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Dinghy dock at Ferry Landing

It’s that time of year again when the mind needs a little break from work and more time to enjoy those lazy days of summer.

Weather played a part in the decision-making process this year. To hop on a plane and head to a tropical island, or cruise the northern coast of New England and explore some of Maine’s rocky coastline and hidden islands? Maine won. Back to Chebeague Island we go.

With paddle boards secured to the bow and golf clubs strapped to the stern, we were packed and loaded. We headed out on a picture-perfect, bright and sunny July day. Cruising on the open seas with a tall ship on the horizon was breathtaking. Arriving in Casco Bay and maneuvering through the spotted islands becomes a bit tricky, and all eyes are on the instruments to ensure a straight and clear trail to Chebeague. We reserved a mooring for the week to allow time to explore the island even further than we did during last year’s visit. New to the island this year: golf-cart rentals — the perfect way to see the island and its offerings.

Once we were moored, our first stop in the golf cart was the local store, Doherty’s Island Market, the only market on the island where you can find everything you need for a week in a boat or cottage. Off we went with our Chebeague Island map in hand, discovering hidden beaches, little island vibes and sandy pathways to the shoreline.

Antique mirror in guest room
Sitting chair in botanical fabric

This island is a northern version of Martha’s Vineyard, but less inhabited. The road is shared by golf carts, ATVs, scooters and automobiles without license plates. Everyone knows each other, and polite islanders’ wave as you pass by.

The island is perfect for boaters looking to spend time on the water.

The Chebeague Island Inn is also convenient and overlooks the bay. Rough weather was approaching during our stay, so we were lucky enough to check into the inn for a few nights and take advantage of the hospitality. Perfect timing — we finished a round of golf and just made it back to the inn before a lightning storm moved in. Fine dining on the wrap-around porch with the inn’s international dining staff was a perfect way to enjoy a view of the harbor and those coming onto the island from Ferry Landing.

Vintage table with marble tabletop and fabric lamp shade with bugs

Our room at the inn was decorated in cottage style: White painted walls, trim and painted wood floors provided the perfect backdrop for a splash of color. Shades of apple-green floor mats on the white wood floor set the color scheme for our room. Bedding was also white, with a large, contrasting, green-and-white-striped bolster pillow. The furnishings created charm in the space. The white-wood headboard was made with an apple-green insert to the top of the board — very custom. The bedside tables were vintage and painted with an olive green and gold-accent stencil design. The Carrara marble tabletop was the perfect detail to tie in to the white space. An antique bevel mirror, glass-top iron accent table and botanical fabric-upholstered sitting chair and lampshades all showcased colorful bees, dragonflies and ladybugs.

The room was a perfect example of oceanside cottage life on this hidden gem of an island in Casco Bay.

Golf cart parked at Doherty’s Island Market

To get to the island by land, the ferry from Portland comes to Chebeague and stops at four islands along the way. This route will take one-and-a-half hours. Chebeague Transportation Company Islander Ferry also leaves from Cousins Island in Yarmouth, Maine, and is a 15-minute trip to the base of the inn.

Find out more about Chebeague Island at www.chebeague.org.

Debbe Daley is owner and principal of Debbe Daley Designs, with offices in Lowell, Boston and Portsmouth, N.H. Debbe can be reached

Pathway to the beach

at www.daleydesigns.com.