Island travel is captivating for families. The beautiful ocean views and pristine beaches attract us to the most peaceful U.S. islands. The laidback coastal vibes make them great for family vacations. When I was a kid, I loved visiting Martha’s Vineyard, Amelia Island, and Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Taking a ferry to get there felt magical.
But not all U.S. island vacations need ferries to be charming. The best islands for family vacations are often surrounded by water, which makes them feel far from the busy world. If you dream of a passport-free island vacation with your kids, these are the U.S. islands that families love.
Whidbey Island, Washington
Whidbey Island is not too far from Seattle and you can get there easy by ferry. It’s actually one of the longest U.S. islands, stretching about 40 miles. This place has towns like Langley and Coupeville, and they’re great for families who wanna do stuff like hiking, water sports, or just hanging out at the beach. You can stay at Langley by the Sea in Langley. It’s this big house you can rent and it’s got amazing views of the water. You can chill in the backyard, cook in the cool kitchen, and have fun in the big family room playing games with your family.
Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island is down the northern coast of Florida, where the sun shines a lot. It’s a really nice place for couples, but it’s also great for Fripp Island is at the bottom of South Carolina. It’s not that big, only about 3,000 acres, and it’s known for pirates and explorers looking for treasure. Even though it’s laidback, there’s still a bunch of stuff for families to do here.
Fripp Island, South Carolina
Fripp Island is at the bottom of South Carolina. It’s small, only 3,000 acres, and known for treasure-hunting pirates and explorers. Even though it’s a calm place, families have a lot to do here. Fripp Island Resort is great for families. They have special stuff for kids. Camp Fripp is for kids, and they do workshops like painting, tie-dye, and learning about animals. Kids can watch movies while swimming, and there’s live entertainment too. You can go kayaking or on a pontoon boat on the water. There’s a good golf course for adults, and they also have activities for kids and families.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island is in the Midwest and is very popular for family vacations. It’s like going back in time without cars, with horse-drawn carriages, and old-fashioned homes. You can bike or walk more than 70 miles of trails, and the town is cute with many things to do.
Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine
Acadia National Park is on Mount Desert Island, one of the largest U.S. islands. Families like to visit here because it’s nice all year, even in fall and winter. You can learn about wildlife and different ecosystems at the Oceanarium and Education Center. Kids can become Junior Rangers at the park, and there’s a fun thing called Acadia Quest where you do challenges and share on social media. The park has trails for different levels. There’s a flat one called Wonderland Trail that goes to tide pools, and the Jesup Path and Hemlock Path Loop are also nice.
Vashon-Maury Island, Washington
Vashon-Maury Island is two islands in the Puget Sound. They’re connected by a piece of land. If you visit, you can stay at Vashon Inn. They have four suites that are like big homes with kitchens, dining areas, and living spaces. If you need more space, you can rent two suites side by side. Vashon Inn is close to the downtown area. There’s a bakery, restaurants, and shops. You can go horseback riding or hiking, and there are easy trails like Judd Creek Trail. You can also rent kayaks and e-bikes from Vashon Adventures.
The Hawaiian Islands are all amazing, but Maui is perfect for families. It’s known for fun things to do and beautiful nature. When you arrive, the sun and mountains welcome you. At the Grand Wailea, families can have a great time. It’s a big place with pools, a lazy river, tennis courts, and more. The resort also has activities for kids and a luau that’s fun for everyone. There’s a guide called the Grand Passport Program that helps kids find all the fun stuff.
- Are all U.S. islands cool with ferry rides?
Not necessarily. The best islands for family trips are usually surrounded by water, giving you that feeling of being far from the busy world. If you’re thinking of a no-passport-needed island trip with the fam, these are the U.S. islands that are really awesome.
- Tell me more about Whidbey Island, Washington.
Whidbey Island is not too far from Seattle and you can get there easy by ferry. It’s actually one of the longest U.S. islands, stretching about 40 miles. This place has towns like Langley and Coupeville, and they’re great for families who wanna do stuff like hiking, water sports, or just hanging out at the beach.