Tanera Mòr is the largest island, although only has a couple of inhabitants. It was formerly home to an Atlantic salmon fish farm, some rental holiday homes, a café and a post office, which operated its own local post and printed its own stamps since 1970 until 2013, but a new set is planned for 2016. The island has no roads and the only recognisable path goes around the Anchorage, the sheltered bay on the east side of the island. Boats sail to the island from Achiltibuie and Ullapool.
The islands are part of the Assynt-Coigach National Scenic Area, one of 40 in Scotland.
Frank Fraser Darling, an important figure in the development of Scottish conservation, lived on Tanera Mòr for two years in the 1930s. His book, Island Years (published 1940), records his time in the Summer Isles, painting Priest Island as a place of great beauty as well as great wildlife.
Since 1970 the Summer Isles Philatelic Bureau has been issuing stamps of the islands for tourists who place them on mail to be carried to the nearest GPO Post Box on the mainland.
The musician Mairearad Green grew up in Achiltibuie on the Coigach peninsula, overlooking the Summer Isles. She has released an album entitled "Summer Isles"