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warm US islands Amelia 1

AMELIA ISLAND, FLA. (Average highs of 65/71 in February/March):  About as far north as you can go and still be in the Sunshine State, Amelia Island's 13 miles of beaches are mostly deserted until March—so it's easy to find a spot where there are no other people in sight. Horseback riding along the sand is one of the most popular off-season activities. Kids have a blast exploring the nooks and crannies of Fort Clinch, one of the country's best-preserved 19th-century fortifications. It was also one of the last of its kind, as new weapons made brick forts obsolete during the Civil War. Boutiques and lovingly restored Victorian mansions make up the historic district.  (Photo: Gary W. Carter/Corbis)

Endless summer: 8 American islands that are warm NOW

The snow is piling up and all you want to do is escape to a warm island? You don't need to splurge on a trip to the Caribbean to spend time on the beach this winter. These eight U.S. islands have the sandy shores, seafood shacks, and sunny skies that will have you thinking it's summer—even when there's snow on the ground back home. | By Mark Sullivan, Budget Travel

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