Field trip: Climb the 199 cast-iron spiral stairs to the top of the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse and wander through wetland trails on the property.
Night out: Reserve a table on the oceanfront patio at Peter Shields Inn, then look for the Maine lobster crab cake.
Rates: Cottages rent by room, $90–$700/night. White Cottage rents by floor. Summer rentals are generally weekly; 800/732-4236 or virginiahotel.com.