american islands for a tropical vacation us travel tourism tips

15 American Islands for a Tropical Vacation

Learn more about the best American islands for a tropical vacation. We will provide you not only with the best places to visit, but tons of vacation ideas and travel tips for an unforgettable stay in the United States. If you’ve been thinking about an all-inclusive Caribbean island getaway, and you either don’t have the money for it or don’t want to be bothered by a passport (or both,) we’ll provide you with plenty of suggestions for an exotic escape. When you click on an affiliate link below and buy something, we will receive a small commission, at no extra charge to you. From miles upon miles of sugary sands and an emphasis on “No passwords required” for US citizens, you will no longer need to go to a different country to explore the very best of what nature has to offer. From sea to shining sea, enter a piece of paradise while at these top American islands for a tropical vacation.



15. Galveston Island (Texas)

Perfectly perched on idyllic sands along the scenic Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Island is home to some of the best attractions and beaches Texas has to offer. This lovely island one hour southeast of Houston, starts off our grand list of the best American islands for a tropical vacation. About 50 miles southeast of Houston, this barrier island is roughly 27 miles long and about 3 miles wide. Deriving from European settlement, the ornate Victorian architecture with an adaptation of Renaissance style helps define the island. With its scenic shoreline and a lathe variety of beaches and parks, this island offers something for every kind of beachgoer. Divided between a hot season and a cool season, generally, visitors can enjoy the nice weather year-round. The summers can be long and hot here, as the temperature can go as high as 90 degrees on some days, while the cool season averages around 66 degrees. You’ll soon find there is no lack of things to do here as the island offers unique museums, many attractions and ports, as well as many festivals and events year-round. Your little ones will especially love time on a Dolphin Sightseeing Tour and a trip to Moody Gardens, which can be best described as an educational tourist destination. A legend in its own right, families will have to make a point to stop by Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier which features fifteen thrilling rides, a roller coaster, carnival games, live music and plenty of souvenir shops. Water enthusiasts will have a whale of a time at the island with water outings such as surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Experiences on the land can be just as challenging with biking and a public golf course that is lined with plenty of palms and shorebird habitat. With more than 500 bird species on or migrating through the island, it’s the perfect area for bird watchers, as well as or deep-sea fishing. Featuring the specialty of the island, fresh seafood, when it’s time to dine, fantastic flavors can be found all around the island including a stop to Fisherman’s Wharf. Galveston Island can be just as eclectic at night with many local bars and clubs, in addition to seawall bars and outdoor patios and decks.

Where to stay

From luxury hotels to condos and rentals, Galveston Island offers a nice variety of lodging options for all types of visits. Recommended stays include: Courtyard Galveston IslandTownePlace Suites by Marriott Galveston IslandFour Points by Sheraton Galveston and SpringHill Suites by Marriott Galveston Island.

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14. Marco Island (Florida)

Well-positioned in Southwest Florida inside the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island is a barrier island that will immerse you in an effortless getaway. This island is the first of many destinations in Florida to make our American islands for a tropical vacation list.Thanks to all the mangoes and mangroves that fill the island, it offers the perfect tropical vibe for vacationers. It is connected to the mainland by several bridges just south of Naples. Although the state of Florida is generally known to be pretty much flat, parts of this island have high elevations, allowing for scenic views. The temperature is warm all year long, as Summer rolls around the weather becomes hot and humid. Make a note to be aware of hurricane season which occurs anywhere between July and November. You’ll feel more than welcome with the old-style Floridian architecture, which offers a Hawaiian tropical flair to some of the buildings. Although this island does have a small population, many celebrities have called this place home including the likes of Thomas Edison, Judge Judy Sheindlin, Steven Tyler and Larry Bird. Beautiful beaches and unspoiled parks also await you here, offering an ideal spot to relax or play. Sightseeing boat cruises are a great option here, in addition to shelling excursions, paddleboarding, kayaking and self-guided canoe trips in the lagoons. Easy to access, opt-in for a trip to Everglades National Park which 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve where you may encounter endangered and unique wildlife, along with wet marshes. Another top destination is Ten Thousand Islands which is just south, as it consists of a chain of islands and mangrove islets off the coast. Savory selections featuring various seafood and shrimp. that are all incorporated into each meal. Ranging from Chilean sea bass and Shrimp Lenny to Calamari fritti and the Pork Milanese, the local restaurants here offer a wide range of menus that will please any palate. This inspirational island also offers a place to enjoy a cold one, with many bars, breweries and nightlife.

