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Jill Sanford | 07.10.2017

Picture yourself sea kayaking along the island channels of the northwest, surfing or snorkeling the Hawaiian tropics, touring a historic island prison off the coast of California, or hiking remote islands with not a soul in sight.

Coastal island adventures can offer so much more than just a place to relax in the sun with a Mai Tai in your hand (although that can be fun, too!). This week’s edition of the #52WeekAdventureChallenge is an encouragement to find an island adventure that brings out your sense of wonder, accomplishment, and exploration, whatever that looks like to you.

Here’s a few of our favorite island adventures. 

  • Anacapa Island: The smallest island in the Channel Islands National Park is a great place to start because it is easy to see in one day and offers great opportunities for snorkeling and kayaking in Southern California. 
  • Patos Island: For a remote, northern Puget Sound paddle, head on up to Patos Island, where you will experience an open water crossing, lots of wildlife viewing, and plenty of solitude. 
  • The Mokulua Islands: Located just off the coast of O'ahu, these popular islets offer the typical tropical paradise that many people travel to Hawai'i to find. They are popular for relaxing on the beach, surfing, and cliff jumping. 
  • Vashon Island: This southern Puget Sound Island between Tacoma and Seattle offers a long circumnavigation and plenty of campsites for paddles interesting in an overnight. 
  • North Island Island Viewpoint: While this Oregon beach doesn't offer island access, it does provide a pretty spectacular view of the rocky outcrops off the shore, as well as plenty of opportunities for exploration along the crashing waves and coastal bluffs.
  • San Juan Islands: The San Juans north of Seattle in the Puget Sound are one of the most breathtaking and memorable island networks to explore for any traveler and adventurer. From Orcas Island to Friday Harbor, good eats, great views, and the charming island way of life won't be in short supply. 
  • Hawai'i: Don't underestimate Hawaii. It's a relatively easy place to travel too and extremely popular, but that doesn't mean that you won't be blown away by this incredibly hospitable and naturally wondrous island state. From the jungles to the beaches, the islands of O'ahu, Maui, Kawai, Hawai'i, Lanai, Molokai, and the rest of these magical destinations will not disappoint. 
  • Camano Island State Park: Interested in exploring the San Juans without breaking the budget? Camano Island, accessible by car, is a great place to start. 
  • Alcatraz: Tour the most infamous prison of the United States on this island located just out from San Francisco. It's an adventure totally unlike the others on this list, and it makes for a memorable experience.

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