Cape May Travel Guide

  • Black skimmers, Cape May Beach
    Black skimmers, Cape May Beach
    by toonsarah
  • Cape May trolley
    Cape May trolley
    by toonsarah
  • Classic Cape May
    Classic Cape May
    by johncudw

Cape May Things to Do

  • Beaches

    When touring Cape May be sure to take the time to visit its 2 1/2 mile wide, welcoming beach. Rates are $4.00 daily, $13 for the week, $9 for three consecutive days or $25 seasonally. Children under 11 are free. There are restroom facilities along the beach, but no changing rooms. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 am-5:30 pm. A boardwalk is nearby...

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  • Cape May Lighthouse

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The lighthouse at Cape May is seldom open but the park around it is very nice. There are three trail segments that total anywhere from .7 to 4.5 miles. The first section takes you through the wetlands section and is on dry boards mounted above the water. There are two bird watching lookouts along the route. The second section is along dirt paths...

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  • Victorian Houses

    While not the only terrific thing about Cape May, the Victorian architecture at Cape May is definitely a highlight. These cottages, while not nearly as large as the "cottages" in Newport, Rhode Island, are substantial structures. The ones pictured here have the added feature of facing directly on the oceanfront. These cottages are privately owned,...

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Cape May Hotels

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Cape May Restaurants

  • The Lobster House

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    The Lobster House, located on Fisherman's Wharf in Cape May, is a favorite of my family's. It's very popular and has a loyal following. The Lobster House dine-in restaurant is only one part of establishments on this long, covered dock. This restaurant is rather cozy with wood-paneling, comfortable seating, and of course, good seafood on offer....

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  • The Mad Batter

    4 out of 5 stars

    The Mad Batter is famous in Cape May. It is open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. We went for breakfast. Fortunately there was only a short wait. It was worth the wait. Each of the five of us had a different dish from eggs benedict to specialty pancakes and everything was excellent. The service was very good as well. Our only disappointment was...

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  • The Blue Pig Tavern

    4 out of 5 stars

    This was easily our favourite of the restaurants we visited in Cape May and we ended up coming here three times, once for breakfast and twice for dinner. We liked the comfortable large dining room, with its well-spaced tables, large fireplace (with a welcoming fire on our last evening in town) and friendly service. We loved the large bar with...

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Cape May Nightlife

  • Boiler Room: Great Music & Atmosphere

    This is a great place to go with friends or just as a couple for live music. I have never made it past the lounge area when you first enter because it looks so inviting and it's not too loud. When you first walk in, there is a lounge area with couches and tables; the waitstaff is usually pretty good, so you don't have to go fend for yourself at the...

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  • Drinks at the bar

    This was our favourite post-dinner drinking spot while we were in Cape May and we came on three or four evenings. The season was coming to an end, so nowhere was particularly busy, but here there was a bit of life without it ever being very crowded. On each occasion we sat up at the bar. I can recommend the margaritas, and also enjoyed a Jack...

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  • Not for the faint of heart...

    We walked all the way from town to the harbor. In the rain. Because, of course, apparently all it does in Cape May is rain. When I'm there.So, we had some time to kill before dinner across the street at "The Lobster House". Enter Mayers. As soon as I saw the joint, I knew to be worried. But, primed for adventure, we went on in.This place gives...

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Cape May Transportation

  • Driving to Cape May

    After a week spent in Manhattan, we rented a car to drive to Cape May. We picked up the Hertz car, a Ford Fusion, from Newark Liberty Airport, having pre-booked it on a special deal through Expedia (£158 for 8 days all in). The rental office was on the airport and easily reached by the free monorail, the Airtrain, and the whole process was handled...

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  • Parking

    If you’re driving to or around Cape May you’ll find the town quite well provided with places to park. Away from the centre there is free parking on many of the residential roads – we were able to park close to the front door of our accommodation (just one block from the sea) throughout the week, apart from Saturday when day-trippers meant that...

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  • discount taxi cab ride to US Coast Guard...