Where to stay

Visitors to Marco Island will have their choice of rental properties, time-share spaces and luxurious resorts. Our recommended places to stay include JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Marriott’s Crystal Shores, Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa, Holiday Inn Club Vacations Sunset Cove Resort, Marco Beach Ocean Resort and the Harbourside Hotel at South Seas Island Resort.

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13. American Samoa

Did you know a US territory exists deep in the heart of Polynesia about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand? For that very answer, American Samoa is truly off the beaten path in the South Pacific. Making it to our look at the top American islands for a tropical vacation, it is the only piece of America that is in the Southern Hemisphere, consisting of seven volcanic islands. Tropical scenery helps define the territory, which is accompanied by lush rainforests, volcanic peaks, breathtaking beaches and colorful reefs. Samoans mostly populate the island, as they take pride in festivities celebrating their culture in traditional music with an emphasis on the ukulele and rhythmic dances. The climate is not only hot and humid but rainy throughout the year, with the hottest period (December to April), where highs can average around 88 degrees. Joining American Samoa, other islands such Tutuila and Manu’a keep it in good company, as well as smaller islands that are very remote and unpopulated. From colorful birds to sea turtles that are seen regularly in the lagoon, in addition to marine mammals and reed fish, it’s wildlife galore in this lush region. The beaches here are perfect, with the soft pink sands is something some may only dream about. Two Dollar Beach and Ofu Beach are two of the most popular, as Ofu is considered by some in the travel industry to be the most beautiful beach in the world. The National Park of the island is where you get to explore tropical scenery in all its glory. You can embark on a hiking journey to get to see the island close-up or experience a yoga session on a mountaintop. With a visit to the National Marine Sanctuary, go down under with a snorkeling or diving expedition to view the protected coral reefs teeming with wildlife. Deriving from Polynesian cuisine, savor dishes such as the Luau or Palusami (coconut milk baked in Taro leaves,) Faiai Eleni (fish in coconut cream,) and Sapasui (Samoan Chop Suey.) Served in giant legged bowls, the official drink here is the Kava, a mixture of water and ground pepper roots, making it look just like muddy water.

Where to stay

From intimate boutique stays to larger beachfront resorts, a wide variety of accommodation facilities spread around Manu’a, Upolu and Tutuila Islands will cater to all budgets. We recommend taking a look at Moana O SinaSadie’s by the Sea, Tradewinds HotelCoconuts Beach Club and Resort, and Saletoga Sands Resort and Spa.

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12. Amelia Island (Florida)

Well situated at the very tip of Florida’s northeast coast, Amelia Island offers a more personal approach with its tranquil environment. Right on the Atlantic coastline, it is part of a Sea Islands chain of barrier islands. The island is well-known for its lush marshes and greenways, as well as winding rivers and 13 miles of uncrowded and unspoiled beaches. Discover a piece of history with your visit, as this is where this was once a stomping ground for pirates and was also under the rule of both Britain and Spain. You can see part of the European settlements with a visit to its Historic District or visit Fort Clinch, which had  strategic importance during the Civil War. If you’re searching for the ideal weather, the warmest times of the year to visit would be from June to August, which offers an average temperature hovering around ninety degrees. The lush landscape is the perfect home for a variety of species including alligators, turtles, peacocks, pelicans, deer, egrets, herons and bobcats have been spotted. On the water, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you saw dolphins playing, along with whale sightings during the winter. Well-defined by its pristine beaches and enormous dunes, you will have the option of 40 public beach access points including five distinct beaches. Nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway, you’ll soon discover life is better on a boat at the Amelia Island Marina. If you’re looking for fun things to do, an amazing array of adventures await you on the land, sea and air. Not only will you find miles and miles of biking trails in preserved areas, but unforgettable experiences such as kayaking, paddleboarding, horseback riding, skydiving, sailing and a top-rated powered hang gliding excursion from Florida Adventure Sports. From casual beach dining to fine dining, the island captures the very essence of farm-to-table dining, as well as wild-caught shrimp and seafood. From local beer favorites to a distillery making vodkas and rums, you’ll have an off-the-cuff exploration of drinks on the island. What a prime pick four our extraordinary look at the top American islands for a tropical vacation.

