Nestled at the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May offers a charming escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City. With its beaches, Victorian architecture, and small-town ambiance, Cape May is the perfect weekend or vacation destination for New Yorkers looking to relax and rejuvenate. This comprehensive guide provides everything you need to know to plan your Cape May getaway.
Getting to Cape May from NYC:
Driving from New York City to Cape May, NJ is the most convenient transportation option, taking around 2.5 hours via the Garden State Parkway directly to Cape May. The drive offers scenic views of the Jersey Shore landscape. If traffic is heavy on the main bridge, take Route 109 N to the West Cape May bridge by getting on Route 626/Seashore Road. This avoids congestion and leads straight into the beaches.
Other options include taking the NJ Transit train from NYC Penn Station to Cape May (3.5 hour ride) or riding NJ Transit/Greyhound buses from the Port Authority bus terminal (4-5 hour bus ride). Cape May Airport is 5 miles outside the city but does not have commercial flights. The closest airports are Atlantic City International and Philadelphia International.
Best Places to Stay in Cape May:
La Mer Beachfront Resort – This luxurious resort sits directly on the beach, offering a relaxing upscale getaway. It features a heated outdoor pool maintained at 82 degrees and open seasonally, a ChargePoint electric vehicle charger for eco-friendly transportation, and proximity to Cape May’s attractions like the pedestrian Washington Street Mall. Guest rooms provide ocean views and modern amenities. The resort also has beach chairs and umbrella rentals for lounging on the sand.
Best Restaurant for Seafood:
The Pier House – This beachfront restaurant is renowned for its fresh local seafood and oceanfront dining. Savor dishes like seared scallops, bouillabaisse stew, and pecan-crusted halibut prepared with the region’s finest ingredients. The Pier House has an airy, beach-chic atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor patio seating overlooking the ocean. Enjoy a cocktail at sunset on their deck.
Best Things to Do in Cape May:
- Tour the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate – a Victorian “Stick Style” mansion where you can glimpse life in the late 19th century.
- Climb the lighthouse at Cape May Point State Park for sweeping coastal views.
- Stroll along the Washington Street Mall – an outdoor pedestrian shopping area lined with boutiques, ice cream shops, and restaurants.
- Visit the Cape May County Park & Zoo to see over 550 animals, some rare and endangered.
- Go whale and dolphin watching aboard one of the many available cruises.
With its charming Victorian architecture, relaxing beaches, fresh seafood, and small-town ambiance, Cape May offers the perfect coastal getaway escape from New York City