The Jersey Shore became famous around the world through a reality TV show, but you’ll find much more than guidos and guidettes there. Sights like these ones make the coastal strip a popular choice for American and international travelers.
The Wild wood Boardwalk: Traditional Beach Boardwalk
Image via Flickr by Allie_Caulfield
The Wildwood Boardwalk is a traditional wooden boardwalk with a kitschy charm all its own. Visitors can find plenty to see and do along the 2.5-mile path, which is dotted with carnival games, arcades, retail outlets, and food vendors. While the beach is in easy reach, you can also cool down at Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks, Splash Zone Water Park, or Ocean Oasis Water Park & Beach Club. The flat boardwalk is pedestrian and cyclist friendly, but if you want to save your legs, you can climb aboard one of the iconic Wildwood Boardwalk Sightseer Tramcars.
With much to enjoy, many tourists find they visit Wildwood Boardwalk several times during their stay. Using Hotel Planner to find Wildwood hotels near the boardwalk makes multiple visits to this popular tourist attraction from your hotel easy.
South Cape May Meadows Nature Preserve: Birdwatcher’s Paradise
Escape the crowds at South Cape May Meadows Nature Preserve, a 200-acre wildlife preserve in West Cape May renowned for its abundant bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for threatened species such as the piping plovers, least terns, and American oystercatchers. Migratory raptors, shorebirds, and waterfowl — as well as other animals including muskrats, river otters, and turtles — all spend time in the sanctuary.
Marked trails make it easy to explore the meadows, sand dunes, wetlands, and protected beach. Note that the beach is available for nature viewing only from March 15 to Aug. 31, so you’ll have no use for your swimsuit.
While you’re free to explore on your own, many wildlife enthusiasts feel they get the richest experience on one of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory’s guided tours held every Saturday at 8 a.m.
The Intelligent Whale: Distinctive Military Weapon
The Intelligent Whale, on display at the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey, looks like an enormous concrete egg or primitive rocket ship. However, this unusual 28-foot-long structure is a hand-cranked submarine. It was originally intended to be used as a secret Civil War weapon, but legal disputes delayed testing until 1887. Today, it has pride of place in Sea Girt’s free military-themed museum.
Cold Spring Brewery: Rustic Craft Beer Destination
The Jersey Shore is one of America’s most underrated craft beer destinations, with Cape May Brewing Co., Ludlam Island Brewery, 7 Mile Brewery, and Slack Tide Brewing Co. all calling the coastal stretch home. However, Cold Spring Brewery is arguably the area’s most unusual brew house and a must-see sight for craft beer fans. You’ll find it inside a restored 1804 barn in Lower Township. The rustic surrounds provide a cozy setting for the brewing operations and tasting room. Sample the brewery’s four regular beers and special limited-edition ales.
The United States has more than 12,000 miles of coastline, but the unique sights of the Jersey Shore help set this eastern shoreline apart from the rest of the country.