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Looking to beat the winter doldrums? Plan a quick getaway to New Jersey’s Southern Shore Region, where romance is in full swing in the month of Cupid.

February at the shore is a lot different than the peak season months, but many of the area’s accommodations remain open, and the dining options are nearly as abundant as they are in July or August. The pace is a little easier as the long lines are nonexistent and many of the large family outings with children are on hold until summer.

In 2024, Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week, making the Wednesday holiday a reason that the weekend prior to Valentine’s Day, or the weekend after are both appropriate for romantic celebrations. What’s more, the President’s Day weekend (Feb. 16 to 19) includes a day off for most visitors. Having that extra day means squeezing in another dinner at one of the area’s fine restaurants, spending another day at a nearby winery, or booking that couples stay at the spa that there just isn’t time for during a regular weekend.

One of the best spots for your getaway is Victorian Cape May, which has a plethora of fine dining options, nearby wineries, a beach, and plenty of other open spaces. The organization that coordinates most of the tours and events in America’s first seaside resort, Cape May MAC, even holds trolley tours of the resort every weekend in the month and is planning a Cape May WIne Trail Tour on Saturday, Feb. 17. Although there are two wineries operating in Cumberland County (Ashenfelter Vineyards in Vineland, and Cedar Rose Vineyards in Millville) Cape May County’s wineries are growing in popularity as well as quality. The Cape May Wine Trail Tour includes Jessie Creek Winery, and Natali Vineyards, both in Cape May Court House, after lunch at the Bellevue Tavern in Court House. Visit Cape May MAC for more information.

In addition to Jessie Creek and Natali, other popular wineries in the region include Cape May Winery on Townbank Road in North Cape May, Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Rio Grande, and Willow Creek Winery in West Cape May. All these facilities have indoor and outdoor options, with heated outdoor seating and cozy fire pits to help keep patrons warm.

A visit to the spa is another popular activity for visitors, and spas can be found nearby in Congress Hall, Cape May, Cape May Day Spa, and the Salt Spa at the Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor

While few people are taking their beach chairs to the beach, all the area’s beaches are accessible, and perfect for a bundled-up stroll along the strand. If you are interested in touring Cape May’s sites, in addition to the MAC tours, Cape May Carriage operates during the weekends to take patrons on romantic horse-drawn carriage rides through the resort.

If the weather permits and the great outdoors beckon, the area’s many hiking trails in state parks, wildlife management areas, and beaches are open and lack the crowds one might encounter in season.

When the sun goes down, the area’s vibrant nightlife comes alive. New Jersey’s Southern Shore is well-known for culinary excellence, and visitors will be surprised to find many of their favorite restaurants open and better than ever. Afterward, pay a visit to some of the taverns, bars, and nightclubs that Jersey Shore vacations are known for. There are many spots with live music, so maybe a little dancing can cap off a romantic evening out on the town. After all, romance never goes out of style!

Whether you are looking to book a couples’ getaway or even a girls’ weekend, look no further than the Southern Shore Region. It’s nearby, it’s open, and the local businesses are waiting to help you escape the everyday and pursue your passion.