Family of 
New England

..Island Maps
...Portland Maine
...Family Views

Peaks Island is farthest south of the Casco Bay Islands, this one is easily accessible by boat. Take a 17-minute ferry ride from Portland and arrive on this 2-mile-by-3-mile haven. It's a favorite summering spot for nearly 6,000 people and a year-round residence for about 1,500.

Enjoy beautiful sandy beaches or explore an old fort with two World War II batteries, Steele and Craven. Bring a picnic to the nearby public tables. For a taste of history, stroll through Bracket Cemetery, the oldest on the island, and see if you can find the oldest grave, which dates back to the 1700s.

Before you leave, check out Whaleback Rock. Its crashing breakers and spraying mists have been the subject of many photographers and artists. Literary buffs may know that writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who grew up in Portland, based his ballad, "The Wreck of the Hesperus," on the destruction of the Helen Eliza, which crashed off this island's shore in 1869. (Peaks Island)