Whether you seek an island trip for celebrating the recent election or for running away from the results, an island vacation comes with soothing scenery plus a sense of escape.
Even thinking about an island getaway feels relaxing, and vacationing on one is even better. Whether you seek an island trip for celebrating the recent election or for running away from the results, an island vacation comes with soothing scenery plus a sense of escape. For your travel fantasies, consider the following winners of Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for US and international islands.
10 Best US Islands
1. Maui, Hawaii — Maui rewards visitors with white sand beaches, the moonlike terrain of Mt. Haleakala, the island’s dormant volcano, plus great snorkeling, hiking, and dining.
2. Oahu, Hawaii — Honolulu, the state capital, is on Oahu, the most visited of Hawaii’s islands. Travelers come to pay their respects at Pearl Harbor, the site of the USS Arizona Memorial, watch professional surfers catch monster waves on the North Shore, and sun on Waikiki beaches.
3. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina — Hilton Head attracts beach lovers, golfers, and foodies. The island’s year-round population is large enough to sustain many good restaurants and the island also has nature reserves and green spaces.
4. Amelia Island, Florida — Along with resorts and soft sands, Amelia Island offers Fernandina Beach, a seaside resort town and Fort Clinch State Park, named for its historic Civil War era fort.
5. Sea Island, Georgia — Georgia’s marshlands are part of Sea Island’s charms. The rest are manmade and include the posh Cloister with its noted spa and golf course, as well as the more casual Sea Island Beach Club.
6. Kauai, Hawaii — Hawaii’s lush island, Kauai lures visitors with great beaches as well as rain forests, canyons, and a range of resorts.
7. Kiawah Island, South Carolina — Broad beaches, more than 90 holes of golf and easy access to Charleston make Kiawah Island special.
8. Big Island, Hawaii — Kilauea, the island’s still active volcano, at times, streams molten lava into the sea. An exploration of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park yields more about volcanoes.
9. Longboat Key, Florida — The barrier island off the coast of Sarasota gains fame for its 10-mile long beach and its abundance of sea shells, a barefoot collector’s dream.
10. Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island — Aquidneck Island, the largest island in Narragansett Bay, is home to Newport, where “cottages,” more properly described as Gilded Age mansions, grace the shore.
10 Best International Islands
1. Boracay, Philippines
2. Palawan, Philippines
3. Mallorca, Spain
4. Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, Australia
5. Cebu, Philippines
6. Vancouver Island, Canada
7. Turks and Caicos
9. Crete, Greece
10. Bali, Indonesia