Starting from New York:
Island Park, New York - This is where I grew up. The island it is located on is officially Barnum Island or Hog Island depending on what map you look at. There is a smaller island called Harbor Isle that is attached by two bridges. Much of the Jewish population of Island Park lives on Harbor Isle, which led some people to call it “Hebrew Isle.”
Long Island, New York - Properly pronounced LawnGuyland, of course, this was, effectively, the mainland to me as a child. Since Island Park doesn’t have a high school, we were bused about 8 miles north to West Hempstead, which is on the mainland.
Long Beach, New York - This includes Atlantic Beach, Long Beach itself, Lido Beach, and Point Lookout. We went to the boardwalk there fairly often and, in high school, I often rode my bike from Island Park, over the bridge to Long Beach, up to Atlantic Beach, and back home through the 5 Towns, East Rockway, and Oceanside, then over the causeway to Island Park.
Jones Beach Island - This is where Jones Beach is. We went there a few times with my aunt and uncle, though there were other beaches we went to more often.
Fire Island - We probably went to Robert Moses State Park at some point, but I’m not sure.
Manhattan, New York City - To quote the lyric from West Side Story, “I like the island, Manhattan.:” My parents took us into the city to go to the theatre and to go to museums and so on. One thing I particularly love is that I can always discover something there I didn’t know existed.
Staten Island, New York City - My father’s half-sister lives there. Despite which, I can only remember having been there once, to go to a picnic with friends from summer camp.
Ellis Island, New York City - This was, of course, a major port of entry for immigration to the U.S. and is now an excellent museum. I’ve only been there once, but I use their on-line resources quite a lot.
Roosevelt Island, New York City - This is reachable by a tramway from Manhattan. I keep thinking I must have been there at some time, but I have no memory of it.
City Island, The Bronx, New York - This is another place I think I must have been to, since my mother had a close friend who lived there. But it’s possible they moved there after I had grown up and moved away.
Shelter Island, New York - This is another place I think we probably went to at some point while I was growing up, but I think I would remember it if we did since you have to take this amazingly short ferry ride to get there. (It’s in the middle of Great Peconic Bay, which separates the north and south forks of Long Island.)
Despite my family’s joke about island hopping (Long, Coney, Traffic), Coney Island is not actually an island. And, while I have been on many a traffic island, they don’t count, since they aren’t surrounded by water.
The rest of the continental United States:
Mount Desert Island, Maine - Acadia National Park is a beautiful place. And Bar Harbor is a cute town.
Cape Ann, Massachusetts - I am fairly certain that I have been to Gloucester and/or Rockport, but my memory is fuzzy. So fuzzy, in fact, that I am not 100% sure that they are on an island. (It certainly looks that way on a map.) Because someone will ask, I am also reasonably sure that I have not been to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. Or to Block Island, Rhode Island. Though I should have been.
Atlantic City, New Jersey - Technically the island it’s on is Absecon Island. I went there with my mother several times, because she was the classic little old lady who loved slot machines. I enjoy gambling in small doses and walking on the boardwalk in much larger doses.
Theodore Roosevelt Island, Washington, D.C.: Ithink I must have walked around Theodore Roosevelt Island at some point when I worked in Rosslyn, but I have no specific memory of having done so.
Merritt Island, Florida - This is where Cape Canaveral Air Force Base (well, Space Force Base now, I guess) is.
Cocoa Beach, Florida - I don’t actually know the name of the island that all the Cape Canaveral infrastructure is on, including the towns of Cocoa Beach and Melbourne Beach and so on. But I’ve been there a bunch of times.
Miami Beach, Florida - It’s worth walking around South Beach and checking out the architecture.
Key West, Florida - Touristy, yes, but still a nice place to spend a few days.
Avery Island, Louisiana - This is where tabasco is made. There are a lot of flamingos.
Mackinac Island, Michigan - The couple of blocks by the ferry landing are a horrible tourist melange of fudge shops and t-shirt stands and such. If you walk about 2 blocks away from the ferry landing, there are lovely trails and you can walk for miles through a beautiful and peaceful landscape.
Alameda, California - One of the quieter and less upscale suburbs of San Francisco. It’s a good place to take a walk if you have some time to kill before a flight out of Oakland Airport.
Alcatraz Island, California - When I was at Berkeley, a friend came to visit and this was one of the obligatory tourist activities. We were really lucky because of guide had been a warden there when it was a prison and had great stories about that.
Mercer Island, Washington - This is another place I might have been to, but can’t swear to it one way or the other. I think it is less likely that I’ve been to Vachon Island or Bainbridge Island.
Kodiak, Alaska - I went to Kodiak on a work trip, which included getting an excellent tour of the Alaska Spaceport. The main thing I remember was that it rains all the time there, leading to the popular t-shirt that says “Kodiak Rain Festival: January 1 through December 31st.”
Hawaii - My first trip to Hawaii was to the Big Island. I drove all over, including to South Point, which is the southernmost point in the United States. I also saw a lot of petroglyphs. And lava.
