Nestled along the picturesque coast of New Jersey, Cape May is a charming seaside town that captivates visitors with its rich history, Victorian architecture, and a plethora of exciting activities. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, a beach lover, or a foodie, Cape May offers a diverse range of attractions to explore.
A gorgeous resort town, Cape May is a lovely and lively town filled with beautiful beaches, historic homes, bustling shopping malls, and beautiful restaurants. In this article, we will unveil the top 30 best and fun things to do in Cape May, ensuring an unforgettable experience for every traveler.
30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Cape May, New Jersey 2023
1. Cape May Beaches
Cape May Beaches are some of the most beautiful in New Jersey. Kick-start your Cape May adventure by taking a leisurely stroll along the pristine Cape May Beach. The beaches are family-friendly, clean, and close to restrooms and food.
Breathe in the fresh ocean air, feel the soft sand between your toes, and soak up the serene coastal ambiance. The beaches also offer numerous activities and side attractions such as volleyball, skimboarding, surfing, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and picnic.
2. Washington Street Mall
One of the most popular things to do in Cape May is to go shopping at the Washington Street Mall. The open-air strip mall is a pedestrian-friendly hub lined with unique shops, boutiques, and galleries. It also has some of the best restaurants and coffee shops in Cape May, where you can grab something to eat.
Take a stroll through the Washington Street Mall on your visit and browse souvenirs, indulge in local cuisine, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
3. Rotary Park
Located just behind the Washington Street Mall, visiting Rotary Park is one of the best and fun things to do in Cape May, New Jersey. The Park is a year-round destination for concerts and leisure. It also has a beautiful landscaped, ample bench for couples and families to hang out.
Also, within the park, you would find the Travelers’ Fountain and Victorian-style gazebo that serves as a bandstand and is home to Cape May City’s Christmas tree.
4. Cape May Lighthouse
Built in 1859, the iconic Cape May Lighthouse is a major tourist destination in Cape May. Climb the 199 steps to the top of the iconic Cape May Lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay.
The base of the Lighthouse features panels that tell you about the history of Lighthouse keepers, or you can just plan to stroll through the park. For those who choose not to climb, the Oil House on the grounds contains a fully accessible Visitors’ Orientation Center and Museum Shop carrying souvenirs, books, and maritime items.
5. Cape May Point State Park
If you are looking for fun and free things to do in Cape May, then pay a visit to the Cape May Point State Park. The park, which is home to iconic landmarks including Cape May Lighthouse, Fire Control Tower 23, and Battery 223, is free to the public.
It is also an ideal location for birding, picnics, painting, photography, and nature walks. On your visit, you can explore ponds, coastal dunes, marshes, and forest habitats that make this park a haven for wildlife.
6. Cape May Winery & Vineyard
One of the fun things to do in Cape May is to embark on a wine-tasting adventure at one of Cape May’s renowned wineries. Established in 1995, the Cape May Winery & Vineyard is a family-owned and operated business that provides visitors and locals with quality wines.
The Cape May Winery & Vineyard pride itself in having one of the largest wineries in New Jersey. Its vineyard grows a variety of grapes, which they use to produce different brands of wines. Furthermore, there’s a farm-to-table restaurant on site known as The Kitchen at Cape May Winery, where to can grab something to eat.
7. Historic Cold Spring Village
Your visit to Cape May would not be complete without visiting the Historic Cold Spring Village. This living history museum showcases life in rural New Jersey during the 1800s. Immerse yourself in the interactive exhibits, witness traditional crafts, and engage with costumed interpreters.
The Historic Cold Spring Village also has a woodworking shop, an ice cream parlor, and even a poultry house. It is a perfect destination for couples and families.
8. Sunset Beach
Witnessing the awe-inspiring beauty of a Cape May sunset at Sunset Beach is one of the best and fun things to do in Cape May. Located in Lower Township, Sunset Beach is open year-round to visitors and locals.
