Cape May, N.J.
Where to eat: Do not miss breakfast at the legendary Mad Batter at the Carroll Villa Hotel (609-884-5970, www.madbatter.com) or seafood from The Lobster House (609-884-8296, www.thelobsterhouse.com), a waterfront restaurant with its own fishing boats.
Where to sleep: Cape May is a B & B mecca. There are dozens of them here, each one as charming as the next. Beauclaires has off-season midweek room rates from $105 to $145, plus special packages (609-898-1222, www.beauclaires.com).
Other tips: Cape Mays fall festivals and events are worth planning a trip around (www.capemaymac.org). Sunset Beach is, as you might imagine, an ideal place to be at dusk. And dont forget to pack a bathing suit. Depending on the currents, ocean temperatures remain (reasonably) warm through the beginning of October.
— Jennifer L. Schwartz