Cape May County Department of Tourism
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News From The Jersey Cape
Cape May County, New Jersey

50 Ways to Escape at the Jersey Cape


“Take the last exit to discover charming boardwalk towns “down the shore” including Cape May, Ocean City, and Wildwood,” Frommer’s writers said.  Frommer’s a New Jersey based travel guide publisher, recently named some of the shore towns along the southern stretch of the Garden State Parkway as one of their 13 choices for vacation destinations—worldwide, that is –for 2008.  The article noted Cape May’s laid back Victorian charm, Sunset Beach, bird sanctuary, beautiful B & Bs and Wildwood’s celebration of WWII, go-go ‘50s-style architecture, with proud artificial trees and vintage neon signs. The article also noted the area has vineyards, alpaca farms, and of course, salt water taffy that originated in Atlantic City.  Even Lucy the Elephant got a mention as still standing on the beach in Margate.  Out of 17,000 destinations with travel pages on the Yahoo Travel Guide site, Ocean City and the Wildwoods rated among the top, capturing number two and number four, respectively.  Yahoo travel measures website traffic and has named the popular resorts as “Movers and Shakers” due to the dramatic increase in web traffic. 

2. BED AND BREAKFAST INNS IN CAPE MAY                                                                                              

Once a summer “cottage,” Angel of the Sea was built for William Weightman, Sr. in the 1850s near the center of town – until he decided he wanted an ocean view and had the house moved to the beach front. The house, which became two houses as a result of the first move, was moved a second time to Trenton Avenue where it is today, and restored to its original splendor.  The inn is one of the top 10 bed and breakfast inns in the country and is open for tours daily. 800-848-3369.

 The Mission Inn with its sweeping verandas is one short block from the Atlantic    Ocean. Inspired by Nelson Z. Graves' journey to the Pacific Coast at the turn of the 20th century, the Mission Inn is a perfect example of California Spanish       Mission Architecture. Its stained glass windows gracing the dining room, Flemish gable, and latticed veranda contribute to the warm feeling of this al fresco house.  The Mission Inn offers you the grandeur of the Gatsby Era. For many years the Inn had been a mecca for Hollywood film stars and Broadway show people. Enjoy the same ambiance as Tyrone Power, Erroll Flynn, Diana Barrymore, Gloria Swanson, and Robert Preston. If the walls could speak they would murmur    a century of her guests' colorful secrets. 800-800-8380. Many of Cape May’s other bed and breakfast inns are also open for tours, teas, chats with innkeepers and other special events. Check local inns for special events.  609-884- 5508, ext. 120.


For those who enjoy eclectic menus, superb service and trendy ambiance, Cape May is definitely the culinary capital of the Garden State…maybe that’s why the town has been called the “restaurant capital of New Jersey” by The New York Times.  Great chefs serve up fabulous food in atmospheres ranging from coffee shops to 5-star restaurants. Dine on the harbor overlooking the marinas, al fresco on a beautiful beachfront, in a wine cellar, a romantic hot spot or a family dining room.    “Life is uncertain; eat dessert first.”  This great advice greets each guest at the Mad Batter on Historic Jackson Street in Cape May.  One the town’s first fun and funky restaurants, The Mad Batter started the resort’s culinary revolution.  Today,
with its colorful interior and porch with the familiar striped yellow awning, it’s still one of the most popular stops in this town of great places to eat.  609-884-5970.


The Wildwoods are experiencing a restaurant rebirth with a growing number of gourmet restaurants burgeoning throughout the community and each of them garnering superb reviews. Dogtooth Bar and Grill in the heart of Wildwood offers higher-end food with a more creative flair than just chicken sandwiches and cheesesteaks.  There is a cheesesteak on the menu, but it’s a cheesesteak egg roll served with a spicy marinara sauce, and chicken is on the menu too served with focaccia bread, prosciutto, spinach, roasted red peppers and basil pesto, or it’s seasoned with Cajun spices and served in a wrap served with a chipotle mayonnaise.  For more delectable choices, you can find the menu on the website.  609-522-8383.