At the beach, you would find miniature golf, shopping, a grille, and the wrecked “SS Atlantus,” an experimental concrete ship that ran aground during the storm in 1926. The beach also offers some of the most beautiful sunset views in the area.
9. Cape May County Park and Zoo
One of the family-friendly things to do in Cape May is to visit the Cape May County Park and Zoo. Located in Middle Township, the Cape May County Park and Zoo is free and open every day of the year except for Christmas.
The zoo features over 550 critters representing more than 250 different species. Here you will discover a diverse range of animal species, explore the lush gardens, and enjoy the various recreational facilities available.
10. Dolphin and Whale Watching Cruise
One of the best things to do in Cape May is to embark on an exhilarating adventure by joining a dolphin and whale-watching cruise. Marvel at the majesty of these magnificent creatures as they swim alongside your boat, creating lifelong memories.
A number of local companies provide dolphin and whale-watching cruises. Visitors have a chance to see humpback whales, finback whales, and minke whales, as well as pods of bottlenose dolphins.
The Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center, located at the South Jersey Marina, also offers dolphin, whale, and bird-watching cruises. The center’s Sunset Dolphin Cruise is a relaxing boat trip that sails past the Cape May beaches and the Cape May lighthouse.
11. Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum
One of the best and fun things to do for aviation enthusiasts is to visit the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum. This non-profit museum is located at the Cape May Airport inside historic hangar 1.
Commissioned in April 1943, the facility served as an active dive-bomber squadron training facility during World War II. The museum is also home to many cool artifacts and activities.
12. Historic Emlen Physick Estate
A visit to the Physick Estate is one of the best things to do in Cape May. Immerse yourself in Victorian elegance by visiting the Historic Emlen Physick Estate.
Take a guided tour of this beautifully restored 18-room mansion, admire the period furnishings, and learn about the estate’s fascinating history and its prominent role in Cape May’s heritage.
13. Cape May Stage
For theater enthusiasts, one of the best and fun things to do in Cape May is to attend a performance at Cape May Stage. Located in the heart of Cape May, the theater offers a variety of professional performances throughout the year.
The venue is set in a historic church, and it is known for its intimate atmosphere and high-quality productions. Enjoy a captivating live performance ranging from classic plays to contemporary productions, showcasing the region’s vibrant arts scene.
14. Cape May County Historical Museum
Visiting the Cape May County Historical Museum is one of the best things to do in Cape May for history lovers. Established in 1927, the Cape May County Museum is the county’s foremost advocate for the acquisition, preservation, and display of local history.
With guided tours, rotating exhibits, lectures, and special events, the museum offers something for the whole family, including children. Discover artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that trace the town’s evolution from its early settlement to its prominence as a vacation destination.
15. Cape May Bird Observatory
For birdwatching enthusiasts, one of the fun and free things to do in Cape May is to go birdwatching at the Cape May Bird Observatory. At the observatory, you will get to see different species of birds and learn about their natural habitat.
You can also participate in guided bird walks, attend informative lectures, and witness the awe-inspiring sight of migratory birds as they pass through the area.
16. Nature Center of Cape May
One of the most outstanding things to do in Cape May for kids and families is to visit the natural beauty of the Nature Center of Cape May. The nature center also has an observation tower, gift shop, picnic area, and a lush flowering garden landscaped to attract butterflies.
Explore interactive exhibits, join nature programs, and embark on guided hikes to discover the diverse flora and fauna that call this area home.
17. Harriet Tubman Museum
The newly opened Harriet Tubman Museum is one of the best places to visit in Cape May, New Jersey. The museum pays tribute to the antislavery activist who once lived in Cape May in the early 1850s. Explore historical facts while taking a tour guide of this museum.
18. Cape May County Park East
Cape May has numerous parks where visitors and locals can have a fun time. Nature enthusiasts especially would appreciate the serene surroundings of Cape May County Park East. At the park, you can engage in activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking amidst the tranquil landscapes and picturesque vistas.
