Cape May, New Jersey is a gorgeous gem nestled at the tip of southern NJ’s Cape May peninsula. If you’re looking for a perfect romantic getaway or couple’s vacation at one of the nation’s oldest seaside resorts, look no further than Cape May.
John Wesley InnCape May, New Jersey
A Cape May bed and breakfast is the perfect way to experience all this bustling little city has to offer. There’s nothing better than waking up to a gorgeous sunrise with a steaming cup of coffee, and having a delicious homemade breakfast served directly to your room. Trying to choose where to book a B&B in Cape May?
Ocean Street is set one block from the beach and has old Victorian houses that are charming as they are luxurious. Innkeepers love showing guests a good time and if you stay around Ocean Street, you’ll get the beach vibe combined with the coziness and hospitality of an old Victorian bed and breakfast like the good old days.
Myrtle Avenue is another terrific spot right off of the water, in close proximity to wineries, the downcity area (Washington Street Mall), and the beach. Not a bad place to pitch your tent so to speak.
Poverty Beach is a great spot if you’re looking to put some distance between you & the crowds. Don’t worry. A bed & breakfast Cape May style means that even on Poverty Beach you’ll still have an incredible stay, complete with everything you’d dream of in an oceanside b&b.
Here’s a fun fact for you. Cape May has the 2nd largest concentration of Victorian buildings outside of...San Francisco, California! The city was first explored around the year 1613 by dutch explorer Cornelius Jacobson Mey. By the 19th century it was already known as one of the best resort cities in America.
The port functioned as a naval outpost since there was a large submarine threat from the Axis powers during WWII. There were numerous bases ranging from a Anti-Submarine Attack Teacher Training Unit to a Naval Air Station.
Cape May is the only city in the United States that’s wholly designated as a National Historic Landmark. Throughout the city you’ll see old Victorian houses that are remnants of a bygone time. The city has that unique historic charm combined with modern upscale dining and shopping that make it such a big hit with folks from the Northeast.
Today, Cape May still functions as a modern fishing hub that’s one of the biggest on the East Coast. Many people come to explore Cape May and all of its charms, like the Washington Street Mall, the beachfront promenade along the water, and the restaurants & shopping that make Cape May such a hit.
Cape May is an exciting vacation destination with a wide variety of things to see, unique places to shop, and history to learn about among many other fantastic experiences to be had.
Washington Street Mall might be Cape May’s most famous attraction, featuring a tight winding path that weaves between delightful little boutiques selling everything from chocolate to clothes. It’s got that seaside feel while still offering world-class shopping & entertainment. You definitely won’t want to miss this.
The Emlen Physick Estate is an ode to Victorian houses everywhere. Converted into a museum in the 1970’s, the four acre property contains a tearoom, the Carroll Gallery which displays year-round art exhibits, and much more. The Estate offers a couple different tours so you can experience an old Victorian house at night, during the day, or in the morning.
Visit the Cape May lighthouse to see one of New Jersey’s last remaining operating lighthouses. Climb the 217 steps and join the club of more than two million people who have witnessed the breathtaking views of the New Jersey coastline.
Of course, just going to the beach can be a vacation long activity in itself. Pack a picnic and set out for the beach from your b& b...that’s only a few blocks away. If you’re a fisherman you can rent rods, buy some bait and go hit the beach to try your luck. There are whale watching tours that also leave from around Cape May.
No matter what you’re into, Cape May’s got something for you.
Cape May is actually a very tiny little city, only encompassing about 3 square miles total. Due to its proximity to the beach and the ocean, it’s very flat with little to no elevation. That means gorgeous walks along the water without any hills to climb!
The city is located within a few hours driving distance from New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, so it’s a perfect getaway spot that isn’t too far away from some major metropolitan areas. No wonder it’s so popular!
The best feature of the city is obviously the stunning beach, where you can do everything from whale watching to exciting fishing trips for the day.
While you’re spending time in Cape May, you’ll definitely want to see the Cape May lighthouse as previously mentioned. The tower is 157 ft tall and is quite the climb if you want to get to the top & have a magnificent view of the coastline. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 12, 1973. Check it out!
The historic district of Cape May is wonderful if you’re into architecture and old American homes. The district is home to one of the largest collections of 19th century frame houses and really feels like a throwback to the old Americana days, with a splash of seaside flavor of course.
If you’re trying to catch a sunset then visit...Sunset Beach. It truly lives up to its name by serving up delicious golden red sunsets that you truly don’t want to miss. Sunset Beach is also very close to SS Atlantus & the Cape May Lighthouse so you can knock out a bunch of sites in one day.
