This end of the Jersey Shore has it all, including spectacular oceanfront dining, laid-back poolside cabanas and well-preserved 19th-century architecture lining the Historic District. You’ll also find boutiques at Washington Street Mall and colorful sunrises at Cape May Lighthouse. Whatever brings you to Cape May, New Jersey, you’ll need a place to stay. Here’s our pick of the best hotels – bookable with Culture Trip.
Picture it: you’re sitting under the shade of a covered patio, the passing sea breeze swaying your rocking chair back and forth as you sip a cup of coffee and do absolutely nothing else. If that sounds like the leisurely pace you desire on your vacation, the Southern Mansion is your ticket to some R&R. From the clawfoot tub in Room 20 to the beach chairs in summer, it has everything you need to do nothing at all.
If toes in the sand and a drink in your hand are the only two requirements for an amazing vacation, the Montreal Beach Resort has you covered. Book one of the resort’s private cabanas and tiptoe from your ocean-view room to the edge of the water in seconds. As you recline under a shady umbrella, the beach concierge service will happily bring you a soft drink to cool you down. Fancy something a bit stronger? The resort’s restaurant, Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille, has a rooftop bar slinging montreal mules all night long.
Bargain hunters who know that value is found beyond the price tag will relish the perks of booking a stay at the Icona Cape May. Sure, you may only be staying in a single room, but your reservation grants you access to all of the amenities at the hotel and its sister property, Icona Diamond Beach. The complimentary seasonal shuttle will also whisk you around Cape May. From fresh Icona blend coffee to ultra-comfortable Icona robes, the perks keep stacking up whether you’re in your luxe oceanfront suite or hanging out on Diamond’s private beach.
Savor the style and swagger of the Hugh, sharing it with only seven other lucky couples. Behind the stunning and refined Victorian architecture, you’ll find a hip and playful boutique B&B with a passion for fashion and food. International flavors fill the ever-changing breakfast offerings, while a nine-course prix-fixe menu at the Jardin restaurant is sure to generate buzz on your social media pages. Each room has seating for two – a lovely little feature that you’ll want to share only with your most important follower.
The Ocean Club Hotel agrees that luxury is a state of mind, and how better to embrace such a perspective than in an oceanfront suite on the penthouse floor? Each accommodation on this adults-only floor features a custom-designed bathroom and a private balcony. Turn your back on the shoreline for a moment as you settle into a table at SeaSalt Restaurant for chilled poached lobster, pan-seared halibut and a Cape May rye whiskey as smooth as the tide.
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If lounging on the sand is only one of the many to-dos on your beach getaway, then you’ll love the Virginia’s convenient location in the Historic District. It’s only two blocks from the Washington Street Mall, where you can grab a cup of java from Coffee Tyme at the Mall and explore the best boutiques in the city. Find a new swimsuit at Beach Bums, a new novel at Cape Atlantic Book Company and a postcard at the Whale’s Tale gift shop to send back to your envious friends.
Pack your appetite alongside your swimsuit when you plan a stay at La Mer Beachfront Resort. This chic coastal hotel is home to Pier House, a delicious restaurant that ranks among the best in Cape May. Throughout the year, special dining menus include four-course meals curated by the chefs. Prefer to order off the à la carte menu? You’ll taste the fresh ingredients in every bite of avocado toast, crispy calamari and seafood cioppino that’ll keep you smiling and satisfied from breakfast to dinner.
To get a good sense of the history of Cape May, the Congress Hall hotel makes for a great base. It was the first seaside resort in the country, and you’ll spot centuries worth of history in the hotel’s decor alone. Walk past hundreds of examples of 19th-century architecture on your way to the Harriet Tubman Museum, Colonial House Museum and Greater Cape May Historical Society. To see the spooky side of the city, sign up for a ghost tour and discover which friendly spirits from generations past may be floating around the hotel.
If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own condo in Cape May, the Sandpiper Beach Club is happy to give you a crash course in beachfront living. Wake up in a one- or two-bedroom condo, complete with a fully equipped kitchen and a living room that opens to a private balcony. Brew a cup of coffee and take in the sunrise, or get the day going with a trip to the sauna, pool or exercise room. Toss your wet swimsuit in your suite’s washer and dryer, then head out onto Beach Avenue and let the scent of fresh seafood lure you into your new favorite snack shack.