5 iconic beach hotels to add to your bucket list

words by Caylin Harris | photo courtesy of Castle Hill Inn

cottage 1 Castle Hill Inn

Looking for an even better beach vacation? These gorgeous hotels and resorts not only have all the amenities you could ever want, but also sit on the shores of some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Here are a few of our favorites that you’ll want to add to your vacation bucket list pronto.

Castle Hill Inn: Newport, RI
You don’t get more a more authentic Newport experience than at Castle Hill—a former hideaway for old Hollywood stars like Grace Kelly, this place has loads of history and charm. From private rooms to small little beach bungalows, each space feels luxe and cozy all at the same time. And while Newport has no shortage of restaurants, the inn’s own restaurant boasts some amazing local fare and is worthy of simply staying put. Amenities include: access to fishing gear, lawn games, bicycles, and even a private beach. At sunset, enjoy a toast on the lawn in one of their iconic Adirondack chairs.

Cliff House: Cape Neddick, ME
Open year round, Cliff House first opened its doors in 1872. And it’s no wonder guests have been flocking there ever since—thanks to its majestic ocean views. Glass windows form the back wall of the hotel, so you can watch the waves crash against the rocks right from the lobby. With common spaces that look like a nautical spin on midcentury modern style, there are so many corners you can curl up with a good book or a cocktail. At the end of a day filled with exploring the local spots, slip in a one of their gingham patterned robes and go for a soak in the hot tub. 

The Don Cesar: St. Pete’s Beach, FL
Built in 1928, The Don Cesar and has hosted notable guests like F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set on right on the beach, you can grab a chair in the powdery sand or lounge away poolside while looking out at the ocean. To unwind, book yourself a treatment at their world-class spa. They even run a kid’s camp (half or full day sessions) where little guests get to run around on beach adventures. If you’re feeling hungry you don’t even need to leave the hotel. They have two restaurants, bars, and even an ice cream parlor right on the premises.

Stephanie Inn: Cannon Beach, OR
You’ll never get sick of looking out at the rocky, driftwood covered beaches of the Pacific Northwest visible from the Stephanie Inn. Just eighty miles from Portland, you can get your fill of the bright lights and then retreat back to this oasis with mountains in the distance. You don’t have to go far for a fantastic dining experience either, the on-site restaurant offers an impressive breakfast with culinary delights like smoked salmon benedict with brown butter hollandaise and lemon curd-stuffed French toast with Grande Marnier strawberries. If you’re headed out for the day, they’ll even pack you a gourmet picnic to bring along. 

Wild Dunes Resort: Isle of Palms, SC
So much more than your average hotel, Wild Dunes Resort definitely lives up to the word resort in its title. The big bonus with this destination isn’t just the amazing ocean views, it’s the tons of activities offered. Golf, spa amenities, outdoor movies, family bingo nights, bike rentals, and even discounted rates at some of the popular tourist spots in Charleston. Once you’re done working up an appetite, head to one of the many eateries on or near the property: Coastal Provisions, Beachside Burgers & Bar, and Hudson’s Market. 

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