ISLANDS of all shapes and sizes lie in the oceans and lakes touching the shores of the U.s. At times just a short hop from the country’s cities, these island escapes can still feel like a world away, allowing time and space to kick back and dream. On the U.s. islands
of Hawai‘i and Guam, there are vibrant cultures to explore, while closer to home,
laid-back isles offer old-style charm.
Travel back in time, then have some fun at the beach by combining a visit to historic Charleston in South Carolina with a stay on the beautiful barrier island of Kiawah, just 25 miles south. Explore Charleston’s colonial mansions and museums, before heading to Kiawah for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing and ten miles of picturesque sandy beaches.
SINK A SUNDOWNER
Alabama’s Dauphin Island, a short drive from the Gulf Coast, offers white-sand beaches, water sports, historic Fort Gaines and the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, with woodlands, boardwalks and dunes. Visit an oceanfront bar for sundowners and see why this laid-back isle is known as the ‘Sunset Capital of Alabama’.
TUCK IN ON NANTUCKET
A raft of eateries have sprung up on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, including The After House Wine & Raw Bar, sister bistro to popular Galley Beach; a casual neighbourhood restaurant, Keepers; and The Charlie Noble, serving classic and progressive New England dishes.
The annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival takes place over three weekends in autumn on the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui and Oahu. Showcasing the best in sustainable local produce, fine dining and wine, there are also cooking demonstrations from international chefs, set against stunning Polynesian landscapes.
Take a trip to the Californian Channel Island of Santa Catalina, served by passenger ferries from the Los Angeles area. Well-known for its rewarding dive sites and rich marine life, visitors can also view its underwater wonders from the comfort of a glassbottom boat as they glide over reefs and wrecks.
PICTURED Main image: the lush, green shores of Hawai‘i;
Above: pick your board and catch a wave; Right: Bohicket Marina, Kiawah Island; Opposite page: meet the locals on Machias Seal Island
MACHIAS SEAL ISLAND is home to New England’s
largest nesting colony of Atlantic puffins, which visit Maine’s rugged, coastal isles each summer. Take a boat tour between May and August for an up-close encounter with
thousands of these distinctive, colourfully billed,
Step back in time on MACKINAC ISLAND, a National Historic Monument
where horsedrawn carriages are the preferred means of transport. Located on Lake Huron, between
Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, the island can be reached by ferry and light aircraft or, in winter, by snowmobile across the frozen waters.