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The 22 Best US Islands

March 09, 2020

From Catalina Island to Mount Desert Island view our list of the best islands in the US — except Hawaii, of course!

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Fire Island, New York

Fire Island, a barrier island parallel to Long Island is a popular summer vacation destination. Accessible by shuttle ferries, water taxis and private boats, the island is free of motor vehicles, so many visitors get around the island by walking or biking. During the summer, the 32-mile-long island is popular for surfing and sailing. However, many people enjoy visiting the National Seashore during the off-season to explore Fire Island Lighthouse, Sailors Haven and the Sunken Forest, or to collect seashells along the shore.

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Marco Island, Florida

The unspoiled beaches and lush, tropical surroundings of Marco Island — the largest of Florida's Ten Thousand Islands — attracts visitors to Florida's Gulf Coast year-round. Find respite on one of the island's white sand beaches, spot dolphins and manatees on a boat tour, or go shopping at the Esplanade.

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Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island, Florida's northernmost barrier island, is a picturesque seaport community popular for outdoor recreation enthusiasts of all ages. During the day, explore 13 miles of beautiful, white sand beaches, go kayaking in the island's scenic waterways, or hop aboard a river cruise for views of Floridian wildlife like dolphins, manatees and alligators. At sunset, go horseback riding on the beach. Amelia Island is one of the few beach-horseback riding opportunities in the US. Before you go, dine at the family-owned and operated Crab Trap in Fernandina Beach for fresh, locally-caught seafood — a historic downtown landmark for more than 30 years!

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Anna Maria Island, Florida

The pristine beaches and turquoise blue waters of Florida's Anna Maria Island beckon both locals and travelers to this small island paradise on the Gulf Coast. Catch a ride on the free Anna Maria Island Trolley that travels between the island's three cities — Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. Soak up the sun at Bean Point — a secluded beach and local favorite in Anna Maria — before dining at the historic Rod & Reel Pier restaurant.

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