Peaks Island Golf Cart Rentals are a great option when you’re exploring this picturesque island off the coast of southern Maine for a few hours or more. That way, you’ll maximize your visit, whether it’s a day trip from Portland ME or you’re staying on Peaks Island. Keep reading to find out more about getting around Peaks island by golf cart, and what you’ll see when you’re on this delightful little island.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn all about Peaks Island, Maine and how best to see it, including:
- Where Is Peaks Island, Maine?
- How to Get to Peaks Island
- What Is it Like to Visit Peaks Island
- Best Ways to Get Around Peaks Island
- Benefits of Renting A Golf Cart on Peaks Island
- Directions to Peaks Island Golf Cart Rentals
- What to Expect When You Rent A Golf Cart
- How to Drive A Golf Carts and Road Rules
- What to See and Do on Peaks Island, Maine
- Final Thoughts on Peaks Island Golf Cart Rentals
Exploring Peaks Island in Peaks Island Golf Cart Rentals
If you’re headed to Peaks Island, a Peaks Island golf cart rental is a great way to get around. They are affordable, easy to drive, and electric. They will help you get around the island and maximize your day trip to Peaks Island.
Where Is Peaks Island, Maine?
You’ll find Peaks Island, Maine just off the coast of Portland Maine. This small, picturesque island is a short ferry ride from the mainland. It only takes about 20 minutes to get there by taking the Casco Bay Ferry. That makes it a perfect day trip, especially if you’re staying in Portland ME.
This charming island is part of the city of Portland, located 3 miles (4.8 km) from Portland’s downtown. It’s only 1.5 miles long by 1.25 miles wide, but offers an amazing coastal drive that circumnavigates the island.
It’s home to about 1,200 residents year round, but the population swells to about 4,000 in peak summer season. The island has its own elementary school, library, and police station and is one of the most populated islands on Casco Bay — but you wouldn’t know it exploring.
Brief History of Peaks Island
In the late 19th century, Peaks Island was a popular vacation destination known as the “Coney Island of Maine.” Visitors would come to enjoy the variety of hotels, cottages, theaters, and amusement parks.
During World War II, the island played an important military role. In fact, you can still explore the remnants of the island’s military history, from the WWII military fortification, Battery Steele, to the cement bunkers along the coastline, to the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum, which explores Civil War battles and more.
Today, Peaks Island is a beautiful breath of fresh air away from the city scene. A visit here is sure to include a taste of nature, wildlife, and of course, stunning coastal scenery.
You’ll still find a handful of inns and rental cottages, along with a restaurants, cafe, and an ice cream parlor. In addition, there’s a grocery store, kayak rentals, art galleries and Peaks Island golf cart rentals. And don’t forget the unique Umbrella Cover Museum.
You can spend the better part of a day on Peaks Island if you explore at a leisurely pace, and you can stay overnight at one of the charming inns. You can also see quite a bit of it in just a few hours when you rent a golf cart.
How to Get to Peaks Island
You can pick up the Ferry at the Casco Bay Lines Ferry Terminal at corner of Commercial & Franklin Streets in downtown Portland. It departs Portland for Peaks Island 14 times daily and will cost you just over $4 for a round-trip ticket.
If you have to find parking, make sure you leave plenty of time to find a spot and get to the ferry terminal.
You can also take your car over on the ferry, but it’s not recommended. That’s because there’s limited space on the ferries, and it’s not really that big of an island. If you do decide to bring your car, you’ll need to buy a round trip ticket and be sure to be in queue at the ferry terminal at least 15 minutes early. Also note that the driver’s ticket is included in the fare, but passengers are extra.
Dogs are welcome on the ferry, but require a ticket and must be on leash at all times.
The Ferry Ride to Peaks Island
On the ferry ride over, you’ll take in a gorgeous views of Portland’s waterfront, pass Fort Gorges, and you’re likely see both large and lovely sea vessels on Casco Bay, too.
