The best Florida beach resorts for your next vacation

For year-round fun and sun, there are few better places than the sandy shores of the Sunshine State. These are the best Florida beach resorts for your next vacation.

Snap up a beach-side resort for the best spot on the beach. Image credit: franckreporter/iStock
Snap up a beach-side resort for the best spot on the beach. Image credit: franckreporter/iStock

Florida is a unique state. As a peninsula with water on three sides, its southern location and expansive coastline give it more beachfront realty than any other area on the eastern seaboard. Within relatively close proximity by flight to the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, the Southern states, and much of the Midwest, it’s no surprise that Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the nation. 

While there are many ways to visit this beloved sun-soaked state, a Florida beach resort is often the best way to take advantage of the beautiful weather and the year-round sun. These are some of the best areas to visit and places to stay in Florida.

The Florida Keys – A gorgeous island getaway

The Florida Keys, despite their tropical beauty, are not actually known for their beaches. While the islands themselves are charmingly isolated for a low-key vacation, most beaches are rock-covered, not sandy. The area is a favorite in the iconic Key West, with Duval Street, a well-known stretch of restaurants, bars, and historic spots, a major attraction.

Southernmost Beach Resort – Enjoy the best beach in the Florida Keys

Southernmost Beach Resort‘s address may be on the most beloved street on the island, but with a spot on the quieter end of the road, visitors can enjoy a little peace and relaxation while still staying steps away from all of the excitement of the area.

Built in a traditional Key West style with large patios and porches, sloped roofs, and warm exterior, this beautiful resort is quaint on the outside but contemporary on the inside, with rooms showcasing a clean coastal design. On days when the weather is nice – which is most of the time – guests can take advantage of three pools, a poolside bar with custom cocktails and frozen beverages, a private ocean beach with a tanning pier for catching rays, and lush garden pathways for a tropical vibe. Most rooms offer sea views, giving guests a chance to take in the stunning sights and let the crashing of ocean waves lull them to sleep.

For guests who’d rather not explore Duval Street for dinner, the hotel features several options, including Southernmost Beach Cafe, a Caribbean dining destination inspired by the hotel’s proximity to Cuba and other Latin American island nations, Pineapple Bar along the edge of the pools, nightlife spot Shores Bar, Sand Bar for tropical libations, and True Blue, a sustainably-sourced restaurant that focuses on environmentally-friendly practices. From drinks by the pool to dining under the stars, there’s something here for everyone at this beachfront hotel in Florida.

Naples – Relax on the Gulf Coast of Florida

Not all stunning Florida beach resorts are located on the Atlantic Ocean. Many great options sit along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sunset over Naples Pier in Florida. Image credit: FilippoBacci/iStock
Sunset over Naples Pier in Florida. Image credit: FilippoBacci/iStock

The Ritz-Carlton Naples – amazing water views

All 450 luxury rooms at The Ritz-Carlton Naples – one of the best Florida beach resorts, offers amazing water sights, including 25 suites and 70 Ritz-Carlton Club suites and rooms. When not lounging in the room, guests can take advantage of private access to white sandy beaches located directly outside the resort or relax by the side of one of the two gulf-front pools. One pool is family-friendly with a spacious splash pool for children while the other, a Junior Olympic-sized relaxation pool, is for adults only. Families with children can take advantage of Nature’s Wonders, an environmental nature education program. Guests can also explore Vue, a state-of-the-art technology suite with televisions and video games.

Dining is ample at the hotel, with a little something for everyone. Start your afternoon with lunch at the casual Gumbo Limbo, followed by dinner of elevated sushi favorites at the elegant and refined Dusk. Bites serves small plates, wine, and cocktails in a laid back atmosphere, while Terrazza, an all-day Italian restaurant with a spacious terrace, serves pizza and pasta with gorgeous views of the ocean. Visitors who want a fine dining experience will love the fireplace and crisp linens that dominate the decor at The Grill, a high-end steakhouse. Poolside dining is also an option, with fresh fruit and frozen cocktails served at The Poolside Cafe, while +H20 offers healthy options like wraps and salads served al fresco.

In between meals and dips in the pools, the elegant on-site spa is a great place to unwind, offering full-body treatments like massages and scrubs as well as salon and nail services. Guests who prefer activities will love all the options at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, including a Golf Resort located 10 miles away by shuttle, a tennis club, and a fitness center with equipment and classes.

Sunny Isles Beach – An island north of Miami

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are both popular vacation destinations, but the hustle and bustle can make these two sprawling cities less than relaxing. Those who still want to see South Florida without compromising on R&R will love Sunny Isles Beach, a small island nestled right between SoFla’s major metro areas.

Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach – A gorgeous getaway

Built in a Mediterranean style, Acqualina Resort & Spa on the beach is located directly along the ocean’s shore with 4.5 acres of beach for guests to enjoy. The 98 guest rooms and suites are designed with comfort in mind, featuring luxury linens, sprawling beds, and private bathrooms decked out in a sleek and sophisticated modern style. The outdoor space is possibly more impressive than the indoor space, with a spa pool, a heated jet pool, and a Roman waterfall for guests to enjoy. The deck is spotted with lounge chairs and red umbrellas so visitors can make the most of the area’s lovely weather. For families visiting, the hotel also offers a children’s marine biology education program.

