Cape May has three municipalities where alcohol is prohibited from being sold by law. Ocean City, Cape May Point and Wildwood Crest are the only remaining dry municipalities in the region.
Cape May is a seaside city in New Jersey with pristine beaches, a promenade, boardwalks, and all the amenities that make any seashore town worth visiting.
But is Cape May a dry town? If so, how many of its municipalities are lawfully dry, or can you buy alcohol in Cape May?
This is what we will be discussing in this article. We will also find out if you are permitted to drink alcohol in public or what drinks are allowed here.
We will not be going too much into the laws relating to the same but will also list the dry towns in New Jersey. So let us dive deeper into this article and explore if Cape May is a dry town.
Can You Buy Alcohol In Cape May?
Yes, you can buy alcohol in Cape May. Cape May has two liquor licenses; fortunately, many restaurants and retailers were grandfathered in.
Cape May has three different municipalities that have laws regarding alcohol in their areas – Cape May Point, Ocean City, and Wildwood Crest.
Dry towns in New Jersey cannot prohibit the possession, consumption, or transportation of alcohol. Still, they can permit or prohibit BYOB at restaurants and social affairs permit for non-profit organizations.
However, there are a few stores in the town that have licenses. With so few licenses, many restaurants accepted BYOB policies, making your dining experience more affordable.
In Cape May, despite the laws regarding alcohol permits, packaged liquor can only be sold in a few places.
The hours of sale in liquor stores, gas stations, supermarkets, etc., are listed below.
|Sunday||10 am to 2 am|
|Monday to Saturday||9 am to 10 pm|
Between the Friday before Memorial Day and September 30, packaged beer and wine may be sold until 3:00 am.
For Thursday and Friday nights, these extended hours are in effect between May 1 and October 15.
Packaged beer and wine may be sold until 3:00 am on the holiday nights such as:
- New Year’s Eve
- The Saturday before Easter
- The Wednesday before Thanksgiving
- Christmas Eve
Cape May Point, Ocean City, and Wildwood Crest are Cape May County’s only remaining dry municipalities in the city of New Jersey, and they all follow these laws related to alcohol strictly.
Can You Drink In Public In Cape May?
Cap May has recently passed legislation to allow the consumption of alcohol in public spaces formally.
Less than two years ago, Cap May’s council formally voted to allow for the outdoor consumption of alcohol in public spaces, all of which was banned earlier.
Now you can drink alcohol on the beach, promenade, local mall, or several streets across the town, all during the timings set by the city council. Public drinking of alcohol is allowed in the locations mentioned between 5 pm to 10 pm every day of the week.
Public drinking had previously been prohibited in the town, and such restrictions are still in place on streets and highways—as well as in cars—across Cape May.
However, this legislation was passed with strict requirements for the drinking individuals to possess their identification where their ages are mentioned. The US legal drinking age is 21; thus, only those are permitted to consume alcohol outdoors.
Alcohol purchased must be in sealed plastic containers and can only be unsealed when consumed in one of the designated areas of the city. One is advised to stay in the specified locations or areas while drinking.
The maximum capacity of the drink can not exceed 16 ounces or 450ml at a time, and the alcohol is only served in sealed, plastic containers. Glass bottles are banned.
What Types Of Alcohol Are Permitted In Cape May?
All kinds of alcohol are permitted in Cape May.
Cape May’s city council cannot prohibit the possession, consumption, or transportation of alcohol but have the option to permit or prohibit BYOB at restaurants and social affairs permit for non-profit organizations.
There are no restrictions on the type of alcohol that may be distributed or bought within the legal hours of alcohol sale. You can freely indulge in wine, beer, vodka, or whiskey.
However, suppose you are drinking in public. In that case, you can only drink in designated areas and consume 16 ounces of alcohol simultaneously.
You must also be at least 21 years of age to purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages.
The city council regulates retail sales of alcohol and, thus, should be followed strictly.
List Of Dry Towns In New Jersey
Following is a list of dry towns in New Jersey.
- In Atlantic County: Port Republic is the only dry town in this county.
- In Bergen County: Saddle River is the only community that stays dry.
- In Burlington County: Only Delanco and Pemberton are dry.
- In Camden County: Audubon Park, Collingswood, Haddonfield, and Haddon Heights are dry.
- Cape May County: Ocean City, Cape May Point, and Wildwood Crest are dry communities.
- Cumberland County: Downe Township, Lawrence Township, Maurice River Township, Shiloh, Stow Creek Township, and Upper Deerfield are dry.
- In Gloucester County: Elk Township, Wenonah, and South Harrison are dry.
- In Mercer County: Only Pennington is dry.
- In Monmouth County: Only Interlaken is dry.
- In Ocean County: Island Heights and Mantoloking are dry.
- In Passaic County: Prospect Park is dry.
- Salem County: Elmer, Lower Alloways Creek Township, Mannington, Oldmans Township, Quinton Township, and Upper Pittsgrove are all dry.
- In Somerset Country: Only Far Hills is dry.
In this article, we discussed if you can buy alcohol in Cape May or not.
Here’s a quick recap.
Is Cape May a dry town? Cape May has three municipalities where alcohol is prohibited from being sold by law. Cape May Point, Ocean City, and Wildwood Crest are the only remaining dry municipalities.
My name is Jeyn Dashner and I am the founder of WanderFever. I have worked as a travel journalist for many years, and exploring new places is my greatest pleasure in life.