Cape May, N.J., somehow remains a quiet enclave along the Jersey Shore, a region of the world made infamous in recent summers by MTV's collaboration with a group of drunkards — most who slog down the Parkway from New York to a northern Shore town of Seaside Heights.
(Seaside Heights has been notorious among most New Jerseyans long before the show came along.)
But 80 miles south of what MTV would have you believe is the "Jersey Shore" is a true old-fashioned beach town nestled off the last couple exits of the Garden State Parkway. Cape May is the ninth ranked beach on TripAdvisor's newest list of the "Top 25 Beaches in the World."
There's no nightclubs reeking of sweat and desperation each balmy summer night. There's no crammed beaches full of cigarette butts and beer cans. And there's never any reports of boardwalk shootings.
It's quite a feat for Cape May when you look at the other exotic locales in paradise listed, places like Bora Bora, Maldive and the Cayman Islands. The only other American stretch of beach in the top 10 is Myrtle Beach, S.C., which came in sixth.
This is how TripAdvisor described Cape May: "Yes, Cape May is, technically, on the Jersey Shore. But it’s the antithesis of the Jersey Shore you’ll see on TV—instead of nightclubs and tanning parlors, you’ll find Victorian mansions and a famous lighthouse."
TripAdvisor just this weekend released a newer list that includes Jersey Shore beaches, but it's not as flattering as the list that includes Cape May. Oh, the stereotypes. At least we have places like Cape May. (Other recommendations from this author: Pt. Pleasant Beach, Spring Lake, Avalon, Long Beach Island's Beach Haven and Margate.)