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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!

hotels in cape may nj

Top 4 Craft Breweries in Cape May County

New Jersey earned elite craft beer status this year as the Garden State welcomed its 100th craft brewery to the family in March. Despite being the fourth smallest state in the U.S., New Jersey ranks 21st in total breweries which had a $1.6 billion economic impact, according to the Brewers Association. A lot of skeptics believe that craft beer will be a short-lived fad, but the fact remains that beer enthusiasts are beginning to recognize that quality matters more than quantity. ICONA Resorts, unlike nearby hotels in Cape May NJ, owns and operates a microbrewery inside the beautiful beachfront ICONA Avalon. Sip on a refreshing pint of craft beer at one of these four sensational breweries when you’re not sunbathing on a sandy beach, soaking in a heated outdoor pool, or meeting adorable animals at the Cape May Zoo County Park & Zoo.

Avalon Brew Pub

The Avalon Brew Pub has five balanced flagship beers, a sleek interior, excellent cuisine, and a hip, decorative keg ceiling. The malty, citrusy We Don’t Play West Coast IPA remains a favorite among guests, though the Chill Pils, a Czech-style lager, will quench your thirst on a hot summer day. Come for a pint of refreshing craft beer, stay for a plate of mouthwatering steak, seafood, or organic chicken! Plus, you have to try the Giant Bavarian Pretzel – a guest favorite!

Ludlam Island Brewery

Operating out of a modest manufacturing complex in Ocean View, Ludlam Island Brewery has the most flavorful beer in Cape May County. Their compact taproom has eight taps, limited seating, wood paneling, and rotating local art. Ludlam Island specializes in hoppy pale ales, including their juicy, dry-hopped oat IPA, Let It Shine. Hoppy beer aficionados often taste all four of their seasonal IPAs in a beer flight.

Slack Tide Brewing Company

Eerily similar to Ludlam Island, Slack Tide Brewing has a petite taproom, but you’ll notice immediately the repurposed wood ceiling and the tap list written in colorful chalk. Their flagships range from IPA, blonde, stout, and pale, but they’ve been experimenting with the newest beer craze: the New England-style IPA. Overfalls is a deliciously juicy New England IPA plump with fruity Mosiac and citrusy Galaxy hops.

Cape May Brewing Company

Cape May Brewing is widely considered one of the premier craft breweries in the Garden State. After officially launching in the summer of 2011, Cape May Brewing quickly grew into an East Coast craft juggernaut after winning over the Philadelphia market. Their charismatic and knowledgeable staff host tours in their production facility and tasting room. Sip on award-winning beer, including the crushable Always Ready Northeast pale ale, and learn about beer techniques and the brewery’s history. ICONA Resorts, home to one of the premier hotels in Cape May NJ, is only 6.5 miles away from this award-winning brewery.

Hotels in Cape May NJ

ICONA Resorts has three beachfront properties in Cape May County, all of which are a short drive from the four best craft breweries in South Jersey. It’s never too soon to start planning an autumn beach escape to stunning Diamond Beach, Cape May, or Avalon – dial 1-609-454-6484 to book that well-deserved vacation you’ve been putting off!

Wildwood Crest hotels

Top 5 Attractions in the Wildwoods

The Jersey Shore is much more than pristine beaches, lively nightlife, and luxurious hotels. Our slice of southern New Jersey has some of the best family-friendly adventure parks, zoos, and ocean activities on the East Coast. ICONA has three award-winning hotels only steps from the beach. Other Wildwood Crest hotels cannot match our excellent service, amenities, and proximity to the area’s best attractions. Your upcoming family getaway to the Jersey Shore should include these five Wildwoods activities.

Cape May County Zoo

It’s not often you find a zoo that has free entry, free parking and is open 364 days a week. The Cape May County Zoo is easily the best place to view wildlife in the state. Unlike most zoos, Cape May is uncrowded and features some of North America’s most beloved animals. Adorable critters such as river otters, red foxes, snow leopards, and red pandas love the attention! The zoo also has popular lions, black bears, and giraffes as well as obscure bongos, oryx, and marmosets. Oceanfront ICONA Avalon is only a scenic six-mile wetland drive from the zoo! Avalon features Avalon Brewpub, The Sandbar Village, and a beautiful outdoor heated pool.

