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I’ve traveled all over the world — alone. Sound scary? Sure, sometimes the unknown is anxiety-provoking, but at the same time, the rewards of solo travel are great.
For example, I personally love the freedom and excitement that accompanies solo travel. You’re able to do whatever you want on your own time, and don’t need to worry about appeasing another person or an entire group of people.
You’re a free spirit.
Solo travel offers a rare chance to be 100% selfish without any consequences. Awesome, huh?
I could brag about traveling alone all day, but to be honest, I mostly hear about people visiting far-flung destinations alone.
To tell you the truth, even as a solo traveler, the Jersey Shore isn’t the sort of destination that immediately pops into my mind for an independent vacation.
I was very recently inspired to write this post. One brilliant August weekend, I took a lovely morning stroll and watched as visitors drank their coffees on porches. The peaceful scene made me wonder if maybe, just maybe, Cape May is a great city to travel alone.
So let’s talk about it.
Should You Travel Alone to Cape May?
Personally, I think everyone should travel alone at some point. It’s a terrific character building experience. Solo travel to Cape May would definitely be worth a try, in my opinion.
For instance, if you’re local to the Tri-State Area, solo travel to Cape May might work well for you, especially if you’ve always wanted to go somewhere new alone, but don’t necessarily want to travel out of the country.
Cape May is safe, clean, and fun. The atmosphere welcomes tourists, and an independent visitor wouldn’t stick out in a negative way.
Cape May is also a great place to pamper yourself whether you’re seeking a spa day or a splendid afternoon at the beach.
However, as with all things, there are positives and negatives of solo travel. Cape May is a very popular destination for families and couples.
To successfully visit Cape May alone, you need to feel comfortable enough not to succumb to loneliness if you’re surrounded by friends and couples at the bar. I seriously doubt anyone would tease or hassle you for being alone, but at the same time, it’s always good to prepare for any isolated feelings that may crop up.
4 Reasons to Travel Alone to Cape May
With all that said, here are my top reasons why you ought to travel alone to Cape May.
Of course, you might have your own reasons that aren’t mentioned here, but I hope this post convinces those of you “on the fence” about solo travel to take the plunge and just do it!
One of the Biggest, Prettiest Beaches in New Jersey
Cape May has wide and expansive beaches with plenty of space for everyone. The city’s beaches are consistently voted as some of the best in all of New Jersey.
Since you have so much room, a solo traveler doesn’t need to worry about awkwardly squeezing between big and happy groups of friends.
Personally, I love going to the beach all by myself. I read a book, take a nap, and jump into the ocean like a big kid (thanks to Cape May’s location, the ocean is usually warm in August and September).
Lots of High Quality and Walkable Shops
Shopping alone is the best. You can try on tons of clothes, or take fifteen minutes looking at one piece of art without anyone rushing you to the next store.
Cape May is home to a wide variety of boutiques, artisan food shops, home decor stores, local art galleries, and so much more. It’s one of my favorite places to part with my money down the Jersey Shore, haha.
As a solo traveler, shopping is especially easy at Washington Mall, since all the best stores are within close walking distance to one another. You can spend an hour or more admiring all the merchandise.
So treat yourself!
Strong Tourism Infrastructure
Cape May has some of the best tourism infrastructure in place. The tourist information kiosk is located right in the middle of Washington Mall. You’ll find plenty of brochures explaining the best things to see and do in Cape May NJ.
Plenty of guided tours are also available. For instance, if you want to visit West Cape May and go to the wineries, you can book a tour so you don’t need to drive.
Want to go see the whales and dolphins? Plenty of whale watching tours are available for adventures on the ocean.
As a solo traveler, tours are also wonderful ways to make small talk with other visitors. I’ve made a lot of friends on guided tours.
Terrific Solo Travel Friendly Food Options
I personally think Cape May has the best restaurants at the shore. Whether you want to experience fine dining in Cape May or eat casual shore foods, such as hot dogs and pizza, I guarantee that you will find the perfect meal for you.
Most of Cape May’s restaurants hav comfortable bar seating, which I prefer as a solo traveler. I like making small talk with the bartender and other patrons, and just feel way more comfortable.
However, if you prefer a table, then I recommend checking out some of Cape May’s eateries at lunch time when it’s easier to snag a spot!
Solo Travel Cape May: Essential Tips
I write a lot of solo travel guides on my general travel site, so I wanted to do the same thing here. At the end of the day, solo travelers have different needs and concerns than couples and families.
Of course, if you still have concerns, you’re always welcome to contact me and ask questions.
Safety in Cape May NJ
Cape May is super safe. It is incredibly unlikely that you will encounter any sort of violent crime on your visit here. As a solo traveler, you might very well feel more relaxed in Cape May than in your home town.
However, you don’t want to throw common sense to the wind. As a solo traveler, you are the only person responsible for your belongings, so keep a close eye on any valuables whether you’re relaxing on the beach or at a bar.
And speaking of bars, Cape May bartenders are talented and concoct some wickedly delicious cocktails. Still, I recommend limiting yourself to two drinks as a solo traveler, and never, ever drink and drive (the laws are strict).
What to Bring on a Solo Trip in Cape May
What to bring to Cape May depends on the time of year. Packing for winter is a lot different than preparing for a beach vacation.
My advice is to check the weather ahead of time, but not too far in advance either. New Jersey’s weather is changeable, especially near the ocean, and I personally find the forecast isn’t really accurate more than three days out.
No matter when you go to Cape May, though, I suggest bringing a TSA-sized first aid kit to handle any small issues, such as blisters from walking too much or OTC painkillers for an unexpected headache. It’s better to have everything than nothing.
Where to Stay in Cape May
Cape May has lots of wonderful bed and breakfasts. Even though they’re geared toward couples, I personally like small, family-run accommodation whenever I’m traveling on my own. I feel as if I’m returning home rather than a large, faceless hotel.
Bed and Breakfasts for Traveling Alone in Cape May
- The Mason Cottage Bed & Breakfast Inn: A classic bed and breakfast built in the heart of the city. This is the perfect option for a solo traveler who wants to park the car and then forget all about it. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- The Southern Mansion: If you want to “splash out” on your solo trip to Cape May, then check out the gorgeous Southern Mansion, which is Cape May’s largest bed and breakfast set on sweeping grounds. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
- The Virginia Hotel: Ahhhh, the Virginia Hotel is perfect for foodie travelers! You are located on the Ebbitt Room’s site (my favorite bar) and right next door to the Mad Batter. See prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com.
Would you ever travel alone to Cape May? Have you visited ever visited Cape May all by yourself. Feel free to share your experiences with me.