Cape May NJ Hotels

Before we get into the best Cape May NJ Hotels, lets learn a little about America's original seaside resort. In Cape May, you'll find fine wines, outstanding restaurants, classic jazz festivals and special events year 'round. Cape May is a historic Victorian seaside gem and is the oldest most beautiful spots in the country. The entire city is a National Historic District, with nearly 600 preserved Victorian buildings.

In addition to the beautiful beaches and shimmering Atlantic Ocean, you'll find a year-round range of activities that make this more than just a one-season surf-and-sand stop. Cape May is one of the few Jersey Shore towns with year-round appeal, offering events, attractions, dining, and shopping.

Meet a painted lady. Painted Ladies are the colorful Victorian homes trimmed with gingerbread woodwork and framed by large porches that fill the historic downtown of Cape May. To learn more about the Victorian era that shaped this beach town, take a guided walking or trolley tour with the informative guides at Cape May MAC. For a list of all the great beaches in the area, head to the best East Coast Beaches here.

Cape May Weather – When to Visit

The best time to visit Cape May is from May to September (average temperatures from low 70s to mid 80s) when the air and water temperatures are warm enough for sunbathing and swimming. Summer is when the Jersey Shore comes alive, but this seaside destination still has plenty of activities throughout the year. Visit around Christmastime to see twinkling lights draped across the city's Victorian homes, or opt for an autumn trip to enjoy the Cape May Fall Festival in October.

Cape May Area Beaches

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Ocean City

Ocean City offers 8 miles of pristine white sand with plenty of coastline to enjoy swimming in the waves. There are plenty of restaurants, taffy and fudge shops, and an amusement pier with a 140 foot Ferris wheel, kiddie cars, roller coasters, a miniature golf course and a water park.



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This 2 miles is of one of the best family boardwalks in New Jersey. There are three amusement parks with more than 100 rides and attractions including a roller coaster, extreme thrill rides, kids rides and a water park. You can also enjoy everything from surfing to boogie-boarding to body surfing.



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The beautiful white-sand beaches are backed by stately dunes. Most of the island's shoreline are fronted by large, well-spaced homes that give the area the feel of an exclusive private enclave. There is also a boardwalk with some concessions.



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Sea Isle City

At Sea Isle City is a wide asphalt promenade that runs from 29th Street to 57th Street. It's low key, no amusement park, with a number of small concessions, and an attractive outdoor amphitheater at 40th Street for summer concerts. At Sea Isle City Beach there are plenty of activities to include rafting, surfing, volleyball, sailing, kayaking and surf fishing.



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Cape May

Here you'll find over 2 miles of pristine beach. There's a 2-mile promenade past the beautiful Cape May Beach on the east and many Victorian homes, B & B's and and grand hotels on the west. There a a small number of concessions, restaurants and small shops.



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North Wildwood

The wide, white, sandy, free beaches, the gentle surf, fun-filled boardwalk amusement rides and some of the best salt water fishing on the east coast, are just a few of the activities that bring vacationers back to North Wildwood year after year.




Best Cape May Tours & Activities

Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise from Cape May

Take a break from the beach on a sightseeing cruise off the coast of Cape May. As your captain navigates to the best locations for spotting whales, dolphins, and porpoises, your certified naturalist guide offers live commentary about the area’s ocean life and the animals’ natural habitat. Learn more about the Whale & Dolphin Watching Cruise here.

Safari Cruise (Birding By Boat)

Get views of the wildlife of the salt marsh that people almost never have an opportunity to see. They sail daily from April until October and know where it is most likely to see the most interesting birds and with 25 years of experience running these tours, you'll have a great cruise. Learn more about the Safari Cruise here.

Grand Lighthouse Tour from Cape May

These lighthouses are not only dotting our shoreline, but also our waterways. They stand on pedestals surrounded by water out of sight of land. The Cape May Whale Watcher has been sailing to these extremely historic lighthouses since 1994. Learn more about the Grand Lighthouse Tour from Cape May.

Dinner Cruise with Dolphin and Whale Watching from Cape May

Enjoy dinner, sight dolphins, drink an ice cold beverage, enjoy the company of loved ones and see one our beautiful sunsets over Delaware Bay. No other Dinner Cruise in the world can offer top quality food (from a Restaurant, not a microwave), unparalleled views and dolphin sightings in a single evening. We have the most to offer in Southern New Jersey. Learn more about the Dinner Cruise with Dolphin & Whale Watching.

