Discover the 25 Largest Islands in the United States

Written by Jeremiah Wright
Published: April 29, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/SergiyN
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Our planet hosts around 900,000 officially declared islands and probably thousands of others that we know little about. There are 18,617 claimed islands located in the United States. The United States is fifth in regards to its number of islands, after Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Canada. 

Some of them are true natural gems that offer incredible beach views, swimming with dolphins, sunset cruises, or birdwatching. 

If you’ve been wondering what the largest islands in the United States are, where they are located, and what tourist attractions they offer, then you’re in the right place! We’ve got the perfect list for you! 

The 25 largest islands in the United States

Maine and Alaska are the U.S. states with the most islands.

Maine has 3166 coastal islands, a number that includes the largest islands, starting with Mount Desert Island (108 sq mi) and the smallest islets. 

Alaska has approximately 2,670 named islands. Many of them are included in the list of the largest islands in the U.S. Compared to other islands on the list, the ones in Alaska are not as populated, and some of them are even uninhabited. 

The three largest islands in the United States are Hawaii Island, Kodiak Island, and Puerto Rico. Below is a list of the 25 largest islands in the United States and some additional details about them!

RankNameLocationArea (sq mi)PopulationAnimal to spot
1Hawaii IslandHawaii4,028185,079Hawaiian Monk Seal
2Kodiak IslandAlaska3,58813,592Kodiak bear
3Puerto RicoPuerto Rico3,3633,725,789Mongoose
4Prince of Wales IslandAlaska2,5885,559Sitka black-tail deer
5Chichagof IslandAlaska2,0801,342Brown bear
6St. Lawrence IslandAlaska1,9831,352Arctic fox
7Admiralty IslandAlaska1,684650Sea lion
8Nunivak IslandAlaska1,625191Shaggy musk ox
9Unimak IslandAlaska1,59035Killer Whale
10Baranof IslandAlaska1,5708,532Mountain goat
11Long IslandNew York1,4017,568,304Eastern hog-nosed snake
12Revillagigedo IslandAlaska1,14513,477Black bear
13Kupreanof IslandAlaska1,086584Sitka black-tail deer
14Unalaska IslandAlaska1,0511,759Bald eagle
15Nelson IslandAlaska8431,197Musk ox
16Kuiu IslandAlaska75810Black bear
17MauiHawaii727144,444Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
18AfognakAlaska698169Kodiak brown bear
19UmnakAlaska69239Red fox
20OahuHawaii597953,207Dolphin
21KauaiHawaii55267,091Blue whale
22Atka IslandAlaska41061Sea otter
23Attu IslandAlaska3460Red-faced Cormorant
24Etolin IslandAlaska33615Brown bear
25Montague IslandAlaska3050Penguin

A closer look at 10 of the largest islands in the United States

The following are ten of the largest islands in the United States that we think are worth a visit. If you find yourself close to any of these, you might want to take a detour and see what they have in store for nature lovers like yourself!

1. Hawaii Island

Waipio Valley Scenic View Big Island Hawaii
Hawaii Island is the largest island in the United States

lauraslens/Shutterstock.com

Hawaii Island
LocationSize (sq mi)Animal to spotAttraction to see
Hawaii4,028Hawaiian Monk SealHawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Island is the largest island in the United States. It is located in the southeastern part of the Hawaiian Islands. People also call it “The Big Island.” 

Hawaii Island is a true gem in terms of tourist attractions. Volcanoes, ocean cliffs, bamboo forests, and caves are only some of the spots that tourists are eager to visit. The Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park is easily one of the most popular destinations on the island. It consists of two active volcanoes called Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

2. Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island
Kodiak Island consists of mountainous regions, forested areas in the north and east, and lowlands in the south

iStock.com/Wildnerdpix

Kodiak Island
LocationSize (sq mi)Animal to spotAttraction to see
Alaska3,588Kodiak bearFort Abercrombie State Historical Park

Kodiak Island is the 80th largest island in the world and the second-largest in the United States. The island consists of mountainous regions, forested areas in the north and east, and lowlands in the south. 

Some tourist attractions include Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Kodiak Laboratory Aquarium & Touch Tank, and North End Park. The Kodiak bear, the largest recognized subspecies of brown bears, inhabits the island. 

A study shows that bears can be frequently spotted in the southern part of the island, especially during the fall, when they feed on salmon. 

3. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico hosts some of the most popular beaches in the country, including Jobos Beach

iStock.com/Javier_Art_Photography

Puerto Rico
LocationSizeAnimal to spotAttraction to see
Puerto Rico3,363MongooseEl Yunque National Forest

Puerto Rico is the third-largest island in the United States and the 82nd largest island in the world. It hosts some of the most popular beaches in the country, including Jobos Beach. The mountainous range called Cordillera Central can be found on the island. 

The El Yunque National Forest is located in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico and is the only tropical forest registered in the United States National Forest system. It’s a beautiful tourist attraction, as it offers various recreational activities, including hiking, biking, bird-watching, picnicking, and camping. 

