Florida may be synonymous with sun and sand, but only a few resorts actually put you right on the beach. From a top-notch spa to a secluded island, here are the very best Florida beach resorts based on beach access, amenities, and ratings from past guests on TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company).
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
Situated on 4.5 acres of blissful beachside property in Sunny Isles Beach (between Fort Lauderdale and Miami), Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach gives new meaning to fun in the sun. The Mediterranean-style villa sits directly overlooking the ocean, without any barriers between guests and its 400 feet of Atlantic shoreline.
A recipient of the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award and the AAA Five Diamond Award, Acqualina doesn’t disappoint when it comes to service and amenities. The resort features three outdoor swimming pools, beachfront yoga, a world-class oceanfront spa, and three on-site restaurants.
Southernmost Beach Resort
Key West may not be known for its beaches—Duval Street always steals the spotlight—but there are plenty of places to dig your feet in the sand. Southernmost Beach Resort is just such a spot, with two beaches, three pools, a poolside bar, and a private pier perfect for sunset viewing.
Many of the rooms have ocean views, and all come with access to South Beach and use of rental beach chairs and umbrellas. Located a stone’s throw from the historic Old Town, Southernmost Beach Resort delivers the best of both worlds when it comes to Key West vacations.
Lago Mar Beach Resort and Club
With a 500-foot private beach and a secluded location in Fort Lauderdale, Lago Mar Beach Resort and Club feels like a true escape from the everyday. Cabanas, chaise lounges, steamer chairs, and umbrellas are provided to take lounging to the next level. Lago Mar also features two swimming pools—one is a 9,000-foot lagoon-inspired area with its very own island—and plenty of on-site activities, such as four tennis courts, a resort shop, and a spa. Six on-site eateries offer a range of cuisines and dining options, including a soda shop (ice cream fanatics rejoice) and a wine cellar lounge.
Pink Shell Beach Resort
Located on the northern tip of Fort Myers Beach, Pink Shell Beach Resort boasts sweeping beachfront views. Amenities include a wide range of water activities, including sailing lessons, WaveRunner rentals, parasailing, dolphin adventure tours, and free use of kayaks and paddleboards.
Three swimming pools also provide plenty of entertainment, and one even comes with a large waterfall. As for the sandier side of things, the Pink Shell Beach Resort provides yoga on the beach and free use of beach chairs and umbrellas, as well as cabana and fire-pit rentals. There’s also a full-service spa, kids’ activities, and two on-site eateries.
Situated on 140 acres of pristine oceanfront property in the heart of Palm Beach, a stay at The Breakers is a tropical experience unlike any other in Florida. The Italian Renaissance-style resort provides a half-mile of private beach, four oceanfront pools, five whirlpool spas, and poolside bungalows. Outdoor enthusiasts can partake in the Breakers’ many activities, such as scuba diving, sunset cruises, kayaking, snorkeling, tennis, and golf. There’s also a spa and eight on-site restaurants.
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Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
Located 20 miles southeast of Jacksonville in northeast Florida, the 300-acre Ponte Vedra Inn & Club lures travelers with amenities such as seaside golf, tennis, sailing, and cycling. It doesn’t end there, however, as the resort also features miles of beaches, four swimming pools, a full-service spa, and numerous dining options.
Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort
Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in the heart of the Florida Keys, Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort is known for its white sandy beaches, tropical swimming pools, and lush gardens. Tranquility Bay also offers on-site diving, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, and paddleboarding.
The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
Formerly Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort combines a dramatic setting overlooking the water with southern Florida’s largest spa. Numerous activities are offered each day, ranging from yoga and meditation classes to boot camps and boxing workouts. Four pools and the beach, only steps from the hotel, make it easy to soak up the sun.
Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa
Gloria and Emilio Estefan founded Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa in Central Florida’s Treasure Coast as the ultimate escape from the ordinary. The beachfront haven provides ocean views alongside locally grown dishes served at the Wave Kitchen & Bar or the Beachside Cabana Bar. Guests can take a dip in the beachfront pool or enjoy water activities on Vero Beach, such as snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking.
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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2015. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.