Jersey Shore Alpacas

While the Cape May County Zoo also has alpacas, Jersey Shore Alpacas offers an altogether more intimate experience. Get up-close-and-personal to this farm’s lovable alpacas. Meet, feed, pet, and learn about these furry South American creatures. Alpacas are native to Peru and are often mistaken for llamas. We highly recommend taking a private group tour into an alpaca paddock.

Thunder Cat Dolphin Watch

Thunder Cat Dolphin Watch & Speedboat Tours has an incredible reputation for providing close encounters with beautiful bottlenose dolphins via speedboat. Their ocean adventures are so unique and exhilarating that they were named “Best of Philly” in 2016 by Philadelphia Magazine (Philadelphia is a 90-minute drive away). Their speedboats are “dolphin magnets,” according to customers. Thunder Cat has a 99 percent dolphin sighting guarantee. ICONA Diamond Beach, one of the premier Wildwood Crest hotels, is only one mile from Thunder Cat.

Wildwood Boardwalk

The Wildwood Boardwalk is the perfect locale for a morning, afternoon, or sunset stroll. Grab an ice cream cone, coffee, or a walking taco and gaze out into the vast Atlantic Ocean. Remember to take home a souvenir from a local shop. Families love the boardwalk because of the three amusements piers complete with over 100 rides!

Morey’s Piers and Water Parks

The very best amusement pier on the Jersey Shore is at Morey’s. This staple has dozens of thrilling rides varying from kiddie to extreme. Morey’s Piers is also home to the Raging Waters Water Park. Raging Waters has slides, rivers, pools, and cabanas on the edge of Wildwood Crest Beach.

Wildwood Crest Hotels

ICONA strives to provide the best possible experience and service amongst Wildwood Crest hotels. Our three ocean view hotels provide unmatched service, sophisticated elegance, private beach access, and world-class amenities. Start planning your next ICONA getaway today by visiting ICONA.com.

Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting

Gear up for the Annual Sand Sculpting Festival

Grab a trusty mini shovel and your favorite five-gallon pail because the annual Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting Festival is fast approaching. This crowd-pleasing, family-friendly beach festival is held every summer and is only two miles from our award-winning ICONA Diamond Beach resort. Our three resort hotels in NJ are filling fast because the festival is nearly here and it’s also prime beach season. The Sand Sculpting Festival is free for participants and spectators, so unleash the child inside and give sand sculpting a real try!

Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting Festival

Every summer, Jersey Shore tourists and sandcastle enthusiasts flock to our neighboring Wildwood Crest Beach for this unique get-together. The event is hosted by Can You Dig It out of Staten Island, NY. There will be amateur and semi-pro contests with prizes awarded. Founder of Can You Dig It, Matt Long, will showcase his world-renowned abilities yet again. Attending the festival is still worth the trip even if you’re not interested in joining the fun. There will be live music, beach games, a magic show, and much more!

Grab Your Pail and Join in the Fun!

Remember to register if this event sounds interesting you. Also, remember to book a summer stay at ICONA, one of the premier resorts in NJ. We have a prime beach location and some helpful pointers for those new to sand sculpting. Always use moist sand found below the tide line—that’s rule #1. Work from top to bottom. Starting at the bottom will quickly lead to a dreaded sandcastle collapse! Add water periodically to hold the maximum amount of moisture. Shave away sand in small doses as it’s always easier to take than add. Bring along a shovel, five-gallon pail, funnel, and putty knife. The whole family is welcome to join in the fun!

Resort Hotels in NJ

ICONA is chief among resort hotels in NJ, because of our unparalleled beach access, grand accommodations, and our ideal central locations. Stay near the festival at Diamond Beach, at the breathtakingly deluxe Avalon, or our flawless Cape May resort.