Got a spare 5 minutes to help us improve our website? Take this survey.

Doliver Island, ME

Deserted Islands

Penobscot Bay is home to more than one furnished island for rent. Doliver isn't one of them. It's tennis-court-size and rocky, with one tree and a sign. Stop at the Old Quarry Store, in Stonington, on Deer Isle, to pick up a kayak, a chart, and a fog forecast (207-367-8977). Doliver is a half-day's paddle south. Spend a day or two visiting some of Doliver's 60-plus granite neighbors, many managed by the Maine Island Trail Association. Permits aren't necessary; getting there early is.

Cayo Costa State Park, FL

This 2,400-acre barrier island is the Sunshine State as it used to be. No highways, just mangrove swamps, packed-shell bike trails, and 7.5 miles of dune-studded beach. Bring a spinner, live shrimp, and a 12-pound line. Drive from Fort Myers to Pine Island and catch the hourlong ferry ride ($35 round-trip, reservations required; tropicstarcruises.com). Drop your gear in one of 12 cabins ($30; floridastateparks.org/cayocosta), wade into the surf, and go get dinner: redfish, snook, or speckled sea trout (excellent grilled with lemon).

Eagle Island, GA

If you prefer your solitude with a mint julep, consider Eagle Island. A 15-minute boat ride speeds guests from Darien, Georgia, to this private ten-acre kingdom topped with a ten-bed reclaimed-cypress lodge (from $400; privateislandsofgeorgia.com). Take the resident kayak for a spin, spy on nesting bald eagles, pluck dinner from the blue-crab traps—or just settle for a julep in the hot tub.

Posey Island State Park, WA

You can stay on this one-acre, two-campsite spit, at the elbow of the Salish Sea, only if you arrive by man- or wind-powered means, so your neighbors are kayakers, not powerboaters (campsites, $9; parks.wa.gov). Catch the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor (from $35; wsdot.wa.gov/ferries). Drive ten miles to Roche Harbor and rent a sea kayak (sanjuanislandoutfitters.com) for the easy quarter-mile trip to Posey, and watch out for breaching orcas as you dip your paddle.
More Travel