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
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