- Cape May Marina
- 124 Rosemans Lane - Cape May
- New Jersey 08204 - United States
- [email protected]
Cape May, located at the southern tip of New Jersey, is a historic and picturesque city known for its beautiful beaches, charming Victorian architecture, and rich history. Here's an overview of the history of Cape May:
Early Inhabitants: The area that is now Cape May was originally inhabited by the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans for thousands of years before European settlers arrived.
European Settlement: The first European to explore the region was Henry Hudson, an English sea captain, who sailed along the coast in 1609. Dutch explorers and traders were among the first Europeans to establish contact with the Native Americans in the early 17th century.
Naming of Cape May: In 1620, Captain Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, a Dutch explorer, mapped and named the region "Cape May" in honor of his patron, the Dutch nobleman Cornelius Jacobsen May.
English Rule: The Dutch eventually ceded control of the area to the English, who gained formal possession in 1664.
Resort Destination: By the mid-18th century, Cape May had become a popular vacation destination for wealthy Philadelphians and other East Coast elites, attracted by its beautiful beaches and pleasant climate. The city developed a reputation as a premier summer resort town, a reputation that it still holds today.
Victorian Era: The mid-19th century marked the heyday of Cape May's popularity as a resort destination. During this period, numerous Victorian-style homes and buildings were constructed, giving the city its distinctive architectural character. Many of these beautifully preserved buildings can still be seen in the present day and have contributed to Cape May's designation as a National Historic Landmark City.
Decline and Preservation: As the popularity of the Jersey Shore declined in the early 20th century, so did Cape May's status as a resort destination. However, this downturn inadvertently helped preserve its historic buildings, as there was little economic incentive to replace them with modern structures.
Revival as a Tourist Destination: In the latter half of the 20th century, Cape May experienced a revival as a tourist destination. The city's rich history, Victorian architecture, and pristine beaches drew new generations of visitors seeking a unique and charming vacation spot.
Present Day: Today, Cape May is a popular year-round tourist destination. Visitors can enjoy its beautiful beaches, tour the well-preserved Victorian homes, shop in the quaint downtown area, and explore the history and culture of the region.
Overall, Cape May's history as a resort town and its preservation efforts have created a place that offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and architectural splendor, making it a beloved destination for tourists and history enthusiasts alike.
Top Tourist Attractions
Cape May offers a variety of tourist attractions that cater to different interests. Here are some of the top attractions in Cape May:
- Cape May Beaches: The pristine beaches are one of the main draws of Cape May. Visitors can relax on the sandy shores, swim in the Atlantic Ocean, or partake in activities like beachcombing and birdwatching.
- Cape May Historic District: The city's Historic District is renowned for its well-preserved Victorian architecture. Visitors can take walking tours to admire the beautiful and colorful Victorian-style houses, inns, and buildings dating back to the 19th century.
- Cape May Lighthouse: Located in Cape May Point State Park, the Cape May Lighthouse is an iconic landmark offering panoramic views of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Climbing to the top is a popular activity for visitors.
- Sunset Beach: This beach is famous for its stunning sunsets over the water and the "Concrete Ship" SS Atlantus, a wreck visible offshore. It's a great spot for beachcombing and collecting Cape May Diamonds, which are polished quartz crystals found along the shoreline.
- Washington Street Mall: A charming pedestrian shopping area in the heart of Cape May, featuring boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes. It's an excellent place to stroll, shop, and enjoy some local treats.
- Cape May Bird Observatory: Birdwatchers will love visiting the Cape May Bird Observatory, one of the top bird-watching spots in North America. Cape May is a crucial stopover point for migratory birds, attracting birdwatchers from around the world.
- Emlen Physick Estate: This historic mansion offers insight into Victorian-era life in Cape May. Visitors can take guided tours of the estate to learn about the architecture, lifestyle, and history of the period.
- Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum: Located at the Cape May Airport, this museum showcases a vast collection of vintage aircraft and exhibits detailing the history of naval aviation.
