Beach resorts are typically associated with far-flung locales: the Maldives, French Polynesia, Turks & Caicos. But what if we told you that some of the best beach resorts in the world are right here in the U.S.? Sure, you're likely to miss out on Bora Bora's bungalows on stilts or Harbour Island's pink sand beaches, but it's a tradeoff for experiencing unabashed coastal style and luxury without ever pulling out your passport. Not to mention, any of these destinations are likely within a five-hour flight of your home—and that's a worst case scenario.
Want to experience 1930s glamour in the heart of Miami Beach? Do you prefer a rugged midcentury lodge tucked into the California coastline? Maybe you're in the mood for a quiet oceanfront design hotel on the northeastern coast? Whatever your style, your budget, or your interests, we believe we have a hotel for you. Without further ado, here are the seven best beach resorts in the U.S.
Located a short 20 minutes drive north of bustling South Beach, The Surf Club is one of the newest addition to the Four Seasons' U.S. portfolio of resorts and yet, it has one of the most storied pasts. The original Surf Club first opened its doors on New Year’s Eve 1930 as a private beach club. Over the years it has welcomed a glittering list of names from Frank Sinatra to Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill. Today, it has a renewed existence under the Four Seasons umbrella, complete with gorgeous Joseph Dirand–designed cabana rooms and the only Le Sirenuse restaurant outpost outside of Positano.
You wouldn't typically associate the Jersey Shore with ultra-cool hotels, but that's precisely why The Asbury is worth a visit. The hotel mashes up Asbury Park's Victorian-era history and rock 'n' roll present into a hotel-meets–social club, complete with an outdoor movie theater, rooftop lounge, a pool and plenty of activities from sunrise yoga to live concerts. In essence, it's a playground for adults an hour away from New York City.
Perhaps one of Florida's most iconic and historic hotel, The Breakers in Palm Beach has welcomed affluent snowbirds for over a century. Complete with a private beach club, two championship golf courses, 10 tennis courts, nine restaurants, a spa, a chauffeured Tesla service, and much more, The Breakers is a beacon of opulence. The plush interiors themselves are worth the detour—the 200-foot-long main lobby alone, remodeled after the magnificent Villa Medici in Rome, is a sight to behold.
In an entirely different vein, Timber Cove on the Sonoma Coast offers rugged luxury. Perched on a dramatic bluff high above the Pacific Ocean, the newly refurbished midcentury resort pays homage to its 1960s roots. Set on one of the world's most breathtaking coastlines, you'll likely spend very little time in the hotel's stylish interiors. With activities ranging from guided hikes and wine tasting to stand-up paddleboard and ping pong in the outdoor living room, the resort's offerings ensure you'll never run out of things to do here.
If the Hamptons sound like your idea of a good time, check into Gurney's Montauk. The only oceanfront resort in the area (and the only one open year-round), Gurney's is perched high in the bluffs overlooking the Atlantic. Between a 2000-foot private sandy beach, a beach club, meticulously designed interiors, five restaurants and bars, a spa, and an ocean-fed seawater pool, Gurney's is never short of things to experience.
Located on the world-famous Surfrider beach, the hotel of the same name is a beacon of California cool. Inspired by the picturesque Malibu landscape and rich heritage of California surf culture, The Surfrider pays homage to its 1950s-era motel roots while giving guests a new standard of relaxed coastal living filled with all the modern conveniences, from Grown Alchemist bath products to beach club services, electric car charging stations, heated outdoor showers, and a roof deck and bar.
On the quiet North Shore of Long Island, New York, Sound View is a tranquil oceanfront haven meticulously designed by Studio Tack (of Scribner's Catskill Lodge fame). The hotel, refurbished from its 1930s origins, is convivial, cozy, and filled with nooks to read a book or activities to keep you busy—waterside art classes, cooking workshops, wine-tasting programs, yoga classes, guided meditations, and live music.