Whether you enjoy relaxing in tropical weather, shopping, engaging in outdoor activities, or exploring historical sites, island destinations have something for everyone. Islands can be popular vacation spots for people of all ages. Here are five wonderful island destinations to explore. 

1. Nantucket, Massachusetts

This small island off the coast of New England has no roads leading to it and is usually reached by ferry, which only adds to its charm as a destination to get away from city life. Although most ferries allow you to transport your car to the island, it is recommended to explore via foot, bicycle, or rideshare if possible. Due to the climate of the northeastern United States, Nantucket is a summer destination whose population greatly decreases during the winter months. Popular things to do on this island include enjoying the beaches and lighthouses, visiting the Nantucket Whaling Museum, and checking out the shops and restaurants. 

2. Barbados

The country of Barbados is located in the eastern Caribbean and is most well-known for having gorgeous beaches. The sandy beaches of Barbados might seem like a world away from home, but this island destination is easy to get to via one of the many available cruises from Tampa, Florida. If you opt to fly rather than cruise, Barbados is around a four-hour flight from most cities in the eastern United States, making this a viable destination for a short vacation. Some options for fun activities in Barbados include scuba diving, exploring the beaches, sailing, and visiting a rum distillery. 

3. Santorini, Greece

If you are in the United States and are looking for an island destination that is a little bit farther from home, Santorini might be a good option. This island is located in the Aegean Sea to the southeast of mainland Greece. Santorini is best known for its beautiful blue and white architecture, mountainous terrain, and brilliant sunsets. If you happen to be looking for something to do while on Santorini, consider admiring some of the dormant volcanos or visiting one of the many museums, galleries, and cafes. There are also numerous wineries to check out if that is something you enjoy, as winemaking in Santorini dates back hundreds of years. The climate of Santorini is arid and mild, making it a great destination to visit any time of year. 

4. Iceland

The island nation of Iceland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Norway. This beautiful country has both glaciers and volcanoes, giving it the nickname Land of Fire and Ice. Iceland also has black sand beaches to explore, which were created by the ash and lava fragments from erupting volcanoes of the past. However, Iceland might be most well-known for its hot springs. If you visit a hot spring, there are certain etiquette rules to be aware of:

  • Shower prior to entering a hot spring 
  • Remove your shoes before entering the shower
  • Pick up any litter you brought and leave the area as it was when you arrived

Since this island is so isolated, the Icelandic language has not changed much over the last few centuries; however, nearly all locals speak English as well. 

5. Bali, Indonesia

Bali is located in the archipelago country of Indonesia. This island is known for its mountainous scenery, beaches, surfing, history, coffee, and cuisine. Bali is an amazing destination if you enjoy exploring nature since it is home to waterfalls, canyons, jungles, and even a forest that contains monkeys in the wild. Bali is also a great destination for someone who enjoys art and history, as there are numerous ancient temples to visit that have beautiful architecture. If you decide to rent a car in Bali, keep in mind that it is one of the countries where people drive on the left. 

6. St. Martin – St. Maarten

The St. Martin or St. Maarten island is a Caribbean gem offering visitors the best the Caribbean has to offer with a unique, world-renowned blend of French and Dutch cultures. Tourists often visit St. Martin – St. Maarten for the beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets. The island is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Europeans and Americans alike, and is divided between France and Holland. If you’re after a more laid-back vibe with plenty of bars, restaurants, shops and nightclubs, then this area would be perfect. Hop on one of St Martin St Maarten taxis and take a taxi tour around the island will provide you with more than enough time to explore this gem of an island, driving past some of the most scenic beaches in the Caribbean, as well as historic sites such as Fort Amsterdam and Estate Diamond Rock.

Consider one of these beautiful and unique island destinations the next time you plan a vacation. Always be aware of local laws and customs before traveling to a different country.