Oahu - I’ve made a couple of trips to Honolulu, which is touristy, but still interesting. The best thing I did there was a submarine ride.
Maui - This was primarily to go to Haleakala National Park. I was also hoping to see some nene, but did not succeed at that.
Montreal, Quebec - Montreal is on an island, though I don’t think I realized that when we went there for Expo ’67, which was my very first trip outside the United States.
Newfoundland - Saint John’s is an interesting city, with lots of attractive scenery nearby and good music to listen to. Supposedly, they have more bars than any other city in the world.
Sea Island, Vancouver, British Columbia - The Vancouver airport is on an island outside the city.
Richmond, British Columbia - I stayed in Richmond when I went to the Vancouver Olympics in 200.
Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia - This is a short walk over a footbridge from central Vancouver and has a famous public market, as well as lots of restaurants.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia - I took the seaplane from Vancouver to Victoria, which is on Vancouver Island, which was a huge thrill for me. I took the ferry back, which was pleasant but ess exciting.
The rest of the Americas:
I’ve been to Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, and Nicaragua, but not been to any islands in those countries. I really would have liked to go to Ometepe, Nicaragua, but couldn’t make it work with my schedule.
I also didn’t go to any islands in Uruguay, Paraguay, or Peru.
Governor Island, Brazil - This is where the airport for Rio de Janeiro is
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina - I went to Ushuaia to go on a cruise to the Antarctic. We also did some walks there and took El Tren del Fin del Mundo (the train at the end of the world).
Chiloe, Chile - I spent a few days on this large island south of Puerto Montt. I went penguin watching and saw lots of interesting wooden churches. There was also really good food there.
Easter Island, Chile - Technically Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is in the South Pacific, but it belongs politically to Chile, so is South American in that sense. It’s a long flight from Santiago, but well worth visiting for the archaeological sites and the unique culture.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador - Also, technically, in the South Pacific, but Ecuador is proud of the Galapagos as their territorial possession. I believe the islands we went to were Baltra (where the airport is), Santa Cruz, Espanola, Floreanna, Isabela, Fernandina, Genovese, Bartolome, and Santiago. Floreanna is where the famous post office barrel is. You leave your postcards there and take ones to deliver (ideally in person) to people who live near you
Speaking of Antarctica:
The cruise I took, way back in 997, had one continent landing (at Neko Harbor on the Antarctic Peninsula). But our other landings were on various islands.
Couverville Island - our first landing and memorable for humpback whales breaching very close to our zodiac on the way from the ship.
Wiencke Island and Goudier Island - this was for a landing at the British station at Port Lockroy, where we were able to mail postcards.
Peterman Island - This was our southernmost landing at 65 degrees 10 minutes south latitude.
Deception Island - This is the caldera of a volcano and you can bathe in the geothermal water if you want to. (I just stuck my hand in.) There are also the remains of a whaling station.
Livingston Island - This was our final landing. It was the first land discovered south of 60 degrees south latitude.
Atlantic and Caribbean:
Bermuda - I stayed in Hamilton which is on Main Island. I also went to Somerset Island, St. David’s Island (where the airport is), and St. George’s Island (to see St. George and St. Catherine’s Point (which has a nice beach.)
New Providence Island, Bahamas - This is where Nassau is. I also did an excursion to Paradise Island, which is a pretty horrible resort.
Martinique - Martinique is a French territorial possession. The food was disappointing. The highlights were meandering around Fort au France (the capital) and going to see the estate where Empress Josephine grew up.
Hispaniola - I have been to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They’re quite different from each other, but both are worth going to.
Borinquen Island, Puerto Rico - This is the main island of Puerto Rico. I went to the El Yunque Rain Forest, Arecibo Observatory, some caves, and meandered around the old city of San Juan.
U.S. Virgin Islands - I have been to Saint Thomas and did a day trip to Saint John.
Saint Helena - This is the British territory that Napoleon was exiled to. Taking the mail ship there from South Africa (and, eventually, on to Wales) was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Ascension Island - This was a day stop on the R.M.S. Saint Helena. The landscape is incredible, with its mix of volcanic rubble and antenna dishes.
Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain - This was a refueling stop for the R.M.S. Saint Helena. We were moored on the untouristy part of the island, among the Russian fishing trawlers, but it was an easy walk into town to look around.
Many of the European countries I’ve been to don’t have islands of any significance. In other cases, there are islands I didn’t visit. For example, in Greece, I spent my time in Athens and Thessaloniki and didn’t go to the Greek islands. Also, I think that there must be islands that are part of cities like Amsterdam and Bruges, but I am not really sure. Note also that I put the Canary Islands, which are part of Spain, under the Atlantic category.
Great Britain - London was one of the places I had always wanted to go to and was the final destination on my first trip to Europe. I’ve been back there several times, especially since the gentleman with whom I conducted to world’s longest running fling lives there.
Iceland - This was another place I had always wanted to go to. I particularly liked Akureyri for its botanical garden.
