Honestly, I had never heard of Cape May, New Jersey. It was across the Delaware Bay and a ferry ride from Rehoboth and seems to be a good next stop along our east coast journey. So I did some research and we decided to check out this historic town. To my surprise, this place swept me off my feet! With its historic charm and ambiance, I couldn’t have asked for more. So if you’re looking for a romantic getaway with fantastic food, fun activities and even some relaxing beach time, think of Cape May NJ. And luckily, this blog post has some fantastic ideas for Cape May romantic weekend getaways.
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Why you should plan Cape May romantic weekend getaways
Yes, Cape May is a beautiful beach town along the Atlantic Ocean. And it’s not only a great place for family vacations but also a wonderful place for romantic weekend getaways. With its tree-lined streets, Victorian homes, historic landmarks, sea views and romantic hotels, everything about Cape May, New Jersey is charming. It’s the perfect place for a special occasion or long weekends away.
Designated as a National Historic Landmark Resort, Cape May is one of the best places among Jersey Shore Towns. Located at exit zero this romantic escape is only a few hours drive from New York City. And just a ferry ride away from Rehoboth, Delaware and a short drive from Atlantic City. Cape May offers historic charm with modern amenities. Making it an ideal spot to spend quality time with someone you love.
So if you haven’t been to the lovely town of Cape May New Jersey, I highly recommend you add this small town to your bucket list of best places to visit in the United States.
Activities For Your Cape May Romantic Weekend Getaways
1. Stay in a Luxury B&B or Boutique Hotel
Cape May is known for its Victorian-style B&B’s. So instead of staying in a large hotel, choose a cozy and romantic inn for a unique accommodation experience. There are many Cape May hotels to choose from including high end luxury to quaint and modest B&B’s. Here are a few highly rated stays:
- Southern Mansion: A historic mansion restored to the largest bed and breakfast in Cape May. Offering large guest rooms with complimentary gourmet breakfasts.
- Carroll Villa Hotel: Located just 1/2 block from the beach, this national historic building is also home to the acclaimed Mad Batter restaurant.
- The Queen Victoria: Offering uniquely decorated luxury suites. Located one block from the beach and voted best bed and breakfast of Cape May since 2007.
- Congress Hotel: Historic hotel decorated with chic colorful rooms and flat-screen tvs. Located across from the beach with a pool and on-site restaurants.
2. Ride a Horse Drawn Carriage through the Historic District
Experience Cape May in authentic style with a horse drawn carriage ride through the historic district. On your scenic drive you will see amazing Victorian homes, beautiful tree lined streets, unique boutique hotels and some well-known Cape May restaurants. This is a perfect way to see the area in a relaxing and romantic way while identifying places of interest to visit later.
If you decide to walk your way through the Victorian architecture, make sure to include Jackson, Columbia, Perry and Decanter Streets. These streets have the most concentrated amounts of historic homes.
3. Experience the charm of Washington Street Mall
Stroll through the charming shops and boutiques at Washington Street Mall. This part of town is active morning, noon and night. With a variety of shops, restaurants and plenty of late night snacking options, this pedestrian only outdoor area is sure to impress.
In the summer the shops are open late, so you can grab an ice cream after dinner or make a day of it. Also, check the calendar for events like summer music in the park, Tunesday Tuesdays and the Fall Sidewalk Sale. You can find all things from souvenirs, restaurants, ice cream and even a historic church in this picturesque town square.
4. Romantic Dinners at Cape May’s restaurants
Tish’s was our first dining experience in Cape May and let me tell you , it did not disappoint. Cute, quaint and romantic! Wow! Thankfully we were seated without reservations, however I recommend making reservations in advance. We sat on the back patio. It was both intimate and charming with white draped tablecloths, flowers and candles. The restaurant is BYOB, so make sure to bring your favorite bottle unless you wan to try Cape Wine, because that is all they serve.
The menu is small however delightful. The waitress guided our selections and we decided on the Mushroom Rissotto and Halibut special to share. It was a lovely experience with the food, service and ambiance. So as our first dining experience in Cape May, others have a lot to live up to.
Other places to try include: The Ebbitt Room in The Virginia Hotel, where you can have a cocktail and eat on the lovely wrap-around porch overlooking the street. Peter Shields Inn where you can dine with views in a beachfront Victorian Mansion. And Exit Zero, a restored old gas filling station now operating as a restaurant. And while this isn’t exactly a romantic restaurant, it is fun.
5. Climb to the top of the Lighthouse Cape May Lighthouse
For breathtaking views of the coast, visit the Cape May Lighthouse. You can climb the 199 original cast iron spiral staircase steps to get to top. There you will enjoy picturesque views of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. But bring some water, because the summer months get hot walking up the staircase. Then at the top, you can enjoy some wonderful views together.
And after your climb down, you can take a scenic walk through nature trails around Cape May Point State Park.
