If you're fed up with what seems like constant bad news, but the cost of space travel and interplanetary colonization is too steep, you may want to consider an earthbound escape -- to a private island.
But private islands are expensive, right?
Not always. These five, located around the United States, are listed on Private Islands Online for $200,000 and less. Some even have structures and utilities in place. All you need is a boat, a vision, and $40,000 down payment or less to get started.
So let’s take a look, starting with the priciest offering.
Ram Island, Maine
Size: 16 acres
Located last in a line of uninhabited islands at the mouth of Machias Bay on Maine’s southeastern coast, Ram Island offers three beaches with views of the Milky Way and possibly the Aurora Borealis. The ocean side has cliffs, the sound of crashing waves, and thunder holes. Nearby exploring includes coves on other islands and Maine’s largest sand beach on Rogue island. As for neighbors, the next island over has an unmanned lighthouse. The island is low elevation -- the listing says the tide rises and falls 18 feet for an ever-changing coastline -- with its high point hill reaching 60 feet above the water. For those seeking privacy, Ram Island is rich in isolation, but weather limits its use from April through October.
Fisherman’s Point Island, Michigan
Price: Asking $175,000
Size: 2 acres
Fisherman’s Point Island is located in the St. Clair Flats area of Lake Saint Clair, which lies between Detroit and Ontario, Canada. A destination for sport and ice fishing, as well as being on the routes of many water fowl, St. Clair Lake is also home to the largest freshwater delta in the world.
The island is small, but comes with a shingled cottage outfitted with a new roof, windows, and doors, as well as a new septic system and siding.
Loon Island, Wisconsin
Size: 4 acres
Loon Island is just one island on Thousand Island Lake, the largest and deepest of the Cisco lake chain of northern Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With waters replete with trophy fish, the chain is a destination that attracts fishing enthusiasts. While there may be many other islands on the lake, LakeLubbers.com reports that most of them are uninhabited.
Not this one, with some work: it has a cabin “in need of some TLC” as well as swimming frontage, views, and more potential building sites.
Berrien Springs Island, Michigan
Size: 3 acres
Situated on a bend in the St. Joseph River near the southeastern end of Lake Michigan, Berrien Springs Island comes with two cabins. One is complete with solar power and a generator powering the structure’s running water, baseboard heat, and a surveillance system, and it also features new carpeting and a swing set. The other cabin is 75% finished.
Hangover Island, Florida
Size: 40 acres
The cheapest island of this collection -- and by far the largest -- is located in manatee country on Florida’s west coast, on the Saint Martins River about 30 minutes from Ocala. It’s also half a mile from electricity on a nearby island. Hangover Island still bears indications of its earliest occupants, with an eight-foot high ancient mound, plus the likelihood of beachcombers finding Native American artifacts like arrowheads and pottery.
The listing reports excellent offshore and inland fishing, and has a motivated seller willing to trade for a mountain retreat. And there’s that rock-bottom price tag -- we’re talking a $24,000 down payment.
So what’s the catch? Elevation on the island doesn’t top .4 meters above sea level, a fact that -- considering the projected effects of climate change in Florida -- might make someone run for the hills.