In my many years of vacationing at the Jersey Shore, I never made it to very tip – Cape May.
By Georgetta L. Morque
In my many years of vacationing at the Jersey Shore, I never made it to very tip – Cape May. Perhaps it was the extra distance or a fondness for seaside spots I frequented as a child. But on a rare free summer weekend, I decided it was time to explore the place so many friends and family members have enjoyed.
I wasn’t alone with my brilliant idea; traffic on a Saturday morning in August on the New Jersey Turnpike is a nightmare, causing a four-hour drive to stretch even longer. But our family of five managed to arrive in time to catch the end of a craft beer and crab festival and a take a dip in the ocean before evening.
If Super Storm Sandy caused any damage to Cape May, there was no evidence. The wide and long sandy beaches, boardwalk, and oceanfront hotels and homes were in prize condition. Apparently, Cape May, which is a National Historic District and has 600 preserved Victorian buildings, was miraculously spared the destruction that plagued its neighbors.
On a typical morning as early as 7, Cape May arises and joggers, walkers and bikers hit the boardwalk while others claim their spot on the sand. Biking is permitted on the boardwalk before 10, and there are many places to rent bikes. Another popular ride is a trip to the lighthouse.
By midday, the beaches are alive with sun, sand and sea lovers. Riding the waves was our priority, along with relaxing in lounge chairs, watching boats and parasailers, and catching a glimpse of dolphins.
In the evening, vacationers flock to Washington Street in the historic center with its many restaurants, boutiques, and specialty shops with homemade fudge and peanut butter, ice cream, and saltwater taffy. Horse and carriages and trolleys take visitors for rides through the area.
During the late afternoon and night, many of the restaurants, hotel lounges and outdoor bars feature live music, sometimes several different groups in one day, so we were never at a loss for entertainment. Congress Hall, America’s oldest seaside resort dating back to the 19th century, is a popular spot for cocktails and raw bar treats on the veranda overlooking a Great Lawn.
With more time, there’s plenty to do in Cape May, from winery and brewery tours to paddle boarding and kayaking to bird watching and exploring the Cape May Zoo and more. We focused on the beach since sunny weather was on our side.