The idea of owning your own island is probably a remote fantasy these days, especially after three years of economic carnage to your bank account, savings, and retirement portfolio.
But come on. It’s August. Maybe you’re on budget vacation, at the beach, or at a bayfront or lakefront rental. So who hasn’t gazed out at an island from the shore, and wondered what it would be like to own your own kingdom, tethered to civilization only by water or air?
Think Robinson Crusoe. Sir Richard Branson, Johnny Depp, and Celine Dion all own their own islands.
Place: Machias Bay, Maine, 50 miles east of Bar Harbor
Asking Price: $595,000
One tree, a few sheep, a 20 by 20 foot platform for pitching a tent, and a mooring in the cove. The rest is grass, rocks, and 360-degree views of the ocean and bay.
Where: Near Marathon, in the Florida Keys
Asking Price: $995,000
The turquoise-colored roofs you see in the picture are open-air sitting areas with decks, chairs, and a campfire cooking area. But the island also comes with a 38-foot houseboat, not pictured here, that sleeps 4-5 people. Great reefs nearby for snorkeling. All the seafood you can eat.
Snug Harbour Island
Where: On Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Asking Price: $1,057,000
A two-hour drive from Toronto, this island features a two-bedroom, two-bath cottage with a glassed-in porch overlooking the water, a separate guest cabin with bathroom, hot tub built into the rock outcropping, and a boathouse with deep water mooring. Running water, electric, a septic field. And it has wireless Internet access. So you could get away from it all, but still check your e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Place: St. Lawrence Seaway, near Clayton, NY
Asking Price: $1,950,000
There are 1,400 lakes in the Thousand Lakes region of upstate New York. But few of them come with a 6,500-square-foot mansion — ten bedrooms, four bathrooms, plus a boat house and dock. About an hour-and-a-half drive from either Syracuse or Montreal.
Little Hog Cay
Place: Near Abacos, Northern Bahamas
Asking Price: $1,950,000
Notice the lagoon that separates the west side of the island from the east. On the west side sits a studio home and a guest cabana with an electric generator. The east side is undeveloped. Marina and airstrip are a 15-minute boat ride away, on the main island of Abacos.
5 Cove Island
Place: Howe Sound, British Columbia, between Whistler and Vancouver
Asking Price: $2,950,000
A 30-minute boat ride from the city of Vancouver, this island is up for sale to developers, with an approved subdvision plan.
Where: Lake Manitou in Northern Indiana
Asking Price: $775,000
Located halfway between Notre Dame and Purdue universities, this island on a 775-acre natural lake is a state-protected wetland. It features a one-bedroom, two-bath cottage built around 1900, but fully renovated in 1985. There’s electricity and running water, and three sides are all in windows. The property also includes a private pier area on the mainland for getting from the car to the boat.
Where: North Atlantic, near Bodø, Norway
Asking Price: $1,292,000 (1 million euros)
Acreage: 74 acres
Offshore retreat? Heck, this is an offshore town. The property features nine buildings including a restaurant, pub, conference center, marina, boathouses, and a hot tub. Price also includes several boats, an all-terrain vehicle for getting around the island, fishing and hunting gear, and a clay-pigeon set-up for shooting. The Gulf Stream keeps the climate here mild, despite its location in northern Norway.
Place: Long Island Sound, in Guilford, Conn.
Asking Price: $2,500,000
Less than 2.5 hours from Manhattan, and at low tide, a short walk to the shore. The cottage has electric, city water, a septic field, and four bedrooms. The property also comes with two Boston Whalers, a Sunfish, a windsurfing vessel, and a kayak.
Summer Hill Island
Place: Lake Glenville, western North Carolina
Asking Price: $3,450,000
Located on a 1,500-acre lake in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, this island has a four-bedroom, four-bathroom house hidden by the forest canopy. It features a gourmet kitchen, antique pine floors, and covered decks that lead to a private dock. Asheville is an hour away. Atlanta is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away.
Place: Patuxent River, near Solomons, Maryland
Asking Price: $3,500,000
It has a 2,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom main house, with pool and hot tub. Then there’s a 1,400-square-foot guest cottage. Finally, a two-story observatory tower built to resemble a lighthouse, with a kitchenette, shower, and spa. The island is connected to the mainland by a gated wooden bridge. The Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay four miles to the east.