Florida Island Getaways on the Atlantic Coast

Discover these fabulous resorts on islands big and small that skirt Florida’s eastern shore

 

Florida’s Atlantic Coast is known for the string of barrier islands and keys that create ideal vacation destinations. Some are mere spits of land, others form long stretches of coast separated from the mainland by a tidal marsh. But no matter what size or shape, these islands are home to great Florida resorts, ranging from super laid-back places where the 24/7 dress code is flip-flops and shorts to upscale elegance where romance, pampering and dressing up, just a bit, for dinner make the stay. Here are some favorites, from the Florida Keys to the Georgia state line.

Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina at Holiday Isle, Islamorada, Florida Keys

Since it opened in the 1950s Islamorada’s Holiday Isle Resort and Marina became an icon with serious fishermen, budget-conscious families and fun-loving partygoers. Saved from the bulldozer and refreshed, the island property debuted in 2011 as the Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina. The old salts remember this fishing lodge, the party crowd remembers its famous Rum Runners and families remember its great location in the Upper Keys. So the Postcard Inn lives on as a legend and a favorite destination with those who remember—and those just discovering. Guestrooms have a boathouse chic design with white wood walls, driftwood-style flooring, fish art and sliding doors that open onto the beach. The resort’s marina rents boats for cruising around the islands, and at the hotel’s water-sports desk, guests can arrange fishing charters, dive trips, sunset cruises and ecotours as well as rent kayaks and paddleboards. With four bars, including the famous Tiki Bar, the Postcard Inn is still the place for a cold one as well as the traditional Rum Runner, said to have been created here.  BOOK NOW

Islamorada Postcard Inn, Florida Keys, Florida Island Getaways on the Atlantic Coast

Almost on an island of its own, the pool at Islamorada’s Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina at Holiday Isle promises ocean breezes and sunrise views. Photo: Joshua McHugh/ Postcard Inn at Holiday Isle

Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, Miami

Key Biscayne is often the forgotten Miami island. Separated from the mainland by bridges, causeways and islands, it’s like a tropical paradise just minutes from the financial frenzy of Brickell Avenue, Miami’s banking district. Surrounded by high-rise condominiums and million dollar manses, the Ritz-Carlton resort sits on 1,200 feet of golden sand, one of Miami’s prettiest stretches with views of South Beach and the downtown skyline. Outside the resort, the 1.2-square-mile key has a community all its own with a strong Latin population and every store, restaurant and service you’d need. There’s also Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park with a historic lighthouse and Crandon Park with an island golf course. Within the resort’s lushly landscaped grounds you’ll find pure luxury and privacy. Guestrooms are classic in design with marble bathrooms and balconies ideal for watching sunrises or sunsets. The pool area, hidden by palm trees, has direct access to the beach, and the resort is a tennis players’ dream with 11 courts. A spa with 21 treatment rooms means getting a last-minute appointment is usually doable. If you’re a foodie, one night you can dine on Mexican food under the palapa-roofed Cantina Beach, complete with its own chandelier, where a professional tequilier presents a menu of 100 tequilas. Another day it’s lunch at the Dune Oceanfront Burger Lounge on a stylish rattan sofa right on the sand, enjoying Wagyu beef sliders and a cold Kronenbourg 1664. Nightcaps are in the Rumbar, where 84 rums line the shelves.  BOOK NOW

Miami Key Biscayne Ritz Carlton, Florida

A luxurious tropical setting, the Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne is a peaceful Miami hideaway just minutes from downtown. Photo: Ritz- Carlton Key Biscayne

Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, Singer Island

Traveling Florida’s long eastern coast, it would be easy to miss Singer Island, which sits just north of its fashionable neighbor Palm Beach. Residents would probably like it that way; however, anyone who crosses over to this lean peninsula is rewarded with tranquil golden sands, crystal clear waters and an amazing coastal state park. One of the farthest eastern points along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, the beach here is home to the Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, tucked among high rises that line the shore. A walk on the sands turns up unexpected lunar-like rock formations as one ventures northward toward MacArthur Beach State Park, where mangroves and tidal estuaries attract kayakers and birders. Known for its condo-style suites, where living space and a full kitchen separate the bedrooms, the resort has a decor embellished with exquisite stone flooring and rich wood furniture and accent walls. An adult pool with cabanas and ocean views is separated by a towering wing of the hotel from the family pool, where water slide splashes and giggles are de rigueur. En route to the beach, guests encounter a funky surf shack, with rental water-sports equipment, and the Reef Tiki Bar, serving rum concoctions in coconut shells.  BOOK NOW

Singer Island Palm Beach Marriott, Florida

The Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa sits on a stretch of the Atlantic Coast where the water is crystal clear and the sand perfect for long walks. Photo: Marriott Singer Island

Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina, Hutchinson Island

A slender barrier island that stretches from Stuart north to Fort Pierce, Hutchinson Island has its shares of condominiums where northerners come for holiday. On its southern end sits the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina. Appreciated for its wildlife, the area has nesting grounds for sea turtles and is a vantage point for manatee and whale sightings. Guests can meander the 200-acre island resort, which has the vibe of a seaside village. Or you can hop on the shuttle to take you from the main hotel to the Sandpiper Villas on the edge of the beach, the golf course and the beach club. At the resort’s marina, rental boats are available for exploring the surrounding waterways and islands, including a stop at any of the fish shacks where you can dock and grab a grouper sandwich and a cold one. From the resort, Ocean Boulevard takes you across the Intracoastal Waterway into Stuart for shopping and dining and to Historic Downtown Stuart, where art galleries, cafes, boutiques and a boardwalk along the St. Lucie River provide the perfect diversion.  BOOK NOW

Hutchinson Island, Marriott, Sandpiper Tiki Bar, Florida

Steps from the Atlantic’s shoreline, the Sandpiper Tiki Bar at the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina is the place for a libation after a day on the sand. Photo: Jeff Herron/ Marriott Hutchinson Island

Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

The farther north you go, the more Southern it gets is as old Florida saying, but on Amelia Island it rings true. The last barrier island before you cross the state line to Georgia, this is where you find sweet tea and shrimp-and-grits along with friendly conversations with a Southern twang. With 13 miles of wide beach and firm sands, Amelia Island is perfect for planting a sun umbrella and lounge and hanging out all day or casting a line and doing some surf fishing. When it comes to choosing a place to stay, the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is a luxury oasis with direct access to the dune-lined beach. The manicured grounds lead to a large fire pit for late night socializing, and 18 holes of golf are played close enough to the water to enjoy the ocean breezes. Guests can choose from an outdoor pool with a palm tree island design and an indoor heated pool, much appreciated during north Florida’s cooler winter days. The rooms are classic in decor with marble bathrooms and soaking tubs, but the bonus is that each one comes with a balcony and ocean view.  BOOK NOW

Amelia Island Ritz Carlton, Florida

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is nestled between the Intracoastal Waterway and the seashore on Florida’s northernmost barrier island.

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