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These Are The Top 5 Island Destinations In The U.S. To Visit For 2024

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Are you looking for the best island destinations to visit in 2024?

Many American travelers automatically think about jetting off to the Caribbean when they hear the words “island getaway.” And while it's true that the Caribbean is home to many amazing islands, there are also plenty of island destinations right here at home.

While they might not be quite as exotic as the Caribbean, these islands in the U.S. are full of character and charm. If you're looking for an island vacation closer to home, these are the top destinations to add to your travel bucket list this year.

Woman at the Beach

Key West, FL

There's no doubt about it — the Florida Keys are the best island destination in the United States. If you're looking for a tropical getaway without leaving the continental United States, this is it.

The Florida Keys are a chain of islands located off the coast of southern Florida. They're actually located further south than many of the islands in the Bahamas!

Key West is the liveliest island of the Keys, and there's a ton going on year-round, from the quirky Conch Republic Independence Celebration in April to the even quirkier Hemingway Days in July.

Beach in Key West FL

Hilton Head Island, SC

Another one of the best islands to visit in the United States is Hilton Head Island. Why should you plan a trip to Hilton Head in 2024?

It was recently named America's best island by the Condé Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards due to its great beaches, charming shops and boutiques, delicious restaurants, and outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and paddle boarding.

Hilton Head is part of South Carolina's Lowcountry, a distinctive region characterized by its Gullah heritage. The Gullah are descended from enslaved West African people in the Lowcountry region.

Sunset in Hilton Head

Nantucket, MA

Nantucket is the quintessential New England summer destination. This island located off Cape Cod in Massachusetts is incredibly picturesque, with rugged beaches, lighthouses, and beautiful gray-shingled homes built in the iconic Cape Cod style.

While Nantucket is busiest during the summer months from June through early September, it's becoming more popular as a shoulder season destination.

The shoulder season (especially April, May, and October) is a great time to visit Nantucket for fewer crowds and amazing prices on vacation rentals — often discounted by 50% or more compared to the sky-high prices of the peak summer season.

Houses in Nantucket MA

Sanibel Island, FL

Another one of the best islands in the U.S. is Sanibel Island in Florida. Located about 45 minutes from Fort Myers, this small island on the Gulf of Mexico is perfect for a relaxing, low-key getaway.

Sanibel Island is known for being a quiet and chill island. It's very small, and there's not much to “do” beyond spending time at the beach, exploring the island's nature preserve, and grabbing a bite to eat or doing some shopping in the tiny town.

But that's part of the charm of Sanibel. If you're looking to get away from it all, this is the place to go! And with warm and sunny weather all the time, it's a great year-round destination.

Tourists should be aware that many parts of the island are still recovering from Hurricane Ian. More info can be found here.

Aerial view of Sanibel Island FL

St. Simons Island, GA

Finally, St. Simons Island is one of the best underrated islands in the United States. Part of the Golden Isles, a group of barrier islands off the coast of Georgia, St. Simons is a beautiful destination with something for everyone.

Georgia is a trending U.S. destination for 2024, with more and more travelers discovering how much this Southern state has to offer.

Great beaches is just one of those things. In addition to gorgeous, rugged beaches, St. Simons Island is also a top destination for golfing, fishing, dining, and shopping.

a pier at st simons island in georgia

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