Îles de Saintes, Guadeloupe
These eight islands, a dependency of Guadeloupe, have a decidedly French twist. Stay on the biggest (at five square miles), Terre-de-Haut, where many of the 1,800 residents are the light-haired, blue-eyed descendants of Breton colonists who settled here in the mid–17th century. A small main strip hosts bistros and boutique hotels with views of a sailboat-filled bay. (Stay at the Hôtel Auberge Les Petits Saints, an old villa that was once the mayor's residence.) After you've explored Marigot Bay via Hobie Cat and enjoyed your own private snorkeling spot, you'll know why the French call this un petit paradis.
Getting there: Ferries run daily from Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.