5. CAPE MAY STAGE                                                                                 

Located at the corner of Bank and Lafayette streets in the heart of Cape May’s historic district, Cape May Stage is housed in The Robert Shackleton Playhouse, a classic Renaissance Revival (c. 1853) building, originally a Presbyterian Church and later the city's welcome center. The season runs from May through December with an always-sold-out holiday show. Try the dinner and a show package - enjoy an early evening dinner at one of more than a dozen participating gourmet restaurants and an 8 p.m. show.  Performances are Wednesday to Sunday. 609-884-1341.


Miniature golf is a popular Southern New Jersey activity for the entire family with courses in practically every resort. One of the newest courses is Duffer’s Restaurant and Miniature Golf, a family place at Pacific and Hildreth Avenues in Wildwood, for 18 holes of fun topped off with ice cream – homemade!  Although Duffer’s has been a must-do outing for many each summer, the course was recently redone to make the putt-putt experience more fun and challenging. Visit the gift shop or the arcade and don’t miss the train that runs throughout the restaurant and Herbie the bear riding his unicycle on a tightrope! 609-729-1817.  Miniature golf is a fun way to spend a late afternoon or evening, treat for the whole family. Prices vary according to the course. Check local listings or telephone book for facilities.


Enjoy the grandeur of the 1930s and ‘40s mixed with modern touches most guests want at the Flanders Hotel.  Located right on Ocean City’s Boardwalk, visitors are just steps away from the beautiful beach, shops, restaurants and amusements – and just a short ride to the excitement of Atlantic City.  And, just in case you’re wondering, the hotel is named after Flanders Field in Belgium, a site made famous by the John McCrae poem that commemorates the poppies that grow over the rows of gravestones of soldiers who died in World War I.  The hotel with its Spanish Mission Revival style has graced the city’s skyline since it was built in the 1920s.  866-OCHOTEL.


New Jersey’s campgrounds in the southern-most counties are THE best place for a taste of the great outdoors, but with many of the amenities that make for a great vacation. Ponderosa Campground, just minutes from the beautiful beaches of Avalon, is family-owned and operated, as are most local campgrounds. Ponderosa offers new trailer sales, seasonal sites and both wooded and grass tent sites.   Campgrounds with Olympic-sized swimming pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, hiking trails, snack bars and miniature golf courses are typical in most facilities. Rent a cabin or a trailer and enjoy most of the comforts of home.  New Jersey Campground Owners Association at 800-2-CAMP-NJ. or 


The largest kites in the world color the sky over this resort’s mammoth beach during the Wildwood International Kite Festival with individual and team competition on the beach at Rio Grande Avenue and inside the Wildwoods Convention Center. America’s largest kite festival features world-renowned kite builders and competitors, kite-making workshops and exhibits, indoor competition children’s activities and an illuminated night kite show. 732-822-4884.  800-WW-BY-SEA. e-mail:


The impact of World War II on the Cape May area is highlighted on a tour of the coastal fortifications including Battery 223, an artillery bunker at Cape May Point, Fire Control Tower #23 on Sunset Boulevard, built to help artillery spotters direct fire at enemy targets off the coast, and the Cape May Canal constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the war to link Cape May Harbor and    Delaware Bay to avoid German submarines off Cape May Point. The tour also includes Naval Air Station Wildwood. 609-884-5404.


The holidays always come early to Cape May, this seaside town famous for gingerbread, gaslights and Victorian hospitality. Sip wassail, hop aboard the      Holly Trolley, take tea with Mrs. Claus or stop by the Physick Estate, lavishly decorated in true Victorian style. Learn more about the holiday traditions of the    Victorian era of the 1890s, experience a Dickens Christmas extravaganza, a Lamplighter Christmas tour or the annual Christmas Candlelight House Tours. In between there are concerts, performances at Cape May Stage and the East Lynne Theater Company, food and wine events, craft fairs and even a chocolate fantasy buffet.  Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts at 609-884-5404, 800-275-4247.


There is no better ­ or more fun ­ way to see a variety of ecological wonders up close and personal than from the seat of a single or double kayak, paddling around the back bays, channels and inland waterways of the barrier islands. From   graceful birds and lazy turtles to grassy islands and gorgeous homes, the view from a kayak is nothing short of breathtaking. Join a guided tour from the Cape    May Nature Center or the Wetlands Institute or strike out on your own with old   clothes, towel, sunglasses, sun-screen, a life jacket and maybe even a waterproof camera!


