5 Island Vacations That Are Even Better Than the Caribbean

Sure, your friends can brag all they want about their Caribbean getaways on deck. But why not venture to some of these under-the-radar island gems nestled in beautiful regions around the grand ole U.S. of A? It may not be Barbados or Jamaica, but we promise you these fantastic spots will have you ready to relax in no time.

1. Harbor View Hotel in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

resort

Source: Alison Shaw, Harbor View Hotel

The “Netflix and chill” of island champions: Martha’s Vineyard in the summer is about as quintessential New England perfection as you can get. Unique shops, cozy restaurants, charming lighthouses, and more punctuate the scenery of this lovely New England retreat. Harbor View Hotel, a Victorian-style sanctuary, is also one of the island’s most historic landmarks and will be ringing in its 125th anniversary this July, along with beautiful weather and a bustling local scene. The hotel doles out unparalleled views of Edgartown Harbor and Lighthouse (along with privacy from its idyllic cottage suites), and is steps away from both the water and the heart of Edgartown, which is home to many shops and restaurants. Around for the fourth? Enjoy the town’s traditional parade and glimmering fireworks.

2. Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, Florida

Source: Cheeca Lodge & Spa

Why schlep to the Caribbean when you can enjoy a similarly special tropical getaway, with no shortage of panoramic views and beautiful scenery in Islamorada?  Nicknamed the “Queen of the Florida Keys,” you’ll love the balance of downtime and playtime you’ll get in this beautiful destination with tropical vegetation you’ll adore. While in town, get your buzz on at Islamorada Beer Company Brewery or get a culture-junkie hit at the Lobster Trap Art Gallery.

Cheeca Lodge & Spa offers true R&R with a spa made of 11 treatment rooms including two facial rooms, a wet room with Vichy shower, an adults-only lap pool, poolside cabanas with butler service, Tahitian-style Spa Lagoon, oceanfront tiki hut for al fresco treatments, and more. Seal off your vacation bliss with the Golden Veil body treatment and facial and the Hot Lava Shell Massage using polished Tiger Clam shells before namaste-ing your way through a peaceful yoga class. With six islands to explore in the village of Islamorada, enjoy renting a boat for the day, sportfishing, or snorkeling around the awe-inspiring natural gem.

3. The Nantucket Resort + Spa in Nantucket, Massachusetts

Source: The Nantucket Resort + Spa

The Nantucket Resort + Spa is a match made in vacation bliss heaven. The romantic, quaint resort on Nantucket Island off of Cape Cod is just 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. With pristine beaches, historic museums, lighthouses, and windmills, you can also slink into a cozy table at world-class restaurants, shop in downtown Nantucket, and bike or hike your way through breathtaking trails. If you’re a golfer, you’ll surely not want to miss getting your putt on at Sankaty Head Golf Club. Romantic getaway for two? Rent one of the private cottages with a private deck for a memorable night together spent in a state of serenity and seclusion.

4. Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, Rhode Island

Source: Vanderbilt Grace

British Virgin Islands? Pfffft. How about swapping that for the humble but equally charming Rhode Island? At the Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, this once-glamorous gilded-age mansion has been transformed into a stunning boutique hotel, ideal for a spring visit as the weather begins to warm up. A true area landmark, the hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites, two restaurants, a cocktail bar, a fabulous spa for unwinding, and a fitness center for pumping up. Nestled among the opulent and impressive beauty of Newport mansions, Vanderbilt Grace  also features gorgeous waterfront views and is close to many area attractions like the not-to-be-missed Newport Cliff Walk.

5. The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne in Miami, Florida

Source: The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne

The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne is an ideal getaway situated in the picturesque Miami area with a welcoming, festive, island vibe (it’s also just a short, beautiful drive from the big city). Its prime location allows you to retreat to an island oasis and relax on the beach or at the pool, but also allows you to easily head to downtown Miami if you’re looking for a wilder night with buddies or romantic interests. Indulge in nightly tequila tastings with the on-site Tequilier, who works exclusively at Cantina Beach, Miami’s only coastal Mexican-inspired restaurant. The Tequilier can perfectly match tequilas to the restaurant’s incomparable cuisine. There’s no better month to enjoy the luxe property than with warm, but not too warm, weather. It’s truly the ideal honeymoon location for those who want an exotic Caribbean-esque honeymoon without the hassle of leaving the country.

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