Appreciating all that makes America special

Cape May, New Jersey

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Cape May is one of those venerable beach resort towns that welcomes back its friends every year, because it’s a destination that families return to year after year. In fact, it’s said to be America’s oldest seaside resort. Because of its age, it has more interesting architecture – including lots of Victorian buildings – than you’d expect in a beach resort.

Cape May,

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Go to Cape May in, say, January, and you’ll be among only 3,600 year ’round residents. Visit in July, however, and the town swells to about 50,000 or more. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was located on New Jersey’s coast (“Cape” can mean many things), and I found that it’s right at the state’s southern tip. See the map below.

At Cape May, you won’t find a row of high-rise hotels and a congested strip lined with seafood buffets (I’m looking at you, Myrtle Beach). You’ll see some guest houses, some bed and breakfasts, and some historic hotels in addition to the expected beach motels. It has a history and feeling all its own, a great choice for families. Maybe that’s why the readers of TripAdvisor selected it as the number two U.S. beach destination (ahem, Myrtle Beach was number one), and number nine in the world. Pretty impressive company for this little town on the Jersey shore. Have you made your reservations for 2012 yet?

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