On the ferry, you are free to bring food and drink, which you can eat on the ferry or plan ahead for a picnic on Peaks Island. The ferry ride is comfortable and short, and there are restrooms available on board.
When you step off the ferry, you’ll be at Forest City Landing on Peaks Island. This landing has been used since the 1880s!
If you don’t want to take the ferry, you can also charter a private boat or take your own boat to Peaks Island.
Note: The ferry terminal and the ferry itself are federal properties, so at the time of this writing, you’ll need to wear a mask in the ferry terminal and indoors on the ferry even if you’re vaccinated.
Related Article: Read this detailed review of the Portland Harbor Hotel.
What to Expect on Peaks Island
Peaks Island an excellent destination to visit by yourself, as a couple, or as a family. There’s not a lot to do on Peaks island – and yet at the same time, there is.
It is a breath of fresh air from the busy city, and an ideal getaway to enjoy a taste of nature, wildlife, beautiful scenery, and more.
When you disembark the ferry onto the island, you’re steps from the island’s humble center. Depending on the season, you’ll be welcomed by climbing roses and other beautiful flowers as you ascend Welch Street toward the intersection.
It’s worth noting that you’ll find public restrooms and Mike’s Golf Carts to the right. Opposite that is Peaks Cafe where you can grab a tasty sandwich or fresh-made pastry and some coffee before you begin exploring the island. (We recommend the cinnamon buns!)
If you continue up Welch Street, you’ll see the The Inn on Peaks Island on the diagonal. There, you might make dinner plans for a locally-sourced meal, and even consider staying overnight. Their luxury guest rooms feature Jacuzzi tubs, private decks, and skyline views of Portland. They even offer an apartment-style suite with four bedrooms that sleeps up to eleven if you’re traveling with your family or other couples.
At the intersection of Welch and Island Ave., turn left. You’ll find Brad’s Bicycle Rental, Peaks Island Golf Carts, a grocery store, and The Cockeyed Gull restaurant (which has waterfront views) along this way.
These businesses are a good start once you arrive, but the real attraction is in fully navigating this beautiful island.
Best Ways to Get Around Peaks Island
There are more than a few ways to get around Peaks Island. After all, the island isn’t very big and the scenic loop trail (best traversed from March to November) is about 4 miles long. The loop goes from the ferry landing straight up Welch Street, right on Island Avenue, and then you’ll follow the signs to the scenic route.
Here are some of the most common ways to get around Peaks Island:
- On Foot – You can easily walk, jog, or run this mostly flat 4-mile route that circumnavigates the island
- Ride a Bicycle – For a small fee, you can bring your own bike with you on the ferry; or rent bikes on island
- Take a Taxi – You’ll usually find taxi service at the ferry stop from 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM in season
- Rent a Golf Cart – Get a Peaks Island golf cart rental for a few hours or weeks at a time if you’re staying on the island
- Take a Guided Tour – Peaks Island Tours offers 75-minute guided tours on the island
- By Car – If you bring your own car over on the ferry, this is also an option, although not recommended
With only a few hours to spend on this island, we chose to explore the scenic beauty on a Peaks Island golf cart rental. Peaks Island Golf Carts provided us with a lovely, electric golf cart rental for two hours so I could write this review based on our experience.
We were very happy motoring around on a golf cart! It was exactly what we needed to explore the beauty of Peaks Island for the afternoon.
Benefits of Renting A Golf Cart on Peaks Island
What I loved about seeing Peaks Island by golf cart is that:
- You can see whole island in a short time
- You’re protected from sun under the canope
- You can carry your belongings with you without being burdomsome, such as your backpack, camera, water bottle, and lunch
- There are plenty of pull offs to the side of the road where you can walk down footpaths, sit on benches overlooking the water, and get a closer look at other scenic places
- It’s really easy to drive a golf cart (who knew?!)
- The island isn’t very big, and the scenic coastal route is well-marked so you can’t get lost
- You can fully explore the inland roads to see beautiful cottages nestled in the woods for an authentic glimpse of island life
- It’s fun!
