Cool Things To Do at the Shore This Spring
Spring has finally sprung!
Spring is a wonderful time to go down the shore. The bright sun is climbing higher into the sky to warm the beach and ocean. Crowds are still very thin and, until May 1, metered street parking and most parking lots are free. While many businesses are still stocking up and getting ready for Memorial Day weekend, many have already opened – at least on weekends, for now. There is so much you can do down the shore at this time of year.
Walk the Beach
There is no time like springtime to get out there and go for a long walk on the beach. Walking the expansive, empty beaches now, you may walk for miles and not see another soul. It’s a great time to search for ocean treasures, as winter storms are known to leave behind shells, sea glass and other interesting objects. Bring a bag and rubber gloves and clean up any unnatural debris you find and you’ll be doing your part to keep our beaches and ocean clean.
Bike the Boards
Do a spring tune-up on that bike and get out there before the crowds make riding on the boardwalk a contact sport! Biking is a great way to enjoy the sights, see what new boardwalk stores may be opening this year and get some exercise in the fresh spring air.
Climb a Lighthouse
Beat the summer crowds and visit two of the most famous lighthouses on the Jersey shore. The Cape May Lighthouse will be opening daily starting on March 22, with hours running from 11:00 – 4:00 until expanded hours begin in April. Here, you can climb 199 steps to the top and take in the amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. There’s also a nature center where you can check out live reptiles or take a peaceful walk along the State Park walking trails. Then head north and check out the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City. New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse stands at 171 feet tall with 240 steps to the top. From now until June the lighthouse and museum are open Thursdays through Mondays from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, and in July – August it is open 7 days a week from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. There is free parking and admission To the Keeper’s House Museum, Exhibits, Gift Shop and Grounds.
Spend a Day in Cape May
Cape May is the most visited year-round destination on the southern Jersey coast. That is because the shoulder seasons of fall and spring are host to many activities and events. In Spring, you can enjoy themed trolley tours, visit Victorian bed and breakfasts, do a self-guided treasure hunt, take a whale watching cruise, tour the wineries, stroll and browse in the shops of Washington Street Mall – and so much more! Cape May’s calendar is filled with springtime special events, festivals and activities. You will never be bored here.
When the weather cooperates, Spring is a great time to get outside and reconnect with nature. Cape May County has a plentiful array of nature and wildlife observation opportunities including state parks, nature trails and bird observatories. And when weather doesn’t cooperate, indoor nature centers such as the Wetlands Institute and the Nature Center of Cape May allow visitors to learn more about this area’s natural treasures. The Wetlands Center in Stone Harbor features an aquarium, an observation tower, Terrapin station, elevated marsh walkway, a salt marsh trail and so much more. Year-round events and activities help both kids and adults learn about and bond with nature at the shore. The Nature Center of Cape May will be opening to the public on April 15, and here you can visit a three-story observation tower and indoor observation lounge and partake in a wide variety of activities and educational programs.
Here is a list of some other places you can visit to surround yourself with nature.
Corson’s Inlet State Park – 5898 Bay Avenue, Ocean City
Cape May Point State Park – Light House Ave, Cape May Point
Belleplain State Forrest – Woodbine, New Jersey
Wildlife Refuge Areas
Howard Stainton Wildlife Refuge – Bay Avenue, Ocean City
Cape May National Wildlife Refuge – 24 Kimbles Beach Road, Cape May Courthouse
Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary – 2nd Avenue and 112th Street
Cape May Bird Observatory – The Northwood Center, 701 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point
Crook Horn Creek Nature Trail – 51st Street and the Bay, Ocean City
Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Walking Paths – between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and 111-117th Streets.