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Old 04-21-2015, 03:13 AM
 
109 posts, read 139,004 times
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Hello everyone,

My wife, daughter and I (daughter will be 5 next year) are considering renting a beach house next summer (July 2016) and I saw that Cape May, NJ is a very family friendly area. We love the beach, but we also want to spend our afternoons and evenings walking around.

We are fortunate in that we aren't locked to one area(although we'd like to be on the East Coast). We will be spending about a month 'somewhere' in the U.S. next summer and just want to get the most bang for our buck(beach+walkable neighborhhod). I spent a week in Clearwater Beach, Florida in back in June of 2013 and we loved it. A bit too humid for my taste but the beach was great, and Clearwater Beach was fairly walkable. As difficult as it may be, if anyone has been to Cape May Beach and Clearwater beach and can compare that would be great. I'm also assuming that July will be a great time to be at Cape May.

I'm open to other suggestions, and while I know this is the New Jersey area of City Data, if anyone has any other suggestions for a month-long beach town stay feel free to let us know(Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Virginia Beach, etc). I'm trying to stay on the east coast. thanks in advance!

I think my biggest concern would be that I've never spent an entire month on vacation in one place. Would we eventually get bored of Cape may, or myrtle beach, or any beach for that matter? I can safely say that after a week at Clearwater Beach I was ready to leave. The beach was great, but seeing the same restaurants and shops every day got a little old.

Perhaps splitting up the month between two locations? 2 weeks in one location, then renting a car and going somewhere else for 2 weeks? I'm open to other ideas...

I've posted this in the New Jersey section, but since I'm open to anywhere I wanted to post it to a wider audience.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:24 AM
 
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If you were bored after a week at Clearwater Beach, Cape May will seem even worse. A month is a very long time to spend in a beach town as they tend to be somewhat similar. You might consider a place like Savannah GA where there is more to do than the beach. Check out Hilton Head Island which offers a good bit to do on it's own, but is also about 30 minutes from Savannah when the beach/beach activities seem boring.
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:04 AM
 
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Savannah is a great recommendation. I was also going to say Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Isle of Palms area. When you get tired of the great beaches you can explore Charleston which is a real gem.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
If you were bored after a week at Clearwater Beach, Cape May will seem even worse. A month is a very long time to spend in a beach town as they tend to be somewhat similar. You might consider a place like Savannah GA where there is more to do than the beach. Check out Hilton Head Island which offers a good bit to do on it's own, but is also about 30 minutes from Savannah when the beach/beach activities seem boring.
I disagree. I find Cape May to be more walkable than Clearwater and think it has better restaurants and it also has a great downtown that can keep you occupied for multiple nights or days. Cape May is also close to other cities/towns that offer attractions for little day or night trips, like Ocean City, the Wildwoods, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, or even Atlantic City. There's also the ferry to Delaware. There's plenty to do in the general area. If you're afraid to venture out or don't have a car it would be boring, but if you have a car and are willing to explore the area you'd be fine.

I do think that staying in one house at the beach anywhere for over 2 weeks does get repetitive, though.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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I don't have a lot of experience with beach towns up north, but I imagine you could find something suitable. Lewes, DE and Cape Cod are both nice, that's about all I've seen, but wouldn't want to spend a whole month in those places.

To go along with what other folks are suggesting, I have been to Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head/Savannah, Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach, and St Augustine. Some combination of the above could work well. Obviously farther south will be hotter, but they are all tourist towns with a lot of attractions (albeit Amelia Island is quite small) so should be easy to find stuff to do besides the beach.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Look at places like Falmouth or Chatham on Cape Cod.

Both are great walking towns with plenty of places to shop, eat, etc. right there. They're also so close to many other walkable towns on the Cape for a change of scenery. The beaches all have different feels. You have some freshwater pond beaches, protected Nantucket Sound beaches, the sand flats and wildlife of the Cape Cod Bay beaches, and the rugged bluffs and rough surf of the ocean facing National Seashore.

