3 of the best islands in the continental U.S. are in New England


The islands have “beautiful views, serene nature, and laid-back vibes” wrote the publication.

The Aquinnah Cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard. Photo by Kristi Palma /

If you dream of kicking back on an island this summer, New England has three of the best, according to Travel + Leisure readers.

Travel + Leisure released the results of its World’s Best Awards on Tuesday, which includes the 15 best islands in the continental U.S., and Martha’s Vineyard ranked No. 4, Nantucket ranked No. 8, and Mount Desert Island in Maine ranked No. 12.

The islands were rated on the following criteria: natural attractions/beaches; activities/sights; restaurants/food; people/friendliness; and value. For each factor, survey takers rated them either excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor, and the final scores are averages of those responses.

All of the islands on this year’s list are “beloved” among travelers, wrote the publication, and have “beautiful views, serene nature, and laid-back vibes.”

Travel + Leisure lauded the “tony, old-fashioned Americana” on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, as well as the “wild pine forests and rocky overlooks” on Mount Desert Island in Maine.

The No. 1 island is Golden Isles in Georgia, according to readers.

More than 186,000 Travel + Leisure readers completed a 2024 travel survey to determine the results of this year’s World’s Best Awards, which highlights the year’s top hotels, islands, cities, airports, and more.

Heading to one of these Massachusetts island this summer? Check out our guides: 5 things to do on Martha’s Vineyard and 5 things to do on Nantucket.

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