Beach vacation guide

From all-to-yourself islands to hidden beach towns to iconic coastal experiences, the West has the beach vacation of a lifetime in store for you

Top 20 beach hotels

Don't end summer without sneaking off to the coast — even if it's just for the weekend. Here are our favorite hotels by the sea

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Kauai, HI

Coastal getaways: Kauai

The Islands’ best view

You might suspect the St. Regis Princeville Resort of stocking its corner of Hanalei Bay with sea turtles, rays, and Technicolor coral—the snorkeling is that good. But with big mountain-to-bay views from the private beach, you’ll hardly miss out if you don’t snorkel. Even better: Since its jillion-dollar redo last fall, it now has the contemporary Hawaiian look it deserves.

Best thing about the rooms? It’s a toss-up between the shower with a view of the green Na Pali Coast and the butler service—they’ll unpack your bags, and get you into chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s on-site Kaua‘i Grill ($$$$). From $460 (sometimes less—search the resort’s website); 808/826-9644. –Katie Tamony

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