RATES: Room rates at the Chalfonte, including breakfast and dinner, range from $49 to $58 a day single to $59 to $108 a day for two people in a double. The $108 rooms have private baths. Weekly rates are 5.75 times the daily rate, and there is a 25 percent early-season discount from Sunday through Friday through July 20. Be sure to call ahead for reservations, especially on weekends and later in the summer.

GETTING THERE: During the summer, the Lewes-Cape May ferry makes 10 trips daily from Lewes beginning at 8:40 a.m. and 10 trips daily from Cape May beginning at 7 a.m. Additional trips are scheduled on days when heavier travel is anticipated, such as weekends and holidays. The boat ride takes an hour and 10 minutes and costs $14 for a car and a driver. Additional passengers are $3.50 each; children younger than six are $2.25. Reservations are not accepted.

It takes a little more than four hours to drive from Washington to Cape May via the Delaware Memorial Bridge near Wilmington, about the same time it takes to get there by driving to Lewes and catching the ferry.

INFORMATION: The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May (P.O. Box 109, Cape May, N.J. 08204, 609-884-5508) publishes a directory of places to stay, places to eat and a calendar of events called "Victorian Cape May."