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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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

Give the Gift of a Getaway this Mother’s Day

Mothers, they come in all shapes and sizes as well as ages and this year you’re going to want to something special for that special someone. A mother can be someone you look up to, your best friend, or the person you turn to when you need help. Being a mother can be a tough role to play, yet very rewarding, and there is no better way to say thanks for all you do, than with a gift to one of the top hotels in NJ, ICONA. Let mom have a weekend away (whether you join or not) to relax, experience the Jersey shore, and have a wonderful time at our beautiful resorts along New Jersey’s Coast.

Mother’s Day ICONA

Our ICONA Diamond Beach and ICONA Cape May locations are throwing a huge mother’s day weekend bash, and you’ll want to be apart of the family fun! Join us for a fabulous 3-course Mother’s Day Brunch which will feature all your favorite dishes, plus some deliciously new ones to try. There will be over 20 different options to choose from so we’re sure everyone in your group will find something they love, view our menu to see all the mouth-watering choices. Give Coastal Blue a call at 609.224.1124 to make your reservation for this fantastic brunch special that only comes once a year!

Mom deserves something spectacular this year, and a trip to ICONA with the whole family is just what she needs. As one of the top hotels in NJ, we’re devoted to making your vacation one for the books and with a trip to Diamond Beach or Cape May, your weekend will top all expectations. Revel in the utmost relaxation near the shores of New Jersey with MOM.

 

3 Icebreakers for Your Business at the Beach!

Let’s break the ice, you’re going to ICONA for your business retreat, and you’re about to have one of the best getaways that mix business and fun, beachside! Our resort hotels in NJ, offer the comfort of accommodations and access to our beautiful meeting facilities. Here are three fun icebreakers to kick-start your business at the beach!

Ready for Action

Get ready to rock at your meeting because you’ll want to try Extreme Rock, Paper, Scissors! This game needs nothing but spirit! Break it into teams of two, where opponents battle against one another. The winner of each round advances on to the next set of two, while whoever loses the round follows the winner cheering them on. That process continues until there are only two people left with big cheering squads rooting for them or their opponent!

Get to Team Building

If you’re looking for something that alludes to team building, we’ve got the perfect activity with Unique and Shared. Break your group off into smaller teams of 3-5, hand out paper and pens, then instruct them to write down 3-5 things that make their group similar. We recommend that you try to avoid genetic traits and have your group dive deeper. Next read the traits out loud with the whole team. For the “unique” part of the activity, that same group will come up with 3-5 unique traits or characteristics of everyone in their group, which will also be read aloud. This game allows for everyone to see what is similar and unique to every person in the company!

Let’s Connect

Asking a question before your meeting to get everyone talking and awake is a great way to start your day! Whether they’re funny or not, you’ll love being able to get to know your coworkers! We compiled a list of a few questions you could have your team ask one another; you can also tailor subjects to what you’re doing that day!

 

  1. Who is your favorite Superhero/heroine and why?
  2. Who is your hero in your life?
  3. What is your favorite summertime activity?
  4. What is your favorite ice cream flavor and what flavor best describes you and why?
  5. Name 3 locations you would like to travel to and why?
  6. What are three goals you’d like to get out of this meeting?

However you choose to start your corporate meeting or company retreat, ICONA offers the best meeting venues for your business. Your team is sure to return to the working world feeling refocused and recharged.Enjoy our selection of meeting facilities, gorgeous accommodations and fantastic things to do outside of your retreat.

5 Must See Attractions on Your Cozy Winter Getaway to NJ

Groundhogs Day was just a few weeks ago, and sadly, we’re in for six more weeks of winter which means you still have time to get away for a cozy getaway to our Jersey Shore resorts before spring has sprung.  Here are 5 of our favorite attractions to see while you’re visiting the Atlantic Coast and our ICONA resorts.