What to Expect When Renting A Golf Cart on Peaks Island
At Peaks Island Golf Carts, you can rent a golf-cart by the hour, day, or week. For two hours, the rate for our electric golf cart was $40 (plus tip), which is very affordable. If you’re visiting Peaks Island for an afternoon, two hours is plenty to scout around the island.
But if you are vacationing for the weekend or longer, you’ll want to consider the weekly rate.
For Peaks Island Golf Cart rentals, you must be at least 21 years of age with a valid driver’s license and major credit card. Anyone driving the golf cart must be 18 years or older with a valid driver’s license.
You’ll want to make reservations in advance for day or weekly rentals–at least the day before and earlier during peak season. Hourly rentals are on a first-come first served basis.
Getting to Peaks Island Golf Carts for a Rental
Peaks Island Golf Cart is a small, family run operation that’s open between May and October. It was the first golf cart rental service established on the island. Those in the know bypass the crowds at the ferry landing and head on up to Peaks Island Golf Carts on Island Ave.
Take a left at Down Front ice cream parlor and you’ll find Peaks Island Golf Carts located before the Umbrella Cover Museum.
If you reserve a golf cart in advance, Peaks Island Golf Carts’ friendly and knowledgable staff will have it ready and waiting for you. In fact, if it’s close to the end of the season, I highly recommend reserving in advance even for hourly rentals because toward the end of October, the rentals are by reservation only.
The full fleet numbers 20 quality golf carts. Most of them are electric, which are more quiet and better for the environment than their gas-powered counterparts.
About the Golf Carts – How to Drive & Road Rules
When we walked up the hill from the ferry to pick up our golf cart, it was ready waiting for us. Matt gave us a short, easy lesson on driving the golf cart and the road rules.
There really isn’t much to driving a golf cart. Of course, you have a key, a steering wheel and an accelerator pedal to make it go. It has two gears, forward and reverse, and a break pedal.
In some ways, it’s a bit like riding in a jeep, with two comfortable seats before the windshield, a covered roof, and no doors – but much slower.
The golf cart seats four passengers. In the back is a rear-facing bench, sort of like a trundle seat. It opens up to a storage space for your belongings.
As far as island rules go, you can drive all over the island – and don’t worry, you can’t really go too fast in the golf cart. Top speed is about 14 mph downhill. But you do have to yield to–basically everyone and everything. And if there is a car behind you, you need to simply pull over and let them pass by.
Where to Go Around Peaks Island | Things to Do
So, we talked a little bit about where to go on Peaks Island at the ferry landing. When you’re riding in a golf cart, you can explore further.
You’ll want to travel the coastal loop for incredible vistas of the ocean. You can make a few stops along the way as your curiosity is piqued, or you want to stroll along the beach or the rocks looking for sea glass or other souvenirs of your trip..
There are several beaches on Peaks Island, both rocky and sandy. However, they are not all open to the public. The three public beaches on Peaks Island are:
- Sandy Beach
- Cairn Beach
- Centennial Beach
If you’re looking to swim, opt for Sandy Beach or Centennial Beach.
Along the way, you’ll pass by the expansive Peaks Island Nature Preserve, home to all kinds of birds and wildlife. You’ll also pass by a World War II bunker and Battery Steele.
As you follow some of the roads that lead to the interior of the island, you’ll see lots of victorian cottages with gingerbread trim, lobster boats, and plenty of other beautiful homes along the way.
You’ll also come across many working artists’ galleries worth a visit.
Final Thoughts on Peaks Island Golf Cart Rentals
If you’re expecting a vacation on par with Martha’s Vineyard, you’ve got the wrong idea about Peaks Island. Instead, you’ll find a peaceful retreat on a small island where you might feel like you’ve pleasantly stepped back in time to quieter days. The closer to the off-season, the better, and preferably by golf cart.
If you love exploring these beautiful Islands off coastal Maine, then read about Bailey Island, next!
This article may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
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