A Cape May beach vacation will bring travelers to the southern tip of New Jersey. Perched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, the county is known for its gently sloping beaches, Victorian charm, and long list of exciting things to do. Cape May, both the city and county of the same name, has been the site of family vacations, chic getaways, and other relaxing escapes for generations.
Cape May Beaches
When today's travelers embark on their Cape May beach vacation, they'll need to decide where to go first. The beaches in Cape May County are a ribbon of white sand and gentle surf stretching for 30 miles, including the Ocean City beaches, the Wildwood beaches, Avalon, Stone Harbor, and the city of Cape May. Because everything is close together, it's possible to enjoy many of the stretches of sun and sand during the same vacation.
When birdwatchers and nature buffs are planning to hit the Cape May beaches, many include time at Higbee Beach. Set aside as a wildlife preserve, this stretch of shore is a favorite place for migrating birds; the beach is also a fine place for strolling and fishing. Cape May Point State Park, with an abundance of trails and naturalist-led programs, is another popular place where beaches and nature watching go together.
For those looking for some swimming, sun, and surf, they should look to other Cape May beaches for the typical seaside events. Poverty Beach offers a wide-open stretch of white sand, excellent swimming, and it's favored by surfers. Other beaches include Sunset Beach, a favorite of visitors and locals alike. Home to snack shops, miniature golf, a sunken ship, and evening flag ceremonies in honor of the military, the beach is also an excellent place for swimming. With time at these two beaches, or the Cove Beach, Grant Street, Congress Street, Steger's Beach, or any others, beachcombers are assured to find a spot to their liking.
Some beaches in Cape May are open for surfing, bicycling, and surf fishing, too. If there's any question about what sport is allowed where, the lifeguards can give directions to the correct spot.
To access the city-managed beaches in Cape May, tags are required. Season passes can be purchased from the city, and daily and weekly passes are also available. Children under the age of 12 can visit Cape May beaches for free. During the summer season, when lifeguards are on duty, the beaches are open daily.
The city of Cape May is known for its stunning Victorian architecture as well as its beautiful beaches. Those interested in learning more about its history, ecology, and the scenic lighthouse should plan to visit the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. With historic houses, costumed interpreters, trolley tours, and a full slate of special events, visitors will find no shortage of fun events and ways to connect with the Cape May scene. MAC naturalists lead tours of the beaches in Cape May and whale-watching cruises.
A Cape May beach vacation doesn't have to be limited to the Jersey shore. With a ride on the Cape May ferry, passengers will have access to many of the popular beaches along the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia shores, including Rehoboth Beach, Fenwick Island, Ocean City, Maryland, and Virginia Beach. From the well-equipped terminal in Cape May, the ride to Lewes takes about 80 minutes. The ferry can accommodate cars, but for those who want to leave the driving to someone else, they can ride shuttle buses on both sides of the route.