Washington Street Mall is a gorgeous shopping complex with adorable little sidewalks and a ton of different shops. If you’re going on a family vacation, bring the kids to one of the ice cream parlors or chocolate shops that are around the Mal
Cape May typically has hot summers like the rest of the East Coast, frigid winters, and precipitation almost year round. The nice thing is the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean means it’s never blazing hot like other destinations popular with visitors.
You’ll definitely want to check the weather before your trip to make sure you’ve got any items needed for what the Cape might throw at you. Rain jackets, a light fleece, and a change of clothes are some obvious items most people bring to prepare.
The city does get some light snow in the Winter, which can make it cozy or cold depending on how you like your weather.
Because of the huge emphasis on pleasing the many tourists that come through Cape May, you can expect tons of delicious eats no matter what you’re in the mood for.
Lucky Bones Back Water Grille is a fan favorite for its laid back, low-key atmosphere that serves up mouthwatering classics like Burgers, Ribs, and of course, Seafood.
If you’re looking for an upscale dinner, check out Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant. Fine fairs include fresh local oysters, cheese boards, and wild scallops seared to perfection.
Live music and a rooftop bar more your scene? Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille is the move then. Tons of different drinks and food options will make young and old happy at this spot.
Staying at a Cape May B&B is definitely the best option if you’re looking to be in the center of the action, or in private getaway while still getting the very best Cape May has to offer. The city is very walking friendly especially around the beach areas. Expect an easy check-in process and innkeepers that love meeting new guests and sharing their best insights into what Cape May has to offer. Free parking at a bed and breakfast comes in the clutch since the city is fairly small landwise and there isn’t much room to park. Leave your car, leave your worries, and go explore the city! Inside of the Victorian house that you might be staying in, you get the best of both worlds. Old-school charm and a throwback feel with modern amenities like free wifi to make your vacation as relaxing & stress free as possible.
As mentioned, Cape May is famous for its enormous treasure trove of Victorian buildings. Booking at a bed & breakfast inn means you’ll have sweet amenities like air conditioning, free wifi, spacious guest rooms to stretch out in, as well as a private bathroom. Your innkeepers will more than likely wake you up with a mouth watering homemade breakfast directly to your door. We recommend looking for a Victorian home to get the authentic Cape May experience.Since Cape May is an ocean city, expect a gorgeous ocean view as you start your day, or end it. Imagine ending your day on your romantic bed with a glass of wine as you look out at the Atlantic, and the radiant sunset lighting up your cozy b&b room.
Since Cape May is an island, there are two bridges that most folks take via car to arrive in the city. Cape May is located at the southern end of the Garden State Parkway. Most people drive from either New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore, with all three of those options featuring great airports to fly in and out of. If you want to fly directly into Cape May or as close as possible, Atlantic City International Airport (currently only served by Spirit Airlines) or Cape May County Airport (private planes only) are the two choices. There’s also the charming Cape May-Lewes Ferry if you’re traveling from the south. The ferry goes from Lewes, Delaware across the Delaware Bay into North Cape May. From there it’s a simple 5 minute drive into Cape May. Cape May Convention Hall is a great central point if you’re booking for a conference or business. It’s conveniently located and walkable from pretty much anywhere in Cape May.
There are many different types of B&B’s in Cape May to choose from. The best bed and breakfast in Cape May, in our opinion, is either the Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast or the Carroll Villa Hotel. Both inns are in a top notch area of the city which is smack dab in the middle of Cape May’s most historic section.
The Queen Victoria & the Carroll Villa offer delicious complimentary breakfast options, free wifi, and an unbeatable location that will have you at Washington Street Mall or the Atlantic in minutes if you’re on foot.
For a Cape May bed and breakfast on the beach, check out the John Wesley Inn, Beauclaires Bed & Breakfast Inn, Angel of the Sea, or the Bedford Inn. All of the gorgeous bed and breakfasts are within a half block to the Ocean so you can walk over anytime you’d like. Free parking near the beach? These B&B’s have that. No hassles with parking or messing around with your car.
Most of the style’s of the B&B are Victorian with a beachy vibe. Cape May b&b’s have done a terrific job of blending history with modern amenities so you can enjoy the classic look and feel, while having access to wifi, air conditioning, and easy parking & check-in.
Finding the best bed and breakfast in Cape May NJ shouldn’t be hard work, which is why we’re happy to provide our guide to Cape May to you! The locations mentioned above are all highly rated and loved by bed & breakfast enthusiasts, so rest easy knowing you’re in good hands. The Innkeepers are all lovely hosts who love entertaining and showing off Cape May and all it has to offer.
Quick Note: For a pet friendly bed and breakfast Cape May, NJ, you’ll have to search slightly outside of Cape May for a good spot.