Cape May Travel Guide

Take a step back in time with Cape May rentals in New Jersey. This historic seaside town is known for its unspoiled charm, wide beaches, family entertainment, and a touch of adventure. If you want to escape the crowds of other shore towns, let VacationRentals.com show you what is on offer in quiet, cozy Cape May.

What to Do in Cape May

cape may beach vacation

Sun, Surf, and Beach Activities

Golden beaches and summer sunshine attract visitors to Cape May rentals. While this beach town is known for its history, it also offers a great variety of ways to enjoy the beach and the sun. From charter fishing to renting jet skis, it will be easy to fill your days with exhilarating activities. Whether you are the type of traveler who likes to spend the whole day sunbathing or prefer to remain active, Cape May will be the ideal environment for your summer vacation. Pick up speed on a Waverunner, gaze down at the beach from a parasailing adventure, or finally take a lesson and learn how to sail.

One of the most popular activities is whale and dolphin watching tours. Many visitors may be surprised to know that these creatures are swimming off New Jersey’s shores, but a boat tour from Cape May will prove it is true. Kids will love seeing wildlife in its natural habitat.

Just for the Family

While some beaches along the Jersey shore are known more for nightlife than family fun, Cape May isn’t one of them. Located on a southern outreach of New Jersey, this town hasn’t experienced the uncomfortable seasonal influx that other towns do. As a result, Cape May is still extremely family friendly and beaches are never too crowded.

Beyond the beach, there is a variety of family entertainment in this beach town. Hop aboard the Cape May ferry and sail across the Delaware Bay to the town of Lewes, Delaware. More entertainment for kids includes miniature golf, a free zoo, and amusement parks nearby, as well as bicycle rentals. Spend some family time peddling along the coast enjoying the peaceful environment and the sea breeze!

cape may beach vacaton

Relaxing Cape May Style

Cape May is known as being one of the most peaceful seaside towns in the state. While the uncrowded beaches and historic buildings contribute to this atmosphere, there are other factors as well. Cape May restaurants are known for their classic style and wine tastings at local wineries will show you another side to the local flavor.

If you’re looking for a day of pampering, send the rest of your family out for a tour on the Cape May ferry and make a reservation at a local spa. Fitting with the style of Cape May, local spas have a relaxed atmosphere that will leave you feeling refreshed. Choose from a massage, facial, and other tempting treatment options.

Arts, Culture, and History

Beyond Cape May restaurants and beaches, many visitors are attracted by the local culture. Some seaside towns can be accused of being soulless, but not Cape May. In this town arts, culture, and history is thriving—and not just in the summer, but all year long. The art lover will be spoiled for choice in Cape May. One local favorite is the SOMA New Art Gallery. If you’re looking to plan a romantic night out, arrange for theater tickets in advance. Options include Cape May Stage Theatre, East Lynne Theater Company, and Elaine’s Dinner Theater.

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What to See in Cape May

No matter how delicious Cape May restaurants are, you must break away for a glimpse into local history. The Cape May Lighthouse is a great place for self-guided tours while the Colonial House provides a glimpse into past architecture. Historic Cold Spring Village is also a popular attraction. Another way to immerse yourself in local history is to take a ghost tour. These creepy tours will bring visitors to some of the most haunted places in Cape May. Tour companies include Elaine’s Walking Ghost Tour and the Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Cape May

cape may shopping

Local Shopping Guide

Many visitors start their day planning to hop aboard the Cape May ferry or maybe charter a fishing boat and are enticed away by local shopping. This small seaside town is home to a variety of options including clothing, jewelry, antiques, unique gifts, and home décor.

Start your shopping extravaganza by visiting the Washington Street Mall, a three-block outdoor shopping mall with a variety of options. Local favorites for clothing include Bamboo Shack Boutique, Caroline Boutique, and Kaleidoscope. You will find many tempting options at Victorious Antiques and Whale’s Tale. Many shops specialize in gifts for the gourmet cook, so keep your eye out if you have a foodie in the family!

The Allure of Cape May Restaurants

While the beaches and the sun may originally entice people to this area of the Jersey shore, Cape May restaurants definitely play a part in people returning again and again. From casual options to formal restaurants, the choice is yours in Cape May. Many visitors are surprised to learn that restaurants in New Jersey are BYOB (bring your own bottle). Go ahead and splurge on a nice dinner out and save money by bringing your own bottle of wine along!

Fine-dining and history are entwined in Cape May. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially in the summer, for these gourmet options: 410 Bank Street, Black Duck on Sunset, Ebbitt Room, the Merion Inn, and Union Park Dining Room. For more relaxed fine dining, choose between Blue Pig Tavern, Lobster House, and Mad Batter. Cape May restaurants are also family friendly. Favorite casual options include Bloody Mary’s Bar & Grill, Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grill, and Menz Restaurant. Casual coffee shops are also popular in Cape May, including Zoe’s Beachfront Eatery and the Original Fudge Kitchen.

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When to Visit Cape May

Some visitors think that the only time to visit Cape May is in the summer. While the summer does offer the best weather for the beaches and water activities, there are also many reasons to plan a Cape May vacation outside of this season. The Cape May ferry, historical attractions, restaurants, and annual festivals all draw visitors beyond the summer season.

For many people the allure of Cape May is its peaceful atmosphere. This relaxed ambiance is at its best leading up to the summer season in the springtime and in the fall once the summer crowds have left. It will be easier to get a table at restaurants and the beach will still be pleasant for long walks. The winter is also growing in popularity as annual events and festivals draw people of certain hobbies to Cape May in the off season. Expect to find the best deals on vacation rentals outside of the summer season.

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What to Bring to Cape May

Cape May is all about relaxation, so bring along any items that will help to make your trip all the more peaceful. Beyond the beach basics of a swimsuit and sunscreen, remember to bring your iPod and novels or magazines. Beach toys will help to keep the kids occupied while you’re sunbathing. Don’t forget to bring your camera as well; there are sure to be many family moments you’ll want to capture!

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Local Services in Cape May

During the summer season, visitors will find everything they need at a moment's notice in Cape May. From banks to the post office to grocery stores, services in Cape May cater to the seasonal travelers. If you’re planning a trip outside of the summer season, there may be some reduced hours at stores and restaurants. Wine shops will specialize in helping you choose a perfect bottle to bring along to Cape May restaurants.

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What to Know About Cape May

During the summer season, visitors will find everything they need at a moment's notice in Cape May. From banks to the post office to grocery stores, services in Cape May cater to the seasonal travelers. If you’re planning a trip outside of the summer season, there may be some reduced hours at stores and restaurants. Wine shops will specialize in helping you choose a perfect bottle to bring along to Cape May restaurants.

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Getting to Cape May

Cape May is located at the southern edge of New Jersey. Most visitors arrive by car on the New Jersey Parkway. When this road eventually ends, you have arrived in Cape May! A car will help visitors to feel free to explore the town and nearby beaches as well. If you are arriving by plane, nearby airports include Atlantic City Airport and Philadelphia Airport. Cape May does have its own small regional airport for those flying their own private planes. Another option is to take the Cape May ferry from Delaware.

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Why Cape May vacation rentals?

For decades the wide beaches of Cape May have been luring travelers to this New Jersey seaside town. If you’re traveling to the beach, would you rather wake up to the sound of the waves in a beachfront property, or in a crowded hotel room? Families can rest assured that everyone will have the space they need to really relax. No beach vacation would be complete without some outdoor space, a barbeque, and space for quality family time!

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