Finding yourself wanting to take the ferry from Portland, Maine over to Peaks Island for a day? Well, if the island life is one you subscribe to, Peaks Island will not disappoint. This is a tiny island that is truly about living slow and enjoying the natural beauty around you. You’re not going to find a million tours or excursions here, but you will find relaxation and gorgeous nature on this charming-beyond-words island. So, if you’re spending a day in one of Casco Bay’s beautiful islands, this is my list of the best things to do on Peaks Island in Maine.
The Short Version of Things to Do on Peaks Island
8 best things to do on Peaks Island:
- Rent a golf cart and tour the island
- Not the golf cart type? Snag a bicycle and explore
- Visit Battery Steele, an abandoned military fort
- Eat a delicious lobster roll at The Inn on Peaks
- Have a beach day – sandy or rocky coastline, your choice
- Grab your kayak and paddle
- Go fishing with the best of them
- Watch sunset over the Portland skyline from the ferry
The Long Version of Things to Do on Peaks Island
Want a little bit more information about each of my top things to do in Peaks Island? Keep reading!
1. Rent a Golf Cart to Explore Peaks Island
This was the absolute highlight of my day and in my opinion, the most fun thing to do on Peaks Island! The golf cart rental place is located just off the ferry dock right on your way into the little town, so it’s basically impossible to miss. I think there are two cart rental places on the island, but I rented from Mike’s Carts.
Pro tip? If you know ahead of time you’re going to be spending a day on Peaks Island and want to rent a golf cart as a thing to do while you’re there, reserve it in advance. You cannot just go in and rent one, they release them for rent at different times throughout the day. There were people lined up for each time they released carts, so to ensure you get a cart, reserve one ahead of time.
This was seriously my favorite of the things to do on Peaks Island, and I highly recommend exploring this gorgeous little island for a few hours this way.
2. No Golf Carts? Rent a Bicycle & Explore Peaks Island That Way
If you don’t feel like paying the price tag for a golf cart to explore during your day on Peaks Island, snag a bicycle! You can rent a gorgeous classic bike and explore the island just like you would on a golf cart, it just might take you a little longer. It’s super accessible for bicycles and you’ll be able to get really anywhere you want. This is a great thing to do on Peaks Island if you’re looking to spend a little less money, love a good bike ride, or want to get your muscles moving.
3. Visit an Abandoned Military Fort; Battery Steele
If you like spooky and abandoned stuff, this might be your favorite thing to do on Peaks Island! Battery Steele is an abandoned military fort that has become overgrown by all the foliage and is also covered in bright spray paint and graffiti. It gave me massive Dharma Initiative vibes from “Lost” for any of you that watched that show. And I was ABSOLUTELY looking for hidden secrets at every turn.
You do have to take a very slight walk through some marsh to get there, but there are wooden planks put down so you’re not trekking into the mud. However, I would recommend wearing smart shoes knowing that you might be getting a tad muddy.
Either way, mud or not, this is a super fun thing to do on Peaks Island. And maybe worth temporarily dirtying a pair of shoes.
4. Eat a Lobster Roll at The Inn on Peaks
If I’m in Maine, I’m eating lobster rolls. I mean, I wrote a whole blog about lobster rolls in Portland! But this was another amazing stop for a delicious lobster roll and an imperative activity for me on my Peaks Island day trip. And The Inn on Peaks did not disappoint in the lobster roll game!
If you’re less of a lobster roll person, there are other delicious options like Cockeyed Gull which has an amazing oceanfront view or Il Leone for the pizza of your dreams.
No matter what you snack on, eating at one of the fabulous restaurants is one of the best things to do on Peaks Island for sure. And, well, any trip to anywhere if you ask me.
5. Have a Beach Day
Something I was impressed by on this adorable little island is that it has both the typical New England rocky beach that you expect to see, but it also has super gorgeous sandy beaches. So whether you want to bop around on the rocky coastline or want a more traditional beach to get your tan on, a beach day is one of the best things to do on Peaks Island.
6. Kayak Around the Island
Whether you’re bringing your own kayak or joining an existing tour, this is a great place to get your paddle on and definitely a top thing to do on Peaks Island. Carrying a kayak onto the ferry could be… just a tad awkward… so if I were going kayaking on Peaks Island, I’d check out some of the tours from Maine Island Kayak.
7. Reel ’em In Fishing
I saw SO many people fishing around the island and they all looked like they were having the best time. It was very clearly a top thing to do for a Peaks Island day trip! Lots of people were carrying their poles on the ferry and brought over coolers to pack their catches for the day. If you’re a fan of fishing, definitely don’t miss out on this.
8. Watch Sunset Over the Skyline From the Ferry
While you can definitely stay on the island to enjoy sunset, there’s something special about hopping on the ferry and watching it set behind Portland. This was the last (but certainly not the least) thing on my Peaks Island day trip itinerary. It’s a short ferry ride to and from Portland, and it’s super fun to sit up top and just absorb the sky as it melts into so many different colors. A top thing to do on Peaks Island for yours truly, but I am obsessed with sunsets to so take that into consideration.
So there you have it, my top things to do on Peaks Island in Maine! If you have any questions, as always please reach out. Check out my Peaks Island story highlights on Instagram, and feel free to follow your girl on all the socials!
Where to Stay on Peaks Island
Looking for a place to stay? If I were spending the night after knocking out all of these amazing things to do on Peaks Island, I would probably aim to snag a VRBO instead of a hotel.