Luxury Destinations for Less
WaterColor Inn & Resort
Don't miss: Ask your concierge to set up the Grayton Beach Explorer adventure, which will have you kayaking across a rare, 220-acre coastal dune laketo historic Grayton Beach and the Gulf of Mexico. Watch for bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, and the occasional stingray.
Pink Sands Resort
Don't miss: Go birding in this Audubon-approved bird sanctuary. Bring your binoculars, and enjoy sighting many feathered friends--including that local favorite, the colorful Bahamas parrot.
Don't miss: Check out the colorful lifeguard stands in South Beach. These funky working stands were built to promote tourism following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Most are replicas of the Art Deco-inspired originals.
The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
Don't miss: Drive to the nearby glitzy SoCal towns of Laguna Beach or Newport Beach, where the open-air shopping center Fashion Island offers more than 200 specialty stores (Kate Spade, Michael Stars) and restaurants (Roy's Hawaiin Fusion Cuisine, La Brea Bakery at Macy's); 949/721-2000 or shopfashionisland.com.
Don't miss: Explore Vero Beach's thriving art scene. Check out galleries near the hotel such as Tiger Lily and Gallery 14, for the work of local artist and sculptors, and visit the impressive collection at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.
Trump International Beach Resort
Don't miss: Grab poolside lunch at Gili's Pool Bar & Grill. Choose from 12 different pina colada flavors, and nosh on mini crab cakes with citrus mayo or a grilled mahi sandwich topped with spicy slaw, lime sour cream, and tomato salsa.
Beachview Club Hotel
Don't miss: Bike the island's more than 20 miles of paved paths that lead to the beach and forest, and through the Historic Landmark District. Rent a tandem bike, four-person surrey (electric cart), or mini surrey, and stop by the Pier Road shops to browse.
Don't miss: Take advantage of a complimentary Water Passage treatment for spa guests, including access to the soaking pool and steam caves, and a rejuvenating waterfall rinse.
Don't miss: Go horseback riding at tranquil, tropical Paradise Park. The concierge will arrange transporation to the 1,000-acre private estate and farm about 45 minutes from the resort.
Don't miss: Stop by the COMO Shambhala Retreat--a true sanctuary, encompassing pavilions with treatment rooms, an outdoor Jacuzzi garden, and japanese baths overlooking the island wetlands and the North Caicos Channel.
Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge
Don't miss: Take a guided boat tour through rain forest creeks to see river turtles and howler monkeys.
The Tides Zihuatanejo
Don't miss: Go on a two-and-a-half hour sunset cruise along the Pacific coast with views of swaying coconut palms, rolling beaches and the fiery orange-red sky. Open bar and snacks are included.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Don't miss: Walk over to the boardwalk and aquarium at the Santa Monica Pier, just steps from the hotel.
Oceano Hotel & Spa
Cozy up by the fireplace or enjoy views of the Pillar Point Harbor, Pacific Ocean, and Montara Mountain from the private balcony of one of 95 luxe suites. Located in Half Moon Bay, California, just west of famed Highway 1, the hotel offers organic bamboo linens, a full-service spa, and the Oceano Bar & Grill restaurant.
Don't miss: Check out the 12 boutiques and eateries at Harbor Village, accessible from the hotel lobby. Stop at The Wine Bar for a sunset glass of local Santa Cruz Mountain vino.
Published May 2011. This information was correct when published. Coastal Living is not responsible for any changes to, availability of, or fulfillment of any offers. These offers are the sole responsibility of the individual hotels and resorts mentioned.