Looking for the best things to do in Cape May? This charming seaside town is filled with unusual attractions, activities, and adventures for an unforgettable vacation. Take trolley tours showcasing Cape May’s history, visit wineries and enjoy wine tastings, scream your heart out at Morey’s Piers amusement park, find your zen with yoga on the beach, and go whale watching to witness these majestic marine creatures. This guide covers all the top things to do in Cape May, NJ for an itinerary packed with fun. Start your Cape May getaway by hopping aboard the MAC trolley for unique tours around America’s oldest seaside resort. These Cape May trolley tours offer a lively overview of the city’s top sights with guides sharing stories and trivia about this historic town. Check the Cape May trolley schedule for daily departure times from the Ocean Street stop.
After getting your bearings, head to Cape May Winery, one of several excellent wineries in Cape May NJ. Sip vintages straight from the vine at this charming locale housed in a restored 19th century carriage house. Don’t miss their award-winning Cabernet Franc. For family-friendly thrills, enjoy amusement rides galore at Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks. Brave rollercoasters, plunge down water slides, and create memories to last a lifetime. When you’re ready to unwind, Cape May yoga classes offer a dose of zen. Try yoga on the beach for an invigorating session surrounded by ocean views and breezes. Of course, you can’t visit this oceanside oasis without going whale watching in Cape May NJ. See these aquatic giants up-close with a cruise on Cape May Whale Watcher.
Discover Cape May's Rich History and Natural Beauty
As America’s oldest seaside resort, Cape May exudes history and charm around every corner. Take a peaceful stroll along the pristine beaches and boardwalk, the same shores where Cape May’s first tourists arrived back in the 1600s. Wander the tree-lined streets to admire gorgeous Victorian architecture, beautifully preserved from the late 19th century. The Washington Street Mall presents a shopping mecca full of boutiques, galleries, and eateries housed in these colorful historic buildings. Beyond the beaches, discover Cape May Point State Park, where you can climb the 157 steps of the Cape May Lighthouse for panoramic views of the seashore. Or opt for a more leisurely bike ride through the park’s diverse coastal habitats, perfect for birdwatching and wildlife viewing. In spring and fall, don’t miss the spectacular sight of migrating birds and butterflies stopping by Cape May in droves. Over 400 avian species pass through during migration seasons as weary winged travelers rest and refuel. Late summer brings another remarkable natural phenomenon – the annual Monarch butterfly migration. Stand in awe as thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarchs blanket Cape May, transforming trees and skies as these delicate creatures make their incredible multi-generational journey south for the winter. Peak migration occurs around early September. In addition to its natural beauty, Cape May overflows with rich history. Learn about the Victorian era while touring the Emlen Physick Estate, the restored 1879 home of a prominent Cape May family. See how sea captains and other affluent citizens lived during Cape May’s heyday as a posh resort destination. The estate offers guided tours as well as cheerful carriages rides around town pulled by draft horses. For maritime history, visit the Cape May Lighthouse mentioned above, as well as the World War II Lookout Tower, once used to watch for enemy ships nearing the coast. Cape May even played an intriguing role in the Underground Railroad, with numerous homes serving as safe houses for slaves escaping to freedom.
Walking tours and exhibits at the MAC Museum detail this unique legacy. From its origins with indigenous peoples and European settlement, through Victorian times, world wars, and into today, Cape May offers an engaging look into New Jersey’s storied past.
Hop Aboard a MAC Trolley Tour for the Ultimate Introduction
For an easy and entertaining overview of Cape May’s top sights, join a trolley tour with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Knowledgeable guides will regale you with stories spanning history, culture, architecture, and nature as you make your way past landmarks and hidden gems. These 90-minute tours depart daily from the Ocean Street stop.
If you’re staying here at the La Mer Beachfront Resort, enjoy hassle-free tour bookings right at the front desk, based on availability. Their convenient central location by the beach puts you just steps from the trolley stop. Grab a cup of free coffee before heading out to learn about all this enchanting town has in store!
