Cape Cod vs Cape May: Which great destination is best for you?

cape cod vs cape may

Cape Cod vs Cape May: Which Destination is Right for You?

If you are planning to visit Cape Cod or Cape May and you’re undecided about which one is right for you, you may want to learn about the features of both places.  Let’s take a look at Cape Cod vs Cape May!

big victorian houses blue paint cape cod island

Cape Cod is characterized by its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches, while Cape May is home to about 600 preserved Victorian buildings, rich history, and architectural diversity. Yet, despite their unique qualities, both can be a great spot for a seaside getaway.

big colorful houses beach side cape cod island

When planning a travel destination, there are many factors to consider.

These factors are budget, duration of the trip, the travel experience you want, infrastructure, etc. Sometimes, the features of the destination are crucial.

Each destination has distinct features that appeal to tourists and visitors alike.

This article explores both locations, Cape Cod vs Cape May, including their quintessential qualities, and what to look for if you plan to travel there.

Cape Cod vs Cape May: How do they differ?

Cape Cod is a peninsula on the coast of Massachusetts. It has a number of different towns and villages such as Hyannis, Provincetown,and Sandwich.

But, on the other hand, Cape May is a city in southern New Jersey with a unique vantage point at the junction of the ocean from its location at the tip of Cape May Peninsula.

But what makes each different from the other?

Let’s take a look at Cape Cod vs. Cape May!

Why is Cape Cod so popular?

Cape Cod is one of the world’s most popular summer vacation spots. It is unique for its beautiful beaches, wildlife, and history dating back to the 17th century.

These are a few reasons why it is so popular:

1. The alluring National Seashore. President John F. Kennedy created the National Seashore on August 7, 2961. It’s a 43,500acre space inclusive of a beachfront of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens. The towns across the city such as Truro, Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, are home to some award-winning beaches.

white sand wooden fences beachline cape cod island

2. The home of lighthouses: With over 20 lighthouses, Cape Cod is an appealing destination to visit and have a sense of what life felt like about 200 years ago on the Island.

lighthouse cottage boat sail blue water cape cod

3. A Whales World: Have you seen a humpback before? Different species of whales, including humpbacks, spend a good part of the year at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. It’s one of the world’s top ten Whale Watching Sites; according to the USA today.

whale birds cape cod island

4. Outdoor fun for everyone: From climbing giant dunes to strolling the local streets for antiques and hiking, Cape Cod is a hive of outdoor activities. Cape Cod Rail Trail has bike rentals offering a relaxing 22-mile ride combined with lush scenery filled with ice cream stores and old country stores.

5. Travel back in time: Cape Cod gives you a feeling of the past. This is primarily due to preserving the village life, traditional industries, and beaches as they were in the 1960s.

Why is Cape May Famous?

Cape May is regarded as a National Historic Landmark, the only town in America with such designation. It is distinct for its year-round range of activities that make it different from other cities. Its golden sand beach and the shimmering Atlantic Ocean leave visitors longing to come back.

Beyond these features, there are reasons why Cape May is famous.

1. It is an old wine: With over 600 Victorian-era houses in its 30-block downtown area, Cape May is the best-preserved 19th-century seashore resort. While many of the town’s historic houses have been converted to luxurious hotels, you still get to see one of its distinctive landmark homes: the Emlen Physick Estate. The home is now a museum open to the public.

exterior image big house now museum cape cod island

2. A birdwatcher’s destination: In the last two centuries, 450 bird species have been seen at Cape May. They include summer tanagers, oystercatchers, sandpipers, orioles, warblers, and plovers. It is popularly referred to as North America’s top birding destination.

signage hawk watch trail cape cod island

3. The Cape May Harbor: The harbor is an excellent place for water sports. You will experience a halcyon scene of sailboats and yachts sheltered in the harbor. Towering over the harbor is the New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May. It has an observation center, picnic area, gift shop, and hands-on activities designed to engage and inspire children’s interest in nature.

big green sail boats dock cape cod island

4. East Lynne Theater: Entertaining audiences since 1988, the East Lynne Theater company has, over the years, staged theater performances inspired by American literature and drama.

5. Cold Spring Village: The Cold Spring village allows visitors to catch a glimpse of 18th-century life in the region. You can participate in family activities, engaging the locals, and learning about their history.

small cottage benches outside cape cod island

6. Cape May County Museum: The museum is one of the country’s symbols of preserving local history. It is housed in three historic buildings, featuring child-friendly tours, special events, and history-related lectures. It is located in the middle of some of the county’s best beaches; the museum is an excellent place to have a good time with the family.

inside museum navy planes cape cod island

Cape Cod vs Cape May: Reasons why you can consider Cape Cod

You should consider Cape Cod if you enjoy the delectable treats of fresh seafood. Cape Cod has numerous seafood shacks and restaurants that will give an unforgettable experience.

fresh seafoods cucumber green vegetables served plate cape cod island

Cape Cod is a beautiful peninsula with an undulating landscape. It has irresistible, unique scenery, dunes, white-sand beaches, and lush.

Another reason to consider Cape Cod is its public art. From Dennis to Bourne to Provincetown, you will find an abundance of artistic street murals.

With the introduction of the OpenTable of wellness – an app designed by Brandon Jellison; a spa is just around the corner. You can now book a yoga instructor, chefs, massage therapists from the comfort of your room through the app.

colorful exterior design museum arts cape cod

There is also a new part of the cape: a walking trail at Pleasant Bay Woodland protecting some 50 acres of watershed landscape. It is an excellent place to walk through the trees.

If you love to share amazing shots from your visit, there are spectacular sights everywhere you look in Cape Cod. From views from the Scargo Tower in Dennis to salt marshes on the Cape to quaint homes in Provincetown, you can get tons of Instagram-worthy shots.

aerial image lakes green forest cape cod island

Finally, you don’t want to miss out on the Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre. It is the only drive-in theatre on Cape Cod. Constructed in 1957, the theatre has a state-of-the-art FM stereo sound system compatible with modern soundtracks.

Cape Cod vs Cape May: Reasons why you can consider Cape May

As the nation’s oldest seaside resort, you will have a handful of places to visit across the city. From sightseeing the diverse architecture from the Victorian era to tours of the historic district, you are guaranteed exciting activities.

big houses white sand yacht dock cape cod island

Cape May is as beautiful as its beaches. You will enjoy its rich history and excellent scenery.

If you love beer or wine, you can spend a day tasting and touring the best breweries and wineries in the area through the Tastings & Tours adventure.

You don’t have to worry about which brewery or winery to visit; the tour covers all of that. You also get to test some of the best locally crafted beer and wine.

Beach lovers will enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches globally. Sunset Beach, Higbee Beach, Poverty Beach provide you with a clean and relaxing atmosphere that never gets crowded.

two white high bench facing ocean white sand cape cod island

To enjoy all the activities in Cape May to the fullest, where you stay, is pivotal. Cape May offers one of the best places to stay in The Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast.

Apart from giving you the beauty of Victorian Cape May, it gives you luxury and world-class hospitality.

Cape Cod vs Cape May: Conclusion

A visit to Cape Cod or Cape May provides an exciting summer vacation.

Cape Cod is a family-friendly destination offering various activities to entertain everyone and give kids an opportunity to learn about the island’s history.

On the other hand, Cape May is a fashionable beach destination with endless outdoor and sightseeing activities.

Depending on your needs, both destinations offer you an excellent opportunity to enjoy your vacation.




Please feel free to share your favorite Cape Cod experience about this topic with our audience!

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