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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Big Island, HI
Photo by Thomas J. Story

Coastal getaways: Big Island, Hawaii

Your tropical estate

Think of it as the anti-resort. Not that Puakea Ranch’s four private bungalows at the Big Island’s northern tip are short on luxury: You’ll nap in four-poster beds dressed with Italian linens, cool off in your own dipping pool, and enjoy views of the Pacific from your tree-shaded front porch.

But the low-key property, once a sugar mill and a cattle ranch, is also refreshingly rustic. Collect eggs for an omelet from the chicken coop, and ride one of the ranch’s horses for a view of the famed Kohala Coast—a short drive away when you’re ready to hit the beach (we like Kauna‘oa, pictured). From $200, plus $100 cleaning fee per stay; 2-night minimum; 808/315-0805. –E.J.

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