New Jersey isn't exactly the first place you think of for an off-season getaway, but then again, New Jersey might not be a destination you feel the need to explore.
But way down the Garden State Parkway all the way at good ole Exit 0 sits Cape May, one of America's oldest seaside resorts. It's certainly not the first place you think of when you think of New Jersey, and that's a good thing.
Down there, it's like a trip back in time. You're so far south that you're basically parallel with Washington, D.C., and though you're definitely still in the 21st century, you wouldn't know it by looking at all the brightly-colored Victorian B&Bs.
The town is lovably walkable, family-friendly and easy to navigate. There are no cheesy boardwalks, no Snooki-esque sightings and no high-rise hotels. It's a blast from the past, in the best way possible.
Here are 13 other reasons -- in no particular order -- why you should make the pilgrimage to Cape May now. (Warning: A lot of these pertain to food. Sorry, not sorry.)
2. San Francisco is the only place in America that can claim to have more Victorian homes than Cape May.
3. The out-of-this-world good carrot cake ice cream from Bliss Homemade Organic Ice Cream
4. The placemats at The Blue Pig Tavern, which give diners history tidbits as they stuff their faces silly with the farm-to-table fare.
5. Freshly-ground peanut butter (and their Reese's peanut butter cookie happiness, our name not theirs) at the Cape May Peanut Butter Company
6. The Basil Lemondrop Martini and the hand-cut truffle fries at Ebbitt Room win every.single.time.
7. The farms are actually fun and walkable (and don't smell). There's the 62-acre Beach Plum Farm, which supplies the restaurants of Cape Resorts, or the Bay Springs Farm Alpacas because you haven't lived 'til you've seen a large herd of alpacas running towards you.
8. Happy hour in the Brown Room at Congress Hall. It's nicknamed the "town's living room" for a reason.
9. A trip to the Jersey Shore isn't a trip without a stop for salt water taffy. Stock up at Fralinger's.
10. Uncle Bill's Pancake House at 6:30am. A hefty plate of chocolate chip pancakes FTW.
11. The bedrooms in the Star Inn's Carriage House. Calm colors, breezy fans and beds that will have you sleeping soundly all night.
12. The Raw Bar at the Lobster House for some fresh fried fish and beer.
13. Kohr Bros' frozen custard. A beachside mainstay.
(NB: This isn't the one in Cape May.)