Florida has almost one thousand miles of sandy beachfront, and since the temperatures (on land and in the water) stay relatively warm all year, it’s one of the only places within the U.S. that swimming and sunbathing are viable options no matter the season. But not all Sunshine State beaches are equal.
Read on for our favorite Florida beach resorts, including Atlantic and Gulf Coast options.
Contact Indagare or your Indagare trip designer to learn more about planning a trip to a Florida beach resort.
Miami’s ever-evolving restaurant, shopping, arts and design scenes mean that there’s far more to do here than simply lounging on the sand. Still, its 35 miles of wide, sandy beachfront are hard to resist, especially when staying at one of Miami’s best beach resorts.
For a Minimal-meets-Luxe Retreat
The Miami Beach EDITION is a sleek, minimal resort facing a vast swath of Mid-Beach inside the former Seville Hotel, a modernist icon built in 1955. Fully refreshed, it still exudes glamour, albeit in Edition’s signature muted tones and minimalist furniture. The best rooms are in the newly built “bungalow” building, which overlooks one of the two relaxed pools.
Read our Miami Beach EDITION review.
For Best-of-the-Best Hotel Product and Service
This Surfside property, about 30 minutes by car to South Beach and right along a beautiful stretch of sand, blends chic, contemporary accommodations with high-touch service. Rooms are streamlined and sleek, without feeling impersonal or corporate, and the property pays continued homage to The Surf Club’s storied past. There is an intimate, though excellent spa and a beautiful pool near the resort’s stretch of beachfront. It’s ideal for both families and couples alike, showcasing sophistication and warmth across all service platforms.
Read our Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club review.
For the Drama (and the Spa)
From the mind of Argentine developer Alan Faena—and with the help of director Baz Luhrmann and costume designer Catherine Martin (of Moulin Rouge fame)—Faena brings a dose of theatrics to Mid Beach. The double-height lobby has flanked gold-leafed columns, tropical mosaics and red textiles. Through the towering glass doors at the far end of it, a life-sized, gilded wooly mammoth statue from Damien Hirst separates the garden from the beach just beyond. The high drama continues at the resort’s pool area and beach set-up, which feature red-tasseled umbrellas and deck chairs. The resort’s elegant rooms and suites are decidedly more subdued than the public spaces, though still theatrical. For dinner (and weekend asado brunches), Los Fuegos from Francis Mallmann continues to be a hot spot in Miami. Meanwhile, Faena’s Tierra Santa Healing House is consistently regarded as one of Miami’s leading wellness centers.
Read our Faena Miami review.
For a Supersized Wellness Getaway with Buzz
Stylish travelers looking for an effortless and airy feel will enjoy the neutral palette and serene aesthetic of this sprawling (400+ rooms), sustainable South Beach property. With the 1 Hotel’s signature emphasis on wellness and eco-luxury, there are eight on-site restaurants—all recognizing a desire for clean-eating options—a host of spa treatments and a fantastic gym equipped with first class machines and personal trainers for guests. There are four pools, including the largest rooftop pool in all of South Beach. 1 Hotel South Beach has something of a party reputation thanks to its popular pool bars, but it still caters to families.
Read our 1 Hotel South Beach review.
OTHERS WE LOVE:
- The Setai For an ultra-luxe, Japan-inspired stay
- The Betsy For its fabulous arts programming and just-as-fabulous rooftop pool, which sees plenty of sunshine year-round without shadows.
- Acqualina For high-gloss, Italianate design paired with family-friendly service and the area’s only direct private beachfront access without the Miami boardwalk in between
A glamorous East Coast favorite, Palm Beach is a tiny island that packs a punch of caché. The resort town is an ideal spot for a weekend getaway or a lengthy respite, filled with golfing, tennis and shopping, not to mention plenty of beach time.
For the Quintessential Palm Beach Grande Dame
The Breakers has been a mainstay for decades, harkening back to the 1960s Slim Aarons-era, bringing great service with facilities galore: a fantastic spa, lively restaurants, kids’ club and recently renovated golf course. It is a sprawling, Italianate-style resort with a large, private beach club to match. For hyper-specialized service, we recommend booking a room on the Club Floor.
Read our The Breakers review.
For Pure Beach Lounging
Following an extensive renovation just before Covid, the Four Seasons Palm Beach summons a retro-chic, old-school Palm Beach feel, with rattan accents, tropical fabrics and colorful artwork. Its wide beach—one of the best in all Palm Beach—as well as the adults-only pool and revamped dining options, make it a great option for those who don’t mind being slightly removed from the shopping and dining scene, about a 15-minute drive to north.
