THE MAGAZINE OF CAPE RESORTS « SUMMER & FALL 2014
Dear Guest Welcome to Cape May... and Cape Resorts. We are glad you have chosen to stay with us and will do everything we can to make your experience comfortable, memorable and fun. As you read through the pages of our magazine you will see the myriad dining choices, activities and programs that are available throughout the resort. More than that, we hope you also come to understand how much this place means to us and how excited we are to share it with you. This summer is a milestone anniversary. It was 25 years ago, on June 2, 1989, that we reopened The Virginia and The Ebbitt Room after having purchased it as an abandoned building in 1986 and completing an exhaustive renovation. That day was really the beginning of what has become Cape Resorts. It is amazing to remember guests from our first summer whose children and grandchildren are guests today. Or how a bus girl who worked on opening night is now a senior executive of our company. It has been a privilege to spend the past 25 years working on this ongoing memorymaking enterprise. Please make yourselves at home, relax and enjoy your stay. All the best, CURTIS BASHAW Co-Managing Partner, Cape Resorts
Inside the Concierge 3 what’s new 6 our properties 6 The Virginia 12 Congress Hall 16 The Star 18 Tending Garden 20 The Virginia Cottages 24 Beach Shack 26 Sandpiper Beach Club 28 Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor, NY 30 beach & pool 32 Beach Service 34 Rules of the Beach 36 Congo Pool Bar 38 The Perfect Pool Day 40 food & drink 42 Good Food Guide 44 Beach Plum Farm 50 The Ebbitt Room 56 The Blue Pig Tavern 62 The Rusty Nail 66 Our Signature Burgers 68 What’s for Breakfast 72 The Cocktail Guide 78 Entertainment Lineup
102 fall & winter 106 Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival 110 Fall Packages 112 Winter Wonderland 120 Winter Packages 122 Spring 2015 Packages
80 spa & wellness 82 Sea Spa 84 Yoga on the Lawn and Beach 86 Beach Boot Camp
88 summer activities 92 Clam-A-Rama! 93 Congress Hall Bike Shop 94 Congress Hall History Tour 96 Family Fun Events 97 Blue’s Clubhouse 98 Fourth of July at Congress Hall 100 Summer Packages
148 Tommy’s Folly General Store
activities 142 shopping 144 Tommy’s Folly Boutique 150 Tommy’s Folly Home 152 West End Garage 155 Shopping in Cool Cape May AND FINALLY 158 Weddings at Cape Resorts 162 Business Retreats
Concierge is published annually by Cape Resorts « Edited, designed and produced by Exit Zero Press / www.exitzero.us Articles: Diane Stopyra « Photography: Frank Weiss, Aleksey Moryakov, Gabi Urda « Illustrations: Martha Kelly printed by the paramount printing company, hong kong
WHAT’SNEW Calling All Budding Young Artists Some restaurants offer crayons and drawing paper to keep your kids occupied during a family lunch or dinner. At The Blue Pig Tavern, we give your kids the chance to make their drawings famous! We organize two contests which invite children aged between four and 10 to come up with interpretations of our famous blue pig. Last year’s summer winner (the contest was held during July and August) was six-yearold Nicolette Milora from Marlboro, NJ. Nicolette’s drawing will be featured on promotional postcards that will be available at The Blue Pig Tavern this year. Caroline Bielen, 10, from Westfield, NJ won the contest that was part of Christmas in July — her drawing was featured on Christmas ornaments sold at our Tommy’s Folly Home store this past holiday season. The contest continues this summer — our friendly Blue Pig Tavern servers will be handing out drawing paper and crayons, so if there’s a budding Van Gogh in the family...
New Man on the Farm
When you dine at the Cape Resorts restaurants — The Ebbitt Room, The Blue Pig Tavern and The Rusty Nail — you can be assured of more than just a warm welcome and good food. You’re also getting fresh produce from our Beach Plum Farm, just a mile and a half away. Ali Moussalli is the man responsible for harvesting the goods — read all about him on pages 44-45.
Raw Bar Classics on Our Veranda Enjoying the ocean breezes from the comfort of the rockers on the veranda of Congress Hall has always been one of the prime pleasures of a Cape Resorts vacation. Well, now the experience is going to get a little better. This season sees the launch of our Veranda Raw Bar menu. Browse the menu cards distributed on the veranda and pick from classics such as shrimp cocktail, Jonah Empress crab claws, Cape May Salt oysters on the half-shell and shrimp and scallop ceviche. It’s perfect for
sharing a pre-dinner appetizer, or order a few plates and enjoy a different style of dinner for a change! The Veranda Raw Bar menu will be available from 4pm to 10pm daily during the season and weekends in May and June. (Note: When a wedding is taking place at Congress Hall, the Veranda Raw Bar menu will not be available until 6:30pm.)
Take Your Pardners for Square Dancing! Congress Hall’s famous ballroom will be transformed into a rustic setting fit for cowboys and cowgirls on Wednesday
evenings this summer. Think farm décor and dancers ready to do-si-do. Why? It’s the new square dancing event at Cape Resorts! Beginners and experts can come out and learn a variety of square, country line and Western dance moves, step by step. We will be learning the classic dances to traditional-style country music, with instructional lessons from our experienced caller, Glenn Matthew, who has been dancing and teaching all over the world for nearly 40 years. We’ll have a bar available for guests to purchase beverages, plus a snack bar featuring fresh pop-
corn, chocolate chip cookies and other favorite treats. Make a night of it with our Square Dance Package — take advantage of our $35 prix fixe menu from 5-6pm at The Blue Pig Tavern and you will also receive a ticket to the dance. Price is $15 for kids under 12. “I get the most satisfaction out of seeing people who know nothing about square dancing become experts in a short amount of time,” says Glenn. Square dancing will be held on Wednesday evenings on July 23 and 30, and August 6 and 20.
At Sea Spa, A Room You Can Truly Relax In
Our Farm Festivals Continue to Grow The first weekend in May saw the first Beach Plum Farm Spring Festival — it will now become a regular event on the Cape Resorts calendar, complementing our Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival, which takes place every Saturday in October and features seasonal beers from Cape May Brewing Co. The featured dish at the spring event is grilled lamb, served with farm-fresh produce, plus kid-friendly choices. For entertainment there is live music, hay rides through the farm, a scavenger hunt, s’mores roasting and more. In 2015 the Beach Plum Farm Spring Festival will be held on April 18 and 25, and May 2.
You’re here in Cape May because you wanted to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.... the traffic lines, the hustle of the city, the constant demands on your time, which is why we want every moment to feel special. You ARE on vacation, after all. Enter the new Relaxation Room at Congress Hall’s Sea Spa. Sure, we’re expecting that you will already be in a pretty mellow state when you get here — maybe you headed to Sea Spa from the pool or the beach. But we made the Relaxation Room an experience in itself. While you wait for your appointment, browse through our selection of quality magazines as you sip on lemon-infused water or hot herbal tea.
Virginia and Congress Hall Earn ‘CN Traveler’ Acclaim
Beach Shack Gets a Spruce-up Cape Resorts interior designer Colleen Bashaw spent last fall and winter freshening up the Beach Shack. As a result our human AND canine guests are going to be pleased (the Beach Shack recently introduced a number of dog-friendly rooms along with a doggie menu at The Rusty Nail). The Beach Shack got new bathroom vanities, new carpeting and a fresh lick of beachappropriate paint. So now the happiest little hotel on the beachfront is even happier!
The magazine’s Top 100 issue, published in November 2013, featured both The Virginia and Congress Hall. The January 2014 issue (right) included The Virginia in its prestigious Gold List — The World’s Best Hotels.
We’re thrilled that our properties continue to be recognized by one of the world’s foremost travel magazines. In both 2012 and 2013, Congress Hall and The Virginia were featured in the Top 100 hotel list in Conde Nast Traveler. The Virginia was ranked #2 in the Mid-Atlantic region and #10 overall in the Northeast, with Congress Hall ranked #7 in the Mid-Atlantic region. And in the prestigious Gold List issue, published in January of this year, The Virginia was listed among the world’s best hotels. “It is a credit to Vice President of Operations Patrick Logue and the entire Cape Resorts team and to our beautiful town,” says Cape Resorts Co-Managing Partner Curtis Bashaw.
Jimmy’s Smokin’ Pig Roast
Meet the Artist Behind the Drawings
The Nail’s Executive Chef Jimmy Burton is a local legend — he comes from a family of cooks and has long been known in this area for his extraordinary barbecuing skills. Now you will have a chance to see Cape Resorts’ Grill Master in action! Every Monday, from June 30 through September 1, Chef Jimmy will be hosting a Smokin’ Pig Roast at the Nail, featuring pigs from Beach Plum Farm. We will start serving at 4pm — until we sell out.
Try Our New Line of Honey and Herbal Tea Regular guests will know that Beach Plum Farm supplies the Cape Resorts restaurants with fruit, vegetables, eggs and pork. Now you can add tea and honey to that list. Farmer Ali Moussalli has been harvesting chamomile, lemon verbena and mint to make the ingredients for some seriously tasty herbal tea. And what goes perfectly with herbal tea? Honey! We’ve been harvesting that since last year and we’re thrilled with the results. “The great thing about honey... it’s difficult to find something so naturally sweet that hasn’t been processed,” says farmer Ali. “And when it is produced locally, there aren’t any additives, which might not be the case with the stuff you buy at the nearest grocery store.”
Love the illustrations that you see throughout this magazine, and in various Cape Resorts literature? Meet Martha Kelly, the talented artist who’s responsible for them. That’s her below, painting the Virginia Hotel. Jackie Kane Photography
Is this what you do for a living? Art in a broad sense is my primary job. I feel so lucky to do what I love every day. For some years I only did big gallery shows of oils and pastel landscapes. I got into illustration in 2010, doing a series of publications for the Presbyterian Church USA, and I have come to really love this side of my work. So what’s life like back in Memphis? I live in the house my dad grew up in. I love the sense of history and community, and that’s one reason I love Cape May. So many people here have family history and memories going back generations. That’s special, and it’s fun to hear the stories of the people I meet. What are your favorite things to sketch here in Cape May? I love drawing the old buildings and the sycamore trees. I’ve never seen such lovely trees. Mostly, though, I’m drawing for Cape Resorts, and I love the rich yellow of Congress Hall against the blue sky, the gingerbread of the Virginia and the Victorian Cottages. It was fun being here in June last year to paint all the huge, multicolored hydrangea blooms at Congress Hall and out at Beach Plum Farm. I also really enjoy painting the restaurant interiors. I have a ball sitting at a table, chatting with the staff, eating lovely food and painting. Everyone makes me feel so welcome here.
Now You Can Enjoy Breakfast by the Pool We’re excited to announce a tasty upgrade to our Congress Hall Pool Service. Starting at 8:30am you can order from a special breakfast menu — choices include muesli, yogurt parfait, breakfast panini, egg white veggie panini and bagels. Plus, your server will be happy to take your order from the Veranda Bar, where you can choose from a range of freshly squeezed juices.
every trip. I love being able to work somewhere so beautiful, stay with kind people, walk around the town with its gorgeous sycamores and houses and wade in the ocean.
How did you get involved with Cape Resorts? They found my website and invited me up to do some illustrations. It sounded almost too good to be true when I got the initial email, but I’m delighted it all came to pass. Before this, were you a regular traveler to Cape May? I’m from Memphis, which is pretty far from Cape May, so I had never been here before. But I fell in love with the place and look forward to
What’s your process for doing the sketches? I do the paintings on site. I don’t sketch from photographs — they flatten out color and light and flood me with too much detail. I like being able to sit right where I’m painting and capture the scene and light. I’ve got a small watercolor kit that has been with me on all my travels, and it takes me between 45 and 90 minutes to do a finished watercolor. If you’d like to see more of Martha Kelly’s work, visit www.marthakellyart.com.
Happy 25th Birthday to The Virginia [BUILT 1879
ppealing to today’s most discriminating traveler, The Virginia is housed in an impeccably restored 1879 landmark building on beautiful Jackson Street. It offers luxury accommodations in an intimate environment and a level of personalized service that set a new standard on the Jersey Shore. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the hotel received major kudos earlier this year when it was named in Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s list of the world’s best hotels. We asked Cape Resorts Co-Managing Partner Curtis Bashaw, who opened the Virginia in June 1989, to tell us about how he transformed a flophouse into an acclaimed boutique hotel and restaurant. Where are you from? Southern New Jersey — I grew up in Cherry Hill. My grandfather was Reverend Carl McIntire, a preacher whose radio show was syndicated by 600 stations across the country, and
he purchased the Christian Admiral Hotel on Beach Avenue in 1962. So I started coming to Cape May as a toddler. Did you always have the sense Cape May was a special place? It was special to be with my cousins and run around these old buildings, but as a child I thought it was dowdy! The Christian Admiral smelled musty in those early days and I wanted to know why we couldn’t go to a new hotel. Even my first experience of Congress Hall… I remember my grandfather walking on to the beach in his white suit, saying he wanted to buy the building and that he wanted us to come look at it. I was eight years old, being dragged off the beach to traipse around this weird, dark place. When did those feelings change? In my early teens I was conscious of the fact that my grandfather’s organizations owned a lot of amazing buildings in town, and also became aware that the
town was starting to perk up. I began to scheme about how it would be cool to fix them up one day. In hindsight, my grandfather was a real mentor; I saw the way he provided not just hospitality and programming at his bible conferences, but also drama. He brought old London double-decker buses to town to drive guests up and down Beach Avenue — the Christian Admiral-Congress Hall Express. At 15, the first year I was allowed to work, I bussed tables at the Beach Plum restaurant, now Uncle Bill’s, which was then owned by Congress Hall. I lived at the Virginia, which was a boys’ dorm at that time for about 20 to 30 Congress Hall employees. What was that like? The place was a flophouse. The roof was leaking and there was no bathroom in my room, but we had a blast. There was a ping-pong table in the unused dining room and we’d all get home from work and hang out. So how did you go about making your plan happen? I remember being 17 on the night of a full
Above: Curtis Bashaw officially opens the renovated Virginia and Ebbitt Room restaurant on June 2, 1989. He’s joined by, from left, Keith Bashaw, Victoria Schmidt from Governor Tom Kean’s office and Cape May Mayor Angelo Infante. Top: Brandon Hull, Curtis Bashaw’s brother-inlaw, at the front desk. He oversaw the massive renovation of the hotel.
moon. My grandfather used to have full moon hymn singing on the porch of the Christian Admiral — that’s one of the reasons I still love hosting full moon parties. I went walking after that and the moon was making the water sparkle and making the shadows cast by the Congress Hall columns so clear. I wrote a story that night called “In the Shadow of the Old Hotel,” and that’s when I knew for sure I wanted to fix up these buildings. I studied philosophy and literature at Shelton College in Cape May before transferring to Wheaton College in Chicago. And then, at 22, my grandfather called to ask if I would manage Congress Hall for the summer, and I did. What a crazy summer! Because you were in over your head? I had done every job at the hotel, save for cooking, but I felt completely overwhelmed — and I was too naïve to know just how far over my head I was. I walked around telling people my plan to fix up the properties. And how did they respond? With skepticism. I was Carl McIntire’s grandson, and they resented him because in every property he bought he’d shut down the bar. And even though he had been an accidental preservationist, his buildings now were struggling with code compliance and maintenance. At the same time, there was a bit of a dynamic between the preservationists in town and Cape May’s old guard. Because some people from each camp took me under their wings I felt like I might be able to serve as a bridge between the two groups. Beginning with the restoration of the Virginia? Yes, I convinced my father to help me buy it in 1986. It was a condemned structure at the time. Didn’t that give you pause? You know, I have this reserve of optimism that always flares up, although I did start to lose hope when, after applying for seven bank loans, six turned me down. All they had in their frame of reference were six- and eight-room B&Bs, and what I proposed was a 24-room boutique hotel. I applied to Wharton Business School, thinking there was no chance of getting a loan, and on the same day I found out I’d been accepted, I heard from the seventh bank — I got the loan. Where did the inspiration for a boutique hotel come from? I saw two niche markets: wives were often drawn to the lace curtains and charm of a B&B, while husbands wanted the climate-controlled rooms and private baths offered by motels. I thought:
let’s give them both what they want. How stressful was it going to school while trying to open the Virginia? It was a fun journey... this was my dream. My brother-in-law jumped in to oversee construction while I was at school; and everyone pitched in. It was 9pm the night before opening and we were still hammering. The couple who owns the Windward House said their guests couldn’t sleep, so I told them, “I have to keep working! What if I buy all of your guests a free night?” An hour before opening we were still sodding and landscaping, and the crown jewel, a beautiful needlepoint rug that lasted 18 years, finally arrived, so we laid that down. It was a scramble. What about The Ebbitt Room? Did you come up against much adversity trying to open that? Jackson Street was divided — the people against it were afraid of having more traffic because there was already a restaurant on the street, The Mad Batter. In the end, the opening was an incredibly intense, amazing night. People were thrilled. What happened with the fire in March of 1997? It was the Ides of March and I was walking in the bird sanctuary in Cape May Point when I heard the fire alarms. When I got back to my house I saw a
“I have this reserve of optimism, although I did start to lose hope when, after applying for seven bank loans, six turned me down. I applied to Wharton Business School, thinking there was no chance of getting a loan. Then I heard from the seventh bank — I got the loan.” CURTIS BASHAW
note that said there was a problem at the hotel. I felt sick. I drove over and saw smoke billowing out. The firemen let me go inside to retrieve the main computer drive and they rolled up the needlepoint rug for me and covered the piano with tarps. I could see how proud those firefighters were of the building. But the flames and smoke gutted the front third of the hotel and forced us to close for 60 days. That night, after relocating the guests, our crew pulled an all-nighter, drying and hauling. At one point, our piano player, Steve LaManna, pulled the tarp off the piano and started playing “When Smoke Gets in your Eyes.” It was the sweetest thing. The next morning Tommy O’Hara showed up from Uncle Bill’s with boxes full of pancakes and bacon. I’ll never forget it. It’s amazing how sometimes the sweetest moments in Cape May happen in a time of crisis. What is your fondest moment? Near the beginning, a couple came to stay and they had the worst body language. It was a rainy weekend and they were grumpy. I remember suggesting things for them to do — by Sunday they left holding hands and saying, “Thank you; this has been so restorative.” There are often moments like that. It’s gratifying. What was the inspiration behind the most recent
Ebbitt Room renovation in 2011? We wanted more life. The dining standard had changed; people were becoming more casual in how they approached food. I remember being super-nervous the day they were breaking down the wall between the bar and dining room. I said, “Let’s just go for it,” and I’m glad we did. Where does The Virginia go from here? I’m really thrilled it made the Conde Nast Traveler list of best hotels and I’d like it to keep this designation. It’s the only hotel in New Jersey to make that list. Where does the name come from? The Ebbitts were the original owners; they built the hotel as the Ebbitt House after the big Cape May fire of 1878. They changed the name to The Virginia shortly afterward because they were southerners. Does it feel like it’s been 25 years? Sometimes, you pinch yourself. Time motors on but this is still as rewarding as it was at the beginning. Part of my incentive has always been the memories and traditions I made with my own family in Cape May. Playing a part in that memory and tradition-making for others... that’s a special responsibility. For more information and photographs please visit www.caperesorts.com/virginia.
Above: The Virginia porch has become one of the best places in town to enjoy the Cool Cape May vibe. Our friendly, attentive servers (right) supply a boutique line of cocktails and an irresistible Small Plates menu — and you supply the conversation. The result? A perfect night out, just a half-block from the ocean. Opposite page: The Virginia’s bedrooms are a mix of sophisticated and playfulness.
A CHAT WITH... tara rothberg
The Virginia’s new General Manager fills in the blanks about some of her favorite things... My greatest adventure was: Traveling around the world when I was a teenager. My parents worked in the hospitality industry, and when a couple of their businesses closed they got into importing and exporting restaurant equipment. I lived with them in 11 countries. My parents expected me to be
self-sufficient; they would give me a budget for the week for food and transportation and hand me a map. It was great. My favorite hobby is: Collecting etiquette books. My biggest pet peeve is: When people don’t show up for their reservations and don’t call to cancel. The last time I laughed until I cried was: Oh, that happens probably weekly because my fiancé is always doing stuff that is silly and funny and out of the ordinary so that I can’t help but laugh any time I’m with him. That’s such a cheesy answer! The most surprising thing about me is: When I’m at work you see a big personality, but when I’m not working I’m a quiet person — no phone calls, no email. I’m a homebody and I love my own personal space. The most underrated thing about Cape May is: That it really is a year-round tourist destination. I can’t live without my: Coffee. I’m an addict. And I love Downton Abbey… being on the porch of the Jackson Room in The Virginia on a warm summer evening when the horses are clopping by, transports you to that time period. The best advice I’ve heard is: Stay true to yourself — from my father.
