Cape May, N.J. is an island of less than 2.5 square miles located in southern New Jersey. It can be reached by car by crossing one of two access bridges over the canal between the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The one most commonly used by NJ residents is located at the southern end of the Garden State Parkway.
There is a ferry from Lewes, Delaware that arrives at Cape May although private boaters can also moor at the island marinas. There is also an airport at Cape May for small planes. NJ Transit runs buses from Philadelphia and NYC's Port Authority that arrive at this island destination as well.
Cape May, as a county, is made up of 3 sections, all on the same island. The sections are Cape May City, West Cape May and Cape May Point.
Cape May, N.J. was settled by fishermen during the colonial era. Vacationers began to visit almost immediately making this the oldest seaside resort in the U.S.
Nearly the entire town burned down in 1878. Reconstruction left a vast number of Victorian buildings that are still standing. In 1976 it was declared a National Historic Landmark City.
The streets here are lined with trees and the area continues to appear and feel like a small town, unlike most of the resort towns on the Jersey Shore.
3,700 to 5,000 people has been the approximate population level of Cape May for more than a century. As many as 40,000 people can be found here any given summer weekend.
Practically all of the shops here are small local businesses.
Small Bed & Breakfasts, hotels and motels can all be found here as well as historic Guest Houses and condo or summer house rentals.
Cape May offers the best whale and dolphin watching opportunity in NJ. It is also one of the best birdwatching sites in the country. There are nature trails and deepwater fishing opportunities as well as a vast stretch of white sandy beach backed by a boardwalk.
Equipment rentals exist for all kinds of water sports as well as bicycles, skates and motor vehicles.
Just hours from NYC, there are concerts and live theater venues here, as well as art galleries and night clubs.
Cape May, N.J. is only 45 minutes from the coastal Wildwood amusement park and the casinos of Atlantic City.
During the high season, beach tags are mandatory for any beachgoer over 12 years of age between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM. They are available at daily, weekly and seasonal rates. They can be obtained from City Hall, Convention Hall or the beach patrol members stationed at beach entrances.
Lifeguards are on duty until 5:30 PM.
Neither pets nor alcohol are allowed on the beaches at Cape May.
Trolley and carriage tours may be a relaxing way to sea the island's attractions. The lighthouse is one of the popular tourist destinations.
A wide array of restaurants can be found in this town.