6. Spot whales and dolphins on a whale watching cruise
Whale watching is one of my favorite things to do. We unfortunately didn’t get a chance to cruise the sea looking for whales in Cape May. However, we spotted numerous dolphins swimming around form shore. You can book a whale and dolphin watching tour from Cape May and enjoy some time on the water.
7. Watch the sunset at Sunset Beach
Another activity to include in your Cape May romantic weekend getaways is watching the sunset. And Sunset Beach is the perfect spot. The west facing ocean views allow you to watch as the sun just melts into the ocean. So, plan to arrive a little early so you can take a romantic stroll hand in hand down the beach because it does get busy. And therefore by walking a little further down the beach, you can miss the crowds and have a little more privacy. Make sure to bring a blanket or chairs so you can comfortably watch a beautiful sunset together. Its a very romantic experience.
In the Summer months there is also an Evening Flag Ceremony that takes place on certain days of the week. And don’t worry there is plenty of free parking. You may even find some Cape May Diamonds walking on the beach!
8. Share A Peace Pie for Dessert
What pairs better with a warm summer evening than a cool delightful dessert? This time we wanted to try something a little different from traditional ice cream. Therefore we decided to give Peace Pie a try. Somehow we’d missed this cool place in other cities we previously visited such as St Augustine FL and Charleston SC.
This unique dessert is a gourmet sandwich with a layer of pie filling and ice cream. We shared the Salted Caramel Apple. It was delicious and a great alternative to an ice cream cup or come. And a perfect way to end a romantic and fun filled day in Cape May.
9. Visit a Cape May Winery
There are a handful of wineries in Cape May New Jersey, including Willow Creek Winery and Farm, Turdo Vineyards and Winery and Cape May Winery. We decided to visit Cape May Winery because they also have a Sunday Brunch in the summer. And I am so happy we did! It was such a lovely experience. From the staff, the ambiance, the food and the drinks. Cape May Winery exceeded our expectations. So make sure to include this place in your Cape May romantic weekend getaways.
We sat outside in the beautifully decorated courtyard. It was decorated with a water fountain, blooming flowers of all kinds and colors, umbrellas and live music for entertainment. For Sunday brunch, the ambiance and food both exceeded our expectations. We ordered the Brioche French Toast and Spanish Skillet. The presentation was almost too pretty to eat. So don’t let the counter service fool you, it’s really good.
They also make their own truffle lavender honey. Its served on the cheese plate, but we were fortunate enough to get a sample. It was unique and tasty and wish we bought some to take home.
Honestly, I can’t comment on the wines because we had mimosas at brunch. However the experience was lovely. We even got rained on at brunch and it was still one of our favorite memories in Cape May. It’s the perfect place to have a romantic restaurant experience.
10. Visit Beach Plum Farm
Located only 2 miles from downtown Cape May, this local farm produces over 100 kinds of fruits and vegetables. Come for an afternoon to shop and walk the property or sign up for a guided farm tour. There is also a small store selling fresh produce, eggs and meat along with unique kitchen accessories. They also have a farm to table dinner series for Spring, Summer, Fall and Holidays.
We were able to attend the Summer Dinner series, only available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It was a very nice outdoor dinning experience. The price is $125 per person and BYOB for alcohol. Don’t expect to get an abundance of food, as part of the price helps keep the farm going. The food was good, but it was the over all experience that made it worth it.
11. Explore the historic Congress Hall Hotel
We absolutely love this hotel. It’s a mix of the Grand Hotel in Mackinaw Island meets the National Hotel in Cuba. It’s a fun and laid back vibe hotel with historic and classic elements. From the street view, it may not look like much, but you have to step inside and take a look around. The back patio is lined with white rocking chairs overlooking the grass courtyard and beach in the distance. There you will find an outdoor bar and live music on the patio on the weekends.
Indoors, the hotel has a variety of bars and restaurants. The Brown Bar, is the perfect place for a craft cocktail. The Blue Pig Tavern is a great place to have a nice meal. And downstairs you can find delicious pizza and on the weekends after 9pm, it turns into a dance floor with live music. The hotel is fabulous. It has so much to do in a small space.
You can sign up for the guided tour of the hotel that takes place daily at 1:30pm. And don’t miss the flag and history hall in the hotel entrance, as you can walk through at your leisure.
The rooms at Congress Hotel are very expensive, however you can enjoy many of the amenities without having to stay the night. So you can feel like royalty without having to spend a fortune!
After our visit to Cape May, it has become one of our favorite towns along the east coast. It has so much to offer as a vacation destination for both a family or a romantic weekend getaway. There is something for everyone in Cape May.
We heard over and over again, about how great Cape May was before we arrived. And thankfully it did not disappoint. I am so happy we including this charing small town into our travels. I hope you enjoy Cape May as much as we did!