Where to Stay in Cape May, New Jersey

The Reeds at Shelter Haven hotel provides peaceful views near scenic wetlands in Cape May, New Jersey
The Reeds at Shelter Haven hotel provides peaceful views near scenic wetlands in Cape May, New Jersey | Courtesy of The Reeds at Shelter Haven / Expedia
Nick Dauk

If you’re set on Cape May for your New Jersey getaway, you’ll find beachside resorts alongside Historic District B&Bs, with everything in walking distance of the best places for shopping, sipping and sunbathing. Will you cozy up in a 19th- or early-20th-century hotel from the golden age of the Cape, or find some luxurious modern accommodation? The options for lodging in Cape May will make your decision difficult, but each will provide the base for an unforgettable stay. Better yet, they’re all bookable with Culture Trip.

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Congress Hall


The grand columned exterior and French-style slate roof of Congress Hall resort with US flags outside
Courtesy of Congress Hall / Expedia

Why not check into lodging in Cape May that boasts the title of the first American seaside resort? Congress Hall opened to visitors in 1816, and although it’s been renovated over the years, small touches, including the original china and antique brass hardware, bring back the charm of years past. Embrace the hotel nickname, the Summer White House, and make an executive order to stay in the Presidential Suite, which has a hot tub, custom marble fixtures, and private balcony offering views of the ocean, veranda and lawn.

ICONA Cape May


The exterior of the ICONA Cape May with its blue and white striped awnings and intimate pool area
Courtesy of ICONA Cape May / Expedia

Though not nearly as old as many of the mainstay hotels in Cape May, ICONA beautifully bridges the historic past of the Cape with contemporary upscale comfort. Walk-in showers, organic bath products and Bahamian-chic décor embrace you in an airy, laid-back atmosphere, while the beach and nearby Historic District offer the opportunity to savor the classic southern Jersey Shore vacation experience that families have sought for generations.

La Mer Beachfront Resort

Resort, Luxury

A large bed and sofa in a room with a simple design and private balcony at La Mer Beachfront Resort
Courtesy of La Mer Beachfront Resort / Expedia

Slip off your sandals, fall onto the sofa and spend hours gazing at the ocean through the floor-to-ceiling windows of your luxurious hotel room at La Mer – one of the best places to stay in Cape May. Believe it or not, the kitchenette and rainfall showerhead are amenities in the “basic” guest suites. Upgrading your stay to a condo or beach house will only enhance your visit, with dining rooms, additional bathrooms and space for the extended family.

Beach Shack


Seating arranged under parasols and around firepits on the beach outside The Beach Shack with fairy lights
Courtesy of The Beach Shack / Expedia

The Beach Shack’s neighbor, the Rusty Nail, may ring a bell as one of the best beach bars in America, but that doesn’t eclipse the many other perks of this hotel. One of the top places to stay in Cape May, it’s a retreat for beach lovers of all ages (and species), this dog-friendly hotel stocks Beach Plum Farm bathing products in every room. Uniquely-themed rooms such as the Big Kahuna Suite, which has extra space to lounge, and the Bunk Shack, with bunk beds for children, are fun touches that cater to beach bums and dedicated surfers alike.

The Sandpiper Beach Club


An outdoor pool area in front of a four-storey hotel building with a small tower atop
Courtesy of The Sandpiper Beach Club / Expedia

With a robust fitness center, serene spa and laid-back lounge on-site, the Sandpiper Beach Club has plenty of oomph when it comes to amenities. Other small but significant touches – including sleeper sofas in the living areas, and kitchens stocked with cookware and dinnerware – make it convenient for large groups or families to ease into a self-catered vacation. Should you want to let someone else take care of the cooking, the seasonal beach service will gladly bring over small bites – and large drinks – to your free-to-use beach chair and umbrella.

The Star Inn


A hotel exterior decorated in yellow and white with private guest balconies and shrubs in front
Courtesy of The Star Inn / Expedia

Are you craving an intimate getaway but want the luxe amenities of a beachy resort when deciding where to stay in Cape May? Let the Star Inn help light the way to an unforgettable vacation. Cozy accommodation, including the secluded Carriage House Suites, feature perks such as private sundecks, balconies and backyards, all with rocking chairs or porch swings, of course. Your stay includes access to the amenities at Congress Hall across the street, which has a pool, fitness center, beach service, shuttle service and guided tours around town.

Virginia Hotel

Hotel, Luxury

Flower boxes line the deck and balconies outside the Virginia Hotel designed in ornate style
Courtesy of Virginia Hotel / Expedia

Cradled in the heart of the Historic District, you might just fall in love with the Virginia Hotel. A spot on the tree-lined Jackson Street offers a shaded walk from your room to Cape May Beach, half a block away. Strolling the streets is a fantastic way to spend a relaxing afternoon, but we’d suggest taking advantage of the golf cart shuttle service at the Virginia, which will whisk you to anywhere in the area you’d love to explore, including the popular Beach Plum Farm, from which several of the local restaurants source their ingredients.

The Reeds at Shelter Haven


A simple hotel room with sea views and a wooden headboard at The Reeds at Shelter Haven
Courtesy of The Reeds at Shelter Haven / Expedia

See a different side of the area at the Reeds at Shelter Haven, located in Stone Harbor it’s the best place to stay near the Cape May Zoo and wetlands and around 20-minutes’ drive from Cape May center. Surrounded by cafes and restaurants, this hotel tempts you to sneak away and savor luxurious suites with dual-sided fireplaces, chef’s kitchens and soaking tubs. Take the pampering to the next level with dips in the rooftop plunge pool, Turkish bath treatments in the Salt Spa, and sunset dinners at the Water Star Grille.

The Southern Mansion


A grand eclectic lounge with two fireplaces and turquoise walls at The Southern Mansion
Courtesy of The Southern Mansion / Booking.com

Genuine Southern hospitality with a Cape May twist awaits at the Southern Mansion. The generous suites of this B&B feature private bathrooms with hand-painted tile showers, a full gourmet breakfast each morning, and a charming screened porch with rocking chairs. You’ll find original antique furniture in every room of the mansion, immaculately cared for by your hosts. All guests must be over the age of 10 – and visitors over the age of 21 can enjoy a trip to the nearby Willow Creek Winery.

Looking for more? Check out our guide to the best beach hotels in Cape May, all bookable with Culture Trip.

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