Only two and a half blocks up from Leith Hall, the Washington Street Mall is the main shopping street of Cape May. In addition, there are many interesting places that locals know about but you might not find.
For antiques there are four places to check out. Opposite the harbor as you drive into town is a large coop shop called Cape May Antiques. As with any coop shop, the quality and selection varies, but you can sometimes find real buys here. (I’ve bought Suzie several pieces of jewelry here.) On Perry Street, about three blocks from the Ocean, is another big coop shop called Antiques Emporia. They have several gift booths as well as antiques and are worth checking out. Victorious in Washington Commons (across the street from the Mall) has great antique jewelry (more gifts for Suzie) OldeLights is on Washington Street across the street from City Hall (just go up to Washington Street, turn right and go 1 1/2 blocks) and has great antique lighting from Victorian to 1930’s Art Deco. The name is a play on another Cape May institution – West End Garage.
Craft, Art and Antiques
West End Garage is on West Perry Street (just up from Antiques Emporia). It really was an early 20th century garage and it is host to the West Cape May Artist’s Coop. They include painters, potters, wood artists, fiber arts, and lots more. The West End Garage also includes many antiques-filled booths and quite a number of gifts and clothing vendors. It is a great spot to browse and find a gift or souvenir that you won’t find elsewhere
Also in West Cape May on Broadway is an antiques shop in a home called Bridgetowne. Ursula runs it and always has something interesting to see. Another fun place to try if you have a car is Treehouse Antiques Center which is on Seashore Road, north of the canal. Seashore Road is the same thing as Broadway – just with a new name. Treehouse has both furniture inside and garden ornaments in the back yard.
For women’s clothing and accessories, Cheeks at the Beach is diagonally across from Leith Hall. They also have an outlet store on Park Boulevard in West Cape May. They specialize in linen (or flax) as they call it) For fashionable accessories, as well as some antique jewelry, there is a new store in the Pink House called PINK. There is a new place called Westside Garage on Perry Street in West Cape May which hosts an artist’s coop, several antiques dealers, and some gift sellers. It is well worth checking out.
For food shopping to supply that picnic lunch at the beach, try the little deli behind Freda’s Cafe (on Ocean Street), just a block up from Leith Hall) They have pates and salads and other exotic foods. The bagels at Avalon Bagels (on Gurney Street one block East of Leith Hall) has respectable bagels and I’m a diehard bagel critic from New York. Another fun food-shopping experience is the West Cape May Farmers Market. It is held every Tuesday in Summer and Fall and features local farmers, craftspeople, and local seafood as well as pulled-pork barbeque in the North Carolina style. It is located in the feild behind West Cape May Boro Hall on Broadway – a short bike ride or medium walk from Leith Hall. A great place to get very high quality cheeses and cold cuts, as well as giant disk-shaped sandwiches is Seaside Cheese, on Park Boulevard in West Cape May. Right next door to Seaside Cheese is the Cape May Market, which is a natural and health food market which makes salads, wraps and smoothies.
There are many more wonderful shops on Cape May, but were going to leave you the fun of discovering these on your own.