12 of the best affordable Airbnbs in Atlanta, all starting under $160 per night

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Best Airbnbs in Atlanta

  • Lively outdoor dining, entertainment, and activities make Atlanta an attractive place to visit.
  • Nature enthusiasts will also find rivers, trails, and parks to explore in the “City in a Forest.”
  • We’ve chosen well-located Airbnbs in the city and just beyond, ranging from $75 to $157 a night.

As travel picks up, the historically busiest airport in all of America, as well as Atlanta’s famous nightlife, are getting back into full swing. There’s no mistaking that the vibrant capital of Georgia is still hot, and heating up even further alongside the weather.

As a longtime Atlanta resident, I know first-hand just how much the city has to offer. The Big A’s gorgeous climate means mild, short winters and lots of sunshine, which gives it a longer season for outdoor dining and activities.

Miles of green space, like city parks, playgrounds, raw and paved trails like the BeltLine and Silver Comet, and the wide, chill- or thrilled-filled (depending on your chosen activity) Chattahoochee River ensure you don’t forget that this bustling destination is also known as “The City in the Forest.” Not to mention the architectural gems that take visitors on a time-traveling tour of design and innovation, despite the city’s infamous torching amidst the Civil War.

So if you’re ready to see why so many Fortune 500 companies, studios, and startups are being drawn to the dazzle of the “Hollywood of the South” and want to explore why it’s become the fourth fastest-growing region in America, we have you covered on where to stay.

Here are the best Airbnbs in Atlanta, sorted by price from low to high.

Private guesthouse near historic Marietta Square

Private guesthouse near historic Marietta Square

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Like a stay at grandma’s house, this guesthouse feels homey, comfortable, and familiar, with simple but fun accents from the yellow bed quilt and floral ottoman to the antique pinball machine in the living area. The home also has a private patio that overlooks the main house, which was built during WWII for the nearby Lockheed airplane factory — a great example of working-class housing during that time. 

Be aware that this guesthouse is located on the same property as the host’s main home, but it is entirely separate and has its own private entrance. The grassy lawn provides a nice area to play or enjoy a picnic, and an extra Twin rollaway bed makes this a nice option for small families.

Located just six blocks from Marietta Square, which you might recognize from “Dumb and Dumber To” and the upcoming Aretha Franklin documentary, “Genius: Aretha,” this area less than half an hour from Midtown Atlanta is rife with charm. Its picturesque square is surrounded by trendy and traditional eateries, shops, and even breweries, and offers events both big and small, such as Taste of Marietta and Tuesday night bluegrass.

On the other side of the square, by the Marietta Museum of History, is the Marietta Square Market, an urban-style food hall with some of the best affordable, casual dining in Atlanta. Its parking lot turns into a bustling farmer’s market on weekends that’s ideal for grabbing some snacks before or after a self-led tour of the many uniquely designed historic homes that line nearby Cherokee, Whitlock, and Church Streets.

Vinings loft with air hockey table near Truist Park

Vinings loft with air hockey table

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Just across the ‘Hootch from the Paces division in upscale Buckhead, this unique neighborhood is among the city’s most desired. It’s here that the walkable Vinings Jubilee shopping center is located, with specialty stores and restaurants inlaid in a village-like design. This area is home to the historic Old Vinings Inn and the iconic Canoe restaurant, as well as residential neighborhoods with homes set to stun. Closer still is Truist Park, where the Braves and local residents play, and Cumberland Mall, the first four-anchor mall built in Georgia. 

Vinings also puts you right at the foot of some great trails along the river, but staying at this loft, you needn’t go too far to get your workout in. Located within a development, there’s a walking trail right on property, along with shared tennis courts, and a resort-style pool. Not to mention the fitness center and on-site studio great for yoga, spin, pilates, or barre workouts. 

This listing boasts steel cable-strung stairs that lead to a roomy loft bedroom, with sunlight streaming in from a row of windows at the base of the dramatically high ceilings. Below, you’ll find a blue velvet couch, a four-person dining table, and a full kitchen with granite countertops. There’s even an air hockey table for those who want a little friendly competition.

For the best outdoor views, head to the patio around the lake in the complex. There, bistro tables give guests a spot to take a deep breath and enjoy some sunshine. 

Urban chic condo in Atlantic Station

Modern Atlantic Station Apartment

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The trendy Atlantic Station neighborhood is perhaps one of the best examples of what it means to live/work/play, all in one luxurious and well-appointed bubble. On the west side of the city, this strategically developed area was built to house 50 shops, a Central Park with live outdoor shows, BODIES The Exhibition, and a movie theatre in a streetscape-like setting. And when the temperatures drop, there’s outdoor ice skating during the short winter season, which ends around mid-February.

Close to Atlantic Station’s big-brand stores, sidewalk cafes, and boutique hotel is this lovely apartment with a modern-eclectic energy thanks to a dynamic mix of patterns and materials, from a green velvet couch to a zebra rug. The balcony offers views of a resort-style saltwater pool that’s enchantingly lit up at night in soothing aqua blues. By day, this pool area is a prime spot to luxuriate under a warm Georgian sun, giving the rooftop with its city views some stiff competition for vacation-luxury vibes. 

This bird’s eye view puts into context just how close this location is to some of Atlanta’s biggest attractions, like the High Art Museum and Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre. It’s due north of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium — home of the Falcons — and State Farm Arena, and due south of Buckhead, just on the other side of the highway from buzzy Midtown.

Luxurious all-glass apartment in Midtown

Highrise Luxury Midtown All Glass Huge Balcony HM

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This stunning space in Midtown is everything city-lovers imagine in an upscale urban high-rise, including its prime location. Eye-level with the skyline, you can plan your day just by looking down and out and pointing where next to explore. Floor-to-ceiling windows make up the walls of the bedroom, spacious living room, and even the marble kitchen — a massive benefit of a corner unit. 

Another perk is the large wraparound balcony that boasts it is “large enough for a morning workout.” But if you need more space than that, there’s an all-glass-view gym in the building too, complete with a workout studio, plus a heated outdoor pool and working spaces, just in case you play too hard and feel like you ought to make up for it.

After all, in this location, it’s not difficult to have too much fun. Midtown, the “heart of the arts,” is where all the city’s action really is. Public transportation via the MARTA is more accessible here than almost anywhere else in the city, but if you’re driving in and taking advantage of the included secure parking of this home, everywhere you might want to visit is only minutes away.

Over 150 restaurants, clubs, and bars are scattered throughout this neighborhood, and Piedmont Park and the BeltLine are only steps away from this high-rise. Follow that paved trail to find tiny doors and the Ponce City Market, the city’s largest adaptive reuse project with shops and an incredible food hall of chef-led innovation.

Posh apartment in Buckhead

Illustrious Buckhead Apt w King Bed 5Min frm Lenox

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Buckhead is a posh address shared by the Governor, and this one-bedroom apartment puts you right in the center of it. It’s only a few walkable blocks to Lenox Square, a premium shopping mall with 250 stores spread across nearly 1.6 million square feet. As if that weren’t enough, Phipps Plaza is also only steps away, impressive with its mahogany walls, marble floors, chandeliers, and grand staircase.

But Buckhead isn’t just primed for commerce — it’s good for art and action, too. Around Miami Circle and Bennet Street are clusters of independent art galleries, and the young, affluent professionals that live in this neighborhood frequent the bars, clubs, and chic restaurants along Peachtree and Roswell Roads.

You can prep for a glamorous night out in this light, bright, and spacious apartment, channeling the elegant decor of the apartment. In the bedroom, an upholstered bed is furnished with a memory foam mattress under a trey ceiling, and a minibar stocked with small bottles of liquor and wine offers a pre-gaming amenity. The spacious living area is decked out in a soothing cream and blue color palette, and the modern kitchen includes all-white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, and grey tiling.

During the day, take advantage of the on-site gym and the rooftop pool. The latter overlooks the city skyline, magical any time. Garage parking for one means you can linger as you like. 

Backyard treehouse-style cabin

Treehouse at Pine Meadows

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For anybody who ever wanted a tree house as a child and now wants style and character as an adult, this novel rental is just the ticket. Half an hour out from Midtown Atlanta in the suburb of Kennesaw, near the mountain, battlefield, and university of that same name, is this charmer with its own private driveway. Once parked, follow the outdoor string lights to find a handcrafted staircase the leads to a vintage front door. 

The exterior is all rough, raw wood, but the inside is a quintessential example of the rustic-chic farmhouse aestehtic. Tall ceilings soar up to a high peak over a stained glass window, while additional floor-to-ceiling windows lend light and airiness to the space. Hardwood flooring, stunningly distressed, contrasts with clean-whitewashed wood plank walls, and a country chandelier hanging over the bed. Antique-style accents like a reading chair, handmade bench, and 100-year-old cabinet are offset by modern amenities like an electric fireplace, heating, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi. 

Outside are two rocking chairs, set on a porch that overlooks a backyard meadow. Steps from there is a surprisingly nice outhouse with a composting toilet and a sink powered by a manual water dispenser. Guests staying for two or more nights get use of a basement shower just 30 steps away.

Creekside studio with an indoor spa

Private Marsh Creek escape indoor spa

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The Chattahoochee Plantation neighborhood is unique not just for its architecturally diverse mega-mansions and its many entrances to the nature preserves along the banks of the Chattahoochee River, but also for its stubborn history. For years, this tiny, ten-foot by seven-mile city was the only thing standing between the city of Atlanta creeping into the boundaries of Cobb County just north of Sandy Springs.

This studio is on the Atlanta side of the river to its obstinate neighbors on gawp-able Paper Mill Road, Columns Drive, and Atlanta Country Club Drive, but gives you plenty to go ga-ga over right on the grounds. Attached to a huge contemporary home overlooking a scenic wooded creek, it has its own private entrance. Just inside, you’ll find an absolutely spectacular indoor pool and hot tub. 

Under soaring ceilings held up with exposed beams are walls of windows and a posh seating area with cabana curtains for privacy, creating an experience not unlike an oversized hydrotherapy room in an upscale resort spa. From there, a back deck and outdoor grill are at guest disposal to better enjoy Marsh Creek views. 

Modern tiny home in Old Fourth Ward

Modern Nordic Tiny Home w Queen in Heart of ATL

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The Old Fourth Ward, affectionately abbreviated to O4W, is one of central Atlanta’s most happening neighborhoods. Just east of Downtown and south of Midtown, it’s now an intriguing combination of new, trendy developments and design right alongside historic sites like Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home. Atlantans love this neighborhood for its miles-long, paved, and elevated BeltLine Trail and the myriad of attractions sprung up around it, like the amazing Ponce City Market.

A block away is where you’ll find this upscale Nordic-style tiny home, whose minimalistic style and plush fur-trimmed accent decor create a sense of Scandinavian simplicity and peace. Every precious inch of this space is used well and Instagram-ready, from the Brazilian hardwood shower that recalls a spa sauna to a lofted bed with skylight window to the small desk that overlooks a rock creek right outside. Also outside is a 125-year-old American sycamore tree in the private yard, and a fenced space that offers a smokeless fire pit and two lounge chairs facing the tiny home’s little patio. 

You’ll be walking distance to trails, shops, and restaurants, but should you want to stay in, there’s a UHD Smart TV that’s Netflix-ready, and a kitchenette that comes complete with an induction cooktop, microwave, and a retro-style fridge.

Loft in Virginia Highlands

Brand New Guest House   VaHi Midtown   1 BDRM+Loft

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Just east of Midtown, Virginia Highlands has been recognized by “Southern Living” as the fourth best neighborhood in all the South — and it’s no wonder. Its tree-lined streets shade beautiful homes and over 75 restaurants, shops, and bars, including Atlanta’s oldest continually licensed tavern, Atkins Park. It’s host to Summerfest in the (you guessed it!) summer and Tour of Homes for looky-loos in the winter; and puts you within steps of the BeltLine, Piedmont Park, and Atlanta’s Botanical Garden.

Homes here are traditionally the beautiful bungalow-style of the ’20s and ’30s, with high ceilings in the pre-war build. This brand-new loft guesthouse is right off the main strip.

Arrive to a gorgeous Craftsman-style entrance with a rose-strewn portico at the entrance, just off the parking area that’s overhung by the loft’s balcony. Once inside, you’ll be hard-pressed to decide which of the two bedrooms you’d rather have: the ground level one with French doors, plantation shutters, and an outside entrance, or the novelty of the loft suspended over the living space and bounded by steel cables. A soothing palette of blues, creams, and natural woods dominates the aesthetic, creating a cool contrast to the rich brick and brown of the exterior. 

High-rise, hotel-style living near Edgewood

Stunning City Getaway   In The Heart Of Atlanta

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Right on the border of quirky, accessible Edgewood and just south of Inman Park and bohemian Little Five Points, this hotel-style resort apartment is at the crossroads of artsy and independent city culture. 

The creative vibe of its location makes it into the decor of a gorgeous common area lounge. It’s stylish and posh, and sexy besides, with splashes of deep reds, rich purples, and bright oranges. The expansive common area also has an oversized shared worktable space with pop-up plugs to keep your gear fully juiced, and a wet bar, dining tables, and TVs to channel more of that city-life workspace feeling. A spiffy gym, also decked out in bold colors, is yours to enjoy during your stay. The apartment has a full modern kitchen, but this close to the Krog Street Market, a world-class and famous food hall, you likely won’t make much use of it. 

Outdoors, though, is where visitors find their R&R. The building’s resort-style pool has private cabanas and tanning areas around it, as well as firepits to gather your group of up to four around.

Carriage house in Chastain Park

Luxury Atlanta Guesthouse in Buckhead

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This carriage house may be less than a mile away from Chastain Park, but it almost feels like your own private preserve. Its long meandering driveway takes you to the wooded property before dropping you off at your new doorstep. Once inside, you’ll find a modern, cool aesthetic that includes a new kitchen with granite counters and gray cabinets, and a spacious, bright marble-pattern bathroom. All around are windows with views of the trees beyond and your closest neighbors will be a barred owl and whatever birds happen to visit the feeder.

As nice as these digs are, outside is actually where the greatest attractions for this property lie. The carriage house opens up to its own deck, which then leads to a charming brick path on a sloped hillside. Head toward the hammock to get to the lovely in-ground pool, which even has fountains spouting into it. Between dips, grill up a meal and enjoy it on various premium loungers, the bar table, or the seats around the fire pit. But if you want a fire pit closer to nature, make your way to the treehouse and the large swing beside it. There’s a more rustic fire pit with tree stump seating there.

Three-story tree house on the mountain

Treasure Hunt Tree House in Metro Atlanta

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Granted, you’re half an hour or so away from the heart of the action in Atlanta’s Midtown out here in suburban Kennesaw, but that seems like a small price to pay to stay in such a fantastical setting. This true tree house, built into the canopy and in one part, around an actual tree is a self-contained adventure. It even has an escape room-type treasure hunt challenge built into your stay. 

Comprised of three floors total across two independent structures connected by a rope bridge lit by fairy lights, the first building features vaulted ceilings with pine beams and a tin roof for rain to gently pitter-patter down. Its walls are made of knotty bamboo walls whose patterns are broken up by a stained glass window and French doors that open wide. Through those doors, access a wraparound porch that leads to the other building, which has a screened-in area with tables and chairs for dining or relaxation, and a ladder fastened against the central tree’s trunk that leads up to a crow’s nest observatory.

Like the rest of the home, the bamboo it’s made of comes from only a few miles away, making it not only a sustainable material, but local to boot. Other local and personal touches include handmade lamps, a cypress and blue resin water pitcher table made with love by the owner, a cedar plank writing desk, and a bucket and pulley system in the crow’s nest. A manmade stream runs beneath, complete with mini waterfalls, a bridge, and hammocks ripe for taking naps to the tune of the gentle gurgle.

A stay here also provides plenty of creature comforts, including a full bathroom with a marble shower and handmade soap just yards from the front steps. 

FAQs

Where should I stay in Atlanta on vacation?

Midtown is one of the best areas to be close to much of the action. It’s close to the business district, as well as iconic hotels like the W Atlanta. Plus, it has a vibrant arts scene, along with bars, comedy clubs, boutiques, and some of the best restaurants in the city. 

Virginia Highlands is a great option for those seeking a classic bungalow feel. As Atlanta native and prominent realtor Ariel Baverman of Keller Williams First Atlanta puts it, “Virginia Highlands is just cool. The bungalow homes are really nice and super upgraded, typically, built in the 1920s and ’30s, and tend to have high ceilings if pre-war.”

Edgewood is another great place to look for rentals. According to Baverman, it’s “a neighborhood that’s been on the rise over the course of the last 15 or 20 years,” with “lots of new construction” to add more architectural diversity to the traditional Craftsman bungalow blocks. 

When is the best time to visit Atlanta?

From March to May is an especially ideal time to visit Atlanta. The weather is warm enough to take advantage of the numerous outdoor activities, but it won’t be hot and muggy yet.

Summers in Atlanta are known for being extremely hot and humid, and prices often soar during the peak summer season. On the flip side, if you visit in the winter, be prepared for lows in the 30s and possible ice storms. 

Are Airbnbs safe?

According to the CDC, travel in the US is safe for anyone fully vaccinated. Additionally, experts have said private rentals like Airbnbs are one of the safest lodging options since you won’t encounter other guests or have any interactions with staff. 

More of the best Airbnbs in the South

Best Airbnbs in Nashville
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I booked a crowd-free private jet-like experience for $99 on JSX – here’s why I can’t stop recommending it

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JSX Airlines
JSX promises no crowds, private terminals, and jets with business class legroom.

  • For my first post-pandemic flight, I chose the regional airline JSX to avoid airports and crowds.
  • JSX is a lot like flying private; it feels elite, posh, and is much easier than traditional flights.
  • JSX looks very expensive, but it’s not. The experience cost me just $99 to fly between LA and Vegas.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

I’m a travel writer and frequent traveler, but due to COVID, I didn’t board a plane for more than 500 days.

