New Jersey has always had a bad rap, and the recent deluge of reality TV
shows like Jersey Shore and Jerseyliscious have not helped matters
much. These programs perpetuate stereotypes of gaudy, obnoxious
residents who live in a homogenous collection of heartless townships
that form the “armpit of the United States.” But we beg to differ.
Outside of places like Trenton, Newark or Atlantic City, New Jersey is
really quite lovely and picturesque. (And after all, they don’t call it
the “Garden State” for nothin’!)
Located at the very southern tip of the “Jersey shore” is perhaps its crown jewel, Cape May. The seaside beach resort community could easily be likened to a “New Orleans of the North” - with one exception. There’s no vice. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Still, the overriding ambiance, bolstered by impeccable Victorian-era architecture, horse-drawn carriages and gas-lit lamps, more than makes up for the fact that you’ll have to look a bit deeper in order to kick up your heels.
Let’s face it, thanks to its clean beach, warm waters and husky waves suitable for body-boarding, Cape May is first and foremost a “summer rental” destination. And that means it’s also a family destination. In fact, your Set of Drifters first visited Cape May back in October of 2005 while on the hunt for a family reunion location to rival the tackier, more run-down beach communities further north. We immediately fell in love with Cape May’s small-town turn-of-the-century charm, and knew that its incredible walkability and candy-colored tree-lined streets would appeal to our electorate committee. We have returned three times since for additional summertime fun, though the remainder of our family has never skipped a year!
Don't have a smattering of tots or nieces and nephews? Cape May also makes for a good romantic weekend, though be sure to wait until after the school year has kicked into gear. The drive from New York is easy in half a day, and yet upon your arrival, you’ll feel a million miles away from the hubbub of the city.
So what are you waiting for? Hop on a trolley, visit the historic WWII lighthouse, or grab yourself a box of salt-water taffy. This is Cape May, the “purdiest little place in Jersey you ever did see.” Oh, and did we mention the ghosts?