Located at the southernmost tip of New Jersey, Cape May is a laid-back town clustered with Victorian-era homes and known as one of the best places to spot migratory birds. It was considered the United States’ first seaside resort and is now declared a National Historic Landmark.
Things to do
Climb the 199 steps that lead to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse, which offers sweeping views of Cape May and the Atlantic coastline. There are interpretive exhibits detailing the lighthouse’s history dating back to 1859, as well displays showcasing the work of its former keepers.
Birdwatchers should visit the Cape May Bird Observatory, which is dedicated to the conservation of migratory species. Ospreys, plovers and sandpipers all migrate through Cape May during the spring and autumn months, and the observatory is one of the best places to witness them in action.
Cape May is also renowned for its dolphin sightings. Jump aboard a boat cruise to spot these playful creatures, together with humpback and finback whales that migrate along the coast throughout the year.
Want to see unique American “Stick-style” architecture? Visit the Victorian-era Emlen Physick Estate, which is now open to the public as a period museum. It exhibits many of the trademark features of acclaimed architect Frank Furness, including upside-down chimneys and stick-like brackets on its sweeping porch.
Philadelphia International Airport is under two hours’ drive north of Cape May and there are regular buses making the one-hour journey to Atlantic City. The city’s flat terrain makes it ideal for cycling and exploring on foot.
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