Where to stay

From enchanting B&B’s to affordable hotels and luxurious beachfront resorts, a lot of stays will be wanting to attract you. Some of the recommendations include The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Residence Inn Amelia Island, Omni Amelia Island Resort, Courtyard Amelia Island, Hampton Inn Amelia Island, Elizabeth Pointe Lodge and the Springhill Suites by Marriott Amelia Island.

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11. Guam

Located in the North Pacific while being the southernmost and largest island in the Mariana Islands archipelago, discover a small island with a big spirit with a visit to the U.S. island territory of Guam. Not only did its Andersen Air Force Base play a key role in World War II, but it offers over 4,000 years of history. Making an impressive choice for our list of the top American islands for a tropical vacation, Guam is divided into three regions, Northern, Central and Southern, each offering its charm and characteristics. With Malayo-Indonesian descent, the native Guamanians are ethnically called Chamorros and you will find them to be very friendly and hospitable. Shoppers can find luxury brands in boutiques alongside unique local handicrafts. Being generally warm and humid throughout the year, a tropical marine climate awaits you, with a dry season running from January to June, and a rainy season from July to December. Palm trees, ferns, and other tropical plants are abundant. The island is home to ancient latte-stone pillars which are arranged in parallel rows of six to 14 pairs (think a smaller version of Stonehenge.) For nature lovers, you can discover a variety of unique wildlife including many rare birds, snakes, bats, insects and green sea turtles. Top tourism stops include Talofofo Falls, Gef Pa’go Cultural Village and George Flores Old Store and History Center. What makes travelers embark on vacation here year after year, has to be because of the white and black sand beaches, along with the tranquil turquoise waters. These bountiful beaches offer a wide variety of activities, with water sports such as parasailing, kiteboarding, boating and personal watercraft. Local companies here will offer dolphin watching, scuba diving, and fishing tours regularly. A leader in Pacific Rim cuisine, the food culture here includes dozens of cuisines to reflect the melting pot of its people. Quality drinks await you here, with everything from local craft beers to a great collection of wine and the Calamansi Basil Lemonade, which consists of basil leaves, fresh sour mix, Calamansi puree, or juice and vodka.

Where to stay

We invite you to take a look at some of our suggestions as to where to stay with a memorable trip to Guam. The list includes The Westin Resort Guam, Hyatt Regency Guam, Hilton Guam Resort & Spa and the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort. Don’t leave home without scheduling these magnificent getaways.

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10. Anna Maria Island (Florida)

