The Bungalow Hotel
50 Laird St., Long Branch, N.J., (732) 229-3700
Cost: $500-$600; two-night minimum stay on weekends.
Drive time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.
The scoop: As crisp and clean as an ocean breeze, this luxury boutique hotel is located just a block from the beach. Rooms are extra-spacious, and white is the color of choice for everything from walls to linens. Pops of colorful art and playful touches like the lobby’s antique billiards table and foosball game keep it from being stark.
Amenities: All rooms have refrigerators, the hotel is pet friendly, and you can use the beach cruiser bikes for free. For additional fees, you can access the nearby Le Club Avenue private beach club and pool, plus Gold’s Gym.
Don’t miss: It’s only a five-minute walk to great shopping and dining in Pier Village on the boardwalk. All summer, the town offers free concerts, and the Long Branch Jazz & Blues Festival is Aug. 25.