Cape May, Uncategorized

Cape May is one of “10 Best Beach Towns to Visit in Winter”


Congratulations to Cape May for making Coastal Living Magazine’s “10 Best Beach Towns to Visit in Winter“. We wholeheartedly agree! Cape May’s Holiday Preview happens this weekend (November 16-18) so come on down and see why we believe that Cape May is THE best place to visit during the holiday season.

20151219_163317.jpgIt’s beautiful. During the holiday season, which generally runs from mid-November to January, virtually every square inch of the town is adorned with fresh greens, colorful decorations and beautifully created holiday vignettes. At night, the town sparkles with festive holiday lights.

20151219_162815.jpgThere is so much to do here. With almost two full months of planned festivities, Cape May offers so much to visitors to do during the holidays.  Take a Holiday Lights trolley tour, visit an Old Fashioned Christmas display, sip hot chocolate and listen to carolers, and so much more.

20151219_144841.jpgYou can find unique holiday gifts. Washington Street Mall is a great place to stroll around and shop for everyone on your gift list, but Cape May also offers other shopping venues as well. Check out West End Garage for unique hand-crafted and vintage items, or shop along Beach Avenue for beach-inspired gifts for your favorite shore lover.

CellPhone-Photos-726-Copy.jpgIt’s like stepping back in time. With its Victorian gingerbread houses, horse drawn carriages and gas lamp-lit streets, visiting Cape May during the holiday season is like stepping into a Dickens Christmas village. During the holiday season you can take a Ghosts of Christmas Past trolley ride and do a candlelight tour of Victorian homes, decked out for Christmas as one may have done so during the 1800s. The informative and engaging volunteers of the Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, dressed in period clothing, are sure to entertain you as you enjoy your old fashioned Cape May Christmas experience.



Beach Eats, Cape May, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, Strathmere, The Wildwoods, Townsends Inlet, Uncategorized

Come for the Food, “Fall” for the View

With temps still hovering in the high 70’s over the next couple days, it is hard to think about putting an end to your shore plans. The good news is, you don’t have to – lucky for us shore lovers, many restaurants, shops and businesses will remain open well into the holiday season.

We recently published a list of our “Top 10 things To Do at the Shore This Fall” and #8 on our list was “Go Out to Eat”. While some restaurants have already closed for the season, many others will remain open on weekends. Among these are dining establishments that will continue to offer al fresco dining (weather permitting), or at least stunning views to make you feel like you’re dining outdoors. Here is a list of our favorite restaurants in each town that are still open this fall.

Ocean City – Hula Restaurant

Hula Restaurant, Ocean City

Say Aloha! to the vibrantly colorful and unassuming Hula Restaurant, tucked back off the main boardwalk between 9th and 10th Streets. The Hula is famous for its Hawaiian Chicken, sticky rice and other tropical-inspired delights. The food is fresh, healthy and delicious and will make you feel  like you’re surfside in Maui. Take home a bottle of their famous Hula Dressing, Hawaiian Style Barbeque or Teriyaki Sauces (or all three!) Gift cards are available for purchase in the restaurant and will make a great holiday gift for Hula Restaurant fans. Outdoor seating available as weather permits; now open weekends until Thanksgiving.   940 Boardwalk.

Strathmere – Deauville Inn

deauville inn (2)
The Deauville Inn, Strathmere

Overlooking the bay between Ocean City and Sea Isle in beautiful Strathmere is the Deauville Inn, which has been delighting diners for decades. Boasting of an expansive dining room, a sports bar, an outdoor patio and bar area and, in the summer season, the bayside barefoot Beach Bar, the Deauville offers robust entertainment throughout the summer season. Their extensive menu ranges from burgers to fresh seafood and appeals to every taste. Now open weekends through December. 201 Willard Road.

Sea Isle – Carmen’s Restaurant

Carmen’s Restaurant, Sea Isle

Noted as Sea Isle’s first waterfront restaurant, Carmen’s has been serving up delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner since 1981. Their large menus offer something for everyone, not to mention the delectable bay breezes and authentic nautical ambience. This restaurant also offers endless waterfront entertainment – watch fishing vessels come back with their catch in the morning, wave to paddle boarders in the afternoon and enjoy a beautiful sunset in the evening. While the restaurant is open air, clear shades are used when necessary to keep out the weather and cool breezes while still allowing for the beautiful view. Now open through Saturday October 20th.   343 43rd Place.

Townsends Inlet – Sunset Pier

Sunset from Sunset Pier, Townsends Inlet

Come here any evening and you’ll see how this waterfront restaurant got its name. But the Sunset Pier doesn’t just delight in the evening – during the day, visitors can enjoy an acai bowl or freshly made smoothie from the juice bar, visit the tackle shop and rent back bay boats for crabbing, fishing, or joy riding. A 20-foot pontoon boat is also available for party rentals. If you’re just coming to eat, you’re in for a real treat – their food is delicious, their menu appeals to all tastes and the sunsets are free of charge. Indoor and outdoor seating available (weather permitting). You’ll have to wait until next year to enjoy a sunset here, though…the restaurant is now only open for breakfast and lunch on weekends (Friday – Monday) through Thanksgiving.

Avalon – Sea Grill

The Sea Grill, Avalon

One of three restaurants owned by the wildly popular Princeton Bar and Grille, the Sea Grill offers the finest in steak and seafood in a gorgeous romantic setting. The Sea Grill gives diners a unique experience as they walk up to a window to order or their main and side dishes, and then help themselves to a salad bar amply stocked with fresh ingredients. Although not a waterfront venue, the Sea Grill’s candle lit, cozy ambience is a perfect place for date night or to celebrate an anniversary or birthday. Looking for lunch, a casual atmosphere or some lively entertainment instead? Head next door to the Circle Tavern (or in the summer head around the corner to the Princeton Bar and Grill – sadly, it is closed for the season). The Sea Grill and Circle Tavern are open year-round; Sea Grill (225 21st Street) opens at 5:00 pm daily and the Circle Tavern (2008 Dune Drive) opens at 11:00 am daily.

Stone Harbor – Stone Harbor Bar and Grill 

Stone Harbor Bar and Grill, Stone Harbor

The Stone Harbor Bar and Grill offers a fun and casual dining experience in the heart of the shopping district – a perfect place to take a break from shopping and have a drink or a bite to eat. Catch a game on one of 25 big screen TVs and enjoy a cool ocean breeze in summer when the large front windows are opened. Their menu offers top quality meats, freshly baked breads, locally-sourced seafood and refreshing signature cocktails. Now open Thursday through Sunday, 12:00 noon – 10:00 -m (8:00 pm on Sundays). 261 96th Street.

