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Impressive Beach Hotels on Florida's East Coast

AAA/Inspector 76
By AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome
September 17, 2020
Whether you’re into surfing, sunbathing, shelling or sailing, Florida’s east coast beaches provide a welcome escape from inland life. Sunshine and salty sea air are often touted for their health benefits; you can put those theories to the test with a Florida vacation at one of these impressive beachfront hotels.
A few notes: All resorts on this list have an oceanfront location on Florida’s Atlantic coast and have earned the approval of AAA’s team of professional inspectors, who visit thousands of hotels each year to find the best options for AAA members. Additionally, these properties have all received AAA’s Best Of Housekeeping designation in 2020, a prestigious honor given to the hotels that are in the top 25 percent of AAA Diamond-designated properties for their cleanliness and condition.
Remember to practice safe social distancing and follow local guidelines for mask requirements; the AAA COVID-19 Travel Restrictions map is a handy tool for navigating the current rules and regulations for various destinations across the U.S. and Canada.

Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach

fireplace, lobby, furniture
AAA/Inspector 43

Elizabeth Pointe Lodge

Fernandina Beach, Florida
Good for: A couples weekend
Nestled on the north end of Amelia Island, the Nantucket-style Elizabeth Pointe Lodge offers a romantic bed-and-breakfast experience that is perfect for couples. Grab a rocking chair on the wraparound porch to soak up the ocean views, or head down to the sand with a beach chair and umbrella (both are included with your reservation). The convenient location of this beachfront property provides easy access to Fort Clinch State Park and downtown Fernandina Beach (just 2 miles away).
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Pool area
AAA/Inspector 591

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort

Fernandina Beach, Florida
Good for: A luxury family vacation
With two championship golf courses, 23 tennis courts, two swimming pools (one with an infinity edge), a fishing lake, numerous restaurants and 3.5 miles of private beach, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort offers plenty of facilities and activities to keep guests entertained. The oceanfront resort welcomes pets, too, with a pet-friendly shopping village on site. Try something new with a surfing lesson, golf clinic or horseback riding on the beach at nearby Kelly Seahorse Ranch.
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guest room bed
AAA/Inspector 591

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Fernandina Beach, Florida
Good for: An indulgent escape
Leave the real world behind and escape to the Southern elegance of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Both the resort and its restaurant Salt have earned the prestigious AAA Five Diamond designation every year since 2012. Rooms and suites feature ocean views — the property fronts 1.5 miles of pristine beach — and the resort fee includes access to bicycles, beach umbrellas and boogie boards, a fitness class and golf and tennis practice facilities. Another popular way to escape at The Ritz is the spa’s “Heaven in a Hammock” treatment, a massage that incorporates a hammock to simulate the rocking motion of the tide.
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Atlantic Beach

Spa shop
AAA/Inspector 591

One Ocean Resort & Spa

Atlantic Beach, Florida
Good for: A romantic retreat
Just north of Jacksonville Beach, One Ocean Resort & Spa is a beach retreat ideal for special occasions and romantic getaways. Guests receive pampering with plush robes and refreshments in guest rooms and luxury treatments at the spa. Azurea, the fine dining restaurant at One Ocean, dazzles with artfully presented dishes and a AAA Four Diamond designation. Another perk for travelers: Both the beachfront and resort are pet-friendly, and the hotel even has a special room service menu just for pets.
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Cocoa Beach

The Resort on Cocoa Beach
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The Resort On Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Good for: A week-long family vacation
Family vacations are a breeze at The Resort On Cocoa Beach, which also earned the AAA Inspector’s Best Of Family-Friendly distinction for 2020. Guest rooms are spacious at this resort — all include two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a balcony — as well as fully equipped with kitchens, full-size refrigerators and in-room laundry machines. A short boardwalk leads down to the beach on the ocean-side, but many activities take place around the resort-style swimming pool complete with a waterfall, volleyball net, splash pad, outdoor bar and live entertainment.
Bonus tip: Cocoa Beach is a great place to watch rocket launches from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
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Fort Lauderdale Beach

resort view from balcony
AAA/Inspector 420

Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Good for: A Caribbean-style escape
With lush, tropical grounds, multiple dining facilities and a lagoon-style swimming pool, Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club has the feel of a Caribbean beach retreat without the all-inclusive price tag. Complimentary beach chairs are provided for use on the large expanse of private beach (said to be one of the largest in the county), while the grounds offer facilities for tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard, basketball, ping pong, beach volleyball and oversize chess.
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Balcony view
AAA/Inspector 420

Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Good for: A modern stay near shops and nightlife
If your idea of a dream beach vacation involves pedicures, fitness classes and a daily Starbucks run, consider Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. The contemporary resort boasts modern rooms with all the necessary creature comforts, plus a private beach and a lagoon-style pool with waterfalls, cabanas and poolside drink service. For an additional fee, guests can rent jet skis, kayaks, paddleboards, boogie boards and snorkels.
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Jensen Beach

Beach resort with contemporary rooms and spirit of Halloween with sand sculpture.
AAA/Inspector 52

Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa

Jensen Beach, Florida
Good for: An Instagram-worthy staycation
Nestled on a barrier island on Florida’s Treasure Coast, Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa provides everything you need for some quality R & R. Tasteful nautical décor gives the resort a boutique-like feel — and an eye-pleasing backdrop for Instagram-worthy vacation memories. With two outdoor pools, a spa, fitness classes, a beach bar and multiple dining facilities, guests won’t have much reason to leave the property during a stay.
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New Smyrna Beach

Accommodations at SpringHill Suites New Smyrna Beach
Courtesy of SpringHill Suites New Smyrna Beach

SpringHill Suites New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Good for: A weekend getaway in a casual beach town
With a prime oceanfront location on bustling Flagler Avenue, SpringHill Suites New Smyrna Beach offers a beachfront vacation in a contemporary hotel. Rooms at the all-suites property come with mini fridges, microwaves and sofa beds, as well as access to a complimentary breakfast buffet each morning. While on-site amenities are limited to just an oceanfront pool and a fitness center, plenty of beach shops and restaurants are just a short walk away along Flagler Avenue.
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Palm Beach

Varoius pictures of pool areas
AAA/Inspector 76

The Breakers, Palm Beach

Palm Beach, Florida
Good for: A luxurious splurge
Earning the prestigious AAA Five Diamond designation, The Breakers, Palm Beach promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience amid lavish surroundings. Attention to detail is paramount here, from the luxurious linens and furnishings in guest rooms to the hand-painted cathedral ceilings of the lobby. The circa 1896 resort has had its fair share of famous guests, too, with U.S. presidents and members of the Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Astor families among the who’s who. Modern-day guests have access to the spa, four oceanfront pools, two golf courses, tennis courts and 10 restaurants.
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Ponte Vedra Beach

Guest room
AAA/Inspector 591

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Good for: A luxury family vacation
Families in search of a luxury vacation spot with plenty of room to roam will find it at the exclusive Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Situated on 300 acres of manicured, oceanfront grounds, the AAA Five Diamond-designated resort boasts a pristine beach (with walk-out access from many ground floor rooms), two 18-hole golf courses, four swimming pools, a waterslide, a croquet lawn, clay tennis courts, 10 dining facilities, a multi-story fitness center and seasonal children’s activities. Guests of the Inn can also take a shuttle to The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach, a sister property just down the street that has additional dining and recreational activities.
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Riviera Beach

Lobby
AAA/Inspector 420

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa

Riviera Beach, Florida
Good for: An upscale family-friendly vacation
South Florida’s Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is an all-suites property that makes long stays comfortable with full-size kitchens, large living spaces and in-room washers and dryers. Families will love the private beach area and two outdoor swimming pools — one geared toward adults with an infinity edge and the other lagoon-style with waterfalls, a waterslide and a shallow-entry area for little ones. A kids’ club provides supervised activities during the day and on Friday and Saturday evenings.
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