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Angel of the Sea Bed and Breakfast
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.comAngel of the Sea Bed and Breakfast

The best hotels in Cape May for a seaside getaway

In a small town brimming with maritime charm, you can expect kitschy B&Bs, boutique hotels and endless ocean views

Written by
Monica Weymouth

The Jersey Shore isn’t exactly known for its luxurious accommodations. Best-case scenario, there’s no sand in the bed, the vending machines are well-stocked and the lava lamp is in working order. One notable exception? Cape May. Dotted with quaint Victorians and almost synonymous with the term bed-and-breakfast, this historic beach town is home to a handful of upscale boutique hotels, as well. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend, a spa getaway or a family vacation, there’s a room in one of these Cape May hotels with your name on it.

Best hotels in Cape May

Beachfront beauty queen Congress Hall has been checking guests in since 1816, making it the country's oldest seaside resort (and popular among local ghost hunters). Everything you need is on premises—including a spa, bar, coffee shop and two full-service restaurants—so you can turn your brain off immediately after checking in.

Time Out tip: There’s no bad room at Congress Hall, per se. But some come with a nice little surprise: oversize, vintage claw-foot tubs. Be sure to put your request in early if a bubble bath is on your itinerary.

With Victorian gingerbread trim, canopy beds and an abundance of floral wallpaper, Angel of the Sea is the very definition of a B&B. It’s one of the better beach-front deals in town, especially when you factor in complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and evening wine and cheese.

Time Out tip: Like every bed-and-breakfast worth its muffin basket, Angel of the Sea is rumored to be haunted. Legend has it that the ghost of exchange student Sarah Brown never checked out, and is especially fond of room 17. Book it if creaky floor boards are your thing.


Newly renovated, this laid-back ocean-front hotel has an island vibe complete with outdoor fire pits and a beach bar. Bring the whole family—three-bedroom suites with full kitchens are available.

Time Out tip: The Beach Shack is one of Cape May’s few dog-friendly hotels. The “Paws Up” package includes a dog bed, Frisbee, and treat bag, while the beach bar serves a doggie menu (complete with “dog beer,” naturally).

Like the idea of a B&B, but don’t want porcelain dolls watching you sleep? Meet The Virginia. This beautifully restored Victorian skews more luxe than quaint, offering private beach tents, porch cocktail service and The Ebbitt Room, Cape May’s fanciest-pants restaurant.

Time Out tip: The Virginia is adults-only. If you have the family in-tow—or a larger group of friends—consider a stay in one of their more relaxed “cottages” across the street. Both full houses and single rooms are available for rent.


With modern, pared-back seaside décor, bright-eyed new kid on the block Icona is more Miami than Cape May. The ocean’s right on your doorstep, as is Cape May’s shopping district.

Time Out tip: If Cape May gets too stuffy, Icona offers free shuttle service to their sister property in neighboring Wildwood Crest. Guests can enjoy a private beach—a Jersey Shore rarity—and margaritas before hitting the boardwalk in GTL territory.

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