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American coastal retreats for a song

As the calendar turns to September and October, posh seaside havens — such as Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard — become enticing tranquil outposts and the expansive ocean shores reveal even more of their rugged natural beauty.
Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon.Tina Liddle / Special to
/ Source: Sherman's Travel

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various dates in 2008

The deal
With summer revelers packing up and resuming real life, coastal resorts are slowly coming down off seasonal highs. If you’re not among the already sun-kissed and sand-weary, we recommend fall as an ideal time to get away without the masses. As the calendar turns to September and October, posh seaside havens — such as Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard — become enticing tranquil outposts and the expansive ocean shores reveal even more of their rugged natural beauty. We scoured the seaboards for idyllic getaways and found rates as low as $85 a night. An extra bonus of fall travel: Tremendously scenic drives could accompany your trip to the water’s edge!

Cape Cod stay from $100 per night
Whether you aim to golf, bike, visit galleries or just stare at the ocean, you’ll find Provincetown, the last stop on the Cape, to be a welcoming playground. Surrounded by 20 miles of beaches, dunes, marshes and ponds, Ptown is also where you’ll find the Brass Key Guesthouse with seasonal discounts of up to half off. Called “the place to stay in Provincetown” by Frommer’s, the property consists of five main houses and three cottages, all featuring luxe amenities. After October 19, standard room rates drop from high season’s range of $230–$340 a night to just $100–$180 a night. If you can’t wait, the same rooms can be had for $110–$280 a night between September 25 and October 18. Prices include daily breakfast and evening wine hour. Guests must be 16 and older.

Martha’s Vineyard two-nighter for $299
How about a couple of nights on Martha’s Vineyard? The Mansion House, located near the Vineyard Haven ferry landing, is offering a Midweek Revival package for two for $299 a person. Valid from September 14 to November 1, the special includes a two-night stay in a king standard room, buffet breakfast daily, a massage or facial per person and a three-course dinner at the hotel restaurant. Taxes and tips are additional. Prefer not to opt for the package? By mid-September, rooms can be had from $189 a night. You save as much as $100 compared to nightly prices of $289 and up during high season. Winter rates (beginning November 2) start from a low $99 a night. Be sure to check out the roof deck for sweeping harbor views.

Cannon Beach bargains from $85 per night
If you’re looking for a West Coast getaway, we suggest Cannon Beach on the north Oregon coast. The artsy resort town is known for Haystack Rock, a 235-foot monolith jutting out of the ocean. It is located minutes from Ecola State Park, just 80 miles from Portland. Should you choose to combine a visit with an October leaf-peeping road trip along the Columbia River Gorge, you’ll be able to take advantage of seasonal discounts at the Cannon Beach Hotel. Rates at the cozy 10-room property start at a low $85 a night between October 1 and November 30. Alternately, the hotel is offering a Stormy Weather package, for those who like to watch the clouds roll in off the ocean. The special, which covers two people for three consecutive nights (Sunday through Thursday), starts at $195.

Cumberland Island escape for $395 per night
For a smart splurge on a secluded Southern retreat, there’s the Greyfield Inn on pristine Cumberland Island. Built in 1900, the Carnegie mansion-turned-guesthouse is the only accommodation on Georgia’s southernmost barrier island, where paths through maritime forests of live oaks, pines and palmettos lead to white-sand beaches and windswept dunes. A stay here is an all-inclusive experience, complete with ferry transportation; three meals daily; hors d’oeuvres during the nightly cocktail hour; unlimited use of bicycles and other recreational equipment; plus a guided tour of the historic island. Prices start at $395 a night for rooms with a shared bath and run up to $595 a night for corner two-room suites. Alcoholic beverages, taxes and service charges are additional. A two-night stay is required.

The dollars
Prices are based on double occupancy.

The catch
Sunny skies are not included.

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