love cape may

29 reasons why to visit and love Cape May, New Jersey USA

Cape May is one of the oldest seaside resorts in the nation.

And it remains one of our favorite places to visit at the Jersey Shore.

Here are our top 29 reasons to visit Cape May:

free parking Cape May

Free parking hack

Parking in Cape May can get tricky.

But during the summer months, free parking is offered in the Cape May Elementary School lot on Lafayette Street [map].

Even better, parking at this lot gives you a free ride on the Cape May Trolley.

Comfort stations

Restrooms are only several blocks away from any spot on the beach.


The Great American Trolley Company bus tours

The Great American Trolley Company bus tours

Riding on a Cape May trolley bus is a great way to get acquainted with this beach town.

Each guided tour lasts about 30 minutes.

Website | Map

The Washington Street Mall in Cape May

A trip to Cape May is not complete without a stroll through The Washington Street Mall – even if you do not buy a thing.

It offers a nice mix of stores and restaurants closed off to all vehicle traffic.

The Washington Street Mall is three blocks long. And it features specialty stores, art galleries & wonderful restaurants.

Website | Map

Shields Bike Rentals Cape May

Shields Bike Rentals of Cape May

Wanna take a spin on two or four wheels?

Shields Bike Rentals offer surreys, tandems and beach cruisers to use in town or near the beach.

Each bike rental includes a lock, basket, and helmet at no extra charge.

Website | Map

Sunset Beach Cape May New Jersey

Sunset Beach Cape May New Jersey

This Cape May Point beach is a free, hidden gem (pun intended)…

“Cape May diamonds” are clear quartz crystals easily found along the beach’s length.

It is also famous for its beautiful sunsets.

And watch a twice-a-day flag raising-lowering ceremony from May through September.

Website | Map

Cape May Lighthouse

Cape May Lighthouse

This historic lighthouse is located on the grounds of the Cape May Point State Park.

See excellent views.

Great for picture taking.

Go up 199 steps to the top and down in about 20 minutes.

Website | Map

Cape May Point State Park

Cape May Point State Park

Tired of walking the beach?

No problem. Take a walk on the nature trails in this hidden, tiny state park that borders the beach.

This not-so-crowded trail offers three loops – ranging from half a mile to two miles.

Do not let the easy and flat trail deceive you. It is beautiful.

On our last trip, we saw the largest swans ever.

Several observation decks give us the opportunities to see wildlife – mainly birds.

The far side of the park offers a bird-observation platform. It overlooks protected-area marshland which is the landing zone for many types of birds.

The start of the trail spills into a big parking lot (FREE).

Out of all the wonderful sights to see in Cape May, this is my family’s new-found favorite.

Website | Map

Cape May World War II Lookout Tower Fire Control Tower No. 23

Cape May World War II Lookout Tower (Fire Control Tower No. 23)

See New Jersey’s last remaining restored World War II tower.

It reopened to the public in March of 2009.

There is lots of free parking around it.

And it is not crowded.

The best part is it is free to tour.

Website | Map

Handicapped-access beach

If you are disabled, Cape May offers a free service to give you a lift over the sand to the beach’s edge.

This site reveals all handicapped-friendly hotels and bed and breakfast locations in Cape May.

Galvanic Cape May

Galvanic of Cape May

This is one of those shops where I want to buy EVERYTHING.

Shop for high quality and fashionable men’s apparel and accessories.

Galvanic includes everything from high-end wallets to pennyboards.\

It is a brick and mortar version of Huckberry.

You are going to find stuff that would inspire the fans Art of Manliness.

Most items sold are made in the USA.

Website | Map

Colors of Cape May

Life Is Good fans rejoice!

Colors has the largest variety of premium t-shirts for the whole family.


South Cape May Meadows

South Cape May Meadows

Take an astonishing nature walk on the road leading to the Cape May lighthouse.

The trails here pass ponds and meadows to reach the beach.

The path is easy to follow and affords a close look at many different bird species.

There are no shops or restaurants here – just birds in their natural habitat.

See endangered Piping Plovers, Least Terns – even a Fork-tailed Flycatcher from South America.

If you are looking to find a place away from the crowds and busy beach area, this fits the bill.

Website | Map

Cape May B&Bs

A bed and breakfast is a large home offering overnight accommodation and a free breakfast.

They resemble quaint, gingerbread houses. They are also known as “painted ladies” because of their colorful appearance.

TripAdvisor found the following Cape May bed and breakfasts with across-the-board, 5-star ratings:

The Mission Inn
1117 New Jersey Ave

Albert Stevens Inn
127 Myrtle Ave

Saltwood House
28 Jackson St

Look at TripAdvisor’s entire list here.

Cape May Promenade

This is not your typical New Jersey “boardwalk”.

It is a cement sidewalk that spans two miles. And it is just steps away from any of Cape May’s beaches.

It has benches, shops and “comfort stations.”

Ride your bikes (anytime before 10 a.m. during the summer).


Cape May Carriage rides

Cape May Carriage rides

Enjoy an hour-long fairy tale tour of historic Cape May via horse and carriage.

Tours start on Ocean Street (on the northwest end of The Washington Street Mall).

