Road Trips | Islands Edition

Islands you can drive to. For real.

Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island

Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island Photograph: Cameron Wittig

Let's assume you're reading this at work. Stuck in a cubicle the color of kitty litter. If you were to leave-just leave!-and get in your car rightnow, you could be soaking up sand, sun and slushy drinks by nightfall. On an island. No, not Mackinac-not that we have anything against tooling around in horse-drawn carriages. These four islands, all within driving distance, are a bit more obscure-from the one that serves beer in beach pails to the one that serves up quirky Canadian-isms (and a whole lot of local wine). Trust us, you won't miss the palm trees.

Madeline Island

Tour sea caves, take shots at Tom’s Burned Down Cafe and train for a 2.1-mile swim across Lake Superior on this tiny Wisconsin island.

Beaver Island

“A whole lot of nothing” awaits on Michigan’s rural Beaver Island.

South Bass Island’s Put-in-Bay

Party down Key West-style or embrace local Lake Erie lore.

Lake Erie’s Pelee Island

Bring a passport to soak up this quirky Canadian respite.