As we transition into autumn here in Cape May, the September weather has not disappointed. While last week was downright crisp, this week has seen the return of tropical humidity. Temperatures are tolerable though..which keeps the oppressiveness at bay. In short, the weather is conducive to outdoor exploring in and around town. Most restaurants and businesses are still open as well, offering air conditioned relief and relaxation when needed! We hope everyone is ready to enjoy the fall season and explore all that Cape May has to offer. At Homestead, our agents have already been busy with inquiries and reservations for the 2018 summer season. We’re so pleased at the number of inquiries we are receiving from those that have never been to Cape May before. Among such inquiries, a common question centers around the different areas of town and which one is “best”. Well, any Cape May native or habitual visitor will tell you that there are no “best” areas…there’s simply different parts of town that are more suited to specific needs and desires. Let’s take a look…
Cape May Proper: Cross the main bridge into town (sometimes referred to as the “Lobster House Bridge” by many a local) and you’re on your way into Cape May. The foot of the bridge splits off into Washington Street or Lafayette Street Lafayette ends at historic Jackson Street., just past Cape May’s beautiful new rotary park. Washington breezes past Cape May landmarks such as the Emlen Physick Estate and the Washington Inn, before ultimately flowing into the venerable Washington Street Mall. The mall and its surrounding areas are typically referred to as the “center of town”. It’s impossible to miss…and once you visit, you’ll want to keep coming back.
Cape May’s East End: Cape May’s east side is not officially named as such, but it encompasses a specific area of the island that is worth a mention. A long time favorite among many rental guests, the east end is home to multiple residential areas. These are quiet enclaves that are within an easy walking distance to the center of town. The most exclusive of such areas is referred to as Poverty Beach, which is home to multiple grandly designed beachside estates. These homes are all 5+ bedrooms and are ideally suited for larger rental groups. Many of the properties feature the “upside down” layouts which are conducive to entertaining, privacy, and views. Continue North on Pittsburgh Avenue and you’ll pass the “state streets” to your left (and the Coast Guard Base on the right). These streets encompass a large residential area of single family homes, before transitioning into a section known as Village Green…a neighborhood with many twin and quad style homes. While it’s a bit of a longer walk to the beach and town, these homes can be ideal for small rental groups, and many allow pets too! Most of the east side streets connect Pittsburgh Avenue to Madison, which is abutted by Columbia, Washington, Lafayette, and multiple side lanes that lead westward to the town center. All streets are worth exploring as no two are the same!
West Cape May: Unlike the unofficially branded east side, West Cape May is its own municipality. From the north, head into town via Seashore Road over the locally termed “West Cape May Bridge”. Just past Stimpson Lane (which leads towards the point-more on that below), Seashore Road becomes Broadway…and you’re officially in West Cape May. To the left, various avenues connect Broadway to Park Boulevard. One such avenue is Mechanic Street, which is home to quaint cottages like this one. To the right is the largest area of West Cape May, where avenues with numeric titles connect Broadway to Bayshore Road. Bayshore leads toward Sunset Boulevard and also intersects the popular Willow Creek Winery and Beach Plum Farm. This general area is largely residential, with single family rental homes in varying styles and sizes. It’s a perfect location if you’re in search of a more modern variety of rental, and it’s also home to a number of pet friendly properties. You’ll find 2 bedroom cottages, 5 bedroom spaciousness, and everything in between. From most of its areas, West Cape May does require a jaunt into the center of town via car or bike. The upside though is that its location often awards renters more house for the money…so that’s something to keep in mind as you scope out your next Cape May rental locale.
Cape May Point: Encapsulating the beauty of nature, Cape May Point contains just one restaurant, and its post office…that’s it. In fact, homes in the Point don’t even have door to door post service…that’s how tranquil of an area it is! Home to the Cape May Bird Observatory, Cape May Point State Park, and the Cape May Lighthouse…this is where to stay if you aspire to be surrounded by nature. But remember that the bustle of Cape May is just minutes away. Residences in the point are often charming and whimsical cottages that are a blend of the beach and the country. But larger, modern homes are available as well. And due to its notoriety as a premier birding destination…the Point typically remains booked straight through the fall season.
Offshore: Head offshore via West Cape May, then head west. You’ll be met by the Cape May Lewes Ferry entrance and the Lower Township Bay Front, where a number of beautiful properties feature panoramic views of the Delaware Bay. The surrounding area is an established, heavily shaded community with a wide range of properties. And the bay beaches feature their own brand of tranquility and local flare. The offshore area may not be where you want to stay if you’re experiencing Cape May for the first time…but it’s certainly worth a visit, especially to view the incomparable sunsets of the Delaware Bay.
So there we have it, a condensed answer to the question of “where do we stay if we’ve never been to Cape May?” As you may now realize…it’s not an easy question to answer. That’s why now is the time to begin exploring the Cape May area and narrow down your rental selections. Take advantage of this beautiful autumn season and plan ahead! By the time next summer rolls around…you’ll have nothing to do but get in the car and head south.
When you’re ready to reserve a rental, remember that Homestead’s agents are available to guide you through the process and make it as easy as possible.
Research, reserve, and then… relax!