Now that I am fully vaccinated, and with case numbers steeply declining, I planned a quick trip to Las Vegas from my hometown of Los Angeles.

With travel safety as my top priority, I chose JSX over traditional carriers. JSX is a hop-on jet service that isn’t technically a private jet, but offers many of the perks of one. Simply put, it’s private flying for the public.

While it sound like it must be expensive, get ready to be surprised. I paid just $99 for my JSX flight that had me feeling like a celebrity, and maybe even looking like one, too.

What is JSX?

JSX airplane in Burbank
JSX airplanes park in private hangars where travelers wait.

JSX is a private regional airline that feels like a posh private flying experience, though it’s not because the public can purchase tickets.

But unlike major commercial airlines, JSX caps flights at just 30 people, and operates out of private terminals and hangars (technically known as “fixed-base operators,” or FBOs), which are adjacent to many major airports.

“JSX flights are classified as public air charters, which means they can depart from general aviation terminals and that comes with a number of key perks in the COVID-19 era,” explained Scott’s Cheap Flights Senior Member Operations Specialist Daniel Burnham, who will be including JSX fares in its new Elite deals platform launching later this month.

“Unlike a true private jet charter, JSX schedules flights in advance on a set route map. To fly, you’ll buy a seat ticket online like any other airline,” he said. “However, JSX flights have their own private hangars and waiting areas away from the main airport terminal, so you can show up right before your scheduled departure and breeze onto the plane without needing to go through a TSA checkpoint.”

Is JSX safe?

With JSX, you’ll bypass the traditional airport altogether by traveling through a private jet terminal. You also won’t encounter crowded and TSA lines, but you can still feel secure: JSX uses TSA Secure Flight, the same TSA-provided background check processes that major airlines use.

They also have extensive COVID safety measures in place, including requiring masks and new sterilization and contact-less protocols. More detailed information is available here.

Where does JSX fly?

JSX Airplane
You only have to arrive 20 minutes before your flight.

The regional airline flies between major cities and destinations in the west and Texas, including Burbank (Los Angeles); Concord (East Bay/Napa); Las Vegas; Oakland; Orange County; Phoenix; Dallas; and Houston; with seasonal flights to places like Mammoth. It also serves Destin, Florida. You may view more details on routes here.

While still regional, JSX saw a 55% increase in new leisure market customers from February 2020 to February 2021, according to a statistic provided by the brand’s internal analytics team. And that’s a pretty huge stat for the COVID era.

In fact, COVID perhaps only increased demand for this hybrid style of flying as people sought out safer travel experiences.

“JSX has been well-positioned to serve this shift in priorities, and their domestic-heavy route map in Texas and California hasn’t been heavily impacted by testing requirements or closed borders,” Burnham said.

JSX fares

When booking a ticket, passengers select between one of two fare types. The cheaper fares, dubbed “Hop On,” include two checked bags, but are nonrefundable and have change fees.

The more expensive fares, “All In,” are fully refundable and include three checked bags. Everyone can bring a carry-on bag, regardless of which fare you choose.

There is only one class on JSX flights.

How to book JSX

JSX Airplane
On my route, JSX flies either a 135 or 145 Embraer jet with 30 seats.

Although it sounds highly specialized, you can book JSX tickets as you normally would any commercial ticket through the airline’s website, or through its booking and mobile boarding app. You won’t find it on online travel agency websites or aggregators like Kayak or Expedia, however.

Is JSX expensive?

In most cases, JSX is very affordable. Entry-level $99 fares are common on routes with advance booking and off-peak dates, making for an overall excellent value.

For example, a recent search identified plenty of $99 options between Phoenix and Burbank, or $149 between Oakland and Orange County. These are comparable to many commercial airlines such as the no-frills Southwest. For instance, you might fly JSX for under $100 between Burbank and Las Vegas, compared with Southwest’s $129 Wanna Getaway fare on the same route.

Of course, like all flights, popular days and periods see higher fares. But JSX also serves snacks, cocktails, and nonalcoholic drinks for free in flight, with coffee and tea for free in the terminal. Pets also fly free and so do checked bags.

JSX also offers many exclusive partner offers for discounts and savings on hotels in their destinations and is also a partner with JetBlue. And if you do want to experience a true private flight, JSX is available to charter.

My JSX flight

JSX in Burbank
Free coffee and tea is available while you wait to board, as are bathrooms.

Because my dates were flexible and I was only looking for one night in Vegas, I booked tickets for my husband and me on the Sunday of a holiday weekend. Because it wasn’t a desirable travel day, the price was cheap and I only booked about five weeks ahead of the trip. I paid $99 per ticket for a total of $198 for my husband and me.

Because our return flight fell on Memorial Day – an extremely popular travel day – a JSX ticket would have been much higher, well over $400. So I booked us on a traditional carrier for the return. However, it would still be far cheaper than flying an actual private plane.

Arrival and check-in

JSX terminal in Burbank
The JSX terminal in Burbank with a Curbstand valet station out front.

We only needed to arrive at the airport hanger about 20 minutes before our flight due to the simple check-in process.

We took a Lyft and didn’t need parking, but valet parking was available for $28 per day. For comparison, LAX central terminal self-parking costs $30 per day.

From there, we walked right in and showed our IDs for check-in at a small counter with no one else waiting in line. The capped flight number and lack of TSA checkpoints mean there are never long waits.

With JSX, passengers may bring one personal item onboard that fits under the seat in front of you; there are no overhead bins. With our fare category (the popular “Hop On” fare), we were permitted to check two bags weighing 50 pounds each for free. We rolled our bags over to the staff person, got our boarding passes, and pre-boarding was done.

JSX aircraft at terminal
Our JSX aircraft waits to be boarded in the Burbank terminal.

The JSX hangar has just a check-in counter, a station for free coffee or tea, and a bathroom. It’s a simple but delightful experience for aviation enthusiasts as you’ll be right next to the planes. The hanger is also wide open with full ventilation, which is an added safety bonus during COVID.

There are no eateries, shops, or other concessions like you’ll find in airports, so be sure to bring what you will need for the flight.

Boarding

Boarding the JSX
Boarding our JSX flight in Burbank.

We boarded the plane about 15 minutes before the scheduled takeoff. The small group of passengers walked a few dozen yards across the tarmac to the waiting plane, entering by way of an outdoor flight of stairs.

In-flight

JSX interior cabin
The JSX cabin interior was nicely streamlined.

On this route, JSX flies either a 135 or 145 Embraer jet with 30 seats and the plane was about two-thirds full. The configuration is two-seats-by-one, which means no middle seats and there are no overhead bins.

JSX seats
The configurations on a JSX plane are two and one, so no middle seats

My 6-foot-1-inch husband remarked on the substantial legroom, with the seat pitch a minimum of 36 inches.

There wasn’t much time in the air, but the flight was pleasant and comfortable. The cabin decor was greyscale and elegant and not heavily branded. Power outlets were available at seats.

Try tables and leg room on JSX
Tray tables are available and legroom is spacious.

Our flight attendant came around offering drinks, both alcoholic and non. Next, she made the rounds with elevated packaged snacks such as cheese straws and dried snap peas.

I used the bathroom once in flight and it was similar to those on any commercial flight.

Arrival

Deplaning in Las Vegas from JSX
Deplaning in Las Vegas was a cinch,

We deplaned via an outdoor staircase and picked up our bags outside the aircraft without any delay before entering the private aircraft terminal. There is no luggage carousel as you’d find with a commercial flight.

Passing through, we headed outside to a quiet parking lot to await a Lyft to our hotel.

JSX terminal in Las Vegas
The JSX terminal in Las Vegas was similar to the one we waited inside in Burbank.

The bottom line

Flying JSX was a seamless, comfortable, and exciting experience, and one that looked extremely posh to my social media followers.

From arrival to check-in, and the in-flight experience, JSX feels exclusive and private. The aircraft even looks like a private jet and feels like one too since there are no crowds or security lines, a max of 30 passengers, plus free checked baggage, snacks, and drinks.

While the service routes are limited, if my destination is on the JSX map and the price is right, I’ll fly JSX 100% of the time compared with commercial flights. The perks are numerous, it’s a great flying experience at a great value, and I enthusiastically recommend it.

Book a flight on JSX

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The 16 best beach hotels in the US for ocean views, gorgeous pools, and beachside dining

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Best beach hotels in the US - aerial shot of the pools, beach, and ocean at The Diplomat hotel

  • Beachfront hotels are coveted stays with access to sandy shores, gorgeous views, and water sports.
  • We found the best beach hotels in the US, from Hawaii and California to Florida and Maine.
  • Keep in mind that summer is the peak season for many beach areas and hotel prices tend to increase.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Summer is here and the urge to travel is at an all-time high. For those who crave an oceanfront getaway for some R&R, the good news is you don’t have to go far. The US has myriad gorgeous options from coast to coast for a sunny escape.

When it comes to the best beach hotels in the US, travelers are spoiled for choice there too. Whether located on paradisaical islands or romantic, windswept coastlines, beachfront hotels that overlook the waves act like surgical glue for the soul. Plus, many come with perks like gorgeous pools, beachside dining, and rooms with panoramic views.

We combed through hotels from California to Maine to find standout beach hotels for a salty-air retreat that’s still close to home.

Browse all of the best beach hotels in the US below or jump to a specific area here:

These are the best beach hotels in the US, sorted by state and price.

Best destinations California Banner

Sanctuary Beach Resort

Sanctuary Beach Resort

Book Sanctuary Beach Resort

Pretty and romantic, this eco-efficient resort is ideal for couples or a group of friends. Aptly named, the Sanctuary Beach Resort is burrowed into the Marina Dunes of Monterey Beach and presents amazing opportunities from whale-watching trips to learning from local artisans.

Housing is in water-facing bungalows where rooms start at 380 square feet and come with a private patio or deck, as well as French slipcovered chairs, and binoculars for the aforementioned whale and other wildlife watching. A natural gas-fueled fireplace provides warmth, and beds are made up with Harbor Linen’s Monocle Collection that ensure a spectacular night’s sleep.

Tour around town on specially made Dutch-inspired Republic bicycles, and revel in complimentary nature walks, led by local guides through the Marina Dunes Preserves, every Saturday and Sunday. Complete the experience with a picnic basket on the beach from the hotel’s signature restaurant, Salt Wood Kitchen & Oysterette.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Tower23 Hotel

tower23 hotel

Book Tower23 Hotel

Sleek and modern, with a distinct minimalist architectural style, Tower23 takes its moniker from the lifeguard tower near the hotel. 

Tower23 also takes its position as a place to sleep seriously. White goose-down duvets almost guarantee that once you retire for the night, you’re going to have a hard time getting up. The rooms themselves are uncluttered and painted in deep blues and aqua hues, and suites come with living rooms.

Still, whether you start or end the day with a sea-inspired spa treatment, the friendly resort staff knows their role is to get you out to the beach. The proximity to those Pacific Beach sands and the frothing surf is a large part of the hotel’s appeal, which is why the rooms face the west and bikes and beach accouterments are included. Even the highly regarded JRDN features a 70-foot long “wave wall” that reflects the famous sunset every night.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Book Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Dependable and reliably upscale without being pretentious, the Loews hotel brand always performs well in popular markets. Parked on Santa Monica Beach next to the Pacific Park Amusement Park, the Loews Santa Monica is no exception.

The contemporary interior design couldn’t say “Southern California” more. The double-story lobby’s floor-to-ceiling windows frame each inch of beach and ray of sun. The 347 rooms and suites, recently refreshed, are done in creamy tones of white and tan with wave-patterned carpets and sky-blue accent pillows. Views alternate between the beach and palm trees, or the fourth-floor pool deck and fire pits.

Have a light meal next to one of those 13 oceanfront fire pits, or take advantage of a more elegant al fresco opportunity on the terrace of Ocean & Vine, the celebrated coastal California cuisine restaurant. The daily resort fee includes beach and pool amenities, so be sure to allow the pool concierge to pamper you with fruit smoothies and spray Evian mist as many times as you require.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Best destinations Florida Banner

South Seas Island Resort

South Seas Island Resort

Book South Seas Island Resort

A combination 330-acre wildlife sanctuary and resort, South Seas dominates Captiva Island. It’s a family-friendly Gulf Coast resort that offers a variety of rooms, multi-bedroom villas, and private houses where you very much feel at home — if your home comes with sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, and long-legged water birds of various hues.

This former key lime plantation now caters to a variety of families, groups, and couples all looking for the same things: relaxation and beachside entertainment. Fortunately, it’s easy to find, given that rooms in the Harbourside Hotel are close to nine restaurant options, the resort’s interactive pool complex, the Gulf-side golf course, the marina, and the beach. Jet-Skis, fishing charters, sailing lessons, banana boat rides, parasailing, and kayak tours are just a few of the on-site activities that are available to book. If that’s not enough adventure and exercise, check out the beach and paddleboard yoga classes. 

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

The Diplomat Beach Resort

Best beach hotels in the US - The Diplomat Beach Resort Beach & Pool Aerial

Book The Diplomat Beach Resort

This lavish Hollywood resort is located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, bridging the land between the beach and the Intracoastal, so it’s essentially surrounded by water.

After a $100 million renovation that was completed in 2017, the hotel emerged with 1,000 rooms and suites, most of which have views of the waves. Rooms have either a sunrise or sunset color scheme, depending on which side of the resort they face. The lobby is dramatic, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows at the back where the indoor-outdoor wraparound Hotel Bar is located. That lobby also contains eight noteworthy restaurant concepts that range from Geoffrey Zakarian’s Point Royal to the Diplomat Prime Steak House.

While the beach offers jet skiing, ocean kayaking, and paddleboard rentals, younger family members also appreciate the Dip + Slide water park, where the slides end in a lagoon pool. There, parents can keep sight lines on the kids while enjoying poolside spa and lunch service. The kids’ club, Ocean Ambassadors, relieves parents of duty so that they can enjoy The Diplomat Golf Club and The Diplomat Tennis Center, too.

This hotel is currently closed but accepting future reservations. COVID-19 updates can be found here.

Omni Amelia Island Resort

Omni Amelia Island Resort

Book Omni Amelia Island Resort

The versatility of the well-named Omni brand is legend. It can work as easily for a corporate retreat or destination wedding as it can for a couples’ getaway or family vacation. That’s because the resort, with 402 oceanfront rooms, sprawls over the tip of this barrier island, and includes everything from a conference center to a chapel.

Done up in pastel blues, aquas, and creams — with a patterned or red accent thrown in — the rooms start at a liberal 425 square feet. Beachy decor (think cane back chairs) extends to the balconies. The beds are particularly comfortable, with 330-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets over pillow-top mattresses.

If you don’t want to take advantage of the 3.5 miles of beach that beckons right outside the window, check out what the venue calls its “multi-tiered pool deck.” For adults-only, the infinity-edge pool is highly tempting, and for families, the 10,000-square-foot splash pool and water park is just as exciting. On cool nights, cozy up to two oversized fire pits.

Omni Amelia Island Resort is renowned for its two golf courses, one designed by Tom Fazio and the other by Pete Dye. Park the kids, if you have them, at Camp Amelia and head out for a round or two. Or take them with you. There’s instruction for all ages available.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

WaterColor Inn & Resort

Watercolor Inn Fish out of Water

Book WaterColor Inn

Fair warning: WaterColor Inn & Resort is situated in the prettiest part of Florida Panhandle, where the award-winning beaches are so white and fine that you can’t help but think of cake icing. 

David Rockwell designed the 60 rooms starting at 500-square-feet with Adirondack chairs on the balconies and cabana showers on the patios. The 500-acre setting includes long leaf pine forests for hiking and biking, a coastal dune lake for kayaking and canoeing, and a 1,400-square-feet of private beach. The hotel is also next door to Grayton Beach State Park, where you can make good use of the property’s complimentary bicycles, kayaks, and canoes. 

Renovated in 2019, the resort also offers local seafood, Southern, and family-friendly fare via FOOW (formerly known as Fish Out Of Water) and a terrific collection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails. The spa and fitness center provides plenty of distraction, as do beach bonfires and outdoor movies.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

The Miami Beach EDITION

Miami EDITION

Book The Miami Beach EDITION

With a bowling alley, an ice-skating rink, and a nightclub all in the lowest level alone, this hotel practically screams fun. But that doesn’t mean it lacks luxury. The tropical greenery and sleek midcentury modern decor stuns from the moment you walk into the posh lobby.

Custom and exclusive are two words that guide you through the EDITION experience, from the La Labo bath products to the fragrance made just for the hotel. Sip creative craft cocktails and trendy bites at Matador Bar or outdoors at Tropicale. Follow with a dip in the serene pool to soak up Miami’s Art Deco feels and beach breezes. Finish with an exquisite pan-Latin meal at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room. 

Standard rooms, larger than average for the region, are tastefully decorated in hues of driftwood and white with marble bathrooms, wood paneling, and a variety of natural textures. Feather mattresses with pillow tops and duvets ensure an excellent night’s sleep.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Best destinations Hawaii Banner

Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Po’ipu Beach

best beach hotels in the US - oceanview room at koa kea in Hawaii

Book Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Po’ipu Beach

Ideal for a romantic getaway, this award-winning resort is known as Kauai’s closest waterfront lodging. “Po’ipu” translates to “crashing waves,” and this south shore beach resort is one of the sunniest spots on the island, and consistently recognized by Trip Advisor and travel magazines for its 121 rooms that are only steps from the sand.

