The Magazine Of Cape Resorts Group ÂŤ summer 2012
welcome to your vacation
You’re here to relax, and we’re here to make that happen Dear Friends, We are so glad that you’re here with us this summer. It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since we cut the ribbon to reopen the newly restored Congress Hall, on June 7, 2002. During those 10 years we have added a great deal to the Cape Resorts family of properties here in Cape May — The Red, Brown and Pink Cottages, The Star, Sandpiper and Beach Shack, not to mention the Rusty Nail, Sea Spa, West End Garage and our ever-growing Beach Plum Farm. It has been a delight to work on these many projects and to grow with our guests as we all make memories and build traditions together. This summer there are many exciting improvements. At Congress Hall we have embarked on a three-year program that already has seen the lobby and Brown Room redecorated and numerous guestroom baths renovated and retiled. There is more to come this fall and winter as we work to preserve Congress Hall for generations to come. We are also delighted with the new bar and renovations at The Ebbitt Room, along with an improved cocktails list. Also, The Virginia’s new golf cart will be whisking guests around town quickly and cleanly. The cottages are offering a service to enable guests to arrive with fridges, cupboards and bars stocked to their needs. The Inn guest rooms at the Star are refurbished and the Sandpiper has new living room furniture. At Beach Plum Farm, in West Cape May, our chickens are now providing daily fresh eggs to the restaurants. And we recently added a flock of sheep! Farm tours are more plentiful and guests will be able to pick up fresh produce before their drive home. We encourage you to avail yourselves of our increased programming and activities. There is always a lot to do in and around our own Cape Resorts campus as well as throughout Cape Island and the southern Jersey Shore region. This magazine is full of suggestions that will help make your time with us fun and memorable. Our Concierge team, based at Congress Hall, is available to all Cape Resorts guests to help make sure you get the most out of your visit. You can call them at the front desk on (609) 884-8421, or email email@example.com. Please make yourselves at home. We want to do everything we can to help you relax and enjoy your vacation getaway. Warm regards, Curtis Bashaw C0-Managing Partner, Cape Resorts Group
inside the concierge
3 our properties Congress Hall and the Star p4 The Virginia Hotel & Cottages p8 Beach Shack p10 Sandpiper Beach Club p12 14 beach & pool Beach Service p16 Rules of the Beach p24 Congress Hall Pool Bar p26 28 food & drink Beach Plum Farm p30 Good Food Guide p36 Blue Pig Tavern p38 The Brown Room p42 The Boiler Room p43 The Ebbitt Room p44 The Ebbitt Room Bar p48 Rusty Nail p50 Light Bites p54 The Chelsea p56 Entertainment Lineup p58 60 spa & wellness Sea Spa p62 Working Out, Having Fun p64 68 activities Meet the Concierge p70 On Campus p72 Churches & Synagogues p95 102 shopping Shopping Q&A p105 Tommy’s Folly Boutique p106 Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop p108 Tommy’s Folly General Store p110 Tommy’s Folly Home p112 West End Garage p114 Shopping Tour of Cape May p116 124 home away from home Summer Packages p126 Fall Packages p128 Winter Packages p130 Winter Wonderland p132 Spring Packages p134 Weddings at Congress Hall p138 Weddings at The Virginia p140 Rooms for Every Business Occasion p142 Concierge is published by Cape Resorts Group « Edited, designed and produced by Exit Zero Publishing exitzero.us
“The time to relax is when
you don’t have time for it.” — sydney j. harris
4 The concierge
congress hall and the star [Est. 1816] A haven of relaxed elegance, with timeless appeal and historic charm
the details ÂŤFor families looking for luxury amenities and personalized service in a relaxed atmosphere, Congress Hall is a haven of relaxed elegance, fun, historic charm and timeless luxury. ÂŤProviding hospitality since 1816, this iconic hotel, with its Grand Lawn leading down to the Atlantic Ocean, is the pre-eminent Cape May landmark. It is home to a number of major local events, including the annual Fourth of July fireworks and Winter Wonderland. ÂŤCongress Hall is a destination in its own right, an oceanfront resort with the vibe of a classic, airy beach house, while also offering the creature comforts and amenities travelers would expect from a world-class hotel.
