Cape May County
Stroll along a Victorian stretch of Jersey coast
The queen of New Jersey’s shore, the historic Victorian beach resort of Cape May is a jewel box of cultural and natural pleasures. The county combines affordability with fine taste and old-school seaside fun.
On the Beach
Located at the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May’s main draw is its shore, hailed as having some of the East Coast’s most scenic and family-friendly stretches of sand. Cut off from the mainland by the Cape May Canal, this string of beaches caters to everyone. Choices include wild, craggy Higbee Beach, a wildlife management area with jaw-dropping views across undulating dunes; the oddly named Poverty Beach, with its uncrowded, clean ribbon of white sand, clear waters and views of the town’s gingerbread mansions; Steger Beach, where beach volleyball brings out the crowds; and the aptly named Sunset Beach, with sublime sunset panoramas over Delaware Bay. Part of Cape May city, Cove Beach has a gentle slope perfect for families.
Cape May Point State Park
Defined by the iconic 157-foot Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May Point State Park comprises a rugged shoreline backed by dunes and interspersed with freshwater coastal marsh and ponds. The park’s forested islands draw keen ornithologists for prime viewing of the fall bird migration as well as profuse resident species.
A popular activity is to climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse to contemplate the panoramic views across the entire peninsula. War history buffs won’t want to miss the World War II-era Fire Control Tower 23, which is part of the monumental Delaware Bay harbor defense system known as Fort Miles.
In the city of Cape May, there’s an eclectic dining scene with atmospheric restaurants for all tastes and budgets. For super fresh seafood served on a dock overlooking the harbor, the Lobster House specializes in clams, shrimp, crab cakes, king crab and its signature “port and starboard” (filet mignon and lobster).
Architecture buffs will appreciate the town’s well-preserved, Victorian-era buildings, representing a dizzying confection of Gothic Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles.
Cape May also occupies a special place in rock ’n’ roll history. It was here, in the early ’60s, that a visiting performer perfected a dance move that electrified the nation. Chubby Checker’s Twist helped put Cape May on the music map.
For More Information
Cape May Chamber of Commerce
New Jersey Department of Travel and Tourism