Two things set this expansive, luxurious Clearwater Beach resort apart from other upscale accommodations in the vicinity: it's not part of a major chain, and the property has deep local ties. Built on the former site of the Clearwater Beach Hotel, it exudes history throughout its halls and in its coastal-chic rooms. All have a water view—be it of the Gulf or the Intracoastal Waterway—and there are amenities to spare. The amazing spa is a destination unto itself, and
on-site dining options include Caretta on the Gulf, a regional draw for its cooking classes, weekend brunch, and creative locavore cuisine (not to mention impressive wine pairings). Camp Ridley is a good option for kids if it's raining or if they get bored with all the swimming and beachcombing.