10 Things to Do in Cape May This Summer

Sink your toes in the sand at this treasured beach town located at the southernmost tip of the Jersey Shore. Recognized as the nation’s very first seaside resort, the entire city is a National Historic District home to nearly 600 ornate Victorian buildings, charming bed & breakfasts and stunning stretches of sand and surf. Make Cape May your go-to for both year-round weekend getaways and extended summer vacays.

  1. Adore the Shore – Ranked one of the Top 10 Best Beach Towns on the East Coast by Condé Nast Traveler, Cape May’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in New Jersey. Serene and pristine with spectacular views, beach lounging doesn’t get much better than this.
  2. Go Birdwatching – National Geographic lists Cape May as a World’s Best destination for birding. Flock to Cape May Bird Observatory, Higbee Beach and Sunset Beach to observe a multitude of feathered friends. If you haven’t been before, give birdwatching a try. It may become your next favorite pastime.
  3. Tour the Harriet Tubman Museum – Discover the rich history of abolitionist activism and the pivotal role Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad played in the fight for freedom. Ticket information can be found here.
  4. Explore the Emlen Physick Estate – Take a guided tour of the first and second floors of this 18-room Victorian mansion built in 1879 for an in-depth look at how the Physick family lived, worked and spent their leisure time. This historic wonder is also one of the best examples of Victorian Stick Style architecture in the country.
  5. Discover East Lynn Theatre Company – Named one of the top 75 theaters offering summer productions in North America by The New York Times, ELTC brings the American Spirit to the stage with an ovation-worthy blend of timeless classics and must-see premiers.
  6. Shop Washington Street Mall - At the heart of America’s Original Seaside Resort, you’ll find this picturesque town square lined with 75+ establishments, including unique boutiques, fine dining restaurants, bars, quick eats and several signature Cape May events.
  7. Hop on a TrolleyTour Cape May the fun, easy (and comfortable) way – in a cheery red trolley. Knowledgeable guides will acquaint you with America’s first seaside resort, from the Victorian heritage to the maritime history, Underground Railroad, wineries and more.
  8. Admire the Painted LadiesCape May has the second-largest concentration of Victorian structures in the United States, only after San Francisco. Known as the “Painted Ladies” these ornate buildings and elaborate mansions are a beautiful (and historic) testament to Victorian/Edwardian architecture.
  9. Step up at the Cape May Lighthouse – Built in 1859, this beacon of light and history is still an aid to navigation. Climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse and be rewarded with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay.
  10. Get Wild at the Cape May County Park & Zoo – If you haven’t visited this family favorite yet, add it to your calendar. Eight-five acres of lush landscape and approximately 550 animals representing more than 250 species make this a must-visit New Jersey destination.

Be sure to check your destination’s website and social media pages before you go for the latest updates and information. Find more ways to enjoy New Jersey at VisitNJ.org.