The Spa at Ko’a Kea incorporates island clay, indigenous nut oils, locally grown sugar, coffee, and floral essences in products. Try a treatment in the outdoor seaside cabana room; you’ll never want to go back to an indoor spa again. And, if you upgrade to a suite, the spa can provide an extraordinary in-room floral bath experience designed to restore and improve your immune system.

With executive chef and Kauai native Noelani Planas at the helm, the highly-rated Red Salt restaurant provides local and seasonal dishes, including ahi tartare and vanilla-scented Mahi. Sushi nights at Red Salt Lounge offer an alternative to the regular menu.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, Maui

Wailea Beach Resort   Marriott, Maui

Book Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, Maui

This 22-acre playground is a terrific family-friendly beach resort, whether taking a whirl down the longest water slide in Maui (325 feet!) or nesting at the adults-only infinity pool that overlooks waters so blue you ache to paint them. Bypass the pools to walk to Wailea Beach and Ulua Beach Park.

Rooms with private balconies (also known as lanais) are spacious, beginning at 437 square feet, and are soothing with marble bathrooms and palettes of white and wheat rather than clichéd tropical hues. 

Views are stunning from wherever you are on property, but particularly from the Mandara Spa, which overlooks the Molokini crater and the island of Kaho’olawe. You can also experience the grandeur of the three championship 18-hole golf courses — the Wailea Golf Club is considered one of the best in the country — or get SCUBA dive-certified.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Best destinations New York Banner

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Gurney_s_Montauk_Resort_Seawater_Spa Montauk_Long_Island_New_York

Book Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

The embodiment of the Hamptons, Gurney’s is the only hotel in Montauk that’s open year-round. Stylish, sexy, and focused on service, the resort is a crowded, see-and-be-seen hot spot during the summer season when prices spike. But booking May through September gives you access to the 1,000-square-foot private beach, with its array of lounges and daybeds, as well as The Beach Club for food and beverage service. However, some seating is reservation only, so be sure to inquire about where you’re allowed to sunbathe. 

Standard rooms feature natural cottons and linens and a crisp, nautical palette of white, beige, gray, and navy. Don’t let the bathroom’s vintage brass fixtures fool you — the rainfall showerheads are as up-to-date as they come.

If you like steam rooms, you’ll love the Finnish Rock Sauna, Russian Steam Room, and Roman Bath at the Seawater Spa, which offers Thalasso therapies. The indoor-outdoor seawater pool is a draw, too, as are the five dining-and-drinking options, including a sibling to Manhattan’s renowned Scarpetta.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Travel Hotel Reviews Sub banners Massachusetts

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Wequassett Twenty Eight Atlantic

Book Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Cape Cod has a certain captivation that exerts a pull like a magician on a rabbit’s ears. And the 22 historic buildings that comprise Wequasset Resort and Golf Club are Cape Cod incarnate, with beachside rooms and villas replete with plush armchairs, white wicker dining sets, gas fireplaces, and marble bathrooms.

Twenty-Eight Atlantic is not only the resort’s iconic restaurant, but it attracts foodies from all over the Cape. Chef James Hackney’s fluke crudo with salmon roe or his lobster carbonara served on Limoges china, explains why. After, enjoy cocktails under a pergola at LiBAYtion, which features stunning views of the water.

The neighboring par-72, 18-hole Cape Cod National golf course is one of those courses that is always and forever beloved by serious golfers. But for casual players, it’s also one of the prettiest places to play (even if you will tee off into the trees). Four Har-Tu tennis courts provide another option. But don’t forget why you’re here. If you want to get onto the water, Down Cape Charters & Boat Rentals will arrange any kind of kayaking, sailing, or fishing tour or charter.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Travel Hotel Reviews Sub banners Maine

Inn by the Sea

Inn by the Sea

Book Inn by the Sea

Located in Cape Elizabeth, just seven miles north of Portland, Maine, the ecologically friendly Inn by the Sea commands a mile of sand on Crescent Beach that guests access by strolling through lush nature. The entire 61-room and suite property, which is also landscaped with indigenous flowers and bushes, attracts native birds and butterflies and is an Instagram lover’s dream.

Because Crescent Beach is spacious and the property limited, the beach never gets crowded, though there is also a pool. On cooler evenings, it’s also extremely pleasant to sit out on the expansive patios and balconies that rim the rooms and suites, which are decorated with a variety of lush textiles, metallic accents, and marble countertops. 

A spa provides ocean-inspired treatments that use seaweed, salts, oils, and marine peptides. Dinner at Sea Glass, one of the best restaurants in the area, is an inventive adventure in seafood, especially if you order the tasting menu. The chef also is a whiz with vegan menus as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free dishes.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Best destinations South Carolina Banner

The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Book The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Kiawah Island is more known for its stately residences than hotels, but one of the few luxury hotels available is the elegant Sanctuary Hotel. It’s also the only hotel located directly on the island’s 10 miles of beachfront property. 

King bedrooms begin at 520 square feet with custom-made mattresses outfitted with matelassé bed covers. Lounge on them in the Italian linen robes provided, or just savor the stunning bathrooms with marble walk-in showers, double vanities, and soaking tubs.

If the beach begins to pall, visit two separate pools, one for adults and one for families, which are tended by beach concierges. To continue your workout routine, enjoy LCD flat-panel touch screens on cardio equipment, followed by a dip in the indoor pool. Or choose private Pilates and yoga sessions with personal instructors. Play outdoors on any of the five world-class golf courses or tennis on the 22 courts in the famous Roy Barth Tennis Center, now directed by Roy’s son, Jonathan.

As guest after guest notes, you get what you pay for at The Sanctuary Hotel. A room might not come cheaply, but the experience lingers.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Best destinations Georgia Banner

The Westin Jekyll Island

The Westin Jekyll Island

Book The Westin Jekyll Island

With a manicured lawn in front and a beach in the back, this LEED-certified, pet-friendly resort represents both the south and the raw beauty of Jekyll Island to a T. Lushly landscaped with palm trees and tropical plants, the hotel offers nature, tranquility, and immediate access to seagrass dunes and sandy beaches, where birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife abounds.

Clean and modern, with updated technology and complimentary Wi-Fi, the business-accessible rooms are generously sized with at least a partial view of the water and a balcony. Some have inland views and no balconies, though, so be specific when you book. Westin’s trademarked Heavenly bedding is especially comfortable, and the rainforest showerheads are comforting.

Dining options include The Reserve Steak House, which features native Georgia seafood in addition to meat. Before or after a meal, perch at Harry’s Lounge for a craft cocktail and look over the dunes. A 20-mile bike path that stretches in front of the hotel is a terrific alternative to working out in the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, even though it is nicely outfitted and open 24/7.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Best destinations Oregon Banner

Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa

Headlands Lodge Oceanfront Cottage

Book Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa

Whether you want to catch crabs and fish from the bracing Pacific or simply enjoy them by the fire at signature restaurant, Meridien, Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa is delighted to oblige.

As the name indicates, you really couldn’t get closer to the water than here, where the Nestucca River meets the Oregon coastline. 

Choose from one of the 33 King or Double Queen rooms, all of which have 440 square feet (or more, if you request a corner room) and poetic views of Cape Kiwanda’s waves and Haystack Rock through picture windows. With luxe rustic furnishings, cast-iron tubs, gas fireplaces, and amenities that range from a Bonavita brewing system to a Bluetooth lantern speaker, there’s no need to upgrade to a two- or three-bedroom cottage unless traveling with a group.

While Tidepools Spa, which has an outdoor hot tub, and the restaurant are sophisticated, everything here is about the natural world, the adventures to be had in it, and the relationship with the small, unpretentious Pacific City community. 

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Our methodology for selecting hotels

In addition to the criteria previously listed above, we considered these additional factors:

Price: We looked for starting room rates in low season under $500 per night.

Reviews: In addition to our own first-hand knowledge and stays, we researched reviews and ratings on sites such as Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, Booking.com, and took into account the experience of other recent guests.

Guests: We chose the best beach hotels for a wide audience, including families, couples, groups of friends, honeymooners, and more.

Amenities: We looked for beach hotels that feature well-appointed rooms, excellent locations, beach access, pool facilities, top-notch restaurants and bars, and other guest perks from golf courses to beachside dining and spa services.

COVID-19 safety: We selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of guests with new strict new cleaning policies in light of COVID-19.

FAQs

Where are the best beaches in the US?

There’s no shortage of beach paradises in the US. Places like Southern California and Florida offer year-round sun and Florida’s Gulf Coast, in particular, is known for its sugary white-sand beaches and clear, turquoise waters that rival the Caribbean.

Spots like Clearwater Beach and Amelia Island are especially well-known for being great for families. Of course, if you’re looking for more action, the party scenes in Miami Beach and South Beach are infamous. Just up the coast, don’t miss out on Hilton Head, Kiawah Island, and Georgia’s Golden Isles.

For surfers, beaches in California like Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Pismo Beach are prime destinations. If you’re ready to go farther afield or crave a tropical getaway, Hawaii’s beaches are tough to beat, especially when it comes to activities like snorkeling. 

In the Northeast, the Jersey Shore from Asbury to Cape May provides an easy getaway that appeals to young groups of friends and families alike, depending on the area. Coastal spots like Newport Rhode Island and Kennebunk Beach in Maine also offer top-notch sandy shores and salty breezes, and, of course, there are well-known destinations like the Hamptons. And on the opposite coast, Oregon boasts iconic destinations like Cannon Beach and Brookings.     

How much does a beach vacation cost?

Beach vacations can run the gamut from budget to luxury depending on where you go and when. For more wallet-friendly stays, consider areas like Ocean City, Cape May, Virginia Beach, and Myrtle Beach. 

Popular areas like Malibu, the Hamptons, Newport, Rhode Island, and Hilton Head are all well-known for being on the pricier side. And while there are always deals to be found, consider going on a beach vacation in the shoulder season if savings are your top priority. September or early May still see excellent weather in most beach destinations with far lower prices than during peak summer or winter dates. Additionally, keep in mind that peak weekends and holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July typically see beach hotel prices surge.      

Are hotels safe right now?

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically.

Most hotels have reopened following shutdowns due to COVID-19 with new safety procedures in place. While you’re more likely to encounter other people in common spaces and have more interactions with staff, experts say that with added caution, it is safe to stay in a hotel. We also recommend following CDC guidelines and wearing a mask in public, using hand sanitizer, and following social distancing.

More great beach vacations

The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Read the original article on Business Insider

18 of the best Hilton Hotels in the US to earn or use points at, from family suites to luxury beach resorts

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best hilton hotels in the US - the pool at Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

  • Hilton Hotel brands range from boutique properties to spacious suites to beach resorts.
  • We found the best US Hilton hotels based on amenities, location, and value for point redemptions.
  • It’s free to sign up for Hilton Honors and perks from free internet to waived fees start right away.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Hilton Hotels currently offers 16 distinct brands for every type of traveler, with two new brands in development so keep an eye on newcomers Tempo by Hilton debuting in Louisville and Signia by Hilton in development for Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Orlando.

As a Hilton Honors elite member, I’ve stayed at countless Hilton properties across the country. Some of the hotels on this list are among my standout favorites, while others are included thanks to their incredible point redemption value and desirable location.

Hilton Honors members earn points with each stay and budget-minded travelers will often find great value in redeeming points at brands like Embassy Suites, Tru, and Hilton Garden Inn, but luxury resorts and boutique hotels are equally within reach if you save up an appropriate amount of points.

Even if not redeeming points, these top-rated properties are excellent options for earning points and working toward elite status. Travelers will find this list encompasses amusement park destinations and island retreats alike, while historic properties and luxury city escapes found their place, too.

These are the best Hilton Hotels in the US, sorted by point redemptions from low to high.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale

Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale

Book the Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale

Not only is this Embassy Suites one of the lowest point redemptions across the brand, but it’s also a remarkable deal for staying at a golf resort. Tee time here is even more appealing as personal instruction from PGA pros is available, and there’s a short game practice area, too. 

Even if you’re not a golfer, this hotel offers incredible points value with its cooked-to-order complimentary breakfast and evening cocktail reception, backed by mountain views and a resort pool sure to please the whole family. True to the brand, every guestroom here is a suite complete with separate sleeping and social areas with a refrigerator and microwave. Balconies offer views of the mountains or golf green, and some rooms sleep up to six guests.  

Guestroom decor is traditional and functional, in line with the brand, and it’s only the presidential suite that has distinctive accents like a jetted tub and walk-in European shower. Yet most of your time here will undoubtedly be spent outdoors with the lush greenery, poolside cocktails, and hikes at Camelback Mountain just a few miles down the road.  

Tru by Hilton Sandusky

Tru by Hilton Sandusky

Book the Tru by Hilton Sandusky

Like many Tru properties, this Sandusky property has a youthful vibe thanks to vibrant colors throughout common spaces and funky features like swinging lounge chairs. Colorful wall murals welcome guests inside, while the hotel offers an outdoor verandah with fire pits for cozy evening socials. 

With free parking, free Wi-Fi, and free breakfast, a points redemption is already a great value here, but the location adds even more oomph for leisure travelers booking a stay. The Kalahari waterpark is only a mile away, while Cedar Point amusement park attractions are about a 15-minute drive. 

Guestrooms are minimalistic in a cool contemporary way, with functional furnishings like a rolling workstation and ample storage, along with cozy bedding featuring a Serta mattress. Rooms have lots of natural light with oversized windows, a mini fridge, and glass shower doors. Complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate is available 24/7 in the lobby. 

Hilton Garden Inn New York/Times Square Central

Hilton Garden Inn New York/Times Square Central

Book the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Times Square Central

For those who wish to stay in the heart of Times Square, Hilton Garden Inn New York offers an incredible location in the city that never sleeps. But sleep you will, with ergonomic design and Serta Suite Dreams bedding alongside upscale bath amenities and black-out curtains. Guestrooms also feature Herman Miller chairs and mini-fridges to store your NYC leftovers. 

Some rooms have views of the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, which will equate to a higher point redemption, of course. Otherwise, this Times Square offers redemptions starting from as little as 28,000 points a night, which is a steal to be within walking distance of Broadway shows. 

The hotel offers complimentary coffee and tea each morning while the lobby bar is ideal for evening cocktails overlooking Times Square. On-site restaurant Paul’s on Times Square offers a breakfast buffet alongside a lunch and dinner menu backed by floor-to-ceiling views of the city. 

Home2 Suites by Hilton Orlando Near Universal

Home2 Suites by Hilton Orlando Near Universal

Book the Home2 Suites by Hilton Orlando Near Universal

Depending on season, this stellar property near popular Orlando attractions can be quite budget-minded or lean toward a mid-range point redemption. Yet the location is incredible with Universal Orlando within a mile and Disney a little over nine miles away. Plus, the hotel provides a free shuttle to Universal Orlando Resort, increasing value for families. 

Spacious guestrooms have a chic contemporary vibe with pops of color throughout, like vibrant orange sofas, teal ottomans, and bursts of lime green accents on wall shelving. A flex space offers a combinable workstation and food prep area with a fridge, microwave, and dishwasher all at hand. Portable induction cooktops are also available upon request. 

Some studios sleep up to six guests with two queen beds and a sleeper sofa. Connecting rooms are also available for larger families traveling together. While the pool isn’t huge, it gets plenty of sun and is complimented by outdoor grills and shaded dining areas.  

Motto by Hilton Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square

Motto By Hilton Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square

Book the Motto by Hilton Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square

Motto by Hilton is Hilton’s newest brand offering with a micro-hotel urban vibe for youthful travelers. This less traditional lodging option is more like gathering friends for a shared home rental, without the home price tag. At this time, only one Motto is available to book, and it’s in a fantastic Philadelphia neighborhood for city exploration. 

This downtown getaway is ideal for Amtrak arrivals, while cultural go-tos like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Love Park are within walking distance. Modern dwellings range from spacious king rooms to bunk bed suites for friends traveling together. Guestrooms feature hardwood floors, a soothing color palette of white and sea blue, and black and white bathrooms.  

While the property doesn’t offer complimentary breakfast, temptation is available on-site with El Cafe’s breakfast tacos and Stumptown coffee. For light lunches or evening bites, El Techo is a taqueria spanning the 11th floor and offering wonderful skyline views thanks to its retractable glass roof. Then for a stunning on-site meal with friends, Condesa offers up Mexican fare with mezcal and tequila-based cocktails.  

The Peery Salt Lake City Downtown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

The Peery Salt Lake City Downtown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Book The Peery Salt Lake City Downtown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

As a Tapestry Collection hotel, guests will immediately note the boutique charms of The Peery Salt Lake City from its historic Prairie and Classical Revival architecture to tasteful antique furnishings. Built in 1920, the hotel has only 73 guestrooms and retains its elegance with high-canopy beds, decorative molding, and classic wood furnishings, yet also offers modern bathrooms and Tempur-Pedic bedding. 

A refined, neutral color palette with pops of color is consistent from guestrooms through to common areas and, while morning coffee is available in the lobby, breakfast service remains reduced at this time. The hotel also has secluded wine and tasting rooms available alongside two restaurant options. 

The hotel is located in a prime location for exploring downtown pubs, breweries, dining high and low, and there’s even a murder mystery dinner theater across the street. Salt Palace Convention Center and Temple Square are just up the block, while the Natural History Museum of Utah is within five miles and Big Cottonwood Canyon is just a 15-mile distance for outdoors enthusiasts. 

Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville-Downtown

Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville-Downtown

Book the Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville-Downtown

This downtown Nashville hotel generally runs a few hundred dollars a night, so the redemption value here is excellent – unless you plan to book during a major music festival when rates will go up no matter how you pay. After all, this property is in a prime location for taking in Nashville’s live music scene and the Country Music Hall of Fame is just a half-mile away. 

Not only is this hotel in Nashville’s historic district, but the property itself was built in the early 1900s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel’s exterior retains Renaissance Revival architectural details, while inside reveals a modern venue with music-themed art adorning walls in public spaces and guestrooms alike. 

