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What Cape May is like for active adults

Cape May, New Jersey is a popular retirement community for people who enjoy the beach, fishing, and a Victorian setting. This beach community (4,000 year round residents, 40,000 seasonal population) at the bottom of New Jersey has long been famous for its stock of Victorian homes. The town has capitalized on this fame with an intelligent redevelopment plan that has given it an attractive pedestrian shopping center that attracts tourists all year long. Its nickname is "The Nation's Oldest Seashore Resort".

One of the attractions for active adults 55+ is the ability to live in and/or restore an elegant Victorian home that is within a few steps of the world famous New Jersey beaches. Cape May became was considered one of the finest resorts in America by the 19th century. A fire in the late 1800's wiped out 30 acres of the town center, which were rebuilt almost exclusively in the Victorian Style. Today it has the second largest collection of Victorian-era homes in the nation after San Francisco. In 1976 the entire city was officially designated a National Historic Landmark city.  Since the downtown is so nice, it is possible to avoid having to drive one’s car for days on end. On the outskirts of town there are some newer developments and active adult communities that cater to the newly retired. Photo of yellow Victorian courtesy of Wikipedia and TexasDex; Picture of Cape May Beach Ave. courtesy of Wikipedia and smallbones.

For a list of profiles on over 900 cities and towns go to best reviews of retirement communities.  Here are some helpful facts about retirement in New Jersey

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Where to Live & Real Estate Values

The retirement community housing choices are somewhat limited in town, mostly in the form of private homes or mobile homes. Real estate is quite expensive. According to, the median selling price of Cape May homes in mid-2014 was $500,000., on the other hand, put that selling price at about $325,000, an enormously different figure.

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What is special about this retirement community
• Unique collection of Victorian homes • Interesting downtown • A livable small city • A top birding area  • It is the only place where the entire city has been listed as the entire city of Cape May was officially designated a National Historic Landmark • Annual Cape May Literary Festival • The Travel Channel named it one of Top 10 Beaches in USA
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What is not special about this retirement community
It is somewhat remote. Crowded in summer, lonely in winter.
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What kinds of people like retiring here
Cape May attracts a community of retirees who want to live in a small city in the un-crowded and beautiful state of New Jersey. For help on nearby towns like Manahawkin and the charming college town of Princeton.
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Local economy is driven by
The economy is driven by tourism. It is the first stop over the New Jersey border and the gateway to the resorts in the area.
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Climate and Physical Environment
Cape May New Jersey is at the very bottom of New Jersey on the Atlantic Ocean. It is on a coastal plain with many waterways and bays.
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Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Annual Cape May Literary Festival.  The town hosts the Cape May Jazz Festival, the Cape May Music Festival and the Cape May Film Festival. Cape May Stage, performs at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse. East Lynne Theater Company and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. Birding is an important activity in Cape May.
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The crime rate in Cape May is just below the national average.

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Medical facilities
Burdete Tomlin Memorial Hospital is 12 miles away
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Atlantic City International Airport is 43 miles away;  Cape  May is below average in walkability when compared to other towns.

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Valuable Links
City of Cape May
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What people are saying about Cape May

New Jersey
Keep in mind that NJ is one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. because of taxation. Another negative is the unbearable humidity and mosquitos.
Posted by RetCop on July 29, 2015
cape may is nice, expensive and changing
I have lived on the Jersey Shore since 1969. I now live here year round. The City of Cape may is very expensive as well as Cape May Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor and parts of the Wildwoods. These are the coastal towns. Lower Twp and Middle Twp are along the bay and offer housing for your 2b/2b under $300k. It is a great place in the summer and Cape May offers great restaurants and theaters about 8 months a year. After the holidays the seniors go to Florida. The census just list Cape May County the poorest in NJ. About 60% on the homes are summer homes owned by those in the Phila area. The 65+ group is about 20% of the population and has been decreasing over the last 10 years.
Posted by pat66 on February 12, 2011
Cape May
Yes, there is no doubt that Cape May is expensive. But the fact that prices in the area have held up in spite of this recession, which is definitely NOT the case in most second home areas, speaks well for how well liked Cape May is. Here is what one of my friends said about Cape May: "If you retire here it is because you have owned a summer home for many years. Most of us have grown up spending our summers at the Jersey Shore. It's a strong attachment."
Posted by pjuan on January 06, 2011

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Facts about CAPE MAY
  • State: NJ
  • Environment: Coastal,Boating Community,Resort Community,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $300,001-$500,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: 2000-4000
  • Total Crime Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: jb

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

Cape May retirement communities
Vote on the Ratings for Cape May
Update Your Ratings
1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.6/5 ( 7 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 3.9/5 ( 9 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 3.1/5 ( 7 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 3.3/5 ( 4 votes cast)

None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 4.6/5 ( 5 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 3.5/5 ( 4 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.8/5 ( 5 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 3.5/5 ( 4 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 3.2/5 ( 5 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.0/5 ( 2 votes cast)


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