Things to Do in Cape May
Here are a few of our favorite things to see and do in Cape May. Some are well known, some are not so well known. Have a look around as we have included photos, videos, information and links. They are in no particular order.
Cape May is located at the southernmost tip of New Jersey and at Exit 0 of the Garden State Parkway. Cape May is an ocean side town and is the oldest resort town in the US. The entire town is a National Historic Landmark with nearly 600 preserved Victorian buildings. Cape May consists of 3 municipalities, Cape May, Cape May Point and West Cape May. You can park your car and walk or ride a bike to anywhere with easy access to restaurants, beaches, shopping and entertainment.
Cape May’s coast line extends from Poverty Beach to the north down to the Cove at the south end of Cape May. Most of the beaches are known by their street names. Our Sea Dragon guests utilize the Madison Avenue or Queen Street Beaches. Madison Avenue Beach offers full hotel food services on the beach, while Queen Street is a little quieter. Our Sea Turtle and Sea Horse guests utilize Broadway Beach which is the only beach entrance with a snack bar in addition to restrooms and rinse off stations. Our beach boxes for the Sea Turtle and Sea Horse guests are also located at Broadway Beach. In additional, nearby is Sunset Beach which is known for its nightly flag-lowering ceremony or Cape May Point which is where you’ll find the historic lighthouse. Cape May has some of the best beach spots in the country however the city does require beach tags to utilize the beaches Memorial – Labor Day.
Cape May 2018 Seasonal Beach Tags are available for purchase in person or by mail (required Memorial Day – Labor Day). The Seasonal Beach Tags are on sale at a discounted rate until the end of March or weekly, daily and 3 day beach passes can be purchased at each beach entrance at the time of your vacation. Below is the link to the city’s web site for more information and to pre-order your 2018 Seasonal Beach Tags. Beach tags are free for Active Military personnel and Veterans.
Cape May Carriage Company
Experience Cape May’s History. The Cape May Carriage Company has been a part of Victorian Cape May since 1983. Tourist and residents alike have shared in the beauty of proud horses, fine carriages and extraordinary tours detailing Cape May’s historical streets. The Cape May Carriage Company offers (weather and business permitting) half-hour tours on weekends during the spring and fall months, daily during the summer and during the Christmas season.
All carriage tours leave from the corner of Ocean Street and the Washington Street Mall and tickets can be purchased during regular business hours for the same day. Cash or travelers checks. Sorry, NO credit or debit cards.
Online reservations stop at midnight the night before the ride…then you must come in person that day to reserve!
Call 609-884-4466 to see if we are running right now!
Sorry, no phone reservations for tours.
In the 1980s, the Coast Guard began a nationwide program of leasing lighthouses to private organizations like MAC which are capable of preserving them. In 1986, the Coast Guard leased the lighthouse to MAC which assumed the responsibility for its restoration, maintenance and operation as a lighthouse museum. In 1992, ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred to the State of New Jersey in order to make the restoration project eligible for state historic preservation funding. The state monitors the historical authenticity of the restoration and also makes available to lighthouse visitors the parking and restroom facilities of the adjacent state park.
The present tower, which is the third documented lighthouse at the southern tip of New Jersey, has been an aid-to-navigation for mariners an attraction for visitors since it was built in 1859. More than 2.5 million visitors have climbed the lighthouse since it opened to the public in 1988. For those who choose not to climb, the Oil House on the grounds contains a fully accessible Visitors’ Orientation Center and Museum Shop carrying souvenirs, books and maritime items. Visit the website for admission and ticket information or visit the lighthouse during hours of operation.
Cape May Point State Park
Although Cape May Lighthouse is a major attraction for many visitors to the area, the lighthouse is located within the Cape May Point State Park.
Open daily dawn to dusk
Office Hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Museum Hours: Daily 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cape May Point State Park is known as a major migratory route. Many sea/shore birds and songbirds migrate through this area in the spring. At the end of the summer, dragonflies and Monarch Butterflies migrate through the area stopping briefly to gain their strength before continuing their journey across the Delaware Bay. Cape May also hosts the annual migration of the Horseshoe Crab along the Delaware Bay where they come ashore to lay their eggs. These protein rich eggs are an important food source for Ruddy Turnstones and Red Knots. Cape May is viewed by many as the premier hawk migration route of North America. In the fall hundreds of hawks are counted as they pass the narrow corridor of land along the Cape May peninsula heading south. This offers birdwatchers of all ages the opportunity to see these beautiful birds in flight as they soar across the fields and meadows on their southward trek across the Delaware Bay.