Wildwood – Two Mile Landing

Two Mile Landing features the Crab House and Two Mile Restaurant and Bar, Wildwood Crest

On the way to Cape May from Wildwood, nestled back by the bay in Wildwood Crest and offering expansive waterfront dining and stunning sunset views is the Two-Mile Landing dining and entertainment complex featuring two restaurants – the Crab House and the Two Mile Restaurant and Bar. The Crab House has been specializing in All-You-Can-Eat Blue Claw Crabs since 2012 and offers a raw bar, “Crabatizers”, burgers, tacos and entrees that will appeal to both landlubbers and seafoodies alike. In 2013, Two-Mile Restaurant and Bar opened to offer upscale casual dining featuring 21 beers on tap, a wide selection of wines and delicious entrees. These waterfront establishments feature two decks with a stage and plenty of live entertainment throughout the summer. The Crab House remains open 7 days a week starting at 11:30 am, and Two-Mile Restaurant and Bar is now open Thursday – Sunday at 4:00 pm. Both restaurants will remain open through October 27 and will also be open on Thanksgiving. Gift cards are available.   1 Fish Dock Road.

Cape May – Lobster House 

Lobster House / Schooner American, Cape May

Located on the Cape May Harbor and situated right next to the dock where freshly caught seafood is offloaded every day, the Lobster House offers a unique nautical dining experience. For decades, the Lobster House has provided elegant waterfront dining consisting of five dining rooms, casual dockside dining, a raw bar, a take-out window and a fish shop where fresh seafood can be purchased and enjoyed at home. It also includes the permanently moored Schooner American, a 130-foot long sailing vessel which provides the perfect setting for an outdoor drinking and dining experience and features a full bar, luncheon menu and specialty appetizers in the evening. The Lobster House, Take-Out Shop and Fish market are all open year-round; the Raw Bar and Schooner American are only open May – October. Hours are as follows:
Lobster House – 11:30 am – 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm. (Year-round)
Take-Out Shop 11:00 am – 7:00 pm during winter months (9:00 pm in summer) (Year-round).
Fish Market 8:00 am – 7:00 pm (9:00 pm in summer) (Year-round)
Raw Bar 11:30 am – 10:00 pm (May – October)
Schooner American 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm. (May – October)

Avalon, Cape May, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Special Events, Stone Harbor, The Wildwoods, Uncategorized

Fall…for Food and Fun!

As much as we may love summer, there’s no stopping the fact that on Saturday September 22, at precisely 9:54 p.m. Eastern Time, we will officially say goodbye to Summer 2018 and usher in Fantastic Fall. While it is always bittersweet to bid farewell to our carefree beach days and (oh!) those summer nights, fall itself can be pretty cool – in more ways than one. Especially now that shore officials, local businesses and event coordinators have planned a plethora of events to keep us coming back to the places we love the most. Foodies and wine lovers will particularly delight in knowing that, beginning this weekend and extending well into the fall, several coastal culinary events have been planned to tickle their taste buds. Here, we break down the events by category and follow up with a chronological listing of these gastric galas so that you won’t miss a chance to fall for food and fun down the shore.

If you savor seafood, you’re in luck – several festivals featuring ocean delicacies are being held in the upcoming weeks. On Saturday, September 22, head to the Seafarer’s Celebration at Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest. This bayfront street festival includes live music, craft vendors, food, family entertainment, and children’s activities, with a fireworks show at 9:00 pm at Centennial Park. On September 29, plan to come to the Sea Isle Harborfest at Marina Park to celebrate Sea Isle’s fishing and nautical history by featuring delicious seafood, live music, a clam eating contest, crafts and specialty vendors.

During the first weekend of October, seafood festivals will be held in Ocean City (October 6-8), Avalon (October 6-7) and Wildwood (October 7). If you’re not sure which one to attend, why not plan a cruise down the coast on Sunday October 7 and enjoy all three? Start in Ocean City at the Music Pier where the Indian Summer Weekend features seafood venders and boardwalk table sales. Then head to the Avalon Community Hall for the Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival, offering delectable treats from fresh seafood vendors, a chowder contest, live music, vendors and more. End your day at the Seafood and Music Festival hosted by the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce on Atlantic Avenue between Wildwood and Schellenger Avenues. This festival features two stages of live music, crafters, food vendors, a pie eating contest as well as a “Kids Korner” with activities including pumpkin painting, face painting and bounce houses.

Several upcoming heritage fests will provide you with an opportunity to sample fare from Ireland, Italy and Germany. Wildwood’s popular Irish Weekend begins September 21 and runs through the 23rd. The Celtic city-wide event includes entertainment, Irish dance lessons, a 5k run and 1-mile walk, golf tournament, pipe exhibition, food court stage, beer garden, food and craft vendors and so much more, with bus service available to the various events throughout the weekend. While you’re in the ‘Wood this weekend, head to Mariner’s Pier to take part in Oktoberfest, where you can sample Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, German potato salad, schnitzel and other German treats, as well as a wide selection of beers and tasting flights at an outdoor biergarten, as you enjoy live entertainment by The Oompah-Delics. If you’re just getting adjusted to September and aren’t quite ready to usher in the new season just yet, Oktoberfest at Mariner’s Pier continues on the weekends of September 28-29 and October 6-7.

But Wildwood isn’t the only place to grab a pretzel and a beer and Prost! to good times. Cape May will host an Oktoberfest on September 29 where several streets will be transformed into a German promenade with authentic music and food. Enjoy a famous Bavarian tradition by visiting the beer gardens, food courts and artisan tables selling crafts, antiques and collectibles. And on October 20, Sea Isle City will host an Oktoberfest at Excursion Park, featuring live German music, vendors, free hayrides on the beach, magic acts, pumpkin painting, children’s entertainment and a pie baking contest.

If pasta is more your thing, then you’re in for a real treat. The Olde Time Italian Festival will be held on the weekend of September 28-29 at Fox Park on Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues in Wildwood. This family festival includes a Procession of the Saints, delicious Italian food favorites, merchandise vendors, games, and continuous live entertainment. A grape stomping contest and spaghetti eating contest will take place as well. On October 6, Kix McNutley’s in Sea Isle will follow up with an Italian Festival of its own, offering a variety of great Italian food, an Italian market with craft and specialty vendors, a cannoli eating contest and live musical entertainment. Finally, Avalon gets in on the fun with the Avalon Lions Club Pasta Night at the Windrift Hotel.

For a different global experience, head to Around the World Social on September 28 at the Sand Bar in Sea Isle City. This event features soft music, butlered hors d’oeuvres, a wine sampling and cash bar.
Food…with a side of FUN!                                                                                              For those not sold on seafood or international fare specifically, several seaside events pair food with just plain fun events – and in some cases, wine and spirits as well. Let’s start with this weekend and work our way into October.

Celebrate the first day of fall on September 22 at the 7th Annual Stone Harbor Savor September Food, Wine and Beer Festival which will be held at the 96th Street Shopping District. Enjoy the best of local wineries & breweries, food, artisans & live music. Festivities include a grape stomping competition, hay slide and more. Heading further south down the coast on the same day, you’ll find the Fall Food Truck & Music Festival at Fox Park across from the Wildwoods Convention Center. This festival features delicious and unique food trucks, music, vendors, and entertainment as well as a Kids Zone with fun and activities to keep the little ones busy. On Sunday, September 23, enjoy a Jazz Brunch at the Inn of Cape May. This Sunday morning brunch buffet features live jazz from The Great American Songbook by renowned jazz musicians.

