America’s Best Islands

For this list, we’ll be exploring fun and fascinating islands in the US, including some well known places but excluding truly large destinations like Hawaii. Thanks to CNN travel for the selections. Fire Island, New York. This mostly unspoiled island off the coast of the much larger Long Island is a welcome change from the Hamptons with long strips of underdeveloped shoreline and quiet beaches, this island is a great place for bird watching, paddling, fishing and camping. Fire Island has just a few 100 residents year round, but hosts many thousands of visitors each summer.

It’s especially popular on July 4th when hundreds of drag Queens and spectators flocked to the island for the annual event. Invasion of the Pines. When you’re finished touring Manhattan head, here. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Now here’s an island with a big reputation. Though it may be very busy in the summer, Martha’s Vineyard still feels far removed from the urban rush, and is a great escape from the city’s traffic. Gridlock, just a seven mile ferry ride from the shores of famed Cape Cod. His quaint little island, frequented by many celebrities, boasts picture Perfect Island beaches, scenic clay cliffs and down to Earth pubs. If you’re a fan of cycling,

America’s Best Islands Photo Gallery

It’s a great place to visit because the island offers smooth bike paths along the coast to enjoy the Atlantic views and Nantucket. Another island charmer is only about an hour away via the ferry Mount, Desert Island, Maine. Who wouldn’t like to gaze upon a starry sky while on a quiet retreat here on Mount Desert Island you can do just that and so much more. Each September, the island hosts the Acadian Night Sky Festival, which is all about stargazing.

Though the night sky is spectacular. The daytime on the island has a lot to offer. Home of the oldest National Park east of the Mississippi, Mount Desert, is Maine’s largest island and home to the astonishingly beautiful Acadia National Park. Hike up all 1500 feet of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak along the North Atlantic coast. To catch the sunrise, then head to a clam shack or the beach. No matter where you are on the island, you can gaze upon the typically stunning mean scenery. Amelia Island, Florida. What was once a place of great conflict, Amelia Island is now a calm and tranquil destination located near Jacksonville, FL. This island used to be highly sought after fortified territory over the last few 100 years.

This island has been occupied by the Spanish, French, British, Mexicans and even pirates, though many of the historic buildings still exist like the Civil War era. Garrison and Victorian mansions, it’s now a peaceful place, full of Inns, seafood restaurants. And independent art Gallery’s Amelia Island is a fantastic place to do some fishing, sailing, manatee, watching, and to enjoy. Perhaps the least crowded beaches you’ll find in Florida, Santa Catalina Island, California. This 76 Mile island off the coast of LA started to become a hip destination when William Wrigley Junior. Yes, the chewing gum King bought it in 1919 under his direction, the town of Avalon transformed into a resort town frequented by multiple areas of Hollywood stars. Catalina is still a Californian hotspot, but now it’s for everyone to enjoy. Ferry over to the island and enjoy quirky restaurants, ice cream parlors, golf courses and all manner of getaway charm. But the island isn’t all typically touristy.

Travelers can also explore the rest of the island, which features over 40,000 acres of undeveloped land, not to mention wild bison herds, St. John, US Virgin Islands for our next island. We head to the Caribbean, that legendary destination of the Sun and sea. Home to the Virgin Islands National Park, this charming island paradise, much less flashy than its neighbors. Saint Thomas is approximately 60% designated tropical Preserve and is a great place to see wildlife both on land or while snorkeling. Unfortunately, Saint John was hit with two category 5 hurricanes back in 2017, which destroyed many buildings in natural landscape features. But Saint John has bounced back and is recovering strong. The storm certainly didn’t wash away.

The white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Sanibel Island, Florida. Are you a shell head? While this is the island for you located off the coast of Fort Myers, FL, Sanibel Island stretches out east to West in a boomerang shape, which allows its beaches to Hoover up shells galore. Its long coastline is covered with all manner of intact shells including whelks and myrexis. There’s even a name. The Sanibel Stoop used for the bent at the waist posture you’ll sport when you’re picking up seashells by the seashore, and I’ll say that 10 times faster. After the beach Mosey to the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum, or peruse one of the local craft shops or just lounge by the Ocean and Super Margarita, your call before we get to our last pic, here are some honorable mentions.

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