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Cape May

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Cape May Money-Saving Tips

Beach access

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you need a beach tag in order to enjoy the beach, even if you’re just planning on sitting in a chair provided by your hotel. You can only buy these on the beach itself, from city vendors. Warning: you’ll get a ticket if you’re caught on the beach after dark, when they close. Skinny dipping is never allowed. 609-884-9522; www.capemaybeaches.com

Dealing with a car

It’s tough to get to Cape May without a car, but parking in the summer can feel impossible. Better to park once, and then rent (or bring) a bike, or plan for long days of walking. Almost everything is within an easy distance; the lighthouse is a 20-minute bike ride from the center of town. A word of advice: always lock your bike. Bikes have a way of riding off on their own. We recommend Cape Island Bike Rentals (609-898-7368).

Off season delights

Cape May tries hard to attract visitors during the cold months. In October there’s a Victorian festival; many hotels have special deals for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day; and spring brings the Singer Songwriter Cape May Festival, the Cape May Jazz Festival, and the Cape May Music Festival. Check out Exit Zero to learn what’s when. www.exitzeropublishing.net

Bringing the family dog

Dogs are welcome at many Cape May hotels (though not B&Bs, as a rule) – call in advance and ask. If the place of your dreams is dog-free, consider giving The Doggy Nanny, Michelle Kiernan, a call at 609-675-6384. She’ll board your pup while you’re on the beach. Note that dogs are not allowed on most Cape May beaches from April 1 through September 15.

Nature’s best

For nature at its most dramatic, snuggle into a raincoat and head to Cove Beach. During hurricane season (September and October), giant waves crash against the shore, bringing out surfers and wave watchers. In August, Cove Beach hosts Cape May’s sand sculpting contest (www.capemaysandsculptingcontest.com).

Lay of the land

Cape May is a town – but it’s also the name of the island of eight square miles where the town is located. Cape May island has four municipalities: Cape May, plus the residential Cape May Point, West Cape May and Lower Township.

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