The 15 Best Resorts in the Continental U.S.

The best resorts in the United States, according to Travel + Leisure readers, deliver a strong sense of local character and a distinct connectedness to their geographic surroundings, whether they’re in New England or California. Attentive, warm service placed these resorts — many of which are returning favorites — ahead of their competitors.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L invites its readers to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

On the West Coast, dreamy properties in popular Southern California locales snagged three spots: No. 5 San Ysidro Ranch and No. 9 Rosewood Miramar Beach (both in Santa Barbara County) and No. 15 Sparrows Lodge (part of the boutique-resort renaissance in Palm Springs). One voter said this property is “stylish, well-situated, and has exceptional service. Sparrows Lodge is my favorite destination in Palm Springs.” The promise of wide-open spaces attracted travelers to nature-centric options like No. 10 the Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, in the Park City, Utah resort area, and No. 3 Under Canvas Mount Rushmore, a glamping venue in South Dakota. “There are amazing views right from the camp,” affirmed one voter. “Sit on the patio with a glass of wine for a beautiful sight.”

Courtesy of Pickering House

Sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and elevated hospitality created a powerful triumvirate in Florida. The Nobu Hotel Miami Beach won this year’s No. 8 spot, impressing readers with food, service, and stylish interior design. One voter raved about the in-room dining (in the evenings, guests can order signature Nobu dishes such as spicy tuna), while another “loved the Japanese-designed rooms.” For a quieter escape farther north, off the coast of Georgia, the Lodge on Little St. Simons Island (No. 4) embodies what one traveler called “a true luxury eco-lodge.” Guests can learn about local wildlife, go kayaking, and disconnect from plugged-in society. “There are no TVs or radios,” wrote one voter. “It’s a rare, unspoiled environment where nature is celebrated.”

As travelers continue to seek out natural settings for their next getaway, it’s no surprise New England destinations have a strong pull, too. Small towns are home to welcoming inns with big personalities that complement hyper-local dining with outdoor activities. At Twin Farms (No. 6), in Vermont, guests can chat with a resident apiarist or swim in Copper Pond, while at Chatham Inn(No. 12), in Massachusetts, travelers can reserve a tailored 10- to 12-course tasting menu and, afterward, walk along Lighthouse Beach.

1. Pickering House Inn, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Courtesy of Pickering House

This cozy 10-room guest house in eastern New Hampshire has been a T+L reader favorite for years. One factor contributing to its staying power? Its location in the center of leafy Wolfeboro means the inn is within walking distance of Lake Winnipesaukee and nearby hiking. “Everything here is wonderful,” gushed one voter. In December 2020, co-owners Peter and Patty Cooke braved the COVID lockdown and opened a new restaurant, Pavilion, right next door.

Score: 98.95

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2. White Elephant Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida

Courtesy of White Elephant Palm Beach

Score: 98.13More information:

3. Under Canvas Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota

Bailey Made

Score: 97.47

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4. Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, St. Simons Island, Georgia

Phillip Murdaco

Score: 96.76

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5. San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara, California

Courtesy of San Ysidro Ranch

Score: 96.57

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6. Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont

Courtesy of Twin Farms

Score: 96.42

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7. Deer Path Inn, Lake Forest, Illinois

Courtesy of Deer Path Inn

Score: 96.40

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8. Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, Miami Beach

Courtesy of Nobu Hotel Miami Beach

Score: 96.22

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9. Rosewood Miramar Beach, Montecito, California

Courtesy of Rosewood Miramar Beach

Score: 96.14

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10. The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, Wanship, Utah

Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 95.85

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11. Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Little Torch Key, Florida

Courtesy of Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Score: 95.83

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12. Chatham Inn, Chatham, Massachusetts

Courtesy of The Chatham Inn, Relais & Châteaux

Score: 95.68

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13. Rabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford, Vermont

Courtesy of Rabbit Hill Inn

Score: 95.59

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14. Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Miami Beach

Nik Koenig/Courtesy of Faena Hotel Miami Beach

Score: 95.58

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15. Sparrows Lodge, Palm Springs, California

Courtesy of Sparrows Lodge

Score: 95.58

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