The concierge 5
the manager «You could say John Daily has got the hang of this hospitality business thing, having begun his career in Atlantic City while still in high school. He has been with Congress Hall since March of 2002, and says, “I’ve enjoyed every minute of the success in the last 10 years. It’s been my pleasure running this beautiful place and getting to know hundreds of families and our loyal guests.” John prides himself on making every guest experience a positive one, each and every time. “It sounds corny, but making people happy is the best job in the world,” he says. “It’s not always easy, but it’s usually invigorating and satisfying.” Throughout this issue, we ask some of our team members to tell us what they would do on a perfect day in Cape May. Here is John’s… “It starts with a long bike ride or walk on the promenade, where I can fill my lungs with fresh ocean air. It’s breakfast at the Rusty Nail, where the Canadian bacon is just wonderful. Then it’s a quick shower and off to work. “My favorite part of the morning is the time I spend in the lobby of Congress Hall, when it’s bustling with guests who are sad to be leaving and with other happy guests who are just arriving. The expressions on their faces tell the whole story, whether these folks are recounting their visit, taking pictures before heading back home, or planning their very first day on campus. “The time I spend assisting these guests is a big part of my perfect day as well, because I get to be a witness to so many of their perfect days, and that’s what the hospitality industry is all about. I enjoy seeing memories being made. “I also love watching the evolution of all the wonderful restaurants in town — and, of course, trying them out. The Ebbitt Room is handsdown the best in the city. Having cocktails on the breezy front porch, overlooking historic Jackson Street, followed by a delicious meal in the recently renovated dining room... this is the perfect end to my perfect day in Cape May.”
6 The concierge
congress hall [Est. 1816] Celebrating 10 years of a new life, and nearly 200 years on the Cape May beachfront
The great fire of 1878 began in the Ocean House Hotel on Perry Street, then spread across the street to Congress Hall, destroying it (above) along with many other beachfront properties. Before the fire, the hotel was twice the size of the building that stands now (see right and above right).
A brochure, left, describes the wealth of activities â€” from movies to horseriding â€” that could be arranged through the hotel in the 1960s. Right: Under the ownership of Gilbert Ramagosa, a Wildwood boardwalk entrepreneur, Congress Hall became a colorful place in the late 50s and early 60s. This eclectically decorated restaurant is now The Blue Pig Tavern.
The concierge 7
A brief history «Congress Hall was built in 1816 and is regarded as the oldest seashore hotel in America. It was destroyed during the 1878 fire that consumed 35 acres of downtown Cape May before being rebuilt out of brick (a first in the city at the time) in time for the 1879 season. «Affectionately known as the Big House in its early years, the hotel was renamed Congress Hall in 1828 to commemorate owner Thomas Hughes being elected to the U.S. Congress. «The hotel has been visited by four American presidents — Grant, Pierce, Buchanan and Harrison, who made the hotel his summer White House in 1891, taking an office in the first-floor lobby, while working on trying to annex Hawaii. «The property was purchased in 1995 by Cape Resorts Group and was reopened in 2002, following a $25 million renovation. «On June 7, 2012, Congress Hall celebrates its 10th year since the renovation. To help celebrate, the hotel lobby has been transformed, and The Brown Room received a refresh.
Former Governor of New Jersey, Christie Whitman, cuts the ribbon on the podium at Congress Hall with Curtis Bashaw in June, 2002. “It doesn’t get any better than this,” Whitman told the huge crowd that had gathered on the lawn.
8 The concierge
the virginia hotel & cottages [Est. 1879] An exquisite, unrivaled experience at the Shore
the details «Appealing to today’s most discriminating traveler, the Virginia offers luxury accommodations in an intimate environment and a level of personalized service that has set a new standard on the Jersey Shore. «The hotel offers 24 beautiful guest rooms, exquisite custom furnishings and design touches, fine dining, a chic cocktail lounge with live entertainment, top-flight beach service, a complimentary continental breakfast, and valet parking. «Reserve the Virginia’s golf cart (available 9am to 9pm daily, May through November), which will take you to area restaurants, Beach Plum Farm, local historical sights, or just around town! Reserve at the front desk. «Ideal for families or groups, the Red, Brown and Pink Cottages of Jackson Street offer gourmet kitchens, luxurious bathrooms, plush linens and continental breakfast at the Virginia.