19. Cape May Fire Department Museum
One of the free things to do in Cape May is to visit the Cape May Fire Department Museum. Pay homage to the town’s brave firefighters at the Cape May Fire Department Museum. Learn about the history of firefighting in Cape May, view vintage firefighting equipment, and appreciate the dedication of these everyday heroes.
20. The Colonial House
Built in 1730, The Colonial House is one of the places to visit in Cape May, New Jersey. The Colonial House is one of the oldest homes on Cape Island and is where visitors come to learn about Cape May’s rich history. The house, which is now open to the public as a museum, displays authentic period furnishings and household items.
21. Cape May Harbor
One of the free outdoor activities to do in Cape May, New Jersey, is to visit the Cape May Harbor. Embrace the charm of Cape May Harbor by taking a leisurely stroll along its scenic waterfront. Admire the colorful fishing boats, dine at waterfront restaurants, and soak in the laid-back coastal atmosphere.
22. Cape May Carriage House Gallery
There are a number of things to do in Cape May for art lovers. On your visit to Cape May, you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Cape May Carriage House Gallery. Discover the works of talented local artists, view captivating exhibitions, and perhaps even find a unique piece to take home as a memento.
23. Cape May Point Beach
Being a coastal town, Cape May has a number of beaches for outdoor activities. As a visitor, you can escape the crowds and find tranquility at Cape May Point Beach. With its serene atmosphere and breathtaking views, this secluded beach offers a peaceful retreat where you can unwind, soak up the sun, and listen to the gentle crashing of waves.
24. Beach Plum Farm
Located in West Cape May at Cape May Point, Beach Plum Farm is one of the best vacation destinations in Cape May, NJ. With more than 100 different types of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, the farm is an oasis for the world-weary traveler. The farm also features a great farm-to-table restaurant that will thrill guests.
25. Fancy Dinner
One of the best things to do in Cape May is to have a fancy dinner with your partner and family. The town is home to some of the most exotic restaurants in New Jersey. Thrilled yourself and your partner by having a fancy dinner on your visit to Cape May.
26. Salt Marsh Safari
One of the fun things to do in Cape May is to go on a cruise on a Salt Marsh Safari. The Salt Marsh safari offers a unique kind of fun as you will be amazed by the amount of wildlife that a salt marsh can support. The marsh is also home to over 400 species of birds, more than 300 species of fish, and even more marine invertebrates.
27. Cape May Carriage Company
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Cape May, then visit the Cape May Carriage Company for a horse-drawn carriage ride. Enjoy a private carriage ride through Cape May’s historic district. The company offers half-hour tours on weekends during the spring and fall months, daily during the summer, and during the Christmas season.
28. Turdo Vineyards & Winery
Known as one of the finest vineyards in New Jersey, enjoy your vacation by going wine tasting at Turdo Vineyards & Winery. On your visit, you can tour the grounds, sample different wine flavors, shop for wines, and relax on the patio.
29. Jersey Shore Alpacas
Located in Middle Township, visiting the Jersey Shore Alpacas is one of the fun and unique things to do in Cape May with kids. Here you will get up close with the alpacas and observe their individual characteristics. Kids, especially, would love the experience of getting to feed carrots to the alpacas.
30. Cape May Trolley Tour
The Trolley Tour is one of the most popular side attractions for kids and families in Cape May, New Jersey. A general tour is available year-round, and special tours include everything from the spooky and supernatural Mayhem Trolley Tour to the culturally rich Historic District Trolley Tour.
Final Thoughts on Fun Things To Do in Cape May
Cape May, New Jersey, is a perfect holiday destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a wide range of exciting activities. Whether you’re drawn to its stunning beaches, enchanting Victorian architecture, delicious cuisine, or vibrant cultural scene, Cape May has something for everyone.