Top 5 Island Destinations in the U.S.

As blessed as the U.S. is with water and islands, it would be easy to write about the top Hawaiian Island destinations or the top Florida island destinations and have a lot to say, but let’s mix it up and build a tour of the top 5 island destinations in the U.S. that will take is through a wide variety climates, states and cultures.

1. The 1000 Islands

You’ve enjoyed the salad dressing, now visit the islands that produced it. This area of the St. Lawrence Seaway is located between New York State and Ontario. There are historic castles, lighthouses, museums, fishing, diving and more quaint downtown shopping areas and waterfront restaurants that we can count.

The rich and famous of the East Coast have been making this archipelago a favorite vacation spot for about 150 years.There are so many different types of attractions available that it makes a wonderful destination for both family vacations and romantic getaways. By the way, folks claiming to know the true origins of the salad dressing are almost as numerous as the islands.

2. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

There are good reasons many families pencil in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation year after year. The beach itself is huge and the water temps are perfect during the vacation season. Anyone who’s ever hacked away at a golf ball knows that Myrtle Beach courses are legendary. Whether you’re working to break 100 or play scratch golf, you can find the ideal course. And, because this area is such an established vacation spot, it offers top quality entertainment, restaurants and resorts.

Avista Resorts offers great lodging if you are looking to stay in the Myrtle Beach area.

3. Key West

When you’re in Key West standing at the bouy that marks the southernmost point of the continental United States, you’re just 90 miles away from Cuba. Key West specifically, and the Florida Keys in general, are a real national treasure. You don’t need to fly to Aruba to enjoy an authentic Caribbean Island vacation; you can hop in your minivan and head down U.S. Route 1.

The climate is mild here all year long, so it makes a great vacation whenever you can find the time. The taking a snorkeling tour is incredible and you won’t forget the restaurants and taverns. Make sure you hit the Hemingway Home and explore Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and Beach. For a beautiful evening on the water, take a Key West sunset cruise. For some excitement, take a Key West jet ski tour around the island.

4. Catalina Island

Just 22 miles off the California coast from Long Beach, Catalina Island is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Most visitors arrive by ferry at the Avalon harbor. Much of the activities involve outdoor recreation, including kayaking, diving, snorkeling, parasailing, hiking and biking.

A peek at the rich underwater life in a glass bottom boat has been a popular attraction for decades. The Catalina Casino, dating back to 1929, is still a major hub of entertainment, including the island’s annual jazz festival. This art deco treasure has been restored to its original condition and tours are available daily.

Myrtle Beach

5. Kauai

A guy could get into a fist fight arguing about which of the Hawaiian Islands is the best; they all have their adherents and for some very good reasons. But, not long ago Travel & Leisure magazine readers voted for their favorite Islands in the world. Bali came in first and Kauai ranked second.

Two other Hawaiian Islands made the top ten: Maui at number three with its amazing snorkeling and the Big Island at number seven, so there you go. As its nickname is “The Garden Island” you can imagine that its appeal is in its beauty. There’s enough golf to keep the players happy, but relaxing, enjoying its beauty and communing with nature are what makes this island so special.

Is there any other country on the planet that can boast so many beautiful and richly varied island destinations? From the huge strand of sand at Myrtle Beach, to the pocket coves of Kauai, visitors to these five islands can spend a lifetime exploring.

Olivia Watson

Olivia is a world traveler who has been to 27 countries in just over 15 years. She loves to share her knowledge of traveling to help others travel safer, cheaper and have more fun.

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