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The Mall Messenger


  • Writer's pictureGeorge Swoyer

The Ultimate Heart of Cape May Parking Guide

Home to over 75 businesses offering unique shopping, dining, and more, the Washington Street Mall is an incredibly popular destination in South Jersey. In fact, it is one of the area's most visited attractions all year long. Located at Exit 0 at the bottom of the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey's southernmost town, most people drive to us. With that, parking is important. On the busiest days, it may take a few minutes to find parking. Many people also take into consideration parking fee costs, time limits, and more. To make your visit to the heart of Cape May easier, we've created this handy guide that will allow you to make parking easier, giving you more time to enjoy our picturesque town square.

Parking Adjacent to the Mall

Expanded street parking is located on the streets that surround the Mall, including on Carpenters Lane and Lyle Lane. This parking is either angled or pull-in/back-in, meaning there is space for more parking spots. These are probably some of the most popular spots around the Mall, but also the closest and easiest, so these are good spots to check first, especially if you are visiting during a time when it is not super busy. Also, for our friends in low speed vehicles (golf carts), there are specific spots for you on Lyle Lane next to Rotary Park.

The parking spaces closest to the Mall are along Carpenters Lane, Lyle Lane, and Mansion Street.

Municipal Parking Lots

Larger municipal parking lots are located on Jackson Street between Mansion Street and West Perry Street and at the Welcome Center off Lafayette Street. These are good options to have as they may have a few spots available at one time.

The municipal parking lot just off the Mall at Jackson Street provides a good amount of spaces.

Private Parking Lots

There are also a few privately-owned parking lots near the Mall that may be open. These typically charge either a flat fee for all-day or evening parking, or an hourly fee.

Private parking options may be available just off the Mall.

Municipal Parking Payments

While parking payments do raise revenue for the City, they are also intended to create turnover and overall allow more parking for visitors. Parking payments are in effect on Carpenters Lane, Lyle Lane, and Mansion Streets, as well as at the Welcome Center parking lots from April 1st through December 31st. Most other municipal paid parking is in effect from April 1st through October 31st. Around the Mall, municipal paid parking is in effect from 10am to 10pm.

Most municipal parking payments around the Mall can done via the easy and convenient ParkMobile system using credit or debit cards and license plate information. The list of specific locations that only accept ParkMobile is as follows:

  • Carpenters Lane

  • Lyle Lane

  • Mansion Street

  • The Jackson Street Parking Lot

  • The Welcome Center parking lots

  • The north side of Beach Avenue

Single parking space meters that accept quarters are still located at other municipal paid parking areas in the City.

There are six different ways that you can use ParkMobile:

  • Download the ParkMobile App via the App Store or Google Play and follow the instructions (this is the most convenient option, as it allows you to store payment methods and license plate information, receive alerts when your paid time is running out, and add more time from anywhere)

  • Scan the QR code on the green ParkMobile signage near where you park and follow the instructions

  • Navigate to in your mobile phone’s internet browser and follow the instructions

  • Use kiosks located on the 400 block of Carpenters Lane, the 400 block of Lyle Lane, and in the Jackson Street Parking Lot

  • Text “Park” to 77223 and follow the instructions

  • Call 877-727-5304 and follow the instructions

(As a side note, we've noticed that patrons using the QR code and internet browser options think they can only park for 45 minutes. This is because the minutes slider on screen is initially more prominent when beginning the payment process. Be sure to locate the hours slider on screen, which may mean you have to tap out of the minutes slider and return after you've selected your hours, if necessary.)

Signs in all parking areas explain fees and times in effect.

Free Parking

A few blocks off the Mall, there are streets where parking is free. To the west, this includes North Street as well as away from the beach blocks on Congress Street and Windsor Avenue; to the north this includes Elmira Street and Venice Avenue; and to the east this includes Columbia Avenue east of Ocean Street and northern portions of Stockton Place and Howard Street. These may be a little further from the Mall, but with these you can save some money on parking (which you can then spend in some of our fine shops and restaurants...wink-wink!). These will also allow you to enjoy a picturesque walk along some of Cape May's finest streets.

If you don't mind a walk of a few blocks, there are plenty of free parking spaces available.

Free Jitney Shuttle

The Jitney is a free shuttle service that travels selected routes throughout Cape May. The stop for the Mall is located on Lyle Lane at Hill Walkway. This means you will end up right in the heart of the Mall! The Jitney is a great option for those who may be staying a little further from the Mall in Cape May. You can use the Jitney to avoid having to walk or drive to the Mall, especially if the weather is not good or if you have small children with you. But for those traveling to the Mall from outside of Cape May, the Jitney can also work for you as well! Instead of having to pay for parking around the Mall, you can park for free and easy at the lot at Cape May Elementary School on Lafayette Street when school is not in session, and pick up the Jitney from there. Parking is also free near other stops in town. View the latest schedule and route maps here!

A Jitney dropping off and picking up passengers at the Mall stop.

Bicycle Parking

Plenty of bicycle racks are located around the edges of the Mall, with the greatest concentrations on Carpenters Lane and Lyle Lane. There is nothing like a bike ride in Cape May, with those fresh ocean breezes helping to push you along our picturesque streets. Pretty much anywhere on Cape Island is less than a 5-10 minute bike ride away from the Mall, so if you have access to a bike, be sure to take advantage of this free and fun option!

Plenty of bicycle racks are located around the Mall.

We hope that this guide will make it easier for you to park when you visit the Mall! That way, you can spend more time browsing our boutiques, dining al fresco at our eateries, drinking an ice cold beer at our bars, enjoying our one-of-a-kind activities, taking advantage of our services, or relaxing under our shade trees.

Keep in mind, all information in this guide is subject to change, so it is important to always read any signage near where you park to make sure to learn about information specific to where you are parking, such as payments, restrictions, time limits, and reserved spots.

We'll see you on the Mall!


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Aug 04, 2022

I am a local person I' ve lived here 17 years. I do not go to Cape May because u still have complicated parking rules.


Aug 03, 2022

What are the rules for handicap parking. If all the handicap spots are taken can we use any spot as long as the placard is displayed at no meter fee?

Aug 04, 2022
Replying to

Yes, parking is free in any space as long as a valid handicap placard or license plate is displayed.

- Washington Street Mall

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