An inlet on Maine’s southern coast, Casco Bay is a rich maritime area spotted with lighthouses, historic forts, and seven small islands. Calm conditions make Casco Bay an ideal spot for boating, sailing, and kayaking, while the islands each have their own unique communities to explore.
Keep an eye out for birds, seals, and the occasional whale while you hike along the coast, sail through the harbor, or hop on the ferry to visit Casco Bay’s seven accessible islands.
Most bay tours leave from nearby Portland, Maine’s capital city, and sometimes include a city tour along with a coastal sightseeing excursion. You can also opt for a private charter vessel in order to see Casco Bay’s lighthouses and historic forts at your own pace.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Casco Bay is a must-see for nature and history lovers.
- With relatively calm water conditions and multiple islands to explore, Casco Bay is a great destination for families with kids.
- Remember to bring comfortable shoes and sun protection.
- It’s a good idea to dress in layers, as the weather can change quickly in this coastal region.
- Ferries from Portland to the islands in Casco Bay are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Casco Bay is located just north of Portland, Maine. Ferries operate daily between Portland and the islands of Casco Bay, and private charter vessels travel through the harbor as well.
When to Get There
You can visit Casco Bay year-round, but summer is a lovely time, when the days are usually sunny and warm. Head out onto the water at dusk to see colorful sunsets over the bay.
The Casco Bay Islands
Don’t miss Peaks Island, which is home to beaches, restaurants, and an art community, while Long Island is known for its hiking trails and conservation areas. Bailey Island is also a good hiking spot, while Diamond Cove (located on Great Diamond Island) is home to Fort McKinley—a structure designed to defend Portland Harbor during the Spanish-American War.