There are many coastal towns on the New Jersey shore with all the standards – boardwalks, beaches and restaurants. Unfortunately on this cool fall day, most of these towns were shuttered for the winter – restaurants vacant with few if any locals walking the boardwalk for exercise.
All these towns were closed with one exception – Cape May – on the southern point of the state. Even in the chilly autumn, this town remains open for business, and it’s truly beautiful with gorgeous bed and breakfasts, inns, and throw-back 1950s motels.
Even off-peak, we found many things to see. We stopped for lunch at the Ugly Mug Bar and Restaurant then perused cute shops along the Washington Street Mall that we could only imagine are jam packed in the humid summer months.
Then we drove to beach and the S.S. Atlantus. Due to a shortage of steel during World War I, the ship was made entirely of concrete. The boat was used to bring soldiers home from the war, but the concept of the concrete ship lost favor quickly due to the vessel’s amazingly slow pace and unwieldy nature.
Cape May purchased the ship to use as part of a dock for their ferry. But after a rough storm, the boat broke free of her moorings and ran aground 150 feet from Sunset Beach. They tried to free her but the attempts were unsuccessful. The S.S. Atlantus has become a major tourist attraction, but not for long. The salty ocean waters and sandy shoreline have slowly been swallowing the boat, and it’s likely that it will at some point be gone from view entirely.
From there, we drove to the see the Cape May lighthouse, one of the most beautiful and recognized beacons on the eastern coast.
Cape May is definitely worth exploring, see more pictures and plan your visit here.