Picture beautiful, clean, family friendly beaches with well kept local owned restaurants and stores; sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Next time you take a trip, you should head to Cape May, NJ. Cape May was recognized as one of the top 10 beaches in America by the Travel Channel in 2008, and is known to be one of New Jersey’s finest beach areas.
Located on the southern tip of New Jersey, in the 1700’s Cape May became a destination for Philadelphia vacationers and was announced as the countries oldest seaside resort.
Not only are the beaches beautiful and the water kept clean, Cape May has the second largest collection of Victorian Homes to feast your eyes on each day as you walk around town. Known to be a summer vacation spot, Cape May blooms from just over 4,000 year round residents to over 40,000 between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
On the Victorian Homes Tour, we learned that one source of employment that’s always necessary in Cape May is the house painter. With the salty water and east coast weather, blocks and blocks of Victorian homes need to be painted on average each 1-2 years. The detail work is breathtaking.
If you’re looking for a beach with a lot of people, bars, restaurants and shops, the city of Cape May has several;
The Cove, Broadway, Grant Street, Windsor, Congress Street, and Steger’s Beach, just to name a few. These are the most popular beaches and you do have to pay a small fee for a tag to enter – tags can be purchased before you enter on a daily basis (3-day, weekly or seasonal passes are also an option). There are quieter beaches around, with fewer amenities: Sunset Beach offers beautiful sunsets each night, and you may even find Cap May diamonds – but you have to know what you’re looking for. This is not one of the beaches you would want to spend the day at, but it is worth a visit. Cape May State Park is the perfect place to dolphin and bird watch, and is home to the world famous Cape May Lighthouse. Any atmosphere you desire in a family friendly beach can be found within Cape May, just ask the locals.
Not only are there several beaches to relax and play on, Cape May is full of daily activity for any season. Take a whale watching tour (though it’s probably more likely you’ll see dolphins), mini golf, or visit the free zoo. On a rainy day you may decide to take in a wine tasting at one of their local wineries, a relaxing spa day, or an arts and crafts day with the kids.
The historic Carroll Villa has the best view in town if you’re willing to climb some stairs to the turret. Might I suggest the Mad Batter. A line outside is almost guaranteed during peak breakfast hours, but the food is amazing on their picturesque front porch as is the dinner in the garden dining room.
No matter what the weather or the season, there is always something wonderful to do in Cape May, New Jersey.