1. Siesta Key, Florida
Though Siesta Beach is regularly named one of the best beaches in the U.S. (and even the world), Siesta Key doesn’t get the same traffic as other Florida beach destinations like Miami, Key West, or even Destin and Panama City. This barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico has three beaches—Crescent, Turtle and Siesta—all with powdery white sand beaches and cool blue water. Tourists from the North come down in the winter, but summers are low-key, with mostly locals hitting the beach. Visitors can shop, golf and easily head to nearby Sarasota for art galleries, museums and other activities.
Where to stay: The Inn on Siesta Key is a quaint, cozy spot that feels tucked away while sitting right across from the beach. It’s a comfortable oasis designed for a truly relaxing beach vacation.