Destination Guides

Tropical Escapes in the USA

Are you itching for a beachside getaway without having to jet off to an exotic locale? Look no further than the tropical paradises right here in the United States! While you may think of Hawaii or the Caribbean when you think of a tropical vacation, there are plenty of incredible destinations closer to home. From stunning beaches to lush rainforests, the U.S. boasts some of the most enchanting tropical vacations you can find. So pack your flip flops and an adventurous spirit, as we dive into the best tropical vacations in the U.S.

Sunny San Diego, California

hotel del coronado, san diego, beach
Photo by nathanhill0070 on Pixabay

If you’re seeking a diverse tropical experience, San Diego is your go-to destination. This coastal gem is blessed with a year-round Mediterranean climate, making it an evergreen tropical paradise. You’ll find numerous palm-lined beaches throughout the city, such as Mission Beach and La Jolla Cove, where you can soak up the sun and splash in the cool waves. The nearby Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offers a stunning coastline framed by unique sandstone cliffs, making it perfect for hiking and capturing jaw-dropping views.

Magnificent Maui, Hawaii

hawaii, molokai, maui
Photo by mcyumyum on Pixabay

No list of tropical vacations in the U.S. would be complete without mentioning the Hawaiian Islands. Among them, Maui stands out as a remarkable destination that blends natural beauty and adventure seamlessly. This tropical oasis offers breathtaking beaches like Kaanapali and Wailea, where you can indulge in water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing. Don’t miss the opportunity to embark on the Road to Hana, a scenic drive that winds through lush rainforests and showcases stunning waterfalls along the way.

Captivating Key West, Florida

lighthouse, florida, key
Photo by 12019 on Pixabay

Heading southeast, we find ourselves in the charming and colorful Key West. This idyllic island in Florida is a tropical paradise that’s always bathed in sunshine. With its laid-back atmosphere and stunning coral reefs, it’s an ideal destination for snorkelers and divers. Don’t forget to visit Mallory Square for the famous Key West sunset celebration, where street performers, local artists, and picturesque views merge into an unforgettable experience.

Enchanting Kauai, Hawaii

napali coast, kauai, nawiliwili
Photo by kdvandeventer on Pixabay

Dubbed the “Garden Island,” Kauai boasts the most diverse and untouched natural landscapes in Hawaii. From the awe-inspiring Na Pali Coast to the magnificent Waimea Canyon, this tropical wonderland is a treat for nature enthusiasts. Also,venture into the lush Jurassic Valley, where you can hike to cascading waterfalls or take a helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent scenery. Just remember to bring your camera to capture Kauai’s jaw-dropping beauty.

Mesmerizing Molokai, Hawaii

Blick über den Strand von Kaanapali Beach auf Maui über das Meer auf die Insel Molokai in Hawaii, USA.
Photo by DirkR on Adobe Stock

For those seeking a tranquil tropical escape, Molokai offers a mystical and untouched paradise. With its uncrowded beaches, magnificent sea cliffs, and traditional Hawaiian culture, this hidden gem feels like a step back in time. Immerse yourself in the serenity of Papohaku Beach, one of Hawaii’s largest white sand beaches, or explore Kalaupapa National Historical Park, where you can learn about the historical significance of the leper colony. Molokai is the perfect choice for those in search of a slower pace of life and unspoiled natural beauty.

Sunny South Beach, Florida

south beach, florida, lifeguard stand
Photo by Michelle_Raponi on Pixabay

Known for its vibrant nightlife, stunning architecture, and beautiful people, South Beach in Miami is a tropical vacation destination like no other. This lively hotspot boasts sun-kissed beaches where you can relax or people-watch. Also, the Art Deco Historic District with its pastel-color buildings is the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot. After catching some rays, it’s time to hit the trendy nightclubs and sample the delicious cuisine that Miami is renowned for.

Exotic Puerto Rico

sunset, puerto, rico
Photo by MyCoolPhotos on Pixabay

An unincorporated territory of the United States, Puerto Rico is a hidden tropical gem in the Caribbean. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, this captivating island offers a unique blend of cultures, vibrant festivals, and astonishing natural wonders. Explore the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay, hike through El Yunque National Forest, or delve into the rich history and architecture of Old San Juan. Moreover, Puerto Rico is an exotic tropical paradise that combines the comforts of home with a touch of Caribbean spice.

