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10 Dreamy Beachfront Resorts

Villa Terrace at Le Touessrok, Mauritius (Photo: Le Touessrok)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 17, 2013. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Annette Thompson, beach, Cabo San Lucas, destination, Florida, French Polynesia, Hana, Mauritius, Providenciales, Quintana Roo, resort, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Teresa, South Africa.

(Photo: Le Touessrok)

What's it gonna be this winter? Wool socks and boots, or bare feet and blue waters? At these dreamy digs on some of the world's best beaches, you can sink your toes into warm sand and find your ideal place in the sun. Parse your time according to your own rules: Learn to paddleboard or parasail, reel in a magnificent fish on the end of a spinning line, or simply lie back and adjust your hat as the sun moves across the sky.

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Palm Island Resort, Cape Haze, Florida

This undiscovered enclave on easygoing Little Gasparilla Island (also known as Palm Island) creates a perfect hideaway from the crowds. From the mainland city of Englewood, take the Palm Island Transit ferry over to Palm Island Resort; here, on miles of peaceful beach, more pelicans, dolphins, and manatees play than tourists. Because the ferry keeps the daytime crowds at bay, wildlife thrives on this quiet, wooded spit of coast. Families move around by walking and biking the sandy paths, and during low tide, shelling offers treasures from the sea. And if you yearn for bigger catches, schedule a backwater or offshore day with a guide to reel in the tastes of the sea.

The Resort: Stay in one of the 100 fully equipped Florida vernacular-style villas; each offers one to four bedrooms and includes a full kitchen to cook your fresh catch. Or take your fish to the resort's Rum Bay Restaurant and have the chefs prepare it for you. Rates start at $200 per night.

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