Best known for its sugar-white beaches and year-round perfect weather, Anna Maria Island can be considered Florida’s best secret amongst vacationers. It starts off our top ten with our extraordinary look at the best American islands for a tropical vacation. Being only seven miles long, everything on the island can be driven to within twenty minutes or less. Positioned between the Gulf of Mexico and the Peninsular Florida region, the barrier island provides an old-time small-town feeling for its guests. With calm and warm turquoise waters, the beaches here are simply breathtaking. Three main public beaches will be calling out your attention, along with three multiple beach access points on the Gulf side. The island’s complimentary trolley has specific stops to some of the beaches, in addition to 35 northbound and 35 southbound stops at many popular attractions. With its quaint cottages and friendly atmosphere, this truly is a place where “old” Florida charm can still be found. With some degree of humidity always present, the best time to visit here is January to March or in October, while it can reach as high as 90 degrees in the Summer. Top tourism stops here include Bean Point, Bridge Street, Anna Maria Island Historical Museum and Rod & Reel Pier, it’s a restaurant on an actual pier. With an abundance of trails on the island, hiking and biking are very popular activities on land, as well as segway tours. There’s no question that one of the best ways to experience all the wildlife and stunning scenery that Anna Maria Island has to offer is from the water. A kayaking or canoeing excursion can provide the perfect outlet to see its beautiful closeup. Look out for the occasional Bottlenose Dolphin or Manatee just beyond the waves. Wild Parrots can be heard chattering from the trees and Turtles will come ashore to lay their eggs. With everything from  low-key burger shacks to fine dining locations and the freshest seafood, you’ll soon discover plenty of options for fantastic food. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to stop by Anna Maria Island Donuts, as they can create DIY donuts created right in front of your very eyes.

Where to stay

To keep with its simplistic appeal, high-rises and fast food dining will noticeably be absent from this pristine destination. Some of the best places to stay include The Rod and Reel Resort, Anna Maria Beach Resort, Bungalow Beach Resort and the Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, Autograph Collection.

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9. Santa Catalina Island (California)

Defined by stunning white sand beaches and swaying palms, a sun-drenched island getaway awaits you on Santa Catalina Island. Far away from the hustle and bustle on the mainland, travelers will discover a very charming and simplistic approach to life. Fans of the film diva, Marilyn Monroe will be happy to know that she used to live here. Making it to our list of the top American islands for a tropical vacation, to get there will be just part of the fun. Being 22 miles away from the southern coast of California, you’ll need to either hop on a ferry or take a soaring helicopter ride to this private piece of paradise. You’ll be welcomed by the inhabitants of the island which will offer laid-back hospitality. With Mt. Orizaba being its highest peak, the geography here is defined by its rugged hills dominating the landscape. The largest settlement is Avalon, which hosts all the popular amenities you should need, as well as a community island village called Two Harbors. Expect warm year-round temperatures with the average high in the summer hovering around 72 degrees. Major tour spots include Trans-Catalina Trail, Catalina Island Conservancy and Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden. For those looking at fun-filled activities and adrenaline-pumping activities, look no further with everything from zip lining and challenging hiking experience, to hummer tours and undersea sub expeditions. As you can imagine, this quiet escape is a boater’s paradise with its majestic boat harbors, offering the perfect place to dock or receive exclusive tours of the island. When it comes to dining and nightlife, Catalina Island seems to never run out of options. To no one’s surprise, fresh fish and seafood are extremely popular here, along with local delicacies such as Pacific sanddabs, swordfish, spiny lobster, white seabass and the California halibut. Well-known for its incredible fishing spots if you catch something while fishing, some of the local restaurants will be happy to cook your catch for you.

Where to stay

Not only is tent-site camping popular with families here, but bed and breakfasts are a great choice. Top hotels include the likes of Aurora Hotel, Hamilton Cove, The Avalon Hotel, Banning House Lodge & Villas, Bellanca Hotel, and Buena Vista Hotel.

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8. Sanibel Island (Florida)

