Things to Do in Cape May, New Jersey
Last week, AJ and I took a day trip to Cape May, New Jersey and I fell in love! This little town is full of beautiful Victorian homes, delicious places to eat, and cute shops. The nightlife is pretty low key in Cape May. There are a few spots like Rusty Nail, The Brown Room, and some local breweries, but this is nothing like Ocean City, MD where it's full of shenanigans happening. But if you're looking to party you are not too far from Atlantic City.
From Havre de Grace, it took us about two hours and fifteen minutes to get to Cape May. The drive is through a lot of cute little farm towns, and I can't forget to mention the awesome Cowboy Rodeo jam we passed on the way about an hour into the drive haha. Oh and just a heads up to those who are really obsessive about their car *cough AJ cough* ... some of the roads on the way are not in the best shape, so look out for potholes and other big ass bumps!
Food & Coffee
On our way to the beach, we stopped at a pancake house called Dock Mike's. They have breakfast/lunch hours only. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, which of course we chose outside. Its very airy and has hanging plants all around, so of course, I felt right at home! The food is delicious, our waiter was very polite and offered great service and we got our food within a few minutes after ordering! This is definitely a place I'd go back to every time.
Just to give you a little heads up, mostly all stores in Cape May take cash only! All the stores and restaurants that we visited had an ATM available inside but there is a $2.00 service fee every time, so be sure to get as much cash out as you can or bring cash with you before you go.
While walking through the town, we stopped at a coffee shop called Coffee Tyme. Again, the service was fantastic and the iced coffee's AJ and I got were phenomenal - so good I almost asked for another! They have A TON of flavor options for both hot, cold and frozen drinks. If you love coffee, you MUST stop by Coffee Tyme!
I don't think there is any part of Cape May I wouldn't suggest, but we only went to part of the main beach near the Convention Hall and later around dinner time we went to Sunset Beach to watch the sunset. There is parking along Carpenter Lane, just know they are all metered. We did not find any free parking anywhere we went, but there is apparently an app you can download for the metered parking. It cost $10 for 10 hours of parking with the app or the same just in quarters - $1.00/hour without the app.
Sunset beach has a few little shops and a restaurant nearby. This is the beach known for the shipwreck that can be seen just for the shore. The sunset was beautiful but we could only stay for so long. There seems to be a large number of gnats at this beach and they will get in your face and annoy the crap out of you!
Talk about cute shops! Convention Hall has a surf shop that has adooorrrrable clothes. Along Carpenter Lane where you park for the beach, there are a few stores but the main shopping area is Washington Street Mall. The mall reminded us of Disney World. The shops are alongside a brick walkway and have a lot of character and charm to each store.
My favorite stores were Across The Way, Whale's Tale, Galvanic, and Madame's Port. All these shops have handmade jewelry, home decor, Christmas gifts, your typical beach souvenirs, little hippy things and Across The Way has a TON of air plants and other nature things!
Once you're done shopping, I strongly recommend you walk up and down the streets surrounding the Washington Street Mall. Ocean Street and E. Lyne Lane have nothing but beautiful Victorian homes, and bed & breakfast's that you MUST stop to see. The detail in some of the homes is breathtaking!
Lighthouse & Hiking Trails
Eeeek, this was my favorite part of it all! The Cape May lighthouse at Cape May Point State Park is open to the public, and you can walk to the top for $8.00/adult and $5/child (ages 3-12). There are 199 steps, so make sure you're ready for a little workout! Once you get to the top, you can go out on to the lookout and see all of Cape May and far out the Atlantic Ocean.
In the same parking lot of the lighthouse, there are a few hiking trails. The trails are not too long, and you see some pretty trees and little birdies along the way. There is also a pond you can stop by if you follow the red trail. TIP: Pay attention to the sign when you first enter the trail though, to make sure you know what color trail you want to walk. Watch out, there are a few snakes that will spook you but your walking on a maintained pier type trail! AJ and I walked the red path but somehow got lost, but if you do the same... don't worry there are arrows to tell you how to get around and it's not a crazy trail.
So, there you have it. Our first trip to Cape May was a success and we can't wait to go back!