Hotel at a Glance: Chateau Inn & Suites
The town of Spring Lake was settled in 1884, and Chateau Inn & Suites was built just four years after. The sprawling inn is set within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a founding member of the Historic Inns of Spring Lake, an association that honors 11 area resorts with deep historical roots in the community. Its gray-shingle siding, black awnings, and open-air porches hark back to an earlier time.
- Where you’ll stay: Guest rooms include LCD flat-screen TVs. Classic suites come with hot tubs, and luxury parlors add wood-burning fireplaces, wet bars, and balcony or terrace access.
- Start the day right with an included continental breakfast buffet in the antique-laden Brighton Room each morning; return in the afternoon for complimentary snacks and tea.
- Catch a flick: Unlimited DVD rentals are available during your stay.
- Borrow bicycles to explore nearby Divine Park, which encompasses the town’s eponymous lake (included with this Getaway).
- Accolades: The inn won a 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
Spring Lake, New Jersey: Coastal Resort Town with Gilded Age Beginnings
The stately Georgian mansions that mark the streets of this seaside village were built to house exhibits for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. Once the fair closed, wealthy New Yorkers and Philadelphians transported the mansions 75 miles east to open plots of farmland around Spring Lake, and a town was born. Thanks to its affluent underpinnings, Spring Lake became a coastal resort town for wealthy families of the Gilded Age, on par with Bar Harbor, Maine, and Newport, Rhode Island. Today, the town still draws visitors to its 2-mile stretch of sandy beachfront and a wooden boardwalk that remains untouched by tourist shops and glowing neon signs.
You can get a glimpse of mid-19th-century life at the Historic Village at Allaire, open Memorial Day through mid-December. The village encompasses a working blacksmith shop, a bakery, and a carpentry shop, as well as a general store stocked with goods handmade by the Allaire’s artisans.