Home Adventure 10 Best US Islands To Visit-Your 2023 Travel List

10 Best US Islands To Visit-Your 2023 Travel List

by Tayebah Malik
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Ah, the allure of island life – the sun-kissed shores, the turquoise waters, and the promise of adventure and relaxation. But you don’t have to jet-set across the globe to experience this paradise. We’re here to unveil the best-kept secrets right within the borders of the USA – the best US islands that are waiting to whisk you away on a journey of a lifetime. From untamed coastal beauty to hidden tropical oases, these islands have it all, and we’ve got the inside scoop. So, dust off your flip-flops, grab your shades, and prepare to dive into a world where every day feels like a page from a travel magazine. Let’s embark on an island-hopping adventure like no other!

Best US Island To Visit-The Coastal Charms

If you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway, the United States offers some incredible island destinations. These islands are not only stunning but also easy to access from the mainland. Here are the 10 best US islands that should be on your travel list.

Moloka’i, Hawaii

Location: Moloka’i is a serene gem in the vast Pacific Ocean, forming part of the Hawaiian archipelago. 

How to Go: To reach Moloka’i, you can start by flying into Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital, and then catch a connecting flight to Moloka’i Airport. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Maui, providing you with a unique island-hopping experience. Although it’s a bit more remote, the journey is well worth it.


Why Go: Moloka’i is a place where time seems to stand still, and nature takes center stage. It is renowned for possessing the world’s highest sea cliffs and the longest continuous fringing reef. The island’s relatively small population, with a strong Native Hawaiian presence, ensures that the rural lifestyle and deep connection to the land are preserved.

While on Moloka’i, embark on guided tours to access the island’s hidden treasures, including two mesmerizing waterfalls situated on private lands. Additionally, Moloka’i boasts one of Hawaii’s largest white-sand beaches, providing the perfect setting for relaxation and water activities. This island is an off-the-beaten-path paradise that promises outdoor adventures and an authentic Hawaiian experience.

Prince Of Wales Island, Alaska

Location: Prince Of Wales Island is nestled in the southeastern part of Alaska. 

How To Go: Accessing Prince Of Wales Island is an adventure in itself. You can take a scenic 3-hour ferry ride from Ketchikan, an excellent starting point for exploring the Inside Passage. Ketchikan also provides a wonderful opportunity for shopping and dining before your island adventure.

Why Go: Prince Of Wales Island is a hidden gem that epitomizes the raw and untouched beauty of Alaska. This expansive island, with its 990 miles of coastline, offers a unique blend of adventure and tranquility. It’s a place where you can disconnect from the bustling world and immerse yourself in nature. The island’s pristine wilderness is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re kayaking along its rugged shores, backpacking through lush forests, or casting your line for trophy salmon and halibut, Prince Of Wales Island promises an unforgettable Alaskan adventure.

What sets this island apart is its accessibility. While it’s remote and wild, the extensive road system allows you to explore its wonders with ease. You can discover charming villages, remote campgrounds, hidden hiking trails, and welcoming fishing lodges along the way.

Camano Island, Washington

Location: Camano Island is a peaceful enclave located within easy reach of Seattle, Washington.

How To Go: One of Camano Island’s unique features is that it’s accessible by car. Simply drive about an hour north from Seattle, and you’ll find yourself on this serene island. It’s a convenient day trip from the bustling city or a pleasant stop on your journey through the Pacific Northwest.

Why Go: Camano Island provides a variety of activities for visitors. Try your hand at ax throwing, visit an outdoor sculpture park, or enjoy the thrill of ziplining through the Pacific Northwest forest. The island features several parks, including Cama Beach Historical State Park, where you can rent a cabin, relish the beach, engage in bird watching, and even take a boat-building class.

The English Boom Trail, another waterfront park, boasts a beach, a scenic trail, and interpretive signs narrating the area’s history as a former logging boom site. Camano Island invites you to experience a day filled with unique activities, surrounded by nature and tranquility.


Angel Island, California

Location: Angel Island is a picturesque gem nestled in the San Francisco Bay.

How to Go: Access to Angel Island is convenient. You can reach the island via ferry from either San Francisco or Tiburon. The ferry ride itself is a scenic delight and sets the stage for a memorable day trip.

Why Go: Angel Island is a hidden oasis just a short ferry ride away from the bustling city of San Francisco. Steeped in history and natural beauty, it’s a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Bay Area. Upon arrival, you can hop on an open-air tram to embark on a journey through time. 


Learn about the island’s rich history, including the oldest standing group of Civil War buildings in the world and a former U.S. immigration station. For those looking to explore the island’s scenic wonders, renting a bike or e-bike is a popular choice. This allows you to access parts of the island that might be challenging to reach on foot.

Beaver Island, Michigan

Location: Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan, situated in the heart of this Great Lake’s crystal-clear waters.

How to Go: Accessing Beaver Island is relatively straightforward. You can reach the island by ferry or plane, making it an easily accessible destination for adventurers seeking outdoor activities and natural beauty.

Why Go: Beaver Island is a captivating blend of natural wonders and rich history, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. As the largest island in Lake Michigan, it offers over 12,000 acres of preserved land and a diverse range of habitats that provide sanctuary to various forms of wildlife.

Outdoor activities on Beaver Island are abundant. You can explore the island’s lush landscapes by biking, birdwatching, hiking, or simply stargazing under the island’s extra-dark skies. Migratory birds heading north to their breeding grounds frequently grace the island with their presence.

