It’s not hard to come home from your south Jersey vacation knowing a little bit more about the area. The Jersey shore is full of history going back as far as colonial days! You can see the 1800s come to life at historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May, or tour the Kids and grownups alike will have fun learning about the shore’s unique ecosystem, too.
History is all around the Jersey shore. Spend an afternoon or an entire day finding out what life was like over a hundred years ago.
Historic Cold Spring Village
Cape May is home to a twenty-two acre living history museum known as Historic Cold Spring Village! You can explore twenty-five restored buildings and talk with costumed interpreters who bring the sights, sounds, and smells of the 1800s. Begin your visit at the Welcome Center and learn a little bit about Cape May’s history. Throughout the village, you’ll find interpreters demonstrating trades like blacksmithing and tinsmithing, spinning and basket weaving, printing and bookbinding, and much more!
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
For centuries, fishermen have used the Hereford Inlet as a safe haven, but strong currents and shifting sand bars often made it dangerous. In the 1800s, a small fishing village grew up and was called Anglesea; the United States Lifesaving Service established a small lighthouse there. Fast forward more than a hundred years, and the city of North Wildwood found themselves with a derelict lighthouse. It was restored in the 1980s and today offers guided tours, art and craft shows, butterfly watching, and North Wildwood’s annual Christmas celebration.
Cape May Lighthouse
Your New Jersey visit would be incomplete without a tour of the famous Cape May Lighthouse! Built in 1859, the lighthouse is believed to be the second oldest, continually running lighthouse in the country. And don’t miss the Light House Museum and its amazing view of the Jersey Cape.
Nature lovers will find their fill of adventures in south Jersey! Whether your passion is gardens, native plants, or marine life, you can satisfy your curiosity without straying from the shore.
Cape May County Zoo
Spend a day exploring nearly 80 acres of animal habitats and exhibits at the Cape May County Zoo! The zoo is home to almost 200 different species — that’s over 500 animals to see! Best of all, admission is free.
Marine Mammal Stranding Center
Just outside of Atlantic City in Brigantine NJ you can find the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. This non-profit center rescues marine animals found on the New Jersey coastline, like whales, seals, dolphins, and turtles. The rescued animals are rehabilitated and then returned to the ocean. If you’ve got a soft spot for animals in need… or you’re just fascinated by marine life… don’t miss the Marine Mammal Stranding Center!
The Wetlands Institute
Learn about conserving and preserving the coastal ecosystems at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor. Walk through Marion’s Gardens on your way to the Institute — an award-winning garden designed to attract local birds and butterflies. The Institute is home to a small aquarium, and interactive exhibits to help you learn more about the Jersey shore environment. Be sure to take a guided tour of the Salt Marsh Trail so you can see the island’s finest flora and fauna up close and personal.
The Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary
For more natural wonders, visit the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary! Thousands of herons nest in this twenty-one acre preserve. Founded in 1947, it is the only municipally owned sanctuary in the country.