Peaks Island is an island in the state of Maine. It is located in Casco Bay, and is inside of the city limits of Portland, Maine. It is roughly triangular shaped, and is about two miles by one miles at its widest points, and is about a square mile in area. It is located about a mile east of downtown Portland, Maine, and is reachable by a ferry that runs about 16 hours a day (depending on season). Although it is not the largest of the islands in Casco Bay, it is currently the most populated, with a "year round" population of around 860 people. As a tourist location, its population can reach into the thousands during the summer.
Peaks Island's settlement was based on "a little farming and a good deal of fishing", but now the island's economy is based on tourism, both local tourism from Portland, and the many summer visitors from Boston and New York who come to Maine in the summer. Along with being the most populous island in Casco Bay, it is also the second most populous unbridged island in Maine, after the much larger Vinalhaven Island. Peaks Island has a post office, an elementary school, several restaurants and a convenenience store. When I visited Peaks Island, I was impressed by the quiet seclusion and small community atmosphere of this island just a mile away from Portland and I-95. But as much as this traditional atmosphere might seem to have a type of authenticity, it is a rare thing to find, even in Maine, and Peaks Island exists mostly for the benefit of tourists and vacationers.