Disclosure: Hotels.com asked me to share my ideas on what to do in Cape May NJ.
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Cape May New Jersey is one of the popular beach towns in South New Jersey. Historic, affluent and charming, Cape May has been called the Hamptons-equivalent of the Jersey Shore. In 1816 Cape May became the first seaside resort town in the USA thanks to wealthy families visiting for a break from the summer swelter of the cities. There are plenty of things to do in Cape May especially in Cape May with kids.
Accommodation in Cape May with Kids
As a family-friendly beach resort, accommodation in Cape May with kids is easy to source. Most places are in easy walking distance of the beach. Unlike other towns in South Jersey, Cape May does not have any large hotel chains.
Of course, Cape May still does provide plenty of accommodation ranging from hotels, historic inns, cheerful motels and charming guest houses. Here are our favourite family friendly options for Cape May hotels:
- Cape May Icona offers resort-style luxury with a free shuttle to the beach.
- Sandpiper Beach Resort is beach front with all-suites accommodation.
- La Mer Beachfront Hotel has both hotel and condo apartments with private beach access.
- Congress Hall is a historic 19th century resort which has hosted 5 American presidents in its storied past.
- The Grand Hotel is recently renovated, beach front and one of the largest hotels in Cape May.
5 Things To Do in Cape May With Kids
Cape May with kids is a joy. Not only is there a wide sand beach but plenty of outdoor activities to keep them entertained at this hidden gem in New Jersey.
Visit the Beach
The Cape May beach front runs for 2.5 miles and is split into smaller sections each with a unique vibe. For example, family-friendly The Cove is loved by surfers, Sunset Beach is a great location for relaxing at the end of the day, Cape May Point State Park is a great place to watch dolphins, and Decatur Street Beach is near the restaurants and bars.
Kids will love looking for Cape May Diamonds which are most commonly found at Higbee and Sunset beaches. These ‘diamonds’ are actually quartz pebbles worn down smooth by the Delaware River.
Older kids will love the parasailing and jet skiing opportunities at the shore.
Lifeguards patrol the beach during the day in July and August. The beaches have facilities like showers and restrooms.
There are beach tag fees which are required for everyone from the age of 12. Beach tags are needed for all beaches from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Tags can vary from daily, weekend or seasonal. You can buy beach tags at the beaches themselves.
Visit a Historical Attraction
When you are tired of the beach, other things to do in Cape May with kids include visiting various historical attractions. The Cape May Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse that is open to the public.
The Cape May Fireman’s Museum is not only free to visit but also has a 1928 vintage fire truck. Historic Cold Spring Village is a living history village showing early American life.
Take A Tour
See the town with some old-fashioned fun in a Cape May Carriage tour. For a multi-generational family activity, take a MAC trolley tour which have several options from which to choose.
Outside of town, there are hundreds of birds and fish that call the Cape May wetlands home.Take an eco-cruise on The Skimmer boat to see the wildlife in the Cape May Wetlands. Older children may prefer to take a guided kayak tour of the wetlands. The Nature Center of Cape May run by The Audubon Center has many family friendly programs.
For a nice after dinner walk, stroll the promenade which runs two miles alongside the beach. As you would expect from a seaside resort, there are candy stores, ice cream vendors and gaming arcades along the way to keep the kids entertained.
Cape May County Park and zoo is free to visit and is famous for its breeding snow leopards. Take a cruise on the Cape May Whale Watcher ship to spot whales and mammals in the bay of Cape May. The Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center also do whale watching excursions.
For something unusual but that kids will love, visit the Bay Springs Farm to see their alpacas.
Cape May has a lot of different dining options, including many with children’s menus.
- Local institution, the Mad Batter is known for its scrumptious pancakes at breakfast and family-friendly food the rest of the day.
- Uncle Bill’s Pancake House serves up breakfast all day.
- Ocean View Restaurant serves up family fare with a beautiful view.
- Cape May is also one of the locations for the coveted ice cream concoctions of Peace Pie.
- Don’t forget the restaurants in Washington Street Mall (and stores selling donuts, ice-cream, fudge, chocolate and salt water taffy).
Map of Things To Do Cape May
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