THE ULTIMATE CAPE MAY FAMILY VACATION GUIDE

Stacey Lee Photo Cape May Victorian House

Cape May, NJ is hands down my favorite seaside escape on the Jersey Shore. Cape May exudes quaint Victorian charm, has a buzzing township, and offers loads of activities to keep everyone in the family busy. Known as America’s original seaside resort, with clean beaches, mini-golf, shopping, lots of cafés and restaurants, there is something for everyone at Cape May.

We stayed in Cape May for three nights, during our stay and this is what we got up to…

Stacey Lee Photo Cape May Victorian Home
Cape May is full of Victorian beauties painted in exquisite colors

WHAT TO DO IN CAPE MAY

The Beach 

Cape May Beach is ranked in the top 10 beaches in the USA by USA News Travel, and I am not surprised as the beaches are beautiful and clean. At the time of writing beach tags cost $10 weekly or $5 daily and free after 5.30 pm.

Cape May Promenade

We really enjoyed walking along the Cape May Promenade during the evening which spans almost 2 miles and runs parallel to the beach. Although often referred to as the Cape May Boardwalk it is technically a promenade because it is paved, the last of the original boardwalk was destroyed by a storm in 1962.

Stacey Lee Photo Cape May Victorian House
This stunning Victorian home can be spotted walking along the Cape May Promenade across from the beach.

Cape May Mini Golf

Can you even say you’ve been to Cape May if you don’t play at least one round of mini-golf? Just within Cape May, there are three mini-golf courses, we tried out Steve’s Stockton Golf which was fantastic. We also drove over to Wildwood and tried out Island Miniature Golf which is also a lovely mini-golf course. 

Cape May Lighthouse

The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859 and visitors can walk the 199 stairs to the top for a view of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. Located at Cape May Point State Park there some fantastic nature trails and a beach, although no swimming is allowed.

Cape May Whale Watch Tour

We spent the morning doing a dolphin and whale watching tour. Although we didn’t see any whales there were tons of dolphins and it was fun seeing a view of Cape May from the water.

Sunset Beach

Located on the Cape May Peninsula Watching the sunset at Sunset Beach was a highlight for our whole family. I don’t know if we just got lucky, but both days we went dolphins were swimming very close to the shore, it was truly magical. 

I recommend going early and spending the evening there, bring a picnic, take out or eat at the local café (we didn’t eat here so I can’t personally recommend it).

While you wait for the sun to set you can wade through the stones on the shore looking for Cape May Diamonds. These clear quartz stones travel down the Delaware River and wash up on the beach.  

If you’d like to see what the Cape May Diamonds look like polished pop into the Sunset Beach Gifts shop. They have a display showing the process and also a lovely selection of Cape May Diamonds for sale starting at $2. 

The Sunset Beach Flag Ceremony is held every night at sunset between Memorial Day and Labour Day. It is a tradition that has been going for 40 years to honor the nation’s veterans. Unfortunately, it was canceled for 2020. 

There is also mini-golf here. 

CAPE MAY SHOPPING:

There are so many interesting little boutique style shops in Cape May, the most obvious place to start is Washington Street Mall. You will also find shops running along both sides of the promenade as you get closer to town.

Stacey Lee Photo Cape May Washington Street Mall
A charming shop in Washington Street Mall

CAPE MAY RESTAURANTS:

Since we were there during the Coronavirus period eating out was restricted to outdoors and this meant seating was usually limited. Booking ahead if you can is a good idea, walk up wait times were anywhere from 30mins-90mins.  

Fins Bar and Grille

Fins Bar and Grille is known for having the best Fish ‘n Chips in town, however, they are only offered on the lunch menu. We went for dinner and we were still very happy with our meals. We felt this restaurant went above and beyond with their COVID precaution measures

Enjoying a cold Cape May Brewing Co IPA at Finns Bar and Grille

Key West Tacos 

I have to admit I only wanted to try Key West Tacos because it looked so cute and quirky and I knew I could get some nice photos. We were pleasantly surprised by not only the prices but also the food – yum! Key West Tacos turned out to everyone’s favorite meal during our time in Cape May including our very fussy son.

Rusty Nail

I am adding this to this as it is a bit of an institution at Cape May and the ambiance is lovely. I was not particularly thrilled with my chicken burger, however, everyone else in my family was happy with their meals.

Peace Pie

We got a tip from a friend to visit Peace Pie and we were not disappointed. Don’t let the lines put you off, all the ice cream with biscuit sandwiches are premade at with a set price of $6 so they serve very quickly.  

Stacey Lee Photo Cape May Peace Pie
Enjoying a peace pie, we recommend Salted Caramel Brownie

Cape May Brewing Co

If you’re partial to a beer or two, make sure you visit Cape May Brewing Co. They have a fantastic beer garden and a great little shop where you can pick up quite a nice souvenir to finish off at home. 

WORTH A MENTION:

Beach Plum Farm

Beach Plum Farm features a farm to table restaurant, fire pits, a market that has locally sourced jams and honey, and more. I am not sure how I didn’t come across Beach Plum Farm when doing my previsit research. 

Mad Batter Restaurant and Bar

I’ve read on a few different blogs that Mad Batter is the place to go for breakfast. If you visit let me know if it deserves a spot on our list of what to do next time we visit. 

ACCOMMODATION IN CAPE MAY

The Capri in Cape May

We stayed at The Capri in Cape May, which we can highly recommend. The rooms were very clean, spacious and we all loved the pool, although very small. It was a little far from town for us, especially with one of our kids always moaning if we have to walk too much.

Beach Shack

Beach Shack also looked like a good option but it was sold out for the dates we visited.

I highly recommend staying somewhere that is walkable to Washington Street Mall, so you can walk to the shops and most of the restaurants I have suggested. 

If it’s not already you need to add Cape May to the top of your list of places to visit in New Jersey.

Do you agree that Cape May is the best seaside destination in New Jersey?

Let me know if I need to add one of your favorite spots to visit.

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