- Cape May Wineries: Cape May has several wineries and vineyards offering tastings and tours. It's an excellent opportunity to sample locally produced wines while enjoying the beautiful countryside.
- Cape May County Park & Zoo: Although technically outside the city, the Cape May County Park & Zoo is a short drive away and a great family-friendly attraction. The zoo is home to a variety of animals and provides a fun and educational experience for all ages.
These are just a few of the many attractions that Cape May has to offer. Whether you're interested in history, nature, shopping, or simply relaxing on the beach, Cape May provides a delightful and memorable experience for visitors.
Cape May, New Jersey, experiences a moderate coastal climate characterized by four distinct seasons. Here's an overview of the climate in Cape May:
- Summers (June to August): Summers in Cape May are warm and humid. Average daytime temperatures range from around 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C). It is a popular time for beachgoers, with water temperatures reaching comfortable levels for swimming. However, occasional heatwaves can bring temperatures above 90°F (32°C).
- Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Cape May is a pleasant season with mild temperatures and lower humidity. Daytime temperatures generally range from 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C) during this period. Fall foliage colors can be observed in the region, making it an excellent time for nature enthusiasts.
- Winters (December to February): Winters in Cape May are generally mild compared to inland areas, thanks to the moderating influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Average daytime temperatures range from around 40°F to 50°F (4°C to 10°C). Snowfall is possible but relatively infrequent, and temperatures rarely drop below freezing for extended periods.
- Spring (March to May): Spring in Cape May brings increasing temperatures and the blooming of flowers and trees. Daytime temperatures typically range from 50°F to 65°F (10°C to 18°C) in the early part of the season, gradually warming up to 60°F to 70°F (15°C to 21°C) as spring progresses. Spring is an enjoyable time to visit as the area becomes vibrant with new life.
Cape May's location on the southern tip of New Jersey and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean play a significant role in shaping its climate. The ocean moderates temperatures, preventing extreme heat in summer and extreme cold in winter. Additionally, the coastal location makes Cape May susceptible to weather changes influenced by passing low-pressure systems, which can bring occasional storms and precipitation throughout the year.
It is situated on the Cape May Peninsula, a narrow stretch of land bordered by the Delaware Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Here are some key points about the geography of Cape May:
- Cape May Peninsula: The city of Cape May occupies the southernmost point of the Cape May Peninsula, which juts out into the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The peninsula is approximately 20 miles long and varies in width from a few miles to just a few hundred yards.
- Delaware Bay: To the west of Cape May lies the Delaware Bay, a large estuary where the Delaware River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The bay is known for its rich ecosystem and plays a significant role in the region's maritime activities.
- Atlantic Ocean: To the east of Cape May is the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The city's location on the eastern coast of the United States makes it a popular beach destination for residents and tourists alike.
- Cape May Point: At the southernmost tip of the Cape May Peninsula, you'll find Cape May Point, a separate borough known for its lighthouse and state park. Cape May Point State Park offers beautiful natural surroundings and is a vital stopover for migratory birds.
- Wetlands and Wildlife: The Cape May Peninsula is characterized by wetlands and marshes, providing essential habitats for various wildlife species. It is a significant area for birdwatching, particularly during the migratory seasons.
- Barrier Islands: Just off the coast, there are several barrier islands, including Cape May Island, Wildwood Island, and Stone Harbor Island. These islands offer additional recreational opportunities and contribute to the region's unique coastal ecosystem.
- Location and Accessibility: Cape May is accessible by car, and several bridges connect the city to the mainland. The Garden State Parkway and U.S. Route 9 are major highways that lead to Cape May from various parts of New Jersey.
Due to its geographical location, Cape May experiences a moderate coastal climate, with relatively mild winters and pleasant summers, making it a popular destination for beachgoers, nature lovers, and history enthusiasts alike. The combination of beaches, Victorian architecture, and natural beauty makes Cape May a unique and charming destination on the East Coast of the United States.