The most beautiful I remember seeing Cape May was: During the snow storm in January I walked outside of The Virginia, where all of the Christmas decorations were up. It was trippy to be in the middle of a Victorian street covered in snow at the beach — silent, gorgeous and picture perfect. My proudest moment has been: Being appointed General Manager, which happened last January. I am excited every day. My coworkers and I are: A family. I work really hard to make sure that everyone has the tools they need. A piece of Virginia Hotel trivia is: Our napkins and our linens come from Italy and are hand-embroidered. I can’t help but smile when: A guest is happy and they mention an employee’s name or a memory they created here. My favorite one so far was a proposal for which the gentleman wanted to put his girlfriend through a scavenger hunt. There were seven envelopes hidden all over the hotel and I got to lead this woman to each one. For the final envelope she was standing in front of the Red Cottage and he was on the porch with a ring. How special it was to see that amount of love and energy put into something. I’m most looking forward to: My wedding at Congress Hall in November.
isitors to Cape May who see Congress Hall for the first time are usually taken aback — you don’t see many large hotels like this any longer. The dramatic colonnade (there are 55 columns in total) and mansard roof, the grand veranda, the breathtaking gardens... for many people the building conjures up images of a magnificent Southern plantation-style home by the sea. Which isn’t so surprising given that Cape May is located south of the Mason-Dixon line and has always been a popular destination for visitors from points both north and south. Congress Hall is recognized as being the oldest seaside hotel in America — the original hotel was erected in 1812, rebuilt in 1816, got a major extension in 1869 (completing the L-shape) and was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1878. The hotel you
see now was rebuilt in 1879 — of brick, an unusual departure for Cape May hotels in the 19th century. In 2002 the hotel received a $25 million restoration which put new bones and 21st-century amenities into the old building, while carefully retaining the undeniable charm of the place. Now, as it was when ladies in Victorian wool dresses strolled the veranda, Congress Hall is a haven of relaxed elegance, fun, historic charm and timeless luxury. The hotel is a destination in its own right, an oceanfront resort with the vibe of a classic, airy (and extremely large) beach house, while offering the amenities of a world-class hotel. Congress Hall is also more than Cape May’s most famous landmark — it is regarded as the town’s living room and is home to a number of major local events, including Fourth of July fireworks and Winter Wonderland.
congress hall [Est. 1816]
A hotel fit for presidents
Franklin Pierce was the first president to visit Congress Hall, in 1855.
In 1858 James Buchanan enjoyed a presidential break at the hotel.
1812 A small hotel is first built upon the site near the current Congress Hall location by Jonas Miller. 1816 That building is demolished and Thomas Hughes, a well-known politician and businessman, constructs one of the biggest hotels in the country. He calls it The Big House By the Sea. Locals who think the hotel is too large to make money refer to it as “Tommy’s Folly.” 1818 The hotel is destroyed by fire. Hughes rebuilds, even bigger than before. There are around 100 rooms. 1826 Hughes sells his hotel to Samuel Richards for $3,000. 1828 The hotel is renamed Congress
President Ulysses Grant stayed at Congress Hall in 1875.
Chester Arthur attracted huge crowds when he arrived in 1883.
Hall, in honor of Hughes’s ascension to the House of Representatives. 1835 Richards sells to Jonas Miller for $35,000. 1851 Miller sells to his son Waters for $42,000. 1854 Waters B. Miller rebuilds, adding two extra wings and incorporating large wooden columns. 1855 President Franklin Pierce is a guest at Congress Hall, followed several years later by his successor, President James Buchanan. 1863 Miller sells to Jacob F. Cake, his brother-in-law, for $100,000.
In 1891 Benjamin Harrison made the hotel his Summer White House.
1869 Cake extends the wing that runs to the beach, at an estimated cost of $200,000. 1870s Ulysses Grant becomes the third president to stay at Congress Hall. 1878 Congress Hall is destroyed by the worst fire in Cape May’s history. Philadelphia businessman Edward C. Knight heads up a team of investors who rebuild the hotel, this time with brick. 1879 A small extension is added to the west wing of the hotel and the redbrick building is painted sage green. Later it would be changed to yellow. 1883 President Chester Arthur attracts
WANT MORE? tAKE THE HISTORY TOUR with former owner annie knight! 14
FUN FACTS ABOUT AMERICA’S OLDEST SEASIDE HOTEL By Congress Hall General Manager John Daily « A former Congress Hall General Manager, Tom List, used room 217 as his office and returns every year with his wife Bobbi to stay in the same room. « One of our repeat guests starting coming to Congress Hall in 1936 when he was 10 years old. He and two other young visitors wrote a newsletter called the Congress Hall Star, produced by young guests and circulated to all of the guest rooms. Dan Rothman is his name — he and his wife Nancy frequent the hotel three to four times a year. « The first paint used on the fourth-floor guest rooms was Witty Green, while on the lower floors it was Splash Blue. « The first post-renovation wedding held at Congress Hall was three weeks before the Grand Opening Ceremony in June 2002. At best all we could offer was two floors of guest rooms, The Brown
a large crowd when he visits Cape May and stays at Congress Hall. 1891 President Benjamin Harrison establishes the Summer White House at Congress Hall, while The White House is having electricity installed. 1904 Annie Knight, daughter of Edward, takes over ownership of the hotel, but closes it after a dispute with the city council over the poor condition of the roads in the west end of town. 1920 Knight reopens the hotel after the council announces it will spend $200,000 on rebuilding roads. Knight carries out a major renovation, reducing the number of rooms and
Room and The Ballroom. The front driveway was paved about an hour after the first guests checked in, while they were at lunch. The wedding was a success and the Angelucci family still talks about it to this day. « The ballroom floor was John Daily removed prior to the renovation and stored in a container for more than a year. It was then placed back in the room, where three crews sanded the floor for two days to get it level and smooth. It was painted and ready for the Angelucci wedding on May 11, 2002. For more information and photographs please visit www.caperesorts.com/congress hall.
adding en suite bathrooms. 1931 Knight dies at her home in Congress Place, across from the hotel. The hotel continues to be run by the Congress Hall Hotel Company, with Knight’s brother Edward, Jr., the major shareholder. 1934 Congress Hall introduces Cape May’s first cocktail bar. 1941 Joseph B. Uhler, a veteran Philadelphia hotelier, buys the hotel. 1958 Uhler sells to Gilbert Ramagosa and his partner, state senator Charles Sandman. 1967 Ramagosa sells to the Rev. Carl
McIntire for $350,000 shortly after failing to gain permission to build a ferris wheel on Congress Hall’s beach. 1991 Congress Hall is closed because it can’t keep up with fire codes, though stores are opened on the ground floor. 1994 A group of local businessmen led by a McIntire grandson, Curtis Bashaw, fail in an attempt to buy the hotel. 1995 Bashaw and his new partner, Craig Wood, buy the hotel and arrange for the Christian Admiral to be demolished as part of the deal. 2002 After years of legal disputes, the hotel is officially opened by former Governor Christie Whitman.
SEE P94... AND see THE BOOK, ‘TOMMY’S FOLLY’, in our general store! concierge 2014
The Star The Star, Congress Hall’s little sister, is a remarkably versatile establishment, consisting of an inn, a motel and carriage house, offering accommodations for every occasion. There is also a coffee shop, where guests can enjoy a morning cup on the porch with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. The site at 29 Perry Street was purchased by Cape Resorts in 2003 and was formerly the Perry Street Inn — an inn that was built in 1903 and a motel built in 1984. However, the location was once part of a much grander building, one that played the key part in a pivotal part of Cape May’s history. On the morning of November 10, 1878, a fire broke out in the attic of the Ocean House hotel, which occupied almost the entire ocean block of Perry Street. The flames were blown across the street to Congress Hall and from there the fire raged out of control, destroying 35 acres of prime real estate, including Congress Hall. When Cape Resorts was renovating the Star Inn, workers found a layer of scorched earth, a poignant remnant from the 1878 fire. Here is why The Star is a versatile vacation spot... Romantic Retreats: The beautifully furnished Star Inn offers nine en suite bedrooms. Family Vacations: The motel is outfitted with 10 efficiencies, fully equipped with top-of-the-line amenities, kitchenettes, living room and bedroom, some with private backyards, all utilizing a fun and quirky decor. Home Away from Home: Two beautiful Carriage House Suites, each with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and an oceanview balcony, offer the perfect backdrop to a group or family getaway. For more information and photographs, please visit www.caperesorts.com/thestar.
ost people know Blue the Pig is the mascot of the Cape Resorts properties. But gardener Dave Chanudet has become a bit of a mascot in his own right — whether you’re enjoying a cocktail on one of the veranda’s rocking chairs or playing a game of pick-up soccer on the lawn, he’s usually in the background. Dave tends to the grounds of Congress Hall in a clockwise fashion — “By the time I get around the clock, I have to start over,” he says — so there is ample opportunity to see him pruning, shearing, deadheading, manicuring, mulching and, on especially hot days, leaping into the pool to cool off. (Okay, just kidding about that last bit, but Dave does say it’s tempting.) Many guests take a moment to comment on how beautiful the work is; they love the autumn olive that surrounds the valet parking lot or the hanging baskets on the property’s gas lights. But the real show-stoppers are Dave’s tulips and hydrangeas. The tulips — about 3,000 of them — are planted in November. The bulbs go into the ground in groups of 10 or 12 so that what pops up in April are bouquets in sherbert tones of pink, orange and apricot. “Sometimes they bloom at Easter, so it’s
How do we get it to look so colorful every year? There are six varieties of tulips planted each season at Congress Hall alone, resulting in a massive yield. dave chanudet, cape resorts gardener
like a little Easter surprise,” says Dave, who makes sure to plant different varieties that won’t open all at once. Rather, they bloom over a two-week period and stay that way for about a month — a welcome reminder to all passersby that spring has arrived. Although no one likes to bid tulip season goodbye, that disappointment is tempered by the thought that in time for the Fourth of July, Congress Hall’s 50 hydrangea bushes, planted 10 years ago, will be abloom in all their glory. Their “powder puffs,” as Dave calls them, will stick around for five weeks. “We have the most of the nikko blue variety,” he says. “They’re easy as can be, not labor-intensive at all, but a lot of people see them and want to know what they’re doing wrong with their own hydrangeas at home because they can’t get them to bloom. The
thing about hydrangeas is that they bloom on old wood, not new, so people accidentally cut off the buds when they prune them!” Such interactions with amateur gardeners have made for some of Dave’s fondest memories at Congress Hall. “I love the people who come and ask questions, then go home better able to work on their own gardens,” he says. “And I love that I get to work on such an amazing property where there is always so much change happening. Where else can you find a garden of this size by the beach?”
The Virginia Cottages
he Virginia Cottages offer five delightful accommodations along glorious Jackson Street, the crowning glory of Cape May’s Historic District. They are available for rental by the full house or as separate apartments and are ideal for families or groups of friends, “girls’ getaways” and for accommodating wedding groups. The cottages are also the perfect home away from home for the holidays — whole-house rentals provide plenty of room for the extended family at Christmas and Thanksgiving. You can even have festive dinners delivered to your door... and we also provide a decorated tree! Call it a turn-key holiday celebration. The cottages represent a Cape May vacation experience that is equal parts classic and comfort. The Red Cottage, located across the street from
The Virginia, was known as the Inn At 22 Jackson before joining the Cape Resorts family in 2006. It consists of six separate rooms and suites. The Gray Cottage is located behind The Red Cottage and looks onto a charming courtyard. It consists of two separate floors, rented as a single house during summer months. The Pink Cottage is one of the famed Seven Sisters, designed by architect Stephen Decatur Button in the Italianate style. It can be rented as a whole house or by individual unit. The Brown Cottage is the second member of the Seven Sisters in the Cape Resorts family and is a spectacular property that can be rented as a whole house in the summer season. Completing the trio of Seven Sisters is The White Cottage, which can either be rented as apartments or a single house, depending on the time of year.
the virginia cottages
In 1891, Edward Knight, owner of Congress Hall, hired renowned architect Stephen Decatur Button (who also designed the rebuilt Congress Hall) to draw up plans for seven identical cottages, which occupied the L-shape starting on Jackson Street. Over the decades the buildings changed use several times â€” three of them (1 to 3 below) are now owned and operated by Cape Resorts, as part of the Virginia Cottages family, which comprises... 1. The White Cottage 2. The Pink Cottage 3. The Brown Cottage 4. The Red Cottage 5. The Gray Cottage
For more information and photographs please visit www.caperesorts.com/ cottages.
“Sometimes, my wife and I have to force ourselves to leave the hotel and go out into the surrounding areas. This place has an island vibe, reminiscent of Key West, and it’s home to one of the best unobstructed views in Cape May. Not to mention, the staff is so accommodating, no matter how busy it is.” — Stephen Brooks, Delaware County, Pennsylvania 24
he Beach Shack recently enjoyed a fun and colorful spruce-up. And not only humans will enjoy the results — we made some upgrades to better accommodate our canine visitors (the Beach Shack offers dog-friendly rooms). But not to worry — the trademark relaxed seaside vibe is still intact. “Like Congress Hall, the space has a sense of humor, but it’s different here. More low-key. More nostalgic,” says interior designer Colleen Bashaw. “When you’re at the Beach Shack you’re reminded of all the simple pleasures of being a child at the beach.” So what can you expect? New bathroom vanities and new carpeting, which has been designed exclusively for the Beach Shack and will be a “cousin” of the carnival-stipe carpeting in Congress Hall. You can also expect a fresh coat of Honey Burst paint. “It’s a happy color,” Colleen says. “But not too intense. It’s mellow.” You know, kind of like an evening spent by a firepit. For more information and photographs please visit www.caperesorts.com/ beachshack. concierge 2014
Sandpiper Beach Club The Sandpiper Beach Club is a family-friendly oceanfront condominium resort with 51 one- and two-bedroom units, with full kitchens, living rooms and balconies. Most enjoy spectacular ocean views. The Sandpiper features the amenities of a luxury hotel, including a newly heated pool, daily housekeeping, beach service, sauna, concierge, expansive fitness center and an in-house arcade, featuring popular and classic games. Guests also have signing privileges at all Cape Resorts properties. The Sandpiper is managed by Charley Gaudio (pictured inset), who’s in his sixth year on the job. “My favorite aspect of the job, besides the interaction with people, is that every day is a new, fresh start. Every day is a new adventure,” he says. When he’s not assisting guests, you can usually find Charley reading a book or magazine on the beach. For more information and photographs please visit www.caperesorts.com/sandpiper.
Baron’s Cove SAG HARBOR, NY DEBUTING SPRING 2015 A short walk from Main Street in the historic village of Sag Harbor, NY, Baron’s Cove will be a perfect base for exploring the Hamptons, the Peconic Bay and all of the beaches, dining, shopping and culture that Eastern Long Island offers. Currently undergoing an extensive renovation, the finished resort (which will debut in the spring of 2015) will offer vacationers an ideal location featuring Cape Resorts’ signature style, which seamlessly blends local history and modern comforts. The 67-room inn will feature a range of room types, including private garden terraces, loft suites with balconies and town rooms. Minutes from the villages of East Hampton, Southampton and Bridgehampton, Baron’s Cove will also offer guests easy access to Shelter Island and the North Fork wine country via nearby ferry. And when all of their exploring is done, guests can enjoy a lazy afternoon on the beach or come back to Baron’s Cove to relax by the pool. Once evening comes, there will be nothing like enjoying a predinner cocktail and watching the sun set over the harbor from the deck of the restaurant loft. The renovations include a new lobby bar and 87-seat restaurant, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and all of the amenities guests have come to expect from Cape Resorts, including a private beach shuttle to eliminate the hassle and expense of beach parking in the Hamptons. Please subscribe to our email list to receive updates on Cape Resorts’ newest property. And visit www.caperesorts.com/baronscove.
beach & pool
the beach For most people, the beach is the centerpiece of the classic Cape May vacation — so it’s important to do it right.
At Cape Resorts we believe the beauty is in the details, which is why we expend so much effort in ensuring that your time spent on the beach (and at the pool) will create a feel-good vibe that will endure until the next time you come and visit us.
We run multiple beach concessions — for the Beach Shack, Congress Hall, the Virginia and Sandpiper Beach Club — on Cape May’s white-golden sands, ensuring the ultimate in convenience and comfort. Our staff will set you up with umbrellas, loungers, towels and tables and will hand you a menu — we encourage you to fill out your order at least an hour before you want to eat to ensure the best possible service. We offer a wonderful mix of salads and lunch fare delivered to your beach chair. The service is friendly and efficient. When you arrive, tell your server your name and room number and they will set you up. There are base camps for check-in located at the following beach points... « Congress Street for guests of Congress Hall, the Star and Sandpiper Beach Club « Perry Street for guests of The Virginia and Virginia Cottages — please note that guests of these properties can order a gourmet picnic basket lunch for two, packed in a cooler. Please order it the previous night and have it delivered to you on the beach! « Patterson Avenue for guests of the Beach Shack Beach concessions are open from 8am to 6pm daily during the season, with food service from 11am to 3pm.
Happiness for me is lying back on my lounger on the beach in front of Congress Hall with an iced tea, the latest copy of Vanity Fair and the sound of the surf lapping a few yards away. madeleine smith, baltimore, md
The beaches in front of our properties are public and are shared with our neighbors and friends. As a result, we hope you will take note of the following rules so that everyone may enjoy a wonderful day by the ocean... 1. A PLACE IN THE SUN Our attendants will set up your chairs, umbrellas and towels once members of your party arrive on the beach and are ready to occupy their chairs. Attendants are not permitted to pre-set beach set-ups — so please do not ask them (however nicely you do it!). Beach attendants will arrange set-ups on a first-come, firstserved basis, once guests are present. This applies to families, multiple families and groups. Please do not put the staff in an awkward situation. We hope that you trust us to try to accommodate your needs while respecting the public aspect of our beautiful beach. 2. EMPTY NESTING Please notify our attendants if you intend to be away from your chairs for more than 15 minutes. They will happily collect your chairs and umbrellas and reset them upon your return. 3. REFRESHMENTS Alcohol is not permitted on the beaches of Cape May. We do, however, have a selection of sodas, fruity beverages and water. Alcohol is available at Congress Hall’s pool bar and the Rusty Nail (alcohol may not be taken off the premises). 4. TIPPING There is no longer an automatic 18% service charge added to pool and beach checks, so please don’t forget to recognize the hard work of our servers and attendants. (And don’t forget to let them know if there’s anything you need to keep your pool and beach experience going swimmingly.) 34
the ultimate beach treat
Lounging by the Atlantic Ocean is a relaxing and refreshing experience, no matter how you cut it. But for the ultimate beach day treat rent one of our gorgeous, classic beach cabanas, which are based at three locations. The yellow-and-white striped cabanas of Congress Hall are directly in front of our landmark hotel. The Virginiaâ€™s elegant red cabanas are located on the Jackson Street beach. And the rustic, Caribbean-flavored orange-and-aqua cabanas of the Beach Shack are between Grant and Patterson. Cabana rentals include complimentary water and lounge chairs and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Full-day and half-day rates are available. There are three ways to book a cabana (based on availability): 1. At the time of your initial hotel reservation. 2. At the front desk of Congress Hall, or any Cape Resorts property, upon check-in. 3. When youâ€™re on the beach. If you reserve your cabana with your hotel reservation, simply check in at the beach service desk and our staff will do the rest! There are a limited number of cabanas so we do recommend reserving them in advance. Whatever method you use to reserve, donâ€™t forget to bring along your best beach vibe.
congress hall pool and CONGO POOL bar
ape May’s wide, breezy, white-sand beaches are special (they’re routinely named among America’s best in the annual TripAdvisor awards) so we know you are going to want to spend a lot of time on them, especially since you’re being pampered by our beach staff. But a change of scenery can be a beautiful thing. Which is why we created the
Congress Hall Congo Pool Bar — simply cross Beach Avenue (look left, look right!) and relax on a comfortable pool lounger, getting warmed by the sun while dozing and reading, snacking and dreaming, being waited on by attentive staff and splashing around in our two pools with family and friends. Surrounded by lush gardens and overlooking our famous Grand Lawn, this is the most desirable real estate in Cape May. Serving lunch, snacks and drinks, the pool bar facilitates long, lazy, self-indulgent days. Not only is our delicious beach menu offered poolside at Congress Hall, but the pool bar is open daily in season from 11am-9pm. The menu features treats such as a chicken BLT, house-made guacamole and our irresistible caprese sandwich. Please note that we have discontinued adding an automatic 18% service charge to your check at the Congo Pool Bar, so please tip your server accordingly. Thank you!
My four-year-old daughter can spend the whole day in and around the Congress Hall pool. It’s her favorite little place. That pretty much makes it my favorite little place, too. kaitlyn monroe, new york city
anatomy of the perfect pool day
No alarm clock. No honking horns. No barking dog needing to go out. Today you wake up to nothing but silence and sunshine. Peek out the window of your room and you might catch a glimpse of a Congress Hall staffer vacuuming the pool, a daily ritual. Stop by Tommy’s Folly for sunscreen if you forgot to pack your own. “People are only using half the amount they should be,” says Stephen Hess, MD, PhD, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. So how much is just right? At least a shot-glass amount to cover the exposed areas of the body. Enter the pool area. Select from the 140 coral-cushioned, fully-reclining, teak lounge chairs. Fun fact: Teak grows in four countries — Burma, Thailand, Laos and India. A smiling pool attendant will provide you with towels and set up your umbrella, which was made in New Jersey. Put your feet up and relax. Hungry? New this year, we’re offering breakfast at the pool! Choices include muesli, yogurt parfait, breakfast panini, egg white veggie panini and bagels. One too many drinks at The Brown Room? Freshly squeezed juice will help. The ingredients of the Ultimate Green — kale, spinach, pineapple — will ease your hangover, according to The Journal of Food Science. Take your first dip in the water; the family pool is a comfortable 82 degrees, while the adult pool is set at 85. Go ahead; tap along to the music. “I enjoy when we get the island vibe out there,” says pool manager Jordan Rowan. “A little Bob Marley, some steel drums and it’s easy to feel like you’re in the Caribbean.” Reapply your sunscreen. And drink water — staying hydrated can help keep your mood happy, according to research from Tufts University. Cockail service is now open. Don’t get up — a server will come to you. FYI: July 19 is National Daiquiri Day but you’re free to celebrate that particular holiday any time you like. Popularized in the 1940s, when warimposed rations made vodka and whiskey hard to come by, the rum-based daiquiri was loved by Ernest Hemingway… and by many guests who frequent the Congress Hall pool. Are you a parent? It’s time to check that your children aren’t chewing the foam noodles that Congress Hall provides for them to play with. No, really. “We reorder several times a season because kids love chewing the noodles, especially if there is one that happens to be strangely colored,” Jordan says. Lunch time. Have you tried the caprese sandwich? It isn’t available at any other Cape Resorts property. In season, those tomatoes are coming straight from Beach Plum Farm (see page 44), and it’s a choice that’s “light enough to enjoy on a sum-
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mer afternoon, but substantial enough to fill you up,” Jordan says. The sun is at its hottest point, meaning it’s a good time to stop by the ice-cream cart. The Chipwiches are the most popular choice, unless you’re under four-foot tall… then the Iron-Man is number one. (Don’t be ashamed; we’ve seen adults order it.) Take a delicious nap. Doing it at this time of day “can help counter that classic post-lunch dip in energy and alertness,” according to Psychology Today. And no worries; the staff are used to seeing guests fall into that deep, mouth-open kind of sleep. If you only felt like a really quick nap, crack open an appropriate book. Here, from a National Public Radio poll in 2009, the 10 most popular beach reads ever: 1. The Harry Potter series; 2. To Kill a Mockingbird; 3. The Kite Runner; 4. Bridget Jones’s Diary; 5. Pride and Prejudice; 6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; 7. The Great Gatsby; 8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; 9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café; 10. The Poisonwood Bible. Time for some shade, so retreat to the Congo Pool Bar, where you’ll catch the end of the baseball game on TV or catch up with long-time Congress Hall employee Elle Rohana, who teaches in Brooklyn during the off-season, or her sister Jenna, who is finishing up her studies in equine science in Rhode Island. “The guests and staff become family,” Jordan says. “It’s not uncommon to see them having long conversations. When you see the same faces for a couple of weeks, seven or eight years in a row, you develop relationships.” Take note of the trumpet vine, which has been growing next to the bar since 2002. Fun fact: It helps shade the bar’s refrigerator, which keeps the temperature down and makes that vine as useful as it is pretty. You must be thirsty. Try one of the many inventive cocktail or mocktail options on the menu that incorporate housemade lemonade. Looking for a change of scenery? Cross the street for a dip in the ocean. You’re going to want to give the kids a snack to hold them over until dinner. Chicken fingers and a Cherry Almond Coke should do the trick. Enjoy the soft light of a sinking summer sun reflecting on the water. Take a deep breath. Savor the moment. For many people in Cape May, this is the most special time of day. Feel free to wash the chlorine off at one of two outdoor showers before heading back to your room, sunkissed, to prepare for dinner. We know it’s hard to leave but don’t worry… the pool will be waiting for you in the morning.
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Photoshop new book or mag or Concierge!
food & drink
The cape resorts Food Guide
THE Blue Pig Tavern The cozy tavern style is underlined by the wood-tile-copper fireplace. On warmer evenings reserve a table on the lush garden, patio and enjoy Chef Jeremy Einhorn’s classic American fare. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Reservations: Recommended (dinner) Attire: Casual Phone: 609-884-8422
the Ebbitt Room Focusing on a farm-to-table philosophy, this acclaimed restaurant wows customers — the buzzy-yet-intimate vibe helps, too. The renovated bar is a favorite spot, along with the front porch. Location: 25 Jackson Street Meals Served: Dinner Reservations: Recommended Attire: Casual chic Phone: 609-884-5700
the Rusty Nail The hottest beachfront spot in town offers reasonably priced beach fare from Chef Jimmy Burton with an emphasis on local seafood, complemented by the coldest draft beer in town. Location: Beach Avenue, near Patterson Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: 609-884-0017
veranda raw bar menu New! Congress Hall’s breezy veranda is the setting for our raw bar menu. Service is from 4pm to 10pm daily in season (from 6:30pm during weddings). Weekends only in May and June. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Lunch, dinner, snacks Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: 609-884-8422
Tommy’s Folly Coffee Bar Tommy’s Folly has a full menu of La Colombe coffee drinks, plus homemade sandwiches, soups and salads — grab and go to the veranda rocking chairs for an extra treat. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, treats Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: 609-884-6522
The Boiler Room Entertainment from Wednesday-Sunday, complemented by a contemporary twist on pub grub with a broad drinks list. One of the town’s most hopping dance floors. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Dinner, late-night snacks Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: 609-884-8421
The Brown Room The twin pillars of Cape May’s Living Room are the ebony-colored fireplace and the mahogany and marble bar. Enjoy a great cocktail menu, excellent appetizers and live music. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Dinner, cocktail snacks Reservations: No Attire: Casual Phone: 609-884-8421
the Ebbitt Room Lounge/Porch There are four cozy nooks as an alternative to the dining room, but try to snag a seat on the front porch. There’s no better place to indulge. Location: 25 Jackson Street Meals Served: Small Plates, snacks Reservations: No Attire: Casual chic Phone: 609-884-5700
CONGress hall POOL service A kid-friendly lunch menu, which might be the only way you lure them out of the pool. This just leaves you more time to catch up on your favorite read, while being spoiled by attentive servers. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Lunch Reservations: No Attire: It’s the pool! Phone: 609-884-8421
congress hall Beach service If you don’t want to leave your lounger or cabana and cross the road to the hotel, we understand. Simply fill out an order card and have lunch delivered right to your beach table. Location: On the beach at Perry Meals Served: Lunch, snacks Reservations: No Attire: It’s the beach!
the virginia Beach service Indulge in one very classy beach experience. Order from the servers or reserve a superior beach picnic the night before your beach day. Location: On the beach at Jackson Meals Served: Lunch, snacks Reservations: No Attire: It’s the beach!
the rusty nail Beach service The rustic tent supports and the aquaand-orange umbrellas and shades announce very clearly that you are in a little slice of paradise. Location: On the beach at Patterson Meals Served: Lunch, snacks Reservations: No Attire: It’s the beach!
Meet Our New Farmer Our family of restaurants — The Ebbitt Room, The Blue Pig Tavern and The Rusty Nail — are served by Beach Plum Farm, situated on 62 acres in West Cape May, less than two miles (it’s a pleasant 15-minute bike ride) from the restaurants. More than 100 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers are grown and harvested for the company’s kitchens. Three mornings a week, fruit and vegetables are hand-picked at Beach Plum Farm and brought the short distance to our restaurants, where the chefs develop their daily menu specials. We met up with Beach Plum’s new farmer, Ali Moussalli, to hear what we can expect to see (and eat!) this year.
Where are you from, Ali? Pensacola, Florida. What drew you to a life of farming? I went to college not knowing what to do and during that time I landed a summer job at a vegetable farm in northern Virginia. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. Had you been to Cape May before coming to Beach Plum Farm? My wife grew up vacationing here but I had never been.
Do you have a family? We have a fouryear-old son and an infant daughter. How do you balance work and home? Right now my wife stays home. I try to keep work to a rational level and take the weekend when it isn’t crazy busy. At least, theoretically. I haven’t pulled that off yet! Sometimes I can do some of the work in the field with my son beside me. What does your typical day entail in season? It will start fairly early, about 6 or 6:30am. We’ll harvest the crops that need harvesting, wash them, put them in the cooler and get our deliveries out to the chefs. In the afternoon I might need to do irrigation work or field work on the tractor, preparing the ground for the next day. Is it possible restaurant-goers will eat at night what you’ve picked in the morning? Yes, especially with more perishable items, like tomatoes. Where do you stand on pesticides?
We don’t use any spray that isn’t certified organic. With some conventional pesticides you might not be allowed back in the field for a few days or you might not be able to eat the food for a few days. On Beach Plum Farm there is no re-entry period, as it’s called. We have our own bees so we have to be careful; it would be dumb to kill our own bees! I try to be sustainable. Tell us about those bees. They are an incredible world unto themselves. The more you learn the more impossible they sound. I’m new to harvesting honey so I’m not an expert, but they have this crazy-high consciousness and type of intelligence that is really alien. They are extremely important to the world. I just saw a quote from, I think, Albert Einstein. He said if bees were to die out tomorrow our species would only live three or four more years. How important is it that people are able to connect with where their food comes from? It can be very eye-opening for people who take an interest. It’s encouraging when people do. What’s the most exciting development at Beach Plum Farm? I’m generally most excited about vegetables. I’m excited to
The pigs, chickens and lambs at Beach Plum Farm have plenty of space to wander and graze on our beautiful 62-acre site in West Cape May, a short drive (or satisfying bike ride) from downtown Cape May.
grow in this kind of soil; it’s nice and sandy, which has its advantages, like the fact that it warms up faster. We’re going to be growing new things this year, like ambrosia, which is a variety of melon; everybody thinks it’s the best melon they’ve had. We’re also improving our pig facilities. Do you actually grow beach plums? Yes! We have about 10 bushes. Most rewarding part of your job? It’s a complicated system you’re trying to manage amidst constantly changing weather. When things go well that’s really satisfying. I like being in touch with the weather and that I am almost always working outside. We hear you’ll be providing tea to the restaurants this year. We’re growing lemon verbena, mint, sage, thyme and rosemary that can be infused into herbal tea blends. What do you want people to know about Beach Plum Farm? We’re open for guided or self-guided tours. At the farm stand, you can buy vegetables, sit at the picnic tables, enjoy the herb gardens... it’s a beautiful spot. Got any hidden talents? I can slightly juggle — a little bit.
Whatâ€™s Growing at Beach Plum Farm
Taking a Tour of the Farm Hereâ€™s a special day out that will provide fresh air, great aromas and give you an inside look at Cape Resortsâ€™ farm-to-table philosophy. GUIDED TOURS During the month of May, Beach Plum Farm is open for one-hour guided tours at 9:30am on Saturday. From June through August, tours are available Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In September, tours are available Friday and Saturday. In October, tours are incorporated into the Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival (see pages 106109). Guided tours provide opportunities for discussion and questions. You will also be able to rest and enjoy refreshments at our picnic tables. SELF-GUIDED TOURS If you prefer to make your own way through the paths, there are selfguided walking tours from May through October on Friday, noon-4pm; Saturday, 8am-4pm; and Sunday, 8amnoon. During those times the farm stand will be open. To book your farm tour visit the Concierge at Congress Hall or call 609884-6542.
Our New Range of Herbal Teas A great way to end a meal is with a cup of soothing herbal tea — it aids digestion and tastes great. We’re excited to introduce our own brand of teas, using herbs grown at Beach Plum Farm — lemon verbena, mint, sage, rosemary and thyme. We recommend serving it with honey, made with love by the Beach Plum Farm bees. So much goodness in a cup!
food & drink
The Ebbitt Room
alfway along the most beautiful part of Jackson Street, a halfblock from the beach, sits The Virginia, home to Cape May’s finest restaurant, The Ebbitt Room. The Philadelphia Inquirer referred to it as “the town’s most beloved restaurant,” while The New York Times raved about a “superb” experience and “creatively prepared dishes.” We transformed The Ebbitt Room experience in 2011 when we took out the small service bar and introduced a large U-shaped bar that flows into the dining room and adds a buzzy vibe that has made the bar one of the cocktail hour hot spots in Cape May. So now you can either choose to eat in the casual-but-elegant dining room or take a seat on one of our comfortable (and highly prized) bar stools to sample the best of our menu while enjoying
To book a table at The Ebbitt Room, call 609-8845700.
the sociability of the bar scene and chatting with our bartenders. But we’re glad to say that some things will never change, like The Ebbitt Room’s commitment to freshness. The food menu, which now includes dishes both inventive and familiar, draws ingredients from Cape Resorts’ Beach Plum Farm, as does the drink list, which includes imaginative new combinations as well as some variations on the American classics. We’re also proud to offer some seriously interesting mocktails. The front porch is Cape May’s favorite place to start your evening, end your day or linger in between those times! Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails and munch on small plates such as our famous farm cheese and cured meat board or The Ebbitt Room char-broiled burger with house-cut truffle parmesan garlic fries and chipotle ketchup.
If youâ€™re partial to a great cut of beef, The Ebbitt Room has that... but our guests are also looking for us to present them with new concepts. That was the inspiration behind the salmon preparation. We wanted to see what would happen if we made fried rice with bulghur wheat and scrambled egg and topped it off with a lemon-basil nage. The result has proven to be very popular â€” an American-Asian fusion, served at a farmto-table restaurant.
The Ebbitt Roomâ€™s New York Strip for Two with smoked sea salt, roasted garlic and roasted bone marrow butter is served with a choice of three sides. The meat itself is grass-fed, natural organic beef that has a great depth of flavor and marbling, which makes it very tender and fantastic to taste.
The Ebbitt Room’s kitchen is never dissuaded from putting a dish on the menu because it’s labor intensive. The foie gras is a six-day process and the duck is 36 hours of work. For New Year’s Eve, the chef made his own tuna bresaola, which required three-and-ahalf weeks of salt curing and hanging and drying… and that was the amusebouche. For the beet salad The Ebbitt Room uses golden and candy cane beets from Beach Plum Farm, served with a cumin-orange vinaigrette and housemade ricotta, which takes 24 hours.
Every week, The Ebbitt Room chef calls our supplier, Murray’s Cheese in New York, to ask what they’ve got that’s fun, exciting and new for the Meat and Cheese Plate. It might be Italian, it might be French, it might be goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, raw or pasteurized… as long as it’s on the cutting edge.
FUN FACT: The preserves served with this dish have been pickled in house and the nut mixture changes frequently. A favorite: Spiced pumpkin seeds with lime and cayenne.
food & drink
The Blue Pig Tavern
ocated in the northeast corner of Congress Hall you’ll discover one of Cape May’s quintessential dining experiences, The Blue Pig Tavern. No matter the weather, or your mood, you’ll find a table that works for you here. On sunny days The Blue Pig Tavern’s leafy patio is a delightful spot to start your day with a breakfast of Congress Hall’s Eggs Benedict or a refreshing smoothie. Later in the day, linger over lunch as you sip a cool drink and people-watch. In the evening, dine beneath charming strings of lights. Inside, each of the Blue Pig’s dining areas provide a different mood. One has an airy garden feel with a large skylight — it’s perfect for larger groups. The second room evokes a classic tavern, with vintage-style mirrors, large banquettes and a magnificent fireplace which comes alive on crisp
To book a table at The Blue Pig Tavern, call 609-8848422.
days or chilly evenings in spring, fall or winter. Then there’s our new enclosed porch, which is perfect for those of us who want to be indoors while being bathed in the light and the colors of the outdoors, thanks to a wall of windows. Wherever you eat, you will feast on the restaurant’s signature American tavern fare, while enjoying the simple pleasure of a meal prepared from scratch — the menu utilizes local seafood as well as fruits, vegetables, herbs, bacon and eggs from Cape Resorts’ Beach Plum Farm, which provides a great deal of the restaurant’s produce. Come thirsty! The restaurant offers its own beer — Blue Pig Tavern Ale — and a full list of delicious beverages from the Congress Hall bar. And don’t miss the homemade desserts, especially our own little slice of Americana, Congress Hall Classic Apple Pie.
Classic comfort food “What makes the apple pie special is that it’s classic, homemade apple pie,” says Executive Chef Jeremy Einhorn. “We use apples which are just a little more complex in flavor, with a homemade butter crust done from scratch.”
“We tweaked the mac and cheese to come up with our perfect version: classic, creamy, not a whole lot of ingredients, mostly cheddar sauce,” says Executive Chef Jeremy Einhorn. “There’s a lot of different ways to cook mac and cheese — baked versus stovetop, cheese sauce versus milk sauce, thickening with roux or with egg — but one thing is universal: you have to be gentle. You can’t bring the sauce to a roaring boil because it will break or burn very easily. The most important thing is to be gentle.”
The Blue Pig Tavern offers a cozy atmosphere complete with a crackling fireplace, a beautiful garden patio that’s great for people-watching on a breezy afternoon and an enclosed porch that gives the feeling of being outside. It’s almost like three different restaurants, each with something special and different to offer.
jeremy einhorn, the blue pig tavern executive chef
food & drink
The Rusty Nail
or decades, The Rusty Nail was the place where Cape May’s surfers and lifeguards hung out. That’s still the case, but the appeal of this iconic bar/restaurant broadened after it joined the Cape Resorts family in 2009. Now it’s one of the must-visit establishments in town, a place where beach lovers congregate around the indoor wooden bar rumored to be the longest in Cape May (a statistic that was confirmed by a story in Exit Zero magazine) or the always-popular outside bar. The Nail’s enduring popularity is due, in part, to their draft beer, which is the coldest in town, a fact once again confirmed by Exit Zero in a cold beer test. It’s no wonder Travel & Leisure magazine named the Nail one of America’s Top 10 Beach Bars. Something you should probably test out for yourself is the firepit, the only one of its kind in
The Rusty Nail does not accept reservations — just turn up and chill out. Visit beachshack. com for more information.
South Jersey. Hanging around the firepit under the stars with friends and family is something you need to check off on your Cape May bucket list. As for the food, Executive Chef Jimmy Burton, who’s something of a local icon himself, offers a menu full of seaside classics and satisfying salads. The kids are guaranteed to love it — children’s meals are served on a frisbee. And every Monday Chef Jimmy roasts an entire Beach Plum Farm pig on the outside grill — you’ll enjoy great pulled pork sandwiches and our Piggy Platter! Day and night, there is often live entertainment — over the years the Nail has cultivated an eclectic crew of performers who keep the party going. But this is always a mellow kind of party — the kind of vibe that will keep you chilling out all afternoon or night. Just be aware of the dress code — flip-flops are strongly encouraged at the Nail.
The Annual Rusty Nail Doggie Pageant
ife got good for Lexie after she was adopted from a rescue shelter in Alabama. The three-year-old Australian shepherd mix found a loving home in North Cape May with mom Katie Kane. Now she’s a naturalized Jersey girl — she loves running on the beaches, swimming and hiking. And more than that, she became a local legend. Lexie won the First Annual Rusty Nail Doggie Pageant, held in August — to celebrate the fact that the Beach Shack and Rusty Nail are very doggie-friendly. Lexie impressed the judges with her fancy dress outfit (a peacock ensemble), her ability to chug Bowser beer and, most of all, her trick — she retrieved a can of (human) beer from a cooler. One smart dog. First prize was a $250 gift certificate for the Rusty Nail, which Katie, boyfriend Aaron Baker and Lexie will use to spoil themselves this summer. “I love the chicken quesadilla and clam chowder at the Nail. Lexie loves the doggie beer,” says Katie. The Nail’s Bowser beer comes in flavors like Beefy Brown Ale and Cock-a-Doodle Brew. Entrées from our Doggie Menu include a Wrangler Roundup (lean ground turkey for doggies on a diet), a hot dog dinner and a frozen raw bone. This year’s pageant will be held at the Nail on Sunday, August 24. Will Lexie be defending her title? “I think this year we’re just going to sit back, relax and watch the other contestants,” says Katie.
Katie Kane with boyfriend Aaron Baker and Lexie, and their prize gift certificate. Inset: Lexie in the peacock outfit that helped win the hearts and minds of the judges.
The Rusty Nail quickly became famous for its tacos â€” grilled fish and chicken (pictured top). Other signature dishes include, from left, classic fish and chips; boardwalk-style cones; and the clam bake.
Our Signature Burgers THE EBBITT ROOM
The Ebbitt Room menu offered a bone-in rib-eye for a long time, but our chef thought this dish could be a little more, well, sexy. And just like that The Ebbitt Room burger (pictured opposite) was born. The blend is short rib, rib-eye, and strip, and the fat ratio is 75/25, which makes it melt in your mouth. To top it all off, big beef marrow bones are roasted for four hours until the marrow can be extracted and used for marrow butter. On the side: truffle fries (ridiculously good) and house-made pickles. THE BLUE PIG TAVERN
The eight-ounce Blue Pig burger — a mix of chuck, strip steak and delightfully marbled hangar steak that’s the result of years of experimentation with different cuts — is ground with love in-house. But the care with which Executive Chef Jeremy Einhorn prepares this menu staple is nothing new. What is new are the accessories. “This season we’ll offer a special monthly burger featuring interesting things from Beach Plum Farm,” Jeremy says. “For instance, during asparagus season, we’ll top our burger with a shaved asparagus slaw and truffle hollandaise sauce. It’s our take on a universal comfort food.” THE RUSTY NAIL
Rusty Nail Executive Chef Jimmy Burton has been using the same burger recipe for more than 30 years. “They’re more sirloin than chuck, so the flavor is especially good,” he says. “We cook them over an open flame so they’re nice and juicy.” The eight-ounce patties are then served on a nice-and-airy brioche bun so that great meaty taste isn’t masked by bread. But just as important as flavor with this dish is the experience — the simple American pleasure that is biting into a delicious burger on a summer’s day by the beach. “It complements the vibe of the Rusty Nail perfectly,” Jimmy says.
food & drink
What’s for Breakfast?
t’s the kind of research we love to hear — experts say that skipping breakfast could result in you gaining weight. Neglect to eat in the morning and there’s a good chance you will indulge more than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks. And there are other reasons that demonstrate why breakfast really might be the most important meal of the day. It revs up your metabolism, which leads to more calories being burned. And there’s also evidence to suggest that eating breakfast will help put you in a good mood by regulating your blood sugar levels. And you’re also going to find you’ve got more energy (unless you start every day with three egg and bacon sandwiches, something we wouldn’t recommend). So now that we all agree that starting the day with a proper meal is a good idea, what should you eat,
and where should you go? Happily, there are myriad ways to enjoy the first meal of the day at our Cape Resorts properties. Both The Blue Pig Tavern and The Rusty Nail offer exciting breakfast options — indoors or alfresco. Plus Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop at Congress Hall has plenty of to-go options, as does The Star Coffee Shop. Then there’s Congress Hall’s Veranda Bar, which by day serves juices using fresh produce from Beach Plum Farm (by night the Veranda Bar is a great place to begin or end your evening with cocktails on the rocking chairs — see pages 72-77 for more information). Highlights of the juice menu include Garden State (carrot, beet, apple, celery, spinach, cucumber, ginger) and Gimme a Beet (beet, apple, pear, romaine, ginger). Turn the page for our ultimate breakfast guide.
the ultimate cape resorts breakfast guide From the simplest, quickest snack to a proper sitdown feast, we have everything your stomach desires for the most important meal of the day. Here we present some of our highlights, starting with the super-healthy, lower-calorie versions and progressing to our super-satisfying, take-you-through-lunch offerings. And many of them come with ocean views! FARM-FRESH JUICE
WHAT’S IN IT: Fresh from Beach Plum Farm and freshly squeezed into your glass. Flavors include Ultimate Green Juice, plus Carrots, Apples and Ginger.
WHAT’S IN IT: A cholesterolbusting combination of rolled oats, toasted pumpkin seeds, dried fruits and berries, apples, honey and Greek yogurt.
WHAT’S IN IT: Low-fat vanilla yogurt, fresh berries and crunchy granola.
WHAT’S IN IT: Vanilla yogurt and seasonal fruit purée, in flavors like mango and strawberry.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Veranda Bar, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop, Congo Pool Bar, Congress Hall in-room dining.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop, Congress Hall in-room dining.
Beach plum farm frittata
WHAT’S IN IT: Two egg whites any style, fresh berry and fruit salad, whole wheat English muffin with housemade honey-almond butter, plus freshly squeezed Beach Plum Farm juice.
WHAT’S IN IT: A lot of goodies from Beach Plum Farm for this exotic twist on breakfast. Farm-fresh eggs, wild mushrooms, farm greens, sweet peppers, onion, goat cheese, fresh herbs.
WHAT’S IN IT: This perfect grab-and-go breakfast is made with free-range eggs, smoked bacon and melted American cheese, pressed between flatbread.
WHAT’S IN IT: This highly satisfying breakfast-with-akick is made with scrambled egg, ham, cheese, black beans and pico de gallo.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Congress Hall in-room dining.
CREAMED CHIPPED BEEF
WHAT’S IN IT: There’s the Sunrise Sandwich at The Blue Pig Tavern (eggs and sharp cheddar on a fresh croissant), while The Rusty Nail has sandwiches on bagels, biscuits and everything in between!
WHAT’S IN IT: Our housemade version of the old-school classic, served with toast and home fries
WHAT’S IN IT: This is our new instant classic! Two poached eggs, freshly made cheddar scallion biscuit, crispy bacon, fresh tomato, wilted greens and black pepper hollandaise (pictured right).
WHAT’S IN IT: The ultimate breakfast splurge — two eggs any style, bacon and sausage, pancake or waffle, home fries.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, The Rusty Nail, Congress Hall and Beach Shack in-room dining.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop, Congo Pool Bar, Congress Hall in-room dining.
WHERE TO GET IT: Tommy’s Folly General Store, Congo Pool Bar.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop, Congo Pool Bar, Congress Hall in-room dining.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Congress Hall in-room dining.
gourmet coffee We are proud to serve world-class coffee by La Colombe. The Corsica blend is equal parts bold
and agreeable, while the Nizza espresso is a creamy, fragrant, sweet little number. La Colombe is offered at The Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop and Congress Hall in-room dining. 70
food & drink
The Cocktail Guide
ssuming you spent the day in Cape May, these are likely the things you’ve seen: Couples strolling along the promenade. Children dancing in and out of tide pools. People on bikes with big wicker baskets rolling past Victorian B&Bs. Families eating ice cream. Sunburnt joggers on a sunset run. The occasional dolphin, surfing the shorebreak. The occasional teenager, surfing the shorebreak. The common thread? These are all things that have the power to lift your mood, maybe even make you feel a little nostalgic. You see, a great vacation is like a great outift: it makes you feel good. And a cocktail — well that’s the perfect accessory. No, you don’t need it. But it can be the piece de resistance, both when it comes to fashion and when it comes to your stay in Cape May.
Opposite: Our Classic Mojito — white rum, Beach Plum Farm mint, lime and soda — is the ultimate summer cocktail.
And just like your favorite earrings or cufflinks, you want your drinks to be high quality, no matter what you’re in the mood for. Maybe it’s something light and refreshing after a sweltering August day. Or maybe you’re a more classic drinker, who can differentiate between a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned from across a crowded Ebbitt Room porch. Maybe you’d rather try something inventive, something memorable, like a cocktail muddled not just with your typical fruits but with savory, seasonal ingredients, like sugar snap peas from Beach Plum Farm. Or maybe you just want a classic draft beer that’s guaranteed to be the coldest in town. In the following pages you’ll read all you need to know about finding your drink of choice — the ideal complement to an idyllic seaside escape. Cheers!
A CHAT WITH... thomas von muenster The Food and Beverage Director at Congress Hall fills in the blanks on his favorite things... My favorite hobby is: Reading. I love old cookbooks from the 1920s or even before that. You realize that today’s influences have actually been around for some time. Things like pouring Fernet Branca into bourbon for instance. Trends fade and they always come back, and I find that really interesting. The best advice I’ve heard is: Stay calm. A former boss of mine who is an executive chef used to say that half the battle is staying calm. The last time I laughed until I cried was: When I saw the movie Tommy Boy starring Chris Farley. The most underrated thing about Cape May is: The quality of food and beverage in general — not only at Congress Hall. I think Cape May offers something for every age group in the nicest spot on the East Coast. I can’t live without: The good people around me, personally and professionally.
The most beautiful I remember seeing Cape May was: Following Hurricane Sandy, after everything opened back up and the sky became blue again. All was calm and people started to clean up. It was a beautiful moment to see not only that everything was where it should be, but that people were coming together like that. My biggest pet peeve is: Apathy, especially in the workplace. I can’t help but smile when: I can get a seat at The Brown Room on a Saturday night. My coworkers and I are: Consistently trying to improve what we have. I taste 15 menu items a day to make sure quality is always there. I’m most looking forward to: This season. I began this position a little more than two years ago. The first year was about knowing the team, understanding the dynamic and determining what needs to be done to keep moving forward. The second year was about putting everyone in the right spot and supporting them so that we can make things even better. This year I’m
looking forward to bringing it up a couple of levels in every aspect. Food can make you feel: Inspired. My proudest moment was: The birth of my son Tyler. He’s eight now and he really enjoys coming to Congress Hall, but he’s a very picky eater. All he wants is raw vegetables! No seafood, no meat, no protein. You can’t bribe him and you can’t fool him… I don’t know where he gets it! My favorite spot in Congress Hall is: The rocking chairs on the veranda, for reflecting and taking it all in. My favorite time of year in Cape May is: Springtime. Everything starts to bloom, it gets more colorful, the days are warmer and there’s that anticipation of summer. The most memorable cocktail I’ve ever had was: A sazerac at the King Cole bar in New York City — it was just the right mix of atmosphere and taste. My favorite spot in the world is: Tuscany, Italy — sitting outside, overlooking olive gardens, eating fresh melon and cheese and sipping chilled Vernaccia.
SOME OF THOMAS’ FAVORITE CAPE RESORTS COCKTAILS...
Hibiscus-infused rum, mint, soda
Hennessey, berries, crème de cassis, soda
GINGER GRAPEFRUIT MARTINI
Citrus vodka, Cointreau, white cranberry
Belvedere, Canton Ginger liquor, grapefruit
“Today’s influences have been around for some time. Things like putting Fernet Branca into bourbon, for instance. Trends fade and they always come back, and I find that kind of thing really quite inspiring.”
Citron vodka, lemon, grenadine
BPT IRISH COFFEE
Jameson and Bailey’s, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, coffee beans
— thomas von muenster
BLUE PIG MARTINI
Vodka, Hpnotiq, blue curacao, pineapple juice
CHERRY BOURBON SOUR
Bourbon, lemon, amarena cherries
Tres Agaves Tequila, Grand Marnier, lime, organic agave syrup
Absinthe, raw sugar, water
Vanilla vodka, white and dark godiva, crème de cacao
CUCUMBER MINT G&T
Muddled mint, cucumber, Hendricks gin, tonic
The Ultimate Drinks Guide... The Brown Room
The Lobby at Congress Hall
The Veranda at Congress Hall
Adirondacks at Congress Hall
The Boiler Room
WHAT’S THE VIBE?
Animal-print carpet, palm trees in the corners and dark woods lend a Havana-type feeling. It manages to be glam AND casual.
Floral prints adorn classic wicker chairs for a retro, airy ambience. Also a cozy spot on cooler evenings by the fireplace.
Rock on teak chairs as you’re fanned by an ocean breeze, gazing onto the pool and gardens. Yes, life CAN be this good.
Some chairs face the pool — our favorites face the ocean, where you can ponder the Atlantic. Either way the vibe is pretty blissful.
Brushed steel meets exposed brick with a moody vibe in this basement nightclub, where the lighting is low and the energy is high.
WHAT are the house specials?
Cherry Bourbon Sour: bourbon, amarena cherries, bitters and lemon.
Elderflower Royale: St. Germain and prosecco.
Mean Joe Green: vodka, Midori, amaretto and pineapple juice. (Or a bottle of chilled rose wine.)
Amalfi: Limoncello, sparkling cava and blueberries.
Berry Basil Caipirinha: cachaca, Beach Plum Farm berries, basil, lime and soda.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE SEATING
Choose from bar stools, a big sofa you will sink into, plus lots of comfy chairs. In other words, you have options!
A couple comfy sofas, some regal wingback chairs and wicker chairs. Appropriate seating no matter the time of year.
There are the wonderful teak rockers, or you could occupy one of the metal bistro chairs on the patio.
Those wonderful Adirondack chairs, with a wide arm that’s perfect for holding both cocktail glasses and books.
Metal stools at the bar, or at the hightop tables. Or for a softer option, bag one of the sofas in (slightly) quieter part of the room.
good for WHAT KIND OF OCCASION?
Perfect for date night or for pre-dinner aperitifs or postdinner nightcaps. It always feels romantic here.
A good option if you’ve got the kids along with you. There’s plenty of room to move here.
Maybe you feel like a solo glass of wine and a quiet read of your book on a glorious afternoon? Also ideal for nightcaps.
A great way to start or end your night with a loved one. Also a great spot for the whole family — there’s a big lawn to play on!
This is where you head with the girls, or other couples. The Boiler Room crowd usually loves to dance!
WHAT’S THE LIGHTING LIKE?
At cocktail hour in summer, the early evening light is magical. When the lights come on there’s a warming amber glow.
Bright and airy in the daytime, super cozy in the evening, especially by the fire in the fall, where it feels a bit more private.
You’re facing south or west so you’re bathed in warm afternoon and early evening light — what’s better than that?
You’re seated right across from the beach so there are few better places from which to catch a signature Cape May sunset.
It’s the basement. So you’ll never see daylight. Think votives and dark red lamp shades. Sexy and moody.
WHAT ABOUT MUSIC?
Piano pop/rock from Darin MacDonald and singers like Audrey Snow, Beth Tinnon, Wesley Ochs and Gregg Carpenter.
The hotel has a mellow music system, whenever The Brown Room isn’t hosting a live entertainer.
Maybe the music of the cicadas in the evening. And you may hear some sounds filtering out from The Brown Room.
One of the best sounds of all... the sound of the surf from the Atlantic Ocean, on the other side of Beach Avenue.
Dance to folks like the Dane Anthony Band, Billy D. Light Trio, Chuck Boone Band, Edgardo Cintron, Bare Bonz and DJ Dramadik.
TELL US A FUN FACT about the place
Yes, the palm trees ARE real. They’re Queen date palms from Florida which were freeze-dried, hence they need no watering.
Green walls, like those of the lobby, can help spark inventiveness, says the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
You may enjoy rocking, but we’re guessing you won’t get close to the non-stop rocking record: 480 hours, in Georgia.
The chairs are named for the Adirondack Mountains in New York State, but their true place of origin is a mystery.
The original boiler pit for Congress Hall sits next to the stage. Look for the faceplate displayed on the back wall.
Where and When and Why! The Congo Pool Bar
The Ebbitt Room Bar
The Ebbitt Room Lounge
The Virginia Porch
Rusty Nail Indoor Bar
Rusty Nail Patio Bar
As laidback as it gets. Even if you’re not getting into the pool, it’s still fun to hang out here, especially in the late afternoon.
One of the buzziest bar scenes in town. The decor is elegant but playful and there’s a sophisticated-butfun feel.
If you can’t get a seat at the bar, this is a fine second option. In cooler months, linger by the fireplace for extra cozy appeal.
Watch the horsedrawn carriages glide past as you enjoy the ocean breeze and one of THE must-do scenes in town.
Need to escape the daytime heat? This is the place. And it’s a fun spot in the evenings too. Hang with lifeguards and enjoy great music.
Like wriggling your toes in the sand as you sip on cold beers and fun cocktails? Welcome to paradise.
Watermelon Sunrise: tequila, watermelon juice and grenadine.
Old Fashioned: American whiskey, cane sugar, bitters, twist of orange and amarena cherries. Garnished with an orange twist.
Blood Orange Martini: blood orange puree, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, champagne and an orange slice.
Summer Peach Sangria: white wine, apples, farm-fresh seasonal fruit, San Pellegrino Limonata and a slice of peach.
Rusty Nail Pale Ale: craft-brewed for us! Or Georgia Peach: a mocktail with freshbrewed iced tea, fresh peach purée and sparkling water.
The Hammer: Gosling’s rum, coconut rum, passion fruit purée, fresh lemon and pineapple juice, in a souvenir coconut.
A few prized bar stools, wooden café chairs or chill out on the outdoor sofas at the rear of the pool bar, overlooking the veranda.
Leather bar stools with comfortable backs. That equals perfection in our minds.
You’ve got options. Sink into a sofa in front of the fireplace (recommended in cooler months) or sit in the café-style chairs near the bar.
The bright red outdoor sofas beautifully accent the white porch railings. Just a great vibe.
Choose from a big selection of stools around Cape May’s longest bar. Or hit the sofas.
Try and claim the Adirondack chairs and tables that surround the fire pit for the best place to enjoy an outdoor dinner.
A great place for a cocktail or ice-cold beer at the end of an exhausting day by the pool — it’s a tough life, isn’t it?
Perfect for date nights, whether you’re having an aperitif, a nightcap or dining at the bar.
It’s romantic and cozy, no matter the time of year, especially if Paul is on the piano. Great for aperitifs and nightcaps.
A wonderful place for a group of friends to spend an evening laughing and chatting. Or to kick off your night with an aperitif.
Get the gang together and enjoy an evening of live entertainment. In the evening the vibe here is high energy.
Step off the beach for a satisfying meal. Or enjoy cocktails under the stars, by the glow of the famous firepit.
The light of the sun is shaded by the flourishing trumpet vine. All you have to do is bask in it.
There’s this beautiful amber ambience to the whole thing that just works. A perfect bar mood.
Very similar to The Ebbitt Room bar given it’s right there! Sit back and drink in the atmosphere.
Late afternoon or early evening it’s dappled by the western light. After dark it’s pure romance.
During the day it just feels refreshing, compared to the heat outside. At night it’s cozy.
This is Cape May’s little slice of SoCal. The whole place is flooded by the slowly sinking sun. Early evening is special here.
You’ll be lulled to a chilled-out zone by the sounds of Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, the Beach Boys, Jack Johnson and friends.
There’s only one sound that works with the classy Ebbitt Room... piano. Take a bow, Paul Sottile. The man can play.
The Ebbitt Room is a pretty cozy place, so you’re going to hear Paul on the piano no matter where you choose to relax.
The clip-clopping of horses’ hooves, maybe the surf from the Atlantic if you time it just right.
More energy than the mellow sounds of the outside vibe. Bands include Cintron, Back 2 Life, Tru Buddahs and Twelve: 01.
A mixture of reggae and classic rock and pop from favorites like Kate Delany, Marnie & Nate, Cultureal and Carl Behrens.
You’ll have a clear view of the pool, in case you have kids to watch... and the TV, in case you have baseball to watch.
When the Virginia hotel served as a boarding house for Congress Hall employees, this area housed a ping-pong table.
Piano player Paul Sotille has played and recorded on songs and remixes for Madonna, Katy Perry, Bush, and Shakira.
You can order a full meal here. We recommend ordering plates to share — it’s a sociable way to spend an evening.
The beer is 36.4 degrees. And served in mugs pulled from a freezer. Enough said.
