There are several amazing, dreamy islands located off the coasts of the United States. Whether you’re looking for a tropical getaway or whale watching in the pacific northwest, here are the top 7 islands off the west coast that are perfect for your next vacation.
1. Catalina Island
This is a great option for a day trip or a shorter getaway, as well as a longer vacation. Catalina Island is a 1-hour ferry ride from Los Angeles. It’s easy access makes it a great choice for those that are looking to add an island adventure to a larger vacation. Popular things to do on the island include relaxing on the sunny beaches, scuba diving, and boating. The island is also incredibly walkable, perfect for those who flew into Los Angeles and are looking for something to do that will require minimal transportation.
2. San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are an archipelago overall made up of hundreds of islands, both inhabited and uninhabited. Orcas Island is easily one of the most popular to visit, and also one of the most accessible. You can reach the island by taking a ferry over from Seattle. Once on the island, consider checking out the local restaurants, or explore Moran State Park. The archipelago’s namesake, San Juan Island is another great option to visit. Explore the island town of Friday Harbor, home to countless shops and eateries.
3. Coronado Island
If you’re looking for an island that’s both the perfect weekend getaway or afternoon adventure, look no further than Coronado Island. While most of the other islands on this list require a plane or boat to reach, you can drive to Coronado yourself. Located about twenty minutes from San Diego, CA, Coronado Island is practically synonymous with the iconic and historic Hotel Del Coronado. It’s also home to countless shops and restaurants, and Coronado Beach’s white sands are the perfect place to enjoy some sun.
4. Hawai’i (The Big Island)
All of the Hawaiian islands are gorgeous, and the Big Island is no exception. Hawaii, or The Big Island, is home to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, where one of the most active volcanoes in the world is located. There’s also stunning black sand beaches, as well as one of the world’s only green sand beaches, Papakolea Beach.
Maui, meanwhile, boasts as many dreamy resorts and beaches as The Big Island does. Check out Kaanapali Beach or Makena Beach for the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful sunset. If you’re looking for activities to do, there’s no shortage. Consider a submarine ride, or a whale watching tour if you’re visiting in the winter months.
6. Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island, located north of Seattle, is another great option if you’re looking for an island you can drive to via Deception Pass Bridge. The easiest way to reach the island from Seattle, though, is by ferry. The largest island in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island’s reputation precedes it when it comes to being an excellent place to enjoy some delicious seafood. Check out restaurants such as The Oystercatcher. Taking some time to explore Deception Pass State Park is another great thing to do while visiting, as is exploring the larger towns of Langley, Oak Harbor, and Coupeville.
7. Channel Islands National Park
This national park is located off the coast of California. Consisting of an archipelago of several islands, such as Santa Cruz, it’s a great choice for those looking to enjoy some serenity and peacefulness. The islands are accessible by private boat as well as by park concessionaire boats, and camping is also an option on many of the islands.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com