The concierge 9
A brief history
the manager «Justin Mogavero, a graduate of Johnson & Wales, has been in the hospitality industry for 18 years and has worked with Cape Resorts Group for five years. “We have fascinating guests, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them.” Justin’s perfect day begins with a jog along with his two Dobermans, Sophie and Lex. (They’re puppies, but they don’t look it… they’re each about 80 pounds.) Then it’s off to the Lobster House Coffee Shop for a light breakfast before hitting the beach all day. Or at least until 4pm, when his hankering for a Rusty Nail Ale kicks in. Later, after a nap and some freshening up, Justin enjoys The Ebbitt Room for dinner, drinks and the company of his beautiful fiancé, Katlyn. To round out the night, the couple will head to Congress Hall for a glass of wine on the Adirondack chairs of Congress Hall. In the off-season, Justin travels to comparable hotels and acts as a “mystery shopper,” using his visits to improve the guest experience at the Virginia. “Doing this is rewarding,” he says, “because it’s all about making people happy.”
«Like many Cape May hotels, the Virginia was built following the catastrophic fire of 1878. «It was originally called the Ebbitt House, a name chosen by its first managers, Alfred and Ellen Ebbitt. «The hotel’s heyday came in the early 1890s, when it was regularly mentioned in the society section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. «When Cape May slumped, the Virginia went from a highclass hotel to a rooming house. It was condemned in the 1980s and then bought in 1986 by Curtis Bashaw and his family. It was renovated and reopened in 1989.
10 The concierge
the beach shack [Est. 1966] A fresh, new and fun alternative for beachfront vacations
«For upscale vacationers, particularly families, the Beach Shack is a fresh and fun alternative for beachfront vacations. It is a place where people feel comfortable wearing their flip-flops all day long. Long lazy days at the beach and pool flow into nights full of music and laughter at the Rusty Nail before you have even had a chance to rinse the sand from between your toes. «The Rusty Nail, Cape May’s legendary hangout for lifeguards and surfers has an indoor-outdoor ambiance, live music and a fresh take on beach blanket comfort food.
The concierge 11
A brief history
the manager «Sandy Montano starting working at Cape May’s legendary Christian Admiral hotel at the age of 15. She has been with the company for more than 30 years and serves as Construction Project Manager for all Cape May properties, and is also General Manager of the Beach Shack. “I love the diversity of my job, and the physical aspects of working in all of these beautiful structures,” she says.
«The Beach Shack began its life as The Coachman’s Motor Inn in 1966 by Philadelphia builder Jule Hober. «In 1976, construction began on the Rusty Nail bar and restaurant, with a style inspired by the chalets Hober found at the ski resorts he frequented. The Nail’s bar was built in Vermont and shipped here. «The backbone of the Rusty Nail’s business has always been the lifeguards of the Cape May Beach Patrol. «The Coachman’s and Rusty Nail remained in the Hober family until 2005, when they were sold to Cape Resorts Group, who relaunched the Coachman’s as the Beach Shack in 2009.
12 The concierge
the sandpiper beach club [Est. 1977] An oceanfront condominum resort with the amenities of a luxury hotel
the details «With a focus on extended stays, the Sandpiper Beach Club is a newly renovated family friendly oceanfront condominium resort with 51 one and two bedroom units, all with full kitchens, living rooms and balconies. Most also enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. «Lifting it above other condominium rentals, the Sandpiper Beach Club features all of the amenities of a luxury hotel, including an onsite pool, daily housekeeping, full beach service, sauna, concierge service, and an expansive fitness center. We will even stock your refrigerator before you arrive — just contact the concierge in advance. «Sandpiper guests have signing privileges at all Cape Resorts Group properties.
The concierge 13
«This is Charley Gaudio’s fifth year at the Sandpiper, and his 24th in the hospitality business. “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. He’s also a big fan of the location, since “you can’t beat working at the beach in the summer.” When he’s not assisting guests, you can usually find Charley reading a book or magazine on the beach, or enjoying a cold beverage at the Rusty Nail.