Several blazed trails lead visitors to various pond, coastal dune, marsh and forest habitats of the park where wildlife can be viewed from observation platforms. This natural area is significant along the East Coast for its resident and migratory birds and includes habitat suitable for northern and southern species of fauna and flora.
The Red Trail is .5 miles, and is wheel chair accessible. This trail offers hikers access to both the lighthouse pond west and east. Each pond has a blind or platform at the water’s edge to view wading birds, ducks, swans, as well as the occasional osprey, which come to rely on these freshwater ponds for food and habitat for breeding.
The Yellow Trail is 1.5 miles long. This trail offers hikers the opportunity to see different habitats, including wetland marsh, coastal dune and the beach.
The Blue Trail is 2.0 miles long. Just as the yellow trail, this trail offers hikers a myriad of habitats in which to view flora and fauna found here at the park. The blue trail offers a longer hike along the beach and coastal dune. Both the yellow and blue trails allow hikers the opportunity to view shore birds, as well as view other wildlife along the shore.
Winery - Tours - Events - Music
Delivered to you from the vine to the wine. Cape May County has earned bragging rights for some of the best wines this side of Napa Valley and most of these great vintages are made from grapes grown right here in Cape May County. Always recognized as the Garden State for great fruits and vegetables, parts of the state, especially the southern peninsula, have emerged in the past decade as the perfect place to grow grapes. Sandy soil and breezes from the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean provide the environment that many European grapes need to thrive.
There are several Napa style wineries located within 10 minutes of Cape May. One winery, Willow Creek Winery is located on the Cape May Peninsula. Many of the wineries are open daily for wine tasting and offer an in-depth vineyard experience including tours, special events, music and other venues. Check out the website links below for a schedule of events.
There is no better place than a New Jersey boardwalk to take in the fabulous sensations of our beaches: the sound of screeching seagulls overhead and the nearby crashing of waves, the smell of salt-laden breezes rolling in from the vast ocean, and the sights of families playing games, shopping and enjoying the amusements — it’s all here on our iconic boardwalks.
Ocean City, located 40 minutes from Cape May, has a wonderful, family oriented boardwalk. With its family-friendly amusements, live music performances and an alcohol-free atmosphere, this is an ideal beachfront spot to take the kids. The Ocean City Boardwalk has more than 35 family-friendly rides, a water park and an array of miniature golf and dining options. During July and August, every Thursday is “Family Night” on the boardwalk, meaning you can enjoy free, live entertainment and numerous activities for the kids.
Wildwood, located only 15 minutes from Cape May, offers world known amusements, games, water parks, food and of course the tram car that will take you from one end of the boardwalk to the other. Morey’s Pier is famous for its beachfront water parks, its nostalgic carnival rides and its extreme roller coasters. There’s more than 100 rides to try! You can also enjoy free fireworks on the beach on weekends and free evening concerts on the beach during the summer months.
Golfing Cape May
Nestled just 15 minutes from Cape May, Cape May Par 3 & Driving Range is an 18 Hole par 3 course that offers a driving range, 2 practice greens, regulation size greens and is an exceptional value. Cape May Par 3 is also staffed with a full time teaching professional. Make the most of your vacation–no dress code or tee times required. This is one of the best entertainment values in all of Cape May County!
Cape May area has many full service golf courses. A choice of 9 or 18 hole courses are available.
- Cape May National Golf Club is always on ” The Best List”. The picturesque course flows through a mix of wetlands, natural grasses, mounds and ponds.
- Avalon Gold Club – Nestled between Stone Harbor and Sea Isle City, lies Avalon Golf Club. Measuring from 6325 to 4924 yards, Avalon is a test for all skill levels. At Avalon, players must contend with narrow fairways, an abundance of water and the most prominent feature, the wind. Open daily to the public year-round from dawn to dusk.
