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TripAdvisor: Photo tour of USA's top 10 beach hotels

It's almost that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and the school year is coming to the end. Summer is almost here!

What better way to celebrate the change in season than with a beach vacation?

USA TODAY has assembled this photo gallery for you, based on the results of TripAdvisor's 2012 Travelers' Choice Beach Destinations Awards.

TripAdvisor crunched its review data to find which destinations members liked best over the past year. And Hotel Check-In, in turn, for a second consecutive year asked TripAdvisor to pair the winners of its "Travelers' Choice Beaches" awards with the top-ranked hotel in each beach destination.

The No. 1 destination on their list? St. Pete Beach, Fla., a barrier island community located just off mainland St. Petersburg. TripAdvisor members rank St. Pete Beach's Gulf Tides Inn the No. 1 hotel in the area.

The top-rated hotels are a mix of chains and independent hotels, and they're not necessarily the most expensive in town.

Prices range from $63 a night at the Virginia Beach Econolodge on the Ocean in to $692 a night at the Honua Kai Resort, a new vacation resort in Maui, Hawaii.

Understandably, TripAdvisor reviewers had positive things to say about the hotels on this list since they earned the top spot in their respective beach destinations.

One guest who stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for instance, praised the hotel's ocean views.

"The balcony was a great place to watch the waves roll in," the TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.

A guest of the Royal Holiday Beach Motel in Daytona Beach, Florida raved about the motel's salt water pool.

TripAdvisor's full Top 10 list for 2012 best beaches:

    No. 1 - St. Pete Beach, Fla.
    No. 2 - Miami/Miami Beach
    No. 3 - Myrtle Beach, S.C.
    No. 4 - Virginia Beach, Va.
    No. 5 - Honolulu, Hawaii
    No. 6 - Daytona Beach, Fla.
    No. 7 -Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    No. 8 - Lahaina, Hawaii
    No. 9 - San Diego
    No. 10 - Key West, Fla.