Spacious guestrooms include a refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher while Serta Suite Dreams bedding ensures a sound sleep. Family travelers will find suites that sleep up to six guests.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

Book the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas opened in March 2021 and its slightly off-Strip location is perfect for those who want easy access to nightlife and attractions while embracing a little extra privacy. Unlike many Vegas properties, guests will never pay a resort fee at this Curio Collection property, making the moderate points redemption even more valuable.  

Sunseekers will love the expansive resort pool surrounded by palm trees, lounge chairs, and private cabana rentals. For even more poolside fun, this summer will debut the Élia Beach Club with an all-day party vibe. Casa Calavera serves up traditional Mexican fare and cocktails on an outdoor patio overlooking the resort pool, while poolside coastal Italian cuisine is available from Kassi Beach House.

Additional on-site dining abounds with NOBU Las Vegas, Thai street food at Night & Market, steakhouses, and even a 24/7 option at The Kitchen at Commons Club, known for their carafe cocktails and beer flights.  

On the lower end of points redemption, guests will find modern, spacious suites with colorful decor and plenty of cozy seating alongside organically sourced bath amenities. Strip-view and Grand Chambers will require thousands more points, so luxury-seeking high-rollers may prefer to book these extravagant multi-room suites with a credit card. 

Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District

Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District

Book the Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District

This Canopy property truly embraces an artsy Portland vibe with an unbeatable location in the nightlife-packed Pearl District. Complimentary bicycles are available for exploring the waterfront trail and downtown attractions like the Japanese Garden, while on-site amenities include a 24-hour rooftop fitness center that overlooks the neighborhood. 

Eatery Vaux welcomes guests with exposed brick walls contrasted with vibrant local art, while the menu highlights sustainable practices and seasonal local products. The gallery-like property includes casual mezzanine seating, while cornhole games on the rooftop provide amazing cityscape views. There are plenty of little extras, like a water bottle filling station and private workstation cubbies in the common areas. 

Guestrooms have nice touches like in-room Nespresso machines, a mini-fridge, chaise lounges, and sliding barn doors. Portland art and design influences functional, contemporary furnishings, and gel memory foam beds feature Serta Cool Balance technology for a super cozy sleep. 

Highline Vail – A DoubleTree by Hilton

Highline Vail - a DoubleTree by Hilton

Book the Highline Vail – A DoubleTree by Hilton

Points redemption can really fluctuate at this Vail hotel, thanks to its prime location for the winter ski season. Spring through fall offer the lowest redemption points, yet year-round this DoubleTree is a desirable property for its laidback resort vibe surrounded by Colorado mountains. 

The resort has a ski chalet vibe with vaulted ceilings and wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, and huge windows offer amazing views of the nearby slopes. On-site dining ranges from craft cocktails and shareable plates to American comfort food and Mexican classics. 

That chalet vibe continues with fireplaces in some guestrooms, while some suites have loft bedrooms. Plus there is a heated outdoor pool surrounded by snowcapped mountains and a cozy outdoor fire pit, and a games room to keep the kids occupied at all hours. 

Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front

Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front

Book the Hampton Inn & Suites Orange Beach/Gulf Front

One of the most appealing amenities at this beachfront hotel is the year-round outdoor heated pool, which means families are in for fun in the sun no matter the temperature outside. Plus, with direct private beach access, there’s a host of water activities to occupy your day, but the poolside tiki bar may also have a special spot reserved for you. 

Don’t miss the amazing sunsets at this beach getaway which, by the way, is one of the overall best redemption values along the Gulf of Mexico and points are definitely the way to go in peak season when cash room rates tend to get quite high. With hot breakfast included, free parking, and proximity to both Gulf State Park and the Adventure Island amusement park, families will find exceptional value here. Note that not all rooms have a balcony or water view, so be sure to book according to your preferences. 

Guestrooms are road trip and family-friendly with in-room mini-fridges and microwaves, and plenty of social seating areas. Rooms have a casual, spacious design with a beach-inspired color palette reflecting water and nature. Guestrooms with balconies will find these furnished with functional outdoor seating.

Hilton Americas-Houston

Hilton Americas-Houston

Book the Hilton Americas-Houston

An obvious choice for business travelers, Hilton Americas-Houston connects to the George R. Brown Convention center via skywalk, yet this downtown flagship property is also a great choice for city explorers on the go. Discovery Green Park is right next door and home to live outdoor music and public art, playgrounds, and a calm pond for sightseeing by kayak. Visitors can easily take in a Houston Rockets game at the adjacent Toyota Center or wander to nearby eateries, museums, and the theater district. 

One of the best features of this Hilton property is the infinity-edge indoor pool with amazing city skyline views from the 23rd floor. The spa offers soothing full-body scrubs, alongside manis and pedis to glam up for a night on the town.

Modern guestrooms have a chic vibe thanks to wall murals designed by a local artist and some rooms have full views of Discovery Green Park, while others have expansive skyline views. Business travelers should note the high-end appeal of executive suites towering over the city, complete with Executive Lounge access inclusive of continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. 

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

Book the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

This family-friendly resort has a 27-acre footprint along the south end of Ocean Boulevard and offers direct access to Springmaid Pier with popular museums and attractions within a mile radius. Families will find a true resort experience with plenty of on-site activities ranging from lazy rivers and pools to a sprawling lawn for games, shaded patio seating, immediate beach access, and an option to book golf packages. 

Regular guestrooms are vacation-oriented with a mini-fridge and microwave, small dining table, and a private balcony. Larger suites are ideal for families with a full-size fridge, family dining table, and the ability to sleep up to five guests. All rooms have a minimal interior design with crisp, cool colors with the focal point on ocean views from balconies. 

All-day dining options include a buffet breakfast at Ocean Blue, beachside bites at Southern Tide Bar & Grille, and tasty cocktails at The Pool Bar. Guests may also book private cabanas stocked with water bottles and fresh fruit bowls, along with dedicated food and beverage service. 

The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Book The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

While there are plenty of exceptional hotels in New Orleans, finding a great hotel deal, particularly in the French Quarter neighborhood, can be a challenge – which makes redeeming points at The Roosevelt all the more impressive. Even during peak times, the redemption value at this Waldorf Astoria is one of the best Hilton Honors deals available. 

Situated along the edge of the French Quarter with easy streetcar access on Canal Street, The Roosevelt New Orleans has been operating as a hotel since 1893. The property blends historic architecture and finishing touches like extravagant chandeliers and ornate mirrors with modern accents like a rooftop pool and jazz-themed local art. A swanky lounge serves up small plates alongside classic cocktails, while fine dining is served at Italian eatery Domenica. 

Guestrooms combine period furnishings with contemporary amenities like multi-nozzle walk-in showers, large flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, and minibars. Common areas highlight historic New Orleans memorabilia and dramatic walnut-paneled walls, while the lobby is one of the best to visit during the holidays thanks to their elaborate annual decor traditions. 

Read our full hotel review of The Roosevelt  New Orleans

Hilton Aventura Miami

Hilton Aventura Miami

Book the Hilton Aventura Miami

Hilton Aventura Miami is a completely new property and the latest luxury hotel to join the downtown Aventura skyline. Opened in May 2021, this culinary-focused destination is super close to Aventura Mall and North Miami attractions like Gulfstream Park and Hallandale Beach. 

Guestrooms feature bedding from the Hilton Serenity Collection alongside custom decorative throws. White contemporary furnishings are sleek and streamlined, standing out against luxurious patterned flooring. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer amazing views of blue skies and famous Florida sunshine. 

The signature restaurant, Gala, offers indoor and outdoor seating with a focus on South American cuisine. Muse offers craft cocktails and tapas. The Reserve transitions from a daytime coffee bar to a wine lounge in the evenings. Throughout, the hotel hosts saxophone nights, poolside DJs, and weekend brunches. 

Conrad Washington DC

Conrad Washington DC

Book the Conrad Washington DC

Conrad Hotels & Resorts is all about smart luxury, pairing pleasure with business, and while the brand typically costs several hundreds of dollars per night, this DC property has great value for points redemption. 

With a location convenient to the White House, National Monument, and Smithsonian attractions, this luxe hotel is equally suited to leisure and business travel. Guests may take in those stunning skyline views atop the hotel’s rooftop bar, while the on-site restaurant features James Beard award-winners offering a seasonal tasting menu. 

Guestrooms are true to Conrad styling with floor-to-ceiling windows, clean design lines with neutral color palettes, and spa-quality bathrooms with walk-in marble showers and soaker tubs. Some of the higher-end suites include fireplaces and separate dining, entertaining, and sleeping spaces. 

Read our full hotel review of the Conrad Washington DC

Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

Book the Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

Oceana Santa Monica overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and this high-end property delivers 5-star service to its discerning guests. Year-round points redemption starts at a consistent 95,000 but those seeking an indulgent penthouse experience may want to consider paying instead of forking over 446,000 points. 

No matter which way you book, expect to unwind with amenities like complimentary morning beach yoga, Peloton treadmills in the fitness center, and a spa-like heated outdoor pool. Extremely spacious standard suites feature luxurious cashmere throws, Frette linens, and modern wall art while larger suites offer options like well-equipped kitchens, private terraces, walk-in closets, and spacious entertaining areas. 

The boutique-style property has a great location along Ocean Avenue with popular downtown bars and restaurants nearby, while Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park are less than a mile away. 

Ocean Tower by Hilton Grand Vacations

Best hilton hotels - aerial view of Ocean Tower by Hilton Grand Vacations in Hawaii

Book the Ocean Tower by Hilton Grand Vacations

Redeeming points at a Hilton Grand Vacations property will always run on the high end as these are typically visited by vacation ownership guests, but this Waikoloa resort on the Big Island of Hawaii offers exceptional value. Located on the Kohala Coast, the resort tower is perched along the edge of Wailua Bay – ideal for boogie boarding, paddleboarding, and kayaking excursions. 

Contemporary guestrooms boast ocean-inspired and island accents like local art and coastal colors, while dining venues and common areas are decorated with surfboards and sleek wood furnishings. Classic rooms include private balconies with waterfront views, while suites also include fully equipped kitchens with separate dining and living areas. 

On-site food and drink range from fresh island cuisine to taproom favorites, along with the Legends of Hawaii Luau dinner and show, a Kona coffee bar, and homemade ice cream.

FAQ: Hilton Honors

What are the Hilton Honors membership levels? 

There are only four tier levels to Hilton Honors, and it’s free to sign up for an account:

What are the best ways to earn and maximize Hilton points

Every paid night earns members Hilton points, with Tru and Home2 Suites earning 5 base points per dollar spent, while all other Hilton properties earn 10 base points per dollar spent. There are also occasional member-only offers available on the hotel website for increased points earnings which maximize point collection. Being an Elite Hilton member (Silver, Gold, or Diamond status) comes with the perk of getting a fifth night free on award stays in standard rooms, which is a great way to stretch your points for a longer stay.

Guests can also earn even more points with one of the Hilton Hotel branded credit cards. Additionally, if you don’t have a lot of paid Hilton stays already racked up, opening one of Amex’s Hilton cards comes with the bonus of complimentary elite status.

How do I find hotels with the best value for point redemptions? 

While Hilton doesn’t publish a standard award redemption chart, they do have an incredibly useful Points Explorer site that allows guests to find properties based on location and desired redemption ranges. Guests may set their preferred redemption level and search properties from low to high or vice versa. Or, guests can search specific locations to find the lowest redemptions in a specific area. 

How else can I use my Hilton Honors points? 

Points may be pooled with up to 10 friends or family members to splurge on a luxurious resort getaway. Points may also be used to pay for Lyft rides, redeemed for car rentals, or transferred to partner airline miles through their online membership account.

When should I use points and when should I pay for a hotel? 

Hilton Honors points are worth, on average, 0.5 cents each according to Insider’s points and miles valuations. Always pay attention to the math to determine whether the stated points redemption is better than paying for a night. For example, if a hotel is listed at $122 per night while the points redemption would require 32,000 points for the same room, it’s a better option to pay as 32,000 points at 0.5 cents each equates to a $160 value. 

Plus, sometimes it may be worth it to pay for a night if you are participating in a special members-only points-earning promotion. Hilton often offers special promotions like “earn 3x points on every stay,” where it makes sense to earn the bonus points within a limited timeframe. 

Is it safe to stay in a hotel right now? 

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can now safely travel domestically and experts agree hotels are safe with a little extra precaution. CDC guidelines recommend wearing a mask in public spaces, routinely washing hands, and socially distancing from those not traveling with you. 

The Hilton CleanStay program details what guests can expect from check-in through to check-out, including enhanced cleaning procedures and contactless service options. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 of the best hotels in Tulum whether you seek beachfront luxury or an affordable stay in the center of town

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The best hotels in Tulum
  • Tulum is a design and gastronomy mecca on a turquoise beach overseen by ancient Mayan ruins.
  • Hotels in Tulum push the limits of beauty and design but some come with astonishingly high prices.
  • We compiled a list of highly-rated Tulum hotels ranging from $128 to $669 per night to start.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Two hours south of Cancun, Tulum is one of the hottest destinations on Mexico’s stunning Riviera Maya. This jungle-embedded city offers gorgeous and gentle Caribbean waters, lush jungles, ancient ruins, standout design, and plentiful hotels that showcase it all.

Spiritual centers, apartments, hostels, luxury, and boutique hotels all have a home here and proudly boast the Tulum aesthetic of natural wood, leafy palms, and just a touch of concrete or brass for an industrial edge.

I spent three months living in Tulum and the best hotel comes down to personal style and whether you plan to soak up the sun, admire the ruins of Coba, or go cenote-hopping in the beautiful swimming holes scattered within the jungle. Tulum hotels are also among the best wellness resorts in the Caribbean.

Tulum hotels push the boundaries of design, and their prices can often reach astronomical levels, but we found beautiful and accessible Tulum hotels that don’t skimp on comfort, beauty, or amenities.

Browse all the best Tulum hotels below or jump to a specific area here:

These are the best hotels in Tulum, sorted by price from low to high.

Aloft Tulum

Aloft Tulum pool
Aloft delivers a trusted brand and hotel experience under the Marriott Bonvoy umbrella.

Book Aloft Tulum

The Aloft Tulum is one of the newest and largest hotels in Tulum that offers the signature style of the hip and colorful Aloft brand and also many comforts that are hard to come by in Tulum, like industrial-strength air-conditioning and pristine and contemporary hotel rooms (that won’t cost a fortune). The hotel is located halfway between the city center and the beach zone, which means it’s a slightly shorter ride to the beach than from other hotels in town, but you can get there by bicycle or cab.

The Aloft has a bar space designed for live music, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a restaurant, and two pools. There’s a family-friendly pool on the ground level, but the adults-only rooftop infinity pool is the highlight of any stay with stunning views over the jungle canopy. It’s a great place to spend the day sipping cocktails, especially if you need to send out a few e-mails.

All rooms are modern and spacious with bright colors, natural textures, and amenities like Smart TVs and Marshall speakers. The polished style may not suit all types of Tulum-bound travelers, but for anyone dreading bugs and humidity, it’s a very comfortable and affordable place to stay.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Copal Tulum

Copal Tulum
Balconies at this hotel overlook the lush jungle canopy.

Book Copal Tulum

In a quiet section of Aldea Zama, tucked between the beach and city center, Copal has apartment-style accommodations that are great for families and large groups.

The hotel has a polished jungle-inspired design with plenty of bamboo and natural wood finishes. Rooms feel brand new and modern with stainless steel appliances and Smart TVs and the most basic room is similar to a standard hotel room with a kitchenette. Larger rooms like the Studio Jungle Terrace have living spaces and kitchens, and there are also multi-bedroom suites with their own private rooftop and ground-floor pools. 

Behind the hotel and through the restaurant, you’ll find a pathway to a small public cenote. It’s not as large as others in the area, and can sometimes get crowded, but it’s nice to visit for a quick and easy dip.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Orchid House Tulum

Orchid House Hotel in Tulum
The rooftop pool bar is designed so that you can sip on a juice or cocktail without ever getting out of the pool.

Book Orchid House Tulum

In Tulum’s super-polished Aldea Zama neighborhood, Orchid House is a quiet hotel with a serene nature-inspired design. As you enter the lobby, you’ll first notice the interior garden with tropical plants and a small footbridge perfect for a photo opportunity. Upstairs, the pool bar is the hotel’s main attraction, with a classy take on the in-pool seating so you can sip on a juice or cocktail without ever getting out of the pool.

Throughout the hotel, a light and airy color scheme reflects that natural environment, while intricate details and antique furniture add a necessary touch of luxury to this bohemian chic 10-room hotel.

Each room features a stunning wood-carved door, a plush King-sized bed, and a private terrace with a small plunge pool for two. For a little more space, Jungle Suites have terraces large enough for a hammock, and the Master Suites, which also have two additional twin-sized beds, have plunge pools that directly overlook the jungle.

Make sure to have at least one meal in the signature nest, a dining booth on top of the hotel, where you can enjoy an interrupted view across the treetops all the way out into the horizon.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Nativus Glamping Tulum

Nativus
Glamping at Nativus comes with a healthy dose of luxury.

Book Nativus Glamping Tulum

There are a lot of glamping options in Tulum, but Nativus offers premium accommodations with access to a natural crystalline cenote. From the main area of the hotel, you’ll find the tents and a small restaurant, and a winding jungle path will take you all the way to the huge El Cenote Encantada, an open cenote where you can swim, kayak, and paddleboard. The cenote is not private, but it’s hard to reach and find if you’re not accessing it through a local business, so it doesn’t get very crowded. Every tent has a plush bed and its own outdoor bathroom, which is beautifully decorated with natural materials and has a very private outdoor rainfall shower.