Zealand, Denmark - This is the island that Copenhagen is on.
Faroe Islands - This is a Danish dependency. I spent most of my time on Streymoy, where the capital (Torshavn) is. I am fairly sure I also went to Eysturoy
Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland - The Sea Fortress is worth a day trip from Helsinki. It’s actually spread among six linked islands but I am rather vague about the names of those.
Murano, Venice, Italy - This island is famous for glass.
Burano, Venice, Italy - I like lace (and make lace), so Burano was a must-see.
Malta - There are great archaeological sites. And there is amazing art in Valletta, especially the Caravaggios in Saint John’s Co-Cathedral and the Gobelin tapestries at the Grandmaster’s Palace.
Gozo, Malta - This is the island that has Ggantija, the copper age temple that is believed to be the oldest manmade structure on the planet.
Tromso, Norway - I went there on a cruise up the coast of Norway. I visited the cathedral and the Polar Museum.
Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden - This is the island that the old city of Stockholm is on. It’s quite charming.
Kungsholmen Island, Stockholm, Sweden - This is where Stockholm City Hall is, where the Nobel Prize banquet is held.
Djurgarden, Stockholm, Sweden - We went to the Vasa Museum, which is located on this island.
Africa and Indian Ocean:
Zanzibar, Tanzania - Zanzibar is simply one of the most magical places I’ve been to. I loved wandering the streets of the Stone Town.
Robben Island, South Africa - This is where Nelson Mandela was held in prison. It’s pretty much an obligatory excursion from Cape Town.
Madagascar: - Lemurs are very cute. Despite which, Madagascar was one of the most frustrating place I went to, largely because, despite English being an official language, nobody actually speaks it.
Mauritius - I went to Mauritius largely because I had frequent flyer miles that would have expired otherwise. There are nice botanical gardens. And you can see a stuffed dodo in the museum in Port Louis.
Ganvie, Benin: I’m not sure whether this counts as an island. It’s a village built on stilts in th middle of Lake Nokoue. Does there have to be things built on actual ground for something to count as an island?
Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, China: This is the heart of the city, though there is also plenty to see and do on the mainland of Kowloon. I particularly liked going up to the top of Victoria Peak, which was pleasantly cool.
Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong, China: This is the island where Hong Kong International Airport is located.
Macau, China: This is italicized because I am not sure whether I went to Taipa or Coloane islands or just stayed on the peninsula.
Singapore: I think of Singapore as Asia for beginners. It’s comfortable and the hawker centers are a great food experience. But there isn’t enough culture shock there for my tastes.
Sentosa, Singapore: This is a resort island that is part of Singapore. There are various tourist attractions there, including an excellent aquarium and an amazingly bland casino.
Tri Nguyen Island, Vietnam: This is a small island near Nha Trang. Its biggest tourist attraction is an aquarium, but the real highlight was transferring to the island from our boat tour of the South China Sea via a basket boat.
Honshu, Japan: Honshu is one of the major islands of Japan and is where Tokyo, Osaka, and several other cities are located.
Kankujima, Japan: This is the artificial island on which Kansai International Airport (the airport for Osaka) is located.
I wrote about Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands, and Hawaii already.
Australia: I’ve been to Australia several times. It is, in my opinion, the foreign country that is most similar to the United States. Well, except for the funny accent, but the same can be said for everywhere in the U.S. south of Richmond.
Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea is the independent country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea. It’s a fascinating place, with diverse cultures and amazing art. The western part of the island is Papua Province, Indonesia, which I have not been to. I have also been to New Britain, New Ireland, and Rabaul Islands, which are part of Papua New Guinea, as part of an eclipse cruise I went on in 2016.
Fiji Islands: I volunteered on an archaeological dig at Bourewa Beach on the island of Viti Levu in 2008, with a couple of days in Nadi beforehand. I also went to the resort island of Denarau for a couple of nights layover during an eclipse trip in 2009.
French Polynesia: I spent a couple of nights on Tahiti on either end of an eclipse cries in 2019. I spent a few days before that on Bora Bora. And the cruise included a day on Moorea.
Kiribati: I went to Tarawa for an eclipse trip in 2009. We saw the actual eclipse from Ouba Islet, which was a 2 hour boat ride from Tarawa. By the way, Tarawa was the site of the bloodiest Marine battle of World War II.
Micronesia: I visited Pohnpei, Chuuk (aka Truk), and Yap during my 2016 eclipse cruise. Yap was the most interesting as it is known for its giant stone money.
Palau: That 2016 eclipse cruise finished in Palau. I visited two islands there - Koror and Babhldaob. The former has the airport (and the hotel I stayed at) and the latter has some interesting stone monoliths.
Solomon Islands: I spent about 5 days on Guadalcanal after the eclipse trip in 2009. I went back to the Solomon Islands on my 2016 eclipse trip, which started from Guadalcanal. I know we went to at least one other small island, but I don’t remember its name offhand.
Efate Island, Vanuatu: This is where Port Vila, the capital is. I took a few tours around the island, as well.
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