Linda

There are lots of reasons I love to go to Peaks Island, and right at the top is the Inn at Peaks. The suites at the inn are spacious and very comfortable. We’ve stayed in three different rooms here, and they were all nice with bright primary colors of painted furniture accenting the pale pastel walls. The high pine ceiling and full wall of windows in our “Cliff Island” room flooded the room with light. Amenities of an outside deck, gas fireplace, refrigerator, coffee pot and two TVs add to the comfort and charm.

We never turned on the TVs, choosing to enjoy the ocean views, reading and people watching on the bustling Main Street. We have visited here in November and May, but this was our first adventure in the summer. The island fills with summer residents and day-trippers, but this did not in any way take away from hor special this place is.

The ocean walk is one of the prettiest in the state. We forgot to bring our map and apparently missed a shortcut back, which resulted in a 5-mile walk. It was spectacular. We ogled the flower gardens outside island homes and soaked up the views of the ocean and nearby islands as we circled the whole island. We discovered a couple of sandy beaches and wondered why we didn’t bring our swimsuits.

The inn’s restaurant offers a pub-style menu and Shipyard beers. You’ll find a lengthy list of appetizers full of variety (Edamame and Lamb Lollipops, in addition to typical offerings). Great sandwiches and burgers are on the menu along with fresh seafood entrees. The specials menu offers even more options. It is nice to have a choice of a full or a lighter meal for dinner.

I chose the turkey Reuben special with a starter of fried Brussels sprouts. Those sprouts could make a veggie lover out of anyone. They are tossed with tamari and pancetta, which adds a wonderful saltiness. The single leaves are extra crispy, and toasted almonds round out the texture in this dish. It is a light and great start to a meal.

Thick slices of turkey made a nice twist on a classic Reuben. It still had Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut and cheese, but was not as salty. Sandwiches come with chips, but I got mine with a portion of their fries.

Before heading home the next afternoon, we lingered on the outside deck for lunch, where I enjoyed the most delicious Greek salad I can remember. It was full of interesting vegetables including banana peppers, red peppers, cucumbers and artichokes, along with feta cheese and black olives. With an iced tea, it was a perfect lunch for a hot summer day.

George

While Peaks Island is only a 15-minute ferry ride from Portland, it’s another world — beautiful, relaxing, and full of super-friendly folks, great food and cold beverages. I enjoyed walking around the shore and watching young kids fishing off the docks. We arrived on a hot, sunny day and appreciated that the air conditioner was already going full-blast in our suite.

We immediately relaxed with Shipyard beers on the porch, enjoying the ocean view. Lots of folks ride golf carts and bikes here. We also spent a lot of time on the second-floor deck outside our room, watching people come and go in the island’s main square.

Our very first Travelin’ Maine(rs) column, published on Jan. 16, 2011, was about the Inn at Peaks. The inn immediately went to the top of our favorites list and has stayed there ever since.

We had a great dinner on the covered deck. I started with a large cup of haddock chowder ($4), followed by fried haddock ($18) with cole slaw, tartar sauce and fries. The portion of haddock (cooked perfectly, moist and soft with a crispy crust) was huge, and I was actually unable to eat all the fries and coleslaw. Very unusual! The chowder was thick and tasty, too. I also ate half of Linda’s appetizer. Who knew I loved Brussels sprouts? Once she explained that there was bacon in the salty and buttery sauce, I knew why I loved it.

Before we arrived, I’d been dreaming of their peanut butter pie, and we took a piece up to our room to enjoy later in the evening.

The inn doesn’t serve breakfast, so we ambled over to the Peaks Cafe, which was busy all morning, with good reason. For lunch back at the inn, before we left, it was tempting to have their haddock sandwich, but I chose the hot pastrami sandwich ($12), enthusiastically recommended by Olivia, who served us at dinner the night before. Great tip, Olivia! It was so good, with whole-grain mustard on grilled rye.

Peaks Island is a great place for a summer or fall getaway.

Visit George’s website — georgesmithmaine.com — for book reviews, outdoor news and all Travelin’ Maine(rs) columns, found listed by town in the “Best of Maine” section.