Travel + Leisure magazine featured The Rusty Nail as one of the top 10 beach bars in America.
our entertainment lineup
Whatever the weather, whatever your mood... we have some seriously good music for you
THE RUSTY NAIL PATIO 4:30pm to 9pm, Mondays through Saturdays
NATE CWIK Nate helps create that special summer feeling by singing his favorites from artists such as Tom Petty, Bob Marley, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Jack Johnson. MARNIE & NATE This acoustic duo plays everything from classic rock to reggae. Marnie’s soulful voice and earthy vibrato shine through while singing the songs of Patsy Cline and Robert Plant alike. BILL CATERINI This local favorite plays an extensive mix of music from the 1960s through the best-loved songs of today. Always one to please the crowd, Bill finds that guests particularly enjoy his eclectic selection of island/reggae music.
GREGG CARPENTER Gregg’s skillful guitar playing and soulful voice will have you singing along with selections from the Beatles, Paul Simon, The Stones, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison and James Taylor, to name a few. CARL BEHRENS Enjoy the sounds of Jimmy Buffett, Loggins & Messina, the Eagles, the Beatles, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and friends. KATE DELANY DUO Accompanied by drum and guitar, Kate’s sultry voice recreates songs from the repertoire of Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, the Beatles and Jewel. REGGAE ON THE PATIO: 3pm to 8pm, Sundays
JACK LIGHT MOVE This band’s inspiration comes from a spontaneous variety of funk, acid jazz, hiphop and groove.
SACRED VIBRATIONS This roots reggae band out of Philadelphia knocks out a blend of original music and classic reggae covers. Legendary bass player Doug Grigsby has played with world-class entertainers like Stevie Wonder, Burning Spear, Tina Marie and Rick James. CULTUREAL They’ve developed a unique roots reggaebased sound featuring the diverse improvisational styling of each member while maintaining the spirit of reggae. GEORGE WESLEY George has been a headliner at many festivals and has shared the stage with the Wailers, Santana, Black Uhuru, Matisyahu, Culture, Mykal Rose, Judy Mowatt, Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia Band, Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews) and Jimmy Cliff.
THE RUSTY NAIL STAGE 9:30pm to 1am, Friday and Saturday
TWELVE: 01 Featuring local favorite Erik Simonsen, TWELVE:01 provides a singer-songwriter flair while incorporating rock and pop with an acoustic edge. TRU BRUDDAHS One of our most popular bands returns this year, featuring a mix of folk-rock reggae/blues with a funky acoustic feel. You’ll hear favorites from artists such as Tom Petty, Bob Marley, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Jack Johnson. BIG RIC RISING Big Ric has been wowing audiences with his dynamic and interactive performances for more than 15 years in the Philadelphia area. THE DECK BAND Singing everything from Adele and the Beatles to U2 and ZZ Top, this South Jersey-based party band is known for its high energy and amazing vocals. EDGARDO CINTRON & FRIENDS Popular Latin artist Edgardo Cintron brings back his talented combo, featuring Pop, R&B and Latin. Dance to tunes by the Miami Sound Machine, Pitbull, Beyoncé and more as soul meets Latin. THE SHOTS This band features a variety of instrumentation, arrangements, presentation and musical styles, bringing everything together in an unforgettable and versatile show. TRIBECA GRAND Playing one night only for the Endless Summer party, and chosen to play for President Obama’s Inaugural Ball, Tribeca Grand brings its electric energy to the Nail. Vocalists Andrea Brown and Gary Baylis are joined by the full Tribeca Grand rhythm section to keep you dancing the night away.
THE BROWN ROOM
THE BOILER ROOM
DARIN MACDONALD The premier Piano Bar Entertainer for Carnival Cruise Lines, Darin has entertained international audiences on the high seas since 2003. Folks plan their weekend around getting to hear Darin’s beautiful renditions of their favorite Billy Joel and Elton John tunes.
THE DANE ANTHONY BAND With hip blaring horns and rollicking rhythms on everything from blues to funk and beyond, the Dane Anthony Band keeps the party going!
8pm to midnight, Friday and Saturday throughout the year; seven days a week from June 20 through August 21
KATE DELANY DUO Accompanied by drum and guitar, this local favorite mesmerizes her audiences as her sultry voice recreates songs from the repertoire of Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, the Beatles and Jewel. ERIK HETZEL With a broad repertoire encompassing classic rock standards, contemporary hits, crowd sing-alongs and your favorite eclectic “B-sides” that you’ll hear nowhere else — Erik keeps you entertained with smokin’ keyboard skills as he sings the songs you love best. ERIK SIMONSEN Erik’s repertoire includes original music from his national and international CD releases and completes the inviting vibe in Cape May’s Living Room. Come and listen to Erik as you sit by the fireplace enjoying a favorite drink in the company of friends. WESLEY OCHS Vocalist and guitarist Wesley Ochs plays something for every taste, including classic rock, ballads, alternative and modern rock, island/ reggae, oldies, country and party favorites. GREGG CARPENTER Gregg has been entertaining guests region-wide for over 20 years. Skilled in guitar-playing and at the piano, his soulful voice will have you singing along with the likes of the Beatles, Paul Simon, Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens and Van Morrison. BETH TINNON Beth’s ability to sing every style of music from jazz to country to today’s Top 40 won her the Atlantic City Weekly Readers’ Choice Nightlife Awards five years in a row for Best Lounge Act, as well as Atlantic City’s Casino Lounge Act of the Year for 2014. AUDREY & CHRIS This talented duo brings their listeners a mixture of old and new with an energy that has won them a large and devoted following. You’ll hear songs from Mumford and Sons, Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and many more. BILL CATERINI A local favorite, Bill plays an extensive mix of music from the classics of the 1960s through today. Have a request? No problem!
9pm to 1am, Friday and Saturday; adding Thursday, June 19 through August 28
THE BILLY D. LIGHT TRIO This trio has crowds of all ages doin’ the swim, twistin’ or just downhome shaggin’. With cover tunes from Memphis Blues to Mississippi songs to rockabilly, you won’t be able to stay off the dance floor. EDGARDO CINTRON & FRIENDS Popular Latin artist Edgardo Cintron brings back his talented combo, featuring pop, R&B and Latin. It’s where soul meets Latin. KARAOKE NIGHTS with TERRY O’BRIEN Creator and popular host of Terry’Oke, Terry O’Brien is back each week on Thursdays with a children’s session from 6pm to 8:30pm plus a full evening of sing-your-heart-out karaoke for the grown-ups (9:30pm to midnight). BARE BONZ Don Shaw and his band play hits from the 70s, 80s and more. Margie Staples lends her smoky sound to round out this talented group. BLUEBONE Bringing you burnin’ blues and smokin’ boogie, Cape May’s own Jay Bethel leads this tight , powerful blues/rock band, playing everything from BB King to ZZ Top with a few popular originals mixed in. BANANA TRIO A band ripened in South Jersey, this power trio covers all your favorites from island vibe to disco to arena rock. Solo entertainer Wesley Ochs has created a power trio that is a crowd pleaser. THE CHUCK BOONE BAND This band will rock your world with hits from the Beatles, Paul Rodgers, Robin Trower, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters, Led Zeppelin etc. DJ DRAMADIK DJ Dramadik out of Brooklyn, NY reads the room to find the tunes that keep everyone on the dance floor. Influences include the work of Red Alert, Jazzy Jeff, EPMD’s DJ Scratch, and many more. DJ Dramadik pulls out tunes by rappers Slick Rick, House of Pain, Rob Base, DJ E-Z Rock and R&B singer Montell Jordan. FUZZY PARADISE You’ll hear the best of everything from the 60s on, including your favorite 80s tunes, some jazzy grooves and all of the hits in between. Lead singer Lara DeCosta’s powerful-but-tender voice has been compared to Natalie Merchant, Adele and Martina McBride.
spa & wellness
indulge Sea Spa at Congress Hall
Switching between quality time spent on the beach and poolside will likely result in a relaxing vacation. But here at Cape Resorts we don’t want to limit your options — we take the pursuit of bliss very seriously. Enter Sea Spa at Congress Hall. It’s a full-service spa that offers an irresistible atmosphere of effortless simplicity. Wander into a dimension where the only focus is on you. It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? Think of Sea Spa as a vacation within a vacation. Sea Spa proudly partners with Thalgo, the f irst beauty and spa brand to harness the priceless health and wellness benef its of the ocean’s resources to bring you simple pleasures from the sea. Here are some of our signature treatments... Ocean Memory Marine Ritual: A three-step ritual including aquatic scrub, massage with a sea mineral stamp and tingling algae wrap. Thalgomince LC24Body Wrap: Combat cellulite with this warm body wrap. Featuring an anti-cellulite exfoliation, 20-minute slimming massage and concentrated body wrap. Hydra Moisture Facial: This ultra-hydrating facial combats dehydration lines and improves skin texture for a smooth, radiant complexion. Before your treatment begins, unwind in our Relaxation Room — browsing a selection of magazines as you sip on refreshing lemon water or hot herbal tea.
My perfect day? Breakfast on the patio of The Blue Pig, a morning split between the beach and pool, an afternoon being spoiled at Sea Spa, followed by a glass of wine on the veranda. elaine whitaker, arlington, va
I teach yoga classes all over, but I can say that practicing on the lawn or the beach at Congress Hall, breathing in the air from the Atlantic, is up there with the best yoga experiences. sharon fruchtman
escape YOGA ON THE LAWN & BEACH
If you like your relaxation pursuits to come with a little exercise and calorieburning included, then you’re going to want to add yoga to your Cape Resorts itinerary. Yoga on the Lawn at Congress Hall (or on the beach, depending on the weather and the preference of the class) is available from Memorial Day through September. Whether you’re a beginning yoga student or a seasoned practitioner, you will find that this restorative practice has an unbelievable way of calming even the most feverish minds. Acclaimed yoga instructor Sharon Fruchtman has been leading classes on the Congress Hall lawn and beach every season for the last 11 years. There’s a reason why Sharon has private clients all over the tri-state area — she’s one of the best instructors around. If the weather isn’t playing nice and you’re in the mood to break a sweat, Congress Hall features a well-equipped gym which is available to guests of the hotel, The Star Inn, The Virginia, Virginia Cottages and the Beach Shack. It is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day — just sign in at the front desk. Guests of The Sandpiper have access to their own gym. YOGA ON THE LAWN/BEACH With Sharon Fruchtman Saturdays only from Memorial Day through June 21 Seven days from June 22 through September 1 Saturdays only from September 6 through September 27 Cost: $15, plus tax; sessions run from 8:30am–9:45am
BEACH BOOT CAMP
This season we are excited to offer Beach Boot Camp, hosted by instructors Natalie Sudell (pictured right) and Jayne Sudell. Beach boot camps have become one of the faster-growing outdoor exercise classes and it’s no wonder. Working up a sweat on Cape May’s beautiful white-golden sand while breathing in the air from the Atlantic and enjoying the sun on your face beats a gym session any day of the week. Natalie and Jayne will put you through your paces on the Congress Hall beach every Saturday, June 7 through June 21, and Tuesday through Sunday from June 24 through August 31. Classes run from 7:30am-8:30am and cost $15 plus tax. To book your class please speak to the front desk at Congress Hall or call 609-884-8421.
how the other beach workouts stack up... number of calories burned per hour
Normally played on grassy terrain, this game offers a new challenge when it’s taken to the beach. Don’t like bocce? Throwing a frisbee, playing horseshoes and beanbag tossing all offer the same calorieburning results.
The beach can get hot, so head into the water and splash around while you ride the waves.
Of course, this is assuming you actually hit the ball around as opposed to playing a little game of tip-tap, two feet apart from each other as you try to set a paddle ball record. Forget that! Put some energy into it — the results will be worth it.
This is swimming at a moderate rate – at a vigorous rate you can lose 682 calories per hour. This is a low-impact, highreward beach activity. Whether you are in a pool, lake or the ocean, swimming is a great way to stay in shape this summer.
This is only seven more calories per hour than actually sleeping (61 calories/hour). We’re thinking it shouldn’t become a significant part of your weight-loss plan.
205 205 409 477
Bump, set and spike your way to some intense calorie burning as you soak up the sun. Beach volleyball is a fastpaced activity that works your entire body in all planes of motion. Note: beach football will offer a similar calorie burn.
As you may have experienced, running on the sand requires more energy. Of course, the best part of running along the beach is that when you are done, you can hop right in the water to cool off. Results are based on a speed of 6mph.
Cape May Vacation Planner You are here for one reason — to enjoy a relaxing vacation. But even the perfect vacation needs some planning (unless you intend to spend every waking minute enjoying Cape May’s beautiful beaches, in which case head straight to pages 30-35). That’s where we come in. Our concierges ARE your planners. We have organized our favorite activities into two categories... ON CAMPUS — that’s all the fun stuff that happens on Cape Resorts territory — from the Grand Lawn of Congress Hall to the sand-filled patio of the Rusty Nail. You will find those on the next eight pages. OFF CAMPUS — we have partnered with a select group of area organizations who offer fun and quality activities that will enhance your Cape May experience. You will find these on pages 126-141. From the moment you leave your room in the morning to the moment you hit those crisp white sheets in the evening we are full of ideas to help you get the most out of every day. We have lined up a great range of activities
on our campus, from karaoke to ceramics classes, stargazing to soccer. We will also be delighted to book off-campus activities — we can arrange restaurant reservations, theater tickets (there are Broadway-quality shows in
this town), organize wine tours and golf games, kayaking, paddle-boarding and parasailing trips, trips to the famous lighthouse and trolley tours around the historic streets of this National Historic Landmark City. Call our Concierge hotline at 609-884-6542 or come see us in the lobby of Congress Hall for more information and to make reservations. If you are bringing the kids, we can take care of babysitting arrangements, courtesy of Blue’s Clubhouse… staffed with seasoned sitters and, of course, Blue, our legendary mascot. He’s a hero among our youngest guests! And remember, as a valued guest of Cape Resorts you have signing privileges across ALL of our properties and outlets. Now go enjoy your perfect Cape May day!
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TRY... CLAMSHELL PITCHING
We are excited to host the Third Annual Beach Shack Clam-A-Rama on May 17. Last year our round-robin clamshellpitching contest, which revived a classic Jersey Shore pastime, was a big hit. Never played? Itâ€™s a combination of horseshoes and corn hole and is perfect for the whole family to play. For more information about this event visit www.caperesorts.com/ seasonalevents.
GO... BIKING on cape island Is there a particularly good time to ride your bike around Cape Island? Yes. Most of the year, actually. There is no better way to get around Cape May. The city is flat, very pretty and you don’t want to be stuck in summer traffic — ever noticed how the bikes usually go faster than the cars on Beach Avenue? We are delighted to be running our own bike rental business again this year, in partnership with Anita and Tom Roth, whose family have been serving the beach community since 1886. A range of singles, doubles, children’s bikes and surreys (along with helmets) are available at the Congress Hall Bike Shop. Guests of Cape Resorts can pre-order rentals and have them delivered and picked up at the property where you are staying. The front desk agents at each property, as well as the Cape Resorts Concierge at Congress Hall, can assist you in setting up your rental. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the handy little map we produced — it’s available from the front desk. In the meantime, here are two highly recommended bike routes... 1. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE Go down Perry, turn right on Beach, then right on Broadway, left on Sunset Boulevard, where you will ride for about 1.5 miles, flanked by phragmites, until you see Lighthouse Avenue on the left. Turn there and follow the signs for Cape May Lighthouse. Climb all 199 steps, then head back — but this time, get hopelessly lost as you cycle through quaint Cape May Point. You’ll find your way back — eventually. 2. THE HISTORIC TRAIL Go down Perry, turn left on Beach then ride down the street until you see Cape May Convention Hall on your right. That’s your cue to take one of the streets on the left — like Howard. And then, rather than give you specific instructions, we’re going to advise you to wend your way slowly through the streets of Cape May’s National Historic Landmark district. Make sure you check out the charming Chalfonte Hotel, on the corner of Howard and Sewell. Other streets to hit — Columbia, Hughes and Franklin. Take your time. It’s a wonderful house-watching trip.
TAKE... THE CONGRESS HALL HISTORY TOUR
Did you know that Congress Hall is the oldest seaside hotel in America? Did you know that five sitting presidents have stayed there? (If you already read page 14, you do.) And that one of those presidents spent the whole summer here? There’s a lot of history in this old place, which is why we introduced the Congress Hall Tours. They are guided by highly informed actresses who play the part of Annie Knight, the former matriarch of Congress Hall. Annie’s father, Edward, a Philadelphia businessman, rebuilt Congress Hall in 1879, following the Great Fire of 1878 which destroyed it, along with many other downtown hotels. She went on to run the hotel for three decades and was reponsible for a major renovation in the 1930s that served as the inspiration for the $25 million restoration of Congress Hall in 2002. Don’t miss this fascinating tour, available in May on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm; from June 1-21 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm; from June 22 to August 31 on Tuesday through Sunday at 11:30am and 1:30pm; during September on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm; and in October, November and December on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm. To book your tour, call the Concierge hotline at 609-884-6542.
EXPERIENCE... CARNIVAL AND A MAGIC SHOW On Monday nights in July and August we turn Congress Hallâ€™s lawn into a carnival with train rides on the CH Express, games for all ages, face painting, balloon twisting, sand art, tasty treats and more! After the carnival, head into the ballroom to see magician Al Belmont perform tricks and illusions, starting at 8pm.
DON’T MISS... FAMILY FUN ACTIVITIES
MONDAY Carnival and a Magic Show Congress Hall’s lawn becomes a playground every Monday at 5:30pm. After the carnival, magician Al Belmont performs tricks and illusions in the ballroom. From July 7 to August 25.
TUESDAY Tie-Dye Tuesday Families get to make their own tie-dye shirts! On Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn 1-2:30pm; and on the lawn at the Rusty Nail 4-6pm. From June 17 to August 26.
WEDNESDAY Rock and Shell Painting NEW! Bring the kids to Congress Hall’s veranda from 2-4pm on Wednesdays. From June 18 through August 27, buy a river rock or clam shell, and learn how to turn it into art!
WEDNESDAY Square Dance Night NEW! Beginners and pros will learn a variety of moves from instructor Glenn Matthew in Congress Hall Ballroom. Bar and a snack station available. On July 23 and 30, August 6 and 20, from 7-9pm.
THURSDAY Family Ceramics Paint your own pottery with Miss Brenda from Island Studio in Stone Harbor. On the Congress Hall veranda from June 19 to August 28, from 3-5pm.
THURSDAY Karaoke Fronted by the best karaoke host in town, Terry O’Brien. Family Karaoke will run from 6-8pm, followed by Adult Karaoke from 9:30pm-midnight on Thursdays in the Boiler Room, June 19 to August 28.
FRIDAY Surprise and Delight Beach Activities Complimentary beach activities for hotel guests, including wiffle ball, water balloon tosses and other fun games. From 2-3pm, June 20 to August 29.
SATURDAY Breakfast with Blue Meet Congress Hall’s legendary mascot, Blue, when you dine at the Blue Pig Tavern on Saturday morning from 10am-noon, year round.
SATURDAY Soccer for Kids on the Grand Lawn Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn is like having your own fabulous backyard on vacation. Soccer games for the kids are run from 1-2pm, from June 21 to August 30.
SUNDAY Sunday Social on the Veranda This is how you enjoy dessert! Featuring an ice cream sundae bar and soda floats out on the veranda for families to enjoy. From 6-8pm, June 22 to August 31.
BOOK... THE ULTIMATE BABYSITTER We appreciate that a happy family vacation is a beautiful thing, but we also know that sometimes you need some quality grownup time. That’s why we offer a babysitting service you can trust. Blue’s Clubhouse is available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30pm-9pm and is designed for children aged 4-12. It’s a fun and interactive program which keeps the young ones stimulated while you enjoy dinner at The Ebbitt Room, on the garden patio of the Blue Pig Tavern or under the stars at the Rusty Nail. Whatever you do, you will know that your most precious possessions are in good hands. Blue’s Clubhouse is available from Friday, June 20 until Saturday, August 30. Call the Concierge hotline on 609-884-6542 for more information.
DIVE INTO... FULL MOON GLOW POOL PARTIES
We’re completely reimagining our popular Full Moon Pool Parties. This year, there will be live entertainment, s’mores roasting, glowing pool toys, pool games and activities, and, for these three nights only, swim under the stars in Congress Hall’s pool! These will be magical nights for the whole family. Mark your calendars! Wednesday nights, starting at 7pm, on June 11, July 9 and August 13.
DON’T MISS... CHRISTMAS IN JULY Participate in a day full of holiday activities, including stocking decorating, story time with Mrs. Claus, photos with Summer Santa and other festive fun. Friday, July 25, from 11am-5pm.