A brief history «The original building shows up on maps dating back to 1878, and was built around 1870 by Richard D. Wood, a wealthy Philadelphia businessman who helped establish the Cape May Ocean Wave newspaper and West Jersey Railroad. «In 1940, the property was demolished and replaced by Cape Motel before being bought in 1977 by Robert and Ruth Escher, who enlarged the building to the 65-room Sandpiper in the early 1980s. «In 2004, Cape Resorts Group acquired the property, reonovated it, and sold hotel condominiums. We now manage the property on behalf of the owners.
beach & pool
“Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.” — michelle held
WELCOME TO THE BEACH It’s the centerpiece of your shore vacation... Here’s how to enjoy it
e run three beach concessions — for the Beach Shack, Congress Hall, and the Virginia — on Cape May’s white-golden sands, ensuring the ultimate in convenience and comfort. Our staff will set you up with umbrellas, loungers, towels, 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 most efficient service. We offer a wonderful mix
of salads and lunch fare delivered right to your beach chair. Try the Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap, Cape May Corn Dog or Char-Broiled Salmon Burger. Or how about a tall iced tea or an icy fruit smoothie? There’s plenty to choose from, and 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 Hotel and Cottages « Patterson Avenue for guests of the Beach Shack Beach concessions are open from 8am to 6pm daily during the season, with food service 11am to 3pm.
Rent a Cabana for the Ultimate Beach Day
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 Virginia’s red cabanas (pages 20-22) are located on the Jackson Street beach. And the rustic orange-and-aqua cabanas of the Beach Shack (page 23) are between Grant and Patterson. Rental includes 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: 1. At the time of your initial hotel reservation. 2. At the front desk at Congress Hall, or any Cape Resorts Group location, upon check-in. 3. When you’re on the beach, though that will be based on availability. If you reserve your cabana with your reservation, simply check in at the beach service desk and our staff will do the rest! There is a limited number of cabanas so we do recommend reserving them in advance.
Meet... The WEISBERG FAMILY
bout 20 years ago, Joe and Gloria Weisberg had just returned from a whirlwind tour of Europe. Exhausted and looking to recharge, they headed to Cape May for a quick but relaxing couple of days at Congress Hall. They loved the experience so much, a new tradition was born… for the entire extended family. Year after year, Joe and Gloria return with the whole Weisberg crew. Gloria loves how many activities there are to do as a group, but she also loves splitting up — some to the pool, some to the beach — before reconvening for evening activities and, of course, dinner at The Blue Pig Tavern (the Weisbergs make reservations months in advance). But more than anything, Gloria loves the memories her family have made on campus. In was on one of these family vacations that Joe and Gloria’s daughter Debbie experienced a lifechanging moment. On the beach in front of the hotel, David, the love of her life, proposed. Now the couple’s two sons join them on their annual visit. The boys look forward to mini golf in particular, especially now that they’ve gotten their first holes-in-one.
But one of the greatest stand-out moments for Joe and Gloria occurred on a picturesque summer day. Taking advantage of the perfect weather, the family spent time at the beach and the pool before heading to the Rusty Nail around sunset… and what a sunset it was. The entire extended family — all nine of them — gathered around the fire pit, enjoying sea breezes, great food and drinks, the fun of watching the children play soccer and Frisbee on the lawn and, most importantly, experiencing the joy of being together.
“The beach cabanas at the Virginia are great to collapse under beside a cooler full of treats after a morning spent chasing around kids in the sun. Everything is at your fingertips. And if it’s not, the people who work there will make sure it is soon enough.” — TONY DELLASALLA, NEW YORK CITY
Gourmet Lunch Baskets on Order
Experience the ultimate day at the beach. Guests of The Virginia Hotel and Cottages can order a picnic basket lunch, packed in a special cooler, to enjoy in between napping and reading sessions on your padded lounger, shaded by the Virginia’s signature red-and-white umbrellas. The picnic basket serves two and offers goodies from the famed Murray’s Cheeses company in New York City, as well as a sandwich selection that includes Albacore Tuna Salad; Housemade Mozzarella, Tomato and Beach Plum Pesto; Honey-Roasted Turkey; Waldorf Salad; and Roasted Beef and Gruyere with Creamy Horseradish Dressing. You can pick the basket up at the front desk (please be sure to order it the previous night) or have it delivered to you on the beach.