The Cape May County Historical Museum in the John Holmes House, one of the oldest structures in the county, c. 1755, displays furnishings, costumes, tools and decorative and practical objects from the 17th to 20th centuries. Period rooms include an 18th century kitchen and bedroom with its sampler collection, the pre-1820 dining room and the Victorian sitting room along with the Doctor’s Room, the Military Room, the Native American Room and maritime exhibits of swords, guns, uniforms and other memorabilia from the Revolutionary War through the Gulf War. The vintage 1800s barn houses an assortment of authentic carriages, including a stagecoach, a peddler¹s wagon and a handsomely restored doctor’s sulky. 609-465-3535.


The S.S. Atlantus is probably the most famous concrete ­- that’s right, concrete! -­ship that ever sailed and what remains of the ship built in 1918 is the only piece ofnaval history from that era. After a long and somewhat illustrious career, the Atlantus was being towed to Cape May to be a ferry dock for service between New Jersey and Delaware when it broke free of its moorings during a storm and    ran aground just off Sunset Beach in the 1920s. Today only two large pieces of the ship remain visible.


Along with the Atlantus, Sunset Beach -­ at the end of Sunset Boulevard and almost as far south as you can go in the state -­ is famous for some of the most panoramic and colorful sunsets anywhere on the East Coast. During the summer, the American Flag is lowered as the sun dips into the Delaware Bay providing a moving and patriotic note to the end of the day.


Once used by the local Native Americans as a talisman, the pure quartz crystals found primarily along the bayside beaches ­ and especially Sunset Beach -­ in Cape May County are known locally as Cape May Diamonds. These rocks are washed down from the upper reaches of the Delaware River to the bay over thousands of years where the strong currents against the hulk of the sunken Atlantus help wash them ashore in great abundance. The pieces of quartz, in a variety of sizes and colors, can be polished, faceted and set to resemble diamonds.


The award-winning Wings and Water Festival, one of the premier wildlife arts festivals in the country, is headquartered  each September at the Wetlands Institute and surrounding sites in Stone Harbor area with family fun and nationally acclaimed artists, carvers, model builders, quilters, crafters and photographers.  Add great food, a multitude of demonstrations, guided walks and hands-on encounters and it’s no wonder Wings and Water has been named one of the Top 100 Events in North America and Best Event in New Jersey at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. 609-368-1211.   


They’re quaint, adorable and filled with the unique -­ a collection of garden sheds adapted to retail stores and linked by a beautifully landscaped walkway.  Stop by the Cottage of Dreams at Woodland Village on Route 9 in Clermont.  A unique          and affordable shop for the ladies who lunch, the shop features the latest looks in fashion jewelry, watches, apparel, fragrances and many more wonderful gifts. 609-624-9540.


For more than a decade Cape May Winery has been producing award-winning wines, mainly from grapes grown in their own vineyards. The winery on Townbank Road in Lower Township is open for tours and tastings of Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Savignon from their own cellars -- daily in the summer and weekends the rest of the year. Sample a glass of Cape May wine outside in the picnic area ­ or visit the retail shop for great gifts embossed with the winery name and take a few bottles home to enjoy later. 609-884-1169.


It’s all about the view ­-and the awesome sensation of floating between 300 to 500 feet above it all. With a little help from the crew, you’re airborne with a huge parachute hovering over you. There is absolutely nothing you need to do except experience the total, complete silence at whatever height you’re cruising, marvel at the panoramic view that literally extends as far as you see and perhaps wish that you stay up there forever.   It’s safe, all take offs and landings start and end from the boat’s landing platform, no special training is needed, and age is unimportant. You can even do it in tandem and share the adventure and the memory with some one special!


Specializing in the classics of the American Stage, the East Lynne Theater Company has been entertaining local audiences for more than 25 years, producing     the works of Washington Irving, Eugene O’Neill, David Belasco and others.  The company also produces a premier musical or play each season based on Americantheater or literature.  Headquartered in the century-old First Presbyterian Church   of Cape May, East Lynne performs four nights a week in the summer and also has performances in the spring and fall.  609-884-5898.


