When you hear the words “private island,” your mind races to ultrawealthy titans of industry sunning themselves under palm trees or pampered celebs with a place inaccessible to the paparazzi.
But we’re here to announce that you don’t have to be a multimillionaire to own a private island getaway. There are several private islands on the market right now that are going for prices under the million-dollar mark.
Whether the property consists of a wooded half-acre just 60 miles from New York City or is bobbing happily in the middle of a crystal-blue lake, island life isn’t completely out of reach. Simply sort out the logistics of owning a home surrounded by water on all sides, and you’re set!
Here are eight private islands, all priced under $1 million, where families and friends can get away from it all. Let the daydreams begin…
Helen Island: This three-quarter-acre private island sits in Lake Winnipesaukee and includes a two-bedroom main cottage and two bunkhouses—all built in 1970. There are two outbuildings designed for storage—a necessity to keep all the gear required to take in the lake’s kayaking, water skiing, and paddle boarding. For boats, there’s a U-shaped dock in a protected cove. Best of all? There are two waterfront decks designed for lounging and taking in your surroundings.
Willow Island: A short 60 miles north of New York City, this more than half-acre island in Putnam Lake is a peaceful nature retreat any city dweller would love. The four-bedroom main house is a Colonial built in 1932, constructed from stone believed to be from the same quarry as the stone used in the Holland Tunnel. The island also includes a 600-square-foot studio, multiple docks, a solar-powered boat for cruising the lake, and roomy outdoor living spaces.
Big Bass Lake: Located in Western Michigan in the middle of a lake, this wooded, 5-acre private island includes 1,000 feet of water frontage. A fisherman’s paradise, the three-bedroom home on this secluded spot was built in 1987 and features tongue-and-groove pine ceilings, as well as a cozy fireplace.
Ashland Pond: This half-acre island includes a 24-foot-by-24-foot cabin featuring high ceilings, skylights, a fireplace, and four built-in bunk beds. There’s a full bath and shower inside and an outhouse with full flush toilet. For full outdoor living enjoyment, the island has a dock, horseshoe pit, and covered porch. It’s also a complete package for one low price: The sale includes a boat and motor, pedal boat, two kayaks, a gas grill, everything inside the cabin, plus parking on the mainland.
Brown Island: This 47-acre private island in Grand Lake features a freshly renovated log cabin main house. The four-bedroom home has a commercial-grade kitchen, a great room with fireplace, and seating for as many as 35 people. There are also two smaller cabins that are ideal for guests, outfitted with beds and bathrooms.
Presque Isle, MI
Concord convenience: Surrounded by what resembles a giant moat, this 1.6-acre island offers the best of everything. There’s plenty of privacy, 360-degree water views, and a private bridge connected to the mainland—all located in a suburban, family-friendly community. The 6,209-square-foot home was built in 1987 and features a rec room, solarium, and saltwater pool.
Lake Winter: This 5.5-acre family-friendly retreat has a four-bedroom house built in 2005. It’s a turnkey opportunity for an island lover, because all the home’s furnishings, two docks, and pontoon are included in the purchase price. Indoors, the home has cozy touches, including vaulted ceilings, a stone fireplace, and a wraparound deck.
Lake Winter, WI