If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Best Things to Do in Cape May for a Fun Weekend Getaway


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If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Best Things to Do in Cape May for a Fun Weekend Getaway


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If you’re a lover of Victorian architecture, family-friendly beaches, and picturesque wineries, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Cape May.

As the oldest seaside resort in the United States, it’s not only a favorite summer escape, but a desirable year-round vacation destination.

I invite you to use this collection of the best things to do in Cape May as a road map for a fun weekend getaway or multi-day escape.

So without further ado, let’s uncover the delightful surprises that await you in New Jersey’s coastal gem!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

A Brief Word on Cape May

Cape May encompasses Cape May City, Cape May and Cape May Point (the boroughs), and a township.

As its name suggests, Cape May is part of a cape that juts out into the water. Although it’s considered part of New Jersey, technically, Cape May is physically separated from the state as its own island.

This distinction is significant because it feels quite distant from whacky Wildwood and the throngs of fist-pumpers on the Jersey Shore.

Instead, Cape May is charming, artsy, and lovably quirky – not unlike the lovechild of suburban Savannah and a quaint New England town.

It’s a place to step back in time for a bit and enjoy the simpler things, from mom-and-pop shops to the historic charm.

Top Things to Do in Cape May on a Relaxing Weekend Trip

Enjoy a Tasty Breakfast at The Mad Batter

Before you make a dent in your fun-packed itinerary, make sure to fuel up with a hearty breakfast at The Mad Batter. This world-famous restaurant has been serving up delicious eats since 1976 and is a must while on the Cape.

Although they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they’re especially known for their excellent breakfast food.

I highly recommend the blueberry pancakes.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

For all the pancake lovers, you’ll be happy to know the fresh blueberries are cooked inside (no pour-on fruit sauces here)!

Plus, the pancake texture is incredible and they’re super fluffy.

That said, I did ask for a pat of butter because I personally like mine drenched.

If you’re in the mood for something more savory, I can also recommend the house-made corned beef hash.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

You can check out their full range of menus here.

What to Know Before You Go:

As I mentioned, The Mad Batter is quite popular, so you’ll most likely need to wait for a table. We were there on a Wednesday morning and still had to wait for about forty-five minutes.

However, I can definitively say it was worth the wait!

How to Get Here:

The Mad Batter is located at 19 Jackson Street in Cape May. Public street parking is available.

Visit Beach Plum Farm

Of all the things to do in Cape May, Beach Plum Farm exceeded my expectations the most.

This 62-acre farm seems deceptively small when you first enter the winding driveway, but it’s really quite impressive when you arrive!

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Speaking of, as you pull into the parking lot, keep an eye out for chickens. You’ll find these cuties roaming freely on the property, so you never know when one will pop up!

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Beach Plum Farm is a working farm that prides itself on sustainable practices. They offer everything from fresh produce and household treasures in their market, to farm-to-table meals, to fun outdoor events.

We enjoyed a tasty breakfast sandwich at one of the picnic tables behind the barn. I was amazed at how large the property was from the back!

One of the most special things about Beach Plum Farm is that it offers unique beauty in each of the seasons. During the summer, there’s a stunning array of hydrangeas all around the property.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Even if you’re not planning on eating here or attending an event, the beauty of the farm alone is enough to warrant a visit.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

In addition, the property also includes five distinct cottages and barns that you can rent for a relaxing getaway.

What to Know Before You Go:

Beach Plum Farm is free to visit, provided you’re not purchasing anything from the market, sitting down to a meal, or coming for an event.

Ample parking is available in front of the main barn.

How to Get Here:

Beach Plum Farm is located just under two miles from the historic downtown area at 140 Stevens Street in West Cape May.

Indulge at One of Cape May’s Many Wineries

The Cape May Peninsula has a thriving wine industry, so visiting a winery is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Cape May.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

FUN FACT: Cape May has the longest growing season of any region in the state, making it a viable destination to visit all year long!

In fact, it’s not at all uncommon for visitors to frequent multiple wineries during their stay.

Fortunately, if you enjoy a good glass of vino, you’ll have a whopping seven wineries to choose from in the area! 

Although we only visited Willow Creek Winery on this trip, I’d be interested in checking out some others in the future.

That said, Willow Creek was an absolute delight.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Although they offer wine tastings here, you can also enjoy a more independent experience at their beautiful 50-acre farm.

