101 Things to Do in Cape May


Probably the most frequently asked question in Cape May is: What is there to do? It is an understandable question in the off season too. So I became curious how long it would take me to make a list of more than a hundred things to do in Cape May. In no particular order here they are:

  1. Take a MAC historical trolley tour.
  2. Stroll the Washington Street Mall shops.
  3. Rent a bicycle or surrey and ride through town.
  4. Stop in the welcome center and get the latest news on attractions in Cape May
  5. Search for Cape May diamonds at Sunset beach
  6. Climb the 199 steps to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse
  7. Visit the WWII Tower and learn its history
  8. Visit the Nature Center and gaze out on the harbor from their second floor observatory
  9. Go Parasailing
  10. Go fishing on one of the many party boats
  11. Walk the promenade from end to end. About 1.4 miles
  12. Visit the Emlen Physick Estate
  13. Go birding
  14. Get a massage at the Well Center
  15. Have lunch on the porch of the Mad Batter Restaurant
  16. Stand in line at Hot Dog Tommy’s
  17. Visit one of Cape May County’s six wineries
  18. Spend time on the Beach reading a book.
  19. Take in the Flag ceremony at sunset beach
  20. Take surfing lessons
  21. Take a carriage ride through town
  22. Visit the Fire Department museum on Franklin Street
  23. Go Whale watching on one of two boats offering tours
  24. Catch the sunset parade on a Sunday night at the Coast Guard Base
  25. See a play at one of the Theatres in Cape May
  26. Go golfing at Cape May National Golf Course
  27. Play miniature golf
  28. Daydream sitting in the Adirondack chairs on Congress Hall’s lawn
  29. Browse the West End Garage or Artist’s Co-op
  30. Visit the Naval Air Station Hangar
  31. Visit the Rutgers Aquaculture Center in North Cape May along the Canal
  32. Browse the book store on the second floor of the Mall in the Mall
  33. Hang out beside the Hotel or Motel Pool
  34. Take a guided walking tour of Cape May
  35. Take a tour and tasting of Cape May Brewery
  36. Visit Cold Spring Village
  37. Take an interactive tour of Congress Hall
  38. Take a boat tour on the Salt Marsh Safari
  39. Get take out on the Lobster House docks
  40. See a movie on the beach (children’s games & dancing beforehand)
  41. Attend a concert at Convention Hall
  42. Browse one of the many galleries in town
  43. Search for Geocaching locations in the area
  44. Have dinner and a show at Elaine’s Dinner Theatre
  45. Hike Higbee Beach and meadow
  46. Tour the nature trails of south Cape May meadow
  47. Visit the Exit Zero Store in West Cape May
  48. Learn to Stand Up Paddle Board SUP
  49. Visit the Designer Show House
  50. Have a cocktail on the Porch of the Inn of Cape May in a rocker
  51. Rent Jet Skis
  52. Visit the Alpaca farm on New England Road
  53. Attend a free concert in Rotary Park
  54. Explore the WWII Bunker at Cape May point
  55. People watch on the Washington Street Mall
  56. Compose your own Best Pizza List
  57. Visit the Fisherman’s Memorial
  58. Fly a kite on the beach
  59. Play Volleyball on Decatur Street Beach
  60. Participate in a Cape May festival – Spring, Octoberfest, Seafood, Dragonboat
  61. Go on music overload during the Jazz festival or Singer-Songwriter Weekend
  62. Don’t miss the Cape May County Zoo animals as you drive in or out of town
  63. Do a self-guided MAC Audio Tour of Cape May’s Historic District
  64. Run in Cape May’s footrace, in the Ocean Drive marathon, or just along the beach
  65. Go antiquing
  66. Walk the “boards” on the trails at Cape May Point State Park
  67. Get some fried chicken at the Magnolia Room, Chalfonte Inn
  68. Visit the Akoteria off Beach Drive – Cape May’s food court
  69. Have afternoon tea at the Carriage House Tea Room
  70. Family bonding with Cape May’s Family Treasure Hunt (MAC)
  71. Ride the ferry to Lewes Delaware (or just watch the ferry boats come in)
  72. Get a mani-pedi or spend the day at a spa
  73. Grab an ice-cream cone and go for a walk, spotting Mansard roofs
  74. If you’re into “haunts,” Cape May has them by trolley and house tour
  75. Go to Wildwood and visit the amusements at Morey’s Piers
  76. Join the locals for an open mic night  (Sundays at Mad Batter)
  77. Search for John Cooke’s mug on the ceiling of Ugly Mug
  78. Rent a street-legal low-speed vehicle to cruise the streets
  79. Take an African American History Walking Tour
  80. Create something at the Center for Community Arts or at the new Art Block
  81. Contrast North Wildwood’s Hereford Inlet Lighthouse with Cape May’s
  82. Take in the “Light, Particularly” exhibit at Carroll Gallery
  83. Visit the Forgotten Warriors Museum at the County Airport
  84. For just $1 in July & August, take a trip on the Cape May Trolley Service
  85. Find the perfect t-shirt at the Flying Fish Studios
  86. Buy exotic frommage at Seaside Cheese Co.
  87. Get a latte at Magic Brain Café and you might catch local musicians performing
  88. Don’t miss Wednesday Wing Night at C-View or Taco Tuesdays at Big Wave
  89. See the beautiful stained glass windows at Our Lady Star of the Sea, RC
  90. Check-out the resources at Cape May Library on Ocean Street
  91. Shop at the Tuesday afternoon Farmer’s Market in W. Cape May
  92. Early bird gets delicious bread from the Bread Lady on Sunset Blvd
  93. Free Magic Show Tuesday evenings in the summer at Convention Hall
  94. Children’s Summer Playhouse series Thursdays at 10:30 am, Convention Hall
  95. Try out a yoga class on the beach
  96. Off-season roller skating at Convention Hall
  97. Eat a burger and overlook the water at the Harborview Restaurant
  98. Catch the Spring or Fall Sidewalk Sale at the Washington Street Mall
  99. Stroll through a West Cape May festival – Strawberry, Tomato,  or Lima Bean
  100. Get a taste of fudge and hear “today’s special” outside Fudge Kitchen
  101. Listen Carl Behrens try to sound like Jimmy Buffet at the Rusty Nail

