Opened in Cape May, New Jersey, in the summer of 2019, Lokal Hotel is an intriguing cross between an Airbnb (self check-in and spacious) and a beachy-chic boutique hotel (excellent “invisible service” by text and iPad, or in-person by request). To help guests feel at home, each of the eight apartment-style suites includes a kitchen, dining area and ample amenities, from beach bags, Yeti coolers and beach towels, to a kitchen stocked with coffee from Out There Coffee, a local shop. Two rooms have ocean views; all have comfortable porch seating. The heated saltwater pool is open past Labor Day. During beach season, a service attendant sets up umbrellas and lounge chairs on the beach across the street (including on weekends in September). Additional chairs and umbrellas are available on-site for use in the offseason. Rates begin at $744 and drop to $411 per night after Labor Day.
Lokal Hotel, 5 Stockton Place, Cape May, New Jersey, 609-536-9157, staylokal.com
Tribute to a hero
Named by Smithsonian magazine as one of the most anticipated new museums of 2020, the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey, located in Cape May, opened virtually last year and in-person this year on Juneteenth (June 19, the date that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.). The exhibits pay tribute to Cape May’s role in the Underground Railroad and Tubman’s life as an abolitionist and women’s suffrage activist. Tubman worked in Cape May as a cook and domestic worker in the early 1850s, raising money to return to Maryland’s Eastern Shore to rescue more enslaved people. The 1,600-square-foot museum is housed at Howell House, formerly the parsonage for Macedonia Baptist Church. Interesting items include a signed first-edition printing of the 1872 book The Underground Railroad Records by abolitionist leader William Still, and several African masks and art pieces that belonged to the Rev. Robert Davis, a former pastor of the church who once called Howell House home.
Additional exhibits include a time line of Cape May’s Black history, a list of the once plentiful and varied Black-owned businesses, plus details on other notable residents, such as Stephen Smith. After buying his freedom, Smith went on to run a successful coal and lumber business and became an active conductor in the Underground Railroad. Admission is $10; $5 for ages 10 and younger. Buy tickets in advance online.
Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey, 632 Lafayette St., Cape May, New Jersey, harriettubmanmuseum.org
An artful stay
Surround yourself with art at the new Quirk Hotel in Charlottesville’s historic downtown. Opened in June 2020, the property includes a contemporary main hotel adjacent to two historic homes dating back to the 19th century. Similar to its sister, Quirk Hotel Richmond, the new hotel features works by local and national artists throughout the property, in guest rooms, public spaces and the Quirk Gallery. The bi-level gallery and shop also serve as gathering places for artist talks, receptions and trunk shows. Check quirkgallery.com for dates.
Each of the 80 guest rooms and suites features floor-to-ceiling windows, a modern desk, a pink sound machine, and custom headboards designed by a Richmond-based abstract painter. A handful of rooms include private balconies.
The Lobby Bar, the centerpiece of the hotel’s grand entranceway, offers wines from local vineyards and the Shenandoah Valley, and is home to a “Love & Happiness” hour named for the whisper pink Benjamin Moore color found in Quirk hotels, which are part of Hyatt’s Destination Hotels collection.
Head to The Pink Grouse, the property’s signature restaurant, for small plates and more, and to Bobboo, a barrel-aged spirits bar for whiskeys from around the world. Have thin crust pizza and cocktails indoors or out at Q Rooftop and enjoy sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Quirk Café, located at street level in one of the historic buildings, is a favorite coffee spot for guests and locals.
Rates begin at $250 per night. If you’re bringing your dog, add on the $150 “Posh Pups” package, which includes Quirk dog toys, a “Dog in Room” door hanger and a $100 refund after room inspection.
Quirk Hotel Charlottesville, 499 W. Main St., Charlottesville, Virginia, 434-729-1234, destinationhotels.com/quirk-charlottesville