When considering destinations for island vacations, the Caribbean automatically comes to mind. But, for U.S. readers, it’s sometimes easy to miss the bevy of domestic locales right at your doorstep. Of course, Hawaii and its islands are somewhere at the top of the list, but what about the Northeast? You can’t forget the vibing, relaxed nature of Key West, either. So, before you drop a hefty cruise fee to circle foreign islands, think local.
Hawaii is the first place most, if not all, travelers think of when U.S. islands are mentioned. From the blooming sun above to tropical expanses rife with sprawling wildlife, the Hawaiian islands are among the world’s best vacation spots. Don’t lump all the islands into a “collective Hawaii,” however; each one is unique and has its own attraction.
Visit Kauai, the Garden Island, for awe-inspiring vistas and an undeniable connection with the natural world. If you’re looking for some of the most beautiful sunsets (possibly ever), Maui is the island to visit. For those with a big-city heart on a tropical-island vacation, get the best of both worlds by visiting Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital city, on the island of Oahu. Lastly, it’s hard to forget Hawaii’s Big Island consisting of over 4,000 square miles and the Kīlauea volcano.
Florida is known for more than crazy crimes and football. In fact, the Sunshine State is among the most visited for vacations, boasting beautiful beaches and scene-setting sunsets up and down both its coasts and beyond its southern tip and also westward into the gulf.
From northern Amelia Island and its ideal beach vacations to Gasparilla Island isolated by an unassuming toll bridge, an island vacation is easier to get to than you think. Don’t be restricted by factors out of your control, like the weather: The relatively warm temperatures, even during the early parts of winter, also makes visiting Florida accessible most times of the year.
Throughout the United States, there’s so much diversity between their regions, states and people that they could almost be their own countries. That’s the nice part when searching for places to vacation: You can stay in one country but feel like your experience is never the same.
From U.S. islands close to home and some that feel as tropical as those in the Caribbean to romantic resorts ready to accommodate honeymoons or a simple loved-ones getaway, the U.S. is bound to have it all in whatever climates and whatever environments you’re looking for.