This hotel is located at the end of the beach road, right before the entrance to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve National Reserve, so you can indulge in more adventurous jungle experiences without compromising on proximity to the beach.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Ikal Tulum Boutique Hotel

Ikal Hotel In Tulum
Located on the north end of Tulum’s beach road, Ikal is close to the ruins and offers a robust slate of community events.

Book Ikal Tulum Boutique Hotel

Located on the north end of Tulum’s beach road, which is closest to the entrance of the ruins, Ikal is a lively and hip spot that offers community events like Brazilian capoeira lessons, yoga, spiritual lectures, and eclectic live music. It is also extremely kid-friendly hotel with weekly events designed especially for kids relating to yoga, music, and art. 

Although restaurant visitors are welcome to use the day beds on the beach, the pool is for guests only. There are a large variety of accommodation types from spacious and air-conditioned glamping tents with shared bathrooms to beautiful jungle suites with private plunge pools, outdoor showers, thatched walls, and eye-catching furniture pieces that look like they were magically summoned from the depths of the jungle. All rooms are unique but Cabaña 8 stands out with its huge macrame entryway that really tells you everything you need to know about Ikal’s dedication to a bohemian aesthetic.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel

La Zebra Boutique Hotel in Tulum
The oceanfront location and views at La Zebra are stunning.

Book La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel

La Zebra has a top-rated reputation for a fun ambiance, great service, chic rooms, and great beach access. The hotel has six different categories of rooms from basic Garden Rooms to beachfront suites with balconies and plunge pools. Rooms offer a harmony of natural beach tones and textures with a traditional design style that skips the flashy or industrial touches of other Tulum hotels. However, all rooms are still very sophisticated and luxurious and families will appreciate the suites, which come with one King-sized bed and two single beds.

The beach area offers plenty of space for guests to spread out on shaded daybeds. There is also a small spa and a beautiful restaurant with unique tabletops that pay homage to famous works of Mexican art. For epicurean guests, the hotel restaurant also offers an eight-course Chef’s Table experience that pairs artisanal cocktails, beers, and wine with Mexican gastronomy, hosted in a special dining room decorated with Mexican antiques.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Hotel Bardo

Hotel Bardo
This adults-only hotel has loft-style villas with living rooms and private plunge pools.

Book Hotel Bardo

Hidden in the less busy part of the Tulum city center, this adults-only hotel has loft-style villas with living rooms and private plunge pools. The lofts are beautiful, filled with natural textures and a dark color scheme, all tucked away in your own private corner of the jungle.

The shared hotel space is also sophisticated and calming, with nature and Mexican culture woven into every element of the hotel’s design. Special features include an agave garden and an ofrenda, or altar, decorated with black and white photographs and skulls.

The location is very far from the beach, but parking is free if you decide to rent a car. The common areas are lively, thanks to the inviting restaurant and bar with billiards and an inviting stone fire pit. The main pool has a fantastic design, fringed with lounge areas that have been sectioned off so you can enjoy a bit of privacy with your toes just inches from the water.

Hotel Bardo also offers many experiences for guests, like sunset intention-setting rituals, temezcal ceremonies, sound healing, and yoga. It may be a long journey to the ocean, but you’ll enjoy a rejuvenating and aesthetically pleasing experience in this hotel that encompasses all the reasons why people come to Tulum.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Nômade Tulum

Nomade Hotel in Tulum
Treehouses and villas offer magical lodging facing a gorgeous beach.

Book Nômade Tulum

Located on the south end of the beach, Nômade is a beautiful resort where meandering pathways lead you through a jungle filled with thatched roof villas, treehouses, a yoga shala, a gathering nest, and a meditation tent. Each week the hotel offers a variety of programming from spiritual seminars, live music, tea and cacao ceremonies, and yoga. On the beach, there is a restaurant with seating areas, daybeds, and scattered hammocks shaded by swaying palm trees.

Accommodation choices range from boho-chic suites to deluxe glamping tents and whimsical treehouses. Perched up in the jungle canopy, these treehouses are artistic and intimate with working bathrooms and air-conditioning. As you walk up the winding staircase, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into your own private oasis, far away from any disturbances. 

Though from the city center, there are plenty of posh places to eat and shop nearby while avoiding the more boisterous bars and party hotspots, and the beachfront location can’t be beaten.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Be Tulum Hotel

Be Tulum Hotel in Tulum
Many rooms come with private pools and boho decor, tucked amid lush jungle pathways.

Book Be Tulum

At Be Tulum, a lush entry includes tall leafy palms and meandering paths that lead to a stunning oceanfront, for a feel as if you’re ensconced within a remote island oasis.

Rooms are modern but still embrace natural textures and colors and include a variety of jungle suites and oceanfront villas with multiple bedrooms, rooftop terraces, and private pools. Rooms at Be Tulum are full of stand-out design pieces you’ll want to take home with you, such as a cubical tree log nightstand and embroidered pillows.

The hotel’s spa, the Yaän Healing Sanctuary, is one of the main reasons to stay here. It offers a variety of indigenous-inspired treatments from healing rituals to more traditional body treatments like massages, facials, and herbal baths. You can also arrange to join a temezcal ceremony and there is daily yoga in the treetop studio. Not every room has a private pool, but all guests can enjoy the beach club which has two great restaurants, one is dedicated to seafood and the other serves elevated Mexican cuisine using ingredients from a sustainable garden.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Encantada Tulum

Encantada Hotel in Tulum
This small luxury hotel offers a calm atmosphere, beautiful beachfront, and just 8 rooms for an intimate experience.

Book Encantada Tulum

On what’s normally considered a busy strip, this small luxury boutique hotel offers a calm peaceful atmosphere with just eight rooms and one restaurant dedicated to its guests. Although it does not offer the wide range of amenities or “scene” you’ll find on other beachside hotels, it has plenty of space on the beach with inviting chairs and umbrellas, and great service from the front desk and restaurant staff. Ordering a drink or plate of guacamole to your beach chair is as easy as sending a text.

Each room has air-conditioning, luscious beds, and a spacious bathroom with an open shower. When you’re not lounging on the beach, relax on the front porch with a hammock and two chairs, and rinse off sandy feet in the seashell water basin. Not all rooms have ocean views, but they’re located steps from the beach no matter which room you get.

Encantada’s design scheme is nowhere near as flashy as other Tulum hotels, but it is still rich in beautiful details like the large macrame wall-hanging in the entrance or the blue stained glass windows in the hallway between the bedroom and bathroom.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

FAQ: Tulum hotels

How do you get to Tulum from Cancun?

Tulum is about 80 miles from the Cancun airport and it takes about two hours to drive there along the main highway. If you don’t rent your own car, you can either take a cab or car service to Tulum, or you can take the ADO bus for a more affordable option.

What is the best way to get around Tulum?

There are many taxis in Tulum, but prices can be quite high especially on a busy night. Alternatively, bicycles are very popular and there is a safe bike path that connects the city center to the hotel zone.

How far is the city center from the beach?

Because much of Tulum is still protected land, there is a lot of jungle between the hotel zone on the beach and the city center. The road from the center to the beach is 2.5 miles long. Without traffic, it takes about eight minutes to drive and 15 to 20 minutes to bike. If you’re considering walking, that will take you at least 45 minutes.

Which is the best side of the beach to visit?

When you reach the beach, you’ll notice that you can go left or right. It is easy to visit both sides in one trip, but you’ll find that it will be difficult to access the beach on the south side without paying an entry fee to one of the pricey beach clubs or having a meal at one of the hotel restaurants. Meanwhile, the north side of the beach has public access and is also closer to the Mayan ruins.

Where should I stay when visiting Tulum?

If you want to make the most of your time in the water, you should select a hotel on the main beach road but be aware that this will also come with a hefty price tag unless you choose glamping accommodations. There are many places to stay in the main town, but you will need to take a cab or rent a bike to get to the beach.

What are the best hotels in Tulum?

Our list is a 50/50 split between the best Tulum hotels near the beach and non-beach options since the beach hotels can be very expensive and there are other attractions that lure visitors beyond just the sand.

We picked the best hotels that represent a variety of lodging styles, budgets, and experiences. Additionally, we looked for strict COVID policies to protect the health and safety of guests, and not every well-regarded hotel in Tulum takes these measures seriously. We also considered amenities such as yoga shalas, beach clubs, spas, and special access to well-hidden cenotes, which are natural swimming holes that are a defining characteristic of the Yucatan region of Mexico.

Tulum also has many hotels that are famous around the world that we did not include, such as Casa Malca, which was also the former home of Pablo Escobar, and Azulik, which is known for its beautiful rooms that are more like works of art, and is the most expensive hotel in Tulum. However, we opted to not include these hotels in our list of the best hotels in Tulum because they are prohibitively expensive for most people.

To see the famous “Come to the Light” sculpture that depicts a towering female figure ripping open her chest, which is filled with lush green plants, you can visit Ahau Tulum. The Papaya Playa Project is another popular hotel that is well-known for its restaurant and community events, and one we considered.

Are hotels in Tulum expensive?

Tulum is one of the most expensive destinations in Mexico and travelers will pay premium prices for hotels right on the beach since that is the best location to be in Tulum. In the city center, there are more budget-friendly options, as well as Airbnb vacation rentals, and hostels, but you will be far from the beach.

During the low season, between late spring and fall, you can expect to pay at least $130 per night on a hotel in the city center or at least $200 for a hotel on the beach (unless you’re glamping). During the high season, which starts in November and lasts until March, hotels in town will likely raise their rates above $200 per night, and hotels on the beach can charge as much as $1,000 per night. The most expensive time of year is around Christmas and New Year’s.

What is a temezcal ceremony?

Many hotels may offer a temezcal ceremony on-site. This traditional Mexican ceremony is a cleansing ritual purported to have many health benefits. It requires sitting in a small domelike structure in which rocks are heated to raise the temperature and cause you to sweat. It is usually combined with some kind of meditation and is followed by a cold shower. Because it takes some time to prepare, the ceremony is usually only offered a few times per week.

Is Tulum beach swimmable?

The water in Tulum beach is very clear and the waves are extremely gentle. It’s very swimmable, however, the beach occasionally suffers from sargasso seaweed invasions. Most hotels employ teams to clean up the seaweed in the morning, but you still might encounter it as you swim. It can be very unpleasant, but the problem is an issue all along the Riviera Maya and throughout the Caribbean.

What are the different neighborhoods in Tulum?

Aside from the beach zone, which is split into the north and south side, there are many neighborhoods in Tulum.

The city center is where most locals live and where you’ll find lively restaurants and a shopping scene. Aldea Zama is a highly-polished gated community, which is more like a small suburb within Tulum. La Veleta is another community slightly further from the beach than Aldea Zama, where there are luxury apartments but there is still a lot of construction. Villas is a very small local neighborhood that is quiet and although there are no hotels here, you might be able to find a vacation rental.

Is it better to stay in Tulum Town or the beach?

It depends on your budget and what you plan to do. The beach is beautiful, but on top of the high nightly hotel rates, you will spend a lot of money at pricey bars and restaurants. However, if you want to spend every day at the beach, you’re better off staying in the beach zone since high taxi prices from the center of town will end up being just as expensive.

If you’re more set on visiting ruins, exploring cenotes, and taking day trips, you’ll save money on lodging and dining by staying in town, away from the beach.

More of the best hotels for a tropical vacation

best all inclusive resorts mexico xcaret booking
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From Houston to Upstate New York, here are 7 US destinations to visit to learn about Black history

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Baltimore experience african american billie holiday mural

  • One of the first steps to combating racial injustice is learning and understanding Black history.
  • We’re highlighting great US destinations to learn about the contributions of Black Americans.
  • From museums and cultural sites to Black-owned hotels, here’s what to see and where to stay.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring all persons held as slaves are henceforth free.

But it wasn’t until a full two and half years after this that all slaves in the United States were considered free in the eyes of the federal government, as this proclamation depended on the advancement of the Union troops.

The holiday Juneteenth, short for June 19, is a celebration of that freedom marking June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read a Proclamation to the people of Galveston, Texas, announcing their freedom. Commemorative celebrations date back to 1866 and, as of 2019, 47 states and DC have recognized Juneteenth.

This Juneteenth is a great opportunity to kick off your summer travels and learn about Black Americans’ contributions to the United States while celebrating a fun holiday.

We’re rounding out our recommendations for places to visit to learn about Black history with Black-owned hotels, shops, and eateries not to miss.

Here are some of the best destinations in the US to learn about Black history

Houston, Texas

best us destinations black history houston

Begin your summer tour at Houston’s Emancipation Park for Juneteenth. The park was established in 1872 when former slaves formed the Colored People’s Festival and Emancipation Park Association for 10 acres in Houston.

Houston, Texas is one of the country’s most diverse cities and has included a large Black population of freemen and majority slaves since its founding in the 1830s. Post slavery, African Americans from other Southern cities migrated to Houston for job opportunities. Houston also attracted Buffalo Soldiers (Black cavalry during the Indian Wars and American Civil War). They protected mail, escorted stagecoaches, and even guarded the Mexican-American border. Learn more about them and Black cowboys at Houston’s Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and Taylor-Stevenson Ranch.

While spending time in Third Ward, the Black heart of Houston, know that you’re in the home of some of Houston’s most important hometown heroes, including Beyonce, Solange, Phylicia Rashad, and Debbie Allen. Though currently still closed due to COVID-19, during non-pandemic times a visit to Project Row Houses is well worth it. The shotgun houses of newly freed slaves have been converted into art installations primarily designed by African American artists.

Nicknamed Space City, check out the recent movie “Hidden Figures” before visiting the Houston Space Center for historical context on Black contributions to the US space program. After, sink your teeth into some of that famed Texas barbecue at Black-owned Ray’s BBQ. Co-owner and official pitmaster Ray Busch is a native Houstonian who started his own barbecue food truck in 1985 before eventually joining forces with his longtime friend Maxine Davis and opening Ray’s BBQ Shack, the brick and mortar location specializing in hickory-smoked meats and plenty of soul food with Cajun influences.

Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

best destinations for black history oak bluffs

If you’re planning a visit to Massachusetts’ beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard, be sure to explore the well-known summer destination’s deep African American roots. Photos of the Obamas vacationing there may have announced Martha’s Vineyard as a playground for the country’s Black elite to those who weren’t already in the know. But long before that, Martin Luther King Jr. vacationed in Oak Bluffs, as did Joe Louis, Harry Belafonte, and Dorothy West. Maya Angelou also once described Oak Bluffs as “a safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

Located on the north shore of the island, the town of Oak Bluffs and its eye-catching gingerbread houses have been attracting tourists for generations. Since the 1920s, it’s been a safe haven for Black Americans in search of sea, sun, and respite from beaches that were historically deemed “Whites Only.”

The first Black Americans on Martha’s Vineyard came before that though. They were freemen whalers, indentured slaves, and runaways that sought a livelihood in Martha’s Vineyard whale oil economy. By the 1950s, Oak Bluffs was attracting Black doctors, lawyers, and executives, along with storied figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Places like Shearer Cottage, founded by Charles and Henrietta Shearer in 1912 as a summer inn, were one of the first of these establishments that catered specifically to African Americans.

Visit beautiful and lively Inkwell Beach, the Oak Bluffs town beach. Origin stories of the name differ on if it was a pejorative by nearby segregated white beachgoers in reference to the Black population or — the story I like to go with — it was a reference to the Harlem Renaissance writers and poets that found inspiration and camaraderie in the Oak Bluffs community. Washington DC’s National Museum of African American History includes Oak Bluffs in their permanent exhibition, “Power of Place,” such is its place of importance to the Black American community. Enjoy film festivals, book clubs, historical Black churches, and The African-American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard for more in-depth history during your visit.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore experience african american billie holiday mural

The port city of Baltimore is in the middle of a rebirth. And with colorful row houses, murals depicting legends, and historical sites like the Royal Theatre, Baltimore’s nickname of Charm City is quite fitting.

With a population that is 60% Black, Baltimore’s African American history runs deep. Famed sons and daughters of Baltimore include Jazz great Billie Holiday, the first Black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and US Congressman and Civil Rights activist Elijah E. Cummings.

The city was also once home to abolitionist and adviser to President Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, who spent his youth an enslaved young man in the shipyards of Baltimore. Later, he returned to Baltimore, now as a free man and the highest-ranking Black man in the US, and built five homes on Strawberry Alley (now known as Dallas Street).

You can learn more about his legacy at Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum, and there are several sites throughout the city of Baltimore that pay homage to Douglass’ journey. Stop by the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, a Smithsonian affiliate, to see an autographed photograph of Frederick Douglass and a first edition of his autobiography. 

It would not be a trip to Baltimore without trying crabs or crab cakes, and checking out Baltimore’s Black culinary scene is a must. Head to Ida B’s Table for a culinary trip through Black history. Ida B. Wells was an activist and journalist in the south covering Southern issues of race and politics in the reconstruction period. As forward-thinking and boundary-pushing as its namesake, Ida B’s Table serves modern, farm-to-table soul food. Chef Thomas even sources from one of the few African American farms remaining in the country: Gaithers Gardens, which dates back 138 years and is family run.

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond Black History Museum

If you’ve already been on the classic historical family trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, consider a visit to the state’s capital. Richmond is a destination deeply important to Black American history as it was once the center of the domestic slave trade in North America. One of America’s oldest cities, this spot on the James River has a history that is at times painful. However, that only cements the vital importance of a visit here.

The Richmond Slave Trail is a walking trail that chronicles the history of the trade of enslaved Africans from Africa to Virginia until 1775, and away from Virginia to other locations in the Americas until 1865. The route begins at the Manchester Docks and goes through sites like the slave market of Richmond and the First African Baptist Church, a center of African American life in pre-Civil War Richmond.

