The pace of modern life can get us down and run us ragged. And for this reason, sometimes a busy or activity-packed vacation destination can actually be the last thing you need. Instead, if you're feeling a bit worn down, you can look to slow down at a place that invites you to let go and relax. And for this type of getaway, there aren't many East Coast destinations that can top Cape May, New Jersey
With its slow pace, rich history, and almost indescribably pleasant atmosphere, it can be just the place to find peace and recuperate from everyday life. Below are a few specific reasons why.
Cape May is first and foremost recognized as a coastal destination, so we may as well start with the beaches! Here, while there can certainly be a crowd during peak travel times or over holidays, you can for the most part enjoy gorgeous beach areas without worrying about throngs of tourists, clutter, and all of that. It'll be just you, whoever you happen to be traveling with, clean sand and pretty waters.
On Cape May Beach in particular, the sand is pristine and just waiting for your lounge chair and umbrella drink. However, you may also want to check out Sunset Beach near the SS Atlantus, North Wildwood Beach, Poverty Beach, and the beach at Cape May Point State Park. And wherever you are, don't forget to hunt for Cape May diamonds when you get up for a walk down the beach! These are basically glittery quartz pebbles often collected by visitors, and they actually do add a certain charm to the beaches.
A Slower Pace
The more well-known beach destination in this part of New Jersey is Atlantic City, which is known as much for over-the-top entertainment and towering casino resorts as for the actual beaches. However, Atlantic City's charms have dissipated over the years, and in fact at this point even its casino allure is no longer unique. That's not to say you'll find casinos on Cape May (you won't), but with the games available online throughout the state, people can effectively enjoy the best part of Atlantic City anywhere.
And that speaks to the whole idea that Cape May offers a slower pace. Those who want to enjoy the state's casino culture can simply do so online from a cozy, rented cottage rather than mess with a bustling big-city resort. Similarly, if you want to get around on Cape May, you're typically better off doing so by bicycle or on foot than by car. If you're looking for a place to stay, you can find a quaint, homey property rather than a giant hotel. If you want to go for a drink you can visit a local winery instead of a crowded bar or club, and if you need an activity to enjoy with dinner, watching the sunset is as good an option as any. The whole place is just pared down, in a soothing and beautiful way.
If you're looking for a slow-paced vacation and you value the charm factor, you'll no doubt appreciate the older dwellings that are emblematic of Cape MayMay. Because of the area's rich history, there are many preserved historic homes showcasing a diverse range of architectural influences - many of which you can tour (or at least take a look at) during your stay.
If this idea does appeal to you, you may want to start with the Emlen Physick Estate, a beautifully restored Victorian. Its carriage house is home to the visitor's center, so from there you can determine other historic landmarks to visit during your stay on Cape May. Most of them reside in the historic district, including highlights like the George Allen House (in the Italianate style), the George Boyd House (Georgian Revival style), and Fryer's Cottage (Second Empire style).
Nature and Wildlife
If you enjoy the outdoors and you're up for mixing in a bit of activity with your leisurely getaway, a visit to the Nature Center of Cape May can be just the thing. This venue has its own garden and activities, along with an observation tower that provides some beautiful views. And if this interests you, a wealth of other nature parks and trails exist on the cape as well, including New Jersey Lizard Tail Swamp Preserve, Cape May County Park and Zoo, and Stone Harbor Point.
All in all, this should set you up for the relaxing vacation you need!
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