- Laguna Oaks is 200 serene acres of meadow land, willow oak trees, ponds and waterfalls designed by Architect, Fred Langford. It offers a ten hole masterpiece that may be the most challenging and beauitiful Par-3 Course you will ever play.
- Heritage Links Golf Club – Practice your golf swing or challenge your family and friends to a fun and rewarding round of link style golf. Since 2001 they have been helping the locals and vacationing golfers enjoy a relaxing game of golf on their nine-hole course.
In 2015 Cape May County Park Zoo was rated the 13th best zoo in the world according to TripAdvisor.com. You will have a great time exploring more than 85 acres of beautifully maintained exhibits. The Zoo includes over 200 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles and over 500 animals. A perfect place to spend a day with your family and admission is free although they accept donations.
- In 2016 a new Tree to Tree Adventure Park opened offering ziplines and tree to tree adventures in the sky.
- Cape May County Park Zoo also offers a Disc Golf Course
- The grounds include a beautiful picnic area with plenty of tables, a playground area and hiking trails.
The Cape May County Zoo is open 364 days a year (closed for Christmas). Summer Hours: 10 a.m. – 4:40 p.m. No admission fee however, donations are greatly appreciated. Aside from the zoo and Tree to Tree Adventure Park, there is a large playground, grassy areas to play, numerous picnic tables and pavilions, food for purchase or grill your own and a lake, all for just a donation. The Zoo is always growing so come and see the new displays.
Music in the Park
Rotary Park Bandstand – 400 Lafayette Street – Starting at the end of June bring a beach chair to enjoy the music!
All Concerts are at 7pm, Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday Evenings.
Each year the music lineup has something for everyone, including new acts. Each concert will offer excellent entertainment in a family-friendly atmosphere. In 2017 the lineup for Music in the Park included America’s Sweethearts, a throwback to yesteryear with the sounds of the Andrew Sisters, The Mainliners chorus, The Fabulous Silver Wings featuring country/bluegrass, The Jack Melton Big Band, and The Quietmen an Irish tenor group. The series also features some popular local talent. The Bastard Sons of Captain Mey bring a modern take on American Folk Music, and Blue Bone rocks with strong guitar blues.
Music in the Park runs June 30 through September 16. Concerts are held every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings at 7pm. Everyone is welcome to bring a beach chair or blanket to comfortably enjoy the entertainment.
Cape May Ferry Terminal -1200 Lincoln Blvd, North Cape May, NJ (800) 643-3779
Come out and enjoy a summer series of free, live concerts on the Cape May’s Ferry Terminal Lawn. These events are put on in partnership with Lower Township. Bring your beach chairs or picnic blankets. Vendor food sales are available and access to the Ferry Terminal building services is permitted.
Summer Series start early July. The 2017 music series included Danny V’s Street Band /Billy Joel tribute, B-Street Band /Bruce Springsteen tribute, The Glimmer Twins /Rolling Stones tribute and many more.
You will not find a chain restaurant in Cape May. Our locally owned restaurants serve the freshest local fish and produce available. Probably the best known Cape May Restaurant is The Lobster House, a popular tourist attraction for families and groups. The Lobster House is Cape May’s largest restaurant offering waterfront dining and fresh caught seafood at moderate prices.
However Cape May has many other well known restaurants and dining experiences. Just a few we enjoy include Oyster Bay Restaurant, The Mad Batter, Oceanview Restaurant, 410 Bank Street, Freda’s Cafe, Louisa’s Cafe, Georges Place, Sapore Italiano, Harbor View and several other wonderful Cape May Restaurants. Each one offers their own special dining experience.
Cape May has many wonderful dining options for your family. Always check for hours of operation as some are only open for dinner while others also offer breakfast and lunch. Dinner reservations are suggested for many restaurants during the summer and weekends.
Below is a link to the New Jersey Leisure Guide restaurant reviews. New Jersey Leisure Guide strives to achieve objective restaurant reviews, unlike other web based restaurant reviews driven by diners with personal tastes, budgets, and anecdotes and sometimes restaurant owners and family members who may skew the results.
Contact Us Now
If you have any questions regarding the area, our properties or availability, please submit an inquiry or call Kevin on 610-360-5097 for an immediate response. We are always here to help.