Sleek, Modern Elegance on Secluded Shore
A glass-encased wine room glitters and sparkles with rows of wine bottles, light glinting from every surface. This unconventionally sleek wine cellar sits at the heart of the Allegria Hotel—which looks, from the outside, rather similar to the room, especially at night, when blue underlighting reflects off dozens of glass windows in evenly spaced rows. Steps away, Atlantic waves lap the shore. New York City, which lies about 25 miles to the northwest, feels at once close at hand and a world away.
Inside, beach-view guest rooms offer glimpses of sand and sea complemented by décor that seems to bring the beach to the bedside without the hassle of accommodating beachcombers with metal detectors. Neutral hues grace window treatments, bedding, and cloth headboards, balanced by pillows and upholstery adorned with touches of sapphire blue. Blond wood furnishings and a limestone-lined bathroom add a natural touch.
As an orange sunset spreads across the sky, diners filter into the Zagat-rated Atlantica restaurant to sample scallops and sea bass beneath undulating light fixtures hovering overhead like jellyfish. Later, the nightlife heats up around the chrome-plated fireplace of L'Onda Lounge and at the new Jacks on the Rocks, a chic rooftop bar.
Long Beach: Quiet Ocean Retreat Near Manhattan
Although long known as The City by the Sea, Long Beach might be more accurately described as the city in the sea—the ocean surrounds the eponymous island on all sides, and to the north, a tangled bramble of estuaries and rivulets further separates the narrow beach from its Long Island neighbors. Yet despite Long Beach's quiet seclusion, the Long Island Rail Road swiftly carries passengers to and from the heart of Manhattan, allowing urbanites a sandy interlude.
In fall and winter, the mild climate allows wetsuited surfers to continue skimming along the surface of the water. Last September, the Long Beach swell attracted the Quiksilver Pro competition, during which world champions rode the breakers alongside local pros.
On the city's 2.25-mile boardwalk, which was built in part by elephants during a publicity stunt, active types whiz past on bikes and rollerblades, as families with tots in tow promenade above the white sands, resting periodically on wooden benches set parallel to the horizon. Once peepers have looked their fill on seagulls, surf, and the waving tentacles of lonely sea monsters, the main drag of Park Avenue beckons. There, cheery cafés perk up afternoons, and neon-lit bars and clubs enliven nights.