10 Things I Love About Cape May, NJ

This past Sunday through Tuesday I visited my great uncle at Cape May Point, New Jersey with my mom and my suite mates from college.  I’ve been going to Cape May at least once a summer for basically my entire life, and it’s definitely one of my favorite places that I’ve ever been to.  And here’s why:

1. Quiet beaches

One thing that Cape May has that other beach towns might lack is relatively quiet and uncrowded beaches.  Especially at this time of year, the beaches have plenty of space to relax and don’t generally have rowdy people around.  Cape May’s beaches (especially on the Point) are perfect places to spend some quiet time listening to the ocean’s waves, reading, and chatting with friends as the sun goes down.  Plus, there are plenty of dolphins to watch from the shore!

Sunset

2. Quaint neighborhoods

Along with the quietness of the beaches, the neighborhoods in Cape May are picture perfect: clean, calm, and lovely to look at.  They’re full of small and large homes alike with front gardens, adorable bed-and-breakfasts, and friendly neighbors gathering on front porches.

3. Victorian architecture

Maybe this is just my preference (My dream is to live in a house with a tower), but I adore the Victorian architecture in Cape May.  The vibrant houses brighten up the streets even on the rainiest days.  Each home is unique, with different detailing in the roofs, windows, and sweeping front porches.  And the little towers are the icing on the cake.

4. Antique shops (and all other kinds of shopping!)

West EndI liveCompass for antique shopping (Well, window shopping… Who has money for a decades-old armoire anyway?), and the shops at Cape May are to die for.  My favorite place to go is the West End Garage, which is a kind of indoor flea market, with everything from beach-themed crafts to sweaters made from alpaca wool, from pet accessories to old-fashioned cameras.

BellThis trip to Cape May, I also went to the Antiques Emporia for the first time, and it was full of all kinds of old-fashioned knick-knacks, baseball cards, comic books, doll furniture, and dishware.  I bought a beautiful bell made in England there to add to my bell collection (I’ll post about that another time!)

Cape May also has plenty of other stores; my favorites are Across the Way and the Cape Atlantic Book Company store in the Washington Street Mall.  There’s something there for everyone!

5. Sightseeing

Cape May is pretty small, but there are a few sights that you have to see if you go there.  The first is the Cape May Lighthouse.  It’s 199 steps up but totally worth it for the view.  From there, you can see dozens of houses, the shoreline, a beautiful lake, and a World War II bunker.

lighthouse

TowerThis past trip to Cape May I also climbed up the World War II Lookout Tower for the first time.  It’s not as tall as the lighthouse (only 102 steps up) and is filled with plenty of historical information.  As you climb up the steel stairs, there are plaques, memorials, and military uniforms to look at.  When my friends and I got to the top, a lovely older man told us all about what the soldiers did in the tower and about the German U-Boats.  It’s definitely a sight I would see again!

6. Ice cream

Cape May seems to have no shortage of places to stop for a frozen treat to cool you off.  My personal favorites are Scoops on Sunset (fantastic flavor choices for a quick stop or sit-down outside) and the Ben & Jerry’s at the Washington Street Mall (I’m always down for a “Milk & Cookies” cone!).  Perfect to finish off a night of mini-golfing and shopping!

7. Cape May Zoo

I didn’t get to go to the Cape May Zoo this time around, but I’ve been there before, and it’s wonderful!  It’s free (but you’re welcome to make a donation), and it features animals from a wide variety of areas–everything from farm animals like goats and cows, to birds like flamingos and peacocks.  It’s a nice, shady place to spend an afternoon and some quality time with family or friends.

8. Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is a highlight of Cape May Point.  Every night from May to September, there is a flag ceremony at sunset where the flag is raised to patriotic music.  The beach also has a nice outdoor eatery called the Sunset Beach Grille, mini golf, and numerous shops.

9.  The Stars

I’ve spent many a night at Cape May sitting on my uncle’s deck just looking at the millions of stars that you can see on the Point.  Without all of the artificial lighting that there is at home, the sky is filled with stars, and I’ve seen shooting stars quite a few times there.  Cape May is the perfect place to escape the madness of everyday life and to just sit back and search for constellations.

10.  The People

I think it’s safe to say that almost every Cape May native is friendly.  It’s such a warm and welcoming community that’s grounded in kindness and hospitality.  From the shopkeepers to the volunteer fire fighters, Cape May is full of dedicated and loving people who will make your vacation feel just a little happier than it would anywhere else.Lifeguard

Have you been to Cape May?  What’s your favorite part about it?  Where else is a great vacation spot?  Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!!

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