Atypical Island Vacations

Oyster

Caribbean islands aren't the only places for rest and relaxation in the summertime. Here are five atypical island vacations.

It’s getting warmer, summer is soon approaching and we’ve got a full-blown case of spring fever at Oyster HQ. So it’s easy to catch ourselves dreaming of an island escape where we can enjoy some sun, fun and relaxation. But going to the Caribbean is so typical (not that we’d turn down the chance to be someone’s travel buddy if they’re heading that way).

Instead, we’re picturing a different kind of island vacation. A vacation where you’re on an island but not one that most normally think of; instead, we’re picturing the atypical island vacation — but with all the perks of an island getaway.

A nice summer getaway for Washingtonians, the San Juan Islands have a relaxed, back-to-nature vibe with farmlands, nature trails, whale-watching and mom-and-pop shops. Most visitors arrive by ferry, but there are a few small airports for those who don’t want to wait. And though it may be difficult to get there, you won’t have to worry much about how you’re getting around once you’re there; some rent or bring cars, while others choose to stay in the vicinity of their hotel and walk or bike.

San Juan Islands, WAWith moderate temperatures and about half the rainfall of Seattle, the San Juan Islands are a great retreat during the summertime. Activities focus on the outdoors; visitors hike, check out the wildlife (whale-watching is a popular attraction and the Shark Reef trail on Lopez Island leads to a harbor seal hangout), sail and kayak.

Though Hong Kong is composed of several islands, the main focus of the city is on Hong Kong Island, where most visitors choose to stay — particularly in Central, the business and financial hub of the city.

Central’s skyline is defined by tall glass-and-steel buildings and has a modern look, but some buildings from the neighborhood’s past as a former British colony and military port remain. Its mix of modern and historic is appealing, and there are plenty of sights to take in.

Millions of tourists visit Manhattan each month, and (almost) everyone knows that Manhattan is, in fact, an island. After all, the Dutch — attracted to Manhattan’s protected harbor — settled the area centuries ago. But few think of the 13.4-mile stretch of land as an island getaway. Sure, there are the fabulous Broadway shows to see and top-notch, Michelin-starred restaurants, but even packed Manhattan can feel like a breezy, island vacation.

Hong Kong Island, ChinaManhattan, NY

Though it is a business hub, Nacka has a more laid-back feel than areas that are located in Innerstaden, Stockholm’s city center. Located 10 minutes from central Stockholm, Nacka is a popular choice among business travelers and families who want to avoid the hustle-and-bustle and rollicking nightlife of central Stockholm. Nacka is completely devoid of any nightlife, although it does have several popular restaurants — many boasting beautiful water views.

Hutchinson Island is a large strip of land connected to mainland Savannah via the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. Though there’s not much in the area aside from the Convention Center, a short cab or ferry ride will get you to the heart of town, and the island offers great views of the Historic District across the river. Though the island is largely tourism and industry-focused, residential neighborhoods are beginning to spring up on this picturesque piece of land.

Nacka, StockholmHutchinson Island, GA

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