“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury
1. Young Island, St. Vincent
If the plane, taxi, and then ferry ride don’t convince you that you’ve reached paradise lost then the gardenesque lushness of this privately owned 13-acre tropical island will. The most northerly of the Grenadine chain of islands, Young Island is tucked about 200 yards off St. Vincent’s southern shores and is all about luxury, lavish indulgence, and verdant scenery. Linger over five-course feasts spiced with West Indian flavors in a thatched-roof dining hut for two. Sip a Coconut Delight right out of a fresh coconut at the swim-up bar. Refresh with a Bajan cane sugar body scrub at Spa Kalina. Visit the uninhabited archipelago, Tobago Cays, by boat and snorkel the coral reefs. At Young Island, cottages step up the hillsides, each a hideaway unto itself (particularly cottages 10, 28, 29 and 30) with open-air garden showers, seductive plunge pools, and glorious sea views – but the most secluded of all is the Duvernette Suite. Sitting at the very top of Young Island, it offers breathtaking views of the sea, Fort Duvernette, St. Vincent, and Bequia. You won’t want to be found.
2. Mackinac Island, Michigan
No automobiles are allowed on Mackinac Island, located in Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. There are, however, plenty of horses-drawn carriages and bicycles, and an unrivaled atmosphere of romance. The entire island looks like a movie set, and that’s just what it was in 1979 when the Jane Seymour/ Christopher Reeve classic, “Somewhere in Time” – considered one of the most romantic movies of all time – was filmed on an island considered to be one of the most romantic destinations in the United States. Two island resorts, the venerable Grand Hotel, home of traditional afternoon tea and the world’s largest porch (lined with at least too rockers), and the lakeside Mission Point Resort, offer an homage to the movie. For the former, it is the annual “Somewhere in Time” weekend package, in October; for the latter, the Mackinac Island Observation Tower has a gorgeous exhibit about the filming of the movie, the attendant Hollywood Sound Stage, and the island’s only movie theatre, which also appeared in the movie and offers a full summer lineup of films and events. All this, plus shops, art galleries, water sports, nightlife, and spectacular views.