Sip Local Vintages and Nibble Tapas at Cape May Winery
After getting your initial overview from the trolley tour, delve deeper into Cape May’s food and drink scene. Quench your thirst at the Cape May Winery, an area staple housed in a restored 19th century carriage house. Sample award-winning vintages like Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc complemented by tapas plates expertly crafted to pair with each wine. Savor bruschetta, charcuterie, cheese flights, and more. If there’s a particular vintage you fancy, take home a bottle to enjoy on Cape May’s pristine beaches.
The winery is open daily, with hours as follows:
- Sunday: 12am – 5pm
- Monday thru Thursday and Saturday: 12pm – 6pm
- Friday: 12pm – 8pm (21+ only 5pm-8pm)
The winery offers a laid-back, first come first served seating arrangement perfect for a relaxing visit. Reservations are advised, especially for groups. The intimate space can only accommodate parties of 6 or less. Outside food and beverages aren’t permitted, but the tasty tapas have you covered! As a guest of La Mer Beachfront Resort, guests can purchase wine tasting tickets to enjoy a tasting flight at the winery. Sip and savor delightful discounts as one of the many perks of being a guest of La Mer Beachfront Resort!
Enjoy Thrills, Nostalgia, and Water Fun at Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks
No trip to Cape May is truly complete without a visit to the iconic Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks. Named by locals one of the best attractions in Cape May, enjoy classic boardwalk fun alongside modern scream-inducing rides across three amusement piers: Surfside Pier, Mariner’s Pier, and Adventure Pier. At family-friendly Surfside Pier, experience favorites like the carousel, Ferris wheel, log flume and Wave Swinger. Get your adrenaline pumping on roller coasters like the Nor’Easter, which reaches speeds of 50 mph. Mariner’s Pier evokes childhood nostalgia with bumper cars, teacups and the Giant Wheel with stunning ocean views. Adventure Pier thrills with the SkyCoaster, SkyScraper, and SlingShot as well as the legendary Great White wooden coaster.
When you’re ready to cool down, the two massive beachfront waterparks offer even more aquatic fun. Speed down slides like the Sea Serpent, get soaked under a giant tipping bucket, float the lazy river, or let the kids play in splash pads and wading pools. Rates for the amusement park, waterparks, or combination tickets can be found on their website. Special for La Mer Beachfront Resort guests – receive exclusive discounted passes when booking your Morey’s Piers tickets directly through the hotel! It’s the perfect perk to an already ideal beachfront location near all the rides and excitement.
Recharge Body and Mind with Cape May Yoga
When you’re ready for some zen, recharge with yoga in beautiful Cape May. Salute the sun with beachfront classes offering stunning ocean views and the soothing sounds of crashing waves. Take a cue from the centered seabirds strutting about. Or for a more serene setting, stretch out amidst lush vineyards as you breathe in the sweetness of grapes on the vines. These wellness activities promise restoration with sessions designed for all levels. The Cape May Yoga Studio offers a range of class types to meet your needs, whether you’re looking for morning energizers, gentle evening flows, or private sessions. Rates are around $20 per class, with advance sign-up recommended for credit card payments. It’s the perfect way to find your calm amidst an exciting Cape May getaway.
Cape May’s Abundant Marine Life: Cape May Whale Watcher
No seaside vacation is really complete without witnessing the wonders of the local marine life. For an up-close look, hop aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher for a delightful cruise in search of majestic humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, and a variety of coastal birds. Cape May’s ideal location at the southern tip of New Jersey offers closer viewing opportunities compared to other whale watching locales. You may be surprised how near to shore these breathtaking creatures travel!
Onboard naturalists will share insightful facts about the animals and identify the different species you spot. History buffs will also appreciate narrative about Cape May’s coastal heritage, lighthouses, and more from the captain. Exclusive ticket discounts available when booking through the La Mer Beachfront Resort. Don’t leave without treating yourself to this aquatic adventure!
The Perfect Cape May Vacation Awaits!
With its enviable location, weathered charm, nature’s beauty, and abundance of sights, tastes and activities, Cape May promises a spectacular seaside getaway you’ll cherish for years to come. Whether you crave leisurely beach strolls, exhilarating amusement rides, indulgent wining and dining, or rejuvenating spa treatments, this historic oasis truly offers it all. Immerse yourself in Cape May’s storied past, abundant nature, and nostalgic seaside allure. Start planning your perfect Cape May escape today!