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As temperatures climb and humidity dampens the air, it gets harder to put seaside escapes out of mind. The allure of a cool ocean breeze in relative proximity to Philly isn’t a pipe dream: There are hundreds of hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, and vacation rentals up and down the Jersey Shore that offer proximity to the picturesque beaches and bays of this sorely underrated vacation destination.
We’ve rounded up 15 places to stay along the coast, from the Atlantic Highlands on the shore’s northernmost end to getaways in historic Cape May, at the state’s southernmost tip. The lodgings, like each shore town, offer something for everyone’s tastes, and include a luxury hotel with a surfer-chic aesthetic to a tiny lakefront cabin without running water.
Lush woods and gardens surround this small one-bedroom cabin set on two acres at the northern edge of the Jersey Shore. The cabin sleeps two for around $150 per night, and serves up eclectic rustic interiors that take inspiration from Middle Eastern motifs. The property also comes with an outdoor fire pit, charcoal barbecue, and outdoor shower.
Bungalow Hotel in Long Branch
This 24-room boutique hotel was designed by the Novogratz, which took a high-design approach to achieve a laid-back, surfer-chic aesthetic. Each of the property’s guest rooms sports a fireplace and comes with access to amenities like game tables and an in-house bar and lounge. In summer, rooms here, which are a short walk from the beach, go for upward of $450 a night.
The Asbury in Asbury Park
The 110-room Asbury Hotel draws design inspiration from the town’s Victorian-era history and rock and roll present to create an inviting and offbeat lodging two blocks from the beach. Standard queen rooms here start at $210 midweek and go for $375 over the weekend. Each room comes with access to the hotel’s Central Park-inspired rooftop garden, pool deck, and sunlit lounge.
A private two-bedroom rental in Neptune
Minimalists will love this pared-down getaway, a two-bedroom private rental listed for $83 a night. The house is a five-minute drive from the beach (or a 1.5-mile walk) and features sleek, clean finishes as well as access to a large backyard and dining area. The rental can sleep up to four in its two queen-sized beds.
The Spring Lake Inn
This European-inspired bed and breakfast has been operating since 1888, albeit in different locations throughout the area. The property’s 16 guest rooms and suites are each uniquely themed, and have names like Sunrise, Moonbeam, and Americana. In-season room rates range from $199 to $599 a night and include breakfast, afternoon tea, and access badges for the nearby beach.
The Gables Historic Inn & Restaurant in Long Beach Island
A restored Victorian two blocks from the beach, the Gables offers up five guest suites with a romantic, bright take on Victorian-era decor. Rooms boast period antiques and accessories alongside sumptuous marble bathrooms. An in-season stay at the bed and breakfast starts at $225 per night, and all rooms require a two-night minimum stay over the weekend.
A four-bedroom Beach Haven rental
As if plucked from the pages of Coastal Living, this four-bedroom Beach Haven rental has the shore house vibe on lock. The property costs, on average, $1,176 a night, sleeps up to 12, and is a short walk from the beach and beloved Long Beach Island breakfast joint the Chicken or the Egg. The 2,650-square-foot house also comes with its own private pool.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City
The Hard Rock Hotel debuted in Atlantic City in 2018 with 2,000 freshly appointed guest rooms, 16 restaurants and bars, and more rock and roll memorabilia on display (like Kurt Cobain’s Mustang guitar and a white dress worn by Taylor Swift) than any of the brand’s other properties. A stay here, which starts at around $150 in peak season, also comes with access to an in-room Fender guitar and Blue Mo-Fi headphones.
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City
Atlantic City’s top-grossing casino hosts revelers and guests year-round, courting them with big-name acts like Diana Ross and Miranda Lambert and restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay and Michael Symon. The hotel’s 1,000-plus rooms feature Atlantic Ocean and bay views, and average around $180 a night.
The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor
A stay in one of the 79 guest rooms and suites at this bayfront boutique hotel in ritzy Stone Harbor runs upward of $529 a night mid-week during the summer. At that price, guests have access to complimentary amenities like yoga classes, bay kayaks and paddle boards, and beach chairs and umbrellas. The hotel’s roof deck is the perfect perch for sunset viewing—and comes at no additional cost.
Starlux Boutique in Wildwood
Wildwood’s history of Doo Wop architecture is embraced with open arms at the retro-inspired Starlux Boutique Hotel, which, despite its Space Age appearance, is a 21st-century addition to the town. In addition to its 39 guest rooms, the hotel offers two tricked-out Airstream trailers for rent. A stay here, among the plastic palms, averages $339 a night in the summer months.
Caribbean Motel in Wildwood Crest
This Doo Wop motel embodies its namesake theme with technicolor rooms featuring green carpeting and walls and towering plastic palm trees that frame its crescent-shaped outdoor pool. Its 30 guest rooms feature original and reproduced technicolor midcentury furnishings, and start at $99 a night.
Lakefront tiny house in Cape May
Although it’s just five miles from the beach, this tiny lakefront cabin looks as if it’s nestled in a far more remote locale. The rental is a true place for visitors to power down; it has no Wi-Fi or running water. (It does, however, have a composting toilet and sink powered by a 10-gallon water tank, as well as access to an outdoor shower.) The cabin sits on 42 private acres, and rents for an average of $119 a night.
The Cottages at Beach Plum Farm in Cape May
The five exquisitely outfitted cottages at Beach Plum Farm include an original Sears, Roebuck and Company mail-order home, a 1700s-era cottage, an 1850s carriage house, and two barn-style residences. Weeklong summer rentals start at $4,500 and sleep between six and 12 people, depending on which cottage you choose. Vacationers wake up to refrigerators stocked with fresh eggs, produce, and meat from the farm, and can explore the 62-acre site, or town, by private golf cart.
Congress Hall in Cape Map
This 203-year-old boarding house-turned-high-end hotel stuns at the center of town with its wraparound veranda, soaring columns, and pristinely manicured great lawn overlooking the ocean—and that’s just the outside. The hotel’s common spaces have been restored to the nines, while its guest rooms reflect a more timeless take on shore decor. Rooms here start at $359 a night in July, but don’t underestimate how relaxing a stay can be in the off-season.