Stay the night just across the Delaware state line in Rehoboth Beach, at the magnificent Bellmoor hotel. Reopened in 2002 after a lavish renovation, the Bellmoor is a leap in luxury for the region, with rich furnishings, dark oak-framed interiors and a soothing spa. For dinner, try one of the two benchmarks of Rehoboth's culinary boom: the inventive Mediterranean fare of Espuma or the of-the-moment haute cuisine of 59 Lake.
Day Four While your inclination may be to dally over breakfast in the Bellmoor's gardens, the Jack Nicklaus–designed course at Bayside Resort awaits. A product of Nicklaus's recent nod to minimalist design, the course shows the work of a more subtle hand, distinguished by, among other things, a number of delicate greenside runoffs. It's a thoughtful stroll through salt marshes, meadows and chutes of stately pines. The only sound you're likely to hear is the occasional hum of a propeller plane towing a banner ad en route to Ocean City's beaches. Just a gentle reminder that yes, indeed, there's a honky-tonk town just a few miles across the bay.
Trip Planner: Ocean City
The Links at Lighthouse Sound ****1/2
888-554-4557, lighthousesound.com. Yardage: 7,031. Par: 72. Slope: 144. Greens Fees: $65–$179. Architect: Arthur Hills, 2000.
Bayside Resort Golf Club ****
302-436-3400, golfbayside.com. Yardage: 7,545. Par: 72. Slope: 139. Greens Fees: $150–$160. Architect: Jack Nicklaus Signature, 2005.
GlenRiddle Golf Club, Man O' War Course ****
888-632-4747, glenriddlegolf.com. Yardage: 7,035. Par: 72. Slope: n/a. Greens Fees: $69–$119. Architect: Joel Weiman, 2006.
Rum Pointe Seaside Golf Links ****
888-809-4653, rumpointe.com. Yardage: 7,001. Par: 72. Slope: 122. Greens Fees: $40–$129. Architects: Pete and P.B. Dye, 1997.
Ocean City Golf Club, Newport Bay Course ***1/2
800-442-3570, ocgolfandyacht.com. Yardage: 6,657. Par: 72. Slope: 126. Greens Fees: $55–$105. Architect: Lester George, 1998.
The Atlantic Hotel, 800-814-7672. Rooms: $65–$155.
The Bellmoor, 800-425-2355. Rooms: $105–$235. Suites: $175–$350.
59 Lake (Contemporary), Rehoboth Beach, 302-226-5900. $$$$
Espuma (Mediterranean), Rehoboth Beach, 302-227-4199. $$$$
Hooper's Crab House (Seafood), West Ocean City, 410-213-1771. $$$
Marlin Moon Grille (Seafood), West Ocean City, 866-213-3463. $$$$
Assateague Island National Seashore, 410-641-1441, nps.gov/asis.