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What to Do in Cape May County, New Jersey, in Winter

by Holly Riddle

Feb 12, 2020

Sararmas | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

A trip to the Jersey Shore doesn’t have to wait until summer. There’s still plenty to see, do and enjoy for traveling families, even if it’s too chilly to hit the beach.



Consider booking a stay at Congress Hall. The historic hotel was built in 1816 and earned the nickname The Summer White House. Past presidents to stay at Congress Hall include Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin Harrison. Congress Hall is considered the first seaside resort in America — but that definitely doesn’t make it old-fashioned. The cheery yellow building offers up-to-date and modern amenities in each renovated guestroom. During winter months, guests can enjoy the hotel’s concert series, including a Broadway sing-along and retro concert.


Another historic hotel to look into is The Carroll Villa, one of the five existing Victorian hotels in town, built in 1882. Even if you don’t stay in one of the 19 unique hotel rooms, you still might want to stop by for brunch at the hotel’s Mad Batter Restaurant, or for a drink in the evening hours. The Mad Batter is consistently named one of the best eateries in Cape May.


If the weather is no deterrent to your beach-loving family, stay at Icona Resort at Diamond Beach. The property offers modern guestrooms with balconies, panoramic views, floor-to-ceiling windows and a location just steps from the beach.



No matter where you stay, kick off your trip with a trolley tour. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts provides guided trolley tours wherein the center’s knowledgeable guides provide information about the destination’s history and architecture.


For families with younger children who might not have a long enough attention span for a tour, consider bundling up and taking a trip to Cape May Lighthouse, a historical landmark with a small museum, or Cape May County Park & Zoo, where you’ll see hundreds of animals out and about.


Cape May Zoo. Photo: Wirestock | Dreamstime.com



If your fellow travelers are of drinking age, Cape May County offers some excellent spots to enjoy a tasting. Willow Creek Winery is a cozy spot to enjoy a few sips of local wine by the fireplace. If beer is more your style, Mudhen Brewery is the spot to enjoy craft beers brewed on site, along with a menu of delicious seafood and smoked meats.


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