Ocean City ushers in the first weekend of October with a fantastic Fall Block Party and Fireworks Spectacular on Asbury Avenue from 5th – 14th Streets. Here you will find crafters, food vendors, music and more. In the evening, fireworks will dazzle in the night sky over the boardwalk from 6th – 14th Streets. On October 6, legume lovers may want to head to the cape for the West Cape May Lima Bean Festival at Wilbraham Park to enjoy an array of recipes, crafts, and products featuring the lovely Lima.

On October 14, be a spicy bivalve and help out the Ocean City Firefighters Charitable Foundation by purchasing a ticket to Ocean City’s 3rd Annual Chili Chowderfest at the Music Pier, where you can partake in chili and chowder tastings while enjoying music from a DJ and watching your offspring enjoy the planned kids’ activities. For an “Evening to Die For”, come enjoy a Murder Mystery Dinner at the Inn of Cape May on October 20 and try to solve a murder mystery as you enjoy a four-course dinner.

November kicks off with the Cape May Restaurant Weekend (November 1-4; various times and locations), a four-day event that offers your choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $35 per person at participating restaurants.

Wine and Chocolatewineandchocolate
Of course, no celebration of food is complete without a little wine and chocolate. This fall’s wine events include the Cape May Wine Trail on September 21 which begins at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom at the Emlen Physick Estate with lunch. Then hop aboard a Trolley and enjoy a brief tour and wine tasting at Willow Creek Winery, a tasting at Hawk Haven Winery, and wine tasting, cheese and crackers (complete with a souvenir glass) at Natali Vineyards. If the wine tours and tastings whet your appetite for more, join the Cape May Wine School class on October 7 at the Washington Inn to learn about wines. Of course, don’t forget to check out all the local wineries to see the events they have planned as well.

For a sweet ending to your tasty “tour de shore”, check out the Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast on September 22 at The Blue Rose Inn where you will enjoy seven courses of delicious chocolate desserts and hear how each was created from the chef who prepared it. Can’t make it this weekend? No worries – the chocoholics among us will be happy to know that this event repeats October 27 and December 1, as well as other times during the year.

So, as you’re digesting the end of summer and considering what fall has in store for you, we hope we’ve given you enough to chew on. Bon Appetit!

Oh…but first…here’s a listing of all these wonderful events in chronological order so you won’t miss out on any of them.

September 2018
21 – Wildwood Irish Festival (runs 21st – 23rd)
21 – Cape May Wine Trail
21 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest (runs 21st – 23rd; 28-30th; October 5-7th)
22 – Wildwood Irish Festival
22 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
22 – Wildwood Crest Seafarers’ Celebration
22 – The 7th Annual Stone Harbor Savor September Food, Wine and Beer Festival
22 – Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast at The Blue Rose Inn (repeats October 27th and December 1st)
22 – Fall Food Truck & Music Festival
23 – Wildwood Irish Festival
23 – Jazz Brunch at the Inn of Cape May
23 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
28 – Sea Isle City Around the World Social
29 – Sea Isle City Harborfest
28 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
28 – Olde Time Italian Festival
29 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
29 – Olde Time Italian Festival
29 – Cape May Oktoberfest
30 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest

October 2018
5 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
6 – West Cape May Lima Bean Festival
6 – Sea Isle City Italian Festival
6 – Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival (runs 6th – 7th)
6 – Ocean City Fall Block Party and Fireworks Spectacular
6 – Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend (runs 6th – 8th)
6 – Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
7 – Avalon Chamber Seafood Festival
7 – Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend
7 – Cape May Wine School
7 – Seafood and Music Festival
7 –  Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest
8 –  Ocean City Indian Summer Weekend
14 – Avalon Lions Club Pasta Night
14 – Ocean City 3rd Annual Chili Chowderfest
20 – Cape may Murder Mystery Dinners
20 – Sea Isle City Octoberfest
27 – Cape May Chocolate Lovers Feast at The Blue Rose Inn

November 2018
1-4 Cape May Restaurant Weekend


Cape May, Special Events, Uncategorized

Free Weekly Summer Events in Cape May

Every summer, Cape May hosts free weekly events as listed below.

Dancing to the Fred Hall Orchestra (7:30 for children, 9:00 for adults, Cape May Convention Hall). Children’s dance goes from 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm and the adult ballroom dancing goes from 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm.

Farmers Market (3:00 pm – 7:30 pm, West Cape May Municipal Complex at the Backyard Park).

Free Family Magic Show (7:00 pm, Cape May Convention Hall).

Free Movies on the Beach (8:00 pm, Stockton Beach next to Convention Hall). Live Music & Children’s Activities begin at 8:00 pm and the featured movie begins at 8:30 pm.

Dancing to the Fred Hall Orchestra (7:30 for children, 9:00 for adults, Cape May Convention Hall). Children’s dance goes from 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm and the adult ballroom dancing goes from 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm.

Dancing to the Fred Hall Orchestra (7:30 for children, 9:00 for adults, Cape May Convention Hall). Children’s dance goes from 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm and the adult ballroom dancing goes from 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm.

Free Evening Concerts at the Rotary Park Bandstand (7:00 pm, Rotary Park, 400 Lafayette Street).

Communion at the Grove (8:00 am, Sunset Pavilion at Beach & 2nd Avenues).

Free Family Nature and Wildlife Show (7:30 pm, Cape May Convention Hall).

Free Evening Concerts at the Rotary Park Bandstand (7:00 pm, Rotary Park, 400 Lafayette Street).

For more information about Cape May, please follow the links below:

Find out why Cape May is “The Nation’s Oldest Seaside Resort”
History of Cape May
Cape May Beach Information
Where to Stay in Cape May
Where to Eat in Cape May
Upcoming Events in Cape May – Fall/Winter 2018

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page

Cape May

Autumn Weekend in Cape May

Last weekend, my friend and I headed to Cape May for a girls’ getaway weekend. We almost didn’t go as the weather wasn’t looking too great. The forecast called for clouds and a possibility of rain on Saturday, with rain definite for Sunday. But there is always so much to do in Cape May that we decided to bite the bullet and go – we knew that even if it rained, we wouldn’t be bored.

Boy, were we in for a pleasant surprise! This is what was waiting for us….


We arrived in Cape May at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. The sky was cornflower blue with occasional wispy thin clouds drifting by and brilliant sunshine. Upon checking in at Congress Hall, we learned our room was ready so we changed into our bathing suits, loaded up our new wine sacks with some adult beverages, and headed to the pool.


IMG_1219This was the last weekend that the Congress Hall pool would be open for the season, and we were pleased to find that full pool service was available. We were greeted by a pool attendant who covered our lounge chairs with pink terry cloth covers, rolled up towels for headrests and took our order for lunch. We decided to split guac and chips and a Caprese Sandwich – both delicious – and ordered two glasses of wine. After lunch, it was pretty hot so we we took a dip in the pool. Refreshing!

IMG_1222Despite it being October, the hotel was filled with guests, many there for weekend weddings. After relaxing by the pool we headed to the beach, passing the grand lawn where cocktail hour tables awaited wedding guests. What a beautiful day for a wedding!

Once on the beach, we were lucky to find that the Congress Hall beach service was also in full effect. We were led to some lounge chairs and an umbrella already set up at water’s edge. The attendant again covered our chairs with the trademark pink terry lounge covers and rolled towels for headrests.