Read our Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach review.
OTHERS (OFF THE BEACH) WE LOVE: White Elephant Palm Beach, The Colony and Brazilian Court are three fabulous Palm Beach hotels just a few minutes away from the beach itself. If walking directly from your room to the beach chair isn’t a top priority, consider these fashionable options as well.
Home to ever-popular Key West, here is where travelers can attain that distinctive Florida-meets-Caribbean vibe. Look out for tropical landscapes, and ample access to fishing and marine life. One surprise, however, is the lack of many good beach options. Here’s one exception.
For a Castaway, Private Island Experience
This hushed, adults-only hideaway just offshore from Little Torch Key is only reachable by boat or seaplane, and primarily caters to couples. Standalone beach bungalows pepper the private island’s tropical gardens, and days can include a mix of active adventure (boating, snorkeling, eco tours and a plethora of water sports) and pure indulgence (a dreamy spa; reading under an umbrella or one of the scattered beach huts).
Read our Little Palm Island Resort & Spa review.
This barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico is a multi-generational hotspot with a picturesque, small-town feel that has been beckoning visitors for decades. A frequent vacation spot of the Bush family, à la Kennebunkport, Boca Grande embraces a slowed-pace take on Americana, especially at our favorite hotel there.
For Floridian Hospitality with History
Families, especially multi-generational groups, love this classic resort that feels distinctly like a slice of Lilly Pulitzer-esque Florida with a country club-bent and a wealth of activities. Whether highly active or more stationary and relaxed, activities abound: Tennis can be booked on one of the seven clay courts; golf is available on the Pete Dye-designed course, and guides are ready to take anglers sport-fishing in the Gulf or the harbor. The main draw for many guests, of course, is the beach club with its direct access to the white sands and calm waters of the Gulf Coast.
Read our Gasparilla Inn & Golf Club review.
Ever so slightly less glitzy than Palm Beach, Naples offers a chic, laid-back feel year-round with great shopping and dining—all the while abutting a glorious stretch of beach. Thankfully, damage in Naples from Hurricane Ian was minimal. Here’s our favorite beach resort in Naples.
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples (Closed for Renovations)
For the Flagship Ritz-Carlton, Returning This Summer!
Closed for extensive renovations until mid-summer, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, will soon return as the flagship Ritz-Carlton—and one of Florida’s top destinations for sun seekers in search of sugar-sand beaches. The brand takes great pride in its continual upkeep and evolution. Here’s what’s in store upon reopening: all new lobby and lobby bar, redesigned guest rooms, 92 new suites, three restaurants and a reimagined pool experience, plus a 4,000-square-foot Club Lounge with Gulf views.
Read our The Ritz-Carlton, Naples review.
OFF-BEACH BONUS: ORLANDO
Atop millions of children’s bucket list destinations, you’ll likely find the ‘happiest place on earth,’ Disney World. Orlando, the site of this frequent family pilgrimage, has many resorts, including some with excellent, personalized service.
For Excellent, Family-Friendly Service with a Disney-Heavy Flare
A short ride from the Magic Kingdom, and within the Walt Disney World Resort, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando is a luxe, Mediterranean-style oasis away from the Disney hullabaloo. Rooms offer views overlooking the parks, golf course or lake, and the excellent Kids’ Club caters well to the Disney set without feeling overly kitschy. The most upscale option within the Walt Disney World Resort, Four Seasons has an excellent team that knows full well how to manage the intricacies that go into coordinating a Disney vacation where both parents and children have their own priorities. And while it isn’t on the beach, a lazy river, water slide, and multiple pools mean that water is always nearby.
Read our Four Seasons Resort Orlando review.
For a Removed, Refined Disney Experience
Fifteen-minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort, The Ritz-Carlton is an ideal option for families and couples looking to experience all that Disney has to offer, but from a distance. Like the Four Seasons, it has an excellent spa, golf course and dining options, but its removed setting from the park allows an occasional breather from the Disney barrage. The property is a traditional Ritz-Carlton in style, with chandeliers, marble floors and plush furnishings, plus multiple pools as well as a lazy river.
Read our The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, Grande Lakes review.
Contact Indagare or your Indagare trip designer to learn more about planning a trip to Florida.