If you’re looking for an idyllic New Jersey coastal town to enjoy, you’ll adore Cape May. It’s situated on the tip of the Cape May Peninsula and boasts a beautiful coastline, gorgeous Victorian architecture, and plenty of incredible shops and restaurants.

It’s fair to say that Cape May gets pretty popular during the warmer months. So much so, that its population grows by over 50,000 during the summer! Usually, the population is only around 3500 people, but it’s super popular with New Yorkers and visitors from surrounding towns and cities.

It is also one of America’s oldest tourist destinations, so finding where to stay in Cape May can be pretty overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve figured out the very best accommodations and listed them all below!

Where to Stay in Cape May

ICONA Cape May | Best Hotel in Cape May

ICONA Cape May

ICONA Cape May is a beautiful Cape May Beachfront hotel with everything you could want from a coastal vacation in the sunshine. You’ll get superb amenities, a great location, and best of all – you’re right next to the beach!

Wilbraham Mansion | Best Hotel in Cape May

Wilbraham Mansion Cape May

The Wilbraham Mansion is a fantastic spot for any family. You’ll experience wonderful amenities and a prime location in a relaxed area of Cape May.

Shalimar Resort | Best Resort in Cape May

Shalimar Resort Cape May

This place offers a superb location, fantastic amenities, and plenty of family-sized rooms. If you’re looking to stay near theme parks, this is an ideal option.

Cape May Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Cape May

Cape May’s Beachfront

Cape May’s Beachfront

If you’re looking for the ideal Cape May destination to spend your first time in the area, you’ll adore Cape May’s Beachfront because it offers the perfect location. You’ll always be close to the best sites, and you’re only a minute or two from the beaches.

Wildwood Crest Cape May

Wildwood Crest

The area is home to Cape May’s most extensive selection of restaurants, bars, and nightlife opportunities, with a superb range of beaches. If you’re bringing Fido along, you’ll adore the Wildwood Dog Park & Beach – it’s the perfect place for your furry friend!

Lighthouse Cape May

West Cape May

West Cape May is ideal for families because there are many things to do. It is far quieter than many other places just a short distance away. If you would love to see a great green space where your family can relax, play, and sit on the floor, West Cape May offers the ultimate spot for your family.

Top 3 Areas to Stay in Cape May

Cape May is the OG seaside destination in New Jersey. If you’re dreaming of beaches, quaint shops and waterside restaurants, then you really can’t go wrong. There are so many things to do in Cape May, so you’ll have endless entertainment during your stay.

If you’re visiting Cape May for the first time, you’ll undoubtedly want to stay on Cape May’s Beachfront. Famed for its gorgeous views, historical sights, and stunning beaches, there are loads of attractions here to help you get to know the area. These include the Cape May Rotary Park and the Colonial House Museum.

Wildwood Crest is the best place for budget backpackers visiting Cape May. It’s full of little shops and restaurants, and you can still enjoy kilometers of coastline without breaking the bank. Wildwood is the ultimate retreat from the Big Apple, and its low prices make it a great place to stop off on a road trip around New Jersey.

West Cape May is the ultimate Cape May area if you’re looking to stay somewhere quieter and more rural. Although it’s slightly away from the main highlights, you can still take a short walk or a bike ride into Cape May’s center. The area is surrounded by peaceful woodland and nature to explore, and its quiet ambience makes it our top pick for families.

Popular West Cape May attractions include the Strawberry Festival, the Bean Festival, and the variety of popular antique shows. You’ll also find multiple historic homes that are perfect for those looking to take stunning photographs!

If you’re still unsure where to stay in Cape May, New Jersey – no worries! Read on for more detailed guides on each place below, as well as the top accommodation and things to do.

1. Cape May’s Beachfront – Best Place to Stay in Cape May for your First Time

Cape May’s Beachfront
The ultimate seaside location

The Beachfront is the best place to go if you’re looking for the ideal location for your first time in the area. Wherever you are in this area, you’ll always be close to the best sights and a minute or two from the beaches. If you’re looking for tasty international cuisine, you’ll find plenty of options here, too.

Cape May’s Beachfront also has a diverse range of accommodation. With an eclectic mixture of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and Airbnb’s with stunning Atlantic Ocean views, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Steps Away from Beach – Ocean View | Best Airbnb in Cape May’s Beachfront

Steps Away from Beach - Ocean View Cape May

Spellbinding views, a fantastic location, and plenty of space are all part of the package at this Airbnb. You’ll be blessed with stunning beach views, with the coastline right on your doorstep. Main attractions are only a short walk away, including the Wildwood Boardwalk.  

The property is clean and sleeps up to six guests, making it perfect for groups or families looking to stay central.

ICONA Cape May | Best Hotel in Cape May’s Beachfront

ICONA Cape May

If you’re looking for a hotel with a phenomenal ocean location, you’ll struggle to find a better option than the ICONA Cape May. This highly-rated hotel offers guests an excellent range of facilities and a modern, comfortable design.

It’s next to some superb BBQ and Seafood restaurants, and only a mile away from the Cape May Stage!

La Mer Beachfront Resort | Best Resort in Cape May’s Beachfront

La Mer Beachfront Resort Cape May

This resort boasts a superb waterfront location, right next to Washington Street and Cape May city center. You’ll be in the heart of all the action, helping you really make the most of your trip.

It offers a vast range of superb amenities, including a restaurant, bar, and swimming pools.

