CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY
Cape May is the oldest seaside resort town in the country, with exceptionally restored, colorful homes and inns on tree-lined, gaslit streets. Here, the Victorian-style Virginia attracts couples: Its wide veranda, lined in white ginger- bread latticework and tailored couches, is a charming spot to toast your special someone with a signature cocktail.
Behind the cherry red front doors, a red carpet leads upstairs, where the look is sophisticated seaside chic thanks to high ceilings, plush sea foam–hued armchairs, and beachy artwork. Couples spend their days in the shade of one of the property’s striped cabanas and chairs planted on Steger Beach, which is sprinkled with polished blue and green sea glass.
For perhaps the most romantic table on the shore, the hotel’s dimly lit farm-to-table Ebbitt Room restaurant dishes up mouthwatering treats such as tuna tartare with shallots and ponzu, plus sweet ricotta donuts. Rates start at $129; 800/732- 4236 or virginiahotel.com.
Tip: Chef Anthony Micari will place berries, prosciutto, and a bottle of sparkling cider into a picnic basket so you can go watch the sun set over the water. You could easily walk there, but why bother? A friendly attendant will escort you, and your gourmet bounty, by golf cart.