Anne Erickson


Beach image

Michigan is known for its gorgeous lakes, both the Great Lakes and inland ones. Now, the Mitten has bragging rights when it comes to more than just its lakes- try the state’s glorious islands.

Travel + Leisure recently released its World’s Best Awards list. “Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more,” they state in the article.

When it comes to the Best Island in the Continental U.S., Michigan has it. Last year, the winner was Hilton Head, South Carolina, so this is a new honor for Michigan. Moreover, this beloved Michigan spot came out on top of 14 other areas, including the Florida Keys and other major U.S. island destinations.

That prized destination is Mackinac Island. You can’t be surprised, as it’s a very special place. Here’s what the publication said regarding Michigan’s most popular island: “Eighty percent of this roughly four-square-mile island on Lake Huron is protected as a state park. The family-friendly downtown has many restaurants, fudge shops, and galleries. There are also several golf courses, one of which, known as ‘Wawa,’ lies on a battlefield where the British captured the island from the Americans in the War of 1812. You can explore the island by foot, bike or horse-drawn carriage, but no cars are allowed. Accommodations include the Grand Hotel, which dates back to 1887 and earned the No. 6 spot on this year’s list of the Best Hotels in the Midwest.” Find the full roster of incredible island spots here and below.

  • 10. Amelia Island, Florida

    Amelia Island has 13 miles of beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife and pristine waters. Nice!

    Amelia Island Come Make Memories

    The tranquility of an uncrowded beach. The allure of wide open outdoor spaces. Amelia Island has everything you're looking for as you plan your much-needed escape. Choose from a variety of accommodations that put you steps from the BEACH, all welcoming guests and following strict guidelines that protect you and your loved ones.

  • 9. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

    Hilton Head Island features 12 miles of pristine beaches. Sounds lovely!

    Official Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: Vacation & Travel Guide

    Every year between May and October, sea turtles visit the beaches of Hilton Head Island. In 2021, 283 nests were laid on our pristine beaches. Two volunteer organizations, Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head Island and Turtle Trackers, work hard every morning and evening during nesting season to protect sea turtle nests and ensure the hatchlings can make a safe journey from the beach to their ocean home.

  • 8. Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

    Who hasn’t yearned for a trip to Martha’s Vineyard?

    Martha's Vineyard Island, Massachusetts | Martha's Vineyard Online

    Martha's Vineyard Online Includes directory of information and services for the island of Martha's Vineyard.

  • 7. Mount Desert Island, Maine

    Mount Desert Island (MDI) is the largest island off the coast of Maine.

    Mount Desert Island - Visit Maine

    Back to parks natural attractions Many visitors are unaware that Mount Desert Island -or MDI, as it's known locally-has a rich history, established culture and thriving economy separate from Acadia National Park. The island has a local population of approximately 10,000.

  • 6. Outer Banks, North Carolina

    The Outer Banks are famous for their expanse of open beachfront and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

    The Outer Banks | Things To Do, Hotels & Restaurants

    Welcome to the Outer Banks The Outer Banks of North Carolina offers a welcome relief from crowded cities and overrun vacation spots. In fact, you won't find any cities on the Outer Banks, just 100+ miles of wide-open shoreline, charming seaside villages, and a mix of towns brimming with personality and fascinating connections to our nation's history.

  • 5. Golden Isles (Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island, St. Simons Island), Georgia

    Located on the Georgia coast, midway between Savannah, GA, and Jacksonville, FL, the Golden Isles feature four beautiful barrier islands.

    Golden Isles | St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island & Brunswick, GA

    Explore Golden Isles and find restaurants, things to do and events for St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Brunswick.

  • 4. San Juan Islands, Washington

    The San Juan Islands offer whale watching, kayaking, biking, hiking, farm-to-table dining, cozy lodging and more.


    Visit the San Juan Islands in northwest Washington State. World-class whale watching, kayaking, biking, hiking, farm-to-table dining, cozy lodgings. Pebbled beaches, stunning sunsets and deep green forests - the San Juan Islands are Inspiration for the Senses!

  • 3. Nantucket, Massachusetts

    Nantucket Island offers events, island maps, beaches, accommodations, dining, arts, activities and more.

  • 2. Kiawah Island, South Carolina

    Kiawah Island is just a few miles from historic Charleston, South Carolina, and features the famed Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

    Kiawah: The Golf and Luxury Beach Resort near Charleston SC

    Kiawah Island Golf Resort is your destination for luxury golf and beach vacations near Charleston, South Carolina. Indulge in Five-Star accommodations, world-class resort amenities, award-winning recreational activities, and some of the most respected golf courses in the nation. You'll enjoy all of this and more in distinctively tranquil natural surroundings-for a travel experience you'll wish would never end.

  • 1. Mackinac Island, Michigan

    Mackinac Island is a unique vacation spot boasting fine dining, historic sites, and exciting attractions.

    Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau - Unique Mackinac Island, MI Vacation

    Mackinac Island, MI is a unique vacation spot boasting fine dining, historic sites, and exciting attractions. Learn more from Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau!

  • Best Islands in the Continental U.S.

    This list is via Travel + Leisure. Find the full list here.

Sign me up for the 101 WRIF Cybercrew email newsletter!

Join the 101 WRIF Cybercrew to get everything that rocks sent right to your inbox from The Riff! You’ll get updates on concerts and your favorite bands, along with exclusive chances to win. Plus news and stories from all around metro Detroit!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.