We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great View and Exciting Trip back in History”

Cape May Lighthouse
Ranked #3 of 60 things to do in Cape May
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 1859 Cape May Lighthouse, fully restored. Climb 199 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. Open daily. Evening trolley tours. Museum shop.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Hillsborough & Villas NJ
Level 6 Contributor
197 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Great View and Exciting Trip back in History”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

If you are up to climbing the 199 steps to the top, you will be treated to the best view in all of Cape May. The lighthouse is still operational each day and there is an observation platform just under the light where you can see a 360* panoramic view of the beaches, ocean and the town. On a hot day you will almost always be treated to a strong refreshing breeze at the top. A lighthouse keeper(guide) is there to explain the history of the structure and of the area. The visit was enjoyable and the exercise climbing to the top is good for you.

Visited July 2013
Thank capemaytraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,583 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Palmer, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Worth every step to the top!!”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

The lighthouse is located in a park with lots of other activities, including nature walks, beach access, and a lighthouse museum manned by a very friendly and well-informed woman who gave me lots of history and visiting tips.

There is a $7.00/adult charge to climb to the top of the lighthouse, but if you don't want to pay that, there is plenty to do, as mentioned above. In my opinion, it was totally worth the $7.00! The view from the top was gorgeous and the lighthouse keeper was full of knowledge that he shared with us.

Another tip I can share is to plan a visit to either the Naval Air Museum or one of the other "tourist" destinations in Cape May and buy the bundle package when paying for the climb to the top of the lighthouse. You'll save a few bucks. But in my mind, if you're there on vacation, spend the money, climb to the top, talk with the lighthouse keeper and make some great memories! Be sure to stop in the small, but quaint gift shop. There were some great historical items in there.

While it was just my husband and me, I wouldn't hesitate to bring my children back.

Visited July 2013
Thank Kbast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“You must see it once”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

A must see one time but when you are from NY, with our tall building, you can understand that there is no comparison . But great for a day trip with the Lookout Tower and the Sunken Ship!!

Visited July 2013
Thank Gregmonte13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
189 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Well preserved lighthouse”
Reviewed July 25, 2013

Local signage to find lighthouse was lacking - but worth the effort to go. Nicely maintained lighthouse - very scenic. Very small, poorly stocked gift shop with a keeper who didn't seem to like her job.

All in all - very worthwhile - nice to have the opportunity to climb if you want to spend $7 per person for the effort.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Marilyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Do not go on "family fun" day; paired with school trips? No thanks.”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We have been to the lighthouse a few times over the years. This summer, I came across an advertisement for their "family fun" days. I took the kids (9,6,2) for a day out this summer, thinking it would be something different to do. Don't let the ads fool you, nothing there is "free". I don't have a problem paying for it, just don't advertise that it's free. To their defense, they did have a few free arts and crafts/activities. Those included a bubble machine (yippee) and an art area where the kids could make pirate hats. The art area was staffed by two teenagers that never made any attempt to interact with the kids but spent the time discussing their beach and drinking plans for the week. Face painting was $5-$15, sand art was $5-$15 and the rest of the area was filled with vendors.

Ok, I can handle all of that, I have been to my fair share of festivals/fairs. Overall, we came to see the lighthouse. We tried THREE separate times to get into the lighthouse (which was not busy at all). We were turned away each time because of some ridiculous school trip. They wouldn't let anyone in bc of the school group and we ended up waiting almost two hours total to get in. The first and second time, we found other things to do, but the by the third time I had had enough. It was almost 100 degrees and we had been waiting out in the sun only to be told the lighthouse wasn't open to visitors at that time. WHAT?? On "family fun day"? Are you kidding me?

We paid full price, I can assure you the school group did not. They ran up and down the stairs yelling and making a bunch of noise, we could hear them outside the lighthouse. I actually felt bad for the people who were working in the lighthouse that day. They were stuck with the unruly kids that (obviously) some other employee planned but then had to turn away paying customers, some of whom left. It was hot, but overall not unbearable in the lighthouse.

We talk a trip to the lighthouse about every other year or so. I thought combining the trip with their advertised fun day would be a bonus. Never again. That being said, the lighthouse is great. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, but even they were frustrated with the additional school group and poor planning. The view is awesome and I don't think the climb is that bad. My three (9,6,2) did it with no complications.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank itsacrazylife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cape May Lighthouse also viewed

Cape May, Cape May County
Cape May, Cape May County
Cape May, Cape May County
Cape May, Cape May County

Been to Cape May Lighthouse? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing