As the leaves drop, so do rates at these gems by the water.
Cape May may be known for its Victorian B&Bs, but sometimes it’s nice to hang your corset at an inn that’s a little more mod. The New Jersey beach town’s new upscale Lokal Hotel is an eight-room mini-resort with not a bit of chintz in sight. Rooms, boasting full kitchens, are done up in chic seashore style, with whitewashed floors, distressed furnishings, and local art-work. Guests can lounge by the saltwater pool or pack a complimentary Yeti cooler and head to the beach across the street. Feeling adventurous? Rent the inn’s roofless Ford Bronco or a fat-tire electric bike and tool around town. You’ll look oh-so-21st-century. From $258 after September 1. Distance from DC: 190 miles.
We already liked Rehoboth Beach’s Bellmoor Inn and Spa before its complete redesign last summer. Now it feels like a new place. Banished is the brown-and-cherry-wood color scheme, replaced by airy whites, blues, and light greens throughout the common areas and all guest rooms in the main inn. If the weather’s foul, hunker down with a book in the Bellmoor’s renovated library or schedule a massage in the freshened-up spa. From $249 after October 1. Distance from DC: 122 miles.
Frankly, the Tides Inn, on Virginia’s Northern Neck, might be even more appealing in autumn, when the leaves start to change along Carters Creek, than during summer’s swelter. Fall is the finest time to rent one of the inn’s bikes, take sailing lessons, or play a few holes on the golf course. Best of all, this time of year the inn offers its Virginia Oyster Academy ($185), a chance to join a waterman on his workboat, learn to shuck oysters, and glean a few tips from a chef on how to serve ’em up. From $185 after September 1. Distance from DC: 142 miles.
This article appears in the September 2019 issue of Washingtonian.