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20 Beautiful Islands to Visit within the United States

Oahu, Hawaii

The stunning islands located in the United States are one of the most iconic vacation destinations in the world. Visitors travel far and wide to experience the tropical atmosphere and beautiful beaches. The islands also offer plenty of exciting attractions and activities that are hard to resist. Here, we have chosen our top 20 islands that you should keep in mind while thinking about your next trip.

Captiva Island, Florida

20. Captiva Island, Florida

Captiva Island is a tiny little island located in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Fort Myers coast in Florida. The island is often compared to a nearby island, Sanibel. Captiva has a lot to offer the curious traveler, specifically outdoor activities. Discover watersports, bicycling, bird watching, or even sailing, depending on the kind of fun you want to experience. The Island is characterized by big beautiful waterfront homes and sandy beaches. You can organize an island cruise from one of the marinas that will take you on a tour of several native animals and manatees while on the Island or take a walk-through Chadwick’s square as you shop unique items from the local artists and craftspeople.

Mount Desert Island, Maine

19. Mount Desert Island, Maine

Discover the largest island in Maine known as Mount Desert Island. Popularly known as home to Acadia National Park, the island attracts millions of worldwide visitors. The island boasts plenty of vacation homes, meaning there are adequate accommodation spots even during high seasons. The island is also known for its stunning oceanfront cliffs and numerous hiking paths. The island also consists of 18 mountains making the island even more charming. The restaurant scene here is a good blend of adventurous spots and local favorites as well. From vegetarian dishes to Mexican and seafood cuisine, you will find there is something for everyone.

Sanibel Island, Florida

18. Sanibel Island, Florida

Famously known for its beautiful hidden beaches and seashells is Sanibel Island. According to USA Today, Sanibel Island is one of the “Top 10 Best Florida Beach Towns”. The island is best explored through bicycling as it features more than 25 miles of bicycle trails. The magic of the Sanibel islands lies in the mangrove islands, which one can explore using a kayak. Here you can experience wonderful times with dolphins or choose to fish in the bay. You cannot miss out on the most fun activity on the island, collecting seashells. Don’t miss out on the experience of discovering spectacular wildlife at the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

LongBoat Key, Florida

17. LongBoat Key, Florida

LongBoat Key in Florida is one of the most tropical islands in the United States. The island is loved and praised for the peaceful and quiet state that makes it one of the perfect destinations to relax and unwind. In addition, the luxurious resorts, stunning landscape, and assortment of resorts are a bonus to the anticipating visitor. Here you will find white sand beaches, peace, and quiet. Some of the activities worth trying out while on the island include ranger walks through Jekyll’s maritime forest, historical tours, or watching beautiful sunsets on piers and boardwalks at the Historic Jekyll Wharf. The restaurant scene in Jekyll Island consists of options, including Vegetarian and Vegan meals, American cuisine, and Seafood joints.

Fire Island, New York State

16. Fire Island, New York State

Found off the southern shore of Long Island in New York. The name comes from the history of land-based pirates who used to build fires on the beach during the night so as to attract cargo ships to the shore. The island has a number of popular destinations for you to visit and discover. Soak up on the beachy shores of the island or visit the iconic lighthouse on a sunny afternoon at Fire Island. Other activities include sailing, hiking, and surfing.

Brunswick Islands, North Carolina

15. Brunswick Islands, North Carolina

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands are one of the most tranquil islands in the United States. The beaches offer solitude and utmost relaxation to their visitors. The islands are located along the southernmost stretch of North Carolina’s coast. The pristine island is covered with waving shore grasses and rolling dunes. If you are looking for some action while on the beach, you will find plenty of golf centers and numerous festivals and celebrations that happen every once in a while. Set aside some time to explore the historical sites and the restaurant options that boast of an array of cuisines. The views at Brunswick Islands are also a sight you don’t want to miss. From lighthouses to oyster festivals, the Island is fun-packed to satisfy the explorer in us.

Seabrook Island, South Carolina

14. Seabrook Island, South Carolina

Discover the natural and historic beauty of Seabrook Island. According to Travel Awaits, Seabrook Island is filled with gorgeous flora and fauna, marsh areas, seabirds, alligators, deer, and nesting sea turtles. The island faces the ocean and is the perfect getaway destination for visitors looking to enjoy a tranquil time during their vacation. Seabrook Island in North Carolina is filled with magnificent beaches that attract plenty of visitors all through the year. You can enjoy a number of activities that are offered at the island, including horseback riding, tennis, watersports, and even golf. The island also features boat tours that are customized for both adults and children.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

13. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect destination for your next vacation. Famously praised for the splendid beaches, rich history, perfect for catching a wave. You can also spot seabirds and fish for shells while at the beach. The Lighthouses are also an attraction site where you can learn all you can about maritime history. Be sure to set some time aside to explore the gems of the islands, such as hopping on a boat tour of the vineyard., riding the flying horses’ carousel, or visiting the Cape of Wildlife Refuge.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

12. Mackinac Island, Michigan

If you are looking for a charming resort-like destination that’s filled with natural attraction sites and history, then Mackinac island is the place for you. The Island is located between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas on Lake Huron. It’s the perfect vacation spot for families or a large group of friends on a getaway trip. The island offers gorgeous views of the water and several activities to fill your day with, including extraordinary golf courses, tours on a horse-drawn carriage, or discovering the history of the island by visiting the existing forts.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

11. Hilton Head, South Carolina

There is something for everyone to see, do and explore. From fishing expeditions to kayaking on the sea, there is no doubt that you will enjoy what the island has to offer. Take a day to stroll through the streets of the island accompanied by a guide as you try out different cuisines and shop for a souvenir to take back home with you.

