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Back in its heyday 200 years ago, the "island that time forgot" was a salt-raking machine, stoked by Bermudian salt merchants to deliver "white gold" to markets around the world. Today, along Victoria Street and in the historic South District, many vintage houses and "saltraker" cottages have been restored and are available for daily or weekly stays.

Live like a salt baron in the beautifully restored Brown House (also known as "Sunnyside"; www.saltcaywaterfront.com; 649/244-1407; $650/night; $4,200/week; ask about specials). Built in 1820, the oldest house on the island has a "Battery"—a kitchen set off from the house, now outfitted for a professional chef—not to mention a breeze-filled wraparound porch and three en-suite bedrooms. The huge first floor is the original salt storage room and was crafted of ship timbers and wooden pegs.

Another stunning historic restoration, the British-Colonial Half Way House (www.halfwayhousesaltcay.com; 561/835-9237; $4,200/week high season; $3,200/week low season) has antique furnishings, three bedrooms, and an elegant tiled deck facing the sea; you also have the use of two bicycles.

Although it's a block from the beach, you can watch the whales from your deck at Charming House Villa (www.vrbo.com/374360; 772/713-9502; $950/week high season; $750/week off-season). This traditional two-story Bermudan Cape in the historic South District has been lovingly renovated; it accommodates six people and has three bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen.

The two-unit Vistas of Salt Cay (www.saltcay.net; $150–$225 high season; $125–$200 low season) is modest in décor and space (and rates), but is smack-dab on the ocean. Both upstairs and downstairs units have one bedroom and a fully equipped kitchen, and the beach out front is a nice spot to snorkel.

A restored saltraker relic, The Last Resort (www.vrbo.com/499040; $125 double, $800 weekly) is a one-bedroom home in the South District with a raised deck to whale-watch and space for four people.

Finally, in 2014, Salt Cay welcomed a handsome old-timer back on the lodging scene. The Mount Pleasant Guest House (www.mountpleasantguesthouse.com; 845/330-7642; $100–$150 double includes full breakfast and taxes), built in 1832, has reopened as a six-room B&B.