Island Vacations You Can Take Without Leaving The Country

Island Vacations You Can Take Without Leaving the Country

Islands are a dream vacation destination for many. They remind people of paradise – inspiring flamboyant sand beaches, rustling palms, turquoise blue water and serene seas, as well as lavish jungles and soaring mountains. You have to prepare for a few bumps before you get there. They include waiting in lines at customs, jet lag symptoms, and possibly lost luggage. Depending on where you live, you may not even have to travel far. The perfect island vacation spot for you may be just a road trip away.

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Bikers will love it here. Jekyll Island features about 25 miles of paved trails along which you can explore beaches, forests, the Historic Landmark District, as well as campgrounds. Any bike path in this beautiful place will do, they are all gorgeous. The bike paths also wander past some of the showplace "cottages" that are remnants of the island's aristocratic past. See the island's iconic sea turtles and ancient driftwood, and make your own discovery.

Monhegan Island, Maine

The plantation in Lincoln County, which is about 10 miles off the mainland, has about 70 residents and is about a square mile big. You are going to truly unplug, unwind, and reconnect with nature here. It is only accessible by boat and there are no cars or paved roads, according to Monhegan Visitor's Guide. The island has been a summer haven for artists and people who love wilderness areas and unhurried pace for over a century.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Take a ferry ride from Cape Cod to this small and beautiful island. Many lodgings are very pet friendly. Some cool cottages are even specially designated to accommodate visitors with their non-human companions.  This secluded 30-mile island is a summer destination mostly for the rich and famous. Just walking around makes you feel like you are living in a fairytale.

Galveston Island, Texas

Galveston Island used to be called the "Playground of the South" due to its stunning beaches, convenient location, and numerous attractions. The historic beach town on the Texas Gulf Coast has the charm of a small southern town, just about 50 miles south of Houston, which makes it ideal for weekend romantic getaways. If you can't be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but really want to celebrate the festival, go to Galveston Island. The festivities will last from Feb. 17 until the 28th.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

From the ocean to the high water mark, the entire Hilton Head Island beach is public. The small island is known for its East Coast vibe, so whether you go alone or with the kids, you are going to have a lot of fun. In addition to soaking up the sun on the beach and enjoying water sports, there are about 100 miles of biking trails you can explore.

Block Island, Rhode Island

Beautiful and naturally wild, Block Island is an understated destination with tons to offer. Lush green hills meet towering coastal bluffs and 17 miles of beach meet the Block Island Sound on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The island is so naturally spectacular that The Nature Conservancy called it one of the "last great places in the Western Hemisphere." Block Island will also make for an adventurous honeymoon getaway. This locale boasts a thriving bike culture and all kinds of water sports.


Pick any island in the Aloha State, which has a much more complicated and diverse history, culture and lifestyle than you may think, and you won't regret it. There is so much to see, adventures to experience and hidden gems to explore. Tourists usually go to Hawaii for its stunning beaches, bustling nightlife, family adventures, and surfing. The beautiful islands are home to many astonishing spots – some of them even secluded shores you don't know about.

Sanibel and Captiva, Florida

You don't need to go to the Caribbean for a remarkable tropical experience. Sanibel Island & Captiva provide the perfect vacation spot – 15 miles of beaches, 25 miles of bike paths, 50 kinds of fish, 230 kinds of birds, 250 kinds of shells and, very importantly, zero traffic lights. You'll be truly captivated. Explore areas where pirates roamed – the mystery and adventure is still there – and find new treasures.  

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

You won't find any high rises, board walks or traffic jamsChincoteague Island, Virginia's only resort Island which is just 7 miles long, is a serene, yet fun filled, tourist destination. It is home to the famous Chincoteague Wild Ponies. They are free to roam across Assateague Island's National Shoreline. Other things visitors enjoy are beachcombing, boating, fishing, kayaking, clamming, crabbing, swimming, hiking, and bird watching.

Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

You can get to this small fishing village only by boat, ferry or plane. The stunning beaches are protected by the National Park Service. Tourists who want to relax in a tranquil atmosphere and explore streets and buildings designed in a 1800's-style, will find the island ideal. The most iconic attraction is the Ocracoke Lighthouse, which is one of the oldest lighthouses in the country that are still in use.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

You can go back in time on Mackinac Island. It was voted a "Top 10 U.S. Island" by Trip Advisor. For one, there are no cars; they are not allowed. So trek this Victorian treasure on bike, horseback, and carriage. You will never run out of quests to explore. The island has little development land because it's working hard to preserve its natural treasures. That's why hiking and fishing are exhilarating.

Anna Maria Island, Florida

Pick any of the island's 7 miles of long sandy beaches – crowded or more secluded – and you won't make a mistake. Go on eco-tours, boat tours, canoeing or kayaking, dolphin watching or stand-up paddle boarding. There is something to do for every level of active traveler. Golfing and fishing are especially popular. Spend your day sunbathing in this spotlight-free gem, sipping summer cocktails in one of the boardwalk's many venues.

Santa Catalina, California

This is where you go if you don't want to break the bank and for one of the best snorkeling adventures of your life. The Lover's Cove is the most popular, a protected area with kelp forest, rock reef, and a "zoo" of cool-water inhabitants, is the most popular spot. Catalina Island is a picture perfect escape that's just a short boat, plane or helicopter ride from Los Angeles. Adventurous travelers will enjoy kayaking off the coast, hiking or zip lining.

Orcas Island, Washington

Orcas Island is the largest of the San Juan Islands in the northwestern corner of Washington. Locals refer to the horseshoe-shaped isle as "the gem of the San Juans," according to Visit San Juans, because of the stunning combination of picturesque shoreline, the highest mountain in the islands, and a handful of charming hamlets. Most of the island is rustic and hilly – perfect for bikers and hikers. Horseback riding through the forest—the 5,252-acre Moran State Park – is also a popular activity.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Splash into the waters of the Caribbean Sea without paying for a passport. Set a little more than 100 miles east of Puerto Rico, the three main islands—St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John—offer a little something for everyone. The islands accept U.S. currency, making travel that much easier, but don't mistake these Islands for the British Virgin Islands, as you'll need a passport to enter those islands.