I want to live on an island. Suggestions?

Okay, I’ll confess that one of my long-held dreams is to someday reside on a beautiful island. I want the whole package: gorgeous beaches, lovely weather, interesting local culture, good cuisine, not insanely expensive, etc.

Maybe there’s no place in the world that’ll satisfy me but I’m not willing to give up my dream yet. So do any Dopers have any suggestions? I was thinking maybe Tahiti but the nuclear weapons testing France did there worries me. How dangerous is the radiation? Will I grow two heads or something if I move there?

U.S. Virgin Islands look appealing. They’re certainly gorgeous. I’m a native English speaker which makes the USVI very appealing, but I speak French as well so, say, St. Pierre et Miquelon or Guadaloupe aren’t out of the question. Hawaii looks to be a little expensive. Pitcairn only has a population of about 50 people so it sounds a little lonely.

Comments? Other good island paradises I haven’t considered? Let me know.

Hey, Vancouver island. and if that is too large for you, there are plenty of smaller islands in the vicinity. Beautiful beaches, gorgeoous scenery, plenty of wildlife, stellars and california sea lions, sea and river otters. bald and golden eagles, killer, minke, and grey whales, porpoisesand seals, black and grizzley bears on adjacent shores, deer and Roosevelt elk, cougar and wolves, chinook,coho,chum,sockeye,and pink salmon not to mention ling and green cod, red snapper and my favourite, halibut. Not to mention the shellfish All this to be observed with majestic mountains reflected on shimmering inlets. although we have the unique Vancouver Island marmot, we don’t have the skunk, and I haven’t been bitten by a mosquito in years although they do barely exist here. I’ve observed every one of these creatures in the past two years with the exception of the elusive couger. Need I say more?

My favorite islands, Bainbridge Island (Puget Sound) and Sark (Englosh Channel), are both a bit on the chilly side. Try Tasmania!

Guam. I lived there for three years. It’s like Hawaii without the crowd.

You’re describing parts of Australia to a T. True, it’s a tad large for that cosy island feel, but you can’t have everything.

Southeast Asia has some nice islands, and the cost of living is low. Of course the standard of living may be a bit low for some, but in many places there are plenty of luxuries available.

Thailand’s Phuket (not pronounced the way it looks) is a bit touristy for my tastes, at least most of it is. Still, Thailand is my first choice among SE Asian countries. My plan is to retire someday on an island in Thailand. Not in a really touristy area, but close enough that I don’t have to go too far for the occasional pizza.

At the rate I’m saving, I won’t be able to afford retirement in the US until I’m about 175 years old. If I aim for Thailand, I think I can afford it by the time I’m 100.

I heartily suggest Grand Island, New York. It’s situated between the cultural capitals of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The restaurants on the island aren’t too great, but it’s a short drive to great places like the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, David’s Steak Hoagy in NF and the Youngstown Diner.

Six months out of the year, you’ll have great weather. The other six months of the year are a little dicey. But, since you’ll be able to rent an apartment on the Island for the low, low price of $550 a month, you’ll be able to take a vacation during the winter!

There’s some nice tropical islands in Malaysia. They’re cheap, scenic and have some great cuisine.

Norfolk Island, off the coast of Australia is another nice place. Captain James Cook described it as paradise when he first landed. Norfolk is a bit of an oddity: residents don’t pay Australian Commonwealth taxes and the island in turn receives no Federal benefits. There’s a lot of interesting history concerning Norfolk.

Failing that, there’s Tasmania, which is largely an unspoilt wilderness. Tassie is cheap too, but darn cold (by Australian standards).

Failing that, as Xema points out, there’s always the island continent that is the Australia mainland. :slight_smile:

Anguilla. Contains the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, surpassing Tahiti and Aruba. It’s a former British colony, so the official language is English. The people are soft-spoken and friendly. It’s small enough that everybody knows everyone else, and crime is all but unknown. AND, for some reason, they have some absolutely marvelous restaurants.

A lot of mainlanders I’ve known who moved to the islands develop some sort of rock fever. They feel confined by the oceans. I think it’s particularly the Mainland Americans. The Russians, French, British that I know don’t seem bothered by it. I think it’s the driving culture. The fact that they can’t drive for 6 hours and be in Mexico or Disneyland seems to bother them. They have to realise that here for vacations like that we don’t drive, we fly. You have to think like that if you live on an island.

Hawaii is probably not as expensive as you imagine it. Remember we don’t use air conditioners, heaters or maintain a winter wardrobe. The biggest problems will be housing and with a fairly singularly driven job market.

With the beautiful tradewinds and poor opportunities for hurricanes our weather is easily the best. Plus our air is very clean traveling for thousands of miles over the empty north Pacific. Concerning record temperatures for the US states we have the highest record low and the lowest record high.

I’d recomment Kailua or somewhere out on the North Shore. If you want something a little more remote then try the outer islands. Lihue, Hilo or Central Maui being the first 3 places I’d go to. With Hilo you’d get the immense joy of getting to watch the volcanos erupt. Watching those huge fountains is one of those must see things. Molokai is probably too laid back for anyone who isn’t a farmer. That is one sleepy little place.

This is the island I live on: Whidbey

Beaver Island has always appealed to me.

Long, harsh winters, but the summers strike me as totally delightful.

And, you’d get the joy of having a t-shirt with “Beaver Island” on it.

I have a cousin who owns THIS island which may be for sale. If you’re interested let me know. I’ll be going back to Kentucky next month and will probably see him.

Preach it, MLS. Anguilla is absolute heaven.
On second thought, don’t preach it. Anguilla is hell…it is a shittly little spot that has hot and cold running cholera, the weather sucks, and the only thing that is remotely British is the food. Avoid Anguilla at all costs.

Damn, that was close.
And the USVI are horrid (really).

St John is nice, but I agree about the rest of the USVI.
I’ve heard St Thomas called The Toilet.
I really liked the British Virgin Islands.

How about BAFFIN ISLAND? Real cheap real estate, and the waters a bit chilly!

Consider barrier islands. It’s like living on an island (which it is) but you can drive to see whoever for whatever.

OTOH, Tortola in the BVI is nice, so is Virgin Gorda. I think I would love it for about two years. Then, the feeling of isolation would start to fester. Don’t get me wrong, it might not. I’m just guessing. They’re a HOOT to visit. I’d put nipples in those “O’s” if I could.

I’d recommend Sanibel Island to you, but quite frankly, my parents and I hate the traffic as it is and don’t want anyone else. :smiley:

Come to Australia! We’re the world’s biggest island!

gorgeous beaches
Most of us live on the coast. Beaches a-plenty.

lovely weather
Personally, I like winter. But our long summers and mild winters might be right up your alley.

interesting local culture
We wear thongs on our feet, mate! Interesting enough for ya?

good cuisine
We’re not all meat pies and soggy damper. We actually have proper food, too.

not insanely expensive
Well, house prices are starting to go up, particularly on the beach. But your American dollars are still worth a heap down here.

Hated Guam. Loved Whidbey (but probably too wet for you). Loved St. Thomas in the V.I., which would be my choice. Of course, back then I was drinking a lot, smoking grass and into the local women, so I could have been almost anywhere. But it was a very pleasant place with a lot of oddball people who had dropped out of American culture for the most part.