We went this alternative route and ordered a white wine flight and the tasty bruschetta appetizer.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Since we enjoyed ourselves and didn’t want to leave, we ended up getting a second flight of reds with a soft pretzel.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

I will say, however, that the soft pretzel was a bit dry. Personally, I’d skip it and order something else instead.

PRO TIP: To be seated at an outside table overlooking the vineyard, you’ll need to order at least one appetizer in addition to wine. Otherwise, you’ll be sat in the outdoor tent, which isn’t as nice. I highly recommend ordering an appetizer for the prime seating option.

Willow Creek Winery also serves lunch and dinner and emphasizes reserving a table in advance. You can check out their farm-to-table grill menu here.

How to Get Here:

Willow Creek Winery is located at 160-168 Stevens Street in West Cape May.

Kick Back at Cape May Brewing Company

In addition to wineries, Cape May is also home to Cape May Brewing Company.

This working production brewery offers everything from a tasting room, to guided tours, to a Brewtanical Garden.

Although we didn’t make it here this time, I definitely need to pay it a visit in the future to try this delicious looking Bog slushie!

To check out the current offerings on tap, you can view their tasting menu here.

How to Get Here:

Cape May Brewing Company is located at 1288 Hornet Road in Cape May.

Shop for Souvenirs at the Washington Street Mall

The Washington Street Mall is the main hub of Cape May.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

While it’s not a mall in the traditional sense, it serves as the main thoroughfare through the heart of Cape May. This town square and outdoor shopping arena is where most of the tourist action occurs – and for good reason.

Here you’ll find everything from charming boutiques, to sweet shops, to a wide range of eateries.

What to Know Before You Go:

The mall itself is a public space and open around the clock.

However, the individual businesses contained within this hub are individually owned and operate according to their own schedules.

Since the Washington Street Mall is a main thoroughfare, it gets extremely busy with tourists, starting as early as the late morning.

Evening is an ideal time to enjoy this area, particularly if you enjoy dinner outdoors at one of the area’s many restaurants.

My top suggestions for a good dinner are Delaney’s Irish Pub & Grill and Cape May Fish Market.

How to Get Here:

The Washington Street Mall is located at 401 Washington Street in Cape May.

Admire the Charming Victorian Architecture

Cape May is beloved for its charming and unique Victorian-style homes, with styles ranging from Queen Anne, to Gothic Revival, to Italianate.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

In fact, the sheer volume of Victorian properties has earned Cape May the title of a National Historic Landmark.

However, despite the mass quantity, the facades are carefully spared from the “cookie cutter” curse.

Instead, each holds its own individual identity and character.

The meticulous attention to detail on these homes is truly astonishing, from Gingerbread trim, to towering turrets, to decorative woodwork.

While most every corner provides a photo opportunity, there are a couple in particular you’ll definitely want to check out.

Here are some of the best streets to admire Victorian houses:

  • Jackson Street
  • Perry Street
  • Ocean Street
  • Hughes Street

In addition, be sure to check out my Instagram guide to Cape May for all of the must-see photo spots!

Visit the Cape May Lighthouse

As a lighthouse lover, I couldn’t miss a visit to Cape May Point State Park.

This 244-acre park is home to the popular Cape May Lighthouse as well as numerous walking, hiking, and nature trails.

The Cape May Lighthouse is fully-restored and dates back to 1859.

If you’re looking to enjoy it from its highest point, you can hike the 199 interior steps for a sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay below.

Otherwise, you can enjoy it from the park level and/or while strolling along the neighboring beach.

PHOTO TIP: While you can obviously photograph the lighthouse from the park itself, I personally recommend capturing it from the Sunset Pavilion on Cape May Beach instead.

You’ll want to use a telephoto lens (at or around 300mm), as it will be quite far off in the distance. I recommend catching it around sunset for the prettiest view.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

To read more about my affinity for lighthouses, be sure to check out my lighthouse guide for Portland, Maine.

What to Know Before You Go:

The Cape May Lighthouse is open daily from 10AM – 5PM. Lighthouse admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12).

How to Get Here:

The Cape May Lighthouse is located at 215 Lighthouse Avenue in Cape May Point State Park.

Parking is free and available directly in the park.

Alternatively, if you’re photographing the lighthouse from the Sunset Pavilion, you can find parking along the street.

Stroll Along the Promenade

The Promenade is Cape May’s iconic beachside spot that graces many a postcard.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

This popular area spans for two miles along Beach Avenue and serves as Cape May’s paved “boardwalk.”

