On the quiet end of Cape May, this budget hotel has a convenient beachfront location near downtown and a variety of comfortable room types. Property highlights include a heated pool, whirlpool, and picnic area. No room allows more than three guests, so adults and couples are the norm here, though children are welcome. The Sea Crest doesn’t offer a lot of bells and whistles, but rooms are clean, beds comfy, and staff friendly.
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. The pool area was filled with mostly middle-aged people during our visit, and one couple was playing Neil Young CDs on a portable stereo. While the decor is generally uninspired, there are landscaped gardens, a poolside gazebo, and an overall peaceful, easy, feeling.
The Sea Crest Inn is on Beach Avenue, directly across the street from a wide expanse of white sand. The property is surrounded by historic Victorian buildings, which give the neighborhood a charming residential feel.
Cape May’s main shopping and dining strip, Washington Street Mall, is about a 10-minute walk away. The closest major airport to Cape May is Atlantic City International Airport, which is about 48 miles away.
Standard rooms and one-bedroom suites with varying views
About a third of Sea Crest’s rooms have an ocean view, and higher floors (third and fourth) have a great view. The Two-Room Suites consist of one bedroom and a living room. These are the biggest and they sleep three. Some rooms have sofa beds. Suites come with well-equipped kitchens (stovetops but no ovens), and non-suites include coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and microwaves. Breezeway Motel Rooms are the smallest, with no ocean views or balconies. The bathrooms were remodeled in 2013 and have nice tiles and modern fixtures. The decor -- white bedspreads, simple wooden furniture, and paintings of beach scenes -- is generic, but well maintained.
Cape May has a clean beach with soft white sand and dunes. Like many beaches in New Jersey, a “beach tag” is required to use the beach in summer. They cost $6 per day, per person, but visitors can save by getting three-day or weekly tags. Children under 12 don’t need a tag, and members of the military get free tags with ID. A promenade runs along the beach, and it has buildings with public restrooms, outdoor showers, and counters to buy beach tags. Lifeguards are on duty until 5:30 p.m. in the summer.