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Cape May hotels

Best Autumn Hikes in South Jersey

Take a brief breather from the beautiful, white sand beaches of South Jersey with a brisk, colorful hike this autumn. Fall is the perfect season for a family or group hiking expedition because of the refreshingly crisp air, breathtaking fall foliage, and migratory birdlife. When you choose ICONA Resorts, home to one of the premier Cape May hotels, you’ll always be steps from the ocean and a short drive from beautiful Cape May Point State Park. An autumn escape to Cape May County isn’t complete without an afternoon spent hiking in the vast South Jersey wilderness.

Cape May Point State Park

What sets Cape May Point State Park apart from other area hiking destinations is its gorgeous lighthouse, lush birdlife, and convenient location to ICONA Cape May. There are miles of trails at this nearby state park, but we recommend guests try the 1.7-mile Cape May Point Trail which loops through wetlands, meadows, and ponds. There are thousands of migratory birds in this natural sanctuary as well as rabbits, crabs, snakes, and colorful dragonflies. Walk the scenic beach and visit the mystifying Battery 223, an unused World War II relic.

Cape May National Wildlife Refuge

For an uncrowded, tranquil hike, seek out the Delaware Bay Songbird and Woodcock trails at the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. This wildlife refuge is a massive operation that spans all across Cape May County, but the Delaware Bay Division is worth revisiting because it’s lush with shorebirds, songbirds, raptors, woodcocks, frogs, and crabs.

East Creek Pond – Belleplain State Forest

The two above family-friendly hikes are on this list because they offer an up-close-and-personal experience with lush wildlife. East Creek Pond makes this list because it has some of the best fall foliage in South Jersey. This 6.5-mile trail is only moderately steep, but most tourists choose not to hike the entire loop. Outdoor enthusiasts, meanwhile, will fall in love with this trail’s serenity, colorful flora, and ample fall photo opportunities. ICONA Avalon is eight miles closer to East Creek Pond than all nearby Cape May hotels.

Maurice River Bluffs Preserve

Maurice River Bluffs Preserve is a scenic 37-mile drive from the best Cape May hotels, including ICONA Cape May. This secluded sanctuary is a unique blend of beautiful river bluffs, colorful foliage, and mysterious 19th-century ruins. Multiple trails can be combined into a 4.4-mile loop which occasionally follows the stunning, rushing river.

Cape May Hotels

ICONA Resorts has three oceanside hotels in Cape May County that are highlighted by their understated elegance, chic and cozy luxury, and top notch service. After a full day of hiking and leaf peeping, visit the Avalon Brew Pub for an evening of world-class dining and refreshing craft beer. Fall is closing in fast, so book a South Jersey escape by dialing 1-609-454-6484 or visiting ICONA.com before it’s too late!

new jersey beach hotels

How to Pack Year Round for ICONA

ICONA, home to three of the premier New Jersey beach hotels, is a four-season resort with lavish guest rooms, award-winning restaurants, breathtaking Atlantic Ocean vistas, a central location to shopping and the Cape May County Zoo, and the always delicious Avalon Brew Pub. Deciding where to stay on your next getaway to beautiful South Jersey is easy: Diamond Beach, Cape May, or Avalon. Choosing what to pack and wear on the Jersey shoreline, however, is somewhat challenging because of our region’s seasonal temperature changes. Grab your luggage set because it’s time to decide what to pack and what to leave at home.

Ideal Summer Temperatures

Our beachfront paradise has an average summer high of 82 degrees. It be may be surprising to some that the temperature isn’t higher, but our refreshing coastal winds help keep our beaches and poolsides cozy, not balmy. Even our summer low is a mere 67 degrees, an ideal temperature for nights spent at the Star Beach Bar and the Sandbar Village. Pack swimwear, sunglasses, sandals, sunscreen, and light shirts, tanks, and shorts. Don’t forget a hoodie or jacket for an evening around the fire pit. It rains an average of six days per month, so pack a raincoat just in case it sprinkles.