Cape May is THE location for observing birds in North America, favored by such celebrated naturalists as John Audubon, Tory Peterson and others. More than 400 different species have been seen on the peninsula during the fall migration and the area is known for spectacular flights of peregrines, merlins, ospreys and sharp-shinned hawks. Cape May Point is one the premier places with marked, easy-to-follow trails to help even the novice birder spot ducks, swans, osprey and other shore birds and wildlife along the way. The Raptor Banding Project conducts hawk-banding demonstrations at the park on weekends from mid-September through October. Various species of hawks can be viewed at close range before they are released to continue their annual southward migration. Along the bay side in Cape May and Cumberland counties, birders can enjoy   more than a million migrating birds each spring, the second largest assembled shorebird population in the Western Hemisphere. The World Series of Birding in Cape    May challenges birders to count as many species as possible in a 24-hour period and nearby, in Cumberland County, bald eagles, great blue herons, osprey and more can be found in Turkey Point, the Maurice River, and Stow Creek. 609-884-2736, 609-861-0700.


Welcome aboard the Cape May Lewes Ferry! Blue skies, cool breezes and open water await ferry travelers crossing Delaware Bay soaking up some sun or relaxing in one of the comfortable salons for the three-hour round trip. During the summer, naturalists from the Wetlands Institute give informal talks about live animals they bring aboard and the local birds, fish and marine life that are seen on most crossings.  Ashore, there’s the Rockpile Bar and Grill open from mid-June       through Labor Day or visit the Sunset Lounge in the Cape May terminal for a bite to eat, spectacular sunsets and  outside entertainment in the summer. The Cape May Lewes Ferry is the most memorable ­- and most fun -­ way to travel between Delaware and New Jersey for a day cruise or a convenient way to New Jersey    from points south. 800-64-FERRY.


The lowly lima bean has its 15 minutes of fame every Columbus Day Weekend in Wilbraham Park in West Cape May when lima bean lovers gather to celebrate the proud tradition of lima bean farming in this little town. A queen is crowned – and      there’s always homemade lima bean soup, baked limas, lima bean salad and more -­ limas in chili, barbequed, in salsa and even lima bean ice cream.  609-884-8382.


Pack a cooler, pick up a few traps and bait, and head out to the bay to catch the night’s dinner blue claw crabs. These crustaceans are delicious and easily trapped given the right mix of tenacity and tide (either coming in, or going out). A day- long activity that is relatively inexpensive, it’s a great way to enjoy the sunshine and salt air. Crabbing can be done at just about any street end of the barrier islands, along the inland waterways or from a boat moored in the bay. Traps cost only a dollar or two, and bait is cheap. Bring along extra string, a net, a bucket to store live crabs in, a hat, sun block, a chair, knife, your lunch and plenty of cold beverages.


The Night in Venice boat parade is the largest boat parade in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors who line the bayside of the city to watch and cheer as hundreds of beautifully decorated boats float by. Festivities begin with the Merchants in Venice Seafood Festival on Asbury Avenue from Sixth through Eighth streets before the big event begins at the foot of the Longport Bridge at the northern tip of the island and heads south to Tennessee Avenue along the bay. 
609-525-9300, 800-BEACHNJ.


It’s where Chubby Checker first performed “The Twist” and Bill Haley and the Comets helped to introduce rock and roll.  The Fabulous 50s Weekend in the Wildwoods in October is nonstop doo wop with Philadelphia-area disc jockey Jerry Blavat, the “Geator with the Heater,” a concert, a 1950s memorabilia show and sale, exhibits of 50s antiques and pop-culture, DooWop trolley tours, classic car show and more. 1-888-729-0033.


Morey’s Piers encompasses three amusement piers in the Wildwoods - 25th Avenue in North Wildwood, Schellenger Avenue and Spicer Avenue in Wildwood - and two water parks - at 25th Avenue in North Wildwood and     Schellenger Avenue in Wildwood called Raging Waters with rides appropriate for ages toddler to 100 mixed together in a carnival atmosphere. Visitors can pay as    they go for each ride with prepaid cards or purchase a wristband that will allow riders on all height and age-appropriate attractions. Tickets and wristbands may be used at any of the three piers. The massive water parks have special sections for younger swimmers and more sedate activities, plus slippery, twisting slides that plunge the adventurous into the water. 609-522-3900.


Situated at the end of Morey's Pier at 26th Avenue where Wildwood meets North Wildwood, Ocean Oasis is exactly what its name implies.  It's an oasis in an ocean setting.  Formerly known as one of Morey's Piers Raging Waters parks, Ocean   Oasis is a tropical setting with a true surfing and beach motif where kids and adults can both live it up.  The speed slides, lazy river, activity pools and kiddie areas remain, but off to the side is a tiki bar where the adults can enjoy a tropical        beverage and relax.  The food menu has gotten a boost too, and poolside food and beverage service brings Ocean Oasis to the top level of seashore amenities. Ocean Oasis is open daily throughout the summer.


For bicycling enthusiasts, Southern New Jersey is among the most picturesque places with easy pedaling along a deserted beach or a quiet Pinelands road. Many towns have designated bike paths, boardwalks and promenades that are great for early morning exercise before the crowds arrive. Most resort communities have bicycle rental concessions near popular bicycling spots. Check local listings for vendors.  The Atlantic County Bike Path is a 7.5 mile, 10-foot wide asphalt path    located between the Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township and the Atlantic County    Institute of Technology in Mays Landing along the former West Jersey and Reading Seashore rail line. Trail heads are located at the Shore Mall, English Creek Avenue and the Institute of Technology.


The Cape May County Zoo is tucked into a wooded park area off Exit 11 of the Garden State Parkway on Route 9 and is home to nearly 200 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Special exhibits include the World of Birds, Reptile and Amphibian House and an African Savanna. The large park area includes pavilions, a spacious playground area, and biking trails. Open every day except Christmas. No admission fee but donations are accepted. 800-227-2297.


Gillian’s Piers at 6th Street on n the Ocean City Boardwalk provides hours of family fun and entertainment throughout the season with 30 rides for all ages. Wonderland Pier is a pay-as-you-go park that allows visitors to ride as many ­ or few ­ amusements as you want. Wonderland Pier is divided into four sections: Inside rides, Lower Deck rides, Midway Deck rides and Gillian’s Fun Deck.  Gillian’s Island water park at Plymouth Place on the Boardwalk is a wet and wild adventure for the whole family with slides galore that range from the slick and thrilling to the tamer variety that empties into the activity pond. The park’s serpentine slides twist and turn in a fast and exhilarating trip from top to bottom that will invigorate even the most jaded of daredevils. 609-399-7082.


Straddling the border the Cape May-Cumberland border, Belleplain State Forest encompasses 21,000 acres of Pinelands. One of Southern New Jersey’s premier camping destinations, it’s a great place for hiking, biking, bird watching, canoeing and exploring nature. Belleplain has 169 tent camping sites, cabins and other facilities for campers plus softball fields, picnic tables and canoe rentals.  Swimming, fishing and canoeing are allowed on Lake Nummy; the natural terrain is great for mountain biking and fitness gurus can take advantage of the fitness trail. Off Route 550 from Woodbine.  609-861-2404.


Stone Harbor and Avalon share the barrier island of Seven Mile Beach with opulent homes, trendy restaurants and a beautiful beachfront where beach tags from each town are honored on either beach. Shopping on the Seven Mile Beach is great fun with a variety of retail shops ­ many of them specialty boutique.  Stone Harbor is east off Exit 10 of the Garden State Parkway (the light at Stone Harbor Boulevard) and Avalon is Exit 13 on the Parkway.  609-967-3936.


Strathmere and Corson’s Inlet State Park are between Ocean City and Sea Isle  City.  Strathmere is a quiet hamlet on a very slender slice of the barrier island offering visitors a glimpse of what life was like at the shore before summer visitors arrived by the thousands. Lifeguards keep watch over the ocean and there are no beach fees. Fishing and surfing conditions are often quite good and make Strathmere a popular spot.   In 1871 the Pennsylvania Railroad built a line through the town and many of the laborers stayed at the Whelen Inn, now a popular spot known as the Deauville. Corson’s Inlet became part of Upper Township in 1905 and Corson’s Inlet State Park, part of the New Jersey park system, was established in 1969, a popular place for hiking, fishing, crabbing, boating and sunbathing.


The New Jersey Audubon Society’s award-winning Nature Center of Cape May offers a world of natural wonders awaiting discovery. Throughout the year, adults, families and children enjoy a wide range of activities including harbor safaris, guided kayaking trips, biking tours, gardening programs, family hikes, and beach explorations. Children’s nature classes are held in July and August, emphasizing hands-on marine and natural science education. Enjoy the observation tower and deck with stunning views of Cape May Harbor, colorful themed gardens, picnic tables, a nature store, public exhibits including saltwater aquaria teeming with ocean life and plenty of free parking. 1600 Delaware Avenue, in Cape May. 609-898-8848.


