19 of the best resorts in the US

Check out these incredible properties for your next vacation
Trip Advisor
/ Source: TODAY
By Lyn Mettler

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Traveling our great country soon? We've compiled a list of some of the best U.S. resorts, many of them iconic properties that date back 100 years or more.

Discover resorts that are family-friendly, ideal for nature lovers or that provide an elegant and luxurious stay on your US getaway.

Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton

Indian Wells, California

Casey Figlewicz / Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa

What to do: Whether you want to relax or stay active, Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa has plenty of options. Rent bikes and pedal through the Indian Wells community, play golf at the nearby Indian Wells Golf Resort, relax at the spa or kick back at one of three pools.

Why go: This beautiful property, located at the base of the Santa Rosa mountains, is set on 11 acres amidst trees and a sculpture garden in the Palm Springs desert. It makes for a quintessential natural escape.

Why we picked it: It’s close to Palm Springs without being in the heart of the action; it’s also a good home base for exploring Joshua Tree National Park.

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The Greenbrier

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

Ron Blunt / The Greenbrier Hotel & Resort

What to do: The Greenbrier offers something for all ages. Play a round of golf, rejuvenate at the mineral spa and even try your luck with on-site gaming.

Why go: For a true grand hotel experience, it doesn’t get much better than The Greenbrier. Many famous people, including 27 presidents, have stepped on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark built in 1778.

Why we picked it: With its picturesque mountain setting, the Greenbrier is a bucket list resort with amazing amenities like 10 lobbies, 11,000 acres, five golf courses, 20 eateries and more than 30 shops.

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Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

What to do: Love the outdoors? You can get your fill at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, which offers three championship golf courses, a tennis center, pickleball, paved bike paths and kayak and paddleboard rentals.

Why go: Located centrally on Hilton Head Island, Palmetto Dunes is a classic Southern resort with grand oaks draped in hanging moss, palm trees and abundant sea oats. It's close to much of what the rest of the island has to offer, like shopping and dining.

Why we picked it: A great multigenerational destination, the resort offers a range of vacation rentals from homes to one-bedroom units each with washer/dryer, full kitchen and separate bedrooms. Accommodations are ideal for giving each person their own space, while activity beckons in the lovely outdoors.

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The Resort at Pelican Hill

Newport Beach, California

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What to do: Guests can hang beachside at Crystal Cove, just a short shuttle ride from The Resort at Pelican Hill, grab a lounge chair at the iconic Coliseum Pool (one of the largest circular pools in the world) or join in an outdoor yoga session at the on-site fitness center.

Why go: This stunning property, just south of Newport Beach, sits on a pristine area of the southern California coast and models its design after grand Italian countryside villas.

Why we picked it: For the ultimate in luxury, book a stay at The Resort at Pelican Hill, which offers guests everything under one roof from a spa and 36 holes of golf to upscale shopping and dining, all within gorgeous natural surroundings.

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Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton

Scottsdale, Arizona

Peter Malinowski / The Boulders Resort and Spa

What to do: This resort has a range of activities, including golf at one of the two championship courses, horseback riding or soaking up the sun by one of four pools. There’s even a 12-million-year-old boulder pile you can climb!

Why go: Experience the desert in luxury at this 1,300-acre resort near Scottsdale. The Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton is home to a 33,000-square-foot spa, as well as five different restaurants.

Why we picked it: This unusual property, which is set in front of ancient boulders, makes an ideal adventurous getaway with many nearby outdoor activities from rock climbing and hiking to ATV tours and hot air balloon rides. The vast spa includes a meditation labyrinth and uses ingredients indigenous to its desert surroundings for treatments.

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La Playa Carmel

Carmel, California

La Playa Carmel

What to do: Rent bikes from the resort and explore the town on two wheels, enjoy its champagne breakfast buffet daily as you enjoy views of the fog rolling in over the ocean and take a drive to nearby Point Lobos State Natural Reserve for coastal beauty and plentiful seals.

Why go: Experience the beauty of the foggy northern California coast and Carmel-by-the-Sea with its fairytale homes and winding roads. Built in 1905, the property has the feel of a grand old resort and features lovely gardens, courtyards, private terraces and a pool.

Why we picked it: An iconic property in northern California’s charming town of Carmel, La Playa Carmel is a cozy, romantic beach retreat for exploring everything this quaint village has to offer.