Richmond also served as the home of Jefferson Davis’ Confederacy and Richmond’s American Civil War Museum & The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia explores the Black Virginian experience from the Emancipation to the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s.

In more recent times, you may have seen Richmond and the captivating photos of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the city, as well as the reclaiming of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Activists have transformed the base of the sculpture, covering it with names of victims of police violence, calls for peace, as well as light projections, murals, and other artworks, transforming it into an influential work of art. Additionally, many public spaces, including the Marcus-David Peters Circle, are dedicated to art that highlights Black history and culture in Richmond.

Don’t miss the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia in Richmond’s historic African American Jackson Ward. While you’re there, have a taste of diverse Richmond at the Black-owned Soul Taco, a restaurant blending traditional Latin American flavors with soul food.

Charleston, South Carolina

McLeod Plantation historic site, Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is another old American city that is rich with Black history. African heritage helped shape the low country culture. In 2018, the city of Charleston finally passed a resolution acknowledging that the city profited greatly from slave labor and extended an apology.

Start your day with a delicious Lowcountry breakfast from Hannibal’s Kitchen, which has been serving Charleston unique dishes like shark and grits for over 40 years. The Africans brought to the Carolina Colony used the similarities between the agricultural environments of the Lowcountry and Africa’s West Coast, and you will see this same tasty tradition in Gullah cuisine.

The Gullah/Geechees have been said to have preserved their history more than any African American community in the United States. They are descendants of Central and West Africans and were enslaved together on the isolated islands which stretch along the US coastline from North Carolina down to St. Johns, Florida. To learn more about this history, book a tour of the Black history of Charleston with native Gullah Charlestonian Alphonso Brown of Gullah Tours.

A visit to the McLeod Plantation Historic site is also in order. The plantation is a 37-acre Gullah-Geechee heritage site that pays tribute to the enslaved Africans who lived and worked on the sea-island cotton plantation from the 1800s. Guests can learn about daily plantation life and tour the preserved dwellings of both the owners and enslaved families. The grounds include a riverside outdoor pavilion, a sweeping oak allée, and the McLeod Oak, which is thought to be more than 600 years old.

An equally important place to spend an afternoon is the Slave Mart Museum. At one point, 40% of the slaves in the United States came through the port of Charleston and this museum stands on the site of one of the last existing slave “showrooms” in the city in Charleston’s French Quarter. Many of the museum’s docents can trace their family history to slaves from the area.

Opera fan? Head over to Cabbage Row on Charleston’s Church Street where you’ll find Revolutionary War-era houses once home to the families of freed slaves. Black residents would sell cabbages from their window at one point, giving the area its name. Charleston native Dubose Heyward used Cabbage Row as his setting for his 1925 novel “Porgy” which was the basis of George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy & Bess.”

Round out the day with a stop at the Mother Emanuel AME Church, the oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church in the South, founded in 1816. This is the church’s third incarnation. The first was burned by local whites in 1822 and the second was destroyed in an earthquake. The church has hosted notable Civil Rights figures like Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Booker T. Washington. Pay your respects and acknowledge recent turbulent history at the Emanuel 9 Memorial, which was constructed following the devastating murders of Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Reverand Celementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Reverand Daniel Simmons, Reverand Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson on June 17, 2015.

Coastal Mississippi

exterior front view of The Almanett Hotel & Bistro, mississippi

To many, Mississippi conjures up ideas of the deep South at its worst and most racist (see the recent debacle over Martin Luther King Day just a few years ago in Biloxi, Mississippi). But it would be wrong to ignore the great influence and continued presence of Black Americans in the state.

Explore the Biloxi Visitors Center to learn about the African American cultural influence in the state, but more importantly, venture across the street to the beach. A commemorative plaque will tell you that this was the site of the Biloxi wade-ins, which were conducted by local African Americans from 1959 to 1963 to desegregate the beaches of coastal Mississippi. Following what The New York Times described as the worst racial riot in Mississippi history and protests following the assassination of the NAACP field secretary of Mississippi Medgar Evers, the 26-mile long beachfront was finally opened to all races.

For blues fans, a visit to The 100 Men Hall is a must. A longtime center of African American social life and entertainment since it was built in 1922, it has brought in countless blues, rhythm & blues, and jazz acts. Local residents have been treated to performances by Etta James, Big Joe Turner, Guitar Slim, Irma Thomas, Professor Longhair, Ernie K-Doe, Deacon John, Earl King, and numerous others here.

Upstate New York

John Brown Farm State Historic Site

With a renewed interest in the wine scene and thriving arts community, the Hudson River Valley and upstate New York have attracted major tourism in the last few years. During vineyard crawls and fall foliage getaways, take some time to learn about the Black history of the region. New York state played an important role in the Underground Railroad, which helped tens of thousands of freedom seekers escape enslavement.

Opened in 2018, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center tells the stories of freedom seekers who risked their lives to escape slavery and oppression by journeying north to Niagara Falls as one of their final stops and border crossing to Canada. Virtual Freedom Conversation Tours are also available twice a week. John Brown, known for his raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859, maintained a home near Lake Placid that was a key stop on the Underground Railroad, which is now also a site you can visit. You can also stop at the home of Harriet Tubman in the Finger Lakes region of Auburn, New York.

Honor the role Black soldiers played in the Revolutionary war with a visit to Saratoga National Historical Park. At the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, 400 Black soldiers fought along white soldiers in a pivotal battle during the Revolutionary war that resulted in the British Army’s first surrender.

The history of Black people in this area can be traced pre-Revolutionary War though. The two biggest slave markets in the country before the American Revolution were in New York City and Albany. Fans of Hamilton can visit the St. Agnes Cemetery, an African burial site discovered on the grounds of Schuyler Mansion, where they’ll learn that yes, Eliiiiiiiiiza’s father was a slaveholder.

In Buffalo, grab a drink and listen to live music at The Colored Musicians Club. Formed in 1917 due to discrimination from an all-white club, the Colored Musicians Club was the only operating African American jazz club in the United States and was a place where Black musicians were welcomed to socialize, play music, and rehearse. Famous musicians who have performed here include Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington. The first floor of the building serves as a multimedia museum where guests can interact and listen to jazz and enjoy historic memorabilia.  

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This super lightweight carry-on is perfect for flights with strict weight limits, but it’ll set you back $550

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Best carry-on luggage - blue rimowa essential lite carry-on suitcase side by side shut and open
  • A lightweight carry-on is a must for flights with strict weight limits.
  • Rimowa is a premium luggage brand perhaps best known for its aluminium carry-ons.
  • But at just under five pounds, the Rimowa Essential Lite is one of the brand’s best luggage options.

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyEssential Lite Cabin Suitcase (small)

Premium luggage brand Rimowa is probably best known for its eye-catching aluminum suitcases that you may have seen celebrities from Julianne Moore to the Kardashians sporting. However, it’s Rimowa’s polycarbonate Essential Lite carry-on that’s a true standout.

Ultra-lightweight, durable, and available in glossy, eye-catching colors, the suitcase features plenty of packing space while making it much easier to meet strict airline weight limits.

After testing this bag out for several months, it will likely become my go-to carry-on for many international trips or trips with interconnecting flights on small planes.

Here’s why I was so impressed with the Rimowa Essential Lite suitcase.

Design and specs

True to its name, the Rimowa Essential Lite is ultra-lightweight. It will fit in just about any standard overhead bin, including smaller jumper planes and international flights. It also has enough space that packing for four to five days is a breeze.

Made of a thin but durable polycarbonate, the Rimowa Essential Lite doesn’t sacrifice quality or durability to achieve its light weight. The carry-on features ball-bearing mounted spinner wheels with cushioned axles that ensure the suitcase is easy to maneuver and incredibly quiet. It also boasts KK metal zippers, an adjustable telescopic handle, and a TSA-approved lock. The suitcase is scratch- and scuff-resistant.

With a shiny finish and elegant vertical lines, the carry-on is more subtle than Rimowa’s famed aluminum suitcases. It also doesn’t come with any extras or premium features, and some might be surprised that details are plastic rather than leather given that it’s from a luxury travel brand. However, all that is to be expected from a carry-on that’s main goal is to be as light as possible.

In addition to the carry-on size, the Rimowa Lite collection also includes a medium and large checked size, as well as a kids carry-on. The suitcase also comes with a five-year manufacturer warranty, once registered online.

Rimowas essential lite carry-on side-by-side back of suitcase and top zipper detail

What it’s like to use

When the Rimowa Essential Lite was first delivered to my apartment, I actually assumed a vase I had ordered around the same time had come in an inexplicably large box because it never dawned on me that a suitcase could be that light. Suffice it to say I was immediately impressed.

The polycarbonate material has some give at the top when pressed and doesn’t feel as thick as other hard-sided bags I own. However, this suitcase is plenty sturdy. In fact, its glossy coating keeps it from scratching or marking up as easily as similar matte-finished suitcases. Over the passed six months, I’ve used it on road trips, flights, and even to move when it got tossed around in the back of a moving van and it still looks pristine.

The wheels are easy to maneuver on every surface I’ve tested from hardwood to carpet, and they’re also whisper quiet. While the carry-on is fairly bare-bones and doesn’t come with any extras like a charger or laundry bag, it does come with a chic leather luggage tag.

Of course, the most important part of any carry-on is packability. I like that both sides of the suitcase’s interior have a mesh zipper. I find that this makes it easier to keep my belongings secured and organized than the typical one-sided buckle, one-sided zip system most hard-sided carry-ons use. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised to find that the suitcase holds more than I was first expecting. However, I do wish it had a divider with a separate pocket for items like socks and underwear.

Due to the pandemic, I’ve only used this bag on two flights so far, but lifting into the overhead bin was a breeze, even when it was stuffed full.

Rimowa Essential Lite carry-on packed

What makes the Rimowa Essential Lite standout

The standout feature of the Essential Lite is its weight. While your typical carry-on generally clocks in somewhere around seven pounds, the Essential light is under five pounds. When you’re taking flights with strict weight limits, that is a major perk. Not only can you pack more since you’re not sacrificing extra weight to your bag, but it can also save you from having to pay hefty baggage fees.

The Essential Lite especially stands out among Rimowa’s other offerings. The brand is largely known for its shiny, eye-catching aluminum suitcases, but many of Rimowa’s other suitcases are extremely heavy.

In fact, the Essential Lite is almost half the weight of Rimowa’s classic Original Cabin aluminium carry-on, and still over two pounds lighter than the standard Essential carry-on, the brand’s other polycarbonate offering. Shockingly, the Lite is also able to hold more than either of those two suitcases, making the Essential Lite one of Rimowa’s best offerings – especially when you take into account that it’s also significantly cheaper (the Original Cabin and Essential come in at $1,080 and $650 respectively).

The cons

Despite being significantly cheaper than many of Rimowa’s other suitcases, the Essential Lite carry-on is still an expensive suitcase. It also doesn’t come with many high-end features or extras that one might expect for the steep price. There’s no perks like a battery pocket, laundry bag, or garment bag included, and many of the details are plastic as opposed to leather.

However, all of that is also largely how it’s able to achieve being one of the lightest hard-sided carry-ons available.

Bottom line: Is the Rimowa Essential Lite worth it?

There’s no getting around the fact that the Rimowa Essential Lite is an expensive carry-on, even though it’s cheaper than many of Rimowa’s other luggage options. However, it’s a highly durable bag, especially given how lightweight it is. There are few suitcases on the market that come in under five pounds and are able to hold as much as the Essential Lite. If you frequently take flights on airlines with low or strict weight limits, this bag is absolutely worth it, especially when you consider the potential baggage fees savings.

Pros: Super lightweight, durable, chic

Cons: Expensive, doesn’t come with many extras

Essential Lite Cabin Suitcase (button)

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10 tropical hotels on Key West you’ll want to book for a relaxing island escape

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best key west hotels
  • The southernmost U.S. island, Key West offers a tropical climate, lush gardens, and warm ocean water.
  • Nicknamed the Conch Republic, Key West has distinct hotels, from colorful inns to expansive resorts.
  • The best time to visit Key West is in summer and early fall when prices are low, beginning at $140.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Sometimes weird, often wacky, but always wonderful, Key West is the southernmost island in the United States. Located in the temperate Florida Straits, it boasts lush tropical foliage, paradisaical weather, and warm waters for diving, fishing, paddle boarding and more.

Every time I visit this magical place I come away deeply impressed by the commitment locals have made to preserving the historic Victorian pastel-painted homes. These looks are replicated in the many hotels that dot Key West, ranging from quirky and eccentric to elegant and sophisticated.

The following represent the best on the island, including highly-rated properties with central locations and great amenities such as pools. Because Key West is not known for its beaches, being without a pool can make a stay rather sticky in the summer and it’s a must for any hotel you book.

Browse all the best Key West hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area:

These are the best hotels in Key West, sorted by price from low to high.

The Gates Hotel Key West

Gates Pool 3 New Chair Color

Book The Gates Hotel Key West

While the historic Old Town is Key West’s most charming district, New Town, at the island’s entry point, has its own distinct vibe and far more affordable hotel options. 

That includes The Gates Key West, an upscale boutique hotel with affordable rates and a star attraction in Rum Row, a buzzy poolside bar and lounge decorated in a funky beach-shack style with a huge selection of rum cocktails. Sample conch every which way at the on-site food truck or puff on a stogie in the cigar lounge. 

Rooms are bright and modern, with hardwood floors, exposed beams, whitewashed pine platform beds, and colorful original photographs by an acclaimed local photographer. Standard King rooms are spacious at 300 square feet, but we recommend upgrading to the Scene category for a private poolside terrace or views of the bay.  

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Parrot Key Hotel & Villas

ParrotHotel

Book Parrot Key Hotel & Villas

Parrot Key & Villas, with new and refurbished lodgings, offers one of the best values on Key West. The rooms and suites feature three different views: garden, garden/water, and waterfront, and every glance is a feast for the eyes, especially if you’re facing the Gulf of Mexico. The inside is soothing as well, with breezy textiles in shades of whites and neutrals, which makes for a pleasant canvas next to all the outdoor colors. Conch-inspired artwork completes the Key West charm.

While a standard Garden King or Double Queen begins at $239 in the off-season, I suggest booking a Garden Suite or a Waterfront King for a minimal extra investment. Regardless, all rooms and suites have a porch, patio or balcony, in-room Keurig coffee makers, L’Occitane products, and come with access to four beautifully landscaped pools, which are cleansed with minerals instead of chlorine.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Simonton Court Historic Inn and Cottages

Simonton Court Historic Inn

Book Simonton Court Historic Inn and Cottages

Simonton Court Historic Inn and Cottages provides one of the most authentic and charming lodging experiences on the island. Stay in your choice of reclaimed historic buildings that range from an 1880s cigar factory to a shotgun Conch house. Room categories are numerous and include double occupancy in the Victorian mansion to quadruple occupancy in wood-framed, pastel-painted cottages. 

Follow the brick pathway through the grounds, which are extraordinary and well-maintained, to explore all four pools and where a lovely, complimentary continental breakfast is served poolside every morning. Aside from free Wi-Fi, that’s about it for amenities. But the inn is a block from Duval Street, and concierge services will help arrange whatever tours and charters you like; the staff overall is extremely helpful and well-meaning. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Perry Hotel Key West

the perry hotel key west

Book The Perry Hotel Key West

Rustic and handsome, this award-winning resort is named after the “Commodore Perry.” The hotel’s decor scheme is made up of a variety of dark woods, warm brown textiles, and white walls and linens, and recalls the seafaring and shipbuilding days of Old Key West.

Relaxed and roomy, The Perry Hotel Key West is an ideal place to sprawl out for an extended stay, especially if you’re in town to fish, boat, or otherwise take advantage of nature. That’s because the 100-room hotel is located in Stock Island Marina Village, which has 288 private slips and plenty of opportunities to book charters.

You may also swim in two attractively designed waterfront pools, decked out with white umbrellas and teepee-shaped daybeds, and dine at three dockside restaurants. Concierge services help to plan water activities including snorkeling, diving, sailing, fishing, and more.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Marquesa Hotel

Marquesa Hotel

Book Marquesa Hotel 

The Marquesa Hotel is my favorite place in Key West. I even seriously considered naming my daughter after it. This boutique resort is made up of a collection of restored historic properties: the main house, or the original Marquesa, and three newly renovated buildings (including a cottage), known as 4-1-4- Marquesa. Situated across the street, they’re clustered around a gorgeously landscaped pool and fountain.

The resort offers three pools, which you have access to wherever you stay, and furnishings reflect the environment with antique reproductions, lots of wicker, and airy, colorful fabrics, as well as updated bathrooms.

Although a standard Queen in the main house with a city view is perfectly delightful, I suggest upgrading to the more private, fresher rooms such as a Balcony Deluxe with a King bed, private covered balcony, two lounge chairs, and a table. Likewise, the Poolside Standards, on the first and second floors adjacent to the main house, feature either a terrace or balcony.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Marker Key West Harbor Resort

Marker

Book The Marker Key West Harbor Resort

Overlooking the Key West Harbor, The Marker debuted in 2014 making it one of the newer properties in town. Contemporary and clean-lined with large-format, refillable Key West Aloe brand toiletries in the bathroom to prevent plastic waste, the hotel offers a variety of room categories, including several ADA-accessible formats. The resort also focuses on sustainability, with several features dedicated to improving the environment.