    Attention Coast Guard families coming to Cape May for Coast Guard graduation every Friday. There is no public transportation in Cape May. You'll need to reserve a taxi cab to get from bus terminal to base. Call A Plus Cab at 609 889-9595

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Cape May Shopping

  • The Whale's Tale

    The Whale's Tail has so many things it is hard to mention half of them, but I'll try to give some. They carry real sea shells, toiletries, jewelry, greeting cards, ceramics, Christmas ornaments, decorative night lights, Cape May collector houses,etc. There is a children's section featuring stuffed animals, toys, sticker books, books, tea sets,...

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  • Washington Street

    The Washington Street Mall is a quaint place to shop and is fine for gifts and holiday souvenirs, but if you find yourself in need of more basic supplies head for Washington Commons just north of the Mall’s eastern end. Here you’ll find the Acme supermarket and a bank, as well as some more gift shops to browse. We found the ATM at the bank...

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  • The Italian Garden

    When we travel I love collecting scented soaps--each time I use them, I think of the place in which I found them. The Italian Garden is a new shop to me, as I've never stumbled upon it on our many visits to Cape May. It's not on the main street or pedestrian mall, but actually on the street behind the mall. Once inside, a potpourri of scents greet...

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Cape May Local Customs

  • Historic Cold Spring Village

    A 19th c. open-air living history museum that features 25 restored historic buildings on a 22-acre site.The spring of sparkling water bubbling out of the ground in a salt marsh was called Cold Spring. Cold Spring inlet is evidenced on maps of 1690 and 1691.

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  • Send Greetings To Those Back Home....

    What's a trip to a vacation spot without sending a postcard to those back home! This is just a glimpse of what awaits you in this Victorian town. It's an easy walk for those who want to tour on foot. A trolley, horse and carriage, bicycle or surrey stand ready to take you around to see the colorful, historic homes.I love finding a post card in my...

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  • Jim Hogan is one of the most...

    Jim Hogan is one of the most informative people I've met in Cape May. He is a volenteer employee who we met at the top of the Lighthouse in Cape May. If you want to learn about Cape May past and present, pay the $5.00, walk up the spiral staircase and take some time to talk to Jim. You wont regret it.

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Cape May Warnings and Dangers

  • Pavements

    OK this photo of Chris is staged, but it carries a genuine warning. The pavements around Cape May are very cracked and uneven in places, and at night especially it would be all too easy to trip and fall. You’ll want to look around you at the lovely houses you pass on the street but do remember to keep one eye on where you are going and watch your...

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  • Giant Mystery Spiders Taking over...

    If you decide to dine at the Sunset Beach Grill(and, I hear the crabcakes are FABU!) then I suggest that while waiting in line, you NOT look at the garden area. There were these gigantic, exotic spiders just hanging out like they owned the whole g*ddamned beach shack! It was freaky. Size? Okay, I know I'm a giant by comparison, but if this spider...

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  • Book your accommodations ahead of time

    Cape May is a expensive tourist destination. Due to the price of accommodations at Cape May, I either had to stay in Atlantic City (also expensive) or Wildwood for the Labor Day weekend. Weekend accommodations tend to be much more expensive than the weekdays. Please plan ahead.

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Cape May Tourist Traps

  • Beach tags not all bad

    People get upset about the beach tags, but the money you pay is what keeps the beaches so beautiful. These beaches are CLEAN, which makes your stay much more enjoyable. Also, there is the option of paying for a tag for one day($4), 4 days($9), one week($13), or the whole season($25). Obviously the longer the tag, the better value. Check at the info...

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  • Cape May's Washington Street Mall

    The Washington Street Mall is situated one block from the ocean in the heart of the Cape May historical district. Cape May closed Washington Street to traffic between Ocean and Perry Streets, filled in the street, placed park benches everywhere, and planted the newly created walking mall with trees, shrubbery, and flowers in 1970-71.

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  • The parking meters!

