Best East Coast Beach Town: Cape May, NJ

June 27, 2012 at 8:13 am | Posted in life, photography, travel | Leave a comment
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It was exactly a year ago that we first visited Cape May, NJ. We happened to have a free weekend — Daryle wasn’t DJing. I was newly pregnant and was hoping for us to get away from city life and visit somewhere with sand. We researched and decided on Cape May which is on the most southern tip of the New Jersey peninsula facing the Atlantic. We pretty much haven’t stopped talking about it since.

Because of the geography of Cape May, to get there from the south you must drive north through Delaware only to turn east and then head south down the peninsula of Jersey — or, a much more relaxing way to travel is to drive just north of Rehoboth (another favorite beach town) to the Lewes car Ferry and for about an $85 round trip, it will drop you off a few miles from Cape May’s beaches. We signed up for the ferry route. It couldn’t be easier to drive your car on the barge, all passengers are free to roam the ferry, have a bite to eat at the cafe, and watch for dolphin under the sunny sky. Its feels as if someone turned a switch from white-knuckling highway driving, to easy-does-it ocean gazing.

Cape May is like no ordinary beach town — at least the beaches I’ve been to. Its streets are lined with Victorian mansion-after-mansion. Some mansions are privately owned, but a lot are B&Bs and guest houses. Last year, we didn’t plan ahead soon enough so we stayed in a hotel across from the ocean. It was perfectly comfortable, but for our return, we had our eyes set on something a bit more quaint. In fact, there was one that caught our eye — a charming blue mansion, with balconies that overlooked the ocean. I thought ‘what the heck’ I’ll see if they had any availability. Traveling with a baby makes things more complicated as I try to keep Jack’s bedtime consistent; plus Daryle and I tend to be such late eaters, we would need to retire for the evening when the babe went down, being stuck indoors while at the beach. I spoke with the sweetest, most accommodating innkeeper, Liza — she assured me that the guest house is family-friendly and indeed there was space: A large room with a separate kitchen, bedroom and bath at the top of the house with an ocean-view!

We were thrilled beyond belief that we could stay in our *dream* house. There’s Daryle on the top balcony waving. :)

The rooms were airy and comfortable…

…with a big sofa that faced the French doors to the ocean.

We put our things down and headed out for a walk on the beach.

There are art supplies on the porch of the beach house where guests can paint sea shells as keepsakes.

Aren’t those houses unbelievably beautiful? It’s hard to not stare, but the ocean was calling us.

As it got later, we retired to the room. Even though Jack was getting tired, we still had the beach admire. The moon rose above the ocean, and we could clearly hear the waves crashing. I’ll never get tired of that sound.

The next couple of days were so relaxing. We walked about the town and took pictures of the different houses, read placards, and ate fresh fish at the local restaurants.

A storm was coming through and as we walked past the historic hotel, called The Chalfonte it looked like a haunted mansion!

On our last day in Cape May, we were idling around town, waiting for the ferry. We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant and reflected on our long weekend near the sea, we want to make the trip a yearly tradition. Daryle wondered if we could call it that having only gone two years so far. Next year we’ll mark it as an official Maciocha-family getaway. And Jack will have been with us every time we’ve gone.

And yes, my baby is naked in the above picture at a restaurant. We had a little accident and this momma actually forgot a spare change of clothes. He’s really cute though in his skivvies.

Read about my other favorite beach town: Rehoboth Beach, DE


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