EXPERIENCE... FOURTH OF JULY ON CONGRESS HALL’S LAWN Decades before its remarkable 2002 renovation, Congress Hall hosted Cape May’s biggest Fourth of July party. The lawn was alive with the sights and sounds of families enjoying the most patriotic day of the year, and the event would always end with a spectacular fireworks display. The tradition returned a few years ago and is now bigger and better than it ever was. The kids enjoy three-legged races, potato sack races, face painting and balloon twisting, while families indulge in classic barbecue food and a lobster bake, accompanied by the sounds of Dixieland jazz. As night falls the Congress Hall Festival Choir whips up the excitement factor with a rousing performance of patriotic classics, leading up to an unforgettable fireworks display, organized by Cape Resorts and the City of Cape May. It’s a classic slice of Americana.
Summer Packages Date Night Package Available year-round Congress Hall, Star Inn, Virginia Hotel, Sandpiper Beach Club Spoil yourself with the best of both worlds — wonderful accommodations and dinner at The Ebbitt Room, located in the historic Virginia Hotel, where artisanal cocktails, farm-fresh classic American cuisine and a sophisticated, yet casual vibe create the perfect setting for a special night. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • $110 Ebbitt Room dining credit
Opposite: Your best friend is welcome at the Beach Shack with our special Paws Up! package.
Summer White House Available June-September Congress Hall Congress Hall has played host to many dignitaries and socialites, including five U.S. presidents. In 1891, Benjamin Harrison set up an office in the ground floor of the hotel, calling it his Summer White House. Make Congress Hall your Summer White House with this package. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall • A copy of the Tommy’s Folly history book • Presidential cocktails for two in The Brown Room • Lunch for two served beachside or poolside • Congress Hall’s History Tour for two
Life’s A Beach Available June-September The Virginia, Beach Shack Enjoy the beautiful Cape May beaches to the fullest this summer with the ultimate relaxation getaway. Nestle into your own personal cabana and let our beach servers do the rest. The Virginia Hotel package includes: • Accommodations at the Virginia Hotel • Two-day beach cabana rental •Lunch for two, served seaside each day The Beach Shack package includes: • Accommodations at the Beach Shack • Two-day beach cabana rental • KIDS EAT FREE off the kids’ beach menu • Two Beach Shack beach toys sets for the kids PLAYcation Available June-September Congress Hall, Star Inn, Sandpiper Beach Club Stay and play this summer with the whole family! Keep the kids busy with souvenir beach toy sets while you soak up some sun. Let our beach servers deliver lunch right to your chair — kids eat free. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Kids eat free off the kids’ beach menu • Two beach toy sets for the kids
Indulgence Package Available year-round Congress Hall, Star Inn, Virginia Hotel & Sandpiper Beach Club Our luxurious, full-service Sea Spa is the ultimate spa experience. Relax and unwind in our yellowand-white striped cabana-style treatment rooms and escape your daily stressors. Use your spa credit to treat yourself to our best treatments. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • $200 Sea Spa credit • Thalgo Comfort Travel Kit
All packages subject to availability and change. For complete details, terms and conditions, please visit our website or call 888-944-1816.
Paws Up! Available May-October Beach Shack Bring your dog with you on this ultimate doggie package. You can even eat dinner together at The Rusty Nail — we offer a full doggie menu! Package includes: • Accommodations at the Beach Shack • $20 Rusty Nail daily dining credit for you and your dog • Beach Shack dog welcome kit, which includes use of dog bed and food and water bowl. • Beach Shack frisbee • Beach Shack leash • Special doggie treat
fall & winter
fall & winter
A Special Time of Year
f you ask the locals, many will say that fall is the best season in Cape May. The city’s southern location delivers warm, sometimes balmy days often through October. The streets, the beaches and the restaurants have an air of serenity that you wouldn’t normally experience in the summer season. Add the fact that fall is packed with cultural events and fun activities and you may come to the conclusion that it’s YOUR favorite season, too. We have created a series of themed packages that will help you get the best out of this special time of year in America’s Original Seaside Resort. We’re particularly excited about the Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival, which made its debut last year. Our beautiful 62-acre farm, just 1.5 miles from downtown Cape May, is the venue for a day that’s absolutely packed with family-friendly activities —
see pages 106-109 for full details. Fall is also a special time to wander the beaches as you look for Cape May diamonds, sea glass and shells, take time out for fishing or participate in the second-fastest growing outdoor activity in the country... birdwatching. And you couldn’t find a better place in the world to experience it. Just ask Richard Crossley, a world renowned birdwatcher and author of The Crossley ID Guide series who is based in Cape May. Richard helped to create the Learning to Look program hosted by Cape Resorts. The package includes overnight accommodations at Congress Hall or The Virginia, and participants receive a copy of The Crossley ID Guide, use of our special Birding Backpack (which includes binoculars), a lunch voucher for Tommy’s Folly and two bicycle rentals. And then off you go to explore this beautiful area!
beach plum farm fall festival Count the ways to have fun... every Saturday in October, from 11am-5pm, we host the Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival. There are hay rides driven by our farmers, pumpkin picking and decorating, face-painting and T-shirt tie-dyeing. But it won’t just be the kids who have fun. There will be craft beer from the awardwinning Cape May Brewing Company, homemade pies from The Blue Pig Tavern, a bonfire, s’mores roasting, pumpkin and zucchini bread, plus live entertainment. Come see why this event became one of the instant must-do activities on Cape May’s fall calendar!
LOCAL CRAFT BEERS
Overheard at the Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival “Best coleslaw I ever had.” — Jack N., Washington, DC “I’m reading a book that includes research about how important it is to be outside, breathing in the air and being with animals and how much that helps the brain. The trouble with kids today, this upsurge of ADD, really has to do with the fact no one is out in the fresh air. This is perfect for that.” — Susan, Haddonfield, NJ “This place feels like a throwback in time. It’s a special place. It’s amazing to see how productive it is and how natural.” — Ed Belski, West Cape May
kept telling me: Just keep eating! It doesn’t hurt that I love cherry pie.” — Donna Schaefer, Bricktown, NJ, winner of adult pie-eating contest “It’s wonderful to see how the fields change here. Always different but always idyllic.” — Mark Epstein, Philadelphia “Fall at the Farm is a great way to meet the community. It doesn’t feel so much like we’re in a vacation town. It feels homier.” — Jack “We saw this event in Exit Zero magazine and we’re so glad we came. It’s magical — the flowers, the herbs, the music. It’s the perfect place to celebrate my birthday.” — Joanne Schneberger, Cape May
“I just love the smell of firewood… it’s divine.” — Carol Feerrar, Philadelphia
“We’re celebrating our anniversary here. It’s been 17 years. What’s the secret? Making every day count.” — Lynn Iovino, Raleigh, NC
“I didn’t know I was doing this. My friends just pushed me up here! They were my coaches, and they
“He picked me flowers, right out of the ground!” — Sasha Prince, Howell, NJ
beach plum farm fall festival
Our Second Annual Pie-Eating Contest It’s gonna get messy! The Second Annual Pie-Eating Contest will be held at Beach Plum Farm on Saturday, October 25 at 2pm. The event is sponsored by The Blue Pig Tavern and there will be a special guest appearance by Blue, Cape Resorts’ cuddly mascot (who is partial to a pie or two himself). The contest is open to kids AND adults — as you can see from these photographs, shot during last year’s hard-fought contest. Adult winner in 2013 was Donna Schaefer of Bricktown, NJ. Braden Iovino of Raleigh, NC won the kids’ contest. To enter, just turn up and register at the farm on October 25. And here’s some expert advice... you might not want to eat lunch that day.
It feels awesome to win. My strategy was to go for the middle, softer part, not the harder, outer crust. That was my first time having cherry pie. It was good but I was eating it really fast so it’s hard to tell!
braden iovino, raleigh, nc
fall packages Falling for Cape May Available September & October Congress Hall, Star Inn, The Virginia, The Beach Shack & Sandpiper Beach Club Join us as we celebrate at our 62-acre Beach Plum Farm. Enjoy all of your fall favorites including corn mazes, hayrides, farm fresh refreshments and much more! With over 100 varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers and our own chicken, sheep and pigs, our farm is the perfect place to spend your day. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Tommy’s Folly picnic lunch for up to four people • Bicycle rentals for up to four people • Hay ride for up to four (Saturdays in October) Creepy Cape May Available October The Virginia Enjoy a creepy getaway in the heart of the historic district of Cape May. Hear spooky tales of the ghosts of Cape May with your tickets to a Haunted Trolley Tour. Then, creep back to your room for some special Halloween treats! Package includes: • Accommodations at The Virginia • Continental breakfast each morning of your stay • Two Ghost Tour Trolley tickets • Two cocktails at the Ebbitt Room Lounge • Special Halloween treats from Fatwitch Bakery Sunset Serenade Available May, June, September & October The Virginia Sunset Beach is the perfect setting for a romantic evening for two. Take a ride out to this beautiful beach where the sunset is breathtaking. Cuddle up and enjoy a gourmet picnic basket to munch on while you take in the scenery. Package includes: • Accommodations at The Virginia • Transportation to Sunset Beach • Ebbitt Room picnic basket filled with gourmet meats, cheeses, seasonal fruits, sparkling cider, a sweet treat and a cozy blanket to cuddle up on
How the snowy owl took Cape May by storm! Opposite page: Cape May-based birder and photographer Richard Crossley shot these photos of the snowy owl, a bird that caused a nationwide PR blitz after a major series of sightings in Cape May last fall. “It was the biggest influx of snowy owls in memory,” says Crossley. Why? Due to a glut of lemmings in Arctic breeding grounds the snowy owl population exploded. “They’re a mythical bird — see Harry Potter — and when they come south in such great numbers, everyone gets excited, including the press and nonbirders,” says Crossley.
Phantom Ball Getaway Available October Congress Hall & Star Inn Don’t miss the 13th annual best Halloween party in Cape May! Don your best costume for your chance to win prizes and dance the night away while you munch on our delicious array of light bites and Halloween treats. There’s a reason this bash is welcomed back and anticipated by locals and guests every year. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • $20 Blue Pig Tavern voucher each morning of your stay • Tickets to our 13th Annual Phantom Ball for two •Ghost Trolley Tour for two Learning to Look Self-Guided Birding Available year-round Congress Hall & The Virginia Come to Cape May and discover why this is one of the world’s most famous birding spots. Our Learning to Look self-guided birding package has been created by world-renowned Cape Maybased birder Richard Crossley. This is the perfect way to experience birding on your own. Grab your birding backpack filled with all of the essentials, hop on a bicycle and head on out to Beach Plum Farm, the Cape May Hawkwatch or Higbee’s Beach to see the southbound migration. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or The Virginia • Use of birding backpack, including binoculars and birding guide book • A souvenir copy of The Crossley ID Guide • Tommy’s Folly lunch voucher • Bicycle rental for two
All packages subject to availability and change. For complete details, terms and conditions, please visit our website or call 888-944-1816.
fall & winter
t has only been a few years since Cape Resorts introduced Winter Wonderland to Cape May... but now locals and visitors wonder how we ever got through the holidays without it. That’s how large an impact the event has had on America’s Original Seaside Resort. During the month-long festival, which celebrates the magic of Christmas with a childlike joyfulness, Congress Hall is transformed into, yes, a Winter Wonderland as we get the chance to celebrate the spirit of the holidays in a way that we thought was maybe only possible in Christmas movies starring Bing Crosby and Jimmy Stewart. A giant Christmas tree is the centerpiece of Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn along with a dazzling carousel that brings out the kid in every one of us. Next to that is the tented shopping village, filled with booths offering the kinds of gifts that make
perfect stocking stuffers and offering shoppers cups of classic hot chocolate. Smiling elves wander the grounds, armed with candy canes and other festive treats and folks ride on the CH Express. Winter Wonderland runs from November 28 through December 31 this year. Before that, on November 6, the Congress Hall Ballroom hosts our West Cape May Christmas Parade Fundraiser. The parade itself is on December 6. Then there’s our always-popular Breakfast with Santa on November 29, December 6, 13 and 20. The Winter Wonderland tree-lighting ceremony and choir concert is on December 5. And we are excited to once again host, in conjunction with Cape May Stage, the hilarious play Santaland Diaries, based on acclaimed writer David Sedaris’ time working as an elf at Macy’s. The play runs from November 29 through December 30.
the Making of winter wonderland Youâ€™ve heard of Christmas in July... but thatâ€™s when we begin planning Winter Wonderland! Here are the behind-thescenes preparations involved in transporting a tree from the Brinkman family in North Cape May who kindly donated it; painstakingly erecting the 32-foot fir on Congress Hallâ€™s Grand Lawn; setting the scene for our famous lobby decorations; and putting together the shopping court. It really does takes a village to... make a Christmas village.
Why Winter Wonderland Means So Much To Us
We caught up with the Portadin family — Jay, Jennifer, Reagan and Maxine — as they enjoyed Winter Wonderland last year... Where are you from? [Jay] Chesterfield, New Jersey. What do you do? [Jay] We own a home healthcare company so we spend a lot of time together and often in stressful situations. It’s nice to have a place like this to get away to — because we have the kids now it’s nice we don’t have to get on a plane. How long have you been coming to Congress Hall? [Jay] Since 2004. [Jennifer] The first trip was for my 30th birthday. Have you celebrated any other milestone moments here? [Jennifer] Maxine crawled for the first time yesterday in the room and I got it on video! [Jay] My brother got married here about six years ago. What about you, Reagan? I swam by myself from one end of the Congress Hall pool to almost the other! What’s been your funniest vacation moment? [Jay] At last year’s Winter Wonderland Santa told Reagan that she didn’t have to settle for just ONE American doll… why not ask for more? That was funny. Uh-oh. What about your fondest Winter Wonderland memory? [Jennifer] It’s great being able to have an adult experience while with the kids. This is a wonderful family setting where you can still enjoy a glass of champagne, and that’s nice. [Jay] It’s wonderful seeing my daughters’ eyes light up; Reagan loves to ride the train, drink what she calls the “frisky” hot chocolate and shop in the village. What’s YOUR favorite thing about Congress Hall, Reagan? The Blue Pig! I loved the interview with him in last year’s Concierge. Tell us about a time the staff has gone above and beyond for you.
[Jennifer] It happens all the time. I mentioned to [General Manager] John Daily that I loved the pig-shaped cookies and when I went to my room, there they were. That’s the culture here. What’s the most beautiful you’ve seen Cape May? [Jennifer] I don’t think most people realize how beautiful it is here in the off-season. I was up early the other day and from the big window, where the wreath hangs, I saw the most beautiful sunrise. It was just breathtaking. [Jay] We love that nook. Sometimes we play Monopoly there. Is there anything you miss when you can’t be here? [Jennifer] We bought the comforter. It’s funny because my brother-in-law did the same thing, unbeknownst to us. [Jay] I’m pretty sure my mom has it, too. All of the Portadins have the Congress Hall comforter!
WINTER WONDERLAND TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY
Moments concierge 2014
winter packages Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland Available December Congress Hall, Star Inn, Sandpiper Beach Club Step out the doors of Congress Hall into a magical Winter Wonderland. The Congress Hall elves are working hard all year long to provide the fourth annual month-long festival. Hop on a train ride aboard the Congress Hall Express, sip on hot chocolate and enjoy some tasty treats. See Santa for photos and Breakfast with Santa in the Ballroom and get some holiday shopping done at our amazing shopping village — you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • A train ride on the Congress Hall Express for up to four • Hot cocoa for up to four • A special holiday gift • Breakfast for two each morning of your stay ($20 voucher) PLUS, KIDS EAT FREE!
Opposite page: Enjoy the irresistible vibe of Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall. Photograph by Gabi Urda
My Blue Valentine Available February Congress Hall & Star Inn Blue is the color of Valentine’s Day this year. Share your love with your sweetie at Cape Resorts. Let our menu, prepared with love, set the tone as you share a romantic dinner for two in the Blue Pig Tavern. Sip on Blue Bubble champagne cocktails in the Brown Room and enjoy time with your special someone. Extend the holiday of love into the next day with breakfast in bed and a late checkout. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Romantic dinner for two in the Blue Pig Tavern • Breakfast for two in bed or in the Blue Pig Tavern • Blue Bubbles champagne cocktail for two • 1pm late checkout
Glitter Ball Getaway Available December Congress Hall, Star Inn & Sandpiper Beach Club Ring in 2015 Cape May style! Congress Hall’s Glitter Ball is the place to be this New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a delicious five-course meal and raise a toast to the New Year with your family, friends and the Congress Hall family. Take the elevator home to your cozy room with this great package. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Tickets for two to Congress Hall’s Annual Glitter Ball • Breakfast for two each morning of your stay ($20) New Year’s Eve Celebration Getaway Available December Virginia Hotel Ring in the New Year with the ultimate dining experience with an exquisite menu hand-crafted by our chef. Enjoy a champagne toast at the stroke of midnight with your loved one and delight in the sounds of Paul Sottile, Jr. on the piano throughout the evening.
Package includes: • Accommodations at The Virginia • Celebration dinner for two in The Ebbitt Room • Continental breakfast each morning of your stay • Champagne toast for two
All packages subject to availability and change. For complete details, terms and conditions, please visit our website or call 888-944-1816.
Savor Romance Slowly Available February The Virginia The Virginia and Ebbitt Room have set the stage for love this year. You and your sweetheart are invited to dine on a menu carefully created by our chef. Sip champagne and enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries. Extend your romance into the next day with continental breakfast in bed and a late checkout. Package includes: • Accommodations at The Virginia • Romantic four-course dinner for two in The Ebbitt Room • Continental breakfast in bed for two • In-room chilled champagne and chocolatecovered strawberries • 1pm late checkout
Perfect Family Break
hether you’re reading this at the height of summer or during the beautiful fall season in Cape May, it’s not too early to start thinking about another fun time at Cape Resorts... children absolutely love our Spring Break program, and no wonder — it’s packed with fun activities. On Sundays during the Easter period (visit www.caperesorts.com/springbreak for confirmed dates) Congress Hall comes alive as kids take part in myriad fun activities... Pirates, Princesses & Pals Pirates will be making a treasure chest, pirate hat, and eye patch! Princesses will decorate tiaras and wands. Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Kids practice their best behavior with a mini-etiquette class — and decorate ceramic tea cups and saucers to take home.
Kids Can Cook, Too! Bring your little chefs to roll out some fun and learn how to cook like the pros. Congress Hall Scavenger Hunt Your little detectives will love exploring our historic property. We’ve added an exciting new family event to our calendar, Beach Plum Farm Spring Festival, which made its debut in 2014. On April 18 and 25 and May 2, 2015, Beach Plum Farm will host another event that has everything you need for a great family day out. The featured dish will be grilled lamb. There will also be kid-friendly food options, pretzels/ popcorn snacks and, once again, we are delighted that the award-winning Cape May Brewing Company will be supplying seasonal beers. Add in a scavenger hunt, acoustic music from the Sun Dogs, hay rides and a bonfire (buy a s’mores kit and roast marshmallows) and you have the makings of another memorable day at the farm.
spring 2015 packages Easter Egg-stravaganza Available April Congress Hall & Star Inn Get hopping to Congress Hall to celebrate Easter. Enjoy a delicious brunch in the Ballroom and participate in all of the fun with the Easter Bunny and his sidekick, Blue! Stay busy all weekend with all of the festivities, including Easter egg hunts, scavenger hunts and our many spring break events. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Easter brunch for two Spring Fever Available March-April Congress Hall, Star Inn, Sandpiper Beach Club Put a little spring in your step with the ultimate spring break experience. Choose your favorite activities from our three special spring break events. Back by popular demand is our Pirates, Princesses and Pals Luncheon, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and our Kids Can Cook, Too! class. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Breakfast for two each morning of your stay ($20 voucher) PLUS, KIDS EAT FREE! The Queen Bee Available Mother’s Day Weekend Congress Hall & Star Inn Treat mom with an overnight stay at Congress Hall and a delicious brunch in the Ballroom. Enjoy a late checkout so you can spend some quality time with the mom in your life to show her just how special she is. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Mother’s Day brunch for two in the Ballroom • Special honey bee treat • Late checkout Spring Back to Cape May Available April & May Congress Hall, Star Inn, The Virginia & Sandpiper Beach Club Spring is such a wonderful time of year here in
Pirates, princesses, cooking classes and fairy tales! Opposite page: Cape Resorts organizes a Spring Break crammed with activities at Congress Hall that will keep your kids entertained and inspired. Pictured are our Pirates, Princess & Pals Luncheon, Kids Can Cook, Too! classes and our Mad Hatter Tea Party. The activities happen Sunday around Easter. For confirmed dates visit www. caperesorts. com/ springbreak.