IMG_1254 We sat there for a few hours soaking up the sun and enjoying the waves. Our lives are busy at home, with 4 kids between the two of us, so we finally had some time to relax and catch up, adult style. Back at home, our husbands were having a “Boys’ Night In” – grilling steaks, drinking beer and watching college football on TV. As my friend and I surreptitiously sipped our wine and enjoyed an unseasonably warm day on the beach, we deci to be on the beach in October.

That evening, we headed to Washington Street Mall to shop and have dinner. The mall area, as well as the whole town, was adorned in beautiful harvest decorations.

The weather was still nice and warm, so after doing some shopping we chose to dine al fresco at Delancy’s Pub. Their big, juice hamburgers were delicious!

On Sunday we arose to find that it had rained during the night, and it was overcast and still very warm and humid. After enjoying our coffee from Tommy’s Folly while we watched the ocean from the comfy Adirondack chairs on Congress Hall’s lawn, we decided to spend the day exploring the Cape.


First on the list was to check out Cove Beach. My friend couldn’t believe the story about South Cape May, the Atlantis of the Jersey Cape. Built upon marshland that had been filled in, South Cape May was especially susceptible to the forces of weather. By 1910, the community was forced to move a block back towards the mainland due to coastal erosion. Between 1936 and 1950, three major storms destroyed the community and it took all the buildings and land that comprised South Cape May. We walked the beach a bit and contemplated the fact that at one time there was a bustling little town where the cove now is.


Next on our list was to hunt down and find the Free Little Libraries scattered across the cape. I had first read about these little homemade box libraries, housed on people’s lawns, in the Cape May Magazine. We drove around and checked out the creative boxes and their contents. Each library had a collection of various books including novels, cookbooks, self-help books, biographies, children’s books and more. We loved visiting each one and seeing what books were offered. Since we would be leaving the following day, we chose not to take any of the books. For more information on Free Little Libraries and where they are located along the southern Jersey coast, click here.

Next it was off to photograph the beautiful, iconic Victorian architecture of Cape May.




After our photo session, we found ourselves on Jackson Street and saw that Hot Dog Tommy’s was open for business. IMG_1402Once again, I had read about Hot Dog Tommy’s in the Cape May Magazine and I had witnessed the lines that form in the summer but I had never been there myself. I knew we had to give it a try. It was their last day of the season, so we were thrilled to be able to cue up in line and try special hot dog offerings.

IMG_1404We talked with Bruce, the owner who took over the business from the original Hot Dog Tommy in 2015. Bruce has largely kept the popular menu the same to continue serving its loyal customers. Bruce gave us some great suggestions and we ended up ordering the Carrot Dog, Chop Suzy style, and “Bad Dog” (all-beef Black Angus dog) with brown mustard and carmelized onions. We headed to the boardwalk and sat on a bench to enjoy our delicious dogs and Herbal Mist ice tea. Our made-to-order dogs were phenomenal! We were sad that we’ll have to wait for next summer to try more specialty hot dogs. It was great talking with you Bruce – we WILL be back!



After filling our bellies we got back in the car and headed to the inner cape. Destination: Wine Country.

IMG_1451Our first stop was at the Beach Plum Farm, which grows and supplies Cape Resort hotels and restaurants with fresh, farm-to-table ingredients. The Beach Plum Farm is a 62 acre farm featuring over 100 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers that are grown and harvested, three times a week, and are delivered to the restaurants’ kitchens. Chefs then develop daily menu specials around the ingredients. The farm has a beautiful wooden barn with a market consisting of fresh produce, local artisanal products and farm-inspired merchandise. There is also a Farm Kitchen which serves up farm-fresh breakfast and lunch items. Plentiful outdoor seating areas are surrounded by beautiful gardens and landscaping. Weekly events are held at the farm, including guided tours, a Friday Farm-To-Table dinner, Community Campfire nights and seasonal festivals and activities.


Just down Stevens Street from the farm is the Willow Creek Winery, the second destination on our wine country tour. The Willow Creek Winery features a gorgeous, expansive hand-carved post and beam wooden structure. Inside are tables, lounge areas with leather couches, a grand stone fireplace, a tasting area and gift shop. Outside is a beautiful outdoor brick patio with fireplace surrounded by a 50-acre vineyard. During the summer, the winery hosts Fire Pit Fridays, Yoga in the Vineyard, Wine and Paint nights, Wine-Paired Dinners and “Uncorked” Comedy Nights. It is an absolutely gorgeous setting to enjoy a selection of tapas menu items, do a wine tasting, take a guided tour or attend one of their festivals or events. On this day, a craft show was being held on the grounds so we enjoyed browsing the hand-made featured items, followed by a delicious wine tasting. Willow Creek is open daily at 11 am, year-round, for wine tastings, tours and private wine paired events.


Our next stop was the Cape May Winery located on Townbank Road. Inside the winery is a gift shop where 16 varietals of wine are available for purchase, as well as wine accessories and gifts. There is also a large tasting room and rooms available for private events. Outside is a gorgeous patio with tables and chairs shaded by a colorful array of umbrellas and a beautiful fountain, nestled in the middle of a 70 acre vineyard. The winery is open year-round from noon – 5:00 pm daily (6:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays). Vineyard tours, tastings and special events such as a Wednesday Summer Grill Night and Lobster Bakes are hosted throughout the summer. For more information on the Cape May Winery, click here.


IMG_1531Each year, Monarch Butterflies make their migration from as far north as Maine to a mountian range in Michoacan, Mexico where they will spend the winter. Cape May is a major stop along their route, and we decided to stop in Cape May Point to see if any butterflies still remained. We were lucky to catch this little guy, dining on Goldenrod. He went from flower to flower, providing us with a great opportunity to see his beautiful colors.

Each fall a local group called the “Monarch Monitoring Project” focuses on the fall migration of monarch butterflies along the Atlantic coast. For over two decades, the group has gathered data on monarchs moving through Cape May, as well as engaging in tagging and providing informational programs. For more information about this organization and about the butterfly migration, click here.

No girls’ weekend trip to Cape May is complete without a stop at the West End Garage, an eclectic collection of independently owned boutique shops. The West End Garage is located in Wilbraham Park in West Cape May. The sprawling marketplace was recently expanded. Vendors from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania offer specialty items including antiques, hand-crafted clothing and accessories, home décor, culinary treats, seasonal items and much more. There is truly something for everyone at West End Garage.


Back at Congress Hall, it was time to shower and dress for our fun night out – a Murder Mystery Dinner at Aleathea’s Restaurant located in the beautiful Inn of Cape May. We took a nice walk along Ocean Avenue to Aleathea’s where we were treated to a delicious four course dinner and an entertaining, interactive murder mystery experience sponsored by the Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. It was a perfect way to spend an October evening. The Murder Mystery will run again next weekend, October 21, 2017. Tickets are $50 per person available online at the MAC website.


Monday was Columbus Day and even though we were both off that day, our real livesawaited us at home. The promised rain was finally starting to roll in, which made it easier leaving Cape May.

