WHERE TO STAY: In a town awash in great places to stay, the Mission Inn (609-884-8380) stands out as a romantic destination. Trip Advisor rated it the top B&B in Cape May and number 3 in the country last year. Two blocks off the beach, this upscale, Spanish-Mission-style inn exudes California chic and casual elegance. The eight guest rooms with fireplaces are luxuriously appointed; lavish breakfasts are served on the inn’s outdoor veranda. Room rates: $230–$330.
ROMANTIC EATS: Many Cape May restaurants boast water views, an ideal backdrop for romance. The fine-dining Peter Shields Inn (609-884-9090) occupies a 1912 mansion overlooking the ocean. Other top choices for upscale ambience and fine food include the Ebbitt Room (609-884-5700) and the Washington Inn (609-884-5697). For a more casual evening, the Iron Pier Craft House (609-884-1925), across Beach Avenue from the ocean, is a gastro-pub featuring great tapas and a full line of craft beers.
WHAT TO DO: Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Historic District, a haven for architectural gingerbread, with Cape May Carriage Company (609-884-4466), or harbor-hop on Tiny Cruise Line (609-602-1118). You can also climb the 199 steps to the top of Cape May Lighthouse. Nearby Sunset Beach is the place to be—at sunset, of course.
ALTERNATIVE VENUES: Congress Hall is Cape May’s oldest, most celebrated hotel. Wherever you stay, be sure to pay a visit to this grand establishment and check out the Brown Room for cocktails and nightly entertainment. It’s required relaxing after a day in the sun.