Leaming’s Run, the largest annual gardens in the USA, features 25 themed gardens, a fernery and a shady bamboo grove. Flowers and birds change with the seasons so each visit is different from May through October. Bird watching opportunities abound, especially in August when the garden becomes a haven for hummingbirds. Enjoy the gardens and the Colonial Farm, a favorite place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty. Learn about plants, wildlife  and history from the farm that portrays the daily problems faced by the whalers who first settled Cape May County. Tobacco and cotton grow just as they did in 1695 and outside the one-room log cabin there’s a vegetable garden, laced with herbs along with some farm animals that are historically correct.  Leaming’s Run is easily accessible from Garden State Parkway Exit 13 and two miles north on Route 9.  609-465- 5871.


Hundreds of mibsters (players ages 8 to 14) trek to the Wildwoods in June for the official national competition in the sport of marbles. Winners of the local    tournaments vie for marbles honors on permanently planted marbles rings on the            beach at Wildwood Avenue. 800-WW-BY-SEA.


Lighthouse lovers, and anyone who relishes stories about rum runners, pirates and maritime history, will enjoy a day exploring southern New Jersey’s most visible landmarks that are also some of the area’s most historic sites - Cape May Lighthouse and Hereford Lighthouse in Cape May County, East Point Lighthouse in Cumberland County and Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic County.

 The Cape May Lighthouse lights the entrance to Delaware Bay at Cape May Point where the ocean meets the bay.   The lighthouse was built in 1859 and is 157 feet tall with 199 steps to reach the top – and a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. The Oil House, for those not ready to climb all those stairs, contains a visitor’s orientation center and a museum shop.   It is open daily for tours and special events.  609-884-5404.  800-275-4278.

On the Atlantic side at First and Central avenues in North Wildwood, Hereford Inlet Lighthouse has been guiding mariners safely ashore since 1874. Surrounded by gorgeous gardens, the lighthouse, with a functioning light, is a   Victorian-style building with five fireplaces and furnished with antiques.  609- 522-4520.  


The Ocean City Arts Center hosts a variety of fine arts classes, including painting, drawing, pottery, sculpture, classic ballet and tap, jazz and private music classes in piano, violin, flute and guitar. The Gallery at the Arts Center offers a variety of exhibitions every month, displaying the work of individual artists and groups. Annual events include the Boardwalk Art Show (August), Fine Craft Show (August), Juried Regional Art Show (November),and a Juried Photography Show (April).  Concerts, afternoon musicals, lectures and workshops are planned throughout the year.


When you’re strolling the Boardwalk in Wildwood you’ll always hear “watch the tram car, please” and a funny, yellow moving car will pass by.  Rolling chairs disappeared from the Wildwoods in 1946, replaced by tram cars to take passengers from one end of the Boardwalk to the other. Today, the price is a bit higher for a round trip, and the style of dress is a bit more casual than the era of rolling chairs but the excitement of riding in these big yellow tram cars is just as much fun.


Sand Barrens Golf Club in Swainton offers 27 holes of golf and was rated one of the Top 10 Best New Public Courses by several sources and also appeared in the Top 100 Best Modern Courses in Golf Magazine. This tree-lined course is known for a lot of sand, mostly waste areas.  There are 25 acres of sand from tee to green during a round of 18 holes. The southern plantation-style clubhouse offers an upscale restaurant, banquet facilities, and a larger pro shop. 609-465-3555.

Shore Gate Golf Club in Ocean View offers a golf experience like no other in the area. Carved from over 245 acres of pristine forest, only a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, the course is a unique combination of parkland and Scottish links-style design with a dramatic sculptured and undulating feeling. Shore Gate offers an enjoyable and formidable challenge to golfers of every level in a strikingly picturesque setting.  609-624-TEES.  


Genteel Southern hospitality still abounds, along with home-cooked, Southern food at the Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May, one of the most historic hotels in the nation. Amenities from another era include a children¹s dining room, a library and the intimate King Edward Bar. The hotel survived the Great Fire of 1878 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  During the summer, the hotel hosts cabaret entertainment, concerts, art exhibits and other cultural events on a regular basis. 609-884-8409.