The front lawn at Acqualina Florida beach resort Image credit: Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
The front lawn at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach. Image credit: Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach

Relaxation is the name of the game at this resort. The on-site Acqualina Spa by ESPA spans 20,000 square feet of excellent therapies in a sleek modern environment, including state-of-the-art treatment rooms, relaxation lounges, water rituals, heat rooms, and an outdoor terrace for al fresco restoration. Therapies including massage, facials, scrubs, wraps, and mindfulness exercises, like yoga and meditation. With reservations seven days a week, there’s always time to unwind.

After unwinding at the spa, visitors can take advantage of the resort’s dining options, which include the casual lunch and early bird spot Costa Grill, AQ Chop House, a high-end steakhouse serving, you guessed it, steak, as well as Il Mulino New York, a replica of New York City’s acclaimed Italian hot spot. Whether you want a burger for lunch in the sunshine or an NYC-inspired Italian experience, it’s all possible at Acqualina Resort and Spa on the Beach.

Fort Lauderdale – Stay on the beach in the coastal city

This is the area for those who prefer the more urban feeling of South Florida. Fort Lauderdale is a ritzy city with a stunning canal network downtown, great dining, and plenty of high-end shopping, making this coastal city is a great place to visit. 

Fort Lauderdale beach at sunrise. Image credit: FilippoBacci/iStock
Fort Lauderdale Beach at sunrise. Image credit: FilippoBacci/iStock

Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach – designed with grandeur in mind

Located Fort Lauderdale’s exclusive North Beach yet within walking distance of the city’s hot spots, like the famed Las Olas Boulevard and lots of beach-side bars, this upscale resort provides an oasis within an exciting city.

Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach offers a sleek, modern interior featuring light colors for an elegant yet beach-inspired vibe. All 290 rooms offer either a view of the ocean or of the Intercoastal waterway. Luxury Suite rooms have gourmet kitchens, Italian marble en-suite bathrooms with soaking tubs, and a balcony or terrace, while Premium Suites are a larger alternative guaranteeing sun-swept views.

Visitors who want to take in the surroundings can also explore the Sky Deck on the sixth floor, a space that is also home to the luxury pool. Guests can escape from the hustle and bustle in an elevated area dotted with white lounge chairs and spacious umbrellas to stay safe from the sun. Access to Fort Lauderdale Beach, one of the best beaches in Florida, is available directly from the sun, giving visitors an easy way to explore four miles of sandy beachfront dominated by top restaurants and beach volleyball courts. For those who want to venture away from the property, guests can partake in snorkeling, fishing, parasailing, boating, and jet skiing.

Dining in Fort Lauderdale is excellent, but those who want to stay on the hotel grounds can take advantage of the four upscale dining options. Terra Mare is a seafood spot known for its sustainable options serving large, communal-style plates with stunning panoramic views of the ocean. For those who want to mix and mingle, Atlas Cocktail Lounge is a place to see and be seen in Fort Lauderdale. The Spinnaker Pool Grill dishes up tasty fare and elegant cocktails, including dishes like crudo, salads, and gourmet burgers. The Gourmet Market allows for fast casual dining on sandwiches and flatbreads. No matter where your day takes you, Conrad Fort Lauderdale can always keep you entertained.

Vero Beach – Experience the treasures of the Treasure Coast

For those looking to experience Central Florida, nowhere provides a better place to stay than Vero Beach, with a mix between sandy beaches and prime riverfront. Vero Beach is aptly considered as one of the best Florida beach resorts and offers fishing, golfing, historical sites, and premium shopping and dining experiences.

Aerial view of the eastern Florida Coastline. Image credit: Crystal Bolin Photography
Aerial view of the eastern Florida Coastline. Image credit: Crystal Bolin Photography

Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa – A hidden gem

The product of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, this beautiful Florida beach resort offers gorgeous views and great dining in a walkable area just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean.

The resort is a warm and inviting property with interior decor inspired by the chic styles of Miami. Rooms are spacious with Egyptian cotton bedding, private marble bathrooms, and luxury amenities. The resort fee also comes with plenty of perks, like valet car service and overnight parking, welcome drinks, two lounge chairs per day, fitness classes, beach cruisers, and concierge poolside services.

The beach-side pool provides the perfect way to catch some sun, with complementary services including infused water, cold aromatherapy towels, chilled grapes, and sunscreen. For those who love the feeling of sand between their toes, the private beach access makes a walk along the shore easy. On-site activities include paddleboard rentals, kayaks, boogie boards, and snorkeling equipment with the option to book guided snorkeling tours of the area.

The dining and spa options are what set Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa apart from the rest. The Wave Kitchen & Bar focuses on fresh seafood and locally-sourced ingredients in an upscale atmosphere, while the Cabana Bar provides casual poolside snacks, meals, and drinks for both lunch and dinner. Happy hour is available daily for a relaxing drink after a long day in the sun. The upscale on-site spa offers a wide range of massages, facials, nail services, body treatments, and waxing options to make your stay as relaxing as possible. Guests who enjoy relaxation and meditation can also indulge in sunrise yoga classes at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. An on-site fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment is also available.

Florida’s year-round warm temperatures make it the perfect place to vacation, no matter the season. With beachfront access in countless cities around the state, there’s no shortage of opportunity in this sunny state. Staying in a Florida beach resort can only improve the experience, providing the ideal way to indulge in a little luxury while spending time on the sand and in the surf. If you’re planning a trip to one of the luxurious Florida Beach resorts, be sure to book a professional Blacklane car service in Miami to start your trip off right.