4. St. Lawrence Island

St. Lawrence Island
St. Lawrence Island is located in the Bering Sea, west of mainland Alaska

EQRoy/Shutterstock.com

St. Lawrence Island
LocationSizeAnimal to spotAttraction to see
Alaska1,983Saint Lawrence Island shrewBirdwatching

St. Lawrence Island is located in the Bering Sea, west of mainland Alaska. Bird lovers should certainly visit this destination at least once in their lifetime! 

This island hosts more sea birds than people live in Alaska – during nesting season, there are around 2.7 million sea birds. The most spectacular spots for birdwatching are in Gambell. Those who want to give it a chance can go on a birdwatching guided tour. Rare birds such as bluethroats, gyrfalcons, and bristle-thighed curlew can be seen. 

St. Lawrence Island is the only place in the world where one can spot a Saint Lawrence Island shrew. 

5. Admiralty Island

Admiralty Island Alaska
Admiralty Island is extremely rich in history and culture as it’s a sacred space for the Angoon Tribe

iStock.com/Teacherdad48

Admiralty Island
LocationSizeAnimal to spotAttraction to see
Alaska1,684Brown bearThe Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area

Admiralty Island is located in Southeast Alaska. The island is extremely rich in history and culture as it’s a sacred space for the Angoon Tribe. It is a popular destination for canoeing and kayaking while enjoying nature’s beautiful views. 

A must-see place on Admiralty is the Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area. During summer, you’ll be able to watch brown bears fishing for salmon.

6. Long Island

Long Island New York
The Long Island Aquarium features numerous aquatic animals and various exhibits

iStock.com/Jin Huang

Long Island
LocationSizeAnimal to spotAttraction to see
New York1,401Eastern hog-nosed snakeLong Island Aquarium

Long Island is located in the southeastern part of the state of New York. It’s a pivotal place when it comes to aviation. Three big US airports are on the island: JFK International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Islip MacArthur Airport.

While visiting Long Island, you can check out Jones Beach State Park, which has one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. The Long Island Aquarium is also a point of interest, as it features numerous aquatic animals and various exhibits. 

7. Unalaska Island

Unalaska Island Alaska
Unalaska Island is a volcanic island located in Alaska

iStock.com/Lucia Gajdosikova

Unalaska Island
LocationSizeAnimal to spotAttraction to see
Alaska1,051Bald eagleUnalaska Bay

Unalaska Island is a volcanic island located in Alaska. Mount Makushin is an active volcano and is the highest point on the island. 

Hiking on Mount Ballyhoo opens up stunning views of the Bering Sea. On your way to the top, you’ll spot some bald eagles, as they prefer to build their nests on mountain cliffs. Other tourist attractions are Memorial Park, Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church, Museum of the Aleutians, and Captain’s Bay Road.

Unalaska Bay is another area you’ll definitely enjoy. There, you’ll be able to book a guided sea kayaking tour.

8. Maui

Maui Hawaii
A trip to Maui will offer you stunning views of black sand beaches, waterfalls, and ports

iStock.com/mihtiander

Maui
LocationSizeAnimal to spotAttraction to see
Hawaii727Whale Hāna Highway 

Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii. This picturesque island is full of tourist attractions that will definitely make for some unforgettable memories. 

Here you can visit Haleakalā National Park, Hāna Highway, Lahaina, and Yao Valley. A trip to Maui will offer you stunning views of black sand beaches, waterfalls, and ports. A whale-watching journey or a relaxing sunset cruise will give your trip a unique touch. 

9. Oahu

Oahu
Oahu is the third-largest island of the Hawaiian Islands

iStock.com/marchello74

Oahu
LocationSizeAnimal to spotAttraction to see
Hawaii597DolphinHonolulu Museum of Art

After Maui, Oahu is the third-largest island of the Hawaiian Islands. People also call it “The Gathering Place.” 

The numerous beaches on the island make it a top destination for sea lovers. If you want to swim with dolphins, you should go to Waianae.

Besides this, there are dozens of tourist attractions that you can choose from. One of them is the Honolulu Museum of Art. It has one of the largest collections of Asian and Pan-Pacific art. You’ll be able to enjoy more than 55,000 works of art there. 

10. Kauai

Kauai Hawaii
Kauai is one of the Hawaiian Islands and is also known as “The Garden Isle”

iStock.com/SergiyN

Kauai
LocationSizeAnimal to spotAttraction to see
Hawaii552Blue whaleHoʻopiʻi Falls

Kauai is one of the Hawaiian Islands and is also known as “The Garden Isle.” It is a natural treasure that provides its visitors with beautiful gardens, state parks, and preserves. You’ll be able to enjoy the stunning views of waterfalls, bays, and caves. 

Moreover, if you’re a fan of the “Jurassic Park” movie, you should know that the Hoʻopiʻi Falls on the island were used as a filming location.

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