A Day Down the Shore: Cape May road trip

I love a good road trip and I love the Jersey shore. So it’s obvious that when I saw the New York Times’ 36 Hour feature on Cape May that I just had to go. The boyfriend and I picked out our best day-trip-down-the-Shore outfits (well, I did, the bf wore the usual shirt and shorts, not that I mind) and jumped in the car for the two hour ride down to the tip of the great state of New Jersey. The plan was a two hour ride but in actuality, with some insane traffic, it turned into a FOUR hour trip. You know you’ve found your guy when he is willing to drive in snail’s pace traffic listening to a country station broadcasting out of the Delmarva peninsula because I’m sure no one craves peel and eat shrimp that bad.

Once we finally arrived in Cape May, I was in love. A huge architecture geek, I was drooling over the beautiful Victorian details. If it didn’t cost an arm and a leg to stay in one of these adorable bed and breakfasts, it would have been more than a day trip. After navigating our way through the downtown, we had lunch at the Rusty Nail. Just across the street from the beach, the outdoor part that we sat in is like a funky garage-turned-restaurant with open windows to let in the sea breeze. It was wonderful after that long, loooong car ride. I ordered the peel and eat shrimp, of course. After spending one summer in Georgia, I am addicted to Old Bay seasoning and cocktail sauce. These shrimp were so satisfying and fresh with just enough spice that I would drive down there to have a few right now. The whole atmosphere of the restaurant was laid back, beach chic. I am totally stealing their idea for sherbert-colored chairs.

From there we found parking in the downtown area and walked through Cape May’s main shopping district. It’s pretty touristy but a nice walk nonetheless. From there we wove through the quaint streets checking out the different Victorian buildings and bed and breakfasts. We made our way to the beach in a very roundabout way, getting to see lots of my favorite architecture along the way. The boardwalk is a nice, wide and open with lots of shops and arcades and views of the water. When I saw the arcades I had to investigate and, sure enough, there was skeeball, my all-time favorite arcade game. Though it was so hot and humid inside, a challenge was issued and it was so much fun. While neither of us were any good, we did win enough tickets to get a tiny ring and two bouncy balls. A definite win.

Once we were tired and hot from walking around, we got back into the car and headed a little further south to the Cape May lighthouse. I love a good Jersey lighthouse. It was breezy and beautiful down there and a wonderful way to end the day, sipping milkshakes and looking out at the waves. I’m also happy to report that it was a quick hour and a half ride home. What can I say? The Jersey Shore is always worth it.

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