Here, you’ll come across everything from arcades, to casual eateries, to beachside accommodations. It’s not uncommon to notice joggers, bikers, and floatie-clad toddlers all within the span of a minute.

This is a great place to get your steps in for the day and enjoy convenient access to the beach.

Enjoy a Day at the Beach

Speaking of the beach, Cape May County is known for having some of the most beautiful ones in the state – and in the nation.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Although there are different “beaches” you can visit while in Cape May, they’re technically connected, comprising one long swath of sand.

While there are numerous options to choose from, beach dwellers tend to spend time at the one closest to their accommodation.

You can check out the descriptions of the different beaches here to help you find the best option to meet your individual needs.

What to Know Before You Go:

Cape May City beaches require a beach tag, which is essentially a pass granting you beach access. You can read more information about where to obtain a beach tag, hours of operation, and tag pricing here.

Embark on a Dolphin Watching Cruise

Since you’re just steps from the water, it only makes sense to take advantage of the aquatic endeavors while in Cape May!

One of the best excursions to enjoy while you’re here is a dolphin watching cruise.

You can select from a variety of tour options ranging from morning breakfast cruises to sunset sails to watch these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Stay at a Historic Hotel

For the full Cape May experience, I recommend staying at one of the area’s historic hotels.

Although we kept our accommodations super low key at Cape Harbor Motor Inn, ideally, I would’ve loved to stay at the iconic Congress Hall.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Renowned as America’s first seaside resort, this famous property is now in its third century. Frankly, I’ve heard only rave reviews, so I hope to enjoy a stay here on a future trip!

Alternatively, if Congress Hall isn’t within budget, here are a few other historic properties to consider: 

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed discovering the top things to do in Cape May for a fun weekend getaway.

Honestly, the island completely exceeded my expectations and I have no doubt I’ll be back to explore in even more depth.

If you’re planning a trip to this wonderful place, be sure to check out my Instagram guide to Cape May. In it, I cover all of the can’t-miss corners and charming facades as well as helpful photo tips.

Now tell me: Have you ever visited this charming coastal city? If so, what were some of your favorite things to do in Cape May? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out my other guides on the Northeastern US:

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If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If you’re a lover of Victorian architecture, family-friendly beaches, and picturesque wineries, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Cape May.

As the oldest seaside resort in the United States, it’s not only a favorite summer escape, but a desirable year-round vacation destination.

I invite you to use this collection of the best things to do in Cape May as a road map for a fun weekend getaway or multi-day escape.

So without further ado, let’s uncover the delightful surprises that await you in New Jersey’s coastal gem!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

A Brief Word on Cape May

Cape May encompasses Cape May City, Cape May and Cape May Point (the boroughs), and a township.

As its name suggests, Cape May is part of a cape that juts out into the water. Although it’s considered part of New Jersey, technically, Cape May is physically separated from the state as its own island.

This distinction is significant because it feels quite distant from whacky Wildwood and the throngs of fist-pumpers on the Jersey Shore.

Instead, Cape May is charming, artsy, and lovably quirky – not unlike the lovechild of suburban Savannah and a quaint New England town.

It’s a place to step back in time for a bit and enjoy the simpler things, from mom-and-pop shops to the historic charm.

Top Things to Do in Cape May on a Relaxing Weekend Trip

Enjoy a Tasty Breakfast at The Mad Batter

Before you make a dent in your fun-packed itinerary, make sure to fuel up with a hearty breakfast at The Mad Batter. This world-famous restaurant has been serving up delicious eats since 1976 and is a must while on the Cape.

Although they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they’re especially known for their excellent breakfast food.

I highly recommend the blueberry pancakes.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

For all the pancake lovers, you’ll be happy to know the fresh blueberries are cooked inside (no pour-on fruit sauces here)!

Plus, the pancake texture is incredible and they’re super fluffy.

That said, I did ask for a pat of butter because I personally like mine drenched.

If you’re in the mood for something more savory, I can also recommend the house-made corned beef hash.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

You can check out their full range of menus here.

What to Know Before You Go:

As I mentioned, The Mad Batter is quite popular, so you’ll most likely need to wait for a table. We were there on a Wednesday morning and still had to wait for about forty-five minutes.

However, I can definitively say it was worth the wait!

How to Get Here:

The Mad Batter is located at 19 Jackson Street in Cape May. Public street parking is available.

Visit Beach Plum Farm

Of all the things to do in Cape May, Beach Plum Farm exceeded my expectations the most.

This 62-acre farm seems deceptively small when you first enter the winding driveway, but it’s really quite impressive when you arrive!