With a dramatic location along the Gulf of Mexico as it is complemented with brilliant sun-kissed shores, stunning scenery greets you at every turn at Sanibel Island, Florida. Just a short drive from the town of Fort Myers, it not only provides the perfect outlet for a family getaway but an amazing retreat for romantics. This little piece of paradise is well-known for its spectacular sunsets, legendary lighthouse and luxurious stays. This barrier island is a very small and intimate one, as it covers about 12 miles in length and 4 miles wide and is famous for its shelling beaches. With the average temperature being around 75 degrees, you can see why it’s a popular spot for “snowbirds” visiting from the north to warm up during the cold seasons. Being just a hop and a skip away, this island is easily accessible by driving the scenic 3-mile-long Sanibel Causeway, while boaters can dock in modern marina facilities. With over 60% of the island consisting of protected wildlife preserves and many swamps, it provides the perfect opportunity for tourists to explore its abundant wildlife. Ranging from alligators to sea turtles, and a large variety of birds, it allows travelers to see nature at its rarest form. Popular tourist stops include: Sanibel Island Lighthouse (free,) Great Calusa Blueway (free,) Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village. If you’re looking for activities, boats are available for rent, along with bicycles and Segway rentals. Speaking of biking, there are well over 26 miles of terrific trails to discover. Additionally, more popular options include scouting for dolphins on a sightseeing cruise, scuba diving tennis, windsurfing, paddleboarding, kiteboarding and world-class golfing. Don’t forget to bring your wallet, because there are fabulous shopping opportunities here as well. Beaches are simply breathtaking here as you can imagine, offering quite a few to soak up the sun or swim the day away. With a melting pot of restaurants with seafood and specialties, lounges and sports bars, you’ll surely find delights to match every appetite. A definite pick with our look at the best American islands for a tropical vacation, if you are a couple searching for the perfect honeymoon or anniversary celebration.

Where to stay

Be sure to experience the very best with exceptional stays at the Marriott Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa, Residence Inn Fort Myers Sanibel, Sanibel Siesta on the Beach, Casa Ybel, South Seas Island Resort and Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. For something very unique and cheap, book at Periwinkle Cottages, which offers unpretentious old Florida–style cottages with kitchenettes.

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7. Hilton Head Island (South Carolina)

Named after Captain William Hilton while being well-known for its beautiful beaches and gorgeous golf courses, Hilton Head Island is a popular place for travelers looking for fun experiences. The largest coastal island between New Jersey and Florida, the iconic island is shoe-shaped and offers an ideal spot on the Atlantic Ocean, while being 12 miles long and 5 miles wide. Being the second largest barrier island on the Eastern Seaboard, its wildlife refuge plays host to several amazing wildlife such as alligators, deer, manatees, hundreds of species of birds, dolphins and loggerhead sea turtles. Featuring a humid subtropical climate, this island occasionally gets 90-degree weather between May and September, while November to March can be quite cold at times. With 12 miles of public beaches, with protected wildlife and nature preserves, it can not only be the ideal getaway to relax but extraordinary experiences as well. Some of the top adventures include fishing charters, guided wildlife viewings, endless bicycle trails, in addition to plenty of shopping and museums. From fun outdoor festivals to performing arts center productions, there will always be something educational and entertaining in the works here. Nothing like the thrills on the water with everything from paddleboard and kayak trips to boating tours and fishing charters. Golfers will love tee time at 33 world-class golf courses with rolling fairways and sensational scenery, while tennis and pickleball are other popular choices. With fresh seafood being the centerpiece here, popular favorites include the likes of locally caught shrimp, oysters and crab cakes. Whatever your preference, a refreshing beverage experience awaits you here, including local craft beers, micro-breweries, award-winning island wineries, and handcrafted specialty cocktails.

Where to stay

From luxe beachfront resorts to vacation rentals, a plethora of accommodations awaits you. Some of our favorites include Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa, Marriott’s Barony Beach Club, Marriott’s Grande Ocean, Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, Courtyard Hilton Head Island and SpringHill Suites by Marriott Hilton Head Island.

