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Cape May or Ocean City? Which better to go to?


Jul 14th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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Cape May or Ocean City? Which better to go to?

I'm considering a long weekend in either Cape May or Ocean City/Bethany Beach. I have never been to Cape May...what is it like, which is recommended and why?
Is Cape May totally flat or are there dunes/hills?
Thanks for any advice!
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Jul 19th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Jul 19th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Cape May has alot to offer for a long weekend; it is totally flat, with very wide beaches, oceanfront walk for few miles, excellent 4-star restaurants, many, many stunning historical victorian homes and B&B's, shopping, side-walked shady streets on which to stroll, miles of good bike-riding, and from downtown, once you get there, you will not need your car again; restaurants, snacks, beach or bike rentals, mini-golf, movie, performances in parks, tours of homes, all within walking distance. You can bike out to Cape May Point to the SW or to the northern side of town from where the fishing boats depart, and from which other cruises are available, but we have always loved its walkability. Gone there through the years as a kid, couple, w/ our kids, and now hoping to get our grandchildren there. There are not others like it in NJ. If you decide on Cape May, I'll send my restaurant faves along.
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Jul 19th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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I'd pick Cape May over Ocean City MD anyday.

Cape May has excellent Victorian buildings and a small town atmosphere, but it does tend to get mobbed. It's fairly flat. There's no real commercial boardwalk like other Jersey shore towns but rather a promenade type walk along the oceanfront for a bit. It's very mellow in that regard, but there are things to do, as aliced mentioned. For a daytrip, you can also take a relaxing ferry ride from Cape May to Lewes, Delaware, a charming little port town filled with historic architecture, a few good restaurants and neat shops.

Ocean City MD is a rather large town, unfortunately (IMHO) marred by miles of high-rise condos and hotels along the coast. The beaches there, however, are great -- really, really wide and the water's usually quite warm. The boardwalk stretches for miles and is lined with french fry places, t-shirt shops, Irish bars, souvenir shops and a few amusement piers -- enough to keep you busy for days, along with the commercial strip inland which is packed with more restuarants, bars and general tourist stuff. You can certainly stay "out of the fray" of downtown and hit the boards at night, but for me, whenever I've gone, it's been a bit of a mad-house. Not relaxing. But other folks love it.

Next time, you may want to consider visiting Ocean Grove, NJ, near Asbury Park. It's what Cape May used to look like before it was "polished up". It's a little more vernacular and rough around the edges, but it has excellent architecture, a huge grand Victorian auditorium that offers regular concerts of all types, an entire block of quaint, awning bedecked canvas church tents (OG used to be a Methodist church camp during the 19th century and families still rent the same tent plots year after year - you have to see it to believe it), old fashioned ice cream parlors, soda fountains, antique shops and good restaurants. It's a dry town, which tends to filter out much of the party crowd that sometimes plagues OC MD. Restaurants are BYOB. And, you're only about a 5 minute walk from Asbury Park, which is enjoying an exciting revival with excellent shops, galleries, funky bars and restaurants on its ocean front and downtown. Oh, and don't forget Asbury's famous Convention Center, where Bruce Springsteen practices for his world tours. Can you tell I like it there? No, I don't for the Chamber of Commerce!

Whatever you choose, have fun, enjoy the shore, I wish I was there now!
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Jul 23rd, 2009, 08:46 PM
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This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you. I'm not a fan of Ocean City so I'm happy to hear Cape May is over and above. I usually like some hills, but CM does sound very charming and I love the idea of going over to Lewes. Ocean Grove sounds like a great spot as well - I'll add it to my list!
Thanks so much!
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Jul 23rd, 2009, 11:57 PM
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I also vote for Cape May. It's one of those places that everybody should see at some time in their life.

Here's a good Cape May story: http://www.MyJerseyShore.com/?page_id=18
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