Stunning Autumn Foliage

One of the best parts of having four seasons is the autumn colors. Not only are you steps away from the beach but you’re also a short trek from breathtaking drives with stunning fall foliage. The average high consistently drops from 77 in September, 66 in October, and 57 in November. Packing will assuredly depend on which month you’re arriving. It could be 80 degrees on Saturday and 60 degrees on Sunday, so bring along shorts and pants, t-shirts and sweatshirts, flip-flops and shoes. If you’re visiting in November, remember to bring along a coat as the lows dip into the 40s occasionally.

Snowball Fights in Winter

The average high is a relatively steady 45 degrees in the winter with the lows falling to 31. Please pack heavy jackets, jeans, sweatpants, boots, and sweatshirts to stay cozy. Our resort isn’t in the tundra by any means, but you’ll want to pack heavy if you’re not used to chilly winds and occasional snowflakes. You can always take layers off. We’ve experienced low 70s in February as well as lows in the teens.

Spring Bloom

The weather consistently rises from a high of 51 in March to 70 in May. Unlike other regions on the East Coast, we don’t receive very much rain in the spring. While you should always pack a raincoat, it’s unlikely you’ll need it. Spring is typically sweatshirt and jeans weather until May rolls around. After winter ends, many locals walk around in t-shirts and shorts because 60 always feels like 80 in April.

New Jersey Beach Hotels

ICONA’s three lavish New Jersey beach hotels have premier Atlantic views, prime access to shopping, restaurants, and nightly entertainment, and the East Coast’s only beachfront microbrewery, Avalon Brew Pub. Regardless of the season, join us on the beautiful South Jersey Shore for a memorable beachfront escape!

P.S. If you forget to pack a sweatshirt, you can always pick one up at the ICONA pantries located in the lobbies of our three hotels. They’re perfect for cuddling up and make for great gifts or traveling mementos.

best jersey shore hotels

3 Delicious Cocktails to Try at the Star Beach Bar

The weather is warming, the days are lengthening, and the cocktails are utterly delicious and refreshing here at the Star Beach Bar on the stunning, white sands of Diamond Beach. Home to the three best Jersey Shore hotels, ICONA’s contemporary new beach bar has tasty summer eats, daily live entertainment, and mouthwatering signature cocktails. Those lucky enough to book a summer stay at ICONA Diamond Beach are steps away from an afternoon of beach fun, relaxation, and three of the best summer cocktails in New Jersey.

The Star of the Beach

Hotel and Beachfront View | ICONA ResortsWe have seven signature cocktails, five frozen drinks, and dozens of beer to choose from, and the Star of the Beach is by far our crowd favorite. The Star of the Beach is a combination of Hornitos tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, and a splash of orange juice with fresh lime and salt on the rim. You’ll want to savor every last sweet sip, unlike many tequila-based cocktails. Relish this cocktail with your toes in the sand while swaying to live acoustic covers of Jimmy Buffett.

Ocean’s Potion

Ocean’s Potion is, as Axl Rose so eloquently put it, “as fresh as the bright blue sky.” This cocktail is for rum lovers as it has three distinct varieties inside: Cruzan light and dark rum, and Captain Morgan spiced rum. Add triple sec, grenadine, and orange and pineapple juices, and you have a cocktail that will warm you to the core. Ocean’s Potion is the drink of choice after dark at our controlled beach fire pit. Sit back on our comfy, modern couches with your toes in the sand, and let the potion warm your heart.

Tropical Tease

Last, but certainly not least, Tropical Tease is a unique blend of Cruzan light rum, Midori Melon, banana liqueur, and pineapple juice, garnished with a cherry and fresh pineapple. This sweet, tropical cocktail is often in the hands of guests on a warm, summer afternoon. Play a game of life-sized Jenga or cornhole (bean bag toss) on the beach, surrounded by young palm trees, and enjoy the crisp flavors of a Tropical Tease.

Our friendly, lively bartenders and waitstaff at the Star Beach Bar will always greet you with a smile and seven of the tastiest cocktails on the Jersey Shore. ICONA also has the three best jersey shore hotels: Diamond Beach, Avalon, and Cape May. Regardless of where you’re lodging, the Star Beach Bar is always slinging paradise in a cup on breathtaking Diamond Beach!