Prices range from $10 to $40 (plus tip).


Cape May Congress Hall

Cape May Congress Hall

Congress Hall is a fancy hotel located across from the beach.

It is too pricey for us…

But we love sitting on the Adirondack chairs and watching the ocean waves.

Also, Congress Hall owns a 62-acre tract called Beach Plum Farm [map]

FREE self-guided tours are available on weekends.


Cape May Lewes Ferry

Cape May-Lewes Ferry

Slash the amount of time it takes to visit Lewis, Delaware from Cape May, New Jersey.

Whether you bring your car (or just yourselves), this ferry is like a nature cruise ship…

See dolphins, rays, fish, birds and crabs during the crossing.

It even includes an area for your dogs.

The trip lasts 85 minutes each way.

The boat is really nice and offers food and beverages.

Website | Map

Historic Cold Spring Village Cape May

Historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May

Turn back the clock and see how life looked back in the 1700s.

Take a stroll along 30 acres of shaded lanes, gardens – even see the farm where heritage crops are grown.

There are a printing shop, ceramics’ shop, ice cream shop and bakery.

This is a must-visit location for history buffs like my sons.

Website | Map

Original Fudge Kitchen Cape May

Free fudge samples in Cape May

We enjoy walking the promenade and The Washington Street Mall for a free sweet treat.

The Original Fudge Kitchen has been handing out free samples for over 40 years.

Their fudge recipe includes pure cane sugar, dairy fresh cream, whole milk and premium chocolate.

Choose from 22 flavors.


Louies Pizza Cape May

Louie’s Pizza Cape May

Believe it or not, the best pizza (outside New York City) is in Cape May, New Jersey.

Yes. It is that good!

Thick, chewy crust? Check.

Zesty, tasty sauce? Check.

Extra cheese (without the extra cost)? Check.

Website | Map

Dolphin sightings in Cape May

Watch dolphins gracefully splash, dive and jump right in front of your eyes.

Yes. Right from your beach chair!

Touch Alpacas in Cape May

The Jersey shore is not just for the beach.

Get up close and personal with an Alpaca.

Jersey Shore Alpacas [map] provide carrots to feed the alpacas creating an intimate hands-on experience.

They also take their time answering any questions you have and to share stories and educational information.


Stop by their store to see all kinds of hand-made items from alpaca wool.

Bay Springs Farm Alpacas [map] provide friendly information.
And their farm is quite clean.

The store is stocked with many items made from the Alpacas sheering.

Buy Alpaca yarn to make your own items.

Cape May Model Trains

Cape May Model Trains

See over 1,600 square feet of wall-to-wall working model trains.

Their exhibit includes 5 layouts with over 30 rail lines.

This is one place to go for all train lovers – of any age.

Website | Map

Madison Avenue playground Cape May

Madison Avenue Playground in Cape May

Do your children need a break from the beach?

This small playground features ducks, geese, picnic tables and play equipment.

And best of all, there is plenty of shade on a hot summer day.


Cape May Mini Golf

Cape May Mini Golf

Putting around Stockton Inns Miniature Golf has been a family tradition for decades.

It is a great little course featuring lots of hills and water hazards (unlike the other flat mini-golf places).

Website | Map

Cape May Convention Hall

Cape May Convention Hall

Back in May of 2012, Cape May reopened its new convention center.

It is literally located on the water’s edge.

It features over 20,000 square feet of events: enjoy everything from concerts, seminars – even weddings for up to 600 people.

Website | Map

Family Fun Arcade Cape May

Family Fun Arcade in Cape May

Be a child again and enjoy a fun, noisy arcade right on the boardwalk.

Skeeball competition anyone?

This place has plenty of alleys to play.


Cape May County Zoo

Cape May County Zoo

“It is the best zoo ever!”

Many people say this.

It is one of the cleanest and most orderly zoos in the world.

Experience the entire zoo in about two hours.

Parking is free and abundant.

And the best part is the zoo is FREE. (They cheerfully accept donations.)

No food is allowed in this zoo, but they do offer several picnic areas outside, so pack up a cooler.

They are also an handicap-friendly establishment, and you can rent a wheelchair.

In 2016, the zoo will offer a 55-foot high treetop adventure course and zip line in the woods.

The Cape May County Zoo is open every day during the summer from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. (’til 3:45 p.m during winter hours).

The zoo only closes on Christmas day.

Website | Map

The Nature Center Cape May

The Nature Center of Cape May

Stop by here for a quick dose of nature.

They offer a variety of programs and activities for the whole family.

People rave about their three-story observation deck. They even offer loaner binoculars (free).

It is located near the Cape May Harbor, this nature center displays lots of sea life.

See panoramic views of Cape May from a second-story observation deck and tower. It provides the best viewing for spotting birds in the harbor and around the meadow

Relax in their upstairs lounge.

Children are welcome to touch and explore.

The center provides picnic tables overlooking scenic Cape May Harbor.

Yes – this is all FREE!

(For an extra fee, you can rent kayaks or go on boat trips.)

Website | Map

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Markus Allen

Family man. Truth seeker. Life hacker... more about me here...


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