Sightseeing Cruise of Cape May

This is a private tour, no big crowds to deal with. They customize the departure time to work with your schedule and can adjust the tour to suit your needs. If you want to linger a while watching dolphins or see some architecture on the shore, or you want to snap some pictures, just ask and they will accommodate you. Learn more about the Sightseeing Cruise of Cape May.

Best Cape May Restaurants

Peter Shields Restaurant Over $30

The restaurant uses fresh ingredients from local sources with a concern for sustainability. The menu will not include any fish in danger of being over fished. Enjoy well prepared contemporary American food with elegant ambiance and old-world charm. Telephone: 609-884-9090 Web: Peter Shields Restaurant

Union Park Dining Room Over $30

Serves a well-executed menu, attractively presented, featuring fresh, locally farm to table ingredients. Enjoy well prepared contemporary American food with elegant ambiance and old-world charm. When available, try the North American Lobster, The Australian Lamb Rack and The Duck Breast. Telephone: 609-884-8811 Web: Union Park Dining Room

Tisha's $11 – 30

Their New American cuisine is sure to please even the most sophisticated palates. Offering both indoor and al fresco dining for lunch and dinner. Tisha’s is celebrating 30 years in business and considered a must try in Cape May. Telephone: 609-884-9119 Web: Tisha's

Sapore Italiano $11 – 30

They offer fine Italian food made with fresh local farm picked ingredients served amid an elegant white-tablecloth setting in a Victorian style restored home. Telephone: 609-600-1422 Web: Sapore Italiano

Backstreet Simply Delicious $11 – 30

The Backstreet Cafe is an alternative and a favorite amongst diners who come here for good food and reasonable prices in an unpretentious atmosphere. The bread and desserts are made in house daily. Telephone: 609-884-7660 Web: Backstreet Simply Delicious

Best Cape May Outdoor Bars

The Rusty Nail

There’s nothing better than relaxing fireside with your toes in the sand, and the sound of ocean waves crashing just feet away. At the Rusty Nail, adjacent to the Beach Shack Hotel, you can gather with friends and family among one of the many fire pits. Telephone: 609-884-0017 Web: The Rusty Nail

The Front Porch at the Ebbitt Room

A classic, elegant atmosphere awaits you at The Front Porch at the Ebbitt Room. Enjoy live piano paired with a Mint Julep on the front porch or just inside, in the enclosed sun room. Tie it together with some delectable food options (cheese platter or gourmet deviled eggs) and this is sure to be a great night. Telephone: 609-884-5700 Web: The Front Porth at the Ebbitt Room

Barefoot Bar at the Marquis de Lafayette

The Barefoot Bar at the Marquis de Lafayette offers a wide variety of flavorful dishes along with a daily happy hour from 4-7pm. Try a Blueberry Lemonade or a Sunset Celebration. Enjoy either (or both) at this swingin’ venue. Pet-friendly as well! Telephone: 609-884-3500 Web: Barefoot Bar at the Marquis de Lafayett

The Veranda Bar at Congress Hall

The Veranda Bar is a juice bar by day, and cocktail bar by night. This is a spot you do not want to miss! Located right on the back porch of Congress Hall, you can sit and relax, or walk around and play corn-hole with the whole family.  Telephone: 609-884-8421 Web: The Veranda at Congress Hall

Tiki Ten35 at SeaSalt

Tthe Tiki Ten35 provides you with a laid-back beach vibe, servicing martinis, margaritas, mojitos, and much more. What else could you possibly ask for? Telephone: 609-884-7000 Web: Tiki Ten35 at SeaSalt

The Porch at Elaine’s

Here you'll want to try their frozen Jack & Coke! There's also a variety of live music any night of the week, so go prepared for a truly enjoyable time. We won’t even go into their top-notch food items on the menu; you’ll just have to go find out yourselves. In the fall season, there will be outdoor heaters and blankets: you can’t beat that. Telephone: 609-884-1199 Web: The Porch at Elaine's

