TODAY

TODAY   |  May 23, 2013

5 charming beach getaways for relaxation

Jeanenne Tornatore is a senior travel editor for Orbitz. She says that if you’re looking for a charming beach getaway, you should check out Sanibel Island in Florida, Cape Cod, and Carmel, Calif.

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>> it is time to pack your bags for today's travel. summer's almost here. if you're thinking about a beach vacation. but you can't stand the crowds or the overpriced hotels, listen to this --

>> janine tornotori the senior travel editor for orbitz says for coast to coast there's so many charming beach escapes that are family-friendly and affordable and she's here with the best.

>> the key is affordable. everyone wants a beach vacation in the summer. it's where can you go and still get a good deal.

>> i love your first one, sanibel island .

>> which is charming.

>> right around fort myers , naples, beautiful.

>> it's world-renowned for its shelling. give the kids a bucket, send them down to the beach. you see everyone out in the morning trying to get the good shells. over 70 golf courses here, it's so nature-based. whatever you want to do. you can spend a whole week, you're not going to run out of things to do.

>> you like the marriott there?

>> i love the marriott . the sanibel harbor marriott resort and spa. kids club , five pools, a conn" conde nast " traveler best spot. $199 in the summer.

>> that's not considered the high season in florida. so that's great.

>> your second pick is cape cod .

>> cape cod , which can be popular and expensive. i picked hyannis, which is a great point to be, because you can take the ferries out to martha's vineyard. nantucket. and in town you have the john f. kennedy museum, great shops, little seafood shacks, all-around great american beach destination.

>> sometimes you think of those places as pricey. but can you find good ones.

>> we found the hyannis harbor hotel right on the harbor. hop on the ferries there. smaller but it's renovated. indoor/outdoor pool, fire pit , court yard. from $199 a night.

>> your next one is one of my favorite places i'm going in a couple of weeks, going back because i love it so much, holland, michigan. is drop-dead adorable.

>> people don't think of the midwest as having amazing beaches. but they're award-winning.

>> and the cleanest water you will ever see.

>> and the sunsets are amazing. the town was settled by dutch immigrants in the 1800s .

>> those are my friends.

>> victorian houses and kind of a hip feel. you see street performers , coffee shops and little restaurants. you see a lot of cabins and cottages. if you want to stay downtown it's called the city flats hotel. $149 a night. a little more modern. it has amenities and you can walk to everything in town.

>> a fun town to walk in.

>> out west, carmel is a great spot.

>> carmel is beautiful. 120 miles from san francisco . you know for over a century this has been the mecca for artists and musicianins and writers.

>> the original name was carmel by the sea.

>> they have a bach festival and a shakespeare festival . my hotel pick is the carmel mission inn, $149 a night. a small property, charming, it has the great california vibe. 165 rooms and free wi-fi and free parking . everyone is looking for those types of free amenities.

>> and it's so cool that clint eastwood used to be the mayor.

>> you go up the pacific coast and you have a pick there, too.

>> one of my favorites, cannon beach , oregon. 70 miles west of portland. one of the most beautiful beaches. nature-based. the little town is sandwiched between the pacific coast and the coast mountain range . mostly all local businesses, they try to keep out a lot of the big businesses, it has small-town charm. haystack rock is the big monument you see. and the hotel is the surf-sand resort, a 209 a night on average. eye cream socials and hot dog roasts during the summer, all-around beautiful property.