Phew!!! That’s 101 things to do in Cape May. Some free, some worth every penny. Did we miss your favorite thing to do? Please, add them in the comments.


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    • Mark Woods
      December 30, 2015 / 2:11 pm

      Attend Jazz Night at the Merion Inn on Tuesdays.

  1. Ben Miller
    April 28, 2015 / 5:50 pm

    Done! (That’s where I found my love for Cape May History, 30 years ago)
    Done! (Always a must-do, for the past 40 years)
    Done! (Many, many times)
    Done! (Believe it or not…)
    Done! (Can’t recommend this enough, as a Vet and an American citizen)
    Not done… YET. I look forward to completing this soon.
    No chance in hell. My wife and daughter loved it, though.
    Done! (Again, did this one many, many times. I loved it before the dunes, seawall was exposed beyond Frank’s arcade)
    Done! (Been through every part of it, from the attic to the basement)
    Not Done, but would love to try it.
    Done! (God bless that Hot Dog-headed man and his wonderful wife!)
    Done! (Also done at the Sunset Pavilion with the Kiwanis ceremony)
    Do you really want to see this body surfing?
    Done! (HIGHLY recommend. Gives a new appreciation for the CMFD)
    Done! (As a kid… great memory)
    Would love to do this, but not sure I’d be able to sit in that crowded theater.
    Not able to golf anymore.
    Done! (This brought back great memories of my dad…)
    Done! (Exit Zero’s office used to be there, spent a lot of time there)
    I don’t know what this is, but I will find out!
    One of my favorite things to do with my kids.
    Done! (I’m considering creating my own in MP3 format)
    I’m sober 11 years… sorry.
    Done! (They were nice enough to take my Nana through privately, after the remodel. She worked there in the 1940s)
    Done! (I grew up eating on those docks. Again, many memories)
    I’d like to do this, but I’m not sure I’d be able to with my medical issues)
    I don’t know what that is.
    I’ve been wanting to do this for years, never got around to trying it.
    Looks so fun to me, but I am physically unable to do it
    Damn that sobriety…..
    Wanted to do this ever since they first started renting them. I love the water.
    Didn’t know about this, will check it out with the kids this summer.
    Done! (A favorite since I was a young boy)
    Done! (I have all kinds of Cape May food lists…)
    Done! (Recommend to everyone. It’s a wonderful memorial and tribute to all those lives that were lost. Very moving experience if you open up to it)
    Done! (But on Steger Beach back in the day)
    I love the music, but don’t do well with crowds.
    Done! (Excellent, fun, AND FREE)
    I haven’t run since the military. I’ve got 5 bulged discs and 3 herniated discs in my back and neck, along with arthritis throughout my joints. If all of that was gone…. I still wouldn’t do it. I hate to run. My cadence in the military was (in my head), “I hate this. I hate this. I hate this. I hate this…..”
    Done! (Everything at the Magnolia Room is great. Try the breakfast buffet too. Also enjoyed my cousin’s wedding there)
    Done! (Grew up going there. Bruce Minnix built it)
    Done! (Wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but I LOVED it)
    Done! (Captain Kidd, when I was a kid)
    That would be just mean to the poor pedicure person…
    Done! (I remember after the big fire, when I was a kid)
    Been meaning to do this for years.
    Will do!
    I don’t know what this is, but it sounds fun.
    I’ve been there and learned about African American history, but never made anything. Will have to check this out
    Looking forward to it!
    Done! (Very powerful experience, especially for veterans)
    Done! (Pure curiosity and a ride around town)
    Done! (So damn good… They should make a cheese called that. I’d buy it)
    Done! (Big fan of Magic Brain coffee and the owner is awesome)
    Done! and Done! (Many times over)
    I have yet to experience the Bread Lady. Heard amazing things…
    My wife and kids will be there!
    My wife and kids will be there, with me if I’m able.
    Nobody wants to see that. Think of the Chris Farley “Chippendale’s” sketch
    Done! (In the old hall)
    Done! (GREAT prices…)
    Done! Done! and Done!
    Done! (About a million times)
    Done! (Carl is awesome. I love the outdoor music at the Nail)

