Fourth of July Weekend: Ten Things to do in Cape May
Located at the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is a beautiful seashore town that entices visitors to come back again and again. Lined with Victorian homes and inns and filled with excellent places to eat, Cape May, NJ is a special place to celebrate the Fourth of July. Blessed with an old-fashioned atmosphere, it brings back memories of small town celebrations, complete with street fairs and fireworks.
Though Cape May is close to many other popular New Jersey shore towns, there’s plenty there to keep you busy without ever straying outside its borders. Here’s a list of favorite activities for Fourth of July Cape May vacationers.
1. Take a Carriage Tour – Nothing says “Old-Fashioned Cape May” like a tour of the town from the comfy seats of a horse-drawn carriage. The local carriage company has been offering such tours since the late 19th century and they’re as popular as ever. Half-hour tours run daily during the summer months including on the Fourth of July weekend.
2. Head Out on a Family Bike Ride – Lovely, mostly flat Cape May is a great place to ride bikes together. If you don’t have your own with you, there are several outfitters in the area that rent both two-wheeled bicycles and family-friendly surreys (a four-wheeled bike built for up to 4 passengers.) Some will even deliver the bikes to your hotel!
3. Go Birdwatching – Cape May is an ideal location for spotting dozens of species of sea birds and other winged creatures. As a matter of fact, avid birders have been coming to Cape May since Colonial times to enjoy their sport. And because of the town’s diverse landscapes – salt marshes, pine forests, grasslands, etc. – you’ll be wowed at the many species you spot. Bring your field guide!
4. Sign up for a Wine Tour – After a long day at the beach, consider an afternoon wine tour with a local company that will escort you to a few of the area’s most prolific wineries. Or travel on your own to the Cape May Winery and Vineyard, open daily – including 4th of July – for wine tasting.
5. Climb the Lighthouse – An estimated 100,000 visitors climb the stately Cape May Lighthouse each year. Located about 2 miles from the city of Cape May at Cape May Point, it provides a wonderful bird’s eye view of the area. If you don’t want to climb, you can hang out below and browse the interesting exhibits profiling the history of the structure.
6. Take a House Tour – If you’re into Victorian architecture, this is a must-do on a visit to Cape May. Furthermore, it’s a great way to celebrate Americana and the Fourth of July! The non-profit Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities offers a variety of different house tours you can book for your enjoyment.
7. Hang Out with Animals! – The Cape May County Park and Zoo boasts 550 animals of more than 250 species and it’s a great attraction for Cape May visitors of all ages. Furthermore, it’s free, with donations going to the care of the park and the animals. It’s open daily including on the 4th!
8. Take a Fireworks Cruise – The Spirit of Cape May offers fireworks cruises on July 3 and 4 (or similar) that put you out on the water when the festivities begin. Light fare is served and it’s appropriate for all ages. If you don’t want to do the fireworks cruise, dinner cruises and other options are available as well.
9. Enjoy a Guided Kayak Tour – If you prefer a small boat to a large vessel, rent a kayak and sign up for a guided tour along the Cape Island Creek. Outfitters offer such excursions every day during the summer or you can rent a kayak by the hour and do your own thing with your traveling companions.
10.Boom! – Cape May’s Fourth of July fireworks are awesome! Gather at the beach at dusk for this patriotic salute complete with lots of color and plenty of noise! It’s a treat for the eyes!