With black and white-striped awnings on the West Indies-inspired architecture, balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, and a wooden bridge linking to the beach, The Pearl Hotel could be snatched straight out of our Emerald Coast beach town dreams. Rooms come with rainfall showerheads or soaking tubs, mini cheesecakes by the beds each night, and iPads with software for making quick reservations. But of course, South Walton is a place to enjoy the outdoors. The hotel has a dedicated strip of beach, dotted with complimentary beach chairs and oversized umbrellas. The two adults-only sloping pools are surrounded by decks with towel service and poolside dining. For those looking to get active, the hotel offers access to golf courses, tennis courts, bike and boat rentals, and access to a nearby fitness facility.