Nov 01

15 Free Things to Do in Cape May County in Southern New Jersey

Posted on November 1, 2019 at 2:09 PM by Rick Lang

Cape May County in Southern New Jersey is full of amazing bargains and freebies that guests can stumble upon. This guide narrows down the top 20 ways to enjoy the many perks of the Cape May area for free. So do your bank account a favor and take the kids over to the New Jersey Cape for stress-free, no expense paid adventures.

1. Animal lovers on a budget will want to meet Jerome the Giraffe, Charlie the Camel and Ellie the Lion at Cape May County Zoo. Admission and parking are free (charges only apply to busses and large passenger vans). However, the non profit zoo will accept donations that go toward maintaining the welfare and health of the animals. Guests will enjoy the zebras, monkeys, otters and many other exotic creatures at the zoo.


2. Every July in Lower Township, Cape May Beach Property hosts an annual Whale of a Day festival. Visitors can celebrate the whales that are known to migrate to its shores. Hundreds of street vendors flock to the area to sell their best goods, and children can take advantage of the arts and craft booths to make whale art and souvenirs. Live music, flea markets and food trucks are all available to enjoy on the premises. There is no admission fee to attend and the event will go on, rain or shine.


3. For a dose of nautical history, head over to the Delaware Bay and see the remains of the S.S. Atlantus ship that can be seen over the ocean. Lore has it that in 1926, this concrete ship sank after a violent storm broke her loose and pummeled her to the bottom of the ocean floor. Because S.S. Atlantus was made of concrete, it was nearly impossible to pry her out of the ocean. Instead, the ship has been a popular tourist attraction for more than 80 years, but is slowly disappearing as it erodes and sinks deeper into the seabed. Take your chances to swing by this historic marvel for free during your visit to Cape May. Afterwards, stop and look around the beach for Cape May Diamonds -- thousands of year old quartzes that can be polished and used like real diamonds. They are yours to take home if you find them.


4. Get your bean fix at the Lima Bean Festival that takes place on Columbus Day weekend each year. At Wilbraham Park in West Cape May, guests will have the opportunity to try unusual lima-bean flavored ice cream and other lima-infused dishes. Guests can browse through sculptures in the shape of lima beans, jewelry inspired by the beans or make a purchase of lima bean-influenced memorabilia. And before you know it -- your kids will be begging for more lima beans.


5. Another great free thing to do is to check out some of the beaches of Cape May County such as Wildwood’s beaches. Wildwood was ranked as the best beach in the state by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium and is one of the only four free beaches in the state. With no parking or beach admission fee, guests can come and go anytime on the beach at no expense and relax under

the sun. After a refreshing swim, beachgoers can go on a stroll along the boardwalk loaded with novelty shops, piers and a historic amusement park to put a pizzazz on your New Jersey beach vacation.


6. Go on scenic hikes at some of Southern New Jersey’s gorgeous nature reserves including Cape May Point State Park and Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area. Overlooking the Atlantic ocean, the parks are known for sporting fascinating birds (songbirds, hawks, shorebirds), so be sure to bring your binoculars. Some of the parks like Higbee Beach are known for their well-preserved, historic Indian burial grounds.


7. They don’t call Wildwood “The Parade Capital of New Jersey” for nothing. Whether it’s St. Patrick's Day, Mummer’s Day, Christmas in July or honoring firefighters, Wildwood is known for going all-out festive with glitzy parades and celebrations. Schedule your visit around the holidays or special events to catch fleets of talented bagpipers, holiday adorned boats or vintage firetrucks parading down the street.


8. Each spring, avid birders flock to Cape May County to enjoy the spectacle of more than a million migrating birds heading north. Cape May has the second largest assembled shorebird population in the Western Hemisphere. With no admission fees, guests will only need to bring their binoculars to catch a glimpse of herons, egrets and iconic bald eagles.


9. To celebrate Cape May County’s cultural history, the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage focuses on the wave of Russian Jews immigrating to the area at the end of the 19th century. At this free museum, guests can learn about the hardship and evolution of farming and the construction of their own synagogue. Today, the Brotherhood Synagogue (in the museum) houses documents, artifacts and personal stories of its past immigrants.