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6. Lanai (Hawaii)

Filled with breathtaking white and beaches and incredible scenery, Lanai maybe Hawaii’s smallest inhabited island but it also offers big enticements to its visitors. Divided into three regions, North, Central and South, the island can range from rugged back roads to luxurious resorts. The area itself encompasses about 13 miles wide and 18 miles long and boasts 47 miles of captivating coastline. This Polynesian island was formerly known as the “Pineapple Isle,” as it was once the largest single pineapple plantation in the world. Known globally a the world’s friendliest people, the citizens here are legendary for their laid-back spirit. The Lanaian’s today, just like the thousands of people who came before them, still perform the Hula and play the ukulele to welcome visitors. As far as architecture, a majority of the buildings and homes will feature a lānai, which is a type of roofed, open-sided veranda, patio, or basically a porch. It may be no surprise that on this remote island, rare plant species and wildlife play a major role. Visitors can see species in their natural habitat, ranging from whales to dolphins, in addition to the Axis Deer and Mouflon Sheep. For an out of the norm experience, opt in to a visit to Garden of the Gods, which is surrounded by rock formations caused by many years of erosion. When it comes to famous beaches on the island, many people may be familiar with Hulopoʻe Beach, It’s home to what’s easily the best snorkeling on Lanai while having the waves for surfing in the summer. For a truly remarkable event, make it a point to join in on a dolphin and a whale watching tour. With courses boasting lush vegetation, ocean cliffs and seaside fairways, golfers can hit the fairways in paradise. Other highlights include 4-wheel-drive trails, horseback riding and hiking opportunities such as Munro Trail, along with amazing snorkeling and scuba diving experiences. From high-end resort restaurants to mom-and-pop cafes, this tiny island will have more than enough dining choices to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Guests will soon discover that The Mai Tai is the perennial favorite drink here, as some resorts may put a personal spin on it. A dazzling pick for our look at the top American islands for a tropical vacation. Don’t you agree?

Where to stay

Places to stay in Lanai may be few and far between, however remarkable stays include the likes of Hotel Lanai, Sensei Lanai – A Four Seasons Resort, and the Four Seasons Resort Lanai.

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5. Key West (Florida)

The southernmost point in the continental United States, the Key West is a legend in its own right amongst millions of travelers. Multiple presidents have conducted business on the island along with famed writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. The distinct architecture, carefree inhabitants, cultural diversity and sheer tropicality define this legendary island. You’ll be charmed by the quaint architecture of both the conch-style houses and businesses here. With many adorning pastel colors, a majority are vintage cottages with ornate latticework and restored Victorian gems will likely come to mind. The summer weather can be hot and humid, while the winters will offer a more comfortable temperature. The island may be almost considered right in the middle of hurricane alley, so please plan accordingly.  Many pristine white sand beaches await you here as well which includes Smathers Beach (the island’s longest), Dog Beach and South Beach. Being just 4 miles long and 1 mile wide, it still provides a wealth of activities and tourism attractions. Hot spots include the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, the iconic Southernmost Point and legendary Duval Street, which is a bustling strip of shops, dining and a multitude of bars. If you’re looking for fun activities, things such as kayak eco-tours, world-class fishing, snorkeling excursions, parasailing, sunset sails, ghost tours and dolphin watching tours will keep you engaged. Food lovers can discover a large variety of culinary and dessert sensations here. However, no food is more strongly tied to this island than the Key Lime Pie. Seafood also plays a major role here with the likes of lobster and shrimp which is caught locally right in the waters offshore. You will never get thirsty because rum will be found on all the menus on the island. Key West is also well-known for its drinking and entertainment experiences. Making it to our top five with our look at the top American islands for a tropical vacation, it is also an amazing choice for gay travelers. A total mmagnet for LGBT travelers who love to stay, dine and visit in a welcoming environment, along with many pride celebrations and legendary drag shows that help define the free spirit of the island.

Where to stay

Whether you’re gay or straight, or anything in-between for that matter, a nice variety of hotels, motels, B&B’s and cottages will be ready to make you feel right at home. Some of our favorites include Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel, Courtyard Key West Waterfront, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Key West at The Keys Collection and The Saint Hotel Key West, Autograph Collection.

