Have you been dreaming of an island vacation, but think you need a U.S. Passport to make it happen? Think again. These 7 tropical island destinations don’t require U.S. passports to visit. So pack your bags and head to one of these little slivers of paradise:
1| Key West, Florida
With average winter temperatures ranging from the mid 70’s to low 80’s and tons of sunshine, Key West is a mecca for U.S. residents looking for a low key, leave-your-worries-behind paradise but still want to be on U.S. soil. Key West is the southern-most point in the U.S., and the heartbeat of the Florida Keys. Whether it’s bar hopping down Duval Street, riding the Conch Train or spending the day fishing or snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Florida Straits, Key West is the perfect place to experience a little bit of laid back island life.
2| The Hawaiian Islands
Photo: Pixaby, Creative Commons
Picture perfect postcard views, balmy south pacific breezes and the ability to island hop make the Hawaiian Islands the perfect destination to get away from it all. The Hawaiian Islands are a perfect balance of pure luxury and raw beauty. Whether you are looking for relaxing days lounging on soft sandy beaches or, are craving a pulsating nightlife, the Hawaiian Islands have it all.
The four most popular islands with travelers are: Kauai, best known for its magnificent waterfalls, Waimea Canyon (the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”) and the Kalalau Hiking Trail; Maui, famous for its Road to Hanna and black sand beaches, sunrise bike tours atop of Haleakala National Park, world class windsurfing and snorkeling; The Big Island of Hawaii, home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where visitors can see the planet’s most active volcanoes; and, Oahu, famous for its legendary North Shore surfing, cosmopolitan night life in Honolulu and Waikiki, and home to historical Pearl Harbor. Which one will you visit?
3| Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a beautiful blend of old world history, Latin flare, luxury resorts, casinos, and 270 miles of coastline. Just a short flight from the East Coast, this island paradise is being rediscovered by U.S. travelers as one of the top travel destinations for U.S. residents.
Old San Juan is an authentic step back in time with cobble stone streets, cafes and beautiful architecture. A visit to the historic fort of El Morro should be on top of your must see and do list. For a more rustic adventure, grab your surf gear and head out to Rincon for some of the best surfing in the Caribbean. With great food, endless activities, and, did we mention miles of beaches, Puerto Rico is a must go vacation destination.
4| U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. Each of these islands offers visitors a unique tropical experience.
St. Thomas, the most visited of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is also a popular cruise ship port. Charlotte Amalie, the capital of St. Thomas is a bustling vibrant city bursting with Duty Free shops, restaurants and historical sites. The island is home to picture postcard views and some of the Caribbean’s most spectacular beaches.
Just a short 15-minute ferry ride away from St. Thomas, is St. Johns. With over 7,000 acres of the island designated a National Park, St. Johns is an unspoiled slice of paradise.
St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a bit more relaxed than its sister island, St. Thomas. Here visitors can golf, snorkel, relax on miles of white sandy beaches or even try their luck at the casino.
5| American Samoa
Tucked away in the South Pacific, halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, American Samoa is a hidden travel gem. Comprised of 5 volcanic islands and 2 atolls, this South Pacific paradise boasts average year-round temperatures of 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Considered one of the most gorgeous eco-tourism destinations, American Samoa is home to the only U.S. Park in the South Pacific. Visitors come to enjoy a more rustic adventure, with hiking through unspoiled rainforests, whale watching and diving being among the more popular activities.
Visitors to Guam are often surprised at how cosmopolitan the island is. The largest island in the Marianas Archipelago, Guam boasts luxury resorts, high-end shopping, nightlife, historic WW2 sites, diving, water sports, breath taking sunsets and gorgeous beaches. Guam offers the best of the pacific island paradise, with all the benefits of the U.S.
7| North Mariana Islands
Billed as one of America’s best kept secrets, this chain of 14 islands is steeped in World War II history. The North Mariana Islands is home to some of the most spectacular ship wreck diving and beautiful secluded beaches. The capital island, Saipan, is only 15 miles long and 5.5 miles wide and where most tourists tend to stay. Other islands in the chain worth visiting are: Tinian, home to atomic bomb pits and one of WWII’s most active airs strips, and Rota, a sparsely populated island known for its bird sanctuary and underwater wrecks.