Best Islands Close to Home

Islands Magazine deserves a shout-out. They just put up an article online with a list of the top ten most accessible to continental U.S. residents– which is welcome, after a week of looking at trips that look just incredible but completely 100 percent out of my price range. The article is also in the newest edition of the magazine, which I get digitally.

The article posts the best islands per interest, like the best islands for commuting, variety, or relaxing. The categories I’m most into at the moment are the best for relaxing, for color, and for seafood. I can’t think of anything better right now (I’m done with exams) than settling into a lawn chair on the beach with a novel, watching a blaze-orange and pink sunset over the ocean. So here are the islands for me, according to the Islands editors:

Sandspur Beach on Gasparilla Island

For Relaxing: Gasparilla Island, Florida. The article says the island is beyond old-Florida-drawl slow-paced. Which is what I’d love right now. I’ve been craving the south recently (I have a tendency to crave certain places, not just food): mainly to see some white-trim old mansions, get some fresh crab and gumbo, and a tan. Gasparilla sounds like just the ticket.

Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park

For Color: Mount Desert Island, Maine. The island is home to Acadia National Park, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. They says the autumn colors are unbeatable, which I believe. My birthday is in autumn, and I’ve always loved how bright October days can be, between the clear blue skies you only get in fall and the vibrant leaves.

Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island, Canada

For Seafood: Prince Edward Island, Canada. I am addicted to seafood. Really and truly addicted. The sad thing is, in the midwest, there aren’t a lot of places to get good, fresh, seafood (I tried to make fish tacos this fall, and have never had worse tilapia. And believe it or not, it was not my fault as a cook– just poor-quality fish that wasn’t fresh.). I need some quality seafood. So, Prince Edward Island sounds pretty good to me. The island is surrounded by the St. Lawrence Seaway, and has a warm, idyllic feel to it, the editors say. It’s one place where the character Anne of Green Gables spent her time, and she loved it.  Anyway, the water around the island is rich in nutrients, thus supporting a flourishing shellfish industry, known especially for mussels, oysters, and clams.

Which of these islands would give you the getaway you want right now?

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