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4. The Big Island (Hawaii)

Aloha! The largest island in the illustrious Hawaiian chain, The Big Island (officially named Hawaii)  is the third most popular Hawaiian island among visitors while offering a variety of different climates and grand geological features. From lush jungles to barren grasslands to snow-capped mountains and active volcanoes, a large variety of landscapes can be discovered on this tropical island. Its citizens celebrate this diversity in its culture through its art, festivals and iconic historic sites. Known for its variations in colored beaches; from black to green and white, they offer a unique stopping point for visitors to enjoy a sunny experience. Major tourist attractions here include the likes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and Mauna Kea Summit (the highest mountain.) As you can imagine, you will find a wide variety of things to do here on both land and water. Hiking, biking, ziplining and horseback riding will be easily accessible on land. Displaying unforgettable scenery, focus on your swing as you listen to the sound of waves crashing begin at any number of magnificently designed golf courses. Stick to the ocean and try our hand at kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, as well as the legendary surfing experiences. The Big Island is also warm and tropical year-round, where the major hotel areas range from 75 to 85 in winter and the summer. From fresh seafood to fried delicacies, and a variety of meats, you’ll discover a nice variety of food selections that are set to impress. Chocolate and coffee are to be savored as well, all stemming from exotic crops on the island.  After indulging in food culinary experiences, drain everything down the pipes with local beers. You’ll discover quite a few microbreweries throughout the island. Lest not forget, the traditional drink, the Mai Tai which is one of the most famous Tiki drinks in the world. Of course, you will need to end a memorable day with a luau or a Hula show. First developed by Polynesians who originally settled there, a luau incorporates a buffet with traditional foods and cultural performances which consist of music, hula dancing and time-honored stories.

Where to stay

Some of our favorite places to stay on this piece of paradise consists of Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection.

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3. Puerto Rico

Home to over 11 million inhabitants, Puerto Rico is a gorgeous island that is a US territory in the Caribbean. It consists of the main island, as well as four small islands and hundreds of islets and cays. The island also has almost 300 miles of picturesque coastline and nearly almost the same number of pristine beaches. Both Spanish and English are widely spoken on the island, or you may come across some people that speak a mixture of the two, which is called  “Spanglish.” However, the real charm here is its citizens. Being ever so personable and proud of their heritage, they will make you feel right at home. Reflective of the island’s deep history, the architecture here is simply stunning and is a diverse mixture of a variety of cultural and artistic influences. Top tourism sites include the likes of El Yunque National Forest, Bioluminescent Bay and the Old City of San Juan. The vibrancy comes alive in its dishes, savoring authentic Puerto Rican food may be the highlight of your trip, as favorites include everything from Mofongo and Tostones to Tembleque and Coquito. Named the national drink of Puerto Rico, the Piña colada calls itself home here, in addition to other classics such as the Mojito, Medalla, Mavi and the Cuba Libre. Looking for fun things to do? No problem, the possibilities are nearly endless here. Hiking around the scenic terrain is very popular, along with kayaking or swimming the bioluminescent bays, or viewing contemporary art in a museum. Let’s not forget the thrilling casino’s magnificent fairways, shopping and extraordinary nightlife. Let your rainbow flag fly high because this island says “Bienvenidos” to members of the LGBT travelers. It’s good to know that the currency is the U.S. Dollar and that the temperature varies between 70 and 80 degrees throughout the year. An ideal choice four our American islands for a tropical vacation list, you will not need a passport to travel, but be sure to always have a valid ID.

Where to stay

Some popular hotels will be ready to welcome you to a comfortable stay. The list is strong in San Juan, with the likes of  San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, AC Hotel San Juan CondadoLa Concha Renaissance San Juan ResortThe Condado Plaza HiltonCaribe Hilton and the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Rio Grande.