From the cabana supports hewn from tree branches to the gaily striped orange-and-aqua umbrellas, guests of the Beach Shack know they have arrived at Fun Central. And when you have tired of the experience of lying beside the Atlantic, being pampered by our friendly servers, walk across the road to the Rusty Nail, where you can enjoy the island’s coldest beer, Chef Jimmy’s famed food, and the coolest beach bar vibe around.
play by the rules of the beach
Some simple, but important, matters of etiquette
The beach in front of our properties is public and is shared with our neighbors and friends. As a result, we hope you will take note of our beach etiquette so that everyone may enjoy a wonderful day by the ocean. These rules are important... we trust you will adhere to them.
A Place in the Sun
Our beach attendants will happily set up
to pre-set beach set-ups â€” so please do
As a courtesy to other guests and our neighbors, 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 will reset them upon your return.
not ask them to (however nicely you do
it!). Beach attendants will arrange set-ups
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 Hallâ€™s pool bar and the Rusty Nail. Alcohol may not be taken off the premises.
your partyâ€™s chairs, umbrellas and towels once most members of your party arrive on the beach and are ready to occupy their chairs. Beach attendants are not permitted
on a first-come, first-served basis, once guests are present. This applies to families, multiple families and groups. We need our guests to be reasonable and 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.
And finally Enjoy the beach and let our attendants know if there is anything you need.
Meet... The rothman FAMILY
an Rothman began coming to Congress Hall in 1936. While his father traveled abroad on business, Dan’s mother brought her nine-year-old boy to Cape May for a mother-son getaway. An outgoing child, Dan connected with other children, and the enterprising group of kids started a newsletter, The Congress Hall Star for children. They pecked it out on an old typewriter, taking breaks only to listen to the Clarence Fuhrman Orchestra, which played nights in the wing of the hotel now home to Tommy’s Folly. When the boys asked to make copies of their paper at the office of the Cape May Star and Wave, reporters were so impressed that they wrote an article which still hangs on a wall in the hallway of Congress Hall. These summer excursions to Cape May were interrupted toward the end of World War II, when Dan enlisted in the army. After reaching the rank of sergeant at the end of his nineteen months of service, Dan left for college in Pennsylvania. It wouldn’t take long for the former editor of The Congress Hall Star to become a bona fide newspaper reporter. Dan’s service to his country was
not over, however. When the Korean War began, he earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant, training in the Field Artillery at Fort Sill in Oklahoma before deploying as a Forward Observer in Korea. For his bravery during the 1953 Contest for Finger Ridge, Dan received a decoration. In the post-war 1950s and 60s, Dan turned to Congress Hall for a welldeserved respite. Only this time, he was joined by wife Nancy and their young family. To this day, every July, Dan enjoys Congress Hall with his entire extended family; one of his granddaughters even plans to be married here some day. And every August, Dan and Nancy enjoy a romantic getaway by themselves. Dan credits John Daily, Congress Hall’s General Manager, with raising the hotel to its current zenith. “Even though he’s an Atlantic City guy,” he says, “John does amazing work making guests feel comfortable.”
congress hall pool and cabana bar Lie back, nap, read, swim, eat, drink. Repeat as many times as necessary.*
ometimes you need a change from the beach. All that time spent relaxing on a comfortable beach lounger, being warmed by the sun, dozing and reading, snacking and dreaming, being waited on by attentive staff. It can be a little too much. So for a change of pace, head for the Congress Hall Pool and Cabana Bar, where you can relax on a comfortable pool lounger, being warmed by the sun, dozing and reading,
snacking and dreaming, being waited on by attentive staff. There’s nothing like adding some variety to your vacation after all. When you can’t choose between a garden setting and an ocean
view, this the perfect spot. Surrounded by lush gardens and overlooking the expansive beachfront lawn, this is the most desired 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, serving your favorite cocktails and ice-cold beers (including our own Blue Pig Tavern Ale, our best-selling beer). The menu features treats such as Chicken BLT (grilled chicken, hickory smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, kaiser roll, black pepper mayonnaise, french fries), House-Made Guacamole (ripe avocados, pico de gallo, crispy flour tortillas) and Texas Burger (bacon, caramelized onion, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce). Did we miss anything? Please let your server know, and we’ll take care of the rest.
