Do your best to stay on the beach. (No, it's not cheap, but no bargains await here in the summertime.) The Boardwalk Plaza Hotel is a beauty and close to the annual Sandcastle Contest. It has a good restaurant (Victoria's) as well as an indoor pool and Internet access ( Olive Avenue and Boardwalk;  227-7169 or www.boardwalkplaza.com). Rates start at $244.
The Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center makes another great option with a vintage feel ( 101 North Boardwalk;  227-2511 or www.atlanticsandshotel.com). Don't miss the oceanfront swimming pool and Oasis Spa. Rates start at $245.
left: Reserve an oceanfront room with a balcony at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel.