Apr 19

Top Beaches in Cape May County, New Jersey

Posted on April 19, 2016 at 12:51 PM by Rachael Cox

The Jersey Cape is one of the best beach destinations in the Northeast, perfect for a warm-weather getaway. But all of the area’s beaches are different, so it’s important to find out which one is right for you. Here is your guide on the best beaches in Cape May County, New Jersey.

 

Free Beaches

The Wildwoods is a five-mile beach community that is known for being one of the most popular free hangouts. After swimming and lounging in the sun, guests can take advantage of the beach’s 2.5-mile boardwalk lined with restaurants and shops for fresh seafood dinners or souvenirs.

 

To avoid the overcrowded beach, Strathmere Beach is a little-known haven for beachgoers to have more privacy. With no admission or parking fees, locals like to keep Strathmere their best-kept secret. Bay Beaches is a designated area for water athletes. Stretching from Delaware Bay to Cumberland County, athletes can engage in various sports like jet-skiing, windsurfing, kayaking and fishing (with rentals directly on the beach).

 

Beaches with Nearby Attractions

For a serene beach with Victorian buildings blocks away, Cape May is full of charms and history. After dipping in the water, beachgoers can stroll along the historic district to get some old-fashioned ice cream floats, play at arcades and dine at one of the many seafood restaurants. Cape May Point is the place to go if you want a picturesque view of a lighthouse built in 1859 overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Beachgoers can go for a challenging climb at the lighthouse.

 

Free on Wednesdays, Sea Isle City is a beautiful beach promenade that includes an amusement park, arcades, shops and restaurants. This beach is open to the public daily. Stone Harbor and Avalon is a seven-mile beach with white sand and attentive lifeguards. Stone Harbor is less crowded than most of the beaches nearby so guests will feel like they have most of the place to themselves.

 

Ocean City is known for its bustling boardwalk and lively beach community. An amusement park packed with miniature golf, go-karts and other rides is an extra perk of Ocean City Beach. A family-oriented beach, this area is designed to entertain both children and adults.

Mar 17

Top Things to Do in the Spring on the Jersey Cape

Posted on March 17, 2016 at 10:06 AM by Rachael Cox

Each spring, thousands of visitors flock to Cape May County to watch the flowers blossom around historic structures and enjoy the sun-soaked beaches. The area is known for its breathtaking historic preservation, colorful homes, and historic bed and breakfasts.

“Cape May will instantly squash any negative stereotype you may have of the Jersey Shore,” says a recent story in NY Daily News, talking about the main town of Cape May that anchors the county. “The charming city—considered the country’s oldest seaside resort—boasts great beaches, big, beautiful Victorian houses, deep history, and artsy and upscale shops.” During the spring, it also welcomes world-class birders and couples who want to get away for a weekend to the Jersey Cape. Here are some of the top things to do in the spring in Cape May County, New Jersey.


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Spring Migration

Once winter ends, millions of birds make their way back north, many of them stopping in Cape May County. During spring, birders make Cape May County one of their key stops to see songbirds, egrets, herons, gulls and warblers. Large birds of prey can also be sighted in the area like hawks, owls, bald eagles and more. April through May is considered to be peak season to see the large number of birds, and birders can find hiking trails with excellent bird-watching at parks including Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine and Cape May Point State Park. Many birders also visit the beach to catch glimpses of sandpipers and other water birds. Guided tours are offered in the area as well. The Cape May Bird Observatory School of Birding allows guests to join some of the best field birders in the world on their hikes.


Spring Festivals

When spring is in full bloom, the area comes alive with outdoor festivals and events. The Private Homes Tours of the historic Cape May district is one of the most popular events of the year where homeowners of nationally registered historic places open their doors to visitors. Guests can browse through the homes to get a sense of what life looked like during the 1800s. Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery Tour in Rio Grande is another fun spring festival for wine lovers to see local scenery and taste local wines. Mother’s Day Weekend is often bustling with tons of festivals like Fashion Show & Brunch at Aleathea’s Restaurant in Cape May that shows off lace silhouettes and outfits from local designers. Emlen Physick Estate hosts a Jazz Brunch on Mother’s Day for families to help themselves to the gourmet buffet while listening to live jazz musicians on saxophones, clarinets and flutes.


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Local Produce and Farm Stands

Fresh blueberries, tomatoes, Jersey corn, cucumbers, peppers, okra and basil—you name it, Cape May County’s farmer markets have it all. Local farmers bring in their best batches during peak season for guests to purchase and sample. Many of the farmer markets include local artisan and gourmet food products like Duckies Farm Market’s salsa sauce, Shine on Me Farms’ jams and jelly, and Avalon Produce Market’s homemade pies. Other fun items to keep an eye out

for in farmer markets are jewelry, fresh coffee, kettle corn, local seafood, fresh farm eggs, and flowers. Several of the markets’ locations are in Cape May, Wildwood, Sea Isle City and Stone Harbor.