Things to See and Do in Cape May’s Beachfront:

Cape May Beach
You won’t get bored here!
  1. Walk straight out of your accommodation and onto the gorgeous beaches.
  2. Have a wander down Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks, where you’ll see endlessly incredible views and an amusement park that’s ideal for the family.
  3. Visit Splash Zone Water, where you’ll find slides, on-site restaurants, and a lazy river.
  4. Head to the Raging Waters Water park, where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy endless water plays and even a beachfront park. 
  5. Check out Cape May’s winery for comprehensive wine tours, wine tasting events, and the opportunity to purchase the finest local wine at the best prices!
  6. Explore the iconic Cape May Lighthouse, and climb to the top for superb coastal views. 
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2. Wildwood Crest – Where to Stay in Cape May on a Budget

Wildwood Crest Cape May

Wildwood Crest is where the fun happens in Cape May. There’s a vast array of accommodation here, with plenty of options fit for budget backpackers.

The area is home to Cape May’s most extensive selection of restaurants, bars, and nightlife opportunities, with a superb range of beaches. If you’re bringing Fido along, you’ll adore the Wildwood Dog Park & Beach – it’s the perfect place for your furry friend!

Lotus Inn | Best Airbnb in Wildwood Crest

Lotus Inn Cape May

This inn is the best budget Airbnb option in Wildwood Crest. It’s situated right next to the area’s superb attractions, and you can even see the stunning Atlantic Ocean coastline from the balconies. 

The Airbnb is ideal for families, friends, or couples looking for a quiet and cozy break. The local amusement parks are under two miles away, just a short walk, cycle, or ride on public transport. 

Starlux Hotel | Best Hotel in Wildwood Crest

Starlux Hotel Cape May

The Wildwood Crest Starlux Hotel is a fantastic option for all budget travelers out there. Not only do you get an affordable price, but you also get a superb location. You’ll be next to the beach and all of the magnificent nearby attractions that make Wildwood Crest such a popular destination for anyone visiting the USA.

Shalimar Resort | Best Resort in Wildwood Crest

Shalimar Resort Cape May

The Shalimar Resort provides a vast array of resort facilities and a prime location in Wildwood Crest. Rooms are comfortable, and there are BBQ facilities on-site.

You’re only 100 yards from the gorgeous beach and a two-minute walk from the buzz and excitement of Centennial Park. Morey’s Piers Amusement Park only 1.6 miles away. 

Things to See and Do in Wildwood Crest:

Wildwood Crest Cape May
  1. Head to Morey’s Piers, home to excellent roller coasters, gardens, and a water park.
  2. Have a walk down the Boardwalk where you’ll find lots of superb entertainment.
  3. Explore the Raging Waters Water Park, where visitors enjoy the incredible swimming pools, water slides, and places to relax. 
  4. Take a journey to the Historic Cold Spring Village, an area with a history dating between 1789 to 1840. 
  5. Take a photo at the iconic Wildwoods Beach Ball Sign.
  6. Enjoy the incredible Great White 1996, one of the most iconic roller coasters in the area. 
  7. Visit the local Wildwood Historical Society, a superb museum with lots of vintage photos and memorabilia. 

3. West Cape May – Best Area in Cape May for Families

Lighthouse Cape May
Enjoy peace and quiet without being too far from the action

West Cape May is ideal for families because there are so many things to do. It’s far quieter than the surrounding aeras, but close enough so you can explore easily. It’s full of green spaces and plenty of areas to run around.

West Cape May is close to the beaches, too. You’ll have multiple options at hand, and the area is a mere five minutes from Cape May Public Beach!

Seaside Escape | Best Apartment in West Cape May

Seaside Escape Cape May

The Seaside Escape apartment in West Cape May is ideal for families. It’s surrounded by nature and close to the delightful beaches of Wildwood Crest. A 10-minute drive will get you to Cape May’s best restaurants, hotels, and waterparks!

Visitors are only five minutes from the local Cape May winery, where you can try a whole bunch of superb local wine!

Wilbraham Mansion | Best Bed and Breakfast in West Cape May

Wilbraham Mansion Cape May

The Wilbraham Mansion is a terrific option for families in West Cape May because it offers vast space, great amenities, and a superb location. 

The B&B is neatly placed between West Cape May’s superb nature and winery. Plus, it’s right next to the attractions of Cape’s May’s beachfront areas.

The Jetty Motel | Best Motel in West Cape May

The Jetty Motel  Cape May

This budget motel is in the heart of West Cape May, just a five-minute walk from the beaches. It’s close to other natural attractions as well, making it ideal for a family trip.

Rooms are simple but comfy, with all the basic amenities. There’s even a pool onsite, suitable for all ages.

Things to See and Do in West Cape May: 

West Cape May
  1. Explore the nearby Beach Plum Farm, offering visitors a fantastic insight into the local farming industry. It’s home to over 100 fruit varieties, flowers, herbs, and various vegetables. 
  2. Check out the Cape May Market, where you’ll find superb locally sourced products.
  3. Take a refreshing and relaxing spa at the local Massage by Pearl. 
  4. Have a relaxing massage at the Well Center.
  5. Explore the Flying Fish Studio, where you’ll find endless knowledge and a vast array of clothing. 
  6. Grab a bike from Cape Island Bike Rentals and whizz around the stunning coastal locations and historical areas. 
  7. Take a 10-minute walk to the stunning beaches of Cape May’s Beachfront and Wildwood Crest.
  8. Head towards the main water parks in Cape May for endless fun!
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FAQs About Finding a Place to Stay in Cape May

Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Cape May and where to stay.

What To Pack For Cape May

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

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Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Cape May

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Cape May

Cape May is one of America’s oldest and most popular tourist destinations – and for good reason. That’s why there are endless accommodation options and activities for people of all age groups.

If you’re staying anywhere near New York, or are visiting from further afield, Cape May provides the ultimate beach break. There’s so much to see and do here, so you can make it as laid-back or as action-packed as you please!

If you choose any of the excellent accommodation options above, you’ll have a terrific time in this beautiful summer vacation escape.

Looking for more info on travelling to Cape May and USA?

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!