose of history. However if you are looking for a quiet retreat avoiding the summer months is highly recommended as it can get rather busy and even the most easiest of tasks like making your way around the island becomes a challenge.