In new ITV documentary series Islands Of America, Martin Clunes takes an epic 10,000-mile journey around the coast of the USA, sampling the diversity of its many islands that dot the country's coastline.

Martin says: "I want to look beyond corporate America and discover the other United States, out past the mainland margins, and what life is like on these unique and diverse islands."

Feeling inspired? From the rolling green landscapes of Hawaii to the snow-capped glaciers of Alaska, here are some of the destinations featured in the programme.


The USA's 50th state is host to iconic landmarks such as Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor. Beyond that, the islands are home to an array of natural wonders and rich culture. Kauai, the Garden Isle, has luscious rainforests, whilst Maui's Road to Hana provides incredible vistas across sparkling blue seas. Molokai, a favourite for Clunes, is considered 'Hawaii in its truest form', offering untapped opportunities to experience the local culture and the raw, natural beauty synonymous with the island.

Kodiak Island, Alaska

Known as 'The Last Frontier' for its rugged landscapes, the USA's largest state offers an abundance of scenic tundra and wildlife. Kodiak Island is an hour-long plane ride from Anchorage, and hosts one of the state's most iconic creatures, the Kodiak bear. Upon his visit, Clunes managed to experience the magnificent animal first-hand, including a mother and two cubs. From Juneau, visitors can fly to Gustavus to cruise around Glacier Bay. Alongside spectacular views of ice-walls and bears along the banks, you can enjoy the 'voices of Glacier Bay', such as the crack of ice as glaciers trundle along, the call of humpback whales and the howl of wolves.

San Juan Islands, Washington

The picturesque San Juan Islands, just off America's north-west Pacific coast, right on the border with Canada, are considered a haven for wildlife. In particular, visitors have a good chance of seeing incredible marine life, including orcas and humpback whales, as well as a variety of birds. At high tide, the San Juan archipelago comprises over 400 islands and rocks, three of which are reachable by ferry: Orcas Island, San Juan Island and Lopez Island. These and the surrounding islands and reefs offer a dazzling array of snorkelling.

Channel Islands National Park, California

Further South in sunny California, off the coast of Los Angeles, sits the Channel Islands National Park. Much like the San Juan Islands, they are teeming with wildlife, and visitors can dive into a selection of activities, such as kayaking and snorkelling. In the programme, Clunes accompanies conservationist Dr Tony Orr to observe some of the 100,000-strong population of sea lions and seals, describing it as a 'privilege' to be amongst them.

Valentine's breaks that are sweet, not sickly

Avery Island, Louisiana

An inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, this geological oddity is covered with subtropical flora and oaks draped with Spanish moss. It sits atop a deposit of solid rock salt thought to be deeper than Mount Everest is high, rising 150 feet above the surrounding bayou. The island is also home to one of America's most successful family-run businesses, Tabasco chilli sauce. Chilli peppers were first planted on the island more than 150 years ago by Tabasco's founder, Edmund McIlhenny.

Puerto Rico

Out into the Caribbean Sea is the USA's third largest island, Puerto Rico. It's one of the best spots in the world for bioluminescence, a phenomenon where plankton create a magical light effect across the shoreline. A blend of Spanish, American and native Taino cultures, Puerto Rico has a vibrant salsa scene; you can take lessons in the capital, San Juan, and once you've worked up an appetite, indulge in Latin American cuisine at any one of the cafes, food trucks or street food stalls that are dotted around the city.

New York

New York City's status and size often makes people forget it's made up of several islands. The iconic Empire State Building, on Manhattan Island, stands more than 1,000 feet tall. Islands Of America emphasises how the city has been intrinsically shaped by the water. Ellis Island exemplifies this; the entry point for immigrants, a third of Americans can trace their roots here. Clunes found that he shares a surname with 62 of the immigrants entering the US through the Ellis Island immigration centre.