Shopping in Cape May, NJ — retail therapy at its finest. Even though Cape May is known for its pristine, windswept shores, charming historic district, great food, and friendly people, you’ll also find fantastic shopping here.
So before you book your getaway, hunker down and make a plan with our guide to shopping in Cape May, NJ. You will find whatever you need, from apparel and art to jewelry and fine goods, all nestled in our Victorian town. Whether you are shopping for a particular holiday or just checking items off your personal list, we’ve got the low down on all you savvy shoppers need to know for your next stay at the Carroll Villa Hotel.
First Stop: Washington Street Mall
A majority of shops are concentrated around Washington Street Mall. We can assure you it differs from what you would expect when considering a typical mall. This area is an outdoor walking mall spanning three whole blocks between Perry Street and Ocean Street. Situated in the heart of Cape May, it houses some of the best shops and restaurants our area offers. Along the quaint stretch, you’ll find beautifully restored Victorian storefronts, brick pathways, as well as whimsical fountains and benches. You will find clothing stores, home goods shops, bookstores, and much more.
Our favorites include:
A Place on Earth: Homemade soaps, lotions, bombs, and scrubs with fun names and fresh ingredients (think Monkey Farts and Sex on the Beach).
Cape May Peanut Butter Company: Freshly baked cookies, other baked goods with a peanut butter theme, and in-house ground nut butter.
Just for Laughs and Kaleidescope: Just for Laughs targets all things silly, irreverent, and sarcastic, and its sister store next door, Kaleidescope, has whimsical women’s clothing, hats, and other out-of-the-box items.
Whale’s Tale and Splash Gallery: Whale’s Tale is a “Best of Cape May” stop for unique gifts, jewelry, toys, and cards. Splash Gallery has local art, handmade jewelry, and home goods.
These are just an example of more than 60 independent shops in this pedestrian-friendly area.
Other Shopping Locations
With all of the shops in the center of town, you may think that there isn’t a need for anything else. But you would be wrong! For more unique finds:
West End Garage (West Cape May)
A five-minute walk from Congress Hall, the West End Garage was originally a garage and gas station but now houses 50 stores. You will find clothing, home and garden, vintage, and local art all under one roof.
Sunset Beach Gift Shops
What better place to find beach-related merchandise than steps from the beach? The Sunset Beach Gift Shops will help you decorate your home and closet to create a distinctive beach vibe.
A stretch along Route 9 is known as “Antique Alley.” Along that location and throughout the Cape May area, there are many fascinating independent antique shops and larger antique warehouses. Spend an afternoon or a day searching our local antique shops for that perfect “find.”
Hours and Details to Keep in Mind
One of the things that makes shopping here so unique is that all of Cape May’s shops are independently owned and operated. This also means they can open and close at their discretion. From mid-June to Labor Day, most stores are open daily from 10 a.m. until sunset. After Labor Day to late October, most are open from 10 am-5 pm, with longer hours on Friday and Saturday. In addition, some stores are seasonal and close for the winter or are open only on weekends.
Where to Stay Before and After a Day of Shopping
Now that you have planned your day with our handy guide to shopping in Cape May, NJ, you will want to know the best places for dinner, the best beaches to visit for sunsets, dolphins, and swimming, and what festivals are happening in each season of the year. Our seaside resort hotel is conveniently located just minutes away from everything Cape May has to offer. Whether you’re hunting for local treasures, a special gift for a friend, or a one-of-a-kind piece of art, our hotel is the perfect home away from home for you. Book directly online today and contact us anytime for further information.
Updated October 2023