After a sumptuous breakfast at the Blue Pig Tavern, we checked out and headed home, comforted by the fact that in less than two short months we’ll be back to enjoy the holiday festivities of Christmas in Cape May.

If you’ve spent time in Cape May in fall, we’d love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below. 

For more information about Cape May, please follow the links below:

Find out why Cape May is “The Nation’s Oldest Seaside Resort”
History of Cape May
Cape May Beach Information
Where to Stay in Cape May
Where to Eat in Cape May
Upcoming Events in Cape May – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Cape May

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page


Cape May

Wineries of Cape May

The temperate climate of the southern Jersey peninsula has allowed Cape May to emerge as a premier grape growing region, and is home to several award-winning vineyards. Sandy soil and sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay provide a perfect environment in which grapes thrive, and inspire local vintners to turn them into delicious wines. These conditions are similar to the Bordeaux, a famous French wine-growing region that lies between the Atlantic and the lower Gironde River and produces exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc wines.

The Cape is now home to several wineries, all which produce a wide variety of wines that are served and can be purchased in local establishments. Additionally, the wineries provide an excellent diversion from hot, crowded beaches in the summer, play host to unique day and evening events, and provide a fun destination for visitors year-round. With tours, tastings and weekly and seasonal events, the wineries of Cape May have become a destination for many wine-loving vacationers.

Here are the different wineries of Cape May, and information on how you can visit them in fun, interactive, and socially responsible ways.

Cape May Winery

(711 Townbank Road, Cape May)

IMG_1485Cape May Winery opened in 1996 and is the oldest winery in Cape May County. It consists of four different vineyards covering over 70 acres. The winery currently produces sixteen grape varietals including white, red and blush wines ranging in taste from sweet to dry. While their focus is on producing viniferous grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Chardonnay, the winery also produces both sweet and dry blended wines. Their signature white wine is the Cape May Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, which is fermented and aged in French Oak for over 16 months.

The winery features several indoor and outdoor tasting areas. The beautiful outdoorIMG_1486 patio, which is nestled among the vineyards, offers ample seating at tables, shaded by an array of colorful umbrellas, gorgeous landscaping and a tranquil fountain.

Tours of the winery take guests through the production barns and vineyard, provide a lesson in how wines are made, offer a tasting from an oak barrel, provide behind the scenes look at the wine-making operation and offer guests a fruit and cheese tray to enjoy as well as a souvenir stemmed wine glass. Tours are given in rain or shine, and unfortunately pets and children under the age of 15 are not permitted on the tours.

IMG_1492Each Wednesday between June and September, a “Summer Grill Night” is offered. The cost is $34 per person, not including tax, tip or wines. The menu features charcuterie with a variety of meats & cheeses, fruit, olives and other pairing items, a grilled entrée, sides and dessert. A Lobster Bake is also held in August.


Inside the winery is a shop where bottles of wine, accessories and gifts may be purchased. Cape May Winery currently ships only to New Jersey and Florida, and offers a “Case Club”, which is a yearly membership offering discounts for members. Additionally, customers can purchase bottles with customized labels with a fee of $10 for initial set up and $25 for a custom logo or photo. The price of a bottle of wine with a customized label will cost $1 more than the same bottle without a customized label.


Willow Creek Winery

(160 Stevens Street, West Cape May)

IMG_1418The Willow Creek Winery has been producing award-winning wines for the past seven years. Located on a 50-acre farm consisting of both preserved and unpreserved land, this winery currently produces over 15 varieties of wine, including red, white and blush wines ranging from sweet to dry. Six new estate wines were recently introduced as well.

The winery offers wine and sangria tastings, asIMG_1482 well as a tapas menu, that can be enjoyed either outside on the brick patio or inside the expansive hand-carved post and beam wooden building. Inside the winery is an expansive room with pub and restaurant tables, lounge areas with leather couches, a grand stone fireplace, a tasting bar and gift shop. Outside is a beautiful outdoor brick patio with fireplace surrounded by rows of vines. During the summer, the winery hosts Fire Pit Fridays, Yoga in the Vineyard, Wine and Paint nights, Wine-Paired Dinners and “Uncorked” Comedy Nights. The winery also provides private seated tasting sessions and offers a beautiful setting for private events, including weddings.

IMG_1459Willow Creek offers daily farm and vineyard tours as well. The 45-minute tours are by eco-friendly electric tour cart that takes visitors through the vineyards while a tour guide teaches about the winery’s history, the old world grape varietals and other sustainable agricultural products that are grown there.

A unique program offered by Willow Creek is “Adopt a Vine”. For $100, one can adopt a vine in their or another’s name. The vine “parent” will be given their own personally named vine marker, will receive bi-monthly informative emails discussing the vines’ stage of growth and development, the challenges and rewards it faced and what work is required on the vines throughout the year. They will also receive a refillable sangria growler , 5% off all of their wine or sangria purchases throughout the year, and will have first access to new wine releases and special vineyard event tickets.

Turdo Vineyard and Winery

(3911 Bayshore Road, North Cape May)

turdo1The Turdo Vineyard is a family owned and run operation. For the past ten years, the Turdo Family, who live in North Jersey, have built this successful winery on a part-time basis, coming to Cape May each weekend to tend to their business. Turdo Vineyards is now the only vineyard and winery in the state of NJ to be run 100% on solar energy.

Turdo wines are fully estate grown, and grapes are harvested by hand at peak maturity. Currently, the winery offers 7 varieties of white wine and 9 varieties of red wine.

Private tastings are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Monday – Saturday fromturdo3 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm or 6 pm – 8 pm. Reservations must be made with a 2-week advance. Tastings can be for groups with a minimum of 8 and maximum of 20 people. A sampling of 7 wines (3 whites and 4 reds) is provided, as well as an assortment of cured meats, artisan cheeses, bread, crackers, fresh fruit, nuts and dark chocolates. Bottles are available for purchase after the tasting session, and a souvenir wine glass is provided as part of the package.

Wines can be shipped directly in increments of half cases (6 bottles) or full cases (12 bottles).


Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery

(600 S. Railroad Avenue, Rio Grande)

hawk1Although the first vines of what later would become Hawk Haven vineyard were planted in 1997, their first vintage was in 2007 and consisted of the American Kestrel White (an unoaked Chardonnay), Red Table Wine, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery officially opened in 2008 and today it features fourteen acres of vines with sixteen different varietals. All of the grapes grown on the estate are harvested, pressed, fermented, aged, blended, and bottled on site.

The Hawk Haven tasting room is open daily, year-round, for wine tastings and sales (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas). Vineyard tours are also offered, during which a guide will lead guests through every step of the wine making process from the vineyard to the barrel so that they may learn what makes each wine unique and how each flavor and aroma is achieved. Guests will also learn about the history of Hawk Haven while they sample wines and enjoy a selection of gourmet cheeses. Tours are $25 per person and include wine tasting, cheese, and souvenir glass.

Hawk Haven offers a plethora of events and activities throughout the year. Weeklyhawk4 events include Saturdays on the Crushpad, which is an afternoon of wine, food pairings and live entertainment. Rootstock Concert Series is another popular event that runs from July to September and offers wines, food trucks and live music. Sangria Sundays feature their famous house-made Sangria and live music by local musicians. Other special events include Harvest Winemaker’s Dinner, Holiday Wine Trail Weekend, Uncork Christmas and participation in Cape May’s Food and Wine Festival, among other special events.

The Hawk Haven Shipping Club allows members to receive quarterly deliveries packed with the winery’s hand-crafted vintages, wine notes and recipes during the months of March, June, September and December. Club members can select from vintage, estate and cellar wines.


Jessie Creek Winery

(1 Delsea Drive, Cape May Courthouse)

jessie1At Jessie Creek Winery, located in Cape May Courthouse, the grapes are grown and cultivated by hand, creating full-bodied wines that are distinctly flavorful. Guests of the winery are invited to visit their active barrel room which features candlelit oak tasting bars and a comfortable indoor lounge area. Or they may sit on an outdoor wrap-around porch where they can view the beautiful vineyard and enjoy a glass of wine and a tasty cheese plate.

jessie2Tasting experiences include wines by the flight, with the guidance of a tasting room attendant or a self-guided option where they can choose any five wines and sip at their leisure. The Tasting Room is open during the summer season Tuesday-Sunday from 11 am-5:30 pm. In fall, their hours are Tuesday – Thursday 11 am – 6 pm, Friday – Sunday, 11 am – 7 pm.

During summer, the winery hosts “Sunset in the Vineyard” where guests are invited to bring a blanket or sit at a table to enjoy the sun setting over the vineyard with a glass or spiral of wine, a crackling fire and live music. On Saturday evenings in October, the winery hosts Autumnal Evenings to celebrate the end of the harvest season. Guests are invited to watch the sunset and enjoy the crisp fall air by the bonfire, take a hayride around the vineyard, listen to live music and enjoy warm mulled wine, cheeses, meats and crackers (or they may bring their own snacks if they prefer.)


Natali Vineyard

(221 N Delsea Drive, Cape May Court House)

natali1Formerly a pasture for horses, 2400 vines were first planted here in over 3 acres in 2001. The winery operations began in September 2004, just in time for the harvest, and the winery opened to the public in 2007. By the end of 2007 a new Tasting Room opened and additional equipment increased production. By 2015 Natali Vineyards produced over 1500 cases with 30 different labels and had won 80 medals in competition.

natali4Over the years the vineyard expanded to 7 acres with 5500 vines, yielding 15 tons of high quality fruit. Fourteen different varieties of French, Italian and Spanish grapes have been planted here. Tasting room hours are generally 10 am – 6 pm, with the winery being open until 7 pm in the months of July and August, and until 5 pm October – April.

The winery is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, but is open Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve until 3:00 pm. Various activities and events are held throughout the year.



Winery Tours and Transportation


Cape May Wine Trail

trolleyThe Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts hosts a winery trolley tour on Saturdays throughout the year. Enjoy a brief tour and tasting at Willow Creek Winery and then have lunch at either Willow Creek or the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom at the Physick Estate. Then the trolley will shuttle guests to two or three local wineries including Willow Creek Winery, Hawk Haven Vineyard and Natali Vineyard, where they will learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms. Tour includes a souvenir wine-tasting glass. The costs begin at $75 per person.

Day Sippers

daysipperThis fun tour company will take you right back to the 70s in their vintage VW bus – and right into Cape May’s finest wineries. They will pick you up from any place in Cape May County and return you to where you started after visiting 4 wineries with complimentary tastings and 1 Vineyard Tour. A stop for lunch is available, as well as visits to Cape May area breweries and distilleries. Everything is included for the price of $125 per person.

Tastings and Tours

tastingandtoursThe Cape May package offered by this winery tour company allows tour groups to travel by 14-passenger bus and visit three of the following Cape May wineries: Cape May Winery and Vineyard, Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery, Jessie Creek Winery, Natali Vineyards and Willow Creek Winery. Lunch at a local restaurant is included in the price of the tour. Pick up times are approximately between 10:30 am and 11:45 am and drop off is between 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm. Tours are available for groups of 6 – 14 people (groups of less than 6 people may join other groups already scheduled for the same day, provided there is space). Price is $140 per person. Customized tours are also available for groups of 14.

Cape May

Upcoming Events in Cape May – Fall/Winter 2018

November 2018

November 1-4 Cape May Restaurant Weekend (Various times and locations). Cape May Restaurant Weekend is a four-day event that offers your choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert for $35 per person at participating restaurants.

November 1-3 Sherlock Holmes Weekend (All weekend, various locations). Join Sherlock Holmes and his partner, Dr. Watson, for a weekend of searching for and solving clues in the gaslit streets of Cape May and compete for the $250 grand prize.

November 16-18 Holiday Weekend Preview (various times and locations throughout the weekend). Kick off the holiday season with a wide variety of holiday tours and food and wine events to get you into the Christmas spirit. Fun for the whole family!

November 17 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street). Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: Come to the grounds of the Physick Estate, for the Christmas tree lighting with special guests Santa Claus and Dr. Physick. Refreshments will be served, and guests may enjoy a free self-guided tour of the Physick Estate from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Santa arrives at 7 p.m. to flip the switch and light the thousands of bulbs. Saturday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).

November 23-24 Holiday Crafts & Collectibles Show (10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Avenue). Holiday Crafts & Collectibles Show: A must visit for those on your holiday gift lists. Shop for unique hand-made gifts and seasonal decorations. Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton. Admission $2. Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).

December 2018

December 1 Chocolate Lovers Feast at The Blue Rose Inn (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Blue Rose Inn & Restaurant, 653 Washington Street). During this feast for chocolate lovers, enjoy seven plated courses of delicious chocolate desserts and hear how each was created from the chef who prepared it. Reservations required.

December 1 West Cape May Community Christmas Parade (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, West Cape May Volunteer Fire Department, 732 Broadway). This Christmas Parade sets the stage for the holiday season. The parade begins at 5:00 pm at the WCM Volunteer Firehouse and marches South on Broadway, winds East on Perry, and onto Carpenter Lane in the City of Cape May.

December 1 45th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour (5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street). The Candlelight House Tour, featuring self-guided tours of the homes, inns, hotels & churches specially decorated for the holidays, Christmas caroling and strolling musicians, festive decorations, hospitality centers with warm beverages & home-baked goodies. Admission to the Emlen Physick Estate and to “An Old-fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery (includes hospitality in the Cafe & Tearoom tent). Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).

December 8 45th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour (5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street). The Candlelight House Tour, featuring self-guided tours of the homes, inns, hotels & churches specially decorated for the holidays, Christmas caroling and strolling musicians, festive decorations, hospitality centers with warm beverages & home-baked goodies. Admission to the Emlen Physick Estate and to “An Old-fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery (includes hospitality in the Cafe & Tearoom tent). Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).

December 15 45th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour (5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street). The Candlelight House Tour, featuring self-guided tours of the homes, inns, hotels & churches specially decorated for the holidays, Christmas caroling and strolling musicians, festive decorations, hospitality centers with warm beverages & home-baked goodies. Admission to the Emlen Physick Estate and to “An Old-fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery (includes hospitality in the Cafe & Tearoom tent). Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).