    Watch your time carefully when you park at a meter - especially near the Washington St. Mall. I swear the town gets 75% of its revenue from expired meters.Also, meters near the mall have to be fed year-round. Other meters (including those on beach drvie) are disassembled from november to April. Just look closely - if a meter still has its guts...

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Cape May What to Pack

  • Minimal Packing

    Use soft, small bags whenever possible. Avoid large hard shell luggage. Just pack for one complete outfit (skin-outward) per day. You only need one pair of sandals. No weather gear needed. Pack one wide brimmed hat for sun protection. Bring your meds and aloe gel and put that in the fridge. You'll look like a tourist. Purchase beach wear and...

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  • Packing List

    A simple soft bag will do. Bring a bathing suit during the Summer. The beach is close by. If you plan to do any hiking or birdwatching like I did, bring plenty of insect repellent. You'll need it in some places. Bathing suits are a must in the Summer.

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  • Cape May Hotels

    97 Hotels in Cape May

    1 Reviews

Cape May Off The Beaten Path

  • The Cape May - Lewes Ferry

    In 2013, the Cape May - Lewes Ferry is celebrating its 50th year of service. The ferry is important for the convenience it brings to people traveling north and south, but the ferry is also a treat in itself. The ferry accommodates the passenger cars, or you can purchase a "foot passenger" ticket which includes shuttle service from downtown Cape May...

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  • A day trip to Atlantic City

    It seemed to us that you can’t come to New Jersey and not visit Atlantic City! And while it may not be everybody’s idea of the best time to visit the seaside, we deliberately chose our one bad weather day to head north to the State’s most famous resort. This is the weather in which I most enjoy the English seaside, and it proved just right for our...

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  • Wildwood's Boardwalk

    Cape May is, as I have said, not a typical New Jersey Shore resort – for that you have to drive (or take a tour) a few miles to its neighbour to the north, Wildwood. We spent a couple of hours here on one of our chillier afternoons, walking the famous Boardwalk and enjoying taking lots of photos of its attractions. It was quite late in the season...

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Cape May Sports & Outdoors

  • SURFIN7TH's Profile Photo

    by SURFIN7TH Updated Nov 18, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cape May has some of the best fishing anywhere. In the fall and winter the fish of choice is the Striped Bass. There are many boats going out of the marinas of Cape May. I usually fish on the "Miss Chris." This day was too crowded on that boat so I walked next door and fished on the Sea Hunt. The Sea Hunt is a little smaller boat with no cabin but the captain and mate are excellent and there are less anglers and better odds for fish. Make sure you pay the extra $1 or $2 to get in the pool. It makes the day more fun. Biggest fish wins the pot. It usually costs about $30 for 6-8 hours of fishing.Most boats sail between 7am and 9am. Its good to get to the boat early to secure a space. Call ahead on week days or days w/ bad weather.

    Equipment: Rental Rods are available but its better to bring your own if you have it. I usually bring a spinning rod for jigging bucktails or diamond jigs and a conventional rod and reel with 25-30 lb test. On this rod I use a fish finder rig with a 3' flourocarbin leader and a #2 or #3 hook. Most of the striper fishing on these boats is done with eels. The heavier line helps get the fish to the boat quicker without getting tangled with the other fishermen.

    Striper

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Cape May Favorites

  • Birds

    After its Victorian architecture, Cape May is probably best known and most celebrated for its wealth of birdlife. I mentioned the Hawk Observatory at the State Park in my Things to Do tip, and the fall migration is one of the highlights of the birding year here, but there are many others. I found that the website of the Cape May Times was a very...

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  • Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC)

    The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts is a non-profit organisation which organises tours, events, and festivals in the Cape May area. These include the Historic District Trolley Tour that we did, Haunted Cape May evening tours, guided walks by day and in the evenings and much more. There is an extensive programme of special events too – when we were...

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  • Monarch butterflies

    As well as being on the migration route for many birds, twice each year Cape May plays host to thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies. When we were there in September some were already passing through on their long journey south to Mexico. Being at the tip of a peninsular, Cape May is a perfect spot for them to rest and eat before setting out...

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