There is so much to do on the peninsula, but nearby white sandy beaches, islands, and historical landmarks are awaiting exploration on summer days—most require only a bathing suit, sunscreen, and zest for adventure.
Summer Daytrip Destinations Off the Peninsula
Casco Bay Islands
Seven islands are accessible by Casco Bay Lines, and each offers a chance to escape the busy peninsula life and unwind on a lesser-populated landscape. Peaks, Chebeague, Cliff, and Long islands have year-round residents and therefore places to dine, such as the Inn on Peaks Island and Chebeague Island Inn. Rent a bike or a kayak and explore the coastline to find a beach all your own.
56 Commercial St. | Portland
Fort Williams Park
This park was built to protect Cape Elizabeth’s shoreline during World War II, but today it’s filled with runners, bikers, picnickers, and pickup baseball games. It’s also home to Portland Head Light, one of the most iconic lighthouses in Maine. It’s just a 12-minute drive south to enjoy a view of the Old Port from afar and watch as boats pass through the channel.
1000 Shore Rd. | Cape Elizabeth
This Civil War–era granite structure, which looks as if it is floating atop the dark blue waters of Casco Bay, can only be reached by water taxi or boat. Explore the fort on foot, then climb to the top to take in expansive views of the bay through the arched windows.
Hog Island Ledge | Portland Harbor
Crescent Beach State Park
For relaxing on sandy shores, pack the car and drive 15 minutes south to Crescent Beach, where the coastline stretches out in a mile-long arc of calm water, soft sand, and green beach grass.
Bowery Beach Rd. | Cape Elizabeth
Ferry Beach State Park
A 20-mile journey south from Portland, this beach feels more remote than its popular neighbors, Old Orchard Beach and Camp Ellis. A network of trails runs through bordering woods, where beachgoers can cool down in the summer heat.
95 Bayview Rd. | Saco
You’ll pass food trucks and bathrooms on your way down to the sand at this beach, which is a 20-minute drive from Portland. Boasting warmish waters that reach into the 60s in the later summer months, surfers and boogie boarders are known to play in this stretch of shore.
418 Black Point Rd. | Scarborough
Tidal pools fill up with sea creatures along the rocky coastline of this cove, about a 20-minute drive south of Portland. Just off the coast, boats float on their moorings, making it a perfect spot to set up an easel or to just watch the sunset. After the beach, stop by Kettle Cove Creamery and Cafe for some homemade frozen treats.
Kettle Cove Rd. | Cape Elizabeth
Winslow Homer Studio
Throughout the year, the Portland Museum of Art offers tours of the artist’s former studio, which is located on Prouts Neck in Scarborough. Walk along the wood floors of the nineteenth-century home, then head out on to the piazza to take in the view from where Homer dipped into his paints and created masterpieces inspired by the Atlantic.
5 Winslow Homer Rd. | Scarborough