We’ve all heard of the Jersey Shore, partly thanks to MTV and its cast of tanned, laundry-doing, gym-going castmates. But there’s definitely more to the shore than wild parties, orange bodies and Snooki. The destination is also home to Cape May which sits 48 miles away from Atlantic City. Jersey’s southernmost county, the seaside locale is the only place in the state where you can see the sun both set and rise over the water.
The city was designated a National Historic District in 1976 and boasts over 600 hotels, B&B’s and vacation homes. If you’re already planning a trip to Atlantic City, here are five reasons to consider a day trip to Cape May, the country’s oldest seashore resort town:
Photo Credit: Cape May Winery
Cape May has its own little wine region, boasting two vineyards and four wineries in its midst. Hawk Haven Vineyard, Cape May Winery, Natali Vineyard, Turis/Turdo Vineyard, Willow Creek Winery and Jessie Creek Winery are all located within the 2.743-square-mile town. The four wineries boast daily tastings with the most Napa-style winery being Willow Creek.
Photo Credit: 410 Bank Street Restaurant
This past spring, Cape May was named one of the top 20 food cities by readers of Condé Nast Traveler. For being such a small place, that is one big accolade, especially considering it is accompanied by food-famed cities like New York City, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Seattle. The area is known for its long-standing restaurants including The Lobster House and 410 Bank Street Restaurant. If you’re a foodie or just love discovering new restaurants, this alone is definitely worth the trip.
Museums & Lighthouses
There are nine historical places, lighthouses and museums to visit within the county. At the Cape May Lighthouse, guests can climb the steps up the 150-year-old structure before venturing over to the Cape May Model Trains museum. The 1,600-square-foot warehouse consists of five model layouts and 30 rail lines to view. Travelers can also book a guided tour of the area’s best attractions through the Mid-Atlantic Center for Arts & Humanities.
Photo Credit: Cape May Whale Research Center
Whale & Dolphin Watching
Participate in an oceanic safari with a whale and dolphin watching cruise. There are a handful of tour operators offering private and group boat excursions in Cape May. With Liberty Charters, guests can book an exclusive two-hour trip to see the sea mammals up close for only $200 before 6 p.m. Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center also offers a sunset cruise on their 100-foot-long boat. Guests are treated to a complimentary dinner as they cruise the Atlantic.
Photo Credit: Victorious
With plenty of local antique shops set around the city, lovers of all things vintage can scratch their shopping itch with a day spent finding unique collectibles and restored artifacts. Victorious on Perry Street has been around for 20 years and showcases everything from one-of-a-kind antiques to timeless jewelry and an exclusive line of HOBO International and Frye handbags. If in need of new home décor, visit Antique Doorknob for Victorian lighting, building hardware, restored building artifacts and stained glass, iron or wicker.