Make a splash this summer: 6 see-worthy waterfront homes

When it comes to vacations, does it get any better than staying in your own waterfront home? Imagine falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing just outside your bedroom window, or making cocktails in the kitchen while watching the sun set over the lake. Or better yet, picture yourself enjoying a private stretch of shoreline in a luxurious beachfront hideaway with friends or family. Stop imagining and read on! Each of these homes offers not only a spectacular locale, but also every amenity for a hassle-free vacation. So pack your shades and swimsuit and start the vacation life aquatic.

1. Livin’ easy in Montego Bay

Decisions, decisions. A typical day at Calypso Shores involves making a few choices: Should we spend the morning at the private beach or at the private pool? Do we feel like kayaking or taking the Hobie Cat? This luxurious Calypso Shores feels more like a mini-resort rather than a house, as it’s huge—and fully staffed. This means you and your family or friends won’t be arguing over whose turn it is to do dishes, thanks to the in-house cook and housekeeper. Instead, spend your days lounging by the pool, dining on freshly caught seafood, or playing a lively game of tennis.

2. A whale of a view on the Oregon coast

If you want to spot whales, you could join a whale-watching boat tour—or spend a week at this oceanfront home. It’s located on a clifftop in Depoe Bay, the whale-watching capital of Oregon. Surrounded by pine trees, the deck provides the perfect perch for glimpsing whales, sea lions, and seals. The view might even tempt the kids to put down the iPhone and pick up a pair of binoculars. Just about every room in this cozy, antique-filled home has oversized windows looking out over the rugged coastline. And although it’s secluded and private, the house is just a short drive from town.

3. Royal relaxation in Kailua-Kona

Aloha! This Hawaiian retreat is located just 25 feet from the ocean, which means you can fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves. In the morning, open up the sliding glass doors for an ocean breeze. Breezy beach days are the main order of business. Swim in the ocean, walk along the shore, or just kick back and watch the surfers catch a Kona wave. Come sunset, head to the condominium’s private lanai to take in the view. Although this condo will feel palatial, a real palace is nearby for a dose of island culture. Tour Hulihee Palace, the last royal residence in the United States.

4. Lazy days on Lake Michigan

Does it get more all-American than a lake vacation with pine trees and sandy shores to set the scene? If your ideal va-cay involves boating, fishing, and swimming in crystal-clear water, this getaway delivers the goods. Access the lake on a short path from the garden—no worries about kids crossing the road. After a day in the water, relax with a glass of wine on the pergola covered deck, and later, huddle around the fire pit for stargazing and s’mores. Got cabin fever? The village of Union Pier has art galleries and ice cream parlors, along with a wide variety of eateries.

5. Find the cure for modern life in Curaçao

From the veranda you look out onto a tropical paradise of desert like plantings surrounding a good sized in-ground pool large enough for laps. The owner was very easy to work with and very responsive; the property manager was available to us whenever we needed him. We felt very well taken care of. The kitchen is superbly equipped. The villa is conveniently located in the neighborhood of Jan Thiel where you can find a lovely Dutch supermarket, restaurants right on the water, bars, etc. Good for the young crowd as well…We've returned home with wonderful memories of our stay at this villa!

Traveler's review (September 2015)

6. Beauty and the beach in Oceanside, CA

A quintessential Southern California beach town, Oceanside beckons with near-perfect weather every day. Soak up the coastal cool vibe from this swanky beachfront home—along with 14 of your closest friends. You may need to flip a coin or two to see who gets the bedroom located on the roof, but the others are just as enviable. The home offers all-around views of the sparkling Pacific along with an outdoor bar, hot tub, and plenty of couches for lounging. Oceanside is an outdoor playground where you can spend long days in the sunshine surfing, fishing, or strolling on the beach. If you’d rather learn about surfing than test the waves yourself, check out the local California Surf Museum.

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