6 American Islands You've Never Heard Of

Make sure to pack your compass for traversing these hidden gems of the United States. Some of these islands are so remote that you will need some reliable way to navigate this far off the beaten path.

Sanibel Island, Florida

Aerial view of small green Sanibel Island off the coast of Florida
Credit: Philip Kohn/ Shutterstock

Seventy five percent of this Gulf Shore Island is protected for conservation, and there are no buildings over two stories in the portions that aren’t. Sanibel Island holds the national title for the best place to collect sea shells, so you can snag the perfect souvenir to show others you've been where they haven't.

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Beach on Daufuskie Island
Credit: akaplummer/ iStock

Daufuskie maintains local amenities and rallies against every feeling like tourist trap. Its landmarks include Silver Dew Winery and Bloody Point Lighthouse, but the delicious seafood across the island is much less sinister than the namesake of the lighthouse. Now you just have to learn how to spell it to book your trip.

San Miguel, California

Beach on San Miguel Island
Credit: Sebastien Burel/ Shutterstock

It isn’t so much that San Miguel fell under the radar as it was nearly blown clean off it. Once an active bombing range, you can now visit the most remote island in California, provided you are escorted by a ranger and sign a liability waiver.

Water Island, U.S. Virgin Islands

Honeymoon beach on Water Island
Credit: Dave Herholz/ flickr

Naming conventions aren’t always the most creative of endeavors. This tiny little island of 500 hectares was once a hotspot for pirates due to its rare freshwater ponds; they had good taste.

Great Diamond, Maine

Homes set lakeside in Great Diamond, Maine, with greenery and shrubs
Credit: PhotoItaliaStudio/ Shutterstock

Don’t be fooled by the grandiose title. Great Diamond is an oft-overlooked tourist destination off the coast of Maine. While most vacationers head toward Casco Bay, you can take the lesser-known ferry to this tiny little stretch of land that allows no cars.

Sapelo Island, Georgia

Beach on Sapelo Island
Credit: Thomas Kingsley/ Shutterstock

With a population of 70, Sapelo Island isn’t the kind of place you’ll see on a Spring Break reel. You can check into the Reynolds Mansion or a pitch a tent on the camp grounds if you’re looking to stay here. Rest assured, you won’t be mobbed by any crowds either way.

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