*Warning: May cause drowsiness and symptoms of severe relaxation and contentedness.
food & drink
“Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.” — elizabeth berry
beach plum farm Serving our restaurants with the freshest produce imaginable
iven that New Jersey is the Garden State and that Cape May is the second biggest commercial fishing port on the east coast, you might well imagine that the fish and the produce on the plate of food that you’re served in a local restaurant is as fresh as it gets. You’d be right! Nowhere is this more apparent than the restaurants under the Cape Resorts Group umbrella – The Ebbitt Room, The
Blue Pig Tavern and The Rusty Nail. All are served by our Beach Plum Farm, situated on 65 acres in West Cape May, a 15-minute bike ride from the restaurants. Right now (the number is growing all the time), 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 very short distance to our restaurants, where our chefs develop their daily menu specials around them. The farm is open for guided tours at 11am and 1pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with selfguided walking tours between 9:30am and 1pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and between 9:30am and noon on Thursdays and Saturdays (see page 34 for a map and more information).
The concierge Cape Resorts Groupâ€™s Co-Managing Partner Curtis Bashaw picks succulent, sweet Jersey strawberries with Beach Plum Farm manager Jaime Alvarez
Whatâ€™s Growing at Beach Plum Farm Vegetables
Basil (five varieties).....................................8,426 bunches
Beans, Haricot Vert....................................... 462 pounds
Beans, Lima................................................. 265 pounds
Beans, Yellow Wax........................................ 201 pounds
Bok Choy...................................................... 2,350 heads
Oregano (2 varieties)...................................2,694 bunches
Broccoli........................................................ 875 pounds
Parsley (2 varieties).....................................2,938 bunches
Broccoli Raab............................................... 523 pounds
Brussels Sprouts........................................... 135 pounds
Cabbage (Red and White)............................. 636 heads
Carrots, Baby Orange................................... 335 bunches
Carrots, Purple............................................. 290 bunches
Cauliflower.................................................. 305 heads
Collards....................................................... 1,185 pounds
Corn, Edible (White and Yellow)................... 1,627 pounds Corn, Ornamental........................................ 578 pounds Cucumbers (two varieties)........................... 2,452 pounds
Arugula....................................................... 993 pounds Green Leaf...................................................321 heads Green Romaine...........................................1,115 heads
Escarole....................................................... 550 heads
Eggplant (3 varieties)................................... 1,504 pounds
Fennel.......................................................... 524 bulbs
Red Kale......................................................679 bunches
Gourds, Decorative....................................... 460 pounds
Red Romaine...............................................1,201 heads
Onions (4 varieties)...................................... 2,100 pounds
Peas............................................................. 980 pounds Peppers (10 varieties)................................... 3,023 pounds Potatoes (5 varieties).................................... 1,592 pounds Pumpkins..................................................... 1,555 pounds Radishes (4 varieties)................................... 8,063 bunches Scallions...................................................... 370 bunches Squash, Butternut......................................... 715 pounds Squash, Spaghetti......................................... 920 pounds Squash, Yellow............................................. 1,775 pounds Squash, Zucchini.......................................... 4,385 pounds
FRUIT Blueberries..................................................64 pounds Cantaloupe..................................................1,375 pounds Honeydew...................................................1,567 pounds Strawberries................................................2,033 pounds Watermelon, Red.........................................2,180 pounds Watermelon, Yellow....................................225 pounds
Flowers Edible Flowers.............................................8,650 blossoms
Swiss Chard................................................. 315 pounds
Tomatoes (10 varieties)................................ 10,787 pounds
Turnips......................................................... 1,085 pounds
*Refers to the quantities supplied to our properties in 2011
... And 41,700 EGGS (or 3,475 dozen)
Taking a Tour of Beach Plum Farm
Beach Plum Farm is open for guided tours with farmer Jaime Alvarez (opposite) at 11am and 1pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the season. If you prefer to wind your own way through the paths, there are self-guided walking tours between 9:30am and 1pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and between 9:30am and noon on Thursdays and Saturdays. Guided tours provide opportunities for discussion, and questions. You will be able to rest and enjoy refreshments at our picnic tables, and tours will end at the Beach Plum Farm market, where you can purchase produce.
