Parking in Cape May
In high season, finding parking places in Cape May can be exasperating. The center of town collects much of the traffic and has few available free parking spaces. Most spaces are metered. The good news is that no matter where you park in Cape May, you're probably no more than a 20-minute walk to the center of town.
- Parking Meters
Meters are in effect every day from May 1 through October, between 10am and 10pm.
Parking meters are $0.25 for 15 minutes. Standalone meters accept quarters only. Multi-meters also accept dollar bills and credit cards. The City provides a five (5) minute grace period on all meters before an overtime violation occurs.
Parking along the Washington Street Mall is restricted to three hours.
- Handicapped Parking
Handicapped persons properly displaying a special license plate or placard or parking permit issued by the State of New Jersey under NJ.S.A. 39:4 205 or any other state, district or territory of the United States, or by Canada in accordance with N.1.S.A. 39:4-207.5 shall not be required to pay parking meter fees.
Exemption from parking meter fees shall only apply to a vehicle properly displaying a placard and/or wheelchair license plate when the handicapped person to whom the same is issued is the driver or passenger.
Any vehicle properly displaying a placard and/or wheelchair license plate may only remain parked in one location for up to 24 hours. Any vehicle remaining in one location in excess of 24 hours is subject to penalties. [source]
- Motorcycle Parking
There are a couple of free motorcycle parking spaces tucked along the Washington Street Mall. If these are occupied, motorcycles may be parked in traditional parking spaces and can simply feed the meter.
- Free Parking
During the summer months, free parking is offered in the Cape May Elementary School lot on Lafayette Street. Free shuttle trolleys run from the lot to locations in town on a regular basis. Overnight parking is not available. When school is in session, free parking is available Saturday and Sunday only.
There are free parking spaces on many side streets throughout town. These typically fill up early in the morning, though if you like driving around, you can find occasional spaces open during the day.
All parking is free in West Cape May.
- Flat Rate Parking
In the evenings, several businesses offer parking spaces for a flat fee (usually between $5 and $7). While this isn't necessarily more economical, it can be less of a headache. 410 Bank Street and Frescos validate parking for the adjacent lot (look for a sign).
- The Washington Commons Lot
Parking is available at Washington Commons (where Acme grocery store is located) for an hourly rate. The first 30 minutes is free, so this is a great option if you are making a quick trip to the grocery store.
- Parking at your accommodation
Due to the historic nature of the town, not all Cape May accommodations are able to offer on-site parking. Always ask your accommodation about parking. Many have parking permits for lots around Cape May. In some cases, you're on your own and must find parking for the duration of your stay. In this case, we recommend finding a free spot early in the morning, parking your car, and only moving it if absolutely necessary.
Parking an RV or camper
- Where can I park my RV/camper in Cape May?
We asked the Cape May City Police, and here is the city policy on parking an RV in Cape May:
- RVs are not allowed on Beach Avenue or near the Washington Street Mall
- RVs may be parked 2 or more blocks from the beach in a residential area as long as they are legally parked
- Absolutely no camping (sleeping, eating, watching TV) is permitted in a parked RV within Cape May City
- Can I park my RV/camper at the Walmart in Rio Grande?
No. Although this is permitted in other areas, a Middle Township ordinance forbids this.
- So...what should I do?
If you plan to be in Cape May for the weekend with your camper or RV, we recommend reserving a space at any one of the local campgrounds, which offer a wealth of vacation amenties for campers.