Did you know there is a variety of military lodging around the country that offers beachfront accommodations? These make great options for a 2021 Spring Break family vacation. You might be familiar with the Hole Koa, an Armed Forces Recreation Center that is located right on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. It recently opened its redesigned main pool which now has water slides, a wading pool, splash pads, a pirate ship and much more. This is a great destination but is so well known you may have a difficult time getting reservations. There are so many military installations around the country that have beautiful accommodations right on ocean and bay front beaches. Just make sure to make your reservations as far out as possible. For active duty you can typically make reservations 12 months and for retirees it is six months. Check this list of fun vacation spots around the country:
The Destin Army Recreation Area
The Destin Army Recreation Area is a lovely, gated resort in an ideal location in the heart of Old Destin Florida and near the Harbor Walk Village which is a upscale area with restaurants and shops. Large moss dripped oak trips are spread about the 15-acre resort on the banks of the Choctawhatchee Bay. It is also just a short drive to the pristine white sand beaches Destin is known for. There are a variety of accommodation including 2- and 3-bedroom villas, 1-bedroom suites and hotel rooms. On site is a full service marina with a variety of watercraft available for rent.
Panama City Navy Getaway RV Park & Cabins
The Panama City Navy Getaway RV Park & Cabins are located on the beautiful St. Andrews Bay. The campground cabins are one bedroom with a sleeping loft and futon with fully equipped kitchens. They have either a deck or screened porch with views of the bay. The Marina and Outdoor Recreation Center has a variety of watercraft available for rent. The cabins are just a short drive to the Panama City Beach resort area.
Navy Getaways Vacation Rentals at Trumbo Point
There are a couple of options for military lodging in Key West Florida but the Navy Getaways Vacation Rentals are the best value. The lodging is 3 bedroom and 1.5 bathroom townhouses. Although not on the water you can bike (rentals on site) or walk to the major Key West destinations. Make sure to visit the Community Recreation Tickets & Travel Office located on Sigsbee Park for information and discounts on local attractions.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard – Gull Cottage
The Gull Cottage is the most unique of all the options in this list. Located in the tiny finishing village of Prospect Harbor, Maine, the guest house is a historic landmark along with the lighthouse located on site. It was built in 1891 and renovated in 1969 for use as a Navy recreational guest house. The two bedroom cottage is two-stories with lovely views of the harbor. A full kitchen is available with all the utensils. Good luck making a reservation as there is only one Gull Cottage.
Navy Getaways Barking Sands
Navy Getaways Barking Sands is located at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. These cottages sit a short walk from the beach. The outdoor adventure center has beach chairs for rent and you can also book tours. This is the type of place you go to get away from it all. The beach is quiet and secluded. The base is small so many things close early so plan ahead. Shenanigans is the on base all ranks club and offers lunch and dinner a few nights a week. Gorgeous waterfront views.
The Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area
Located in Kure Beach, North Carolina the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area is truly one of the military’s best kept secrets. Lodging options are cottages and lodge room. The Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean are just a short walk away. Located nearby is a military museum, the Beach House Bar & Grill, a rental center and an outdoor swimming pool. It is known for its large uncrowded beaches.
Navy Getaways Pacific Beach
Navy Getaways Pacific Beach is in Pacific Beach, Washington and it has 3-to-5-bedroom homes available to rent as well as a beachfront hotel. The location is perfect as a base for exploring the Olympic Peninsula. You can drive to Lake Quinault and explore the rainforest. Further to the south is Ocean Shores a beach town. You can also just stay put and enjoy the beach. Pacific Northwest beaches are better for beach combing and kite flying. It can get pretty chilly and there are fierce currents. Be aware that cars can drive on the beach.
This is just a small sample of military beach lodging that is available. A good place to start is the Navy Lodge because most navy bases are located near the ocean. The Navy Lodge at North Island (Coronado) is located right on the beach. You can find books on military lodging at many base or post exchanges and military clothing sales stores. As you can imagine these are extremely popular places to stay so plan to book well in advance or luck out into a cancellation. Sometimes if nothing is coming available in the online booking system you can call and find a stray day or two for a short stay.