Spirits in Ocean City? Not the alcoholic variety but perhaps the supernatural kind. Visitors to the grand Flanders Hotel often say they have encountered Emily, a beautiful young woman who just happens to be a ghost and wanders the hallways and ballrooms of the old hotel where her sweet voice can be heard softly singing or humming her enchanting tunes from the unattended piano. Does Emily wait for a long-lost lover to return? Does she spend eternity searching for something lost? Is Emily forever a bride-to-be? To hear the rest of this haunting tale and other ghost stories, join the Ghost Tour of Ocean City and enjoy an evening of eerie entertainment! Costumed storytellers host the candlelight tours on a leisurely stroll through Ocean City¹s historic town center that are family appropriate. 609-814-0199.


Discover why the Wetlands Institute is “The Natural Place to Have Fun!” Begin with Marion’s Gardens, an array of more than a hundred native plants chosen to attract birds and butterflies and resemble an historic English cottage garden. Kayak around the back bays, enjoy a Sunday morning beach walk or marvel at the view of 6,000 acres of pristine coastal wetlands from the observation tower.  Inside, an aquarium with more than a dozen exhibits with live marsh animals as well as a special “teacher’s tank” with live horseshoe crabs, sea stars and lots more. Open year-round, the Institute at 1075 Stone Harbor Blvd., off exit 10 of the Garden State Parkway, offers a full schedule of daily summer activities. In the quiet season the Institute is open for self-guided tours of the facilities including the Tidepool Museum Shop. 609-368-1211.


Naval Air Station (NAS) Wildwood Aviation Museum is housed in Hangar No.1 at the Cape May County Airport, once a World War II dive-bomber squadron training facility.  The 92,000 square foot wooden structure has been restored and houses vintage aircraft from all branches of the military and a Wall of Honor to memorialize the 41 men who perished while training at the air station.  Special events include an annual fly-in/walk-in each August and a USO Swing Dance in September.  NAS Wildwood is on Breakwater Road, Lower Township and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Open year round. 609-886-8787.


Little has changed at St. Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church in Cape May Point since summer Sunday services started in 1880. Situated on a triangular lot neatly outlined with a white picket fence, the picturesque gray gingerbread-style building with white fretwork and a front door that bravely faces the ocean is one of the most photographed and painted buildings in southern New Jersey. Originally, part of the Philadelphia Centennial in Fairmount Park, the building was moved, somehow, to the Point and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the summer the church is open every Friday morning to visitors and Jersey glass is on sale.


Jet ski and wave runner concessions are found on the bayside, allowing the novice the opportunity to master more placid waters before heading off into the choppy ocean water, although there are a few places where jet skis can be rented right on the beach. Most rental concessions require the renter to leave a driver¹s license and a credit card as collateral.  Jet skis can be rented by the hour or by the day and are a great way to tour the back bays and marshy areas of Southern New Jersey. Check the local listings or chambers of commerce for jet-ski rental information.


Explore the nation’s oldest seaside resort on narrated trolley tours to Cape May featuring Cape May’s Washington Street Mall, Cape May Lighthouse, and city tours highlighting the charming bed and breakfast inns and the Victorian Gingerbread architecture. Wildwoods Doo Wop Tour will take you back to the 50s era.  Take the guided trolley tour to learn about the city’s crop of plastic palm trees and the jetsonian-styled buildings and use of neon signage that are certain to transport you back more than 50 years. 609-884-7392, 866-872-6737.


If your interests center on music or comedy, then you can have that entertainment, too, in settings that will help amplify the fun and enjoyment.  The ballroom at the  Wildwoods Convention Center on the Boardwalk in Wildwood easily turns into a 7,000-seat arena complete with state-of-the-art sound and staging. 800-WW-BY-SEA. The Ocean City Music Pier on the Boardwalk, Chalfonte Hotel’s cabaret stage in historic Cape May and Bridgeton’s outdoor stage in the city’s 1,100 acre park feature top jazz, popular rock, blues and folk entertainers.

Ocean City:  800-BEACHNJ.
Chalfonte Hotel: 609-884-8409,
Cumberland County: 866-866-MORE.



Escape to the Jersey Cape - Cape May County, NJ

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