With its beautiful sandy beaches, activity-filled boardwalk, and delicious kid-friendly restaurants, Cape May is a long-time beach vacation favorite for families. Located at the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, the iconic lighthouse and bayside sunsets provide picture-perfect memories off Exit Zero, while gingerbread-style Victorian houses and horse-drawn carriage rides add to the town's historic charm.
With all the makings of a perfect beach getaway at your fingertips, all you need for a Cape May vacation is a hotel reservation, and The Grand Hotel — an oceanfront hotel with awesome amenities — is a great choice for families. Read on to find our recommendations for the best things to do, best places to eat, and the best spots to stay in Cape May, NJ, and your next family beach vacation could be just a click away.
Top Things to Do on a Cape May Beach Vacation
The beauty of a Cape May beach vacation is that once you settle into your hotel, everything you need is right there.
Cape May has some of the best Jersey Shore beaches, but if you’re in search of more, you can stroll down the boardwalk to find mini-golf and arcades, play carnival games on the Congress Hall lawn, or catch a movie in the sand after dark in front of Convention Hall. Families can rent bicycles or the Cape's quintessential surreys right from the Grand Hotel and cruise along the boardwalk in the mornings, or along the bike lane on New Jersey Avenue. The brick-paved pedestrian mall is stroller friendly and lined with independent shops, art galleries, cafes, and no shortage of restaurants with children's menus.
Kids will love splashing around in The Grand Hotel's outdoor heated pool.
While there are plenty of family-friendly activities available, if you want some grown-up time to relax, EcoVentures offers daily kids camp adventures and lessons, including skimboarding, bodysurfing, snorkeling, and body boarding down on the beach. EcoVentures is conveniently based at The Grand Hotel, but camps are open to everyone.
See all of our Top 25 Things to Do in Cape May, NJ.
Best Cape May Restaurants for Families
There are casual, beachside dining options abound in Cape May, complete with kids meals and high chairs. Our top picks include The Rusty Nail, with a surfer-bar vibe, live music, and fire pit, surrounded by sand that kids can dig in while waiting for their meals. Arrive early for breakfast at George's Place to beat the rush and enjoy a modern twist on classic Greek diner fare. Don't miss a chili cheese dog and a frozen Coke at Hot Dog Tommy's, or an iced coffee at Coffee Tyme. Lobster rolls are perfect carry-out at Quincy's. And the steaks and local seafood at Hemingway’s at The Grand Hotel will make for a delicious dinner at the end of an action-packed day.
Visitors and locals alike head to Hemingway's for its "classically casual, never stuffy" vibe.
Of course, no beach vacation would be complete without a few stops for ice cream along the way. Head to Peace Pie for gourmet ice cream sandwiches stuffed with frozen pie fillings — think pecan, banana cream, peanut butter, key lime, and chocolate. For classic cones with sprinkles, try Fine Fellows or Uncle Charley's, and for classic custard, Kohr Bros is a must.
Where to Stay in Cape May
Victorian inns and charming bed and breakfasts may be a big draw in historic Cape May, but families often prefer the convenience of larger hotels with kid-friendly amenities, where noisy kiddos can splash in the pool or join age-appropriate activities.
Directly across from the ocean, The Grand Hotel of Cape May on Beach Avenue is a great choice for families. The picturesque hotel features an Olympic-sized outdoor pool, a heated indoor pool (always a nice 86 degrees) and jacuzzi, a kids arcade and game room, on-site dining at Hemingway's, and daily kids camp in the summer months. Kids activities are run by EcoVentures and range from arts and crafts to ocean science and safety, plus skimboarding and body surfing lessons.
Choose from a variety of oceanfront and ocean view room at The Grand Hotel.
Ocean view guest rooms at The Grand Hotel can sleep up to eight people and include refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, and WiFi. Some suites are even equipped with kitchenettes, including toasters and cookware. Check the website for mid-week and other special rate deals.
With all that Cape May has to offer, it’s a no brainer for an easy beach getaway. And just think, you could be making your reservation now and be sitting in the sand in no time. Check The Grand Hotel of Cape May website for more details and to book your beach vacation now.
All photos courtesy of The Grand Hotel