The Getaway Lifestyle

The 8 Most Popular Tropical Getaways in the U.S.

Simon

November 6, 2022

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https://www.getaway.co/articles/tropical-getaways-in-the-us

The US has an incredibly varied collection of getaway types. City breaks, forest hiking, skiing, countryside ranch adventures. You might not typically include tropical getaways in that list, but let this list be your guide to finding the most perfect tropical getaways in the US.

When searching for a break with white sand beaches, azure-colored water, and tropical forests, most people look abroad, to the Caribbean or to South East Asia. You should, instead, be considering your next trip within the US. The obvious reason to consider the US for your getaway would be that it’s just far more straightforward to travel within your own country but consider also that there’ll be:

  • No need to exchange currency
  • No need for expensive visas
  • No concerns about foreign healthcare
  • No jet lag from long-haul flights

Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai, Hawaii

Source: Unsplash

Famous for its imposing, verdant cliffs, Kauai has been a stalwart tourist destination for years. Known as the garden island, Kauai is all about the incredible scenery and laid-back vibes. On the busier islands such as Oahu, you might fight for space on the beach, whereas here on Kauai there are plenty of secluded beaches where you’ll find the perfect place to relax in privacy. If watersports are your thing, head to Hanalei Bay where you’ll find all kinds of activities and arguably a group of some of the best beaches that you’ll find anywhere in Hawaii.

Maui, Hawaii

Maui, Hawaii

Source: Unsplash

Maui has a reputation for being the island for the rich and the famous, and with good reason, accommodation here is expensive and there’s no shortage of world-class luxury resorts. That said, if your budget won’t stretch to the 5-star level, there are options for spending at all levels. The island has a variety of landscapes, from barren, dusty craters to waterfall-hiding luscious rainforests. If you visit, be sure to hire a vehicle and tour the Hana Highway along some stunning coastlines.

Key West, Florida

Source: Unsplash

If warmth on your skin is top of your holiday requirements, Key West delivers. The extensive sandy coastline boasts warm weather almost the entire year making it a perfect choice for those looking to make a tropical getaway within the US. Sand between your toes, gently swaying palm trees and the gentle lap of the shore, the perfect holiday spot. If you visit, you’d be remiss to not try the Key Lime Pie from one of the hundreds of eateries. 

South Padre Island, Texas

Source: Unsplash

A quick drive across the Queen Isabella Causeway sees you arrive at the only tropical island in Texas, South Padre Island. Technically a barrier island, you have the Gulf of Mexico on one side, and Laguna Madre Bay on the other. Stunning beaches (all 34 miles of them) and crystal water are the draws here, with over 300 days of pure sunshine each year to boot. There are huge varieties of activities to get involved with including; dolphin watching, fishing, horse riding, sandcastle lessons, water parks, water sports, and more!

Catalina Island, California

Source: Unsplash

Not far from the Southern Californian coast, Catalina Island has a huge mix of accommodations, activities, and sights for all kinds of visitors. If you’re looking for an exclusive, plush trip away then the resorts will be perfect, but there are also campsite options for those that want to get back to nature. Getting to Catalina is all part of the fun, with access only via ferry or helicopter! Time your visit right and you’ll be there for the Catalina Wine Mixer, a party for the ages.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Source: Unsplash

You can be forgiven for not including Alabama on your list of tropical getaways, but you’d still be wrong not to! The idyllic Gulf Coast beaches that line the coast of Alabama are absolutely perfect for a relaxing break with the family. Of course, the beaches can be enjoyed just for their own picturesqueness but there are a plethora of other activities to indulge in too. To really soak up the beach atmosphere, book yourself a stay in one of the many beach-fronted accommodations, you won’t regret having the beach right on your doorstep and they make the perfect position to watch the color-exploding sunsets every night. 

American Samoa

Source: Pixabay

Absolutely nowhere near the U.S. but still part of the nation, American Samoa is nestled deep in the South Pacific. This truly is a tropical paradise, complete with rainforests, pristine beaches, and some of the best-preserved coral reefs in the entire world. There’s a variety of accommodation options to suit a range of budgets, from all-inclusive resorts to cozy local homestays. If you’re keen to soak up the unique local culture, head for Apia and visit the Samoa cultural village. The great thing about American Samoa is that you don’t need to stick in one place. Transport is plentiful between the islands, so why not do a bit of island-hopping and really explore?

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Trunk Bay, St. John

Source: Unsplash

Another curve ball that doesn’t sit on the continental US, St. John. is one of the many islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you’re genuinely looking for a tropical paradise, this is surely it. Palm-lined beaches, pure white sand, and glinting turquoise waters. There’s not as much infrastructure here as the larger and more popular St. Thomas but that’s part of the appeal. Watersports are king, with kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing top of the list. Over 60% of the island is covered in a National Park meaning that there are what feels like endless trails to explore. Once you’re done adventuring, civilization beckons in the quaint but functional downtown area.

Key Takeaways

So there we have our most popular tropical getaways in the US. They make for the perfect romantic and relaxing getaways but you’ll also find that they’re some of the most budget friendly spots for your next family getaway. In fact, even if you’re not one of those people who plan everything well in advance, there’s no reason that these places couldn’t feature as a last minute weekend getaway, after all, they’re only a short hop away from home.

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