Historical Victorian Hotel Steps from the Shoreline
The widow's walk—a sort of enclosed rooftop cupola—is a distinct feature of homes built along the northeast coast in the 19th century. From this lofty perch, mariners' wives would scan the horizon for returning ships. The Majestic Hotel has a widow's walk of its own, but the innkeepers have transformed the space into a posh sitting room with suede furniture and stunning ocean vistas. Built in 1870, the 16-room hotel still has the look of a Victorian mansion from the outside, but the interior feels refreshingly modern.
Each premium room is decorated differently, but many are furnished with four-poster beds and framed prints. Some of the rooms are equipped with kitchenettes, and some connect to a second-floor porch that has views of the Atlantic. The newly constructed contemporary rooms feature more modern furnishings and hardwood floors.
Ocean Grove, New Jersey: Pristine Beaches and Victorian Architecture
The entire town of Ocean Grove, sometimes called “God’s Square Mile,” is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town's architectural highlight is a cluster of gingerbread Victorian houses—one of the largest districts of its kind in the country. The Majestic Hotel is located on the first beach block in Ocean Grove, leading to one of the most undeveloped spots along the Jersey Shore. There are no souvenir stores, T-shirt stands, or flashing lights in sight.
Though Ocean Grove is a dry town, several restaurants allow customers to bring their own drinks. The nearby towns of Asbury Park and Bradley Beach have plenty of bars and clubs catering to those looking for a more lively nightlife. Ocean Grove’s vibe is family-oriented—the main streets are dotted with antique stores and a vintage-style ice-cream parlor. A handful of the historic houses are open for touring.