Cape May Seasonal Information
Cape May is a year-round destination, but every season is different. Here, find things to do in any season, as well as average air and water temperatures.
Spring in Cape May
Ahh, Spring. Can’t you smell the sweet fragrance of hyacinths in the air? Don your Easter bonnet and take a stroll in the Easter Parade. Make sure to book your Easter Sunday dinner reservations early. Other than Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, this is one of the busiest restaurant days of the year.
Be sure to join us when we tip our hats to the tulip as Cape May hosts the Spring Festival – the Spring Victorian & Tulip and Garden Festival. Then, before you know it – it’s Memorial Day Weekend – the lifeguards are on duty, every day gets busier and busier, warmer and warmer.
Do you love food? The first week of June is Cape May Restaurant Week, an eight-day culinary event offering fixed-price dining at Cape May's best restaurants. The hustle bustle of summer is a few weeks away, so use this time for a quiet walk along the promenade at sunset or ride a bicycle down to Higbee Beach to watch the sun rise or set.
Shops & Restaurants
Shops and stores that close for the winter open their doors on weekends and some full-time.
The average monthly temperatures in the spring are 60ºF in April, and in May it get to be as warm as 69ºF. We all can't wait for June when it is finally warm enough for the beach! June's average temperature is 78ºF. Average water temperatures are 48-68ºF.
Summer in Cape May
Summer is, without doubt, the most exciting time of the year in Cape May. The area offers visitors any number of activities from whale watching to sport fishing. Cape May plays host to the The MidAtlantic that "boat to boat" is the richest and largest Marlin –Tuna contest in the world. The Nature Center of Cape May as well as the Cape May Bird Observatory offer programs and tours everyday in the summer.
Of course, the usual activities are at your finger tips – the beach, bicycling, and walking. You can park your car and bike or walk around the island. In fact, If you're coming to Cape May for the first time, make a stop at the Welcome Area of the Transportation Center (where the buses go) off Lafayette Street across from the Acme shopping center and pick up a guide map on a "Car Free/Care Free" vacation. Volunteers from the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) and the Chamber of Commerce are ready, willing and able to familiarize you with your new surroundings and let you know what’s going on in town during your stay.
Shops & Restaurants
Shops and stores open early and close late.
The average temperatures in the summer are 78ºF in June, 84ºF in July, 83ºF in August and 77ºF in September. Average water temperatures are 71-73ºF.
Autumn in Cape May
Don’t think that because it’s Labor Day you have to pack away your sandals and shorts. There’s plenty of fun to be had in Cape May in the fall. If you like change, just stick around, the fall months offer lots of weather-related changes from 90-degree beach days to crisp fall evenings.
In addition, the Calendar of Events for September, October and November is plum full of things to do. Just to give you an idea: You can attend the Food and Wine Festival and Jackson Street's Oktoberfest in September, or the Lima Bean Festival in October. And don’t forget the Cape May New Jersey State Film Festival.
Did you know that Cape May Point offers nature lovers one of the most spectacular spectacles of nature available? The Bird Show, sponsored by the New Jersey Audubon Society, celebrates the fall migration of thousands of species of birds, butterflies and raptors. Participation is as easy as bringing your binoculars or you can sign up for the many seminars, nature walks and lectures offered.
Cape May Restaurant Weekend, a scaled-down version of the annual June event, takes place from Thursday through Sunday sometime in November.
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, (MAC) which hosts many of the historic tours of Cape May throughout the year, sponsors Victorian Weekend, celebrating all things Victorian in which many historic home owners open their doors to give you a peak of the past. MAC also sponsors the Holiday Preview Tours held toward the end of November. Visitors can get a head start on their gift list while celebrating the Victorian lifestyle.
Shops & Restaurants
Most restaurants are open through the fall, though some may have reduced hours mid-week.
The average monthly temperatures during the fall are 77ºF in September, 66ºF in October and 56ºF in November. Average water temperatures are 73-60ºF
Winter in Cape May
Christmas is the loveliest time of the year in Cape May. The town is dressed up in its finest Victorian splendor so visitors can get a glimpse of a Dickensian Christmas - Cape May style. Speaking of Dickens, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) hosts a "Dickens Christmas Extravaganza" in early December. Participants can enjoy the tastes, scents, and smells of the Dickens’ era. MAC also sponsors the 34th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour – a must see.
The West Cape May Christmas Parade evokes the pleasure and the joy of small town life. The parade is scheduled for the first Saturday every December. And make sure you pencil in Cape May’s tree lighting ceremony and community caroling as well as hospitality night when the Washington Street Mall merchants open their doors and offer shoppers a treat and a beverage as they hurry to finish their Christmas shopping.
Speaking of shopping, stop by Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall during December for outdoor shopping stalls, food and drink, and even a carousel! Special events are also offered for children.
Don’t think the fun has to end with the New Year bell ringing. January, February and early March are great times to plan that romantic getaway you’ve been talking about. Many of the hotels and B&Bs that remain open offer specials which often include a trip to the spa, a massage or a free dinner wrapped up in the package.
Shops & Restaurants
Most shops and restaurants are fully open right around Christmas. After New Year's, several will close for a few months, but there are year-round restaurants in Cape May.
The average monthly temperatures in the winter are 47ºF - 42ºF during December, January and February. March climbs up to about 51ºF. Average water temperatures are 42-37ºF.