NJ Town Named Most Beautiful in America by CN Traveler

by Abby Montanez
cape may beautiful towns

It’s always a surprise—and a pleasant one at that—when New Jersey gets some praise. Not too long ago, a 2021 survey from Airbnb found Cape May to be a trending travel destination for spring and summer. The stunning beaches, lively boardwalk and Victorian houses are just some reasons why it’s a local favorite. Not to mention, it’s been the year of the staycation. A more recent claim to fame comes from Condé Nast Traveler. They recently named Cape May among the 26 “Most Beautiful Towns in America.” Another title we will surely take.

You might be wondering, what’s Cape May got to offer that the rest of the state doesn’t? The article in particular praises the town’s ability to merge “charm and history.” And we agree that Cape May does those two things very well. Other towns on the list that boast similar characteristics include Nantucket, Lake Placid, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Marfa, to name a few.

Cape May, NJ

Why Cape May Is One of the Most Beautiful Towns

For non-locals, the hidden gem is located at the southernmost tip of New Jersey. A stopover there sometimes feels like you’re on your own little island. Because technically, Cape May is a peninsula. It’s got incredible sightseeing opportunities going for it in the winter and summer months. Everything from whale watching to birdwatching. By speed boat, you’re likely to spy a couple of dolphins as well. 

Remaining close to the beach, we suggest taking in the views from the famous Cape May lighthouse. From the ground, you’ll have access to the state park. If you choose to climb the 157 feet, the sights open up to include the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay and even Rehoboth Beach.

Cape May Lighthouse  **

On land, CN Traveler found it worth highlighting Cape May’s visual appeal. And they were right in doing so. If you’ve ever been, you know the architecture alone is a major reason for visiting. In particular, they fawned over the “Victorian district” with “miles of intricate, candy-colored manses.” Here, in addition to historic homes and whimsical hotels, you can also find boutique shops and restaurants

While beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, in Cape May, it’s measured by ​​historic main streets, architectural splendor and beach-town nostalgia. 


Enjoyed our article on Cape May being named among the “Most Beautiful Towns in America”? Have a different opinion? Let us know in the comments.

Main image by David Mark 

About the Author/s

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Abby is The Digest's Managing Editor. She spends her time looking at dogs on Instagram and eating her way around Jersey City.

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Jeffrey C Bischoff September 3, 2021 - 2:13 pm

Love Cape May. I’ve been coming here for the past several years. Actually Cape May County is the peninsula of the southern most part of the state. City of Cape May, West Cape May, and Cape May Point is actually on an island. You have to cross either two bridges to get on the island. Most of the pictures are in the City of Cape May; like the painted ladies (the homes shown along the beach) or the seven sisters (homes that look similar in a row, but differ in color) ; but the lighthouse is in Cape May Point.
Tip: if going to the beach or Mall, you can do both! The mall meaning the Washington Street Mall. The beach by day, then the Mall at night, especially with businesses having light up at night. Also close to the Mall, the Cape May Stage, a theatre. There are restaurants on the Mall, for dinner; between being on the beach during daytime, then a live show on the Stage later at night.

Marita Berry September 11, 2021 - 2:20 pm

Just spent 5 nights there in early August, and we absolutely loved it! We are from Connecticut and have spent summers in Provincetown, Mass and on Block Island, Rhode Island. We’ve also vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Mass., as well as Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and Ogunquit, Boothbay Harbor, and Bar Harbor, Maine. I even lived in Paris, France in 1975 for a year. Cape May has ranked among our favorite spots now to visit as well and although distinct in many of its features, it has reminiscences of the best of all of these. Well worth the visit!

JestJake September 26, 2021 - 10:52 am

Can you be a peninsula if you’re surrounded – which Cape May is (even if one of the waterways, aka the Canal, is man made)?

Scott chilcote September 3, 2021 - 10:59 pm

NJ is a great state to be from. Not to live. I’ve stayed in Cape May. Relaxing, yes. Quaint, yes. Beautiful, no way.

Dipak September 19, 2021 - 3:12 pm

Retarded comment

JestJake September 26, 2021 - 10:53 am

You must be a New Yorker.

David September 7, 2021 - 3:10 pm

When i saw the first photo I thought it was ocean grove.

Donna September 8, 2021 - 8:39 am

My father lived in Cape May and it was awesome visiting him as a child growing up in Wildwood and the Boardwalk. Maybe one day I may follow in his footsteps as it is a quaint sweet place to live.

Dannielle September 8, 2021 - 4:14 pm

I Do agree to A point. Most of NJ isn’t beautiful or even pretty. Sadly the people that have decided to leave the Cities to live within there means and not have to work as hard for it came here. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t of come here. I believe that if your going to buy A home or Business in A State your not familiar with then to some research before doing so. It will most definitely be in everyone’s best interest. I’m saying this from my past. My parents moved me from Vinland NJ to Hammonton NJ in the early 80’s. We didn’t have anywhere near the kind of money Hammonton people showed that they had. I say showed because I was A child and I only knew what I saw. Now today I know that Most of the people in Hammonton where and probably still are fake- pretenders. I have Just as Difficult of A time as A child as I do now. Before it was because of the people and what they said and did. We are now 40years later and it’s me. I’m a grown up now. I’ve seen better places and I’ve definitely met nicer people. I now also have learned to walk away and just Ignore people. This is one of the great things about getting older. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts.

Sandra A Diaz September 10, 2021 - 2:02 pm

Regarding the comment about Cape May not being beautiful. I am now MOST GRATEFUL for what my Dad taught us when we were children. And that was if you can’t say anything CONSTRUCTIVE and or KIND, not to say anything at all!!!

No one will ever see through the last commentors eyes , so why such a petty comment?

It costs very little to be positive, kind & thoughtful when offering ones opinion.

All the best,

Zh September 11, 2021 - 12:13 pm


Julie Murphy September 13, 2021 - 12:09 am

It is very beautiful. 🐬⛱☀️My
favorite place in the world!!! Wonderful place. Wonderful people. Never enough time there!

Suzanne Ortiz September 14, 2021 - 5:50 pm

HAMMONTON, New Jersey!!!!! Seriously check it out! It’s a hidden gem with so many beautiful homes and mesmerizing landscape. From properties on the lake to the farms and in between. Downtown has old town charm. Used to be primarily of Italian and Puerto Rican descent, but now has people from all over the world. Keeps it’s old fashioned ways even in 2021!

Norma September 22, 2021 - 6:28 am

I lived in NJ for five yrs just north of Cape May as a
“granny nanny” to three precious little granddaughters. I have a family picture of my late husband, our daughter, and those three girls sitting across from me right now. It was taken downtown by the fountain. I can see the words Cape May in the background. Such fond memories of that day’s visit to a beautiful city. I now live in the beautiful Lookout Mountains in Alabama.


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