The Infamous Cape May


The Infamous Cape May.

You feel a mild breeze push against your body as you walk on the endless shore. The limitless waves are interrupted by the large rigid rocks that lay beside the shore, causing large turbulences through the fluidity of the waves. Masses of seagulls flap above you, cutting the through the human interactions on the beach. As you end your walk on the shore, you feel the weight of the coarse sand building on top of your feet. The salty and briny smell of the ocean fade as you finish your seventh lap around the shore. This is the Cape May Beach Experience.

Cape May is a city at the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula in Cape May County, New Jersey, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. One of the country's oldest vacation resort destinations, it is part of the Ocean City Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a year-round population of 3,607, reflecting a decline of 427 from the 4,034 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 634 from the 4,668 counted in the 1990 Census. In the summer, Cape May's population is expanded by as many as 40,000 to 50,000 visitors. The entire city of Cape May is designated the Cape May Historic District, a National Historic Landmark due to its concentration of Victorian buildings.

Cape May was recognized as one of America's top 10 beaches by the Travel Channel. It is also known as one of the best beaches on the Middle Atlantic coast.


Cape May, New Jersey has a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers, cool winters, and year-round precipitation. Its climate resembles that of its neighbor, the Delmarva Peninsula.

  • Humid subtropical climates are characterized by all months having an average mean temperature > 32.0 °F, at least four months with an average mean temperature ≥ 50.0 °F, at least one month with an average mean temperature ≥ 71.6 °F and no significant precipitation difference between seasons.

  • During the summer months in Cape May, a cooling afternoon sea breeze is present on most days, but episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values ≥ 95 °F.

  • During the winter months, episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < 0 °F.

  • The average seasonal (November–April) snowfall total is around 12 inches, and the average snowiest month is February which corresponds with the annual peak in nor'easter activity.

Ferry Transport

The Delaware River and Bay Authority operates the Cape May-Lewes Ferry year-round, a 70-85 minute across Delaware Bay to Lewes, Delaware, carrying passengers and cars. The ferry constitutes a portion of U.S. Route 9.

The Delaware River and Bay Authority operates a shuttle bus in the summer months which connects the Cape May Welcome Center with the Cape May–Lewes Ferry terminal.

5 Animals You may see at Cape May

Here are some fascinating beasts who are home to the shores of Cape May.

  • Humpback Whales: Part of the baleen family, head to the cool waters off of the Atlantic Coast in the summer to feed. These majestic creatures—currently on the state and federal endangered list—grow up to 60 feet in length and eat approximately 3,000 pounds of food a day—holy krill! According to Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, the largest threat to these creatures is entanglement in fishing gear—so don’t discard your nets or fishing lines in any body of water, ever.

  • Horseshoe Crabs: Horseshoe crabs are thought to be approximately 400 million years oldtwo times older than any dinosaur that roamed the earth, according to Conserve Wildlife of New Jersey. The Garden State is extremely important to the life cycle of the Atlantic horseshoe crab as they largely live and breed in the Delaware Bay.

  • Bottlenose Dolphins: These social creatures enjoy a dive into the waves as much as any beachgoer at the Shore. Bottlenose dolphins, who make their way towards the Garden State in the summer, usually swim up from the Carolina’s where they winter in order to feed and give birth. Males and females often travel in separate groups called pods, which can number in the hundreds.

  • Sand Crabs: These beach-loving critters are among the smallest of the crabs. Living and feeding in “swash” zones—or areas of the beach where waves break on the shore—these one-inch creatures are harmless to humans and are even eaten as a summertime snack by some.

  • Seagulls: It wouldn’t be a trip to the Jersey Shore without a sea gull or two… or three… or a hundred. These common Shore birds, seen above, are actually named “ring-billed gulls.” According to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, they are one of 10 species of gulls that call New Jersey home. While the ring-billed gull population is thriving and is even thought to be increasing, five species of gulls are decreasing in numbers.

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