After a lot of research we chose Tropea - for scenic beauty plus beaches. We took the train from Rome (change trains in Lamezia Terme) which was a long ride but you get to see plenty of southern Italy scenery and some nice views of seaside towns for the last part of the trip.
I can without pause recommend the B&B Villa Italia. For us, staying in town, and walking down the steps to the beach each day, worked well. The hotel is just outside (two blocks) of the centro storico (old town), convenient to the train station. The rooms are spacious - with beautiful modern, new, clean, furnishings and fixtures. Large modern bath, huge windows, a mini fridge, good lighting, and excellent air conditioning. The breakfast is very relaxing and well stocked. The staff is extremely helpful in orientation, recommendations, and advice.
We did see in passing a few of the B&Bs right in the Center of old town which looked gorgeous...so I believe there are many options.
The food in Tropea is outstanding.
Favorite Gelati (and we ate a ton) was Cafe del Corso.
Favorite restaurants were: La Lamia - great food & service with a beautiful setting, Al Pinturicchio - fun, super food, nice setting, and Al Vecchio Forno for Pizza. But all the restaurants in town are good with nice food and nice servers including the beach clubs - and our favorite was definitely Lido Azzurro which was excellent all around.
A few notes - We had laundry done at the laundry at the end of the block of the street that B&B Villa Italia is on - Via della Vittoria - super job.
We explored the possibility of a boat trip but there are not a lot of options - everyone sells the exact same trips and they are pricey, so we did not go.
We went to Pizzo for the day and enjoyed our visit, but were glad we chose Tropea as we like organized beaches with chaises and umbrellas - which are not available in Pizzo, although the swimming was quite nice and we had a good lunch at Ristorante la Ruota which someone on tripadvisor had recommended to me and of course we tried and loved the Tartufo.
If you like a beautiful town with fantastic photo ops, great food, clear water to swim in, clean organized beaches, and friendly people choose Tropea! Email me any questions.