10. The National Marbles Tournament is a longstanding tradition of Cape May County and takes place at Wildwood’s Ringer Stadium at the beach. Visitors can watch youngsters aged 8-14 compete for the coveted title of king and queen of marbles. At no costs, guests (mibsters) can watch up to 1,200 marble games and root for their favorite players.


11. Why walk through Cape May County when you can peddle along one of its many scenic bike routes? The county is known for it’s extra-flat surfaces, making it ideal for bikers to enjoy their great adventures. The most popular designated bike trails are in Middle Township, Cold Spring, Petersburg and Woodbine. This bicycle-friendly county also has paved bike lanes by highways and boardwalks. A map of the complete bike lanes/trails is important to study before planning your ride.


12. Dreaming for a visit to Italy but don’t have the funds for it? Ocean City may be the much more affordable alternative as it hosts the annual Night in Venice festival every summer where the largest boat parade in the world is held. Thousands of spectators gather each year for free to see the beautifully decorated boats of all sizes. The boats leave from Longport Bridge and head south.


13. Every Friday during the summer, Wildwood Boardwalk is proud to host majestic and patriotic fireworks over the ocean. Free to spectators, the fireworks start at 10 p.m. and explode rhythmically to a musical score. Don’t forget to bring your beach chair or picnic blankets to make your comfortable evening go out with a bang.


14. Reveal your inner swashbuckler by grabbing a shovel and start digging for Captain Kidd’s treasure on the beach in North Wildwood. For the past 50 summers, the infamous pirate pays a visit to the shore and recruits your children to help him find the bounty he left behind hundreds of years ago. Honorary children and adult pirates will start to dig for hidden treasures when the event begins. Mateys that dig up the famed treasure will take it home for free.


15. During the middle of November, tip toe to Ocean City for the annual Quiet Festival. The event has one solid rule -- guests are to remain silent or speak quietly as they enjoy the many amenities. Children can make flying paper planes, partake in a Yawn Along, listen to seashells and partake in many quiet activities.

Oct 31

Up, Up and Away: Flying High Over Cape May County in New Jersey’s Southern Shore

Posted on October 31, 2019 at 3:18 PM by Rick Lang

Look up at the sky. B-52s, banner planes and kites proudly fly past the skylines of Cape May County, New Jersey. From going to military aircraft museums, to watching hair-raising wing walkers, here are some fun, high-flying things to see or do in Cape May County.

Annual Air Show

Ocean City in Cape May County is the best place to see it all, most notably during the annual Air Show at the Municipal Airport. There, aerobatic performers dangle in the mid-air from planes, and spectators will also see the Blue Angels and other fighter planes whizzing by at 400 to 700 mph doing air tricks. A heart-stopping wing walking stunt makes the crowd hold a collective breath while watching a stuntman literally walk across the plane. Visitors can also view a ground display of unusual World War II era airplanes at this event.

Banner Advertising

Keep your eyes peeled for banner planes that advertise great restaurants and deals over the beach. Cape May County is the nation’s capital of aerial advertising. Banner planes have been a Jersey Shore’s staple for over 60 years. Scanning for happy hour specials and shopping bargains while basking in New Jersey’s sun is the best way to plan your remaining beach vacation.


Naval Air Station Wildwood

History lovers can get their fix at the Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW), a museum housing vintage military aircrafts. In this 92,000-sq.- ft. museum, visitors can check out planes like the B-24 Liberator, B-17 Flying Fortress and the P-51 Mustang while reading about their history. Guests can also pay their respects at the Wall of Honor that commemorates the 41 soldiers that perished during training at the station.


Kite Festival

Wildwood hosts one of the world’s largest kite festival that takes place every year on Memorial Day Weekend. Competitive kiters bring their best handmade kites to Rio Grande Avenue to display to spectators. Eventually, awards are given out to best kite designs and kite flying. Workshops, exhibits and children's activities are also available at the event, but it’s advised to not miss the illuminated night kite show to see the sky sparkle.

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.