In 1822, the first ferry boat service began aboard the “Kennebec” running between Peaks and Portland.

By 1830 Peaks became a popular picnic area, and even offered an outdoor bowling alley. In the 1850’s, tourism swelled and homesteads began to spring up, along with an increasing demand for guest rooms.

In 1880 an amusement park was erected with balloon assentions and the old opera house was converted to the Gem Theatre.

World War II changed the face of Peaks Island with the installation of Battery Steele and Battery Craven. Many men were stationed on the island ready for battle. Thankfully that need never arose.

Casco Bay Lines ferry ride from Portland to Peaks Island takes 20 minutes


Gradually, Peaks Island has returned to the beautiful vacation spot of years ago. There are scenic walking and biking paths, beautiful sandy and rocky beaches, kayaks and bikes to rent, a Civil War museum, shops, and restaurants to visit. With the ferry still running strong today, a short trip across the bay to the Old Port is a great outlet for shopping or dining.

A 20-minute ferry ride will bring you to Portland’s historic Old Port with its iconic brick buildings, pubs, galleries and specialty shops.

The Old Port’s cobblestone streets pave the way to some of the finest restaurants in New England. Portland is rich with culture and offers a wide variety of entertainment from fishing, bicycling, boating, shopping, museums, art galleries, live music and comedy. All are within walking distance from the ferry terminal.