Day trips to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket are easy enough and you can bike almost anywhere. If you're feeling bored, Boston or Providence is also an easy day trip as is Newport RI or Plymouth (both great summer destinations in their own right). In fact, somewhere close to Newport RI may be another option.
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:49 PM
 
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
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We'll all probably throw in our fav's so here goes my suggestion, and why. Ocean City MD:

family friendly

A couple small amusement parks with rides, arcades and games and a couple of water parks as well, both in town and outside of town. It is a kid friendly area.

A boardwalk which is about 2 1/2 miles long fiiled with typical boardwalky activities such as games, rides, shops, restaurants with all sorts of tasty junk food, people watching and just walking up and down taking it all in.

Well guarded beaches if going into the ocean is your thing

All sorts of shops, restaurants and other activities as the town is about 10 miles long from downtown/boardwalk area to the DE border.

It is on a barrier island so is very walkable and there is also a bus service that constantly runs up and down the town, even into West OC.

A major tuna tournament is held in mid July which attracts a decent sized crowd to the weigh ins if that interests anyone

Plenty of places to have a mess of hot, tasty crabs plopped down on the table for all to enjoy

Small boat and jet ski rentals are available for the back bay as well as an extensive charter fleet with some of the best offshore fishing to be had if your into fishing. (though chartering a boat can be right expensive)

Parasailing is pretty popular there as well as a few tour boats and inexpensive flounder fishing boats as well

Now, as others have stated, any beach town (really any vacation place) can get boring if there for a month as one can only do so many of the same activities. Ocean City, MD is no different but it's location lends itself well as a vacation spot for families because if you get bored there you can always do trips to;

Assateque Island National Seashore (about 15 minutes to a 1/2 hour or so away) and check out the famous wild ponies ( and unfortunately the famous mosquitos and biting black flies as well, so pick a breezy day)

Chincoteque Island in VA (about an hour away). Actually the VA part of Assateque national seashore and I think it's toward the end of July where they have the famous pony swim and auction as they round the pony's off of Assateque and swim them to Chincoteque where some are auctioned off to control the population

VA beach ( about 2 1/2 hours away) check out the 17 mile long bay bridge tunnel and stop off over the the main channel and a lot of times see the Navy ships going in or out.

Nags head, NC is only 4 hours away and is a nice getaway, perhaps for a weekend. a totally different vibe. The town of kitty Hawk and the large dunes at Jockeys Ridge is in that part of the OBX as well. Add a couple of hours and another night or so and go down to Hatteras.

Heading the other direction is Rehobeth Beach in DE ( about an hour) where there is another boardwalk and lots of factory outlet stores with tax free shopping.

And you can go a bit further up to Lewes and take the ferry to Cape May, NJ. Though, distance wise, Cape May is not very far, time wise it takes almost as long to get to as the Outer Banks in NC because you have to add in the time on the ferry. Still a decent day trip or overnighter from OC to add a bit of variety. I look at it as more of a nice older small town to visit then as a vacation place though as there really isn't much going on there IMO.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:47 PM
 
12,657 posts, read 10,501,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinfshr View Post

And you can go a bit further up to Lewes and take the ferry to Cape May, NJ. Though, distance wise, Cape May is not very far, time wise it takes almost as long to get to as the Outer Banks in NC because you have to add in the time on the ferry. Still a decent day trip or overnighter from OC to add a bit of variety. I look at it as more of a nice older small town to visit then as a vacation place though as there really isn't much going on there IMO.
Tell that to the French Canadians.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:56 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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I'd consider Wrightsville Beach, NC. It's a nice family beach and immediately adjacent to Wilmington for a change of scenery when needed. Downtown Wilmington is very cute and nice and makes for a nice break from 24/7 beach life.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Norfolk (ODU)
88 posts, read 89,104 times
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I would recommend Virginia Beach. Being that it's part of a larger metropolitan area, there is tons to do. After you bored with the beach itself you could venture out into the other surrounding cities. You have the Town center in Virginia Beach, Downtown Norfolk, Colonial Williamsburg ( Busch Gardens& Water country ) and not to mention the Outer banks(obx) are only an hour away. You won't be able to explore this whole area in a month but I garauntee you won't get bored.
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