While the majority of us live in coastal counties, most are unaware of the astounding insular variety in the United States. Islands of America explores well-known coastal islands like Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and Kodiak Island, Alaska as well as more obscure inland destinations including Melita Island, Montana and Antelope Island, Utah.

There are 16,986 named islands in and between our shining seas that appeal to myriad desires, curiosities, sensibilities and needs. Come ashore to places where tidal cycles mean more than clocks, bears and bison roam free and your fish was caught that morning. Along the way, get to know the artists, chefs, divers, farmers, shipwrights and tribal leaders who call these havens home.

I’ve explored islands since I could walk, traveling with my family to the shores of Maine, Maryland and North Carolina. As an adult I’ve visited islands in Africa and Europe and lived on Georgia’s Tybee Island for many years. Since Spring 2012, I’ve visited 40+ islands, bringing my American tally to 65…and counting! It’s my pleasure to introduce you to these water-framed wonderlands.

—Anna Marlis Burgard