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Speaking of, as you pull into the parking lot, keep an eye out for chickens. You’ll find these cuties roaming freely on the property, so you never know when one will pop up!

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Beach Plum Farm is a working farm that prides itself on sustainable practices. They offer everything from fresh produce and household treasures in their market, to farm-to-table meals, to fun outdoor events.

We enjoyed a tasty breakfast sandwich at one of the picnic tables behind the barn. I was amazed at how large the property was from the back!

One of the most special things about Beach Plum Farm is that it offers unique beauty in each of the seasons. During the summer, there’s a stunning array of hydrangeas all around the property.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Even if you’re not planning on eating here or attending an event, the beauty of the farm alone is enough to warrant a visit.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

In addition, the property also includes five distinct cottages and barns that you can rent for a relaxing getaway.

What to Know Before You Go:

Beach Plum Farm is free to visit, provided you’re not purchasing anything from the market, sitting down to a meal, or coming for an event.

Ample parking is available in front of the main barn.

How to Get Here:

Beach Plum Farm is located just under two miles from the historic downtown area at 140 Stevens Street in West Cape May.

Indulge at One of Cape May’s Many Wineries

The Cape May Peninsula has a thriving wine industry, so visiting a winery is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Cape May.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

FUN FACT: Cape May has the longest growing season of any region in the state, making it a viable destination to visit all year long!

In fact, it’s not at all uncommon for visitors to frequent multiple wineries during their stay.

Fortunately, if you enjoy a good glass of vino, you’ll have a whopping seven wineries to choose from in the area! 

Although we only visited Willow Creek Winery on this trip, I’d be interested in checking out some others in the future.

That said, Willow Creek was an absolute delight.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Although they offer wine tastings here, you can also enjoy a more independent experience at their beautiful 50-acre farm.

We went this alternative route and ordered a white wine flight and the tasty bruschetta appetizer.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Since we enjoyed ourselves and didn’t want to leave, we ended up getting a second flight of reds with a soft pretzel.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

I will say, however, that the soft pretzel was a bit dry. Personally, I’d skip it and order something else instead.

PRO TIP: To be seated at an outside table overlooking the vineyard, you’ll need to order at least one appetizer in addition to wine. Otherwise, you’ll be sat in the outdoor tent, which isn’t as nice. I highly recommend ordering an appetizer for the prime seating option.

Willow Creek Winery also serves lunch and dinner and emphasizes reserving a table in advance. You can check out their farm-to-table grill menu here.

How to Get Here:

Willow Creek Winery is located at 160-168 Stevens Street in West Cape May.

Kick Back at Cape May Brewing Company

In addition to wineries, Cape May is also home to Cape May Brewing Company.

This working production brewery offers everything from a tasting room, to guided tours, to a Brewtanical Garden.

Although we didn’t make it here this time, I definitely need to pay it a visit in the future to try this delicious looking Bog slushie!

To check out the current offerings on tap, you can view their tasting menu here.

How to Get Here:

Cape May Brewing Company is located at 1288 Hornet Road in Cape May.

Shop for Souvenirs at the Washington Street Mall

The Washington Street Mall is the main hub of Cape May.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

While it’s not a mall in the traditional sense, it serves as the main thoroughfare through the heart of Cape May. This town square and outdoor shopping arena is where most of the tourist action occurs – and for good reason.

Here you’ll find everything from charming boutiques, to sweet shops, to a wide range of eateries.

What to Know Before You Go:

The mall itself is a public space and open around the clock.

However, the individual businesses contained within this hub are individually owned and operate according to their own schedules.

Since the Washington Street Mall is a main thoroughfare, it gets extremely busy with tourists, starting as early as the late morning.

Evening is an ideal time to enjoy this area, particularly if you enjoy dinner outdoors at one of the area’s many restaurants.

My top suggestions for a good dinner are Delaney’s Irish Pub & Grill and Cape May Fish Market.

How to Get Here:

The Washington Street Mall is located at 401 Washington Street in Cape May.

Admire the Charming Victorian Architecture

Cape May is beloved for its charming and unique Victorian-style homes, with styles ranging from Queen Anne, to Gothic Revival, to Italianate.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

In fact, the sheer volume of Victorian properties has earned Cape May the title of a National Historic Landmark.

However, despite the mass quantity, the facades are carefully spared from the “cookie cutter” curse.

Instead, each holds its own individual identity and character.

The meticulous attention to detail on these homes is truly astonishing, from Gingerbread trim, to towering turrets, to decorative woodwork.

