Hallie Ephron: Today I'm taking you on a summer trip to a little island in Casco Bay, just a 10-minute ride by car ferry from Portland, Maine.
Most people haven't heard of Peaks Island, which it turns out isn't a bad thing since it's small -- a mile and a half long, about a mile and a quarter wide. Year-round population in 1896 was 343. Today about 860 people live there year round; with summer visitors the population swells to between 2,000 and 4,000. Most roads are not paved and there aren't many vehicles.
We park our car in Portland and walk to the brand new ferry terminal. It's teeming with people on Thursday afternoon, waiting for the 5:30 ferry.
But it's off-peak for cars -- only a few get on making the view from the car deck as we cross the bay nothing short of spectacular.
Fifteen minute later, we're arriving at Peaks. Walk off the boat and up the hill to the little house that once belonged to my son-in-law's grandmother (or possibly great grandmother.)
Our itinerary always includes: A walk to the cemetery. It's got a fantastic view of incoming ferries, old gravestones with stories to tell, and trees that are teeming with cedar waxwings.
Take any street and you'll find Victorian cottages, the earliest homes on the island, and quirky vacation homes. This one makes a statement with an enormous guitar covering the front porch.
The main street features the world's only umbrella cover museum, along with a couple of restaurants, an inn, an ice cream store, and a terrific coffee and breakfast sandwich place. Walk a bit further and you'll reach the public library and the laundromat. And honestly, that's about it.
But the beach, hidden away, is the big attraction. Here's me on Sandy Beach where the sand is fine and the water freezing.
Just a short walk up along the back shore is the aptly named Stone Beach where visitors spend hours creating stone towers.
Dinner requires a walk back to the ferry dock to the Peaks Island Lobster Shack, hours of operation daily from 5 to 6 PM. Period.
They haul the lobsters up from the ocean twenty feet below the floor of the shack. Cash only. And talk about fresh! Soft shelled lobsters, 5.99 a pound. Hard shelled lobsters, 7.99 a pound. We buy pound-and-a-half hard-shelled lobsters, take them back to the house, cook them with corn we've brought with us, and pig out.
Okay, I've shared mine... What's your favorite place for a quiet summer getaway?