Cape May. Join us as we spring back into action at our 62-acre Beach Plum Farm. With more than 100 varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers and our own chicken, sheep and pigs, our farm is the perfect place to spend your day. Grab a bike from our bike shop and enjoy a picnic lunch from Tommy’s Folly as you check out all of the plants as they come back into bloom. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Tommy’s Folly lunch voucher • Bicycle rental for two • Cape May Lighthouse tour for two This Little Blue Piggy Available January-May Congress Hall & Star Inn This little piggy went to market and This Little Blue Piggy went to Congress Hall! Bring your family down for an oinkin’ good time and even take home keepsakes of our favorite pig, Blue. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Breakfast for two at the Blue Pig Tavern each morning of your stay ($20 voucher) PLUS, KIDS EAT FREE! • Two small stuffed blue pigs • Cookies and milk in Blue Pig Tavern mugs Meet the Farmer Available April, May and June The Virginia Enjoy a true farm-to-table experience at our Beach Plum Farm, a short ride from the hotel. Spend the morning with head farmer Ali Moussalli and The Ebbitt Room’s chef. Learn about the farm and help select the produce and herbs for your own farmto-table dinner that evening. Take home your own produce bag. Package includes: • Accommodations at The Virginia • Farm-to-table dinner for two, handcrafted by our chef • Transportation to Beach Plum Farm via The Virginia golf cart
OFF-CAMPUS ACTIVITIES Although we have created a calendar of events at the Cape Resorts campus that should occupy your family over the summer (and beyond), we do, naturally, encourage you to explore this beautiful island (and beyond). Cape May County is a treasure, which is why we have partnered with a select group of companies and organizations that we feel represent the best of this area. Whether you want to go on a cruise to look for whales and dolphins, play a great game of golf in beautiful surroundings, get your adrenaline rushing on a roller coaster or see a Broadway-quality play, you will find all the information you need in the following pages. To book your activity please call our Concierge hotline at 609-884-6542. Enjoy!
ew, faddy workouts come and go all the time… think karaoke spin class and antigravity yoga. But stand-up paddle boarding — in which you take to the water with an oversized, stable surfboard and a long oar — has proven its staying power around the globe. Aqua Trails added the activity to its kayaking lineup and the response has been phenomenal. Maybe it’s the way stand-up paddle boarding sculpts your core and improves your balance. Maybe it’s the rare connection it allows with the natural world… or maybe it’s the combination that makes paddle boarding a new favorite Cape May pastime, enjoyed by seasoned and amateur paddlers of every age group. If paddle boarding’s not your thing, Aqua Trails’ kayak tours are beloved by locals and visitors alike. Naturalists will lead you on a tour of Cape May Harbor and the surrounding salt marsh, getting you closer to glowing jellyfish and migrating shorebirds than
you ever thought possible. There’s so much beauty to experience during your time on the water — be prepared for gorgeous sunsets ahead and gliding ospreys above. Aqua Trails’ trips can be thrilling…or relaxing, depending on what you’re looking for. Adventurers will love the Cove to Higbee’s Beach tour, romantics will rekindle the
fire during the full moon expeditions, and budding naturalists will learn about the flora and fauna of unspoiled wetlands on a tidal marsh tour. There’s even a camp available to kids between 12 and 18. Or go ahead and venture out on your own; Aqua Trails rents all of their equipment and will deliver to your hotel, inn or rental.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884- 6542 Aqua Trails 609-884-5600, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, aquatrails.com
Birding by Boat
ape May is a world-famous location for both the birds and the birding that are found here. Thousands of people come here every year to experience the natural spectacles that take place. While you are visiting Cape May there is no better way to see the birds up close than on the Birding By Boat cruise on the Osprey. Depending on the season you may see dozens of species of birds, including bald eagles, osprey with young chicks, herons and egrets, migrating shorebirds, and many more as the boat explores the coastal salt marsh of Cape May. Whether you are an expert birder or simply want to see whatâ€™s out in all of that grass you were seeing from the Parkway, this is the way to go. Birding by Boat supply high-end ZEISS optics for their passengers to use on the cruise. Make sure to bring your camera as the Osprey, a stable pontoon boat, is an excellent platform for photography. All of the cruises also include a tour of the historic Cape May Harbor, including the US Coast Guard Base. Birding By Boat cruises have been running from the Miss Chris Marina since 1995. The Miss Chris Marina is located right in the entrance to Cape May, just across the main road from the Lobster House. Captain Bob has been exploring these back bays for over
35 years and is knowledgeable in the history of Cape May as well as the wildlife. Naturalist David Lord has worked on the boat for the last six years and is an Associate Naturalist with the Cape May Bird Observatory. The Osprey is a 37-foot pontoon boat that is ideal for birding. There is a front deck with a railing for close-up viewing and the boat is
fully covered. There is a restroom onboard. Snacks and beverages are available. The Osprey is also available for group charters. In the summer, cruises are at 10am and 6pm. In spring and fall, cruises are at 10am and 1:30pm. There is plenty of free parking available at Miss Chris Marina.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Birding by Boat, 609-898-3500, Miss Chris Marina, 1212 Wilson Drive, Cape May, www.birdingbyboat.com
Cape May Stage
Emily Bergl... July 7
Anna Bergman... July 14
Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker... August 18
ne of the finest small theatre companies in the country, Cape May Stage has been wowing audiences and achieving artistic excellence over the past 25 years. Committed to telling stories that matter — stories that are informative and enlightening, entertaining and amusing, captivating and thought-provoking — Cape May Stage sets the standard for high-caliber entertainment. Consistently earning accolades and distinctions from local and national press, its professional Equity productions boast a New York standard in an intimate, fully restored historic theatre. Beloved by both visitors and locals alike, it is well worth the trip.
embark on a play of epic proportions? New York theatre producer Felix is about to find the answer in this chaotic comic gem. Merry Melodies November 28 – December 31: A heart-warming musical revue, filled with classic holiday songs and carols, provides a delightful break from the holiday hustle and bustle to celebrate the warmth and togetherness of the season. The Santaland Diaries November 29 – December 31: In its second year at Congress Hall this irreverent holiday tradition, based on humorist David Sedaris’s real-life experiences while working as an elf at Macy’s Herald Square, provides a biting cure for saccharinely sweet holiday fare.
MAIN STAGE SERIES The Mountaintop May 21 – June 13: In this soul-stirring drama, fantasy fuses with spirituality to create an insightful and powerful reimagining of the events of the last night of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life Moon Over Buffalo June 18 – August 1: A raucous farce of hilarious proportions examines what happens when everything that can go wrong does on a night with life-changing potential for two actors. Blithe Spirit August 6 – September 19: During a séance the temperamental ghost of a novelist’s first wife is brought back, resulting in hauntingly hilarious shenanigans as she does her best to spook his current marriage in this classic Noel Coward comedy. Other Desert Cities September 24 – October 31: An intense family drama, revolving around the reunion of the Wyeths, exposes the pain and conflict that occurs when one of its members threatens to reveal a long-buried secret. Mistakes Were Made November 5 – November 22: What happens when a not-so-successful Broadway producer is about to
SECOND STAGE AND BROADWAY SERIES Liz McKendry takes audiences on one girl’s spirited journey to realize her dream in From Buffalo to Broadway. June 9. Celebrating Pride marks LGBT Pride month through a special play reading. June 23. Shaun Eli provides his hilarious insights on the world during his Comedy Night. June 30. Emily Bergl, Broadway and TV actress known for Desperate Housewives, performs a unique evening of cabaret. July 7. Anna Bergman presents her electrifying show You & The Night & The Music: An Evening of Musical Imports and Exports. July 14. Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway, Tony Award-nominees, keep it in the family with an exhilarating night of song and story. July 28. Karen Akers, Tony Award-nominated Broadway star and cabaret legend. August 11. Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, Emmy Award-winning actors and Cape May favorites, return to regale audiences with an intimate evening of stories. August 18.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Stage, 609-770-8311, 405 Lafayette Street, Cape May, www.capemaystage.org
Cape May Winery and Vineyard
ape May Winery opened in 1992. The Craig family, owners of the Washington Inn and Lucky Bones, bought it in 2003. Since then, this delightful site has grown into a must-visit destination, drawing oenophiles to its serene setting. Today, the winery bottles more than 93,000 bottles of wine, has more than 20 varieties, and is the fourth-largest producing winery in New Jersey. The winery houses a warm, welcoming tasting room and gift shop, a huge tank room and port cellar. Picture yourself on the second-floor deck overlooking the lush vineyard, or on the patio, surrounded by vines as you sip their selection of awardwinning vintages. In the cooler months, relax by the tasting room fireplace and sip a superb port, along with a bite (or two) of chocolate. Tastings are offered every day, year-round. The wine tour, explaining the process from grape to bottle, is also offered throughout the year, and special tours can be arranged for larger groups.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Winery, 609-884-1169, 711 Townbank Road, North Cape May, capemaywinery.com
Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center
stablished in 1987, the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center invented the concept of whale and dolphinwatching at the Jersey Shore. They offer cruises on their 100-foot vessel several times a day. There is complimentary continental
breakfast on morning trips, or go for the ever-popular dinner cruise, with complimentary pizza and hot dogs. There are seasoned and experienced naturalists on board to enlighten you. So while people-watching is fun in Cape May, don’t forget that from May through November you can treat yourself
and your family to an experience that’s fun AND educational. Plan now – trips often sell out in advance! And please note that the company is now based at Utsch’s Marina. There are group rates, private charters, fund-raising trips for nonprofits and a discount coupon available online.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center, 1121 Route 109, Cape May, 609-898-0055, capemaywhalewatch.com
Dark Star Pirate Cruise
as there ever been an activity more suited to kids than a Dark Star Pirate Cruise? The Cicchitti family has created a seafaring adventure that everyone in the family can enjoy. There are SEVEN trips daily aboard the Dark Star, a 50-foot pirate ship that’s
authentically designed, but outfitted with all the 21st-century amenities you may need. This pirate-themed cruise will shiver yer timbers! There are pirate stories, facepainting, a treasure hunt, water cannon battle ( yes, please wear appropriate clothing) and much more.
This is an event that is truly interactive and ridiculously fun. Your only problem might be dealing with children who are desperate to get back on board! The Dark Star is located in Wildwood Crest, a short (and beautiful) drive from Cape May, via the charming drawbridge.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Dark Star Pirate Cruise, 6200 Park Boulevard, Wildwood Crest, 609-729-3275, darkstarpiratecruises.com
Starlight Fleet: Fishing, Dolphin, Whale-Watching
he Cicchitti family has nearly 40 years experience providing top-quality deep-sea fishing trips on the Starlight. The boat is spotlessly clean and has a large enclosed cabin with restrooms for ladies and gents. There is a galley on board, serving snacks, soda and beer. The Starlight
experience is perfect for either the first-time angler (there are friendly mates to help you every step of the way) or the experienced angler. There are four-hour trips three times a day, at 8am, 1pm and 7pm. Another experience you cannot miss on the ocean is a dolphin and whale-watching trip aboard the Atlantic Star, a 100-foot, air-
conditioned boat that has been offering trips like this for nearly 30 years. There are two trips daily, at 10am and 1pm. And don’t miss the Sunset Buffet Cruise, rated #1 Dinner Cruise in the People’s Choice Awards. Cruises, which include dolphin-watching, start every night during the season at 6pm.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Starlight Fleet, 6200 Park Boulevard, Wildwood Crest, 609-729-7776, jjcboats.com
East Coast Parasail, Jet Ski and Jet Boat Adventures
or years, East Coast Parasail has been bringing you the highflying thrill, panoramic views and adrenaline-filled experience of parasailing at the Jersey Shore. They’ve also been bringing you the opportunity to enjoy one of the coolest and most refreshing activities on the island: Jet skiing. And then there’s East Coast’s most recent innovation — the newest adventure activity in South Jersey and, really, North America: jet boating. It’s a 45 to 55-minute ride on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Cape May harbor that will include enough spins and tricks and speed to get your adrenaline pumping. Experience the historic beaches and back bays aboard Get Some, the fastest and only true New Zealand-style jet boat currently on the East Coast that can operate in open ocean. Plus, it seats 24, so it’s an experience you can share with friends. East Coast Parasail’s professional, friendly and courteous crew guarantee an unforgettable time for all. You don’t need any skills or experience... the company’s US Coast Guard-Licensed Captains and crew will take care of everything for you. Boats depart every 90 minutes and fill up fast, so book early. And no worries! East Coast was named number one by the New Jersey State Police for safety in the rental industry for all of South Jersey.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 East Coast Parasail, Rte 109 @ Utsch’s Marina, Cape May, 609-898-8754, www.eastcoastparasail.com
Elaine’s Dinner Theater and Haunted Mansion
ne visit, and you’ll know why Elaine’s Famous Dinner Theater has been voted one of the top five dinner theaters in the country by the Food Network. The dinner theater package includes a full-course
meal — including delicious appetizers and your choice of sumptuous entrées — and a wonderful show put on by some of the area’s most talented actors. For the kids, there’s a tailored menu, and for the adults, a full bar. Or opt for a meal in the haunted mansion restaurant, where funny illusions,
interactive special effects, guest ghosts, music that’s to ‘die’ for, stand-up comedy and spirits (the ghostly kind AND the liquid kind) will accompany your fine dining meal. The New York Times called the productions here a “must-see” experience, so what are you waiting for? Call for reservations.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Elaine’s, 513 Lafayette Street, Cape May, 609-884-4358, elainesdinnertheater.com
Exit 0 International Jazz Festival
usic fans visiting Cape May this year have two more reasons to celebrate. The Exit 0 International Jazz Festival, which made its debut in 2012, is hosting TWO festivals this year, featuring world-class talent. The fall showpiece (November 7-9) will be augmented by a brand new spring edition on May 30-June 1, which will take the best of the fall — headline concerts
in Cape May Convention Hall and music in the clubs throughout the weekend — and debut a one-day outdoor stage at the beautiful Emlen Physick Estate on Washington Street. “I’m proud of Cape May and love to show it off, and now the festival has a venue where we can showcase our tremendous food, local brews and wines and South Jersey artisans and crafts,” says festival organizer Michael Kline. The hub of the November festival is
Convention Hall, where the headliners perform. But the soul of the festival spreads through the streets of downtown Cape May with top-class shows going on at various venues, thanks to the festival’s Pops Pass, which, at $38, is the bargain of the year. This ticket will enable you to see around 20 brilliant acts over the course of the weekend — for music lovers it doesn’t get much better than that.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Exit 0 International Jazz Festival, 888-943-1864, www.exit0jazzfest.com
Historic Cold Spring Village
he 1800s come to life when you visit 26 historic buildings on a 30-acre site where guides in period clothing demonstrate blacksmithing, pottery, printing, basket weaving and more! Visit an Early American schoolhouse, take part in hands-
on activities and crafts and enjoy history games, costumes and free horse-drawn carriage rides on weekdays. The Village is also home to an organic farm complete with a horse, chickens, sheep and more. Visitors will also find a Welcome Center, Country Store, Bakery, Ice Cream
Parlor and Cold Spring Grange Restaurant. Historic Cold Spring Village is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm, from midJune through Labor Day. Special events are held every weekend from late May through mid-September. Purchase discounted tickets at the Congress Hall Concierge desk.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Historic Cold Spring Village, 609-898-2300, 720 Route 9, Cape May, www.hcsv.org
Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities
here’s more than sunshine to soak up at America’s first seaside resort. One of the showplaces is Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, located at 1048 Washington Street. This 18-room mansion is a perfect
example of Stick Style architecture, and a must-see step back into the past for visitors. Out at Cape May Point State Park, you’ll find the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse, also fully restored and still a working beacon for mariners that welcomes thousands of visitors each year. A little further out on Sunset
Boulevard is the recently restored World War II Lookout Tower, used to help protect our shores during World War II. These historic landmarks have been restored and are maintained by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), which provides year-round tours and events.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 MAC, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-5404, www.capemaymac.org
Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks
ollow the screams, laughs and the scent of Curley’s Fries and head towards the glow of the Giant Ferris Wheel, just over the bridge into Wildwood. Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks were voted one of the Top 10 Piers in the country by Coastal Living. With three HUGE amusement piers packed with more rides than Disneyland and two of the world’s LARGEST beachfront water parks, it’s not your parents’ amusement park! Morey’s amusement piers offer rides ranging from mild to high intensity, including six world-class roller coasters, extreme rides and traditional favorites like the oldfashioned Carousel, bumper cars and the spinning Tea Cups. Raging Waters Water Park pulses with wet and wild adventure. The park is packed with treasures for the whole family to uncover, whether it’s floating in River Adventure, plummeting over Shot Gun Falls or shooting water cannons at Shipwreck Shoals. Ocean Oasis Water Park & Beach Club moves to the beat of its own tropical rhythm with an atmosphere of tranquility next to the most exciting collection of waterslides like the sixlane WipeOut slide. New for 2014! The Wave Swinger
features 72 vignettes of art depicting Wildwood’s colorful history, creating a spinning art gallery in the air. Adventure Pier rocks, with artBOX 2.0, an interactive artists’ colony where visual and musical arts collide with the traditional boardwalk vibe. A brand new stage will feature School of Rock and live entertainment all summer long. Plus 98.7 The Coast and 106.3 WJSE will liven up the pier
that ROCKS with a brand new onsite Boardwalk studio. Got game? Visit the all-new World Cup Soccer Challenge. Put the piers in your pocket with the WildTrax app and earn badges by riding various rides and snapping photographs while you go, then sharing them with your friends. Visit moreyspiers.com for insider tips, events, the Beachfront Blog and great weekday specials.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Morey’s Piers, Spencer, Schellenger & 25th Avenue, Wildwood, 609-522-3900, www.moreyspiers.com
Original Skimmer Salt Marsh Sarfari
hen you think of going on safari, you might picture the National Geographic folks lugging telescopes and canteens
through a steamy savannah, in the hopes of viewing an antelope herd or pride of lions. But safari adventures are just as accessible
in Cape May — only here, they come with ocean breezes. The Original Salt Marsh Safari is the premier wildlife boat tour on the island. It sails seven days a week with some trips co-sponsored by local environmental organizations. With an expert naturalist as your guide, you’ll explore everything from
the salt marsh’s history to its wildlife, plant life, and tidal flows. And because the boat remains on placid inland waters, there’s less chance of a seasick safari-goer. For the budding marine biologist, there’s even a touch tank on board. They’ll provide the binoculars; you just come ready to have a good time.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 The Original Salt Marsh Safari, Cape May Inlet Marina, Ocean Drive, Cape May, 609-884-3100, www.skimmer.com
Red Baron Air Tours
ed Baron Air Tours provides one or two-passenger sightseeing rides and/or stunt rides over the NJ coast. Experience a part of history and fly in an authentic Waco UPF-7 or a modern day Cessna 172! All ages are welcome. The Waco UPF-7 is an original WWII-
era, open cockpit bi-plane that has been fully restored. The Waco provides one of the best tour experiences. You and your co-pilot will be seated side-by-side in the front cockpit while the pilot sits solo in the rear cockpit. The open cockpit environment allows for amazing views of the Jersey Cape.
