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.
|Ram Island, Private Islands Online|
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.
|Charlie's Island, Private Islands Online|
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
|Snug Harbour Island, Private Islands Online|
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.
|Watch Island, Private Islands Online|
Place: St. Lawrence Seaway, near Clayton, NY
Asking Price: $1,950,000
There are 1,400 islands in the Thousand Island 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
|Little Hog Cay, Private Islands Online|
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
|Cove Island, Private Islands Online|
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.