December 29 Cape May Wine Trail Tour & Lunch (11:00 am – 4:00 pm, Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street). Spend an afternoon visiting Cape May County’s wineries and sampling the unique flavors of each. A trolley will take you to Willow Creek Winery where you’ll enjoy tastings, a brief tour, and lunch, and Natali Vineyards for tastings with cheese and crackers.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a great New Year!

If you own a business are belong to an organization and you have an Upcoming Event that you would like us to feature, please contact us.

Find out why Cape May is “The Nation’s Oldest Seaside Resort”
History of Cape May
Cape May Beach Information
Where to Stay in Cape May
Where to Eat in Cape May
Free Weekly Summer Events in Cape May

If you own a business or belong to an organization and you have an Upcoming Event that you would like us to feature, please contact us.

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page




Cape May

Where to Eat in Cape May

Cape May is abundant with tasty choices for your dining pleasure. While many restaurants can be found in the area of Washington Street Mall, there are several stand-alone restaurants throughout the Cape that are worth checking out, including historic inns and hotels that have a house Chef cooking up culinary specialties.
Here are the establishments that we think are best in categories that are important to us when we travel. Bon Appetit!

Coffee Shop

eattomTommy’s Folly (Congress Hall, 200 Congress Street) Located in the historic Congress Hall lobby, Tommy’s Folly is a coffee shop, general store and boutique all in one. The shop offers an assortment of breakfast and lunch to-go items, many of which are baked daily with farm fresh ingredients from their own Beach Plum Farm. While there is no seating in the shop itself, you are welcome to grab a cup and sit by the lobby fireplace or take it out to the Grand Lawn where rocking chairs provide a perfect place to sit and enjoy the scenery while you sip their delicious brew. Open Sunday to Thursday 6:30 am – 5 pm, Friday and Saturday until 8 pm.


eatrskRSK Doughnuts (505 Carpenter Lane) RSK Doughnuts, once only offered at farmer’s markets, is now located in a shop behind the Washington Street Mall. It offers hot, fresh doughnuts in a variety of unique flavors, made while you wait. Other baked goods are available as well. Open daily 8:30 am – 12 noon.


eatblueThe Blue Pig Tavern (Congress Hall, 200 Congress Street) The Blue Pig is a classic American food venue located off the lobby of the grand Congress Hall hotel. The restaurant has extensive indoor- and outdoor seating and offers fresh farm-to-table culinary delights from its own Beach Plum Farm, located less than 2 miles from the restaurant. The food is delicious, the ambiance is friendly, and diners will enjoy learning about the history of the Blue Pig from the placemats while they wait for their food. Open daily 7:30 am – 3 pm; 5 pm – 10 pm.


eathdt1Hot Dog Tommy’s (10 Jackson Street) Hot Dog Tommy’s is a wildly popular walk-up window located close to the beach on Jackson Street. It features Berks hot dogs, which are certified gluten-free (so are the buns upon request). In addition to the wide array of very unique hot dog offerings – including a “Carrot Dog” – a big draw for this business was original owner “Hot Dog Tommy” Snyer who wore a hot dog had and would banter with guests. He and his wife Mary retired from the business this year, but it continues to be successful under the new ownership that has kept the same recipes and employees – and hat – to satisfy the throngs of loyal customers who line up on the sidewalk every day to enjoy these famous dogs. Open daily 9:57 am – 6:01 pm.


eatlouisLouie’s Pizza (7 Gurney Street) In addition to excellent pizza, this favorite restaurant offers an array of sandwiches, salads and tasty Italian dishes made with fresh ingredients. Their gourmet dough is hand made fresh daily, and pizzas are cut in sixths so the pieces are large. Service is fast and friendly. Open daily Memorial Day to Labor Day 10:30 am to 12 Midnight; off-season hours vary.


eatpeterPeter Shields Inn & Restaurant (1301 Beach Avenue) The Peter Shields Inn is a historic ocean front inn and restaurant. There are five dining rooms and porch seating to choose from, all scenic and romantic. Using the finest ingredients, their award-winning executive chef prepares traditional and contemporary seasonal selections. The restaurant offers a selection of Cape May wines in addition to being a “BYO” venue. Open daily at 5 pm.


eatlobsterThe Lobster House (906 Shellengers Landing Road) For years, the Lobster House has been a traditional venue for enjoying a wide variety of menu options, most notably fresh seafood caught daily from its own fleet of boats. Open for lunch and dinner year-round, this harbor-side restaurant offers five dining rooms with a unique nautical atmosphere, including an outdoor raw bar and a seafood market. Open daily, year-round, 11:30 am – 3 pm, 4:30 – 10 pm.

Waterfront Dining

eatschooSchooner American (Lobster House, 906 Shellengers Landing Road) Moored beside The Lobster House on Cape May Harbor since 1965, the 130 foot-long Schooner is an outdoor cocktail lounge and dining venue offering a full bar, luncheon menu and evening appetizers in addition to a waterfront view. Don’t forget to get a picture at the wheel of the schooner. Open daily in the summer, 11:30 am – 3 pm, 4:30 – 10 pm.

Ice cream

eatucUncle Charley’s Ice Cream (310 Washington Street) This old-fashioned parlor has been serving homemade ice cream since 1976. Offering over 48 award-winning flavors of hand-dipped and soft serve ice cream, Uncle Charley’s uses only fresh sweetened cream and the finest chocolate, nuts and fruit to flavor their treats. A full menu of old-time favorites such as banana splits, malted milkshakes, floats, and sundaes is available. Open daily 10 am – 11 pm.

Where do you like to eat in Cape May? If you have a recommendation or wish to share a story about your favorite eatery, please Leave A Response below or contact us. If you own a dining establishment and would like us to feature your restaurant on this blog, please contact us and give us your name, the name of your restaurant and your email address. 

For more information about Cape May, please follow the links below:

Find out why Cape May is “The Nation’s Oldest Seaside Resort”
History of Cape May
Cape May Beach Information
Where to Stay in Cape May
Upcoming Events in Cape May – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Cape May

If you own a business or are involved in an organization and you have an Upcoming Event that you would like to have featured, please contact us.

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page



Cape May

Where to Stay in Cape May

cape may lighthouse

Historic Cape May offers a wide variety of lodging options including historic bed and breakfast inns, motels, hotels and condo/home rentals for longer stays. These overnight accommodations are available throughout the entire Cape May area including the City of Cape May, Cape May Point and West Cape May.

Bed and Breakfast Inns

Bed and Breakfast Inns are perfect for those who wish to cloak themselves in the historichouses atmosphere of Cape May. Many of Cape May’s B&Bs were built in the 1800s and feature antiques from the Victorian or Edwardian era. Often painted with iconic Cape May colors and featuring wide big porches with rocking chairs, the B&Bs provide a laid back atmosphere where guests can mingle with one another and share delicious, home-cooked breakfasts and, in some cases, high tea.


congress hallCape May also has several historic hotels, also built in the 1800s. The most prominent is Congress Hall, which just celebrated its 200th birthday. Billed as “America’s Oldest Seaside Resort”, Congress Hall is located at 200 Congress Place at the end of the Washington Street Mall.  Congress Hall was recently voted “Best Hotel in New Jersey” by Travel + Leisure Magazine. It offers 108 guestrooms and suites, a beautiful lobby with a fireplace, two restaurants, a lounge and banquet rooms that are available for beachside wedding receptions. Its Grand Lawn stretches to the beach and is the perfect place to sit in a rocking chair and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. There is a pool with private beach tents available for rent and an exclusive indoor spa. The resort also offers exercise classes on the beach as well as many exciting seasonal events such as Christmas in Cape May and a huge Easter Egg Hunt on the lawn.