Very few hotels in Key West, or anywhere in South Florida, feature wall-to-wall, wavy-patterned threads underfoot, but all 96 rooms at the two-acre Marker Waterfront Resort include carpeting. A blue-and-white color scheme is reflected throughout the property, including at the three pools and the pool bar. One of those pools is adult-only, a nice option if you don’t have kids. You might want to get there early, though, to stake a claim on a lounge chair or daybed. Folks hang out all day long, enjoying the poolside service, and talented technicians at the bar will keep you hooked on craft cocktails and tequila tastings. When hunger strikes, dine at Starboard, the waterfront restaurant on-site.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Key West Marriott Beachside

Key West Marriott Beachside

Book Key West Marriott Beachside

Tropical outside, majestic inside with stone floors, polished dark furniture, and marble bathrooms, Key West Marriott Beachside is a good all-around destination resort, especially if you’re traveling with a family or group. A 16-slip marina allows ocean access for water sports rentals (kayaks and Jet-Skis) and boat charters. A tiny beach allows for tanning — or sweating — opportunities only, but you can slip into the waterfront pool to cool down. The 24/7 fitness center also looks overlooks the Gulf, so you’ll feel like you’re running outside even when while on the treadmill. Bike rentals are also available. 

In September, book a standard King Room for the lowest prices. But these rooms are sometimes the locked-off extra spaces of suites. It might be wise to indulge in a Presidential Suite with a resort view, which includes a full-service kitchen and dining room, for less than $100 more. You can also request grocery service so you don’t have to take time out of your day.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Opal Key Resort & Marina

margaritaville key west

Book Opal Key Resort & Marina

Formerly Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, this luxury resort is now part of the Opal Collection. Rooms and public spaces have been reimagined to be less Jimmy Buffett and more welcoming to guests of all ilk. Rooms and public spaces soothe with aqua and blue hues contrasted by sand, wheat, and white colors.

Stay on-site for activities ranging from sunbathing at the pool to the nightly Sunset Celebration, toasting the end of another day in paradise on the Sunset Deck, which overlooks the pier where the crowds gather to do the same. Dine at Bistro 245 or walk the bare five minutes to Duval Street and all that it has to offer.

In low season, standard rooms come with packages (some with drinks, others with breakfast). If you have a family, though, it might be worthwhile to upgrade to a suite with a kitchenette for a couple of hundred dollars extra. What it costs you in room fees will save you when it comes to having quick lunches and snacks on hand to prepare instead of order.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Pier House Resort & Spa

PierHouseResort

Book Pier House Resort & Spa

For some of the most comfortable pillowtop beds and updated rain shower bathrooms in Key West, check into the 142-room Pier House Resort & Spa. Originally a 50-room hotel, the resort was built by Key West native David Wolkowsky, who also developed the original Sloppy Joe’s (of Hemingway renown), Pirate’s Alley, and the Original Cigar Factory. Several famous musicians, including Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley, played gigs in the hotel’s Chart Room Bar, which still serves free hot dogs and popcorn like in the old days.

Rooms come with plantation shutters to keep the room cool or let in as much light as you choose, in addition to coffee and water, bathrobes, and umbrellas for the unexpected tropical storm. Morning coffee at the beach bar, fruit-infused water stations, and a welcome drink are all offered, too.

The spa is also one of the finest on the island, with 10,000 square feet and 10 treatment rooms offering everything from the signature “Milk and Honey” treatment, which includes an exfoliation, body wrap, and scalp massage, to a Thai foot massage. The facility includes a full fitness center, Vichy showers, and cosmetic services.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Southernmost Beach Resort

guest room (1)

Book Southernmost Beach Resort

If your idea of Key West is lounging on a brightly-hued Adirondack chair while gazing at the calm Florida Straits, then the historic, mid-century Southernmost Beach Resort will deliver. 

The resort, located in between Duval and Simonton streets, is in a prime location and one of the largest (and priciest) in town, covering six acres and two city blocks. Formerly known as the Southernmost Hotel Collection, it comprises two properties with similar names: Southernmost on the Beach and Southernmost Hotel, as well as La Mer Hotel and Dewey House. The last two are adults-only. The website doesn’t really clarify this, so it’s best to call and ask about the differences in room styles and prices when you go to book.

Charming and relaxed, the waterfront resort features a number of opportunities to park yourself waterside, including two beaches (one private, the other public) and three pools. While there’s a fitness center with the usual treadmills, ellipticals, and weights, the beach and aqua yoga sessions are much more appealing. Likewise, the Petite Spa offers plenty of treatments, but you can also get a massage in a three-sided oceanfront cabana on the beach.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Ocean Key Resort & Spa

OceanKeyResort

Book Ocean Key Resort & Spa

With hues of lime, aqua, and turquoise plus rattan and wicker accent furniture running throughout both guest rooms and public spaces, Ocean Key Resort & Spa, a Noble House Resort, truly honors its surroundings.

Self-described as “kitschy,” while still high on the luxury scale, the resort is located between Key West Harbor and Mallory Square, smack in the middle of Old Town. In fact, the address is Zero Duval Street. Think of it as the anchor of Old Town, keeping you firmly embedded in the playground of Key West.

Three restaurants and bars — Hot Tin Roof, LIQUID Pool Bar & Lounge, and Sunset Pier — all offer views and access to the open air, so there’s no excuse not to toast the infamous sunset, as the locals do. For an escape, retreat to your balcony and order in a “Craft and Charcuterie” experience with beer and a cured meat board (keep the board), or “The Ultimate Cuba Libre” with 10 Cane rum, Mexican Coca-Cola, fresh limes, and miniature Cuban sandwiches (keep the Riedel Coca-Cola glasses).

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

More on our methodology for selecting hotels

In addition to the criteria above, I considered the following factors:

My experience: I’ve been living in Florida since 1992 and covering the entire state as a food-and-travel writer for a large variety of international publications and guidebooks. I’ve stayed in many of these hotels and can vouch for their overall experience.

Overall features: The best Key West hotels feature sparkling pools – usually more than one! – waterfront views or hidden Old Town locations, and stunning design elements. They also offer restaurants and bars on the premises that bring in that relaxed, sunset-celebrating, Key West vibe.

COVID-19: We only selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of their guests with new cleaning policies. Every hotel has its protocol displayed on its website. 

Please note that Florida has lifted statewide restrictions on masking and does not allow private businesses to directly ask about vaccination status. However, many businesses still choose to follow CDC protocols that prioritize the health and safety of their guests with new cleaning policies and masking in public spaces.

FAQ: Key West hotels

Where is Key West?

Key West is the southernmost island in a chain of small islands, called the Florida Keys. It’s part of an archipelago that stretches for 125 miles into the Florida Straits, only 90 miles from Cuba. A place known for its distance from large metropolitan influences, it’s attractive to free-spirited thinkers, artists, writers, musicians, and other creative spirits.

Key West is also a port of call for cruise ships, and famously only 90 miles from Cuba. The Conch Republic, so nicknamed because of its Bahamian ancestry, welcomes characters of all kinds and was once home to the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Bishop, and Tennessee Williams. Key West is famous for its candy-colored Victorian and Queen Anne houses, eclectic bars, and spectacular sunsets. It’s also beloved for eccentric residents including six-toed cats and roaming roosters.

What is the best location to stay in Key West?

There are many hotels in Key West, many of which are housed in what are generally called conch houses and built from wood. The architectural style also includes Victorian homes with gingerbread trim, pastel-painted cottages, and roomy double-stories with wraparound porches.

If you want to be within walking distance to Duval Street and all the action, stay in Old Town, where you can also gaze at the singular Conch Republic architecture just by stepping out the door. Key West Bahama Village is just as colorful, with roots extending back to the Caribbean.

The residential The Meadows and Casa Marina Area, home to Higgs Beach, the Dog Park, and White Street Pier, are both distinct and charming, as is Truman Annex, a former naval station that is now a gated community adjacent to the Little White House, Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park and the Truman Waterfront.

If you prefer water views, New Town along the Florida Bay is right up your alley, or if you want a little history, look to the Key West Historic Seaport District

What is there to do in Key West?

For starters, think about hopping on the Key West Old Towne Trolley, which offers tours of the island and is a helpful way of getting around to popular attractions such as the Key West Aquarium, Mallory Square, The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Tropic Cinema, Audubon House & Tropical Gardens, Harry S. Truman Little White House, and The Custom House. That’s just a sample of the natural and historic attractions packed into this tiny island, in addition to the long-running bars and entertainment venues like Sloppy Joe’s, The Green Parrot, and Hog’s Breath Saloon, as well as all that the marinas offer in terms of fishing charters and water sports rentals.

Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that interspersing indoor activities with outdoor ones is important during the hot summer months. And keep in mind that with the hot weather comes hurricane season. From June 1-November 30, Key West does see its share of storm watches/warnings as well as actual storms.

Do I need a car in Key West?

The short answer here is yes. At least, you need a car to get to Key West. Unless you’ve arrived by bus, boat, or seaplane, there’s no other way to arrive on the island. Many visitors fly into Miami International Airport, which has 14 car rental agencies on site, then head south.

Once you’re on Key West, you don’t necessarily have to drive, depending on where you’re staying. But ride-sharing services aren’t as expedient or as numerous as they are on the mainland. A lot of visitors like to walk or bike to destinations. You can also hop on-hop off the Key West Old Towne Trolley or hail a pedicab, a longtime Key West tradition.

Are Key West hotels expensive?

Like other hotels in Florida, expect to see the highest prices in winter and spring when many vacationers are traveling during spring break, school vacations, or simply want to escape cold weather.

In summer, room prices fall to $239. In winter, expect them to rise a few hundred dollars. November through March are generally the priciest months, with rates varying wildly depending on the day and week. Also keep in mind that most, if not all, properties have daily resort fees, usually ranging between $30 to nearly $50 per day. Also note that almost all hotels have a minimum age requirement, ranging from 21-25, for check-in that is not only posted but enforced. This is to keep Spring Break mayhem out of the area and young people will be asked to prove it or lose their reservation if they don’t have ID.

Are hotels safe and open?

Yes, and experts say that hotels are safe, provided you take the necessary precautions outlined by the CDC. Additionally, the CDC says fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US. All the hotels on this list are open and accepting guests.

That said, the state of Florida has lifted governmental restrictions and COVID protocols. Still, some private businesses opt to follow the CDC masking and social distancing guidelines and may enforce their own rules.

More of the best Florida hotels

1 hotel south beach
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19 of the best tree-house rentals in the US, including perches with ocean views, ziplines, and indoor hammocks

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

California treehouse airbnb

  • This summer, travelers are continuing to prioritize rentals in remote areas ensconced in nature.
  • According to Airbnb’s CEO, unique stays like tree houses are especially popular.
  • We found the best tree-house rentals in the US for a cozy stay perched among the branches.

While travel is picking up in a big way thanks to vaccine rollouts, early summer travel trends show that vacationers continue to turn to road trips, national park vacations, getaways to remote areas, and unique stays. So, it’s not surprising to learn from the CEO of Airbnb that bookings for stays like Airstreams and tree houses are “booming.”

Not only are tree-house rentals generally more secluded, but they firmly ensconce you within nature by placing your bed amid treetop canopies. Plus, many listed on vacation rental sites come with enchanting and Instagram-worthy interiors like wooden spiral staircases, twinkling lights, and A-frame roofs.

Summer is an especially great time to stay in a tree house since you’ll enjoy an up-close view of lush foliage. Plus, many tree houses are near great trails and mountains for hiking and biking.

Browse all listings below, or jump to a specific area:

Read on for the best treehouse rentals in the US, sorted by area and then by price.

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Compact tree house by a stream in Hardwick, Vermont

Vermont

Book this Vermont tree-house Airbnb

Those seeking a rustic escape will find plenty to delight in at this secluded tree-house that’s still near plenty of hiking trails, ski areas, distilleries, and breweries. 

The home is small, at just 10 feet by 16 feet. But the unique decor includes recycled windows from an old schoolhouse, high slanted ceilings, a small kitchen with turquoise-tiled counters, and a loft area up a steep ladder with a double bed.

Appealing to the eco-conscious traveler, the home uses solar energy and environmentally-friendly cleaning products. There is a primitive composting toilet in the tree-house, and a full bathroom in the main house on the same property nearby.

Tree retreat in Newbury, New Hampshire

best treehouse rentals newbury new hampshire

Book this New Hampshire tree-house Airbnb

With an expansive deck and walls of windows set under soaring ceilings, this tree-house seems custom-built to savor stunning views.

The location is perched among rolling hills and is deep in the woods for total privacy and quiet. with limited amenities and total privacy. There’s a lofted King-sized bed, plus another reclining area that may be used for sleeping tucked into a corner of windows. An expansive deck includes a table and chairs for dining, plus additional seating, and a hammock.

The home is certainly remote, and as such, operates pretty off the grid. So, come here to unplug. There’s no Wi-Fi or kitchen. Instead, there’s a sink for handwashing, potable water, a propane burner, as well as firewood and a fire pit for cooking hot meals. Similarly, there is an outdoor shower (only for use from spring to fall) and an outhouse with a toilet.

While these accommodations might not be a fit for everyone, it’s a whimsical escape for anyone looking to savor serene nature and picturesque views.

 

Contemporary tree house in Willow, New York

best treehouse rentals upstate new york

Book this New York tree-house Airbnb

For an enchanting escape, try this cozy tree-house just 15 minutes from Woodstock. Nestled among the trees on 34 acres, it overlooks a small pond that guests can actually swim in. The interiors are cozy and chic with floor-to-ceiling windows offering scenic views. Ideal for couples or solo travelers, the bed is loft-style at the top of a ladder, perched above an open living room flanked by full walls of windows and a super sleek kitchen counter.

One recent reviewer rave, “Beautiful cozy treehouse, a killer record collection, perfect weather, a full moon and a much-needed break from the world. Couldn’t have picked a better place to unwind.”

Luxury canopy tree house in Sanford, Maine, $425

maine treehouse

Book this Maine tree-house Airbnb

Perched atop a spiral staircase, you’ll enter a tree-house with a luxe feel thanks to soothing timber walls, a farmhouse-inspired full kitchen with a vintage fridge, and a Queen-sized bedroom with a custom maple headboard.

The full bathroom guarantees there’s no roughing it, with a spa-like rainfall shower that even comes with a hint of forest views. Natural light pours in through multiple windows, lighting up a cute dining nook and a sleeping loft with an additional Queen bed.

Other perks include a hide-away projector and screen to stream movies on high-speed internet, a wood stove, and a deck with a grill and private hot tub.

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Unplugged tree house in Nogal, New Mexico

Ashley's TreeHouse at El Mistico Ranch

Book this New Mexico tree-house Airbnb

This tree home is found on 30-acres high desert land and there even natural spring waters right nearby. Though this is a fairly remote and unplugged stay, you will be just a short drive from the town of Capitan if you need to pick up supplies or do some grocery shopping. Also nearby is the gorgeous Lincoln national forest.

Perched at the top of a spiral staircase, the black exteriors of the tree house are punctuated by turquoise trim accents. A little front porch includes sitting chairs for a morning cup of coffee or some nighttime stargazing, and there’s a swinging porch chair just below the house.

Inside, a cozy setup awaits, with a Full-size bed decked out in a cute plaid duvet, a small table attached to the wall and with a tree limb growing through it, and a kitchenette with marble countertops and a turquoise mini-fridge. The en-suite bathroom has Southwestern flair via a cacti-tiled sink and blue-tiled walk-in shower.

Little red tree house in Lyons, Colorado

best treehouse rentals lyons colorado (1)

Book this Colorado tree-house Airbnb

Accommodating two guests, this little red and green tree-house is found on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park. 

The home includes a double bed, private shower, a powder room with a sink and toilet, and an efficiency kitchen, complete with a small sink and fridge. Guests can dine al fresco on the porch and enjoy the newly added porch swing.

Recent guests who used the home as a base for exploring the park raved, saying “Very unique place to stay! My wife and I had a lot of fun staying here over a weekend. Leam let us use some bikes to cycle into town, and it was very close! Also appreciated how easy of a drive it was to Rocky Mountain National Park. Would 10/10 recommend staying here and avoiding the craziness of Estes Park.”

Chic tree-house chalet in Park City, Utah

best treehouse rentals park city (1)

Book this Utah tree-house Airbnb

Already situated high near the Park City ski resort at 8,000 feet, this tree house adds to the elevation by sitting at the top of a staircase surrounded by the branches of a 200-year-old fir. 

Ideal for those in the mood for a rugged and remote vacation, the home is only accessible via all-wheel-drive vehicles since it’s at the end of a 3-mile unpaved road that’s dirt or snow-packed, depending on the season.

The decor is elegant but cozy, with big windows, a lofted bedroom under the pitched wooden roof, and a beautiful stone shower. A large deck with a picnic table is a scenic place to enjoy a meal or just relax and take in the views. 

Rocky Mountain tree house in Carbondale, Colorado

best treehouse rentals colorado (1)

Book this Colorado tree-house Airbnb

Set on two acres with a cattle creek running through the property, this tree-house is attached to 100-foot spruce trees and sits 25 feet off the ground. The home is accessed via a rock staircase. 

Hand-built in 1971, this home has a true rustic cabin feel, including a wood-burning stove, a rock shower, and a lofted bedroom with skylights for stargazing. 

A spacious balcony offers stunning views and a wood-burning fireplace, so it’s useable even on chilly evenings. Lucky guests might even spot wildlife that includes bears. As a major perk, the house also includes a hot tub.    

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Tree house with a zipline in Portland, Oregon

best tree house rentals portland oregon

Book this Oregon tree-house Airbnb

Held up by four separate trees, this tree house in Oregon has a seriously cool added feature: a zipline! Yes, you can wake up and zip your way down to the ground after enjoying your morning coffee in the Adirondack chairs on the deck (with a tree growing through it of course), or taking a dip in the stocktank tub.

The inside is equally whimsical, with retro turquoise appliances, a fireplace, artistic tiling, and pine walls. Upstairs, you’ll find a Queen-sized bed, plus a comfy net hammock just right for watching TV, and a pullout couch.

Though you’ll feel a world away, this spot is an easy 10-minute drive from downtown Portland.

