An “island getaway” doesn’t necessarily translate into washing up on the shores of the Caribbean. Plenty of other islands in the U.S. boast the same laid-back, secluded feel that you can find in Barbados or Jamaica, but often come at a fraction of those sky-high all-inclusive rates; you’ll at least save some cash on airfare! For perhaps unconventional, but nonetheless awesome, island stays, check out our top picks for value, sun, and fun!
1. San Juan Islands
An "island getaway" doesn't necessarily translate into washing up on the shores of the Caribbean. Plenty of other islands in the U.S. boast the same laid-back, secluded feel that you can find in Barbados or Jamaica, but often come at a fraction of those sky-high all-inclusive rates; you'll at least save some cash on airfare! For perhaps unconventional, but nonetheless awesome, island stays, check out our top picks for value, sun, and fun!
The San Juan Islands are a popular summer getaway for Washingtonians, and have a relaxed, back-to-nature vibe; expect farmlands, evergreen forests, nature trails, whale-watching, and mom-and-pop shops. The Outlook Inn on the Orcas Island has stunning views of Eastsound from almost anywhere you stand. Best of all, rates start at about $60 per night!
2. South Padre Island
The Pearl South Padre is located on the southern tip of South Padre Island off the coast of Texas. This 251-room resort is flanked by a wide, sandy beach and offers a huge outdoor pool with plenty of lounge chairs, as well as tons of other resort features. And this three-and-half pearl resort starts at a cool $100.
3. Long Island
The Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina is arguably the best value in the often expensive Hamptons.The nautical-style rooms, suites, and villas overlook Lake Montauk, taking advantage of views of the attached marina, bobbing with boats galore, and the charming white lighthouse.
4. Marco Island
This lakefront property is a remodeled motel located in a quiet part of Florida's already sleepy Marco Island. It has 12 one- and two-bedroom suites, and seven studios, all with full kitchens, simple, beach-y decor (lots of white and wicker), and comfy beds. All in all, it's a perfect pick for low-key couples who don't mind being a five-minute drive from the beach in order to save some cash.
Nantucket may not seem like the easiest place to find a steal on accommodations, but even this Massachusetts island has its value stays. The Cottages & Lofts at Boat Basin are perfect for families and groups looking for something other than a typical hotel or B&B stay. The self-contained cottages and lofts offer all the perks of a private vacation rental with the benefit of hotel features such as daily housekeeping and access to a nearby spa. Rates at this amenity-heavy hotel are a fraction of those at its competitors, and the location directly on the Harbor means the views are fairly spectacular, too.
6. Goat Island
Nestled on Goat Island, with gorgeous views of the water and just a 10-minute walk across the bridge to downtown Newport and local beaches, the Hyatt Regency has comfortable rooms, two pools, and free bike rentals and activities such as yoga and wine tasting. And even with a resort fee, rates are a steal for the area.
7. Vancouver Island
Canada may not seem like an obvious choice for island beach destinations, but Vancouver Island in British Columbia is a popular destination thanks to the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and an aquatic-focused community. The island is home to a vibrant local marine community, and some surprisingly affordable stays, such as the the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa. Guests are surrounded by a stunning landscape and have access to tons of aquatic adventures, all at competitive rates.
8. Hilton Head
HarbourSide III is in an inland area of Hilton Head, but the beach is only a short drive away. The hotel sits on a harbor with awesome views, and has perks such as free parking, a large pool, beach shuttles, and family-friendly rates.