The USA is a big old place to visit. Thankfully, this presents quite a plethora of amazing vacation (or as well call it ‘holiday‘) options for u travellers. You’ve got epic cities, mountains, rainforests, national parks and, indeed, some of the best islands in the USA which are absolutely worth visiting.
Those two places looked and felt absolutely different and opened my eyes to all the many other stunning, unique islands in the USA that are not just fascinating in and of themselves but are totally worth planning a whole vacation around.
Here are some of the very best islands in the USA you should absolutely make the time to visit on your next trip.
1.) Santa Catalina, California
An absolutely gorgeous island located just off the coast of Los Angeles, there is plenty to do here, from more relaxed sunbathing and shopping right through to adventurous stuff like parasailing.
For a truly unforgettable experience here though, you’ve gotta go on a whale watching tour where, after a while, you will climb off the main boat, hop into smaller boats that will then lead you into local sea caves.
These caves are home to an impressive number of marine life species, such as seals and sea lions.
Once you climb back aboard the big boat, you are almost certain to see plenty of dolphins, and, fingers crossed, those whales you head out for in the first place.
2.) Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island is one of the most beautiful, idyllic and definitely one of the best islands in the USA, boasting long lines of palm-tree-lined, white sandy beaches and clear blue waters lapping at the shores.
When you’re here, you also have the opportunity to take a river cruise, where you can get up close and personal with manatees and even alligators – do it!
One of the most popular activities here is taking a horseback ride down the beach and fun fact – this is one of the few places in the United States that allows this activity on the beach.
3.) Sea Island, Georgia
This luxurious island is one of the best islands in the USA to visit if you’re looking to kick back and be spoilt rotten.
The spectacular, secluded beach views go down pretty well with delicious meals, great cocktails and rather an impeccable service kinda leave you wishing you’d decided to stay on for longer (no matter how long your actual booked stay is).
Sea Island is part of the Golden Isles of Georgia and there’s really one hotel here to stay in – The Cloister at Sea Island. Now, this might set you back a pretty penny, but not before leaving you with huge smiles of delight and contentment plastered all over your face.
4.) Kauai, Hawaii
The island of Kauai receives rain nearly every day and as such, it is home to some of the most magnificent vistas in Hawaii.
To be honest, all the Hawaiian islands as a whole are some of the best islands in the USA to visit but Kauai’s lush greens are undeniably special – here you get a true rainforest experience without leaving the United States.
Surrounded by lush forests, beautiful flowers and abundant wildlife, it is easy to see why Kauai is pretty famous for its biodiversity.
When you’re here, be sure to visit Waimea Canyon State Park to catch a glimpse of the Waimea Canyon, a jaw-dropping natural attraction that has been called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
5.) Mount Desert Island, Maine
Mount Desert Island offers a gorgeous rugged coastline coupled with some seriously dense forests. It is the home of Acadia National Park, which houses Cadillac Mountain, one of the most popular hiking destinations in the entire East Coast.
The main attraction on this island, however, is the town of Bar Harbor.
Popular amongst visitors to the island, Bar Harbor has a plethora of quirky shops and wonderful restaurants to explore on your downtime. Oh, and you’ve got to have more than your fair share of anything and everything lobster when you’re here. If ever there was a place for it, it’s right here.
6.) Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts, is a pretty perfect example of New England beauty.
(Gotta say, for longer than I care to admit, I actually used to think it belonged to Martha Stewart!)
When you’re here, be sure to take a tour of the island’s five lighthouses, kick back on one of the many beaches in the are, browsing for knick-knacks and souvenirs in the many independent little shops and feast like a king at one of the many restaurants in Oak Bluffs – one the most popular areas on the island.
While the island is gorgeous year-round, be advised that it is a popular summer destination, so prices are cheaper and attractions are less crowded if you visit off-season.
7.) Block Island, Rhode Island
This is a wonderful place to quickly escape the concrete jungle and retreat into a more natural, quieter setting.
On Block Island, there are lots of opportunities for exploring nature, with a number of natural preserves and hiking trails for all abilities.
The Mohegan Bluffs particularly is a gorgeous spot for exploring the coastline, though be advised that there is a staircase standing between you and the beach access that consists of just over 140 steps! (Not so bad going down, maybe more of a hassle lazily coming back up).
8.) Galveston Island, Texas
Approximately an hour’s drive from Houston, Galveston Island is home to many beautiful beaches and dotted with some historical and family-friendly spots to visit.
On a hot summer day, visit the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark to keep yourself (and the kids, if you have any) entertained for hours.
9.) Orcas Island, Washington
This is a good place for those who want to get stuck-in with nature rather than lounge on a sandy, sunny beach.
Orca Island actually has a fair few adventures waiting to be had here, from hiking and fishing to going on a guided tour in Moran State Park that brings you face to face with bald eagles and of course, the magnificent Orcas that give the island its name.