As soon as September rolls in and school starts again, the crowds vacate the Southern New Jersey shore points, but don’t let the masses fool you! During what the locals call the “off-season” – from Sept. through April – there are many fun activities to enjoy at the Jersey Shore for everyone. Some particularly entertaining events and attractions in and around the City of Cape May, NJ.
Cape May, known for its grand Victorian houses, is home to many #NJSpots that are open year-round like: the Cape May Brewery, Congress Hall (which is fantastic during holiday season), and the Cape May Zoo. This City also hosts some fun events like its Annual Wine and Jazz Festivals in Oct and Nov, respectively. And, of course they have some delicious restaurants to satisfy your taste buds. Oh, and I cannot forget that many of the attractions here are free!
How to get there:
This City is located at the tip of Southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula.
The easiest way to travel to Cape May is by car. It is an easy drive down the Garden State Parkway. Travelers Tip: If you are coming from Philadelphia, you can avoid tolls by taking root 55 South, route 47 South, to Route 9 South to Exit Zero.
Check Out Some of the NJspots in Cape May:
The Exit Zero Jazz Festival, which runs from Nov. 10-12th, welcomes various talented local, national and international Jazz artists. Tickets can be purchased for the entire festival or single events. The festival is held in 9 different venues in Cape May, NJ,, most of which are within walking distance of one another along the beachfront in Cape May.
Willow Creek is so much more than a winery! They host Pasta Sundays, Friday comedy shows, and a variety of one-off events like their “Pinot and Paws” event on Dec. 17th; not only will you meet some animals at this event who are looking for their forever homes, but If you bring any non-perishable pet food item or unused pet toy with you. You will be eligible for a free sample of Willow Creek Winery’s newest release 2014 Pinot Noir. You will also be entered to win a private wine tasting for four (a $100 value). Check them out on Instagram @WillowCreekWinerynj.
Skip the crowds and the fees of the city zoos! Cape May’s non-profit zoo is FREE every day for adults and children all year; guess what – parking is also free! The Zoo will only accept donations to help keep its operations going. The Cape May zoo is located at 707 N. Rt. 9, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. Click on this brochure for a rundown of what the Zoo offers: 2016 Zoo Brochure (2)
This spot is for craft beer lovers! Three local guys launched Cape May Brewing Company in 2011 with one goal: bringing craft beers to the beach. Cape May Brewing Company is open every day from 12-8 pm. The brewery offers FREE guided and unguided tours of its brewing facilities. It is a dog-friendly facility; if that isn’t enough to attract you to this brewery, they also offer tastings and seasonal brews like S’mores Honey Porter and Craft Apple Pie! Cheers! Check them out on Instagram @Capemaybrewco.
This is the oldest shore point resort in the United States and is also the prettiest during the holidays! This resort decks their “Hall” for the holidays with homemade gingerbread houses, life-size candy canes, and beautifully strung lights that form a “winter wonderland” in their backyard that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Any spot in this downtown Victorian resort is excellent for photo opportunities with the family. Congress Hall also has four excellent restaurants (one offering breakfast with Santa in December). And it is only a few steps away from The Washington Street Mall, which spans three blocks of Washington Ave. in Cape May’s downtown area.
Congress Hall Decked for the Holidays: