Cape May

So there are three places in the world I love best.  One is Lavallette, the second is Key West and the third is Cape May, NJ.  I think it is because they all remind me of each other in some basic ways…they are all on the coast, but are not really beach destinations (because they offer so much more), and real people live there.  I’ve tried “resorts” on and off in my life such as Guadaloupe in the French West Indies and, more recently, in the Dominican Republic.  Just wasn’t for me.  There is no sign of normal life and everything is make believe.

We try to get to Cape May a few times a year, in different seasons.  This past week, a long time friend from my grammar school days was visiting from Florida.  She and her husband were on a road trip and had never been to Cape May before so they decided to stop.  They took the Lewes ferry from Delaware to Cape May and were going to stay at Congress Hall (at my suggestion).  Here are the highlights from our visit, starting at…

Congress Hall

Congress Hall Lawn

At least once a year, Congress Hall is named “The Best”, “One of the Best”, “Top Ten” hotels in New Jersey. It is very old and very historic, built in 1816.  It is set on a sprawling piece of property facing the ocean.  It has managed to retain its old fashion grace and feel yet still be as up to date as a brand new property.  Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, take a wander around the property, see the lobby, and visit the shops.  Top it all off with an artisanal cocktail at…

The Brown Lounge

This particular night Stephen was doing the honors at the Bar and made me a perfect Margarita.  No syrups or mixers, just fresh juices and quality liquors.

Brown Lounge

The fireplace was a nice touch on a chilly night.  Charming.

Brown Lounge II

After drinks, we walked over along the oceanfront to the restaurant for dinner.  Seven minutes later, we were at…

Union Park

This is one of the best restaurants in Cape May, in my opinion.  The food is always carefully prepared and beautifully served.  But then the taste!  We all ordered different apps and entrees.  Seafood is a biggie here, yet two of us had the roasted short rib and it was perfect.  And it’s a BYOB restaurant as many are in Cape May.  Save on the wine, splurge on the food!  After dinner, we took a brisk walk along the…


Cape May Street

Like Key West, it is easy to wander up and down the streets to see shops, galleries, food specialties (there is a peanut butter store!), and the magnificent Victorian architecture in both B&Bs and private homes.  The gardens are wonderful as well.

Fall and Spring are great in Cape May, but some places to close up towards the end of October.  Mid week is best in Summer as it is very touristy on weekends.  But, you must experience Christmas in Cape May.  It is beyond beautiful, with a quaint hometown vibe that speaks to “Peace on Earth, Good will towards men”.

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