10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (2023)

// By 10Best Editors

By 10Best Editors

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (2)Photo courtesy of Rosie Bell // Getty Images

Whether by a lake or the sea, there's something special about vacationing near water. Nominated by a panel of hotel and travel experts, then voted as the 10 best waterfront hotels by USA TODAY 10Best readers, each of these properties sets the scene for a memorable and relaxing vacation.

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10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (3)Photo courtesy of Cape Resorts

No. 10: Congress Hall - Cape May, New Jersey

Congress Hall, established in 1816, calls itself America’s oldest seaside resort. The hotel in the heart of Victorian Cape May began as a modest boarding house and has since become a popular summer escape. The original owner, Thomas H. Hughes, was elected to Congress in 1828, and he renamed the hotel to its current name in honor of this new position.

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (4)Photo courtesy of Leading Hotels of the World

No. 9: Halekulani Hotel - Honolulu, Hawaii

A stay in Honolulu doesn't get much better than at the waterfrontHalekulani, a luxury property in Waikiki that enjoys unobstructed views of Diamond Head. Resort guests can practice yoga on the beach, dine by the heated pool or indulge in a treatment at one of Oahu's best spas.

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (5)Photo courtesy of Turtle Bay Resort

No. 8: Turtle Bay Resort - Oahu, Hawaii

From watching humpback whales to surfing to horseback riding on five miles of beaches, the ocean is never far away from Turtle Bay Resort. The ocean surrounds the main hotel, consisting of three wings on a small peninsula that provides all 410 rooms and suites with an ocean view. The resort includes another 42 beach cottages and ocean villas, and 1,300 acres to explore on the North Shore of Oʻahu.

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10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (6)Photo courtesy of Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

No. 7: Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa - Honolulu, Hawaii

Waikiki's first resort hotel opened in 1901 and is at the heart of the Moana Surfrider in Honolulu, Hawaii. The "First Lady of Waikiki" commands center stage on Hawaii's most famous beach and gives her guests the best access and views with Victorian charm. Enjoy your view of the ocean from the beach bar under the famous 75-foot tall Indian Banyan tree, planted in 1904, that spans 150 feet across the courtyard.

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (7)Photo courtesy of The Don CeSar

No. 6: The Don CeSar - St. Pete Beach, Florida

If you dream of lounging on a white sandy beach, watching an unobstructed view of the sun setting across the Gulf of Mexico, you belong at the Don CeSar Resort. This flamingo-pink palace has been a landmark in St. Pete Beach since the Roaring '20s. Now with 277 rooms and suites with two pools, plus 71 all-suite beach houses a half-mile up the coast for more extended stays, this is your dream come true.

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (8)Photo courtesy of Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa/Joseph Rector

No. 5: Mirror Lake Inn - Lake Placid, New York

Mirror Lake InnResort & Spa sits directly on the banks of Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, just one block away from Main Street, making it an ideal base for exploring the Upstate town's Olympic heritage. Guests have free reign of indoor and outdoor pools, a private sandy beach, tennis court, fitness center and a boat house equipped with paddleboards, kayaks, rowboats and canoes.

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (9)Photo courtesy of Ocean House, Rhode Island

No. 4: Ocean House - Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Set atop a bluff overlooking the sea in Watch Hill, Ocean House offers an iconic New England seaside experience, complete with a full-service spa, Forbes Five Star-rated restaurant, a private beach with butler service, croquet lawn and squash courts. Daily resort activities include classes at the Center for Wine & Culinary Arts, movie screenings, sports clinics, morning fitness programs and guided tours of the resort property.

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (10)Photo courtesy of Acqualina Resort & Residences

No. 3: Acqualina Resort & Residences on the Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

Located on the Florida Riviera, thisaward-winning Miami resort's setting resembles an all-inclusive villa, with a vast tropical beachfront and luxurious extras like fresh fruit and homemade biscotti delivered to the rooms, a marine biology-based children's program and heavenly spa access. Lavish accommodations boast stunning views, while three pools add to the appeal.

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (11)Photo courtesy of Wentworth by the Sea

No. 2: Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa - New Castle, New Hampshire

The grand Wentworth, an hour north of Boston, was built in 1874 and is the last of New Hampshire’s Gilded Age hotels on the seacoast. Today, this Historic Hotels of America property overlooking a marina includes a spa, two outdoor pools and one indoor pool, a fitness center, two restaurants and a bar.

