Portland Day trip – exploring Great Diamond Island – Diamond Cove

Great Diamond Island can be a serene retreat that it is just a short ferry ride from Portland, Maine. This hidden gem, rich in history and natural beauty, provides a perfect escape. With a lot of nature, beautiful views and charming village atmosphere, Great Diamond Island is an ideal destination for a day trip or a relaxing weekend getaway. We spent two nights there and I will talk more about it on this post!

Where is Great Diamond Island?

Great Diamond Island is located in Casco Bay, just off the coast of Portland, Maine. It is one of the many islands in the bay and is easily accessible by a short ferry ride from Portland’s waterfront. The island is part of the city of Portland. If you are in the area and looking for a place to relax, this island can be an excellent choice!

How to get to Great Diamond Island

Diamond Cove is a historic and picturesque area located on Great Diamond Island in Casco Bay, Maine. Originally a military base known as Fort McKinley, Diamond Cove has been transformed into a private residential and vacation community while retaining much of its historical charm. The area features beautifully restored buildings, including officers’ quarters, barracks, and other structures that have been converted into unique homes and accommodations.

There are two ways to get to Great Diamond Island.

  • Casco Bay Ferry provides service from Portland to a lot of the islands in Casco Bay, including Great Diamond Islandthere are two stops there: Great Diamond (South) and Diamond Cove (north). In the summer, there are ferries almost every hour. From the Maine State Pier in Portland to Diamond Cove it takes approximately 45 min. The journey is pretty smooth and the views are so beautiful!
  • Fogg’s Water Taxi provides private and direct transport – up to 6 people

Our stay at The Inn at Diamond Cove and spots in the island

If you are looking for a longer getaway – meaning spending the night (or perhaps more than one night), you should definitely check The Inn at Diamond Cove. This hotel is located in Diamond Cove, a historic and picturesque area on Great Diamond Island. Originally a military base known as Fort McKinley, Diamond Cove has been transformed into a private residential and vacation community.

The Inn at Diamond Cove offers elegantly appointed interiors, luxury island condominiums with balconies, wide wooden porches, a swimming pool, a cabana bar, and casual fine dining at Diamonds Edge, its waterfront restaurant overlooking Casco Bay.

Our room was amazing. Besides the bedroom and bathroom, it also had a living room and a kitchen with a fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and stovetop. So spacious and so comfy. We also loved the outdoor area.

I highly recommend staying at the hotel to take advantage of the amenities and enjoying a full retreat. Plus, The Inn at Diamond Cove also offers bikes and kayaks. We were able to explore the entire island and checking beaches and overlooks by biking around. The island is not that big and it’s just a delight. You will barely see people around.

Among the spots you should definitely check are Pleasant Cove, a cute and quiet beach, and also Sunset Park, for beautiful ocean views – and, as the name suggests, stunning sunsets.

Where to eat in Great Diamond Island – Diamond’s Edge Restaurant + Marina

When you get off the ferry, you will quickly see Diamond’s Edge Restaurant + Marina, one of the two restaurants on the island, open seasonally. We had dinner there on our second night on Great Diamond Island. The restaurant offers waterfront seating optionson the balcony or outsideand the menu features local seafood and New England Favorites.  We had a clam chowdera classic, was delicious, plus baked clams, fish sandwich, linguine with clams and a delicious flourless chocolate cake.

Things you need to know

  • The ferry ticket includes a round-trip. So, when you take the ferry back to Portland, all you need to do is enter the boat. No need to show any ticket.
  • The Inn at Diamond Cove offers free transportation from the pier to the hotel.
  • The Inn at Diamond Cove also offers free transportation from the hotel to the restaurant.
  • The The Inn at Diamond Cove offers breakfast and lunch as well – if you are staying there, I recommend bringing some snacks, cause the lunch options are limited.
  • There’s another restaurant on the island called Crown Jewel and I heard great things about it. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to check.

Visiting Portland, Maine? Check my post about things to do in Portland –  Maine

The blog was invited by the hotel. All the opinions are mine. 

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