America’s Best Little Beach Towns

Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd / Alamy

These uncrowded and unpretentious beach towns, from Florida to Hawaii, promise fun that's (could it be?) actually affordable.

Cape May, NJ

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This Victorian town has long been impervious to any of those—let’s just say, not-so-quaint—stereotypes associated with the Jersey Shore. In its pedestrian-friendly downtown, you can rent bicycles, nibble on fudge and taffy, or shop for all manner of precious items, from antiques to high-end cat toys.

Stay: It’s chockablock with adorable Victorian B&Bs, but Cape May also has a beautifully renovated grande dame hotel. The 1816 Congress Hall—where John Philip Sousa once conducted concerts on the lawn—now offers beach cabanas, yoga classes, and free Wi-Fi.

Eat: Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel may be the epitome of Cape May’s fabulously decadent, high-priced dining options—tuna tartare with fennel and honeycrisp apple, Magret duck breast—but for excellent fare that’s actually economical, don’t miss the gourmet sandwiches and chocolate bread pudding at downtown’s Depot Market Café, next to the old train station.

Katrina Brown Hunt

America’s Best Little Beach Towns

Cape May, NJ

This Victorian town has long been impervious to any of those—let’s just say, not-so-quaint—stereotypes associated with the Jersey Shore. In its pedestrian-friendly downtown, you can rent bicycles, nibble on fudge and taffy, or shop for all manner of precious items, from antiques to high-end cat toys.

Stay: It’s chockablock with adorable Victorian B&Bs, but Cape May also has a beautifully renovated grande dame hotel. The 1816 Congress Hall—where John Philip Sousa once conducted concerts on the lawn—now offers beach cabanas, yoga classes, and free Wi-Fi.

Eat: Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel may be the epitome of Cape May’s fabulously decadent, high-priced dining options—tuna tartare with fennel and honeycrisp apple, Magret duck breast—but for excellent fare that’s actually economical, don’t miss the gourmet sandwiches and chocolate bread pudding at downtown’s Depot Market Café, next to the old train station.

Katrina Brown Hunt

Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd / Alamy
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