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Naples Grande Beach Resort

Naples, Florida

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What to do: Sunbathe on the resort’s three miles of beach, take a swing on one of its 15 tennis courts or golf course, or even enjoy a bite or drink at one of several restaurants and bars.

Why go: The Naples Grande Beach Resort is a modern escape with fantastic Gulf of Mexico views, a spa and three pools. Don’t miss the lovely nature walk to the beach through a 2,000-acre mangrove estuary.

Why we picked it: For a gulf-side Florida vacation, the Naples Grande is a great spot to lay your head — and your towel. Naples deep blue calm waters are a great spot for swimming or just hanging out on the beach in one of the resort’s loungers.

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Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

Las Vegas, Nevada

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What to do: Of course, you can try your luck by gambling the night away, catch a show at the on-site theater or hang out at its water park complete with sand. There's also the 30,000-square-foot spa or the Shark Reef Aquarium. Be sure to splurge on a meal from a James Beard award-winning chef at Libertine Social restaurant.

Why go: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino is one of the largest resorts in Las Vegas located right on the Strip and offers easy access via tram to the rest of the city. For a quieter option, consider the Delano, which is a boutique hotel attached to Mandalay Bay.

Why we picked it: You’ll be hard-pressed not to find something fun to do at Mandalay Bay whether you’re up for relaxing, partying or just seeing the sites of Sin City.

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West Baden Springs Hotel

West Baden Springs, Indiana

Chris Smith / West Baden Springs Hotel

What to do: There are plenty of activities on the property of West Baden Springs, including a spa, multiple golf courses, fine dining and even gaming at its sister property the French Lick Springs Hotel. The evening atrium light show is a must-see.

Why go: Known for its massive atrium, which spans 200 feet, the hotel was built in the 1800s and feels a bit like stepping back in time to a period of utmost elegance.

Why we picked it: The West Baden Springs Hotel is an pristine grand dame in the rolling hills of southern Indiana that once attracted the elite looking for healing in the area’s hot springs.

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Doubletree by Hilton Vail

Vail, Colorado

Doubletree by Hilton Vail

What to do: Soothe sore muscles after a day on the slopes or hiking the Rocky Mountains in the property’s hot tub, by the outdoor fireplace or in the outdoor heated pool. There’s even a co-working space if you need to put in some office hours while on vacation.

Why go: Vail in the summer or winter is a lovely sight to behold and the Doubletree by Hilton Vail is a comfy spot with free shuttles to Vail Village, three on-site restaurants and on-site ski and bike rentals.

Why we picked it: The Doubletree by Hilton Vail provides mountain lovers an affordable place to stay and easy access to lifts for skiing and snowboarding in winter and other activities like hiking and mountain biking in summer.

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The Cloister at Sea Island

Sea Island, Georgia

The Cloister at Sea Island

What to do: You’ll want to enjoy the beauty of the southern coastal surroundings at The Cloister at Sea Island, including its 5 miles of private beach, three golf courses, kayaking through marshes, as well as beach biking and sailing lessons.

Why go: If you’re looking for privacy paired with luxury, a visit to this island off the coast of Georgia is an excellent option. The Cloister at Sea Island has received the Forbes Five Star award for 11 years and counting, and the Golden Isles of Georgia are more of a secret gem than nearby South Carolina or Florida.

Why we picked it: A getaway for America’s elite and host to events like the G-8 world summit and the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, this coastal resort may be a splurge, but it's worth it.

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Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California

The Biltmore Santa Barbara

What to do: Experience the upscale resort’s many amenities, including two pools, tennis and pickleball courts, a casino and bike rentals for exploring the local area. Don’t miss one of Santa Barbara’s famously fire-red sunsets over the harbor.

Why go: Santa Barbara, nicknamed the “American Riviera,” is a quaint and charming city along the Southern California coast known for its red-tiled roofs. It's full of shops and restaurants, lovely harbor and excellent wine tastings. The Spanish-style Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara places you in the heart of the city with luxurious amenities like a spa, cozy fireplaces and fine dining.

Why we picked it: The gorgeous property is set along the beautiful Pacific coast overlooking the Channel Islands and filled with lush greenery throughout.

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Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch

Avon, Colorado

Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch

What to do: Adventure lovers can take a spin on a mountain bike, hike to nearby Beaver Lake or hop on the lift right outside the resort. For a relaxing getaway, book a treatment at the spa or hang out at the outdoor heated pool. Enjoy a true fine dining experience of mountain-style cooking at on-site restaurant, WYLD.

