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Lets discover some exotic and most beautiful islands in the United States that would surely enchant you with their paradisaical vacation experiences.
United States is home to some of the most stunning and most enviable island experiences in the world. Adventurous, aesthetic, rugged or relaxing – there’s an island for every paradise seeker. Here are the best and most beautiful islands in the United States for an idyllic getaway.
Most Beautiful Islands In The United States
1. Oahu, Hawaii
One of the most beautiful islands in the United States is the gorgeous Hawaiian island of Oahu. While most people think of the iconic Waikiki Beach, Oahu also has stunning waterfalls, breathtaking sunsets, lush gardens, majestic mountains, the top beaches in Hawaii, and so much more.
Some popular Oahu photo spots include Tantalus, the Ka’a’awa Valley, the Byodo-in Temple, the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, and Kualoa Ranch. One of the prettiest places on Oahu is the North Shore, which is the surfing capital of the world. There are so many incredible things to do in North Shore Oahu like eat at the shrimp trucks, go hiking for jaw-dropping views, sunbathe with sea turtles, or experience Hawaiian culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Where To Stay : While there are many great places to stay on Oahu, it’s really fun to stay in Waikiki because that’s where the action is. The Surfjack Hotel is an artsy boutique hotel that is totally Insta-worthy. Or splurge and stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel aka the Pink Palace!
By Marcie Cheung Of Hawaii Travel with Kids
2. Catalina Island, California
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect island getaway on the west coast of the United States, then you really cannot go wrong with visiting the lovely Santa Catalina Island. Situated about 30 miles off the coast of Southern California, you can visit Catalina as a day trip from Los Angeles or Orange County easily, or you can opt to spend a night or two there and explore all the island has to offer. The main settlement on the small island is the city of Avalon, a charming town with a great atmosphere, good restaurants, and cute shops to browse.
Take the time to walk along the harbor and wander all the way to the iconic Catalina Casino. If you’re more interested in getting out on the water, there are ample activities to choose from there – from snorkeling or SCUBA diving in the kelp forests to kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding through Avalon Bay.
There is also lots to do on land on Catalina and hiking opportunities abound. For wildlife lovers, you can even go on a jeep tour to spot the Catalina Bison colony! And for those looking for a jolt of adrenaline, there is also a zipline that can have you zooming above the beautiful scenery. Catalina makes for the perfect escape from the hustle of Los Angeles and offers a unique stop on any trip to Southern California.
By Maggie Turansky Of The World Was Here First
3. Mount Desert Island, Maine
The rocky jagged coastline of Maine’s Mount Desert Island makes it one of the most beautiful islands in the United States. Home to Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island attracts more than 2 million visitors each year. Majestic mountains line the seashore providing an immense amount of outdoor activities to engage in.
Active travelers enjoy hiking Gorham Mountain, biking around Echo Lake and swimming in the sea. Early risers venture to Cadillac Mountain to be one of the first in the country to see the sunrise. Just outside the park is the picturesque town of Bar Harbor. Restaurants offering fresh seafood and charming storefronts line the streets. Prepare to be amazed as Mount Desert Island’s oceanfront cliffs offer stunning seaside views of the bright blue ocean connecting with rocky mountain walls.
Where To Stay : The Inn on Mount Desert is a great place to stay during your travels providing a peaceful respite from your daytime adventures. Its convenient location is within easy walking distance to the town center.
By Deanne Of Scenic And Savvy
4. Sanibel, Florida
Sanibel is a barrier Island on the Gulf Coast of Florida with an eclectic mix of beach, nature, shopping and restaurants. Its gorgeous white sand beaches and crystalline waters will have you convinced you set foot in paradise. Its shores are a shell collector’s dream and sand dollars and starfish can be found in the waters. Aside from shelling, there are many things to do in Sanibel. You can visit the lighthouse beach and fishing pier, which is a popular spot with a boardwalk and nature trail. For more info on the beaches, check out this guide to the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva.
If you like the water then there is a myriad of water-sport activities and rentals. You can para-sail, kite board or hop on a wave runner. Additionally you can go canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, join an eco-tour, or even charter a boat. And always keep your eyes open for dolphin and manatee sightings. If you rather stick to land, then check out one of the two public 18-hole golf courses. Alternatively, go shopping at Periwinkle Place or rent a bike and pedal the 22 miles of paved paths. And don’t forget to end your day by the water and watch the sky light up in color as the sun sets into the ocean.
By Joella Doobrow Of RovingJo
5. Block Island, Rhode Island
Block Island is a small island 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. It’s a lovely place to spend a summer weekend. The beaches are pristine and some are ideal for clamming or fishing. Seafood lovers will have plenty of choices at the different restaurants on the island. Lobster lovers will be in heaven because it is relatively cheap! There are also plenty of trails for hiking or biking to explore. Keep an eye out for the glass balls that are randomly hidden across Block Island as part of the Glass Float Project. You can also visit the two historic lighthouses and take in the stunning views from the cliffs.
Where To Stay : With all that Block Island has to offer, you will want to spend at least a night or two. The National Hotel is conveniently located and listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Plus, the hotel’s restaurant, The Tap & Grille, is one of the top places to eat on Block Island.
