TripAdvisor's 10 Best Islands in the US

PHOTO: Marco Island, FloridaTripAdvisor
Marco Island, Florida

intro: Eager to get away from the wintry weather but unsure where to go? Good news. TripAdvisor today released its 2014 Traveler's Choice Islands list featuring the 10 Best Islands in the U.S. "There is something transporting about an island vacation, and these Travelers' Choice Islands winners will help travelers find their next escape," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.

quicklist: 1 title: 10. Key West, Florida text: "Does time ever pass in the Florida Keys? Everyone and everything in Key West seems to go at its own pace, right down to the ice melting slooooowly in your margarita glass. Of course, it's not all limes and leisure – Key West is known as the "Winter White House" because of its appeal to visiting U.S. presidents, and the island has been home to literary greats like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. The diving here is phenomenal, as is the kid-friendly Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center." media: 22569073

quicklist: 2 title: 9. Hilton Head, South Carolina text: "Long known as a golfer's paradise, Hilton Head Island is heaven for any type of sports enthusiast," according to travelers. "In fact, the island plays host to many prestigious sporting events throughout the year." Plus, it's surrounded by sunny beaches and lush greenery. media: 22568964

quicklist: 3 title: 8. Nantucket, Massachusetts text: If you love "windswept beaches, sand dunes, and blinking lighthouses" this 50-square-mile island is for you. Don't miss the whale watching, "quaint inns, boutique stores, chowder shacks and upscale dining delights." media: 22568813

quicklist: 4 title: 7. Island of Hawaii, Hawaii text: Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to this island for its tranquility and easygoing pace. For some exciting exploration, check out the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. media: 22569471

quicklist: 5 title: 6. Kauai, Hawaii text: The "Garden Island' is the least commercially developed of all Hawaii's destinations and it boasts incredible hiking and snorkeling. RELATED: Six Hawaiian Dessert Places to Fantasize About media: 22568747

quicklist: 6 title: 5. Maui, Hawaii text: Who could resist the "ethereal bamboo forest and churning waterfalls in Haleakala National Park" on Maui? "Stretch out on warm, golden sands or hit the surf for an unforgettable windsurfing or snorkeling session," recommend travelers on the TripAdvisor review site. media: 22569423

quicklist: 7 title: 4. San Juan Island, Washington text: "Whether it's whale-watching and sea kayaking, touring an art gallery or browsing a local farmers' market, the San Juan Islands offer pleasing diversions for every age and interest," recommend TripAdvisor travelers. "Rev up your energy level with biking tours through rolling meadows and farmland, go birding on San Juan Island, hike the region's modest mountains – offering outstanding vistas from the top – or go charter fishing for the day." media: 22569173

quicklist: 8 title: 3. Anna Maria Island, Florida text: "The barrier island of Anna Maria is an absolute slice of laid-back paradise," according to travelers. "Golfing and fishing are two of the most popular tourist activities, though an afternoon lounging at Bean Point beach is a must-do, too." media: 22569376

quicklist: 9 title: 2. Chincoteague Island, Virginia text: Run free with the wild horses of this unspoiled respite. The feral ponies on Assateague make an annual swim over to Chincoteague each summer--and visitors have an equally enjoyable time spectating. media: 22569271

quicklist: 10 title: 1. Marco Island, Florida text: "Explore the Everglades in a swamp buggy or enjoy a rejuvenating nature hike at the Rookery Bay Reserve" on this sun-drenched, laid-back, sparkling island oasis. media: 22569222