DISCOVER CAPE MAY

Spend some time exploring Cape May, the oldest seaside resort in the country! Simply follow our three-day travel itinerary.  

To access more details about each historic site, be sure to click the links throughout to learn more. 


Day 1

Designated a National Historic Landmark, Cape May is known for its collection of Victorian period homes, second in the nation after San Francisco. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities interprets the town’s history through trolley and horse-drawn carriage tours. After a tour, head to Washington Street Mall to stroll Cape May’s picturesque town square lined with unique shopping and dining experiences. Finish the day with a trip to the Emlen Physick Estate. Designed by renowned Victorian architect Frank Furness, the 18-room mansion features a traditional tea luncheon, afternoon tea, and cafe fare at the Carriage House on property. Be sure to check out their calendar to attend one of the estate’s many year-round-programs including the Gardens of Cape May Tour in May; Music Festival in June; Harvest Brew Fest in September; Victorian Weekend in October; Sherlock Holmes Weekends in November; and Christmas in Cape May throughout December. 

Want to stay overnight? Cape May offers several accommodation types for varying tastes and budgets. 



CAPE MAY

EMLEN PHYSICK ESTATE

Day 2

Start the day at the Cape May Lighthouse, one of the country's oldest lighthouses in continuous operation. Climb the 199 steps of the original, cast-iron spiral stairway to the top and enjoy unparalleled views of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Back on the ground, choose between three nature trails which will have you traversing wetland marsh, coastal dunes, and sandy beaches to view flora and fauna, and wading birds, ducks, swans as well as the occasional osprey, which come to rely on these freshwater ponds for food and habitat for breeding. Packed a lunch? Enjoy a picnic on the beach or in one of the many picnic shelters.  

After, stop at the World War II Lookout Tower which was part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles. Take a guided or self-guided tour of New Jersey’s last remaining restorable WWII tower now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Conclude the day at one of Cape May’s wineries and vineyards for a relaxing atmosphere that makes everyone feel part of the family after the first sip! 



CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE

WORLD WAR II LOOKOUT TOWER

Day 3

Spend the day exploring Historic Cold Spring Village, New Jersey’s largest open-air museum, with 27 buildings recreating life in the 1800s. Take a stroll along 30 acres of shaded lanes, enjoy the gardens, and visit the farm where heritage crops are grown. Visitors can explore twenty-seven restored historic buildings including a blacksmith shop, print shop, woodshop, and other trades. Historically clothed interpreters educate and entertain visitors about the lifestyles, issues, trades, and crafts of yesteryear including those of mid-19th-century farmwomen. Grab a bit to eat at the Cold Spring Grange Restaurant and a tasty, cold, libation at the Cold Spring Brewery – New Jersey’s first non-profit brewery.  



HISTORIC COLD SPRING VILLAGE


THERE'S MORE TO SEE AND DO: EXTEND YOUR STAY AND ADD THESE STOPS

Visit the Museum of Cape May County to tour the house museum to learn what life was like in Cape May County in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. See the original first-order Fresnel lens from the Cape May Lighthouse! Interested in aviation history? Stop at Naval Air Station Wildwood located in restored Hangar #1 at Cape May Airport. Serving as an active dive-bomber squadron training facility for Naval aviators during World War II, the museum boasts interactive exhibits, flight simulators, and 26 planes and helicopters including the F-14 Tomcat, MiG-15, and the UN-1 Huey Helicopter.  

DISCOVER CAPE MAY


DISCOVER NJ

New Jersey history is everywhere, hidden away on quiet back roads, right out in plain sight, in urban areas, country towns and villages, and along the Jersey shore. Historic sites across the state tell intriguing stories of New Jersey’s diverse, inventive, creative, and revolutionary people. History is alive and waiting for you. View Additional Resources