If you could only visit a single destination in New Jersey, I’d say the Cape May area should be it. While there are amazing attractions everywhere, the southernmost section of our state packs so much into a small space. Here are 10 incredible things you’ll find in and around Cape May.
1. Beautiful Beaches
Cape May County is home to some of the cleanest beaches in the United States in terms of water quality. In addition, Sunset Beach was made for taking in a stunning sunset. Don't forget the soft sand and spectacular sea glass. Search the shores for Cape May diamonds!
2. Lovely Lighthouses
Enjoy fantastic views from the top of Cape May Light, built in 1859. It stands tall at 157 feet high.
3. Unique Shops
The Washington Street Mall may be one of the best places to find one-of-a-kind-gifts in New Jersey. This spot isn't about big box retailers, but rather unique local businesses. A Place On Earth offers handmade soaps, The Original Fudge Kitchen is the sweetest spot around. Cape May Peanut Butter Co. is another favorite, just off Washington Street. You'll go nuts for their selection of butters!
4. Incredible Architecture
The detailed Victorian architecture is sure to charm and delight. Cape May has one of the largest collections of late 19th century frame buildings left in the United States.
5. An Abundance Of History
The Emlen Physick estate is the place to start, and be sure to take a trolley tour to learn more about Cape May's rich history. The estate, built in 1878, has been restored and now serves as a museum. Trolley tours include themed rides for every interest including the paranormal, architecture, local history and 19th century oddities and superstitions.
Another great place to visit is Historic Cold Spring Village. The 22-acre 19th century living history museum features 25 spectacularly restored buildings, period interpreters and live demonstrations. They also have options for shopping and dining, including a recently opened brewery. You could easily spend a whole day here alone.
A big bird watching destination, visit Cape May Point State Park or the Nature Center of Cape May, part of the New Jersey Audubon Society. Don't miss the Cape May School of Birding, which offers unique classes about everything from avian biology to bird photography.
7. Family Friendly Attractions
Kids and parents alike enjoy the free to visit Cape May County Park. Naval Air Station Wildwood (in Rio Grande) is another popular family destination. The park features a variety of attractions including a zoo (also free) and zip-lining course. The museum is a can't-miss interactive attraction that allows guests to sit in a cockpit, climb a real air traffic control tower, enjoy flight simulator games and much more.
8. Booze And Brews For Adults
Cape May is home to Cape May Winery, Turdo Vineyards and Willow Creek Winery & Farm. Take a tour, sip on exquisite wine and more. Cape May also offers the top rated Cape May Brewing Company. Willow Creek is open to the public for daily farm and vineyard tours & wine and sangria tastings. Cape May Winery offers fantastic summertime tours for just $20 that include countless perks including tastings, snacks and a souvenir glass.
9. Boat Rides That Will Blow Your Mind
Don't miss the whale and dolphin watching tours. Cape May Whale Watcher also offers a spectacular sunset dinner cruise. Another option is the Cape May Ferry which will take you straight to Lewes, Delaware in the most scenic way possible.
10. A Phenomenal Dining Scene
One could easily spend a week in Cape May just eating meal after mouthwatering meal. The Mad Batter (open during renovations) is a popular breakfast spot that also offers art exhibits and live music every night. Other top notch options include the upscale Blue Rose, Peter Shields, Union Park Dining Room and Hot Dog Tommy's for cheap eats.
What’s your favorite Cape May attraction? For more New Jersey day trip destinations, check out this
Lavender Farm or this Military Museum.