Top 10 Island Getaways

Sit back and relax in a sandy paradise. See more pictures of paradise.

Sometimes you need to escape your cares, unclench the knots and just celebrate being alive on this marvelous planet. Other times, you need a romantic retreat to recharge that restive relationship. Either way, what could be better than an island getaway? It's the idyllic microcosm of natural beauty, soothing surf, diverse diversions and precious inaccessibility.

Of course, being on holiday means different things to different people. So, this list offers a smorgasbord of selections that span the sphere -- options to suit any taste, be it beachcombing, bauble buying or bungee jumping. Consider it a mixtape, each track unique, but unified by a through-line of fun, history, access, privacy, cost, popularity, beauty, climate, amenities and, of course, that elusive "wow factor." And like any good mixtape, it includes a few pleasant surprises.

We hope you enjoy a good beach read.