Our readers are loyal to a handful of U.S. Islands and after four weeks of voting, the #1 favorite has been tapped: Puerto Rico. This easy-to-reach tropical destination gives travelers an exotic getaway without the hassle of international travel, and that, combined with Puerto Rico's beauty, music, food and rich cultural heritage have combined to make it a #1 destination with readers of USA TODAY and 10Best.
In a contest which brought out droves of voters, upper Michigan's unique Mackinac Island landed a solid second place with readers. Mackinac's appeal lies in its lack of cars, and a pace which encourages exploration of this natural island by horse, foot or bicycle. Downtown's legendary fudge shops and the rocking chairs which grace the porch of the Grand Hotel don't hurt either.
Islands at northern latitudes actually favored heavily in the winners list: Washington state's beautiful Whidbey Island took the #3 spot, while the "down east" island of Mount Desert, Maine (home to Acadia National Park) landed in 4th. Northeast Florida's Amelia Island, with its rolling oat-filled dunes, Atlantic beaches and charming downtown was voted into #5.
Other winners in the contest - lovely islands well worth a visit - include Assateague Island (which straddles Virginia and Maryland); Dauphin Island, Ala; Kauai; Block Island, R.I.; and Hilton Head, S.C.
Congratulations to Puerto Rico and all our winners! We can't think of a better travel list for summer than favorite islands which are right here in the USA.
The full list of winners in the 'Best U.S. Island' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice is as follows:
- Puerto Rico
- Mackinac, Mich.
- Whidbey Island, Wash.
- Mount Desert, Maine
- Amelia Island, Fla.
- Assateague Island, Va. / Md.
- Dauphin Island, Ala.
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Block Island, R.I.
- Hilton Head, S.C.