Mustang Island, Texas

Location: Mustang Island is a charming barrier island located off the Gulf Coast near Corpus Christi, Texas.

How to Go: Getting to Mustang Island is a breeze. It’s easily accessible by car from Corpus Christi. No need for a passport; just hop in your car and drive to this tranquil coastal haven.

Why Go: Mustang Island offers a quintessential Texan coastal experience. With its laid-back vibe, sun-drenched beaches, and delicious seafood, it’s the perfect getaway for those seeking relaxation and outdoor adventure. Stretching across 18 miles of coastline, Mustang Island’s beaches are a major draw. Here, you can participate in sandcastle competitions, parasailing, and various water sports activities. 

Mustang Island State Park, a haven for wildlife, hosts over 300 bird species and serves as the nesting grounds for the world’s smallest and rarest breed of sea turtle. The island’s diverse ecosystem allows visitors to spot dolphins, alligators, and a range of other wildlife species. Given its reputation as the “Fishing Capital of Texas,” you should consider scheduling a fishing charter to test your angling skills in the Gulf waters.

Avery Island, Louisiana

Location: Location: Avery Island is a distinctive salt dome located in the heart of the Louisiana Delta, renowned as the birthplace of the world-famous Tabasco hot sauce.

How to Go: Visiting Avery Island is straightforward. It’s accessible by road, making it an ideal stop on a road trip through southern Louisiana. No passport is required; just embark on a flavorful journey.

Why Go: Avery Island is a unique Louisiana treasure, combining spicy sensations, natural beauty, and cultural charm. It’s often referred to as the “Jewel of Louisiana’s Wetlands.” Begin your visit with a tour of the Tabasco factory, where you can witness the production process of the iconic hot sauce. Be sure to have some tissues on hand; the capsaicin from the peppers tends to spice up the air.

After your Tabasco adventure, seek refuge from the heat by exploring the 170-acre Jungle Gardens. Jungle Gardens is an enchanting oasis featuring a 900-year-old Buddha sculpture and more than 60 varieties of bamboo. Bird City, a section of the garden, offers a tranquil spot to observe flocks of egrets and other migratory birds.

St. George Island, Florida

Location: St. George Island is a picturesque barrier island nestled in the Florida panhandle.

How to Go: St. George Island is easily accessible by car, making it a convenient escape from the city. No passport is required. Simply pack your bags, hop in your car, and embark on a journey to this pristine island.

Why Go: St. George Island is a slice of paradise on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Its main draw is the stunning, clean, white-sand beach, often regarded as one of the finest in the United States. Visitors can bask in the sunshine, build sandcastles, and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. The island also boasts two noteworthy lighthouses: the Cape St. George Lighthouse and the Crooked River Lighthouse. 


Climb to the top for breathtaking views of the coastline, perfect for capturing memorable photos. For nature enthusiasts, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center is a must-visit. Here, you can explore winding nature paths and learn about the island’s diverse wildlife habitats. Don’t miss a visit to Apalachicola, a charming beach town on Apalachicola Bay. 

Marco Island, Florida

Location: Marco Island is the epitome of island life, nestled on the southwestern coast of Florida.

How to Go: Marco Island is easily accessible from the mainland U.S. with no need for a passport. Just pack your state-issued driver’s license or ID, and you’re ready to embark on your tropical adventure.

Why Go: Marco Island is a haven for water enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and those seeking relaxation amidst breathtaking surroundings. It’s a part of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, a region teeming with sea life and situated along a major migratory bird path. Birdwatching in this area is unparalleled, making it a hotspot for birdwatching tours, both group and private. 

Capture stunning moments of local wildlife in their natural habitat and immerse yourself in the serene mangrove forests and waterways of the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. To experience the unique mangrove ecosystems up close, consider taking a guided tour where you’ll paddle through the intricate root system of the trees. Another fascinating tour opportunity is the Manatee Eco-Tours, offering a chance to observe gentle manatees that thrive in the Southwest Florida waters.

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Location: Daufuskie Island is a hidden gem nestled in the low-country region of South Carolina. 

How to Go: Daufuskie Island is easily accessible via ferry from Hilton Head or Savannah. No passport is required for your visit. Simply board the ferry and set off on a journey to this isolated and tranquil island.

Why Go: Daufuskie Island is a place where time seems to stand still, and the rich Gullah culture thrives. The historic district of the island features vintage Gullah homes, offering a glimpse into the unique cultural heritage of the area. You might even have the opportunity to attend Sunday services at a circa 1884 church. 

Explore the island’s history and landmarks by taking a walk along the Robert Kennedy Trail, which winds its way through the island’s historic sites. As you walk, you’ll uncover the island’s deep-rooted Gullah history and learn about its past. While on the island, savor traditional seafood preparations at the many restaurants or enjoy a refreshing cocktail by the water. Daufuskie Island is perfect for a leisurely stroll, whether you’re wandering the historic district or taking in the scenic coastal views.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the United States boasts an array of captivating islands that offer diverse experiences for every traveler. From the rugged sea cliffs of Moloka’i, Hawaii, to the pristine beaches of St. George Island, Florida, and the rich cultural heritage of Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, these islands beckon adventurers, history enthusiasts, and beach lovers alike. With the convenience of traveling to many of them without needing a passport, exploring these hidden gems in 2023 is a must. So, pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and embark on an unforgettable journey to discover the enchanting beauty and unique charm of these best US islands. Your island paradise awaits!

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