Because you need to avoid sunstroke, and because the monkeys never fail to entertain: A trip to the Cape May County Zoo is a no-brainer for families seeking a break from the beach, with 200 species, free admission, and a new zoo-themed carousel. Little ones will love riding the hummingbird. Kid-free? Perhaps the new Sea Spa at Cape May’s Congress Hall, or the Cape May Winery (above). The wine is fine, but the air-conditioning’s divine—and the $5 tasting makes for a splendid afternoon. Pre-order a box lunch, bring a blanket for your picnic on the vineyard’s lawn, and stay a while.
The gorgeous Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge, a massive federal reserve 10 miles north of A.C., has great bird-watching and the most intriguing view of Atlantic City, standing tall across miles of marshes. Choose driving or walking trails, depending on how hot the day is. Or catch a breeze aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher that sails to all the local lighthouses—perfect for amateur-photographer types. If you’ve had enough of nature altogether, you can do the Atlantic City thing (more on that on page 80) or ferry yourself over to the Rehoboth Beach Outlets to shop all day. (Hit the new Kenneth Cole and Michael Kors stores!) (Cape May County Zoo Crest Haven Road and Route 9, Cape May, 609-465-5271, capemaycountyzoo.org; The Sea Spa Congress Hall, 251 Beach Drive, Cape May, 609-884-8421, congresshall.com; Cape May Winery 711 Town Bank Road, Cape May, 609-884-1169, capemaywinery.com; Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge From Route 9, enter via Great Creek Road, Oceanville, 609-652-1665, fws.gov; Cape May Whale Watcher Schellenger’s
Landing, 2nd Avenue and Wilson Drive, Cape May, 609-884-5445, capemaywhalewatcher.com; Rehoboth Beach Outlets 36470 Seaside Outlet Drive, Rehoboth, 302-226-9223, tangeroutlet.com/rehobothbeach).