8 of the Best Summer Resort Towns to Live In
Luxury Defined spotlights a collection of homes in top summer resort destinations around the world
Summer is nearly here, and its new beginnings are heralded by traditions both ancient and modern: Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, the Glastonbury Festival, and sporting events such as Royal Ascot and Wimbledon. Closer to home, we look forward to summer’s simple pleasures: endless days under cloudless blue skies and balmy evenings under the stars. But for many, the season truly begins with the annual pilgrimage to that dreamy seaside escape: the summer resort town. From the Hamptons to Nantucket, from Los Cabos to the Costa Blanca of Spain, we journey to fabulous summer playgrounds in search of the perfect summer home away from home. Bon voyage!
Querencia Resort Home in San José del Cabo, Mexico
Casa Horizonte is a 6,660-square-foot villa overlooking the Sea of Cortez in Querencia, a gated community in the famous resort of Los Cabos, Mexico. The grandly proportioned residence is designed for entertaining and boasts unobstructed views of the sea. Pocket doors in the main living areas open to a covered verandah and pool terrace for seamless indoor-outdoor living. A bar, outdoor kitchen, and a unique sunken conversation area with fire pit complete the alfresco amenities. Casa Horizonte’s private quarters include four master suites. Each bedroom has a spa-style bathroom with large soaking tub as well as an outdoor shower. Querencia is home to Mexico ́s No. 1 rated golf course. Homeowners will also enjoy access to the resort’s private beach club and miles of bike trails.
Beach House on Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Tradewinds, an Atlantic Ocean beach house in the private community of Prince George on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, was inspired by the allure of the sea. The home features a salvaged brick façade with shaker roof, wraparound porch, and French doors. Heart of pine flooring, custom woodwork, and a sweeping staircase are among the artisanal details. The airy living areas are anchored by two fireplaces. The kitchen features soapstone countertops, high-tech appliances, and a butler’s pantry. The home has four bedrooms, including a master suite. A separate oceanfront living space is currently used as a guest house. The ground level features a wraparound porch. Two outdoor fireplaces are perfect for clam bakes or barbecues. The Prince George community’s amenities are outstanding: river and ocean clubhouses, pool, tennis court, volleyball and basketball courts, a marina, and acres of preserved green space.
Seaside Aerie on the Costa Blanca, Spain
This chic contemporary villa is built into the hills above the Bay of Altea offering spectacular vistas of the coastline, the mountains, and the Mediterranean Sea. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home is complete with high-end finishes and chic interior design. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interiors with sunlight and showcase the views. The main floor features a double-height lounge with dining space, gourmet kitchen, and guest bathroom, which opens to a grand terrace with an infinity pool overlooking the sea. This floor also houses the sumptuous master suite, which features a walk-in closet and spa bathroom. The upper level hosts two additional bedrooms and a bathroom. The property also includes a library, two-car garage, elevator, state-of-the-art security and smart-home technology systems.
Oceanfront Villa in Cascais, Portugal
This elegant villa in the highly coveted resort town of Cascais is surrounded by lush gardens with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The 6,340-square-foot home was designed for the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The ground floor features a family room, dining area, kitchen with breakfast area, and a covered terrace that leads to the gardens and fabulous resort-style infinity pool facing the sea. There are six bedrooms: two suites and a staff apartment on the ground floor and three suites on the lower level. Further highlights include pool changing rooms, a two-car garage, and a large carport. The property is just minutes from Cascais town center, beaches, golf courses, and upscale shops and restaurants.
Brant Point Cottage in Nantucket, Massachusetts
This meticulously maintained, six-bedroom seaside cottage on Brant Point overlooks Nantucket Harbor. The sandy beach and bulkhead-level terrace provide a front-row seat for the daily maritime parade—and fireworks on July 4th. Just past the wide, welcoming foyer, the family room, with fireplace and built-in bench, has picture windows that frame the water view, with a door to the seaside patio. The adjacent dining room has six-over-six windows on three sides and a patio door. Toward the rear of the home is the butler’s galley and the kitchen, which ascends to a bathroom with a tub/shower, a bedroom with harbor views, and a laundry room. Upstairs are four light-filled bedrooms, each with sea vistas. The ground level offers a two-bay garage leading to a cellar.
Montauk Beachfront Paradise in the Hamptons, New York
This 36-acre waterfront sanctuary overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and its own private nature reserve from a secluded hilltop location a few minutes from Montauk, the jewel of the Hamptons. The centerpiece of the estate is a 7,000-square-foot contemporary residence designed by architect Frank Hollenbeck, which takes its inspiration from a Chinese tea house right down to its beautiful blue-tile roof. The luxurious three-level, five-bedroom home is equipped with multi-zoned cooling and heating systems, an automatic generator, and hurricane-proof steel reinforcements. Walls of windows showcase the panoramic Atlantic Ocean views. The setting is one of a kind: lush gardens, scenic pastures, a two-acre pond, and two 100-foot jetties at the water’s edge, which act as natural barriers to passing storms. The property offers the ultimate beachfront lifestyle yet is close to top restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, wineries, Montauk Yacht Club, and Montauk Airport.
Seaside Hideaway in Porto Rafael, Sardinia
Villa Princess of the Sea is an enchanting coastal property just 200 yards from the sea in Porto Rafael, a picturesque resort town in the heart of the Costa Smeralda. At one with its rustic setting, the two-story main house was built with native stone, granite, and wood. The appointments include a formal dining room, country kitchen, and expansive stone terrace, ideal for alfresco dining. There are seven bedrooms in the main house: four upstairs bedrooms, each with its own sea-view verandah, a staff room, and two lower-level bedrooms. A separate two-story, three-bedroom guest house with living room, kitchen, and verandah. The gardens are planted with native flowers and plants, and feature unique outdoor living areas, including an open-air kitchen, showers built into the rocks, and a sundeck with a breathtaking panorama of Archipelago of La Maddalena.
Harbor-Front Compound in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
This harbor-front compound has one of the few deepwater docks and a rare 325 feet of sea frontage in the rustic coastal community of Manchester-by-the-Sea. The two-acre estate comprises a newly built English Arts and Crafts–inspired residence and a two-bedroom guest house on one of the original Smith’s Point’s estate parcels. Sited perfectly to take in the expansive open harbor views, the five-bedroom home, including its beautiful handcrafted stone and pebble dashed stucco facade, harks back to its turn-of-the-century predecessor. The grounds have been professionally landscaped and include mature specimen trees, flowering shrubs, perennial gardens, manicured lawns, and a pool and spa overlooking one of the most picturesque harbors in the region.