The Jersey Shore has always been recognized as the premier summer destination in New Jersey. But after the summer season comes to a close, the leaves have changed, and the holiday season is long gone, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the splendor of the shore.
The coastline stretches from the northern tip of Sandy Hook, all the way south to the state’s southernmost tip in Cape May, and offers opportunities to be forever captivated by what surprises are in store. Come see for yourself!
Our journey begins in the southernmost tip of the state, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware River in Cape May, New Jersey. This legendary Victorian Era community has had a special place in my heart since childhood when my family and I would have our annual summer vacation there almost each year.
Over the years, I’ve grown a deep attachment to this destination and I’ve always found something new each time I visited, no matter the season. Regardless of where you’re traveling from, all paths lead all the way down the Parkway to Exit 0 to the nation’s oldest seaside resort of Cape May. This time, I will be sharing some tips on how to enjoy the Jersey Cape in the off-season.
Since it’s off-season, not all businesses, hotels, bed & breakfasts, and restaurants will be open. Many have closed their doors or are closing earlier in the day after the conclusion of the summer season and will re-open in the spring, usually right before Memorial Day, when the town is getting ready for travelers and summer residents alike. Be sure to check out the official Cape May website and other affiliates to ensure their individual business hours during the time of your visit or if you’re staying overnight at a local accommodation.
Winter is also one of the best times to snag a deal at any available hotel or bed & breakfast since they have reduced their rates to due to lower demand after the holidays and before Valentine’s Day when they tend to book up quickly. I actually just spent a few days myself down in Cape May this past week and loved the blissful quietness of it all. Winter in Cape May means much fewer crowds, amazing photo opportunities, and just the feeling of having this lovely beach community all to yourself!
During the time of my visit, I stayed at the Victorian Motel, a modest accommodation located in the heart of it all in the historic district of Cape May adjacent to the Washington Street Mall, a pedestrian only outdoor shopping & dining promenade where you’ll find unique boutiques and one of a kind dining experiences to satisfy any palate.
My room was on the third floor which offered the best view of the mall and the surrounding area of nearby Congress Hall, an upscale resort hotel offering luxury accommodations and tastefully decorated suites, and other businesses alike. In the summer, the Victorian tends to book up very quickly due to its ideal proximity to everything that Cape May has to offer.
Another great accommodation is at Congress Hall. If you’re considering a stay here, be sure to reserve months in advance. Even in the off-season, Congress Hall will book up quickly because of its resort style amenities. The nearby Blue Pig Tavern is another must-visit in Cape May, a heavenly delight for any meal of the day in a Victorian Era atmosphere room. If you’re into a bar/pay atmosphere, visit the Boiler Room for exquisite pizzas and craft beers.
The Virginia Hotel is yet another wonderful accommodation located on Jackson Street perfectly situated between the beach and the Washington Street Mall. The hotel is comprised of three floors, each with Victorian inspired rooms & suites in the standard of the 21st century. The hotel is also home to the Ebbitt Room, a fine-dining restaurant that serves a culinary delight to all.
All in all, if you’re looking to get away from it all and just seeking to find pure bliss, Cape May offers a special piece of heaven — even in the off-season!