1. Montecito beach estate
You may cross paths with the rich and famous in Montecito, the Santa Barbara enclave that attracts everyone from tech billionaires to media moguls and A-list actors. But in this case, the house is the star of the show—a stunning five-bedroom, 7,000-square-foot estate featured on HomeAway’s home page. Start your morning on the oceanfront patio, gazing out at the Pacific. Hit the beach for boogie boarding and leisurely walks. Enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting in the area. Top off the day at one of Santa Barbara’s five-star eateries or by entertaining in your gourmet kitchen.
2. Cape Cod-style mansion on the Puget Sound
Hop a ferry from Seattle and you’ll discover a world of natural beauty on Whidbey Island. You’ll also find the vacation home of your dreams—a five-bedroom mansion a few steps away from the beach. With sweeping views to the south, you can see sunrises and sunsets over the tranquil waters just outside your window. During the day, explore tide pools or sample local foods at top-tier restaurants. At night, gather around the outdoor firepit and marvel at the stars. If you’re bringing the kids (or friends who are kids at heart), get your game on in a rec room featuring a pool table, air hockey, and foosball.
3. Sunset House in the Hamptons
Long the playground of New York’s smart set, the Hamptons embody the rumpled elegance of old money. But there’s nothing old and musty about this spectacular new six-bedroom estate featuring a chef-designed kitchen and your own private beach. You’ll be living like Gatsby inside this exquisitely decorated home; and with stunning views of the Atlantic and an easy flow of indoor-outdoor spaces, you may be tempted to invite scores of your closest friends. If you do leave the premises, you can visit a farmers’ market in East Hampton, bike ride to Montauk, or feast on world-class seafood in Sag Harbor.
4. Palazzo del Mar in Destin
They don’t call it Palazzo for nothing! This 11-bedroom, 16,000-square-foot palace is fit for a king or queen (and up to 24 more people in the entourage). Located on the exclusive “Shores of Crystal Beach” on Florida’s Gulf Coast, this magnificent home is perfect for multiple families or a large group. Designed for entertaining, with a spacious patio overlooking the Emerald Coast, the home even comes with a dumbwaiter to carry items from the kitchen to the second floor. And lest you get carried away with lavish parties, the home also boasts a yoga/meditation room.
5. Lanikai Beach home on Oahu
“Lanikai” literally means “heavenly sea,” and you’ll see why the second you step foot on Lanikai Beach, one of Hawaii’s most gorgeous destinations. You’ll also be thanking the vacation gods if you snag this enchanting 5-bedroom property. Built in the 1930s, the recently renovated compound retains its original charms while boasting an updated kitchen, boathouse, and guest cottage. From the home’s outdoor dining area, you’re feet away from Lanikai’s reef-protected turquoise waters. Down a stone step path, there’s access to a white-sand beach where you can snorkel, kayak, paddleboard, and even swim next to sea turtles.