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (12)Photo courtesy of Chatham Bars Inn

No. 1: Chatham Bars Inn - Chatham, Massachusetts

With a quarter-mile private beach and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, this classic New England destination has welcomed guests to Cape Cod since 1914. With 25 landscaped acres, poolside and beachfront cabanas and lounges, cottages and five dining areas, there’s a lot to enjoy. Settle into an Adirondack chair, stroll into town or get out on the water to watch the whales.

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10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (13)The Experts

10Best Editors

10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased...ReadMore

10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world.

10Best Editors

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (14)

10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world.

Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist...ReadMore

Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, Forbes.com, CNBC.com, AFAR, Robb Report, Readers Digest, BBC Worldwide, USA Today, NerdWallet.com and Business Traveler magazine among others. Ramsey flies more than 450,000 miles per year and has traveled to 166 countries, all seven continents, and 50 U.S. states.

Ramsey Qubein

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (15)

Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, Forbes.com, CNBC.com, AFAR, Robb Report, Readers Digest, BBC Worldwide, USA Today, NerdWallet.com and Business Traveler magazine among others. Ramsey flies more than 450,000 miles per year and has traveled to 166 countries, all seven continents, and 50 U.S. states.

Marla Cimini

Marla is a writer with a passion for travel, music...ReadMore

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Marla is a writer with a passion for travel, music and culinary adventures (and combining those whenever possible)! As an avid globetrotter, sheencourages respecting andlearning about other cultures while traveling. She has visited Hawaii multiple times, and has explored destinations worldwide,including theMediterraneanregion, South America, Asia and more. Marla is a contributor toFodor’s Hawaiiguidebooks (Oahu and Kauai 2020) and herarticles have appeared in a number of international publications. She calls New Jersey (Philadelphia area) home. Follow her onInstagramandTwitterand read her travel tips and adventures onher website.

Marla Cimini

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (16)

Marla is a writer with a passion for travel, music and culinary adventures (and combining those whenever possible)! As an avid globetrotter, sheencourages respecting andlearning about other cultures while traveling. She has visited Hawaii multiple times, and has explored destinations worldwide,including theMediterraneanregion, South America, Asia and more. Marla is a contributor toFodor’s Hawaiiguidebooks (Oahu and Kauai 2020) and herarticles have appeared in a number of international publications. She calls New Jersey (Philadelphia area) home. Follow her onInstagramandTwitterand read her travel tips and adventures onher website.

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy is the co-founder and editor of...ReadMore

Kyle McCarthy is the co-founder and editor of Family Travel Forum, the trusted resource for family vacation planners since 1996. Award-winning publications includingMyFamilyTravels.com,America’s Most Popular Family Vacations, andThe Family Vacationist e-newsletterreview experiences ranging from eco-adventures to city breaks, multi-generational cruises tosummer family vacations. Ms. McCarthy, author of a dozen Frommer’s guidebooks, also contributes to US News, CNN and other publications. She can be found on most social networks @familytravel4um.

Kyle McCarthy

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (17)

Kyle McCarthy is the co-founder and editor of Family Travel Forum, the trusted resource for family vacation planners since 1996. Award-winning publications includingMyFamilyTravels.com,America’s Most Popular Family Vacations, andThe Family Vacationist e-newsletterreview experiences ranging from eco-adventures to city breaks, multi-generational cruises tosummer family vacations. Ms. McCarthy, author of a dozen Frommer’s guidebooks, also contributes to US News, CNN and other publications. She can be found on most social networks @familytravel4um.

Ava Roxanne Stritt

Ava Roxanne Stritt has been called the most...ReadMore

Ava Roxanne Stritt has been called the most influential person in the world on spa travel and a top authority on luxury and wellness travel. She transforms the idea of a regular spa day into a full wellness adventure! You can always find this freelance writer searching for unique experiences near and far. Follow her adventures at Spa Travel Gal and @SpaTravelGal to get inspired!

Ava Roxanne Stritt

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (18)

Ava Roxanne Stritt has been called the most influential person in the world on spa travel and a top authority on luxury and wellness travel. She transforms the idea of a regular spa day into a full wellness adventure! You can always find this freelance writer searching for unique experiences near and far. Follow her adventures at Spa Travel Gal and @SpaTravelGal to get inspired!