Best Cape May NJ Hotels


  1. Aly

    Wow, what a beautiful beach location and so close to so many urban areas! I’d love to visit for a warm weekend and enjoy dolphin and whale watching during the trip. I love that you have featured outdoor bars because when it’s a beautiful day at the beach, no one will want to go inside! Great vacation idea!!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I know I don’t want to go inside!  I love tiki bars and beach side bars.  They are the best!  Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Lisa

    Okay, so I am a beach nut. This is the second page of your website that has come up in my search for beach destinations. I like your reviews so well that decided to subscribe to notifications from your site. My husband’s family is from New Jersey and I have heard names like Wildwood and Cape May for years. Now I have a much better idea what my in-laws are talking about and I am inspired to plan a trip down there to see the beaches for myself. 

    Thanks for another inspiring review of a premiere beach travel destination!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Lisa.  Please let me know if I can help with your travel plans 🙂

  3. Jean

    I am just going through Wilbraham mansion reviews which are very good, this hotel is beautiful and elegant and I just love their indoor pool, not sure if it’s heated but I suspect that it might be. 

    The rooms are gorgeous and homey and look so comfortable, not to mention the bathrooms, where your stress will just melt away as you relax in these tubs. The owner has really focused on the overall look of this place and I am loving their style. 

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree!  You have picked a top notch hotel, the Wilbraham Mansion, to stay at!  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

  4. LineCowley

    This was very interesting to discover what a “Painted Lady” is and that Cape May is a National Historic District with about 600 preserved Victorian buildings. I prefer a beach and seaside area without amusement parks, so my choices would be Sea Isle City and Avalon. The grand lighthouse tour sounds like a definite visit. 

    You mention that there are concessions along some of the beaches, but do any of them actually have tables on the sand that one can sit with your feet in the sand while sipping some wine and eating? 

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      There are some tables by some of the concessions, especially on the boardwalk.  But, in a lot of places, you will put down your towel on the sand or your beach chair and enjoy.  My chairs have arm slots, so we just put them on our backs and carry the rest to the beach or wherever in our beach wagon 🙂  Only way to go!

  5. DanaB

    Oh my love this information!  Do any of these places have a casino close by?  As you can tell by my name I love to play poker.  To be able to play poker at night and lay on the beach during the day, that would be the life.  This is great information to use for planning my vacation this summer.  

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      There are casinos nearby.  You can view the casino listings here.  Please let me know if you need any additional information to help plan your Cape May vacation.

  6. Ann

    I would like to go to Cape may with my family. I have been researching a bit and not many places can count U.S. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin Harrison among their distinguished guests, but Cape May, called the nation’s first seaside resort, is unique among the beach towns along New Jersey’s 204 miles of coastline. I would like to experience it in person.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I hope you do Ann!  You and your family would love Cape May I am sure.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.

  7. angell70

    Hi, I have been looking and reading through your article regarding Cape May NJ Hotels, the US East Coast Beaches.

    There are some amazing beaches I love it. 

    To be honest I like how do you implement pictures into the description of each beach, good. And also how you explained what activities you can do in each one. Mostly, the information you are given about the bars and restaurant and at the very end the Hotels is exactly how anyone can find in a page when they want to book. what I love is that you’ve added at the bottom the map of the whole area.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Angel.  I am glad you enjoyed reading my Cape May NJ Hotels guide.  Please let me know if you want any further information.  Thanks for the visit!

  8. Gaurav Gaur

    Hi leahrae
    Thanks for sharing your views on the Cape May NJ Hotels. There is lot much to enjoy at Cape May and I think there is something for everybody. Dinner Cruise with Dolphin and Whales watching from Cape May caught my immediate attention and I started searching the time schedule in my planner. You really worked hard and shared all the information of Cape May at one place.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Gaurav!  I am glad you enjoyed your visit to my Cape May NJ Hotels guide.  Please come back when you are ready to plan!

  9. Lizzy Stabel

    Wow, seeing this beach and Cape May NJ hotels, make my mouth water and just take an airplane and go there! I love the sightseeing video of the drone and I would love to see the painted ladies, I didn’t know that those actually are Victorian homes and the gingerbread woodwork I find very intriguing, must be lovely to see!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Lizzy.  Cape May NJ is a gem for sure!  Please let me know if you would like any additional information.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.


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