Hawaiian Luau at Icona

Aloha! Hawaiian Luau Girls Beach Getaway

You no longer have to spend a mini fortune on a girls beach getaway in Hawaii, because Coastal New Jersey award-winning resorts ICONA Diamond Beach and ICONA Avalon now offer the ultimate customizable Hawaiian luau girls getaway. Ditch the boys for a weekend of debauchery and never-ending amusement at one of their unparalleled resorts in NJ. Slip on a muumuu, light the tiki torches, turn up the Don Ho, and do the limbo. Sip on Ocean’s Potion, Surfer Girl, Tropical Tease or other great cocktails at ICONA’s beach bars!

Hawaiian Luau Party

Whether you’re planning on celebrating an engagement or looking to let loose, the team at ICONA will help make your Hawaiian Luau Party unique and memorable. Wear colorful leis and walk the beach or pool area with a fresh Mai Tai in hand. If the delicious mixture of Curacao, lime, gold rum, and mint doesn’t make you want to hula or limbo, then perhaps a Blue Hawaiian will.Hawaiian Luau at Icona

When ‘Tiny Bubbles’ has worn its welcome, play some Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Bask on Diamond Beach or by the spacious and stunning pool area. Diamond Beach has warm, white sand, sunny skies, relaxing Atlantic Ocean waves, and spectacular drinks at The Star Beach Bar or The Sandbar Village. Each unique Hawaiian luau package is different. Yours could include live music, fire dancers, or whatever enhancements your group chooses. ICONA has a natural beach and pool access for your girls getaway.

Unrivaled Resorts in NJ

Avalon has breathtaking lanais, known on the mainland as a balcony or patio, with ocean views that will melt your heart. Paradise awaits in one of the Premium Aloha Studios at Diamond Beach. The Aloha Studios sleep up to six and feature a 60-inch flat-screen television, double galley kitchen, two bathrooms, Keurig coffee maker, and ample living space. Before your Hawaiian Luau Party, partake in an open bar, bridal brunch, or afternoon tea. A Hawaiian dream getaway now rests on the NJ shoreline!

3 Things You Need to Know for Surf Lessons at Diamond Beach

A weeklong summer stay at unrivaled ICONA Diamond Beach in sunny coastal New Jersey isn’t complete without surfing lessons with professional Jack Moore. Whether you’re a family staying in a choice Premium Poolside Suite, or on a couple’s getaway in a peaceful Premium Northside Suite, surfing lessons are only 200 feet away on sandy Diamond Beach.

What to Bring

The essential item to bring is a wetsuit. Water temperatures, regardless of where you’re surfing in North America, can vary. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the water with Jack, the founder, and director of Lifeguard Surf Camp at ICONA, so it’s best to stay warm and dry for the duration of the lesson. Some guests bring their surfboards, but they’re available for $25 for up to four hours. You’ll also want to bring a beach pack filled with sunscreen, towel, and water or sports drink. Ladies will want to bring a strong hair tie, and men will want to wear briefs, bike shorts, or a speedo because baggy swim trunks will only weigh you down. Leave your goggles and glasses in your room, because disposable contacts are the best option in the surf.

Where to Go

Diamond Beach is open to guests of ICONA only, and it’s just steps from your suite. Simply use the beachside exit of the hotel and take the boardwalk down to the beach where you’ll see Jack and his crew. Don’t let the breathtaking Atlantic Ocean views, and the warm, sandy beach distract you from riding your first wave!

Surf’s Up!

Studies have shown that surfers spend only eight percent of their time riding waves, so being a quality swimmer is a must, but Jack guarantees that all surfers will successfully do stand-up surfing during their sessions! He has been a pro surfer and certified ocean lifeguard for 40 years. He is CPR, first aid, and open-water rescue trained. Diamond Beach has medium-sized waves, perfect for beginners and learners, and the surf camps are basic, fun, safe, and will undoubtedly be the highlight of your getaway at ICONA Diamond Beach.

When you’re not riding waves and impressing your friends and family, you’ll feel compelled to walk over to the illustrious and delicious Star Beach Bar. Indulge in a crisp brick oven pizza, jumbo crab cake, or their specialty, the Diamond Peach Panini. The Star Beach Bar has live music, million-dollar views, and mouthwatering specialty drinks and buckets–ICONA Diamond Beach has everything you’re looking for in a New Jersey beach getaway!