Coastal tree house with ocean views in Gold Beach, Oregon

best tree house rentals gold beach oregon

Book this Oregon Coast tree-house Airbnb

The star of the show at this tree house is the view. The living room, lofted sleeping area, and outdoor deck all look directly out at the gorgeous ocean scenery.

This is a place to come and unplug, so don’t expect any Wi-Fi or great cell service. But you won’t miss it since this secluded stay is set on seven acres of farm, forest, and beach. Plus, there are gardens to explore year-round.

The tree house itself is fairly rustic, but a large tree grows right through the living room, and it comes equipped with all the essentials, including a walk-in shower, a sink in a repurposed barrel, and a small dining table with two turquoise rocking chairs. The spacious deck with white wicker furniture provides additional space.  

 

Vineyard tree house in Los Gatos, California

best treehouse rentals los gatos (1)

Book this California tree house Airbnb

Wine country comes with incredible views at this intimate getaway for two in California. Located on Lago Lomita Vineyards overlooking Monterey Bay, this abode is perched high in Douglas Fir trees.

Accessible by a ladder/staircase, this option is really a 400-square-foot glamping canvas tent resting on a wooden platform. The tent is just big enough for a Queen-sized bed and a couple of nightstands, but the platform doubles as an epic porch with unparalleled scenery. 

Do note that the bathroom is separate. A full bathroom is accessible to guests in the main house on the property, just a short walk from the tree house.

Secluded tree-house retreat in Whitefish, Montana

best treehouse rentals montana (1)

Book this Montana tree-house Vrbo rental

Nestled on seven acres of private woods, this artfully designed two-story tree house is a unique stay that comes with plenty of luxury amenities. The spiral staircase was custom crafted around a giant Douglas fir tree, and there are two living trees that grow through the home and two outdoor decks.

While there is just one main bedroom, the house can sleep up to four guests since padded seating areas can be put together to make extra sleeping space in the main room.

The location itself is a major draw since the home is found right near the entrance to Glacier National Park and just a few minutes from the slopes of Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort.

Spacious tree house in Port Angeles, Washington

best treehouse rentals washington

Book this Washington tree-house Airbnb

Find a tree house rental with room for a group can be a serious challenge, but this huge two-bedroom spot can easily accommodate up to six guests.

Set 20-feet up, and overlooking the Strait, this house is beautifully crafted. Gorgeous details include a cozy reading nook with soft throw pillows, an indoor hammock, sliding barn doors, and a floating-style staircase to the lofted sleeping area where you’ll find a netted hammock overlooking the space below.

Red accents give the space pops of color, while moose and evergreen tree-themed decor gives it a classic cabin feel. There’s also a large outdoor area with a firepit, picnic table, and string lights.

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Romantic tree-house cabin in Millersburg, Ohio

Romantic tree house cabin in Millersburg, Ohio

Book this Ohio tree-house Airbnb

Found 22 feet off the ground up a staircase among the pines, this tree house has a true cabin feel thanks to all wood exteriors and interiors. 

However, you won’t be roughing it here. This mini cabin feels plenty luxurious thanks to its high, pitched ceiling, stone fireplace, King-size bed with an Amish Crafted pillow-top mattress, and a two-person jetted tub. Billowy white drapes add to the romantic feel, and bathrobes make for a hotel-like amenity. There’s also a small living area, kitchenette complete with a freezer, and a two-burner stovetop, and a small hand-crafted wooden dining table with seating for two.

Windows on each side make it easy to soak in views of the surrounding forest views. And a hike is right out your door.

Blueridge tree house in Bayfield, Wisconsin

Blueridge tree house in Bayfield, Wisconsin

Book this Wisconsin tree-house Airbnb

For outdoor lovers, you’ll be close to orchards, wineries, a pond, and hiking trails at this spot. Not to mention the beach is only a few miles away since this is in the Apostle Island area.

All wood interiors and decor bring out a cabin vibe, along with a log stove and stone wall. The sleeping area is found in a loft upstairs, although the brown leather sofa in the living area also pulls out. For a local touch, the beautifully carved stair railings are made from Lake Superior driftwood and the solid maple countertop in the kitchenette features inlaid Lake Superior agates. 

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Luxury farm tree house in Concord, North Carolina

best treehouse rentals north carolina (1)

Book this North Carolina tree-house Airbnb

Soothing white and olive interiors make for a relaxing forest stay at this home resting high among the pines. Set on a 20-acre farm estate, guests can enjoy a mix of outdoor and city fun since downtown Concord is just a short drive away.

The tree-house itself is comprised of just one main room with a Queen-sized bed, handcrafted furnishings, a mini-fridge, and a coffee bar. A private deck looks over the trees and is a nice place to start or end your day.

Slightly more on the roughing it side than some other listings, the home features an eco-bathroom located close by that includes eco-toilets and a sink. Guests will surely enjoy the amazing outdoor rainforest shower, though. 

Three-story tree house in Blue Ridge, Georgia

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Book this Georgia tree-house Vrbo rental

Ideal for outdoor lovers, this treehouse is set on four private acres of forest in the Aska Adventure Area. The house features direct hiking access to the Benton MacKaye Trail right outside the door. And while the inside is 750 square feet and big enough to sleep six guests, it’s the 1,200 square feet of deck space that set this tree-house apart.

Cabin-like interiors include comfy leather couches, a dining table made from a tree stump, and a wooden ladder that leads to a lofted sleeping space, as well as bunk beds that are built into the sitting room wall.  

As one recent reviewer succinctly put it, “The property exceeded our expectations and was absolutely amazing.”

Contemporary tree house near Dallas, Texas

best treehouse rentals dallas (1)

Book this Texas tree-house Airbnb

Tucked away in a grove of Japanese Maples in Little Forest Hills, this contemporary and chic home awaits. Handcrafted interiors include soaring ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, a stone fireplace, and a spiral wooden staircase. Two bedrooms sit atop the staircase in a loft-style space and the home sleeps four guests.

The property includes a winding stone footpath, a babbling creek, a pond, and plenty of forested outdoor space. A large wooden patio serves as an ideal place to sit among the trees and enjoy coffee or drinks.  

This listing has scattered availability with full availability starting in November. It may be worth booking well in advance.

Dreamy tree house in Atlanta, Georgia

best treehouse rentals georgia (1)

Book this Georgia tree-house Airbnb

This idyllic property with rope bridges and twinkle lights is what tree-house dreams are made of. 

Featured in publications from Architectural Digest to Harper’s Bazaar, the inviting, expertly-curated interiors include string lights matching those on the exterior, along with a turquoise writing desk, and a bed that rests on an indoor/outdoor platform so it feels like you’re practically sleeping in the trees. Elegant french doors and large windows that open from the bottom out complete the whimsical space.

The tree-house consists of three distinct areas all connected by bridges: a bedroom, a living area, and a hammock deck. While there is no bathroom directly inside, there is a bathroom in the basement of the main house on the property that is exclusively for guest use. 

FAQs

Are vacation rentals safe?

Of course, without a vaccine, there is no firm guarantee with regard to safety. It’s crucial to follow guidelines and advice from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. Additionally, consider your own level of risk, and whether you’re traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection.

However, experts and the CDC have stated that private vacation rentals are a safer option than hotels right now due to minimized contact with other guests or staff. Airbnb also announced rigorous new procedures including an Enhanced Cleaning Protocol that all hosts must follow with strict policies on personal protective equipment, approved disinfectants, and waiting periods.

While they aren’t as strictly enforced as Airbnb, Vrbo has also developed new cleaning guidelines for hosts. The guidelines were created in consultation with Expedia Group partner Cristal International Standards and with the Vacation Rental Management Association. You can also read up on reviews for individual listings and some hosts note in listings the exact cleaning measures they are taking.

What’s the difference between Airbnb and Vrbo?

Airbnb offers both entire homes and apartments, as well as private rooms within shared homes. If you want to ensure you won’t be in a shared listing, you can set search criteria to only look for entire homes. Airbnb has more than 7 million listings worldwide. Cancellation policies are up to hosts and fall under either flexible, moderate, or strict guidelines. 

Vrbo, which stands for vacation rental by owner, has been operating for over 25 years and is now owned by Expedia Group and encompasses what was once HomeAway under the same umbrella. Vrbo also rents both whole properties and private rooms in guest houses and B&Bs. Like Airbnb, there are plenty of filters to help guests narrow down their ideal stay or expand the search.

There’s no definitive answer on whether Airbnb or Vrbo is the better platform. It entirely depends on your needs, where you’re headed, and what listings are available at that time on either platform. To ensure you get the price rental at the best price, it may be wise to check both sites. You can read a full breakdown of Airbnb vs Vrbo policies here.

What should I look for in a rental?

Consider criteria like the items we use to select homes to recommend to readers. Right now, we recommend following expert advice and only looking for entire private homes. Also, read up on recent reviews and look for high overall ratings, Superhost status, and homes that participate in the Enhanced Clean program. Location, budget, and size will also vary depending on your needs. Of course, for tree-house rentals you’ll want to look for homes that are surrounded by treetops. On Airbnb, you can even set your filters to specifically search just by “Treehouse” under unique stays.

More great unique and remote stays

The Malibu Airstream Eco Retreat
The Malibu Airstream Eco Retreat.

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Disney theme parks are notoriously pricey, but these proven tips and tricks can help you save hundreds

how to save tips on disney vacations

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Disneyland and Walt Disney World have reopened to all visitors.
  • The parks are notoriously expensive, but you can save hundreds with some creative planning.
  • Here are our top 14 expert tips for saving money on your next Disney Parks vacation.
  • Head to Insider Reviews for more travel recommendations

There are no two ways about it: Planning a family vacation to the Walt Disney World or Disneyland resorts can be an expensive proposition.

The cost for tickets, food, and souvenirs alone can rapidly add up; it skyrockets when you factor in airfare, hotel, car rental, parking, and other incidentals. For a family of four, for a five-night stay, the average price of the trip is approximately $4,500 and can quickly increase by the hundreds, if not thousands.

While there are few discounts on admission, there are proven ways to save significant money elsewhere that won’t hinder the enjoyment or limit the experiences. After all, not having to stress about money makes for a far more enjoyable time – the key is to plan ahead and know what to expect.

As a travel writer who has covered Disney vacations extensively for over a decade, I have figured out the best ways to maximize the fun while keeping costs down. These top tips, based on what I’ve learned over the years, can help ease the damage a Disney vacation could have on your bank account.

In addition to money-saving tips for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, I’ve also included a few that are unique to each property. Here are the best tips for saving money on a Disney parks vacation.

disney carousel

Top tips to save money on Disney vacations

Pick the right time to go

As with any popular destination, prices for resort stays tend to rise during peak season, especially during school breaks in the summer, Thanksgiving week, and the days around Christmas and New Year. Weekends are always more expensive as well. Traveling during non-peak dates may be a challenge, but you can save an average of $400 a night.

Forgo the Park Hopper

Disneyland and Disney World are comprised of multiple parks, each with its own entrance fees. As the name suggests, Park Hopper is an option that lets you visit multiple parks per day, but you will pay significantly more for this privilege. The difference between a single park ticket and one with Park Hopper can be up to about $85 per day; for a family of four, that’s a savings of $300 to $350.

Another reason to skip the Park Hopper concerns logistics. There’s plenty to do at each of Disney’s parks, so I recommend dedicating an entire day to one park, instead of stressing to rush to another. You can take it slow and enjoy all the amenities of a single park. This is especially true for Walt Disney World, where the parks are located far apart and you would waste time shuttling from one to another.

Explore your ticket discount options

While Disney doesn’t generally offer discounts on park tickets, there are a few money-saving options to explore before paying full price. First, nail down how many days you plan to be in the parks; there is a price break depending on how many days you visit. For example, if you go to Disney World for just one day, it would be about $109 per day. If you opt to go for five, the price drops to $88 a day. Keep in mind that the standard tickets don’t include water parks, golf courses, and other non-theme park areas.

Know a friend or relative in Florida? State residents can save 40% off a four-day ticket in addition to other discounts. The catch is that the resident must be present and show verification at the time of entry, so they will need to be included in your group. If it’s a close family friend or grandparent, that may not be an issue. From time to time, Southern California residents may also receive a similar offer.

Make wise restaurant choices

There is a large selection of dining options at either resort and prices range from budget to premium. For example, a New York Strip at the upscale Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel costs $58 (that is just for the steak, sides not included). But at the casual Bengal Barbeque eatery inside Disneyland, you can enjoy a delicious Bengal Beef Skewer for $5.49.

The key is to research the various food outlets available at the park you will be visiting, basing it on your budget and family’s eating habits. If you don’t care about sit-down meals and can run on hot dogs and churros from a street cart, you can cut down on food expenses.

Note that some restaurants, such as the aforementioned Steakhouse 55, are still temporarily closed.

Get food delivered

Another option for cutting down on food costs is to have groceries delivered to a hotel, as many rooms have mini-fridges and microwaves – great for stocking up on water, sodas, snacks, and even quick-heat and pre-made meals and alcohol. If your room has a full-sized kitchen, consider cooking some meals “at home” or for bringing inside the park (see our tip above). Amazon Prime delivers to hotels, while Garden Grocer specializes in Disney World deliveries.

Bring a refillable water bottle

With all the walking you will do, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially during the hotter months in Florida and California. Skip the bottled water the park sells (a bottle of Dasani costs around $4) and opt for a money-saving and environmentally friendly refillable water bottle instead.

You can fill water bottles at restaurants or one of the refill stations. But keep in mind, refill stations are few and far between, and due to COVID-19 cleanliness protocols, it is harder to fill your own water bottle.

Insider Reviews recommends the Vapur Element and Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle because they are lightweight when empty and easy to pack.

Collapsible Water Bottle (small)Collapsible Water Bottle (small)

Stick to a souvenir budget

Disney is skilled at dividing guests from their money, especially when it comes to keepsakes. In most areas of the parks, you won’t be able to go more than 20 feet without being lured by the siren song of souvenirs. It can be very tempting to walk away with a droid from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ($99) or a replica of the Enchanted Tiki Room Sign ($150), but try to keep those temptations at bay.

Instead, spend your money on less expensive, classic park items that will hold their value (in sentimental ways), such as a pair of Mickey Mouse ears with a name embroidered on them (about $23) or, my favorite, a hand-cut silhouette from one of the artists on Main Street ($10).

Walt Disney World

Tips to save money at Walt Disney World

Stay at a value resort

While Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are lovely, they are also expensive – the Grand Floridian starts at around $400 per night. If a hotel is purely a place to sleep, Disney’s Art of Animation or Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort are two of the more inexpensive options inside the Disney bubble, starting at around $179 a night.

Check out all our choices for the best Disney World hotels here. If you’re willing to stay at a non-Disney resort, there are also many excellent hotels in Orlando and Kissimmee from as low as $66 per night, depending on the season.

If you want to go deluxe, consider renting DVC points

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s popular timeshare program that lets you rent studios, villas, and suites at one of the deluxe resorts. Membership is a big investment, but my friends who joined have been pleased with the program. Here’s a secret: You can take advantage of the program without being a member, by renting DVC points.

When you rent DVC points, you are essentially booking through a DVC member, not Disney. For a negotiated fee, you get access to their points and preferred rates (a member has a set number of deductible points that must be applied in order to get those rates), which can make those deluxe resorts drop down drastically in price.

For example, the price for a deluxe studio at Disney’s Riviera – depending on the date – is $559 a night, but you can rent points and pay about $275 for the same night. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, a studio is $616 a night, but with DVC points you pay $380. You are basically getting the same room for almost half the price. And, it’s not just for Florida: DVC also includes California properties.

Companies such as David’s Vacation Club Rental and the DVC Rental Store can facilitate the points rental from DVC members, and the booking process is similar to a regular hotel reservation. There are plenty of caveats with this system, so make sure to go over all the restrictions and conditions from the broker or DVC member.

Schedule a non-park day

Save on park tickets by scheduling a non-park day. There are many ways to get a Disney resort experience, including spending hours by the pool, checking out the lobbies and restaurants at hotels, and heading to the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment center. Keep reading for our suggestions on free stuff to do at Disney World.

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Tips to save money at Disneyland

Stay at a Good Neighbor hotel

There are only three Disney-owned hotels within Disneyland – the Grand Californian, the Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier. While the hotels are fantastic and convenient, they are also expensive. For example, rates at the Grand Californian start at $586 a night. Thankfully, there are lots of affordable options surrounding the park. Read our roundup of nearby hotels ranging from the budget-friendly Hampton Inn & Suites to the new JW Marriott, which, even though it is a four-star property, is about half the price of the Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel.

Splurge on the MaxPass (when it’s back)

While the MaxPass program is currently on hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the MaxPass is well worth the extra $20 per ticket and will enhance the experience by saving you time. The MaxPass allows you to make FastPass selections from your phone and eliminates the need to trek over to the attraction to manually pick up a FastPass from a kiosk. A FastPass, for those unfamiliar, allows you to join a much shorter line for a ride (the feature is also paused).

Get the Disney experience for free

Admission to Disney’s parks is expensive, but there are several fun attractions you can check out that don’t cost a penny. They add to the overall Disney vacation experience while keeping the cost down. (Some of these places and activities may be temporarily closed or unavailable.)

Walt Disney World

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Consider waiting until next year

While Disneyland and Walt Disney World are open for business, to get the most bang for your buck, it might be best to wait. There’s a case for going now: reservations are required and capacity is controlled to promote distancing, so it’s less crowded than normal. But parades, fireworks, most live entertainment, the ease of the FastPass system, and close-up character encounters have yet to return. Dining options are also limited, and some hotels haven’t reopened.

Instead, take this time to plan and save up for the trip. When all of the parks’ amenities return, you and your family will have a more memorable experience.

Read the original article on Business Insider