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2. US Virgin Islands

A territory of the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) offers a dramatic contrast for travelers, with everything from pristine white sand beaches and beautiful bays, and from rugged mountaintops to tropical jungle-like areas. It makes an impressive landing of our American islands for a tropical vacation list as runner-up. USVI consists of three primary islands – St. John (the Capitol), St. Thomas and St. Croix, in addition to 50 smaller islands, cays and inlets in the Caribbean archipelago region. Boating with pride of being both Americans and Virgin Islanders, the people here do speak English, as well as a dialect called Calypso, which varies from each island. With its peak season being from December to March, expect temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the high 80s. From July to October, beware of booking during the hurricane season, however, the average temperature will reach the upper 80’s. With the majority of buildings on the islands ranging from the 17-19th centuries, classic architecture from the European Renaissance can be felt all around, as well as influences from Spain, Rococo and Victorian traditions. Fun is all around if you are looking for fun things to do while visiting the USVI. Trunk Bay and the Virgin Islands offer the best places to visit, including The Baths and White Bay in Jost Van Dyke are hot tourism attractions. Activities are abundant here, including the likes of sailing adventures, parasailing, kayaking, along with snorkeling and swimming with the sea turtles in the federally protected seas. Infusing local traditions with regional influences, some delicious cuisine will be waiting for you here. Top dishes in Pot Fish, Johnny Cake, Conch Fritters and Fish & Fungi, which is a polenta-like dumpling. Featuring the legendary Cruzan Rum, It’s all about rum on this island when it comes to a good drink as it will be incorporated into almost any libation.

Where to stay

Several luxurious stays will be ready to welcome you to the USVI. St. Thomas, being the most popular, includes an amazing line-up such as Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Resort St. Thomas, Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove, Noni Beach, a St. Thomas Resort, Autograph Collection and the at The Westin St. John Resort Villas in Great Cruz Bay.

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1. Maui (Hawaii)

“Ahhhhhh Maui!” That’s what you will be saying the very minute you lay your eyes on Hawaii’s second-largest island. From spectacular sunrises and sunsets to its pristine beaches and farm-to-table cuisine, this island’s name stems from the term “Maui no ka oi” which is equivalent to “Maui is the best.” No list of our incredible look at the top American islands for a tropical vacation would be complete without this perfect piece of paradise! The romantic scenery surrounding you offers the perfect place for a honeymoon or escape together on an anniversary. You’ll simply be in awe of the lush waterfalls and completely captivated with sightings of the legendary humpback whales in the ocean. Home to the West Maui mountains to the west and Haleakala to the east, it has established the nickname of the “Valley Isle.” Top-rated attractions include Haleakala National Park, Iao Valley State Monument, Road to Hana and Waianapanapa State Park. With 30 miles of outstanding beaches on its shores and 120 miles of coastline, it offers some of the most laid-back beaches to either relax or explore. As you can imagine, surfing is a very popular water sport here, as well as stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, outrigger canoeing, sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving. If you’re more of a land dweller, Increase your energy levels with hiking expeditions, volleyball, tennis and world-class golfing. You can almost be guaranteed that the sun is high all year long, as temperatures can vary from anywhere in the neighborhood of 75 degrees to 83 degrees between the summer and winter seasons. Offering a long and rich history, a diversity of culinary passions comes alive here with traditional foods celebrated on the island. They consist of backgrounds from various Polynesian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, American, Filipino, Spanish, and Portuguese origins. If you’re a drinker, the most popular cocktails on the island include Blue Hawaii, Mai Tai, Piña Colada and the Lava Flow, which is a combination of the Piña colada and a Strawberry Daiquiri. You can’t leave Maui without partaking in a traditional luau ceremony, which is a combination of delicious Hawaiian cuisine, hula dances, fire performances, live music from their Polynesian culture.

Where to stay

Not only are condominiums and timeshares popular here to rent, but an incredible variety of hotels and resorts await your stay. The list includes Wailea Beach Resort, Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club, The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Westin Maui Resort & Spa Ka’anapali, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Residence Inn by Marriott Maui Wailea and the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.

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Best Online Travel Deals hopes you feel inspired by our list of the top American Islands for a Tropical Vacation and the best places to stay and visit. Ditch your passport and travel to these irresistible islands for the ultimate getaway and forget about all your worries.




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