Even before Memorial Day appears like a light at the end of winter’s tunnel, there is always something to do at the Jersey Shore. Here are a few great places to stay year-round in Cape May and Atlantic City.
You may already know of this working farm, where visitors come for just-picked produce and other locally grown goods. The eggs are super fresh, and you can even meet the chickens that hatched them! But this property, a member of Cape Resorts (whose holdings also include Cape May’s Virginia Hotel and Congress Hall), is peppered with cottages and barns for private, relaxing overnight stays.
The rustic, stylish choices of quarters include the property’s original barn, which received a chic makeover, and the Whaler’s Cottage. All of the farm’s accommodations are in freestanding buildings and sleep six or more. Each features delightful amenities including an outdoor shower, guest-only pool, fire pit and full kitchen. At guests’ request, fridges are stocked with the farm’s just-laid eggs, fresh sausages, vegetables and more.
Guests can take a staff-led farm tour, and are free to pick some herbs or a few vegetables along the way. A fleet of bicycles are available for anyone who wants to take a spin from West Cape May into town (a 10-minute bike ride). Or, for a more leisurely option, hop on a golf cart (at no extra charge).
The Farm Kitchen is open for breakfast and lunch, and selections from the menu can be delivered right to your door. For dinner, you can stay in and make use of your cottage or barn’s well-equipped kitchen—or, venture into town and visit one of Beach Plum’s sister property restaurants. At the Ebbitt Room, which sources some of its fare from the farm, the chef varies the heavenly deviled eggs according to the freshest produce.
On the beach side of town, La Mer offers an ideal perch from which to take in the ocean. (Coffee on your private balcony on a crisp morning? Yes, please.)
An afternoon stroll on the boardwalk across the street awaits, followed by a chance to peruse uncrowded boutiques. Park your car in the complimentary guest lot and forget about it. All restaurants and shops are within walking distance. Or, if you’re feeling more of a beach-side hideaway vibe, try the hotel’s on-site fine-dining restaurant, the Pier House (which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner).
While some folks dream of leaf peeping in New England after Labor Day, others may want to shake things up a bit and visit Atlantic City. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino—the gambling mecca’s newest gaming hotel on the former site of Trump’s Taj Mahal—recently invested in over $20 million in renovations, adding extra bling to an already sparkling beach-side gem.
Those familiar with the Hard Rock brand know that it offers a fascinating glimpse of music-inspired memorabilia from all generations and genres of rock music. In Atlantic City, there’s enough eye candy to entertain and inspire you for an entire weekend. Soak up musical history by checking out Elvis Presley’s Rolls-Royce Phantom V, Prince’s fashion-forward silk suit and Bruce Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics.
Spacious guest rooms and suites feature all the rockstar-worthy trappings, including luxurious bathrooms, updated furnishings and plenty of framed rock ‘n’ roll prints.
Sure, the property features an award-winning gaming floor offering 2,200 slots and 120 table games, but its beachfront location also provides an array of activities for non-gamblers. Grab lunch and a cocktail at the oceanfront Beach Bar, gather with friends at a brand-new cabana, or relax in one of 1,000+ beach chairs.
Casual-fare eateries include YOUYU Noodle Bar, White House Subs and Fresh Harvest All You Can Eat. Enjoy fine dining at Kuro, Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, Il Mulino and Sugar Factory.
And don’t forget the nightlife, which never ends at the Hard Rock. If you’re in party mode, visit one of the on-site bars or clubs to enjoy heart-pounding live music each night. (The most pressing issue after a night of partying is the elevator button!)—Kris Pepper