Alluring Amalfi Coast, Maine

Portland Head Light  in Maine at Sunset
Photo by f11photo on Adobe Stock

While you may associate the Amalfi Coast with Italy, this hidden gem can be found right here in the United States. Located along Maine’s scenic Route 1, the Amalfi Coast boasts rugged cliffs, picturesque harbors, and charming fishing villages. Take a scenic drive along the coastline, marvel at the iconic Nubble Lighthouse, and savor the freshest seafood Maine has to offer. After all,the Amalfi Coast is a captivating destination that offers a taste of Italy with a unique New England twist.

Majestic Big Island, Hawaii

View from Waipio Valley Lookout on Big Island Hawaii
Photo by leekris on Adobe Stock

As the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island lives up to its name by offering an abundance of tropical wonders. From the snow-capped peaks of Maunakea to the fiery lava flows of Kilauea, this island showcases the full spectrum of natural beauty. Explore the diverse marine life while snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay, experience the thrill of a helicopter ride over the mesmerizing Waipio Valley, or simply unwind on the pristine white sands of Hapuna Beach. The Big Island is a true tropical paradise that promises adventure at every turn.

Blissful Outer Banks, North Carolina

jennette's pier, nags head, outer banks
Photo by 1778011 on Pixabay

If you’re searching for a laid-back tropical getaway, the Outer Banks is the answer. Moreover, this string of barrier islands offers miles of untouched beaches, charming seaside towns, and breathtaking views. Climb the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for panoramic vistas, visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial to honor the birthplace of flight, or try your hand at fishing in the abundant coastal waters. With its unspoiled beauty and relaxed atmosphere, the Outer Banks is the perfect tropical escape.

Serene St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Cruz Bay St. Johns, U.S. Virgin Islands with storm clouds.
Photo by SeanPavonePhoto on Adobe Stock

Nestled in the heart of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John is a tropical paradise brimming with natural beauty. Additionally, with two-thirds of the island protected as Virgin Islands National Park, you’ll find abundant opportunities for hiking, snorkeling, and immersing yourself in nature. Trunk Bay, featuring an underwater snorkeling trail, is a must-visit for marine enthusiasts. Exploring the vibrant Cruz Bay and its charming shops and restaurants is the perfect way to end a day in this enchanting tropical haven.

Dynamic Destin, Florida

Crab Island, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548. Crab Island is a sandbar that is located just South of the Marler Bridge in Destin, FL. Crab Island started to gain in popularity as boaters used the area to anchor their boats to catch some rays and wade on the sandbar.
Photo by Tamara Malaniy on Unsplash

Known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” Destin is a vibrant town located on the Emerald Coast of Florida. With its sugar-white sandy beaches and emerald-green waters, this tropical getaway appeals to both beach bums and outdoor enthusiasts. Try your luck at deep-sea fishing in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” take a dolphin-watching cruise, or tee off at some of the region’s finest golf courses. Destin offers a blend of relaxation, adventure, and delicious seafood that will leave you wanting more.

Tranquil Tybee Island, Georgia

The ruins of the historic Cockspur lighthouse at Tybee island, Georgia.
Photo by Wollwerth Imagery on Adobe Stock

Last but certainly not least on our list is Tybee Island, a quiet retreat nestled on the Georgia coast. With its laid-back ambiance and pristine beaches, it’s the ideal spot for those looking to escape city life. Explore the historic Tybee Island Light Station, go kayaking or paddleboarding through calm marshes, or simply unwind on the sun-soaked sands. Tybee Island’s charm lies in its simplicity and untouched natural beauty, making it a truly tranquil tropical destination.

You don’t have to venture far to experience the allure of a tropical vacation. Whether you’re seeking stunning beaches, lush rainforests, or vibrant culture, the United States offers a vast array of tropical destinations that will leave you enchanted. From the golden shores of Maui to the hidden gems of Molokai, these tropical escapes await your exploration. So go ahead, indulge in a slice of tropical paradise right here in the U.S. and create unforgettable memories that will make you pinch yourself to believe they’re real. And if you’re more of a cold-weather traveler, check out our travel guide to Alaska.

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