Travel Guide to Cape May and Its 5 Best Attractions

Escape to this idyllic seaside beachtown.

Hopper Editors - Oct. 26, 2017

Located a 2.5 hour drive from New York City and only 1.5 hours out of Philadelphia, Cape May is a great day trip or weekend getaway for those looking to escape from the city and visit a quaint seaside destination. Seafarer’s with the taste for fresh lobster will get an extra kick out of the offerings of this splendid little cape, and it only takes a day to get intoxicated by Cape May’s extravagant natural wonders and neighborly townsfolk. Check out the views from the Lighthouse, take a birdwatching hike in the Cape May Point State Park and taste the flavors of the shore.

Stop in at the Cape May Lighthouse

Photo by Ellen Zee via Flickr

Built in 1859 and stretching 157 feet 6 into the sky, the Cape May Lighthouse is an attraction not to be missed, as after a climb of 199 steps up the cast iron spiral staircase, visitors can scan the boats coming into the harbor of Delaware Bay and check out the unparalleled view of Cape May. Open all year round, it’s a great first stop to see the city from above and get your bearings.

Birds of a feather fly together at the Cape May Point State Park, so get those binocs out!

Photo by Mike Klein via Flickr

With its three extensive hiking trails, the lighthouse and plenty of fishing opportunities, this 235 acre chunk of land is a nature-lover’s playground. During the fall, the park is the best place to watch the bird migration – the park offers guided bird tours of Cape May from the late spring to early fall to introduce visitors to the plethora of bird species in the park.

The Lobster House sells lobsters. Good ones.

Photo by Nelo Esteves via Flickr

The Lobster House is the ultimate seafood restaurant in Cape May. They coordinate well with the fishing boats along the dock just outside the window, so the food is fresh and the people are festive. Along with their signature crustaceans, the Lobster House also has fish market and a seasonal raw bar.

Hot Dog Tommy’s: the ultimate beach eats

Photo by Tim via Flickr

If these hot dogs weren’t being sold out of a shack on the shore, they could almost be called gourmet. But thankfully, they aren’t – they’re just loaded with America-sized toppings. With items like the Tornado Dog, stuffed with mashed potatoes, chili, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, banana peppers and sour cream on top of the dog, Tommy does not make sidewalk street meat. He makes pieces of art; he’s the conduit to a taste of Americana that can only be tapped into by someone who owns a huge foam hot dog-shaped hat. Which he does, and wears proudly. So look out for it, and try one of his crew’s juicy wieners.

Congress Hall is a historic place to rest your feet

Photo by Jeff via Flickr

Built in 1817, Congress Hall is a sight to behold in itself, as well as a comfortable place to lay one’s head. This sprawling Victorian-era structure is host to wedding parties, conferences, and resort tourists relaxing at the sea spa. Rated as one of the "Top 45 Hotels in the Northeast" by Condé Nast Traveler, The Congress Hall is an excellent choice for seaside visitors.

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