Boutique Hotel on Secluded Atlantic Shore
A glass-encased wine room glitters with rows of wine bottles, light glinting from every surface. This unconventionally sleek wine cellar sits within the Allegria Hotel, which sparkles at night when blue underlighting reflects off dozens of windows. Steps away, Atlantic waves lap the shore. New York City, which lies about 24 miles to the northwest, feels at once close at hand and a world away.
Inside the hotel, guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offer glimpses of New York's skyline or the sand and sea. Neutral hues grace window treatments, bedding, and cloth headboards, balanced by pillows and upholstery adorned with touches of sapphire blue. Blond-wood furnishings and limestone-lined bathrooms add natural touches.
As the sun sets, 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 Jack's on the Rocks, a chic rooftop bar.
Long Beach, New York: 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. In 2011, 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, bikers and rollerbladers whiz by as others walk above the white sands or rest on wooden benches set parallel to the horizon. Park Avenue's cheery cafés perk up afternoons, and neon-lit bars and clubs enliven nights.