Dining

During spring in Cape May County, you can spend your time outdoors—even during breakfast, lunch or dinner. Many Cape May County restaurants have cozy outdoor patios and spectacular views. Seafood is important in the area, and fish, crab, lobster and shrimp are brought in daily and served fresh at restaurants. Many of the seafood joints in the area have oceanside patios. Diners can also find restaurants in historic buildings and areas in Cape May County.


Weddings

Cape May County is a popular destination for weddings. Its towns are inherently romantic with streets lined with Victorian houses that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. Bed and breakfast inns are among the best venues because of their charm, historic decor, easy access to the ocean, and accommodations for friends and family. Non-traditional wedding spots vary from getting married barefoot on the beach, to the top of Cape May lighthouse, to yachts. The county has numerous wedding services to make the big day stand out—think horse-drawn carriages and white dove releases.

Mar 09

5 Romantic Places to Stay in Cape May, New Jersey

Posted on March 9, 2016 at 4:18 PM by Rachael Cox

Lined with charismatic bed and breakfast inns that capture the Victorian elegance and a seaside resort that overlooks the idyllic Atlantic Ocean, Cape May is the perfect place to plan your romantic getaway. Lovers can participate in countless charming activities such as waterfront dining, riding a horse and carriage and afternoon tea parties during their visit.  But nothing is more crucial than having the perfect place to stay overnight and rekindle your romance. From historic hotels to charming cottages, here are some of the best romantic accommodations in Cape May, New Jersey.

 

Carrollvilla is a historic bed and breakfast with 20 rooms that has been accommodating guests since 1882. Guests will immediately appreciate the Craftsman-style house with mid-century modern touches and Victorian furniture when visiting Carrolvilla. Each room is individually themed with floral wallpaper and colonial bedposts. The bed and breakfast is also outfitted with Mad Batter, a restaurant and bar with recipes that were awarded by OpenTable as a Diner’s Choice. Best of all, the serene beach is only a few steps away from your room.

 

The Queen Victoria is an award-winning bed and breakfast designed to enhance your getaway. Located just minutes from the beach, great shopping, and restaurants, the inn offers 32 Victorian-style bedrooms that look like they were designed for Queen Victoria herself. Guests will notice the traditional royal red colors found throughout the inn and luxurious room names like “The Crown Jewel” and “Prince Albert Hall”. Several bedrooms are outfitted with a private luxury whirlpool tub (so be sure to ask for it when booking). Remember not to oversleep so you and your lover can enjoy the full English breakfast with tea and sweets waiting for you in the morning.

 

Some people may feel it’s not romantic unless they bring along their furry pal for a mini getaway. Built in the late 1700s, Billmae Cottages is a pet-friendly guest suite designed to accommodate you and your dogs. There, you will meet other like-minded dog lovers and have play dates with your pets or participate in the “Yappy Hour” for free treats. The Billmae Cottages are split into two sections: the Cottage Suites (laid out like a studio apartment) and the Cottage Too (with hotel rooms). Inside the rooms, guests will appreciate the dog breed themes, such as Pomeranian or Jack Russell Terrier patterned pillow and bedsheets, as well as the rustic country interior.

 

Set in a one-and-a-half acre award-winning garden, Southern Mansion is a favorite destination for lovers that are into history. As the largest bed and breakfast inn in Cape May, this antebellum inn was built in the mid-1800s and was once a favorite destination for southern gentry. Centrally located in the historic district and a five-minute walk to the beaches, shops and restaurants, guests will find this place to be very convenient to go on their romantic adventures. Each room at Southern Mansion is designed with heirloom furnishings, antiques and period pieces that lend to the splendor of the mansion’s architecture.

 

Congress Hall is a four-story hotel that features Federal architecture and is the oldest seaside resort in the area, having been built in 1816. Guests will be greeted with a dramatic entrance as they walk through the 12-foot doors and foyers with marbled floors. The indoor palm trees, wicker furniture and the smell of the ocean wafting into the hotel all add a romantic touch. The rooms are luxurious and feature sky blue walls, seashell interiors and window views facing the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel is also home to several restaurants and hip hangouts, including The Boiler Room, The Blue Pig Tavern (with ingredients plucked from the hotel’s own garden), and several coffee shops. At night, when you gaze out of your window with your significant other, you’ll see the true beauty of Cape May as the moon reflects off the ocean. With this picturesque atmosphere, you’re sure to fall in love with your partner all over again.