There are many other hotels in Cape May, ranging from large beachfront resorts with pools and restaurants, as well as smaller hotels. Many motels also are scattered throughout the Cape, offering budget-minded travelers more options. For those people who are looking for a more personal option, several guesthouses are also located in Cape May. Finally, there are a few campgrounds just outside of town where visitors who wish to have a more rustic stay can set up camp.


All of Avalon and Stone Harbor’s camping options are off-island along Route 9. Check websites for more information.

Home Rentals:

Most renters will go through traditional real estate agencies to rent condos and houses, however there is a growing number of options appearing online. Websites such as Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), Home Away and even AirBNB are starting to show options for weekly and, at times, shorter stays via website.

With the plethora of overnight options that exist for vacationers who wish to stay in Cape May, there is far too much information about specific inns and hotels to provide here. However, many websites are devoted to the topic of overnight lodging in Cape May so I encourage you to check them out.

In closing, I strongly encourage you to visit online reviews of all these lodging options to get more information and find feedback about other guests’ experiences to better make a decision about what is right for you.

Where do you stay in Cape May? If you would like to make a recommendation or share information about your favorite hotel, motel, inn or rental, please leave your reply below, or contact us if you have an interesting story about where you stayed in Cape May.

For more information about Cape May, please follow the links below:

For more information about Cape May, please follow the links below:

Find out why Cape May is “The Nation’s Oldest Seaside Resort”
History of Cape May
Cape May Beach Information
Where to Eat in Cape May
Upcoming Events in Cape May – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Cape May

If you own a business or are involved in an organization and you have an Upcoming Event that you would like to have featured, please contact us.

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page


Cape May

Cape May Beach Information

Cape May’s beaches are a great place to be on a hot summer afternoon, a cool autumn morning or a balmy spring night. Whether you are a beachcomber, sunbather, surfer or sandcastle builder, you are sure to enjoy your time on these white sand beaches. To maximize your enjoyment, here is information you will want to know.

First, it’s important to understand the geography of Cape May and where its beaches are located to determine which beach will best suit your needs. As you come south into Cape May from the Garden State Parkway, you will cross over the canal that makes Cape May an island. The canal cuts from the east where the Cape May Inlet is located, through to the west where the Delaware Bay is located. From one canal opening to the other, Cape May’s coast is a continuous sandy strand that hugs the Cape from the ocean to the bay, but not all areas of the coast are accessible to visitors due to designated protected wildlife areas. However, the beaches that are designated as such offer visitors different beach experiences.

Starting in the northeast are Cape May city beaches, from Poverty Beach at Wilmington Street down to Cove Beach at Second Avenue. A protected wildlife area then extends to the Cape May Lighthouse where Cape May Point State Park begins. Next is Cape May Point, which is the tip of the Cape. After that is Sunset Beach and then, finally, Higbee Beach which lies on the canal and the bay. Here, we’ve broken down each beach area and provided pertinent information for you:

Cape May City Beaches

Lifeguards – Cape May city beaches are protected from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Beach tags – Required for all individuals 12 years or older from Memorial Day to Labor Day between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Beach tags can be purchased at the Beach Tag Office and at all beach entrances during the summer.

The 2017 Summer Season rates for beach tags are: $6 for daily, $12 for a consecutive 3-day pass, $18 for weekly $28 for seasonal tags. Beach tags are free for all veterans of the United States Armed Forces, as well as active duty military members and their immediately families.

Comfort stations – Restrooms are available along the beach at 2nd Avenue, Broadway, Windsor, Gurney, Philadelphia, Trenton and Wilmington.

Description of Cape May city beaches: 

Poverty Beach (at Wilmington Street) – This is the northern most beach in Cape May. Free parking is available on street and the crowd normally consists of residents from the area. A comfort station is located at Wilmington Street.
Brooklyn to Howard Streets – Beach Avenue between these streets is lined with homes and hotels. Parking is metered on the street. Comfort station is located at Trenton and Philadelphia Streets.
Howard to Perry Streets– This is Cape May’s commercial beachfront area where Beach Avenue is lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Along the boardwalk between Howard and Gurney streets is an arcade, restaurants, shops and the Convention Center. Parking is metered on the street and comfort stations are located at Gurney Street.
Steger’s Beach – Located between Jackson and Perry Streets is Steger’s Beach. It is named after the family who owns a beach service in this area where cabanas, chairs, umbrellas and other beach essentials are available for rent. This area is popular with young locals. Parking is metered on the street.
Perry to Congress Street – This is where the famous Congress Hall hotel is located. On the beach here, for the comfort of hotel guests, is a personalized beach chair and towel service. Parking is metered on the street.
Congress Street to 2nd Avenue – Beach Avenue between these streets is lined primarily by hotels. Parking is metered on the street and comfort stations are located at Windsor, Broadway and 2nd Avenue.
Cove Beach – This family-friendly beach is the southernmost of the city beaches. Parking is metered on the street and a comfort station is located at 2nd Avenue.

Cape May Point State Park Beach – This is the home of the Cape May Lighthouse. The beach is free to visit here, but swimming is prohibited. No lifeguards are on duty here.

Cape May Point Beach – This neighborhood beach is at the very tip of the cape. Lifeguards are on duty but there are no comfort stations, stores or restaurants in this area.

Sunset Beach – This beach is on located where the ocean meets the bay. Sunset Beach is famous for its “Cape May Diamonds”. Sunset Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner where diners can eat outside. Shops are also here, including a large gift shop that sells Cape May Winery wines. There are no lifeguards on duty here and it is not a safe swimming location. The big draw for this beach is the nightly sunset  and flag-lowering ceremony. There are two free parking lots, free parking on the streets and a restroom is located inside of the gift shop.

Higbee Beach – This is a designated wildlife management area, with no bathrooms and no lifeguards. It is not a safe place to swim due to submersed objects, but it is a great place for beachcombing and watching the ferries enter and leave port from Cape May enroute to Lewes Delaware.

Rules and Regs

  • Dogs are not allowed on Cape May City beaches during the summer months. They are allowed along the Delaware Bay year-round, and on Higbee Beach during certain parts of the year.
  • By city ordinance, fires are not permitted on Cape May City Beaches, nor may any portable device be used for cooking. By state law, fires are not permitted on Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area.

For more information about Cape May, please follow the links below:

Find out why Cape May is “The Nation’s Oldest Seaside Resort”
History of Cape May
Where to Stay in Cape May
Where to Eat in Cape May
Upcoming Events in Cape May – Fall/Winter 2018
Free Weekly Summer Events in Cape May

If you own a business or are involved in an organization and you have an Upcoming Event that you would like to have featured, please contact us.

Back to The Shore Blog Home Page