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7 Small Islands That Should Be On Your Radar

There are many smaller, closer-to-home islands that are loaded with local charm without the high price tag (or long plane ride).
09/26/2014 11:17am ET | Updated November 26, 2014
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When you think of island life, it's likely that paradise-like destinations such as Jamaica, Hawaii or Aruba come to mind. But within North America there are many smaller, closer-to-home islands that are loaded with local charm without the high price tag (or long plane ride). Check out our list of small islands to have on your radar next time you need a getaway:

Orcas Island
The largest of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state, the majority of the island’s mileage is rural and hilly. Considering this, it’s no surprise the island is a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts -- including cyclists, hikers and swimmers. The island's top scenic spots include Moran State Park, Mount Constitution and a fjord. Additionally, tourists can embark on kayak or whale-watching trips to see even more of the picturesque wildlife. Orcas Island is most commonly reached via the Washington State Ferries system, which departs from Anacortes, 80 miles north of Seattle. (Photo Credit: Flickr/PFly)
Ship Island
Off the Gulf of Mississippi, Ship Island is the perfect day trip for Mississippi locals and tourists. The island’s most popular activities include fishing, lounging on the beaches, hanging out on the boardwalk or touring Fort Massachusetts -- a military defense fort build after the War of 1812. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Brian Holcomb)
Quadra Island
Located off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, Quadra Island is about 22 miles long. Sparsely populated and exceptionally green, this hideaway is the perfect place to get out of dodge and get back into nature. The most popular way to reach Quadra Island is by way of Campbell River, where travelers can take a 10-minute ferry from Vancouver Island to the smaller inlet. Travelzoo Tip: Save 35% on fall and winter rates there at Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge; per-night prices start at CA$85. (Photo Credit: Flickr/David Stanley)
Coronado Island
Directly across from downtown San Diego, and connected to the mainland by a bridge over the San Diego Bay, Coronado Island (though technically a peninsula) is the quintessential West Coast vacation spot. Most commonly known as being home to the Hotel Del Coronado, the oldest hotel on the West Coast, the island is also home to an adorable main street called Orange Avenue (the only street with stoplights), a renowned naval base and one of the country’s best beaches. The bridge is an exit directly off the I-5 South freeway, just past downtown San Diego and less than 15 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Stacy Spensley)
Catalina Island
Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles County, is a favorite destination among southern Californians looking to sneak away. For overnight stays, travelers can choose from bed and breakfasts, hotels, vacation rentals, or, for the more rugged, camping among the breathtaking natural landscapes. Most commonly accessed via sea on the Catalina Express ferry on an hourlong trip, visitors can look forward to a relaxing getaway in the quaint waterfront town of Avalon. Travelzoo Tip:Stay at Hotel Metropole, a fixture of the popular Crescent Avenue, for $149 per night this fall and receive complimentary daily breakfast, Wi-Fi and a bottle of Champagne to kick off your stay. (Photo Credit: Flickr/jmrosenfeld)
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island, off the coast of Florida, is home to some breathtaking stretches of white-sand beaches. Its shores are also known for being a great spot for collecting shells; the sand is filled with them. From Fort Myers, the closest mainland city, visitors can expect a 30- to 40-minute drive (and $6 toll) to get them into the island lifestyle. (Photo Credit: Flickr/AnnCam)
Block Island
Block Island, off the coast of Rhode Island in the Atlantic Ocean, was named as one of Nature Conservancy’s “last great places” in the Western Hemisphere. Residents and tourists alike are drawn to the island for its breathtaking beaches, waters and bluffs. There are multiple wildlife preserves designated, and the land supports more than 40 state and federal rare or endangered species. The island is 12 miles from the coast, and can be reached via plane, boat or by regularly scheduled ferries. Photo Credit: Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/llstalteri/7747312856

Nile Cappello is a deal expert at Travelzoo and based in San Francisco. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.