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Cape May area in Oct - where to stay: nice but affordable?

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My husband and I are planning a trip to Cape May the first week in October. It will be our first time visiting the area, and the forum has been a great resource as far as things to see and do in Cape May and the surrounding areas and small towns. However, we're having a bit of sticker shock when looking for a place to stay that's within our budget (max of $1000 for the week, or $150/night) but is still nice enough. We don't need to be in the heart of Cape May - we've looked at West Cape May, Cape May Point, and a bit further out. But they all seem to be at or above our max budget, which might be ok if we got there and they were really lovely, but many just don't seem that nice.

We'd prefer to have a kitchenette, and to have a living area separate from the bedroom. Hubby's not a fan of B&Bs, as we'd like a bit more space and privacy, and just want to come and go as we please. It MUST be quiet - my husband's really sensitive to noise from neighbors, street traffic, kids playing in a hotel pool, etc. So I've focused on cottage rentals, condo rentals, and motels. It doesn't need to be big or luxurious, but I guess I'd like the equivalent of a 3-1/2 star hotel, or a little bit of "charming cottage" feel, and what I'm seeing look like 1 or 2-star highway motel rooms for $1000-$1200 once you include taxes. The smallest cottage rentals end up being at least $1000 too once you include the deposits, and after doing more research online, I found that some of them were actually on busy streets.

I've spent days at this point browsing dozens of sites, and am still not finding much, even though we'll be there off-season. Just wondering if I should resign myself to maxing out our budget for someplace that doesn't really thrill me, or whether you have any other suggestions. The ones that have been of most interest so far are three cottages in West Cape May, Cape May Harbor, and Cape May Point, a condo at The Tides, and the Sea Crest Inn. All range from $1000-$1200. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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