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World War II Lookout Tower

Sunset Boulevard, Cape May, NJ 08204
+1 609-884-5404
Review Highlights

We had heard there were U-Boats off the coast during WWII, but this tower really brought that home... read more

Reviewed 7 September 2016
Kelly R
the only way to climb!

if you are interested in the history and an up close experience visit! well taken care of good... read more

Reviewed 6 September 2016
Read all 253 reviews
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Fire Control Tower No. 23 is New Jersey’s last remaining restorable World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles, playing a major part in coastal defenses. Built in 1942, the tower was one of 15 towers that helped aim batteries of coastal artillery, stretching from North Wildwood, N.J. to Bethany Beach, DE. Four were in Cape May County, N.J.—the towers located in North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest were torn down and a third tower is located inside Cape May’s Grand Hotel, Beach and Philadelphia avenues. Fire Control Tower No. 23 is on land now part of the Cape May Point State Park. The tower was listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places on May 29, 2003 and on the National Register on Nov. 17, 2003. The Tower was restored in 2008-09 by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). The project included: building spiral staircases in the Tower so that the public can safely climb to the top; construction of a wooden walkway from the street to the Tower, and a deck around its base, to preserve the fragile dune environment; replacing the missing windows and doors; recreating historical details, such as the original wooden ladders, and outfitting the watch room and viewing platform at the top; installing interpretive panels along the walkway and at every level in the Tower; introducing lighting and safety alarms; and upgrading the existing parking lot across Sunset Boulevard and connecting it with a cross-walk to the Tower. Robert Russell of Holt Morgan Russell was the restoration architect. This project was funded by three agencies that awarded MAC grants totalling $1.3 million: the New Jersey Historic Trust, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The 3rd level of the Tower features a "Wall of Honor" with then-and-now photographs of over 100 area World War II veterans. In 2012, an "All Veterans Memorial" was erected on the deck at the base of the Tower. The boardwalk, lined with interpretive panels, the All Veterans Memorial on the deck at the base of the Tower and the entry level are all fully accessible
  • Excellent56%
  • Very good35%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“sunset beach” (48 reviews)
“concrete ship” (11 reviews)
Closed Now
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Hours Today: 12:00 - 15:00
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
Sunset Boulevard, Cape May, NJ 08204
+1 609-884-5404
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Reviews (253)
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51 - 60 of 251 reviews

Reviewed 7 September 2016

We had heard there were U-Boats off the coast during WWII, but this tower really brought that home in a more tangible way.

Thank Kelly R
Reviewed 6 September 2016

if you are interested in the history and an up close experience visit! well taken care of good environment free to walk around - pay to climb up.

Thank jasKenya
Reviewed 31 August 2016

We visited the WWII Lookout tower on a day trip to Cape May. It is right down the road from the famous Sunset Beach. Newly restored as of 2009, and manned by some very knowledgeable guides, it was a wonderful learning experience for us. It...More

1  Thank LoisAngels
Reviewed 29 August 2016

Too many people pass here on the way to Sunset Beach without stopping. This is a history lesson that should not be missed. Easy climb up stairs to the top of the tower with an excellent view of Sunset Beach. Photos and exhibits along the...More

1  Thank P F B
Reviewed 28 August 2016

We stopped here directly after the lighthouse, and glad we did. Was thinking of skipping but it was worth the stop. Another historical stop and at the top sat and older gentleman who told of some of the history of the location. Apparently most people...More

1  Thank Dan D
Reviewed 25 August 2016

This Fire Control Tower No. 23 is the last remaining restorable World War II tower. It was part of the coastal harbor defense.

Thank Sandra G
Reviewed 22 August 2016

102 stairs up and 102 stairs down -- hey, it's better than having to climb the ladder which is what military personnel in WWII had to do. At the top, there is a guide to tell you more about it and its interaction with the...More

1  Thank Danielle J
Reviewed 16 August 2016

Experience what it was like to look over the Delaware Bay searching for German Subs. Good to add to your visit to Ft. Milles in Delaware. They were all part of the same group that protected the Delaware Bay during World War 2

Thank jsmganci
Reviewed 16 August 2016

We brought our 4 year old twins to this and they loved the climb. There was an expert on top to answer questions and the man at the bottom happily offered me a seat in the extreme heat. We will definitely be back!

Thank Hawaiianskirt
Reviewed 13 August 2016

We climbed the tower for the great views but got a nice history lesson as well. The guide at the top of the tower was a wealth of information and he shared it clearly and concisely. He really seemed to enjoy what he was doing....More

Thank joburkholder1
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