  2. Cool cat Julie
    April 28, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    sit on a Cape May porch

  3. April 30, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    I love this! Hey John, if you ever get tired over there I need some help in the Concierge Dept!! 🙂

    • April 30, 2015 / 4:24 pm

      Hi Amanda,
      Thanks for reading and Commenting. Tired, ha my plate is as full as yours. You know we are the unofficial welcome centers of Cape May.

  4. June 1, 2015 / 9:18 am

    Visit the Colonial House (between city hall and fire house)

  5. Jan Pask
    June 1, 2015 / 10:16 am

    I’ve been working on a list of “Things To Do in Cape May” for my website with accompanying photos. I may steal a few of your ideas!

  6. Chuck Scott
    June 20, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    very good list….but you forgot the SS Atlantus…. 🙂

  7. Janine Hansberry
    July 18, 2015 / 7:39 am

    See the dolphins up close. Watch them play on the Thundercat Dolphin Watch!!
    Love #96. 🙂

  8. August 3, 2015 / 8:23 am

    A great list of ideas. I have just printed it out for my guests to look at. Thank you!

  9. October 1, 2015 / 5:08 pm

    If Cape May is Heaven (and it is) then The Victorian is Heaven’s Gate. My Mom and I spent our best times together in Cape May, and The Victorian is what I consider my home away from home. I’ve only made it there once since my Mom passed away, and I’ve spent the last 2 years taking care of my Dad so I was unable to get away. Sadly, my Dad passed away Saturday, September 26th, 2015. He and Mom used to stay at The Victorian for more years than I can count but his health made it impossible for him to visit again. We have a lot of things to take care of now, and the one thing that is getting me through this terrible time is knowing that when everything is settled, I will once again be able to visit my home away from home. I look forward to revisiting all the places I went with Mom, but the one thing that keeps me going is knowing that when I make that drive over the bridge by The Lobster House, I will be laying my head down in one of my favorite rooms at The Victorian, reliving memories, and making some new memories knowing all the while my Parents are smiling down on me, happy to know I am continuing our tradition. Thank you John and Family, you gave so much happiness to my Family and I can’t wait to return.

  10. October 1, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    Joanne, I am so sorry for your recent loss. Memories are grieving salve sometimes. I am glad you will return to us in the future and renew some of those memories.

    Thank you for taking time to stop by and share your journey and thoughts about your folks. Peace to you.

  11. Alice minervino
    October 2, 2015 / 7:20 pm

    I’ve done a lot of these and know about the ones I haven’t except—-
    who is the Bread Lady? And where do I find her?

  12. Mark Polakovich
    November 5, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    #1. Watch your son graduate basic training from the United States Coast Guard (ranks #1 for me)

    • November 5, 2015 / 3:54 pm

      As a matter of fact with the combined classes of Yankee and Xray this week. There are a lot of families here right now. Congratulations if yours recently or is about to graduate.

      • Mark Polakovich
        November 6, 2015 / 9:01 pm

        Dec18th is my sons but thank you in advance. Family friend was just on the Oct 23rd class. Not sure if you do this but can you recommend a nice and clean hotel on the beach that is close to the training center. I am assuming any place cannot be too far away in Cape May expspecially without summer traffic.

  13. November 6, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    102. Visit the Colonial House, home of the Greater Cape May Historical Society.
    103. See a play at Cape May Stage.
    104. See a play at East Lynne Theater Company.

  14. Terry Harris
    August 30, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    Here is an idea: read the Amazon Kindle book, Cape May, My Love by Terry Harris as you stroll the beautiful streets of Cape May. Cape May, My Love is a collection of love poetry about a man and a woman exploring Cape May as they fall in love.

    • September 4, 2016 / 4:49 pm

      Thanks Terry, perhaps you could do a guest blog post with excerpts from your book It sounds lovely.

  15. K. Hernandez
    July 13, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    What is the Victorian influence in Cape May?? Is there a district of Victorian homes? Please share.

  16. Terence Harris
    November 27, 2020 / 10:57 pm

    Hello – I am the author of the Amazon Kindle book… A Christmas Kiss in Cape May. My new and unique book celebrates Christmas, Cape May, family and love.
    A Christmas Kiss in Cape May by Terry Harris.
    Enjoy Cape May!

  17. Terry Harris
    July 21, 2023 / 11:02 am

    You May want to read my Amazon Kindle book.
    .. Cape May, My Love by Terry Harris ( all 5 star reviews and only .99 cents on Amazon Kindle) or my Amazon Kindle book…
    A Christmas Kiss in Cape May by Terry Harris as you stroll around beautiful Cape May. Have a great day.