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Is Cape May Worth Visiting?

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Personally, I love visiting Cape May throughout the year. This Victorian seaside resort, located on New Jersey’s southernmost point, is one of my favorite places in the entire world. 

I mean, I wouldn’t dedicate an entire blog to Cape May if I didn’t love this area so. stinkin’. much.

However, even though this part of the Jersey Shore is awesome, I’ve still heard some complaints about Cape May’s big prices and even bigger crowds. And yes, I’ve heard the question: is Cape May worth visiting?

Without a doubt, crowds are frustrating. I get it. Washington Mall, which is the center of Cape May’s shopping district, is packed in the summer and finding parking is a bit of a nightmare for drivers. And dinner reservations? Make those waaaay in advance.

At the same time, though, it’s understandable why everyone in the tri-state area adores Cape May. I’m not going to use this post to whine about visitors.

Cape May City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Jersey for a reason. It’s so beautiful, safe, and unique. As a result, visitors from Philadelphia and New York City flock to this Victorian gem.

To tell you the truth, I would definitely recommend a weekend getaway to Cape May at any time of year.

kohr bros washington mall
Ice cream, anyone?

5 Reasons Cape May is Worth Visiting

This guide includes my main reasons for why your next trip should be to Cape May. 

As I’ve said, I adore this area of New Jersey, and I want you to appreciate the history, food, and culture as much as I do. 

Let’s have an adventure!

Chilling on Cape May's beach.
Safe and happy in Cape May!

Cape May is Safe

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to 25 countries around the world. I am a solo female traveler, too, which means that safety is always on the forefront of my mind.

In Cape May City, I feel totally and utterly safe. Relaxed. Calm.

For example, I’m never asked for money, while looking into shop windows, nor do I worry about exploring alone at night.

You don’t have to worry about tourist scams that regularly happen in bigger cities either. 

Now, obviously, you want to take care of your physical safety on the beach. Meaning listen to the lifeguards, do not feed the wildlife, and apply a liberal amount of sunscreen.

Sunburn is no joke.

cape may christmas signs

Cape May Offers Year Round Fun

Summer is the most popular time of year to visit Cape May.

Don’t get me wrong. Summer is very lively, and I’m always ready for some “fun in the sun.” Cape May has spectacular beaches. 

However, unlike some Jersey Shore towns that shut down in September, Cape May is a popular destination throughout the year.

For instance, if you adore the holiday season, Christmas in Cape May is a true treat with all the special events and holiday decorations. The Victorian Homes are stunning with string lights and Santa decorations! 

Halloween in Cape May is another wonderful time to visit since Cape May is one of the most haunted destinations in New Jersey. 

Come to Cape May whenever you want!

mmmmmm delicious
Tuna Tartare at Peter Shields.

Cape May’s Food Scene is Incredible

If someone were to ask me “is Cape May worth visiting?,” I would say “yes” for the food. Oh mannn, the food, the food, the food.

New Jersey has a great food scene, to be sure, but I personally think Cape May is home to some of the best restaurants in the entire state. 

My favorites are Peter Shields and the Washington Inn for “upscale” dining, while I’m a sucker for the Mad Batter’s breakfast and happy hours! 

Not to mention, Cape May has its own unique culinary history that includes its famous Beach Plums.

Stay tuned for an entire guide on food and drink in Cape May County.

Cape May’s History is Fascinating

Without a doubt, most people know Cape May for its Victorian historical charm.

Cape May was first founded by Sir Henry Hudson in 1609. However, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that Cape May attracted the wealthy populations of nearby New York, Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia. Hotels, ballrooms, and entertainment exploded in this region. 

And Cape May is still a thriving resort to this day.

Unsurprisingly, Cape May’s history bleeds into all its streets. Even though I’ve visited hundreds of times, I always take my camera and snap pictures on the side streets. A lot of these Victorian homes now function as bed and breakfasts, or even shopping boutiques.

Additionally, some of the most historically significant attractions are Congress Hall, the Cape May Light, and the Emlen Physick Estate.

If you want to see even older history, then I’d recommend taking a trip to nearby Historic Cold Spring Village, which has several buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The surrounding Cape May County area has a rich history that’s worth reading about prior to your visit here. 

And don’t forget to try a ghost tour!

You’re Not Limited to the Beach

I promise I’m not knocking the beach. I adore the beach! Snuggling under the umbrella with my Kindle is always a good idea, in my opinion.

However, Cape May has far more to offer than just beaches. 

Actually, you can spend an entire weekend in Cape May and the surrounding area without going to the beach once.

A couple of ideas include climbing the stairs at the Cape May Lighthouse, exploring the Cape May Zoo, trying craft beer at Cape May Brewing Company, and so much more! 

It’s even possible to take a day trip to nearby Delaware using the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. The ferry runs multiple times a day in the summer, and it’s a pleasant ride. You might even see dolphins if you take the ferry when the weather and water are warm. 

cape may brewery the bog
Don’t Forget a Nice Drink!


What do you think now? Do you think Cape May is worth visiting? What are your favorite things to see and do in Cape May? Leave all your thoughts in the comments!

is cape may worth visiting | worth visiting cape may

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