Island life boasts all kinds of charms including sun, sand and surf. If you want to get away from it all – but not too far away – consider a close-to-home island vacation.
It’s difficult to believe that Balboa Island in Newport Beach, California, started out as a mudflat. This man-made beauty is the perfect spot to shop, dine, hike and bike. With one of the many Balboa Island vacation rentals, you could be steps away from boarding a whale watching boat or snacking on a local specialty – the frozen banana.
Once home to Karankawa Indians and pirates, Galveston is a natural barrier island that takes its job of protecting the Texas coast seriously. Most of the island sits safely behind the 17-foot sea wall constructed after the destructive 1900 hurricane. There is plenty to do here for the whole family including e-bike rentals, touring historical homes of yesterday’s island millionaires or wading in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Amelia Island on the Atlantic side of Florida is a great place to sleep and dine in luxury after a long day of exploring the state park where you can choose from several vigorous activities such as horseback riding on the beach or bicycling along the 200 acres of Timucuan Trail Pathway, a paved coastal trail. Finish off your visit at one of the numerous spas or golf courses on the island.
Situated in the middle of Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is special because it allows no cars. There are plenty of bikes to rent, however, as well as horse-drawn carriages. Kids and adults will love touring Fort Mackinac or flying a kite at Windermere Point. Getting to the island is almost as much fun as being there. Board a ferry on the Michigan mainland to start your adventure.
You don’t have to fly across the ocean to have an island vacation. There are plenty of charming vacation spots surrounded by water much closer to home.