Historic City

You’ll find that Cape May New Jersey happens to be one of the oldest resort towns on the coast and that means you’ll want to enjoy our fabulous Historic Cape May Tour! We’ve partnered with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts at our ICONA Diamond Beach and ICONA Cape May locations for this fantastic tour. Experience the stunning Victorian buildings that have been preserved by the National Historic District. Check out our tickets here, and see all the historical places you can visit with our discounted prices.

The Lighthouse

You’ll want to see the Cape May Lighthouse up close when you come to town! Located two miles away from the city this beaming lighthouse was built in 1859 and visitors can do the climb to the top! Plus, don’t forget to check out the impressive Visitors Orientation Center which hosts a museum shop and information about the lighthouse.

Take Flight!

If you’re really into aviation, you’ll love visiting the Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum. This museum is located within the historic Hanger #1 of the Cape May Airport but what you can experience and learn is even more fascinating. The museum boasts several aircraft and displays where you can climb a real air traffic control tower, sit inside of a cockpit, or enjoy the flight simulators, plus so much more!

Main Street Style

Find your street style in a Main Street-like mall in Cape May at the Washington Street Mall. You’ll find that this outdoor shopping place is perfect for visitors wanting to see the ideal gift to bring home. With lots of local stores, sweet shops, and unique locations for souvenirs this will genuinely be a shoppers paradise, and it’s close to the beach so you’ll get the gentle breeze and salty air of the Atlantic while being outdoors.

Grab a Brew

You won’t want to forget stopping by the Avalon Brew Pub for some delicious beer. It’s also the only microbrewery on the entire coast of New Jersey, meaning it’s steps from the shoreline! And who doesn’t love a tasty brew to go along with the perfect sunset?

 

Spring break is one of the busiest seasons, and you’ll love the gentle coastal breeze of our cozy season before the crowds come to our Jersey Shore Resorts. Experience so much more when you visit the sandy shores of New Jersey. There is no time but now to book your last winter getaway to our fantastic ICONA locations!

beachfront hotels in new jersey

3 Couple’s Things to do Onsite at ICONA

3 Couple’s Things to do Onsite at ICONA

Rekindling Romance in NJbeachfront hotels in new jersey

With the romantic season about to blossom like buds on trees, there is no better time to bring your sweetie to our beachfront hotels in New Jersey. The Jersey Shore offers a lot in regards to romance, the beach, restaurants, activities but when you’re staying at one of our resorts you’re going to want to spend some time here, during the tail end of our cozy season. Learn more about our three favorite couples things to do onsite at ICONA, then reconnect, rekindle, and amp up the romance for the ultimate retreat.

Spa Day for Two

While we don’t have a spa directly onsite, we do offer our guests fabulous accommodations where they will be greeted with plush bathrobes and stunning spa-like bathroom designs. You’ll be able to bring a spa indoors and right to your room. Pick up a bottle of champagne, some chocolate covered strawberries, and enjoy the comforts of a relaxing bath. You’ll just fall in love with our in-room amenities and the peaceful view from your balcony.

Dine with Wine

There are quite a few locations to dine with some yummy wine and your honey at our beachfront hotels in New Jersey. Bungalow No. 7 Beach Bar and Grill at ICONA Diamond Beach offers guests the perfect on-the-sand locations for drinks and food. If you’re looking for your that nice glass of vino, Avalon Brew Pub at ICONA Avalon includes a cozy and inviting atmosphere where you can sip on wine and dine on the beachside fare.

Pool Time Together

While the beach is within walking distance to our ICONA resorts, you’ll want to catch some rays while lounging around our outdoor heated pools. Bask in the sun’s rays when you spend the day on the sundeck with your loved one. Our seasonal outdoor pool is open from May-October, but you’ll find that the beach is unrestricted year-round.

When it comes to activities for two, you’re going to love spending time together at ICONA. Our amazing beachfront hotels in New Jersey will get you and your sweetheart to reconnect when you dine together, lounge together, and enjoy quality time together. Time is precious these days and what better way to say, “I love you,” than with a trip to the beautiful Atlantic Coast. No matter if it’s this spring or summer, stop by and have a blast!