Lawrence Horwitz

Lawrence Horwitz is Executive Director of Historic...ReadMore

Lawrence Horwitz is Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. Based in Washington DC, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide, the official programs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, include more than 300 of America’s most prominent historic hotels and more than 300 of the finest historic hotels in 45 countries worldwide. As the leader in marketing to the global historic, heritage and cultural travel market, both programs include historic hotels from more than 40 of the finest global chains, brands, and collections. As active partners of organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, White House Historical Association, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Organization of American Historians, and National Park Foundation, Horwitz leads a global marketing and tourism organization dedicated to increasing the recognition and celebration of the finest historic hotels and to promoting cultural and heritage travel to the world’s greatest prestigious treasures.

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Lawrence Horwitz

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (19)

Lawrence Horwitz is Executive Director of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. Based in Washington DC, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide, the official programs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, include more than 300 of America’s most prominent historic hotels and more than 300 of the finest historic hotels in 45 countries worldwide. As the leader in marketing to the global historic, heritage and cultural travel market, both programs include historic hotels from more than 40 of the finest global chains, brands, and collections. As active partners of organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, White House Historical Association, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Organization of American Historians, and National Park Foundation, Horwitz leads a global marketing and tourism organization dedicated to increasing the recognition and celebration of the finest historic hotels and to promoting cultural and heritage travel to the world’s greatest prestigious treasures.

Dennis Malcolm "Ale" Sharpton

Dennis Malcolm Byron akaAleSharptonis a...ReadMore

Dennis Malcolm Byron akaAleSharptonis a world-renowned beer authority, award-winning journalist, blogger (AleSharpton.com), photographer, event planner, merchandise designer, and beer judge to name a few of his roles. While passionately traveling the globe to cover what he terms “the world’s best beverage” for more than two decades, his current media outlets include Thrillist.com, James Beard Foundation,Craft Beer & Brewing, CraftBeer.com, USAToday, and others. Ale has also recently launched his own beer called Piano Keys–a chocolate vanilla imperial stout–alongside brewing giant New Belgium geared to support diversity and racial equality through various initiatives including their burgeoning BrewGether fund. Although a native New Yorker and a Cornell University alumnus, Ale proudly calls Atlanta his home.Follow Ale's globetrotting adventures on his captivating Instagram (@realalesharpton), Twitter (@alesharpton), and his website (Alesharpton,com)

Dennis Malcolm "Ale" Sharpton

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (20)

Dennis Malcolm Byron akaAleSharptonis a world-renowned beer authority, award-winning journalist, blogger (AleSharpton.com), photographer, event planner, merchandise designer, and beer judge to name a few of his roles. While passionately traveling the globe to cover what he terms “the world’s best beverage” for more than two decades, his current media outlets include Thrillist.com, James Beard Foundation,Craft Beer & Brewing, CraftBeer.com, USAToday, and others. Ale has also recently launched his own beer called Piano Keys–a chocolate vanilla imperial stout–alongside brewing giant New Belgium geared to support diversity and racial equality through various initiatives including their burgeoning BrewGether fund. Although a native New Yorker and a Cornell University alumnus, Ale proudly calls Atlanta his home.Follow Ale's globetrotting adventures on his captivating Instagram (@realalesharpton), Twitter (@alesharpton), and his website (Alesharpton,com)

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith,Readers' Choice Awards Production...ReadMore

Catherine Smith,Readers' Choice Awards Production Manager and Social Media Director forUSA TODAY 10Best,has a special interest in unique culinary experiences andoff-the-beaten-path adventures.Catherine is the founder ofHer Bags Were Packedwhere shefocuses on helpingwomen release emotional baggage through solo travel and self-discovery.

Catherine Smith

10 best waterfront hotels in the US, according to readers (21)

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Catherine Smith,Readers' Choice Awards Production Manager and Social Media Director forUSA TODAY 10Best,has a special interest in unique culinary experiences andoff-the-beaten-path adventures.Catherine is the founder ofHer Bags Were Packedwhere shefocuses on helpingwomen release emotional baggage through solo travel and self-discovery.

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