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Cape May, known for its picturesque beaches and charming Victorian architecture, is a popular destination for beachgoers. If you are planning a visit to Cape May, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that govern the beaches. Understanding these rules will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. In this article, we will explore the rules for Cape May beaches and provide you with the information you need to have a memorable beach day.

Beach Access

One of the first things to know about Cape May beaches is that they are open to the public. There are several access points along the coastline, and most beach entrances are clearly marked. Parking is available near the beach, but it can get crowded during peak season, so arriving early is recommended.

Beach Tags

To access the beaches in Cape May, you will need to purchase a beach tag. Beach tags are required for anyone 12 years of age and older. These tags can be purchased at various locations throughout the city, including beach entrances and local businesses. The fees collected from beach tags help to maintain and improve the beaches.

Beach Hours

Cape May beaches are open from 10 am to 5 pm. It is important to note that swimming is not permitted outside of these hours. Lifeguards are on duty during the designated beach hours, ensuring the safety of beachgoers. Always swim within the designated areas and follow the instructions of the lifeguards.

Alcohol and Smoking

Cape May beaches have strict rules regarding alcohol and smoking. Alcohol consumption is not permitted on the beaches, and smoking is only allowed in designated areas. These rules are in place to maintain a family-friendly and clean environment for everyone to enjoy.


While Cape May is pet-friendly, pets are not allowed on the beaches during the summer season. From May 15th to September 15th, dogs are prohibited on the beaches to ensure the safety and comfort of all visitors. However, there are designated dog-friendly beaches in the area where you can bring your furry friends.

Bonfires and Fireworks

Bonfires and fireworks are not allowed on Cape May beaches. These activities pose a fire hazard and can be disruptive to other beachgoers. If you are interested in having a bonfire or watching fireworks, there are designated areas and events in Cape May that allow for these activities.

Beach Etiquette

When visiting Cape May beaches, it is important to follow proper beach etiquette. This includes cleaning up after yourself, disposing of trash in designated bins, and respecting other beachgoers’ space. Additionally, loud music and excessive noise should be avoided to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

Conclusion: Enjoy Your Beach Day in Cape May

Now that you are familiar with the rules for Cape May beaches, you can plan your visit with confidence. Remember to purchase your beach tag, follow the designated beach hours, and adhere to the rules regarding alcohol, smoking, and pets. By respecting these rules and practicing good beach etiquette, you can ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience for yourself and others. So pack your sunscreen, beach towel, and a good book, and get ready to soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Cape May!

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