While most every corner provides a photo opportunity, there are a couple in particular you’ll definitely want to check out.

Here are some of the best streets to admire Victorian houses:

  • Jackson Street
  • Perry Street
  • Ocean Street
  • Hughes Street

In addition, be sure to check out my Instagram guide to Cape May for all of the must-see photo spots!

Visit the Cape May Lighthouse

As a lighthouse lover, I couldn’t miss a visit to Cape May Point State Park.

This 244-acre park is home to the popular Cape May Lighthouse as well as numerous walking, hiking, and nature trails.

The Cape May Lighthouse is fully-restored and dates back to 1859.

If you’re looking to enjoy it from its highest point, you can hike the 199 interior steps for a sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay below.

Otherwise, you can enjoy it from the park level and/or while strolling along the neighboring beach.

PHOTO TIP: While you can obviously photograph the lighthouse from the park itself, I personally recommend capturing it from the Sunset Pavilion on Cape May Beach instead.

You’ll want to use a telephoto lens (at or around 300mm), as it will be quite far off in the distance. I recommend catching it around sunset for the prettiest view.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

To read more about my affinity for lighthouses, be sure to check out my lighthouse guide for Portland, Maine.

What to Know Before You Go:

The Cape May Lighthouse is open daily from 10AM – 5PM. Lighthouse admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12).

How to Get Here:

The Cape May Lighthouse is located at 215 Lighthouse Avenue in Cape May Point State Park.

Parking is free and available directly in the park.

Alternatively, if you’re photographing the lighthouse from the Sunset Pavilion, you can find parking along the street.

Stroll Along the Promenade

The Promenade is Cape May’s iconic beachside spot that graces many a postcard.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

This popular area spans for two miles along Beach Avenue and serves as Cape May’s paved “boardwalk.”

Here, you’ll come across everything from arcades, to casual eateries, to beachside accommodations. It’s not uncommon to notice joggers, bikers, and floatie-clad toddlers all within the span of a minute.

This is a great place to get your steps in for the day and enjoy convenient access to the beach.

Enjoy a Day at the Beach

Speaking of the beach, Cape May County is known for having some of the most beautiful ones in the state – and in the nation.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Although there are different “beaches” you can visit while in Cape May, they’re technically connected, comprising one long swath of sand.

While there are numerous options to choose from, beach dwellers tend to spend time at the one closest to their accommodation.

You can check out the descriptions of the different beaches here to help you find the best option to meet your individual needs.

What to Know Before You Go:

Cape May City beaches require a beach tag, which is essentially a pass granting you beach access. You can read more information about where to obtain a beach tag, hours of operation, and tag pricing here.

Embark on a Dolphin Watching Cruise

Since you’re just steps from the water, it only makes sense to take advantage of the aquatic endeavors while in Cape May!

One of the best excursions to enjoy while you’re here is a dolphin watching cruise.

You can select from a variety of tour options ranging from morning breakfast cruises to sunset sails to watch these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Stay at a Historic Hotel

For the full Cape May experience, I recommend staying at one of the area’s historic hotels.

Although we kept our accommodations super low key at Cape Harbor Motor Inn, ideally, I would’ve loved to stay at the iconic Congress Hall.

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

Renowned as America’s first seaside resort, this famous property is now in its third century. Frankly, I’ve heard only rave reviews, so I hope to enjoy a stay here on a future trip!

Alternatively, if Congress Hall isn’t within budget, here are a few other historic properties to consider: 

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed discovering the top things to do in Cape May for a fun weekend getaway.

Honestly, the island completely exceeded my expectations and I have no doubt I’ll be back to explore in even more depth.

If you’re planning a trip to this wonderful place, be sure to check out my Instagram guide to Cape May. In it, I cover all of the can’t-miss corners and charming facades as well as helpful photo tips.

Now tell me: Have you ever visited this charming coastal city? If so, what were some of your favorite things to do in Cape May? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out my other guides on the Northeastern US:

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If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas

If Victorian homes, family-friendly beaches, and wineries sound like the perfect East Coast vacation, then you’ll love Cape May, New Jersey. Located along the Jersey Shore, Cape May is its own island and a must on any East Coast road trip itinerary. Between numerous Cape May wineries and beautiful East Coast beaches, it offers top things to do in New Jersey. Discover the top activities for a weekend in Cape May, America’s oldest seaside resort! #capemaynj #eastcoasttravel #eastcoastvacationideas