Island getaways have an otherworldly, almost magical, appeal. Islands are worlds unto themselves, entirely surrounded by ocean. From ancient times, they’ve sparked the imagination and facilitated the evolution of unique lifeforms (think Galapagos).
The US is not often thought of as an island nation. But there are actually hundreds of islands which are technically a part of the country, and you probably haven’t heard of 99 percent of them. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the secret US island hidden gems you simply must visit before you kick the can.
Oak Island, Minnesota
The idea of there being an island in Minnesota seems a little far-fetched until you remember the fact that Minnesota, despite being a long way from the ocean borders Lake Superior and is home to dozens of other small bodies of water.
Oak Island is an island you can find in the middle of the Lake of the Woods right in the northwest of the state. It’s the kind of place families like to visit for outdoor activities during the summer, but it’s actually a beautiful spot at practically any time of year, except the deep midwinter. It lies on the US-Canada border, and you’re free to pop over to the other side for a day trip on Canadian soil if the urge takes you.
Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks are a series of islands which run from the shores of North Carolina about a dozen miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are little more than a sandbank, but thanks to their location and geology, make an ideal location for a getaway. You can rent a vacation home in OBX easily online and get quality accommodation close to local amenities.
Put-in-Bay Island, Ohio
Given the name of the current Russian President, the name Put-in-Bay island might be a little unfortunate. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit it. The island is accessible from the mainland by ferry and is a great location for solo travelers as well as families. There are all sorts to do here, from mini-golf to giant mazes and much, much more, including an old-style fairground carousel from 1917.
Brigantine Island, New Jersey
New Jersey is known all over the country as a surfing destination, thanks to the waves whipped up over the North Atlantic Ocean. Brigantine Island, thanks to its exposed position near to the New Jersey coast, is an excellent place for those who want to surf and “surf fish.” You can find a surf shop on the island as well as local instructors who will more than happily show you how to get to grips with the waves. There’s also an annual Bike Rodeo and steel pier amusement park.
Washington Island, Wisconsin
Not far off the shores of Lake Michigan, you can find Wisconsin island, accessible via a ferry which crosses the infamous “Death’s Door.” The island is home to some famous beauty spots, including Schoolhouse Beach and the Mountain Park Lookout Tower where you can survey the landscape for miles around.