Nothing says summer vacation quite like a coastal U.S. hotel with Americana-inspired décor and an endless list of outdoor activities. Whether you are dreaming of fun-filled days spent on the beach or cool breezes and mountain hikes, there are plenty of beautiful U.S. resorts that have provided generations of travelers with summer memories that last a lifetime.
These tradition-steeped properties check all the boxes for an epic warm-weather getaway — with elegant accommodations, delicious cuisine, a scenic setting, and plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. So, whether you are traveling solo, or with a partner, friends, or family, consider escaping to one of these 10 classic all-American resorts that deliver incredible summer experiences every year.
The Claremont, Maine
One of Maine’s most historic hotels, The Claremont, located on Mount Desert Island, has provided guests with a quiet coastal respite dating back to 1884. After extensive renovations, the six-acre waterfront property will again welcome vacationers this May. The property will offer a variety of high-end accommodations, including 12 cottages, four suites, and a secluded three-bedroom house, perfect for family gatherings. The restored croquet club, an old-school candy store, and the hotel’s signature doughnuts will certainly add a nostalgic feel to your New England retreat.
The Greenbrier, West Virginia
The Greenbrier hotel is known as one of the country’s first spa retreats. The mineral hot springs in the area are said to have medicinal properties, and the resort’s MedSpa still offers guests therapeutic treatments that relax and heal.
The cool summer breeze and breathtaking views of the Allegheny Mountains are another reason to escape to The Greenbier this summer. Enjoy a game of golf, take a scenic carriage ride around this sprawling property, try kayaking on the Greenbrier or Jackson Rivers, or complete the Aerial Adventure Course, a 12-challenge course suspended 50 feet up in the air. One thing is certain — you won’t be bored at this hotel.
Pridwin Hotel & Cottages, New York
Campfire sing-alongs, drive-in movies, picnic hikes, and art classes await guests of the Pridwin Hotel & Cottages when it reopens for the summer after a two-year renovation. The newly restored East End landmark will make guests feel like they are at summer camp again, albeit a more elevated one. The property, which first opened its doors in 1927, sits on seven scenic acres of land on Shelter Island’s Crescent Beach and features 49 rooms and 16 charming cottages, a private beach, a pool, a spa, and a 100-seat American restaurant. The new laid-back aesthetic certainly gives a nod to the resort’s past, with plenty of rattan and antique wicker incorporated into the design. Local farm tours, water activities, croquet, and evening story time for children make Pridwin the perfect spot for a family vacation that will leave you nostalgic for the good ol’ days.
The Omni Homestead Resort, Virginia
This legendary summer retreat in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia claims to be “the birthplace of Southern hospitality,” according to its website. The Omni Homestead pre-dates the United States by a decade — it was built in 1766 — and has served as a gathering place for generations of Americans since.
The property is brimming with activity in the summer as travelers of all ages flock here for its hot springs and abundance of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, hiking, shooting, fly fishing, swimming (the property has its own water park), and golfing.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, Georgia
Set on the banks of scenic Lake Oconee, The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds has been a favorite of families flocking here to enjoy the tranquil landscape since the 1920s. The serene lakeside property sits on 30 acres of lush forests and is located a short, hour-and-a-half drive from Atlanta. With four golf courses, the storied resort is one of the best golfing destinations in the country, while Lake Oconee, the second largest lake in Georgia, offers plenty to do for water sports and fishing enthusiasts. A sandy beach, hammocks, and a large lawn cater to those who like to spend the summer soaking up the sun with a drink and a book in hand.
Hotel del Coronado, California
The legendary oceanfront Hotel del Coronado has welcomed generations of beach-loving guests, including countless celebrities and U.S. presidents, during its 130-year-old history. This sprawling beach resort in San Diego Bay was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and continues to deliver the very best of Southern California’s coastal lifestyle. The property’s storied past elegantly blends with contemporary luxury in its 902 guest rooms. Relax and enjoy the beautiful views at Del Beach, take a surf lesson, or lounge poolside in a private cabana. In the evening, catch the sunset with a handcrafted cocktail and roast s’mores around a beach bonfire. An interactive tide pool and a new kids’ club launching in May will turn Hotel del Coronado into the ultimate family-friendly summer retreat.
Old Edwards Inn & Spa, North Carolina
North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains serve as the perfect backdrop for the luxurious Old Edwards Inn and Spa, a historic retreat established in 1878. The Relais & Châteaux resort offers ideal access to the best outdoor summer adventures in the region — from ziplining, fly fishing, and hiking along waterfalls to historical walking tours and scenic drives. Spacious cottages full of character, multi-room historic mountain homes with wrap-around porches and rocking chairs, and traditional suites with views of quaint Highlands are all on offer here. The resort’s award-winning, farm-to-table culinary experiences, 18-hole golf course, outdoor mineral pools, and whirlpools are among the many amenities perfect for a classic summer escape.
Chatham Inn, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
With its sun-drenched beaches and idyllic villages, Cape Cod is the quintessential New England summer destination. Located at the heart of quaint Chatham, Chatham Inn is the oldest operating inn on Cape Cod, having opened its doors in 1890. It is also the only Relais & Châteaux property in the area. The 18-room, adults-only resort blends New England charm with modern amenities. The boutique hotel is a short walk from Lighthouse Beach, and in the evening, you can nestle into an Adirondack chair around the hotel’s cozy fire pit and enjoy a glass of wine.
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan
World’s Best Family Beach Hotels: No. 11 Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island, Michigan
Generations of families have summered at the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island on the shores of Lake Huron, which scored 89.280 in our World’s Best survey. The 1887 hotel is known for its rich history—Mark Twain lectured in the casino—and the simple pleasures it offers, like lawn games and after-dinner dancing. One T+L reader called it “a step back in time to an era when quiet elegance was celebrated.” Indeed, there are no cars on the island, only horse-drawn carriages.
| Credit: Copyright 2013 Don Johnston
Dubbed “America’s Summer Place,” Grand Hotel has been welcoming families to the shores of Mackinac Island since 1887. The building, a National Historic Landmark, still holds the record for the longest porch in the world (660 feet, to be exact) and overlooks the idyllic Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. The property’s 397 rooms are all decorated differently, so each visit here is unique.
The long list of activities on property includes golf, swimming, biking, horseback riding, bocce ball, croquet, and tennis. In the afternoon, head to the hotel’s parlor for tea — a Grand Hotel tradition for more than 125 years. And don’t forget to taste the resort’s signature summer dessert — vanilla ice cream balls rolled in toasted pecans and served with warm fudge sauce.
The Broadmoor, Colorado
Known as the Grande Dame of the Rockies, The Broadmoor was built in 1865 and quickly became one of the premier year-round destinations in the West. Its luxury amenities and impeccable service still attract seasoned travelers from around the country. With three championship golf courses, an outdoor infinity pool, a celebrated tennis program, archery, lawn games, and pickleball courts, summer vacations at The Broadmoor are memorable and supremely relaxing.