Things to do and see in Cape May, NJ

vinyard in cape may new jersey

We recently got back from another long weekend in Cape May. It's so hard to come back to "real life" after a few days of fun in the sun. Our typical day consists of waking up and putting on our bathing suits and packing the cooler, then we head out somewhere for breakfast and hit the beach after. We usually stay on the beach until 4 or 5 p.m. and then go home, get showered up, grab a late dinner, and find a spot for some music and drinks in the evening. 

After a few summers of vacationing in Cape May, we feel right at home. It's so easy to navigate around and the little beach house we rent is a little bit off the beaten path, so it's allowed us to discover even more of the quaint vacation town. Below is a list of my recommendations, although I'm sure that some folks who've been frequenting Cape May for more years than I, will have some things to add. Let me know if I left off anything that's worthy of doing, seeing or eating! 

To do and see in Cape May, NJ
  • The beach. This is a no-brainer because you decided to pick a vacation town on the Jersey shore -- of course you need to get to the beach! If you like waves head to Ocean Drive (I like entering from Jefferson, Trenton, or Philadelphia Avenues) and bring your boogie board. Remember you'll have to buy beach tags too. If you like a more calm waters head to the bay side, Sunset Beach or Higbee Beach are great options. Wildwood Crest Beach is outside of Cape May but has super soft sand and a nice gradual slope into the water. 
  • Cape May Winery. $6 per person for a tasting (you get to try six wines, although depending on who is working, they might let you try a couple more) and you get a free wine glass souvenir. 
  • Cape May Brewery. $10 per person to try four beers. Also guided tours available. 
  • Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located in Cape May Point State Park, it costs some money to go up top, but it's pretty just to look at from the outside too. There's also plenty of birds to see and trails to venture down. 
  • Stand-Up Paddle Boarding. It's fun and a bit of a workout! I recommend the company, SUP Cape May. For $25 a person you get the rental equipment and an hour tour through the calm waters of Cape May Harbor. 
  • Cape May Zoo. I haven't been myself, but who doesn't love a zoo? 
  • The Mall. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you entertained. Be sure to check out A Place on Earth, a wonderful soap shop with the most exotic and unique soaps you can think of! 
  • Alpaca Farm. Maybe it's just me, but I find these furry little creatures beyond cute. Visit the store for some pricey but ultra warm alpaca socks and sweaters!
  • Typical vacation activities. Mini golfing, arcades, and ice cream! 

Where to eat in Cape May, NJ 
  • The Red Store at Cape May Point. They have a kick-ass breakfast and an unbelievable dinner. Cash only. Get the seaside eggs or the chorizo torta for breakfast, you won't regret it. The dinner menu constantly changes but we loved the scallops and the tempura green beans! 
  • George's Place. An inexpensive diner with basic but delicious breakfast options and a lot of great Mediterranean options for lunch or dinner. 
  • The Mad Batter. Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sit out on the porch and order a drink! Also, they have a great happy hour as well, half priced drinks from 3-6 every day!
  • Bagel Time Cafe (formerly Cape May Hot Bagels.) Located right on Beach Drive, you can grab a bagel or eggs to go, and bring your breakfast to the beach! 
  • Panico's Bistro. A nicer dinner spot with tasty brick oven pizza. There's usually a wait so you might want to go earlier or later than the dinner rush. 
  • Blue Pig Tavern. Good burgers and pub food, located in Congress Hall.
  • The Lobster House. A Cape May dinner institution with fresh seafood. Eat in the main dining room, at the Raw Bar, or on the Schooner, you can't go wrong. 
  • H&H Seafood Market. Get down and dirty with some all you can eat blue crabs. You want to go before 5 p.m. or you risk them running out of crabs. Also, the lobster and other seafood looks amazing as well if you aren't into crabs. 
  • The Magnolia Room at the Chalfonte. A nice spot for a romantic dinner. There's mixed reviews on this place (mainly complaints about the fried chicken) but I can honestly say their crab cake was among the best I've ever had and the dinner rolls are to die for. Hopefully you score a seat on the porch and you'll feel like you're transported back in time. 
  • Cabana's Beach Bar and Grill. Good spot for a casual lunch or dinner. I had a really delicious blackened mahi mahi sandwich there. 

Where to drink in Cape May, NJ 
  • The Boiler Room or Brown Room at Congress Hall. Live music is always pumping in the Boiler Room and you'll see an eclectic bunch of people on the dance floor. It's also the spot that stays open the latest in Cape May, so it's a good place to end the night. The Brown Room is perfect for a happy hour drink or grab a beverage and sit outside in the Adirondack Chairs.
  • The Ebbitt Room. Head to the Ebbitt Room for a delicious manhattan or a glass of wine. The bartenders know what they're doing, the bar and lounge have a warm, masculine vibe. 
  • The Rusty Nail. One of my favorite places, get there kind of early because they close the outside area at 10 p.m. They have a nice fire pit and lots of seating, the drinks are good (although a little pricey), and on Sundays they have live reggae music.
  • Harpoon Henry's. The best place to watch the sunset. Great bartenders, incredible frozen beverages, and awesome live music. Try the conch fritters and onion rings if you need a little snack. 
  • The Schooner at the Lobster House. Grab a seat at the bar and take in all of the beautiful boats.
And a recap of our latest Cape May adventure below: 

We trekked it out to Higbee beach for the first time this trip. It's a quaint beach where people bring their dogs and go fishing. The water was nice but there were quite a few jelly fish floating around. Eek. Also, it's cool to see the ferry come in an out, it looks like it's heading right for the land! 
The Cape May Winery & Vineyard was not only beautiful, but also a lot of fun. Do a tasting, get a free glass, and then buy a glass of your favorite wine and sit outside on the patio or deck and take in the beautiful vineyard. 

We rang in BryGuy's 26th birthday in Cape May. He's not much of a cake lover (I know, he's crazy) so I hooked him up with a delicious peach and bourbon pie from Magpie in Philadelphia. 

One of his birthday presents was a surprise stand-up paddle board (SUP) lesson and tour! I found the company, SUP Cape May online and called for reservations. Angela was our instructor and guide for the day, she was so cool and laid back. She made us super comfortable and explained the whole process and we were standing up on our boards in no time! It was so much fun, we can't wait to go back and do it again next year. Also, do you remember this was one of the things on our bucket list! CHECK. 

After some SUPing, we spent a few hours on the beach and then decided we were hungry and needed some crabs. We headed over to the trusty H&H Seafood Market and took them up on their all you can eat offer. 

Per usual, it was a gorgeous sunset.

On most days in the summer you can see dolphins swimming by off the coast of the Ocean Drive beaches. 

Bry enjoying a birthday cigar on the beach.

I grabbed the boogie board and headed out to catch some waves on our last day. 

And because BryGuy can't be shown up by a girl, he decided to catch some waves too. 

Find out what we did and where we ate on our last long weekend in Cape May.


  1. PIE > CAKE, for sure! Way to go for accommodating--that's what birthdays are all about.

    And that photo of the sunset is GORGEOUS.

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