Want to see more of the beautiful Cape in a shorter period of time? Do you have three passengers? Or maybe your budget is a bit tighter? Fly aboard our Cessna 172 which can take up to 3 passengers at a time. Whether you fly aboard the Waco or C172 you’re in for an inspiring tour of the beautiful Jersey Cape.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Red Baron Air Tours, Ocean City Airport, 26th Street and Bay Avenue, 609-545-2060, www.redbaronairtours.com
South Jersey Marina
ecause it’s situated on a peninsula surrounded by salt water, it’s no surprise that Cape May’s history, economy and culture have always been linked to the sea. The next time you travel down to “Exit Zero,” why not treat yourself to an authentic nautical adventure by visiting the fleet, store and docks at South Jersey Marina? Situated next to the Lobster House and across from Lucky Bones, South Jersey Marina is home to the finest charter fleet in the region. Nicknamed “Murderer’s Row” by locals because of their uncanny ability to “raise fish,” the Charter Fleet Captains at South Jersey represent the most unique gathering of seafarers since Blackbeard sailed up the Delaware Bay in 1716. But the legacy of “Murderer’s Row” is about much more than fishing. For example, have you ever asked yourself the following questions: How can we…” Go dolphin or whale-watching with just our family? Have a small private and intimate party on the water? Take our dogs for a boat ride? Have a private memorial service for a departed loved one? Conduct unique and engaging team-building exercises? The Captains down on the “Row” have
the answers — you just ask the question. They invite you to walk the docks and meet the captains and their crews. A visit to “Murderer’s Row” is a Cape May must. Few things make you hungrier than a day near the water and there is no finer place to satisfy every appetite than the Saltwater Cafe. Situated next to the fleet on the first floor of the marina building, the Saltwater serves breakfast and lunch, offering indoor and dockside seating. Locals and visitors agree that the Saltwater Cafe has established itself as a Cape May must-visit by offering a superb selection in a setting that is unmatched.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 South Jersey Marina, 1231 Route 109, Cape May, 609-884-2400, www.southjerseymarina.com
Spirit of Cape May
HE Spirit of Cape May was established in 2007 by Captain Jeff Stewart and his wife Mary, owners of Cape May Whale Watcher since 1993. Captains, Jeff or Jeff Jr., with combined experience spanning over 80 years, pilot the many cruises available. Spirit of Cape May offers their signature Dinner Cruise, with a full prime rib buffet featuring delicious, homemade delicacies.
This excursion offers top-quality food, along with a Sunset Dolphin Watch around the island of Cape May. Guests will enjoy a family-style meal and dolphins are guaranteed to please AND guaranteed by this local family business, or ride again free. Since 1994, Captain Jeff has carried 10,000 patrons on his Grand Lighthouse Tour. This adventure takes guests around Delaware Bay on a 100-mile journey to discover nine lighthouses. The excursion
includes a catered breakfast and lunch. For a special treat, try the Sunset Lighthouse Cruise, which includes three lighthouses, each with their own wine pairing. Wines will be provided by Cape May Winery and heavy hors dâ€™oeuvres are served. The bar serves wine by the glass along with draft beer and cocktails. The boat also hosts daily whale and dolphin-watching excursions and is available for private events.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Spirit of Cape May, 1218 Wilson Drive, Cape May, 609-884-5445, www.spiritofcapemay.com
Stone Harbor Golf Club
ooking to add an unforgettable day of golf to your shore vacation? You’re in luck! Since 1988, Stone Harbor Golf Club has been the East Coast’s home of world-class golf. A Desmond Muirhead signature course, Stone Harbor offers 18 uniquely designed holes set against the exhilarating beauty of 350 wooded acres and more than 40 acres of pristine lakes. Muirhead was selected to create 18 original holes at Stone Harbor, each of which is like no other in the world. He carefully considered the strategy of each hole and its rhythm and sequence for the entire course. A million cubic yards of earth were moved and an entire oak and pine forest was painstakingly preserved. Muirhead’s design provides a powerful visual experience. The 18 unforgettable, individual holes challenge the tournament-quality player as well as amateurs of all levels of ability. To complement the championship golf course, Stone Harbor features an awardwinning clubhouse and an extensive practice area for driving, chipping and putting. Lunch is served year-round, seven days a week, in
the mahogany-paneled Mixed Grille Room. Their culinary staff offers a variety of menus with a gracious style of service that is not to be missed. Championship golf, superb cuisine and personalized service have drawn families to Stone Harbor Golf Club for more than 20 years. Whether your interest is golf-related or of a social nature, the staff is poised to
offer an unparalleled experience. Because of the private nature of the club, you and your family will enjoy a refined experience in a relaxed, private atmosphere. Set in historic Cape May Court House, and minutes from the South Jersey beaches and Atlantic City, Stone Harbor Golf Club offers world-class golf and gracious hospitality.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Stone Harbor Golf Club, 905 Route 9N, Cape May Court House, 609-465-9270, stoneharborgolf.com
Tommy’s Folly Boutique
magine a stylish clothing boutique located in a magnificent old hotel lobby overlooking a beautifully manicured lawn that itself overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome to Tommy’s Folly Boutique — the definitive by-the-sea shopping experience. Our buyer, Rachel Elvgren, is ever-vigilant in her search to bring the latest styles to Cape May. Every time you visit you will discover some of our staple lines, mixed with emerging designers. Did you pack a little light for your vacation and need something to freshen up your outfit for dinner? Or maybe you’re searching for the perfect post-beach coverup. Stop by the Boutique — with ladies’, men’s and children’s apparel and accessories you’ll have the whole family covered. For ladies we carry essentials like Hanky Panky and Coobie Bras. For the beach we have Letarte
swimwear, coverups, beach totes, sun hats, colorful T-shirts and fun skirts. Going out for the night? We also have dressy items that pair nicely with our sparkly earrings or clutches. Tommy’s Folly Boutique has it all — purses, hats, sandals, scarves, sunglasses and a fantastic selection of jewelry. Looking to take home a cool Cape May souvenir? Our 08204 beaded zip pouch is available in a variety of bright colors. For men, we have the essentials — from belts to hats, shorts to polo shirts, swimwear to flipflops. We are the exclusive local stockist of Tailor Byrd shirts and we have partnered with Vineyard Vines on custom belts, bowties and neckties made exclusively for Congress Hall. So whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll find it at Tommy’s Folly Boutique... the best shopping at the beach.
Tommyâ€™s Folly Boutique carries essentials like Hanky Panky and Coobie Bras. For the beach we have Letarte swimwear, coverups, beach totes, sun hats, colorful T-shirts and fun skirts. For men we partnered with Vineyard Vines on custom belts, bowties and neckties made exclusively for Congress Hall.
Tommy’s Folly General Store
here are two types of people — those who start planning for their summer vacation six months in advance and have their bags fully packed two weeks before they leave, while others are still stuffing T-shirts into their suitcase as the car begins backing out of the driveway. If you belong to the latter category, then Tommy’s Folly General Store will likely be your savior — there are everyday essentials such as toothpaste, shaving cream and deodorant. Plus, we have you covered with our great Sun Bum sunscreen products. If you belong in the super-organized category, then surely you will still enjoy browsing our comprehensive, high-quality selection of magazines and books. Want to remember your vacation after you leave?
We have a kaleidoscopic assortment of branded merchandise — grab one of our Congress Hall T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats or a fleece. Love the Blue Pig? We have our cuddly stuffed Blue Pig available in two sizes, plus our Blue Pig Pillow Friend, which pairs nicely with our piggie PJs! We also have Blue Pig-themed jump ropes, piggy banks (of course), rattles and much more. If it happens to be a rainy day in Cool Cape May (perish the thought!), there is a fun selection of children’s toys and games. By the way… in 1816, Thomas Hughes built the original Congress Hall. He called it The Big House, but locals nicknamed the hotel Tommy’s Folly because they never thought the place would turn a profit. You can read the full history of Congress Hall in a beautifully illustrated coffee table book titled, what else, Tommy’s Folly, also available in the store.
Tommy’s Folly Home
ne of the questions we hear most from Congress Hall guests and visitors is: Can we buy the duvet set/pillows/plates/napkins/ mugs.... you get the idea. People want to take home a memento from America’s oldest seaside hotel. Well the good news is — there are so many souvenirs to take home that you could easily fill a suitcase (or two). All of these goodies are available at Tommy’s Folly Home, located in the Congress Hall lobby, opposite Tommy’s Folly General Store. Are you a big fan of our restaurant, The Blue Pig Tavern? Everything from our bread board to the Blue Pig Ale that pairs nicely with one of our Blue Pig beer mugs to cast-iron bottle openers and restaurant linens are available. As is our super-popular Blue Pig coffee mug — we recommend adding a bag of
our delicious La Colombe coffee to complete the experience. If you’re a fan of the moody lighting in The Brown Room, we sell the votives that supply the place’s special ambience, along with the irresistible pillows that are scattered throughout what we call Cape May’s Living Room. We even sell those delightful striped Congress Hall rugs, which are based on a design that was part of the major 1930s renovation of the hotel. Looking for a hostess gift? Try a serving platter or napkin set. There are plenty of fun-and-useful items to fit any occasion. If you are in need of a wedding gift, how about one of our picture frames or our porcelain plates and trays? If you are not able to visit us at Cape Resorts quite as often as you’d like, at least you get to take a little piece home with you...
West End Garage
elcome to Cape May’s premier shopping destination. West End Garage, housed in a building that began life as a garage and gas station, was launched by Cape Resorts in the summer of 2009 and quickly became a year-round magnet for shoppers looking for quality goods and delightful surprises. It’s a lovely five-minute walk from the heart of historic downtown Cape May to West End Garage, located across from charming Wilbraham Park. You’ll be excited the moment you walk through the door — West End Garage features more than 70 stores under one roof, with vendors from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. West End Garage won a Best of the Shore commendation from Philadelphia magazine in 2013,
and no wonder. “We display the work of local artists, complemented by high-quality merchandise from some of the best stores in Cape May and from quality vendors from all over the tri-state area,” says Wendy Guiles, General Manager of West End Garage. “There is a great variety of handcrafted and estate jewelry, antique, new and upcycled furnishings for the home, collectibles, clothing, body products... the inventory changes regularly, which is why it’s such fun to keep coming back.” Check out antique furniture and accessories, vintage memorabilia, framed artwork, candles and bathroom accoutrements, plus the hard-to-find, sought-after Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This is a giftshopping mecca — you can find unique gifts for even the most discriminating person. During the holiday season West End Garage becomes a shopping experience that can’t be missed.
The best thing about West End Garage? The merchandise keeps changing, sometimes on a weekly basis. So every time you come back, you are always discovering something new. Itâ€™s the place where quirky meets quality!
A Shopping Tour of Cool Cape May
BAY SPRINGS FARM ALPACAS
CAPE MAY OLIVE OIL CO.
Artisans Alcove helps the past meet the present in a big way, with an incredible selection of vintage and estate jewelry. Gemologist and appraiser William Scott heads the Artisans Alcove team, and they have consistently earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau in their 20 years of operation. One visit will confirm why — their selection is exquisite, and high quality is paramount. 523 Lafayette Street, Cape May, 609-884-4499 www.artisansalcove.com
Looking for something different? Come visit this charming farm, located on the northwestern tip of Cape Island and get acquainted with Bay Springs’ colorful herd of fleecy friends. Shop in the farm store for unique gifts and accessories: alpaca yarn, luxurious alpaca sweaters and blankets from Peru or hand knits by owner Barbara. Also, make sure to visit the Bay Springs booth at West End Garage! 542 New England Road, Cape May, 609-884-0563 bayspringsalpacas.com
Cape May Olive Oil Co.’s tasting room offers an exciting new culinary experience to this historic city. When you visit, you can taste more than 50 different imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars, dozens of spreads and tapenades, sea salts, spice blends, mustards, sugars, jams, pasta, spiced chocolate and more. 324 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May, 609-898-4441 capemayoliveoilcompany.com
CAPE MAY PEANUT BUTTER CO.
FLYING FISH STUDIO
Cape May Peanut Butter Company is a fun place for the kid in all of us. Freshly ground nut butters, baked goods, candies, sandwiches... and even sushi made with peanut butter! And don’t forget the 50 different jams and jellies. Add in a wonderful courtyard to enjoy your sandwich or snack, and you can see why this is a must-see stop on your Cape May itinerary. 516 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May, 609-898-4444 capemaypeanutbutterco.com
Purveyor of all your island needs, Cotton Company’s philosophy embraces “style for all” and carries men’s and women’s activewear, outerwear, clothing and swimwear — sizes x-small through 3x. Designer labels and unique boutique pieces all in one shop with expert stylists on staff to interpret the trends to fit you, your look and lifestyle. It’s a refreshing approach to fashion. Check out their new outdoors shop, featuring Columbia and Patagonia, as well as the Vineyard Vines shop! 517 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-884-1434 www.cottoncompanyforall.com
Want to get something high quality and unique that is made locally? At the Flying Fish they design and hand-print each and every one of their cool, offbeat garments — guaranteed, you WON’T find them anywhere else! The Fish staff have created an entire line celebrating Cape May life and traditions... this along with their Beach Series is sure to provide something for everyone. There is a bit of heart and soul in everything they do, so go visit them to see what’s new! 130 Park Boulevard, West Cape May, 609-602-2760 www.theflyingfishstudio.com
A Shopping Tour of Cool Cape May
GALLERY D’MAY FINE ART
They still make all of their candy the old-fashioned way, using only the finest ingredients and adhering to strict quality standards. Fralingers’ famous salt water taffy comes in at least 35 flavors (plus chocolate-dipped)! Other highlights include seafoam fudge, macaroons (almond and coconut), creamy mint sticks, peanut butter chews, housemade chocolates, nuts, molasses and peanut butter paddles. Plus sugar-free taffy and chocolates! Open 9am-11pm daily in season. 326 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-5695 www.fralingers.com
Celebrating more than 27 years of art experience, Gallery D’May prides itself on carrying fine artwork that is not just beautiful for the home — but which is also genuine investment quality. Talented artists such as Robert Finale, Paige Bradley, David Lotton, Anna Razumovskaya and Eric Christensen are exhibited in a warm and welcoming setting. This is one inspiring experience — make it a part of your Cape May vacation. 305 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-4465 www.GalleryDMay.com
It’s easy to escape the outside world when you step into the great vibe of this cool, calm little store in the heart of the Cape May shopping district. Good Scents has been a favorite for jazz, blues, and world music, hand-crafted jewelry, local art, quirky books and cards, irresistible accessories, and hidden treasures from around the world since 1986. Open all year. 327 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May, 609-884-0014 www.goodscentscapemay.com
LACE SILHOUETTES LINGERIE
LACE SILHOUETTES TROUSSEAU
Welcome to a store where real women can shop for intimate apparel with personalized, knowledgeable service in a comfortable environment. Be sure to stop at the sleepwear shop, featuring PJ Salvage, UGG, Karen Neuberger, and Carole Hochman. Then visit the bra boutique, featuring Wacoal, Natori, Chantelle, and Cosabella. Book an appointment with a bra therapist to see what an incredible difference the right fit makes! 429 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-898-7448 www.lacesilhouetteslingerie.com
The concept of a bridal trousseau is one that modern brides are still embracing. A modern trousseau often includes the wedding night ensemble, as well as foundation undergarments for the wedding gown and fun lingerie pieces to wear on the honeymoon. And no trousseau is complete without the accessories — garters, handkerchiefs, and other unique touches. Lace Silhouettes is a one-stop shop to complete a beautiful and unique trousseau. 429 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-898-7448 lacesilhouetteslingerie.com
Find the perfect newborn gift here! Happy Baby’s on-trend clothing for babies is designed by the coolest new designers in Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Barcelona. This delightful store specializes in organic cottons, one-of-a-kind hair accessories and hats galore. Happy Baby is HQ for Jellycat plush animals and blabla dolls. Peace, love and babies! 106 Jackson Street, Cape May, 609-884-5922 Happy Baby Cape May on Facebook
A Shopping Tour of Cool Cape May
LOUISA’S CHOCOLATE BAR
OUT OF THE PAST ANTIQUES
Come and sample the most amazingly delicious, prize-winning chocolate bars being created in the USA today. How does an organic, deep, dark chocolate filled with hickory smoked almonds sound? Well, it tastes even better. Then there is the Original Bacon bar, handmade Celtic Sea Salt caramels, salted chocolate edamame crunch, pistachio dark chocolate toffee, and a whole lot more besides. Enjoy a gourmet chocolate experience in this delightful little store. 108 Jackson Street, Cape May, 609-884-5519 @louisaschocolatebar on Instagram
The mother-daughter team behind Miss Demeanor loved shopping together but often had trouble finding things they both liked (or could afford!) in the same store. Since the store opened in 2010, they’ve assembled a collection of brands and designers to represent their individual styles and provide a place where mothers and daughters can shop together. 223 Jackson Street, Cape May, 609-770-7613 www.missdemeanorcapemay.com
Come browse for hard-to-find antiques and priceless memories. This is Cape May’s best antique shop for experiencing vintage memories at a reasonable price. Located just a short walk from Congress Hall, this is the antique shop for a tremendous variety of hard-to-find treasures to suite every taste, interest — and budget. 394 Myrtle Avenue, Cape May, 609-884-3357 www.outofthepastantiques.com
PATRICIA JACKSON JEWELERS
Welcome to a gem among local institutions. Patricia Jackson has been Cape May County’s Jeweler since 1980 — featuring original designs in platinum, 14K and 18K gold and sterling silver. Patricia Jackson is the only store in town with onsite bench jewelers — we’re talking serious craftsmen here. They specialize in custom designs, engagement rings and wedding bands. They also carry out all fine jewelry repairs. 414 Bank Street, Cape May, 609-884-0323 www.patjacksonjewelers.com
If you like Whale’s Tale (see right), you’ll love Splash... Whale’s Tale’s upscale offshoot! Find a gallery of the finest jewelry and handcrafts produced from Cape May to Honolulu. They’re tucked just behind the Washington Street Mall on Carpenter’s Lane. 513 Carpenter’s Lane, 609-846-7100
A Cape May tradition since 1974 — yes, they’re celebrating their 40th birthday this year! Meander through three rooms of surprises and something fun for all ages. Jewelry, books, children’s toys, greeting cards, sea shells, and much more! Visit them anytime — Whale’s Tale is open all year! Visit from anywhere by logging on to their online store. 312 Washington Street Mall, 609-884-4808 www.whalestalecapemay.com
A Special Kind of Place
ape May is reportedly one of the top three wedding destinations in the country (behind only Las Vegas and Disney World) and Congress Hall is its shining jewel. As the flagship of Cape Resorts, Congress Hall is the most exclusive wedding location in New Jersey and offers the entire wedding experience, from a relaxed rehearsal dinner on the pool deck to an exquisite reception in our Grand Ballroom to a post-wedding brunch. As one couple said, “Our guests described this wedding as the BEST they have ever been to!” If you’re looking for a wedding as luxurious as those at Congress Hall, but on a smaller scale. The Virginia is the ideal combination of opulence and intimacy, perfect for ceremonies of up to 65 guests. Ceremonies can be held on the Grand Staircase or Garden Patio. Packages range from brunch to
cocktail receptions and feature amenities such as an event coordinator, ZAGAT-rated menus and private tastings, valet parking for guests, vendor recommendations and a staff and service of superior quality. For a beach-casual wedding experience, the Rusty Nail might be the venue you are looking for. Our iconic bar and restaurant is now available for wedding receptions from May through October. Soak up the beach chic vibe and enjoy a fun menu, from passed small bites to delicious entrées inspired by Executive Chef Jimmy Burton’s Rusty Nail menu. Your reception will be set up inside the Nail... but if you want your guests to get some sand between their toes and mingle with our guests out on the patio, then feel free to spread your wings! For more information, contact our Wedding Specialist at 609-884-6553.
From the magnificent splendor of Congress Hall to the glamorous intimacy of The Virginia and the casual beach chic vibe at the Rusty Nail, Cape Resorts has a venue for every kind of wedding experience. In Cool Cape May, you will make memories that will last a lifetime. And we can help! 160
Rooms for Every Occasion
or more than 150 years, Congress Hall hosted group meetings, social gatherings and weddings. The renovated Congress Hall continues in that tradition, offering some of Cape May’s finest banquet and conference facilities. When combined with the assets of our sister properties it offers more than 200 rooms with multiple meeting facilities, restaurants, spa and nightlife. Congress Hall’s character combines the grandeur and elegance of one of Cape May’s most revered landmark hotel buildings with the style and convenience of a modern hotel. The Virginia’s Richmond Room is perfect for smaller meetings. Whether your plans are for an executive retreat, corporate meeting or recognition dinner, our amenities and conference services are specially tailored to meet your needs.
We also offer team-building programs, which range from fun group retreats to intensive team interventions — and everything in between. Our leadership development programs target basic supervisory skills as well as higher level competence needed by senior executives. By integrating training sessions with one-on-one coaching, individuals achieve maximum results. Our programs are engaging, memorable and create lasting results. Our team-building program helps individuals, teams and organizations gain a clear perspective of their strengths and challenges. We can help your group transition from a set of skilled individuals to people who cooperate and work as part of a team! Our event and conference planners are available to ensure your function runs without a hitch. For more information call our Meetings Specialist on 609-884-6594.
“Why does the ocean rock the moon to sleep every night? So the sun will wake and kiss the beach.” - j. henson Photograph by Chris Bakley
Published on Mar 20, 2014