Sometimes, you just need to throw some things in a bag, find somewhere within easy driving distance, and get away for a mini-vacation. It’s a rare weekend during the summer that both Meredith and my schedules allow it, but with a little bit of flexibility and just the right location, we were able to enjoy a short getaway to Chebeague Island, one Sunday night a couple of weeks ago. Looking back now, I’m so glad we did.
Chebeague Island is just a few miles up the road from Portland (and still part of the Casco Bay), but after riding over to the bridge-less, secluded island on the small passenger ferry from Cousins Island, we might as well have been in another world. As you approach the island, the Chebeague Island Inn (our residence for the night) sits perched atop a manicured hill that rises from the boat dock. The bay was peppered with moorings, and sailboats were taking advantage of the cooling breeze. Vacation state of mind… check!
The island is small enough that a good bike and enough time will let you cover most of the must-see spots. Luckily for us, the inn had bikes, and we had the entire afternoon. I’d be remise if I didn’t mention that that evening, on our way back from dinner, and at the foot of the inn’s lawn, Meredith and I witnessed quite possibly the most amazing sunset we’ve ever seen. It seemed to grow out of the tree-line of the mainland, and within minutes had filled the sky with the most spectacular oranges, reds, blues, and purples. People were literally pulling over on the street to watch it, and if I were to never see another sunset again, I’d probably be ok having witnessed this one.
In our overnight getaway, the following is just a sampling of what we were able to see and do, and after such a wonderful time, I can’t imagine it’ll take us another 3 years to visit again.
The view from the wrap-around porch of this historical inn is an attraction in and of itself. Comfortable rooms are decorated by local artists and our breakfast the following morning definitely ranks among the best we’ve had on our travels.View pictures and read more about the Chebeague Island Inn here.
Bike the Island
If you’re staying at the inn, grab a bike and spend a few hours exploring the island. We’d recommend the panoramic views of Deer Point, the quiet Bennett’s Cove, or the sandy and sunny Willow Street Beach.
Calder’s Clam Shack
After an afternoon of biking, we were looking for a snack when Meredith remembered Calder’s Clam Shack, a local walk-up staple with picnic tables in the yard. Although the clams are supposed to be tasty, we went for one of our Maine favorites – Gifford’s ice cream.
Slow Bell Cafe
We had plans that kept us from eating at the inn, where the in-house restaurant is supposed to be amazing, but loved our meal just down the road at the Slow Bell Cafe. My burger and fries were just right, and I more than gladly helped clean Meredith’s plate of fresh fish tacos.