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Dog-Friendly Cape May New Jersey Tour Guide

The dog-friendly Rusty Nail Restaurant in Cape May
The dog-friendly Rusty Nail Restaurant in Cape May

Cape May was first explored by the Dutch West India Company in 1621. It is one of the first beachside resorts in the nation and in the late 1800s became a getaway from New York for executives and other celebrities. It has Victorian architecture and has a lot of "summer" homes. A number of U.S. presidents have visited the resort. You and your dog can visit the resort town as well. Along with neighboring towns, the southern beaches of New Jersey can make for a great dog-friendly vacation.

For dog-friendly lodging in Cape May you can choose between beach hotels and smaller, vacation rental or B&B type lodging. The Beach Shack, at 205 Beach Avenue, offers "Standard Shack, Family Shack and suites" along with a large dog-friendly restaurant patio complete with a dog menu. The Tide Winds Motel, in Wildwood, offers pet-friendly lodging 2 blocks from the beach. The Surf 16 Motel has a fenced in dog run. For a very dog-friendly experience consider staying at the Billmae Cottage in Cape May. This B&B offers dog-friendly 1 and 2 bedroom suites with private porches. Owners Bob and Linda offer dog-friendly "Yappie Hours" on the porch from time to time. If you plan on camping in the Cape May area then consider the Holly Shores Campground which offers a 3/4 acre fenced dog park with water and benches. It also has themed weekend events. The Big Timber Lake Camping Resort and Pine Haven Camping Resort are other options.

Most visitors arrive at Cape May by Car either from Philadelphia or New York from the North or Interstate 95 from the south. A scenic and interesting way to arrive here is on the Cape-May Lewes Ferry from Lewes Delaware. The large ferry can take your car across the Delaware Bay and you and your dog can enjoy the scenic views from the deck.

For dog-friendly attractions in Cape May you should visit the Historic Cold Spring Village at 720 Highway 9 South. This open air history museum depicts 18th century life throughout its 22 acres. Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome in all outdoor areas. For boating with your dog consider renting a boat at Miss Chris Marina at 1218 Wilson Drive. They rent 14 foot and 16 foot motor boats. Leashed or carried dogs are welcome on the Cape May Whale Watcher, a 110 foot whale and dolphin watching tour boat. You and your dog can also explore the Wetlands Institute which is a conservation area for the coastal ecosystem. Make sure to make time for a visit to the Rusty Nail Restaurant. This huge, dog-friendly patio located at the Beach Shack Hotel is a well-known surfer bar from the 70s. They even have a doggy menu and doggy beer available. Other dog-friendly restaurants in town are the Blue Pig Tavern at Congress Hall and Zoe's Beachfront Eatery.

Beaches in New Jersey are dog-friendly mostly during the off-season and it is hard to find dog-friendly beaches in the peak summer season. Cape May - Lower Township Beaches on the Delaware Bay are dog-friendly year round. The Lower Township area is the only year round dog-friendly beach in the area. During the summer peak season the Stone Harbor Beach allows dogs between 80th and 83rd Streets from dawn to 9 am and from 6 pm until dusk and dogs have full access to the beach during the off-season. Dogs have off-season access to the beach at Cape May Point State Park and the Higbee beach Wildlife Management Area. Dogs are permitted on the Cape May Beach from Madison Avenue through Poverty Beach area from November 1 to March 31. There is an off-leash dog park at 705 Lafayette Street in Cape May. A pass is required for each dog and the pass costs $20 per year or $10 per week.

When in Cape May be sure to take your dog to the Woodland Pet Boutique for treats and dog toys. You may also want to check out the Cape May Winery and Vineyard or the Turdo Vineyards and Winery for dog-friendly wine tasting.


Tide Winds Motel
Wildwood, NJ
Season - 690-522-0901 -
Off season 609-522-4740

In the Heart of Wildwood 1 1/2 blocks to the beach. Swimming pool; sleeps from 2 to 10. Be sure to bring your doggie along with you.

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Before you visit an establishment or place, please contact them and verify that they are still dog-friendly and available, as policies and management change frequently. All places listed on require your dog to be leashed and under your direct control unless specified  otherwise by an establishments (including parks and beaches) management. Please be aware of local Breed-Specific Laws that may be in place where you are visiting. The information on this site is not a recommendation., Inc. makes no warranties or representations of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of the site or the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. If you find an establishment that no longer allows dogs, please let us know so that we may remove them from our list. For full Rules and Regulations for Use of This Site, including the legal disclaimer and copyright notices,  click here before using the site

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