Incredible Beyond-the-Midwest Beach Vacations to Book Now
Beyond the Midwest, these beautiful beaches offer travelers a chance to recharge and escape the daily grind. Tell us the vacation experience you're craving, and we'll point you to a beach worthy of your OOO reply.
If you say "heck yes" to eating before swimming: Visit Bermuda
Just a short flight from the U.S., this North Atlantic island territory blends British, Caribbean and African culture; is packed with culinary adventure; and, in winter, has nearly empty beaches.
The recently renovated cottages at Cambridge Beaches ooze colorful Bermudian charm, with plenty of waterfront patio space to sip rum swizzles, feast on fresh caught sushi and watch the sunset.
Gobble up Bermuda's famous fried fish sandwich, served on cinnamon raisin bread. (Don't knock it 'til you try it!) Hole-in-the-wall Woodys Restaurant serves one of the best, alongside spectacular views.
Get an adrenaline rush from trying Bermudians' favorite pastime: cliff jumping. Day boating companies transport you to easy entry points, like Admiralty House Park, to get your feet wet.
If you crave quality time with nature: Visit Corpus Christi, Texas
Your shoulders will noticeably drop as you take a big gulp of sea breeze. The coastal dunes, prairies and tidal flats are home to nearly 400 species of birds.
The new, mod Lively Beach condos on Mustang Island are surrounded by wetlands and near the island's largest sand dune.
Slurp down Gulf-caught bivalves—served on the half shell, wood-grilled or Rockefeller—at Water Street Oyster Bar, a local favorite for nearly 40 years.
Head to Padre Island National Seashore, the largest undeveloped barrier island in the world, for fishing, birding, paddleboarding and beachcombing.
Related: Romantic Midwest Getaways
If you appreciate the art of relaxation: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, Florida
Rooms at The Don CeSar, the iconic pink hotel that hosted F. Scott Fitzgerald and Al Capone, feature tasteful, happy hues surpassed only by the sunsets at its rooftop bar.
Try the local favorite grouper Reuben from Frenchy's Rockaway Grill.
The new Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement displays furniture; pottery; and a full-fledged, tiled bathroom circa 1914.
If you dream of a romantic getaway: Visit South Walton, Florida
Winter and early spring are low season in this area of Northwest Florida (also known as 30A, for the highway). Enjoy blissfully uncrowded restaurants.
The Court in Seaside is perfect for couples, with eight luxe guest residences and a plush, all-white aesthetic. Celebrating? Book the hotel's Ivory Tower accommodation.
Get a table at The Citizen, a ritzy spot where you can make eyes at each other over cocktails and shared apps, like whipped feta with grilled naan.
A new world awaits at the Underwater Museum of Art—North America's first permanent underwater sculpture garden—in the Gulf of Mexico, only accessible by diving.
If You're Taking the Kids: Visit Hilton Head, South Carolina
This island has all the kids' essentials (minigolf, arcades, bowling, greasy pizza joints), plus a healthy mix of entertainment and cuisine for adults.
Find three outdoor pools, private beach access, bike rentals, golf, restaurants, a kids' club and a spa—a glorious, aah-worthy spa—at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa.
Venture to dinner at the new Quarterdeck, overlooking the Calibogue Sound, for seafood such as fried gator bites and fresh-caught Carolina fish.
Traverse the treetops as a family on a zipline canopy tour (ages 10 and older) or six high ropes courses (ages 5 and older) at Adventure Hilton Head.
If you need a breather from Zoom: Visit Gulf Shores, Alabama
Packed with families when school's out, the state's southernmost tip is remarkably low-key in winter and early spring.
The isolated Eagle Cottages at Gulf State Park, on peaceful Lake Shelby, are a short car or bike ride from state park beach access points. The 11 pet-friendly homes have firepits and screen porches.
Tie on a bib and order a platter of Royal Red shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico. They're sweet like lobster and often served steamed with head and shell on, alongside drawn butter. Messy? Yes. Worth it? Totally.
Hop a ferry from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island in the morning to explore this secluded landscape, with several miles of white beaches and wildlife, including dolphins and 350 species of birds during migratory seasons.