Cape May is an all-American treasure with old-fashioned architecture, an adorable pedestrian-friendly downtown, and miles of beautiful coastline. Take a look at the best beach hotels in the historic New Jersey resort town.
With its contemporary decor, private balconies, posh restaurant with outdoor seating, and poolside bar, the Ocean Club Hotel is one of the more stylish and modern hotels in Cape May. The hotel is right across the street from the beach, but it’s a 15-minute walk from Washington Street Mall (the main shopping and dining strip). Rooms and suites are chic, with updated furnishings, tile floors, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. Some have Keurig coffeemakers, private balconies, large soaking tubs and separate walk-in showers, and heated toilet seats with built-in bidets. Rooms on higher floors that have oceanfront balconies give the best views of the beach and water.
The Sea Crest Inn is a 64-room, four-floor hotel, owned and operated by a local couple. It’s in a great location, across the street from a wide strip of beach, and surrounded by historic Victorian buildings. Though children are welcome (kids under 12 have to stay on the first floor), the Sea Crest has more of an adult atmosphere and couples’ vibe. While the decor is generally uninspired, there are landscaped gardens, a poolside gazebo, and an overall peaceful atmosphere.
Across the street from Cape May's beautiful public beach, the 44-room Capri Motor Lodge is a budget hotel with various communal areas and outdoor games, giving it a fun, friendly vibe. The rooms are spacious and clean, though dated with patterned bedspreads. All of the rooms have kitchenettes or kitchens and the suites are very spacious with a separate living room.
Avondale by the Sea has an almost unbeatable location right on Beach Avenue, directly across the street from a wide expanse of white sand. Rooms are clean but basic, with some dated touches (patterned bedspreads) and some nice amenities (flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi). Free continental breakfast is served in the Avondale by the Sea's dining room each morning with basic fare like coffee, bagels, and cereal. The outdoor swimming pool (open seasonally) is surrounded by white sun loungers and there's a small kiddie pool. Free parking is a nice perk.
Though not technically directly on the water, the Camelot Motel faces Beach Avenue and is 50 yards from Cape May beach (the staff actually went out and measured) and is an easy under-10-minute walk from the main shopping and dining strip, Washington Street Mall. This budget property doesn’t offer many features besides the swimming pool, but the basic, dated rooms are well-maintained and spacious, and most offer kitchenettes.