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

10. Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Kiawah Island is a naturally preserved oasis that sits on South Carolina’s coastal line. You’ll enjoy various destinations designated as bike trails. The island features a number of sandy beaches, resorts, and maritime forests. Some of the activities you can enjoy are championship golf courses, shopping sprees at the open-air market, and spotting dolphins at the river. You cannot also afford to watch the magical sunrise as the coastal birds celebrate the new day,

Block Island, Rhode Island

9. Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island is a 9.7-square mile island that is about 14 miles from Long Island’s Montauk Point. It is located off the coast of Rhode Island and is a popular attraction that offers numerous activities for the wandering traveler. Here you can cycle, fish, and even sail on the water while learning about the diverse communities on the island. The beaches offer the perfect atmosphere to party or relax, depending on the mood you are in. You can also find historical museums that exhibit the social and cultural history of Block Island. Be sure to Check out the National wildlife refuge or walk the Clayhead Nature Trail during your stay at the island.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

8. Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks is a barrier of islands and is an exciting destination for holidays or dream vacations. The island features expansive natural beaches that offer visiting folks plenty of activities and one-of-a-kind experiences. Sign up for fun adventures by joining eco-tours, kayaking excursions as well as kiteboarding experiences. Adrenaline junkies can try their hand at hang gliding while food enthusiasts can explore the different cuisines available on the island.

Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

7. Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

Take a trip to the Prince of Wales Island that is located three hours away from Ketchikan, on a ferry ride. The Prince of Wales Island is ranked as the fourth largest island in the entire United States. The island is occupied by eleven small communities that get to welcome the assortment of visitors who come to explore what it has to offer. Kayakers will delight in the numerous bays and protected islands. Here you can also enjoy mountain biking, canoeing, fishing, and exploring the scenic Klawock Totem Park.

Catalina Island, California

6. Catalina Island, California

If you are looking for adventure and exciting activities, then you will find that Catalina Island has, you, something for everyone. Catalina Island is located in Sunny Southern California and is famously known for its unique, white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. According to Live Like It’s The Weekend, over 500 movies have been filmed in Catalina Island. You can enjoy hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing at different spots on the island. The history of the Island is also something worth exploring while nature lovers can find happiness at the Catalina Island Conservancy.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

5. Nantucket, Massachusetts

Popularly known as a whaling destination, Nantucket island features many attraction sites and activities. The island is also praised for its numerous festivals and iconic holidays, three lighthouses, and fantastic fishing spots. Be sure to visit the Cisco Brewers, Steamship Authority, and the Coskata Wildlife Refuge for a dose of animal action. The locals are friendly, and the Downtown area features rough architecture that might be interesting to take a look at.

Amelia Island, Florida

4. Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia island offers limitless opportunities for families and couples as well. The destination is known for its pristine beaches, wide array of outdoor adventures, and classic historic charm. Just a five-hour drive away from Atlanta, Amelia Island has more than 40 access points to the public beach, giving you full access to the waterfront. You can enjoy horse riding on the beach with your lover or visit the state parks that offer you a chance to relax in the island’s beauty.

Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

3. Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Saint Croix, the diverse and largest of the U.S Virgin Islands, is the perfect Caribbean destination. Here you will enjoy magnificent beaches and a glorious tropical atmosphere. Some of the activities you can enjoy on the island include snorkeling, sampling the local cuisine, and diving deep in the island’s crystal clear water. The top attractions in Saint Croix include Rainbow Beach, Point Udall, and Fort Christinvaern.

Gasparilla Island, Florida

2. Gasparilla Island, Florida

The Gasparilla Island is located North of Fort Myers and sits on Florida’s Gulf Coast. If you wonder what’s there to do on the island, you will be glad to find the array of activities offered. You can decide to browse the boutiques of Boca Grande, where souvenirs, beach attire, and fishing gear is sold, or you can head to Cayo Costa State Park for a day trip. Other activities include watching the Sunset on the coast and searching for seashells on the shoreline of Gasparilla island.

Oahu, Hawaii

1. Oahu, Hawaii

Is it really an Island vacation if it’s not in Oahu, Hawaii? Oahu reports one of the highest number of visitors due to its numerous activities and attraction sites. Oahu is among the best holiday destination for romantic couples or friends. The iland offers amazing hiking trails, unique nature parks, and historical landmarks. Some of the cool spots on the Island that you cannot afford to miss include Makapu’s lighthouse, Byodo-In temple, Pearl Harbour, and Hale O Lono Heiau.


From breezy Hawaii to the historical Captiva Island, there is no doubt that the United States has beautiful islands worth exploring. Whether traveling in the company of family, friends, or your partner, the above islands will present you with an unforgettable experience.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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