This post contains affiliate links. We earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase.
Uh, oh! You came to Cape May expecting glorious sun and crystal clear blue skies, but now the weather forecast predicts rain for days on end. Rain, rain, rain, and more rain. First of all, I want to say that I feel your pain.
In general, New Jersey … has a lot of rain depending on the time of year, and I feel like it’s only gotten worse.
Honestly, I’ve lost track of how many Memorial Day weekends in a row that have been plagued with wet weather. Seriously, the first official summer weekend always seems to have rain in the forecast or even worse, a freak nor’easter.
So, I get it. Rain is absolutely frustrating. However, Cape May in the rain doesn’t have to be a total “wash out.” You’re still able to find a lot to see and do.
And a rainy weekend in Cape May is still far better than a rainy weekend at home, right? Right!
The Best Things to Do in Cape May in the Rain
Cape May in the rain doesn’t have to be a boring and “washed out” experience. Will you miss out on sunbathing on the beach? Sure, a little bit, but at the same time, visiting Cape May in the rain offers a quieter and more unique trip.
For this post, I came up with eight great things to do in Cape May in the rain, although you can find many more options. Keep in mind that you need to drive and take Cape May day trips for some of these activities.
Let’s plan for the worst possible weather scenarios now, shall we?
Cape May Lighthouse
Cape May Lighthouse is a short drive outside of Cape May City and is located in nearby Lower Township’s Cape May Point State Park at the verrrrrrrrrry southern tip of New Jersey.
This historic lighthouse, first constructed in 1859, has served as a guiding light for boats of all shapes and sizes navigating the Atlantic Ocean.
You can still climb to the top of Cape May Lighthouse in rainy or overcast weather. The dramatic clouds over the water will create some beautiful photographs for your collection, too!
Happy Hour at a Victorian Home
While rainy days at the shore are a drag, the bars absolutely loooooooooove a bit of wet weather to lure in new customers! Cape May’s sleek Victorian hotels will let you sip a fancy cocktail in style.
And if you’re concerned about prices, Cape May has a lot of great happy hours available.
For example, The World-Famous Mad Batter Restaurant & Bar has one of my favorite happy hours in all of Cape May, but it’s super popular, so you need to come right as it opens to score a comfortable seat at the bar. Nearby, The Ebbitt Room offers a ritzy Happy Hour that will make you feel like absolute royalty.
Of course, keep in mind that Happy Hours are only offered at certain days and times of the week, so you need to do your research ahead of time.
A Lovely Local Museum
Cape May’s many local museums offer a chance to discover the county’s history, as well as an opportunity to escape the wet weather. By visiting these museums, you’re keeping money “low to the ground,” helping the economy, and preserving local history that would have otherwise been forgotten.
Examples of local museums include (but aren’t limited to) The Harriet Tubman Museum, Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, and Emlen Physick Estate.
A visit to Cape May in the rain doesn’t have to be boring, after all!
A Burger, Beer, and Movie in Stone Harbor
Do you have any movies that you’re dying to see? On a rainy day in Cape May, hop in the car and drive to nearby Stone Harbor for a movie day!
I personally love the atmosphere at Harbor Square Theater right in downtown Stone Harbor. Sure, you need to drive here from Cape May, but I find the drive to be well worth it.
Have lunch – beer and burgers – and then see your favorite film. The chairs are sooooo incredibly comfortable, so you’ll be able to enjoy the movie in a relaxed and retro setting.
After the movie, take a stroll around downtown Stone Harbor for some shopping if it’s not pouring too hard.
Day Trip to Atlantic City NJ
Okay, literally everyone knows about Atlantic City, so I won’t bore you with excessive details about the city itself.
I mean, it’s obvious that casinos are super popular in the rain for a reason. You have gambling, food, and other entertainment in the comfortable of the dry indoors. Win/win.
As a side note, make sure you stay inside or close to the casinos in Atlantic City. While a lot of visitors have no problems, Atlantic City has a fairly high crime rate, so you want to be careful. I also recommend visiting during the day instead of at night.
West End Garage in West Cape May
Ready to spend a lot of money in Cape May in the rain? I hope so, because next on the list is West End Garage located in nearby West Cape May.
West End Garage is a space dedicated to many local artists. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, West End Garage is similar to an art gallery, where you can just wander and admire the immense talent thriving in the community.
Without a doubt, a visit to West End Garage is one of the best things to do in Cape May in the rain.
Cape May Zoo
For those of you who aren’t bothered by rain, then I personally recommend spending a wet afternoon at the Cape May Zoo.
Not to mention, visiting the Cape May Zoo isn’t going to break the bank either. Cape May Zoo and Park is completely free to the public. However, donations help the zoo’s conservation work, as well as keeping the zoo financially stable enough to stay free for future generations to enjoy.
In the Zoo, you will see a variety of exhibits, such as a tropical bird building and African Safari walk. You might not see every single animal in the rain, but I promise you will see at least some creatures enjoying the wet weather!
Last but not least, be sure to pack an umbrella and raincoat! You don’t want to get soaking wet.
Cape May Brewery
Last but certainly not least, if you want to sample some of Cape May’s best craft beers, then I suggest driving to Cape May Brewery.
While you might not enjoy the Beer Garden, Cape May Brewery’s tasting room is wide open – rain or shine – and provides a fun and communal atmosphere.
You can also stock up on your favorite beers and merchandise at the on site shop.
Cape May Brewery is most easily accessible by car, and can be found at 1250 Hornet Rd. in nearby Rio Grande.
I hope this post helped you plan for seeing Cape May in the rain. As always, I’m open to adding even more suggestions and ideas to this post! Happy planning!