By Anisa Alhilali Of Two Traveling Texans
6. San Juan Island, Washington
If you are looking for a beautiful Island to visit in the US, the San Juan Islands in Washington state will fit the bill. Just getting to the island takes a ferry ride from the nearby Anacortes Ferry Terminal. The ferry ride takes around 30 minutes and takes you through beautiful waters and scenery. Once at the Island, there are plenty of things to do but going whale watching is a must. Taking a whale-watching boat allows for marine life to be seen like Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Seals, Porpoises, Sea Lions, and many different Sea Birds.
While in Friday Harbor you can explore the small town on foot or bike. Local shops and restaurants line the streets like San Juan Bistro or the Friday Harbor Ice Cream Co. The San Juan Islands can be a day trip from Seattle but an overnight visit is best.
Where To Stay : There are several bed and breakfasts in the area, like the cozy Trumpeter Inn.
By Dan Bagby Of Honeymoon Always
7. Long Island, New York
Long Island, NY is one of the most beautiful islands in the United States. Though many forget that Long Island is actually an island because of its suburbs and proximity to New York City, locals and visitors quickly learn how diverse and beautiful the island’s landscape really is. Long Island’s south shore is home to many famous beaches, such as Montauk, Robert Moses State Park, and Jones Beach. Find iconic Long Island Dunes, boardwalks, lighthouses, and plenty of oceanfront communities. Fire Island, for example, is popular for visitors looking for beach accommodations near other amenities.
On the North Shore, visitors will be greeted with a rockier terrain and the mansions of the Gold Coast, reminiscent of Gatsby’s literary castle. Protected land, marshes, and gardens are also scattered among the North Shore.
Lastly, the East End is home to sprawling farms, numerous wineries, and the picturesque Peconic Bay, dividing the north and south forks. While the Hamptons reign is most popular when it comes to beaches, quieter inlets and state parks can be found all over the East End. Rent an AirBNB on the East End to enjoy some of the quieter activities. Of course there is plenty more to do and see on Long Island, even for families, to fill a long weekend or more.
By Victoria Curran Of Tori Leigh
8. Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island is the perfect Michigan getaway as it is full of adventure, romance, discovery! The most popular way to arrive at the island is by ferry, in which you can bring your luggage for overnight stays on the island and your bikes. Vehicles are not allowed on Mackinac Island so the best modes of transportation is by bike, foot or horse drawn carriages. Bikes can also be rented upon arrival to the island.
There is an 8 mile loop around the island that is very scenic with opportunities for hikes to the center of the island. It’s smart to pack a lunch (don’t forget delicious Mackinaw Island fudge!) and take the day to bike or hike along the shoreline with breathtaking views of the famous Mackinac Bridge and crashing waves. Be sure to climb up to Arch Rock for the best views on the island.
Of course, your visit isn’t complete without staying or touring the magnificent Grand Hotel built in 1887. Tickets can be purchased to tour the hotel including a chance to sit on the scenic veranda as horse drawn carriages pass slowly by. Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor, located in the Grand Hotel, offers delicious creamy scoops of ice cream to help you cool off after a day of adventures!
By Sherry Trautman Of Traveling Michigan
9. Jekyll Island, Georgia
Jekyll Island in Georgia on the southern coast has a beautiful mix of swampy marshlands, moss covered trees, and expansive beaches covering the island! On the island one of the best things to do is explore the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which rescues and rehabilitates sea turtles found on Jekyll Island. You can see a number of turtles and learn about how humans impact sea turtles, both negatively and positively.
Another must-do activity is visit Driftwood Beach where you can see huge trees and logs, often white in appearance, that have been pushed to the shore. It’s an other-worldly sight and is a photographer’s paradise. The local shops and restaurants are clustered on Main Street, with some other options scattered throughout the island. Try Tortuga Jack’s for delicious fish tacos and the best secret dipping sauce!
Where To Stay : There are a number of places to stay on the island including the swanky Jekyll Island Club Resort for $150 a night on average, a mix of chain hotels, like the Days Inn running you $130 a night, or smaller privately owned condos that you can find on Airbnb. Be sure to get a room with an ocean view for the ultimate relaxation vacation!
By Alanna Koritzke Of Periodic Adventures
10. Coronado, California
Coronado Island, just off the coast of San Diego is one of the most beautiful islands in Southern California. The best part? It is very easy to reach. You can either take the Coronado Bridge or the ferry. Either way, you’ll get a stunning view of Downtown San Diego and Coronado Island. Once you are in Coronado, you don’t really need your car anymore, as most of Coronado is easily explored on foot. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Coronado:
Shopping on Orange Avenue: You’ll find cute boutiques, cafés, and restaurants, fun art galleries and more.
Explore Hotel Del Coronado: This hotel is an institution and has so much history. They even say it is haunted. Even if you are not staying there, visiting the famous Hotel Del is a MUST for your Coronado itinerary.
Coronado Ferry Landing: You can hop on a ferry to San Diego and spend a day in the city, or simply explore the shops and restaurants and enjoy the breath-taking view of Downtown San Diego. If you like Seafood, check out Peohe’s for Happy Hour!
Coronado Beaches: Coronado has some of the best beaches in San Diego. On the northern tip, you have a dog beach which is perfect if you are traveling with your four-legged friend. If you simply want to relax and unwind, I recommend to rent some lounge chairs near the Hotel Del.
By Maria Haase Of San Diego Explorer
So, here you have it! The list of most beautiful islands in the United States. Have you visited any of these islands or know more that should be on this list? Let us know in the comment section below.