Surrounding an inlet off the southern coast of Maine, Casco Bay sits next to the capital city of Portland. It’s also where you’ll find the state’s main port. Initially settled by English explorers, the area has been built around its tradition of fishing in the bay’s deep waters and off its many islands. Calm conditions also make it an ideal spot for boating, and many come to sail or kayak off the coast.
Casco Bay is home to an abundance of Maine’s wildlife, including birds, seals and the occasional whale. Be on the lookout for the many lighthouses and historic forts spread throughout the islands. Peaks Island is home to beaches, restaurants and an art community, while Long Island is known for its conservation area and nature trails. As the bay’s waters do not freeze, it’s a popular spot for cruise ships to dock during the summer months and for boaters year-round. Being on the water is particularly beautiful at dusk, when many go out to witness colorful sunsets.
Ferries operate daily between Portland and the islands of Casco Bay. Each of the seven accessible islands offers unique views, activities and communities to explore. Departure times vary, and tickets start at around $7 each way.