Cape May City Beaches#1 in Best Things To Do in Cape May
Price & Hours
For many travelers, the allure of Cape May has much to do with its plethora of spacious, white sand beaches. The entire Jersey Cape (which stretches through 10 communities) boasts 30 miles of shoreline, and Cape May itself offers up 2 1/2 miles' worth. Across the various beaches, vacationers can swim, skimboard, surf, fish, kayak and play volleyball in designated areas. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer and all of Cape May's beaches are family-friendly. Alcohol is prohibited at all times and dogs are only welcome on the sand between November and March. Metered parking can be found along the main strip and you may also find free parking on side streets. Restrooms are located at every half-mile, as are open-air showers to rinse off sand.
Recent beachgoers said Cape May's shores were clean and easy to access. Many noted the stretches of sand were especially picturesque at sunrise and sunset, and some even spotted dolphins during these times. To enjoy fewer crowds, a few travelers recommended Poverty Beach, though families preferred to stay on the main promenade for easier access to bathrooms, umbrella rentals and restaurants. Keep in mind that some visitors reported the surf could be a bit rough at times, which may be dangerous for young children.
To visit Cape May's beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., all vacationers 12 and older must obtain a beach tag. The tag acts as an admission ticket that grants access to the various beaches in the area. Pricing depends on the season and the type of pass you purchase. Preseason tags purchased in December cost $20 each, while seasonal tags purchased between Jan. 1 and March 31 cost $25 per person. During the summer season, daily beach tags cost $6 per person, three-day tags cost $15, weeklong passes cost $20 and tags that last the full season cost $30. Active members of the military and veterans are eligible for complimentary beach tags. To learn more, visit the Cape May City Beaches website.
More Best Things To Do in Cape May
#2 Washington Street Mall
Situated in the heart of Cape May, the Washington Street Mall is the place to go for one-of-a-kind retail, including local clothing stores, home goods shops, bookstores and more. The three-block outdoor shopping district is open all year and sits less than half a mile from the beach. Along the quaint stretch, you'll find restored Victorian storefronts and brick pathways, as well as whimsical fountains and benches throughout. When hunger strikes, patrons will have their choice of more than 25 restaurants and sweet shops, including the Cape May Fish Market, an Irish pub and a fudge shop.
Past travelers called the Washington Street Mall a must-visit, highlighting the unique stores and pleasant atmosphere. Some said this was the place to be in the evenings for dinner, while others remarked they spent the entire day at the mall wandering in and out of stores.
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