Why go: A great spot for families and multiple generations on vacation, this property, built in the style of a grand National Park lodge, offers plenty of activities and dining all in one location with the Rocky Mountains as your playground.

Why we picked it: A true gem in the Rocky Mountains, the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch is tucked away close to Beaver Creek Resort for nearby amenities, but offers a sense of secluded privacy.

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Big Cedar Lodge

Ridgedale, Missouri

Big Cedar Lodge

What to do: What isn’t there to do at Big Cedar Lodge? The Missouri resort offers a nature park with butterfly garden, outdoor shooting academy and the "fun zone," a 50,000-square-foot amusement complex with an arcade, bowling lanes and laser tag. Did we mention the views of Table Rock Lake?

Why go: Big Cedar Lodge is a great choice for an outdoorsy vacation and those who love exploring Mother Nature.

Why we picked it: An activity-filled midwestern getaway in the heart of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Big Cedar Lodge is a wilderness resort surrounded by stunning natural scenery.

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The Broadmoor

Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Broadmoor

What to do:The Rocky Mountains are an adventure-lovers playground, and you can experience much of it on or near The Broadmoor. Activities at the grand resort include falconry, golf, tennis, guided mountain biking, hiking, rock-climbing tours and fly-fishing. Plus, the resort owns and manages attractions like Seven Falls (a series of waterfalls) and The Broadmoor Soaring Adventure zip-line courses.

Why go: This historic 5,000-acre resort opened in 1918 and has been hosting the travelers on their western retreats for more than 100 years.

Why we picked it: The Broadmoor is an iconic property in the Rocky Mountains offering picturesque alpine views and elegant accommodations.

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The American Club

Kohler, Wisconsin

The American Club

What to do: An outdoor wonderland, there’s lots to do in Kohler — like yoga on the lake (a studio with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Wood Lake), electric bike rentals, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding and archery, and the list goes on...

Why go: Golfers will appreciate the scenic courses in Kohler, including Whistling Straits along Lake Michigan and Blackwolf Run. The Kohler Waters Spa is also the only five diamond spa in Wisconsin and features water-inspired treatment rooms and therapeutic water treatments.

Why we picked it: A lovely historic property in the heart of the small village of Kohler, Wisconsin, The American Club is a AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star resort hotel with five eateries, several lovely courtyards and the Kohler Waters Spa in the nearby Carriage House.

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Hotel Boulderado

Boulder, Colorado

Hotel Boulderado

What to do: Hang out in fun and funky Boulder with a stroll over to Pearl Street Mall and a walk down the Boulder Creek Path, and be sure to check out the speakeasy-style License No. 1 Bar in the basement of the hotel.

Why go: An historic landmark that is more than a century old, the Hotel Boulderado is a Victorian-style mountain luxury hotel. It's convenient to all the city has to offer and is just 30 miles from Denver.

Why we picked it: Hotel Boulderado is a unique historic property listed on the National Register of Historic Places with fun features like an original Otis elevator and the option to stay in the historic or modern portions of the hotel.

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Omni Grove Park Inn

Asheville, North Carolina

Omni Grove Park Inn

What to do: Keep active at the Omni Grove Park Inn’s 50,000-square-foot sports complex with an indoor pool, racquetball court and fitness classes, as well as a golf course, tennis courts, multiple restaurants and outdoor pool. Enjoy all that Asheville has to offer from white-water rafting to the Biltmore Estate to hiking and biking.

Why go: Experience the resort's incredible underground grotto-like spa with rock walls, waterfall pools, underwater music and fiber optic stars on the ceiling.

Why we picked it: Asheville is an artsy and funky destination in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and the Omni Grove Park Inn is a lush resort to call home when visiting the area.

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The Palace Hotel

San Francisco, California

The Palace Hotel San Francisco

What to do: Get out and walk San Francisco, exploring the Embarcadero, not far from the hotel, hopping a ride on a trolley or streetcar or making your way to the wharf to see loudly barking sea lions.

Why go: The Palace, which originally opened in 1875, offers you an amazing chance to stay at one of America’s grand old hotels and experience how the elite traveled at the turn of the century. Be sure to enjoy tea in the incredible stained-glass atrium with Italian marble pillars and Austrian crystal chandeliers.

Why we picked it: The Palace, which is located in San Francisco’s Financial District, is a convenient spot to explore the city while spending your overnights in luxury.

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