The Beach Shack

Recent renovations at The Beach Shack in Cape May add a late '60s beachcomber vibe that did not exist when the building was known as The Coachman.

Cape May Lighthouse and beach at sunset.
Photo courtesy SK Communications LLC.

The Beach Shack
205 Beach Avenue, Cape May
Number of rooms: 65; Summer price range: $229-$399

The Beach Shack, which opened last summer, is a kicky kid brother to the stately Congress Hall—both are owned by Cape Resorts. The building itself was the Coachman, an aging motel, and had been slated for demolition. When the economy soured, though, the Coachman lived to see another day—refurbished, refinished, and re-opened last year as the Beach Shack, while amping up the late ’60s beachcomber vibe that is retro-cool today. The plan worked. The Beach Shack has become an attractive family option.

Rooms sleep four to six people. For a big group, book Bungalow 2, which looks like an addition to the Brady Bunch house, with its full kitchen and living room done in burnt orange and heavy wood. Make sure you stop at the Rusty Nail, the on-location eatery that was once the hangout for the Cape May Beach Patrol.

The Nail still serves beer in frosted mugs, though it’s more an upscale outdoor bar and restaurant than a lifeguard dive and has an expanded seafood menu this year. There is outdoor picnic seating and, at night, live entertainment and a bonfire. The Beach Shack is seasonal, opening in early May and closing after Columbus Day Weekend. In the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, the Beach Shack sometimes offers free nights on extended stays.

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