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A Different Kind of Beach

Higbee Beach, on the Delaware Bay, welcomes a different type of crowd in West Cape May.

Posted May 9, 2011 by Jen A. Miller

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Higbee Beach
Higbee Beach.
Photo by Colin Archer & Marc Steiner/Agency New Jersey.

Higbee Beach is a secluded 1.5 mile strip of sand along the Delaware Bay. It’s technically part of the Jersey Shore, but it’s a beach sought out by a different kind of crowd.

Higbee is tucked away at the dead end of New England Road in West Cape May, where handmade signs plead for people to slow down. Yes, there’s a parking lot at the edge of the dead end, but not a big one. Get there early on a summer day if you want a spot. You have to work a bit harder to get to the actual beach, too: a short trek through woods that turn into hilly dunes that open up onto sand that, even at high tide, is barely two beach blankets wide.

This beach doesn’t have what many beachgoers crave: waves for jumping, lifeguards for protecting (and eye candy) and open space. Labeling the lapping of water as waves is generous. Instead, the water sways across the sand, gently shimmying up and down the beach with the tides.  

But you can bring your dog. You don’t need a beach tag. You can enjoy a beer or two without being chased off by the polite police. You won’t have your summer day drowned out by someone else’s music. The only real disruption is the Cape May-Lewes Ferry chugging in and out of the bay. Until 1999, you could even tan in your birthday suit. Some people still treat Higbee as a nude beach, but only for swimming. It’s unlikely you’ll see anyone in the buff on their beach blankets.

Higbee is also popular with birders. Year round, they come looking for migrating yellow warblers, orchard orioles, white-eyed vireos and hawks. Expect to see more—birds and birders—in spring and fall during migration season.

If you go, bring shoes sturdier than flip flops for the walk from the parking lot. If you’re bringing your dog, keep it leashed and bring plenty of doggie bags.

And relax.

Jen A. Miller is author of The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May.


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Comments

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Posted by: oyun oyna, http://www.oyunlider.com | Dec 01, 2011 20:41:53 PM |

Higbee beach

The article written about Higbee Beach was obviously misinformed. Higbee beach is a Wildlife Management area which I have been enjoying its tranquility since my childhood. Unfortunately the tourists have managed to ruin that. It is NOT permitted alcohol. It is a big fine. It is NOT a dog park. Now that the past few yrs have bought so much trash and dog waste we now have an abundance of greenhead flies! I would sure hate to see this place get the gates closed but if something doesn’t get done with all the partying boats /jet skis and dogs disrupting the fragile wildlife we will never see the pelicans / dolphins and abundance of wildlife for which Higbee beach is famous for!

Posted by: Fran Mack, Egg Harbor Township,NJ | Jul 18, 2013 02:08:56 AM |

Dogs on Higbee Beach

According to the NJ Wildlife Dept. website, dogs ARE allowed on the beach for exercise and training purposes from Sept. 1 to April. In addition, personnel at the State Park near the lighthouse actually tell dog owners that the beach is a good place to take their dogs.

Posted by: Ann Mead Ash, East Eael Pa | Sep 06, 2013 00:02:30 AM |

One of my favorite places to visit while in Cape May.My family and dog loves it !

Posted by: Gary Fanucci, Madison Twp | Mar 06, 2014 02:32:46 AM |



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