the good food guide Eating with the Cape Resorts family
THE Blue Pig Tavern The cozy tavern style is underlined by the magnificent wood-tile-copper fireplace, which is a huge attraction on cooler nights. On warmer evenings, try to reserve a table on the lush, secluded patio. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Reservations: Recommended (dinner only) Attire: Casual Phone: (609) 884-8422
the Ebbitt Room Focusing on a farm-to-table philosophy, Chef Lucas Manteca wows customers in this buzzy yet intimate restaurant in the historic Virginia Hotel. The newly renovated bar is a favorite spot for diners. Location: Virginia Hotel, 25 Jackson Street Meals Served: Dinner Reservations: Required Attire: Casual to resort elegant Phone: (609) 884-5700
the Rusty Nail The hottest beachfront spot in town offers great-priced comfort food with an emphasis on local seafood, complemented by the coldest draft beer in town, live music and open-air breezes. Location: Beach Avenue, near Patterson Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: (609) 884-0017
Coffee shop at star inn Get your Starbucks hit across the road from Congress Hall, and select from pastries, juices and yogurts for a quick, to-go breakfast. Location: Star Inn, 29 Perry Street Meals Served: Breakfast, snacks Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: (609) 884-8421
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
Beach service If you don’t want to leave your lounger or cabana and cross the road, we understand. Simply fill out an order card, and have lunch delivered right to your beach table. Location: On the beach at three locations between Jackson and Patterson Meals Served: Lunch 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, both of which are favorite areas to 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
CONGress hall POOL cabana 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 novel or magazine, while being spoiled by attentive servers. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Lunch Reservations: No Attire: Very 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 enjoy fine cocktails and great food. Location: Virginia Hotel, 25 Jackson Street Meals Served: Small Plates and cocktail snacks Reservations: No Attire: Casual Phone: (609) 884-5700
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: Congress Hall at Perry Street Meals Served: Dinner, late-night snacks Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: (609) 884-8421
Chelsea Prime Superb food in imaginative surroundings at this boutique Atlantic City hotel, which offers a fresh take on a steakhouse in a setting evocative of a 1940s supper club. Location: The Chelsea, 111 South Chelsea Avenue, Atlantic City Meals Served: Dinner Reservations: Required Attire: Smart casual to resort elegant Phone: (609) 428-4545
Teplitzky’s Diner-inspired cuisine in a fun retro/modern setting with indoor and outdoor seating. Don’t miss happy hour, and poolside dining by the fire pit. Location: The Chelsea, 111 South Chelsea Avenue, Atlantic City Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Reservations: No Attire: Casual Phone: (609) 428-4550
the blue pig tavern Inside or out, night or day, it’s a special place to be Jeremy Einhorn, Executive Chef of The Blue Pig Tavern, on the importance of real food…
To book a table for dinner at The Blue Pig Tavern, call (609) 884-8422. For more information visit congresshall.com.
The meatloaf is a meatloaf; I’m not trying to stuff it with foie gras and truffles. It’s a classic, untouched. There’s comfort in that. It’s all about believing: These aren’t just hotel guests, they aren’t just diners, they are your company, and they should be treated like more than just another face, another check. What makes me proud? Focusing on the local community. I’m using fresh ingredients from our own Beach Plum Farm, around the corner. This sets the Blue Pig apart. This makes me proud. A happy chicken makes better eggs. The chickens from the farm, they live well. They have a nice little house, they have all the food they could want. Our three roosters are the luckiest in the world. I’m not a vegetarian, but animals should be treated well. I love inspiring cooks. Some of them might fall in love with their careers, just like I did. My colleagues in this kitchen are enthusiastic, and everyone wants to be involved in the creation of this menu. Of course, food made with love tastes better. And so does food that’s grown with love. It is humbling. Some folks only take one vacation a year, or even one vacation a decade, and we’re a part of those memories. And I don’t ever want to forget that. We grow every single herb, more than I could ever possibly use. And our own microgreens, fennel, squash, tomatoes, beautiful asparagus, all kinds of lettuce, romaine, spring and mesclun mixes, arugula, and strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. This place can be lively and fun for families and groups of friends, especially in the summer. But it’s romantic, too, when the lights are dim and the candles are out. People linger longer. They order an extra course. I’d take a date here, sure. The best seat in the dining room is in front of the fireplace. It lends a cozy feel even in the summer. Of course, I can’t think of a nicer spot to dine than in the outside garden. It feels private. It feels special. I’m happy to make people happy. Dietary requests, gluten sensitivity, allergies… people aren’t scared to voice special requests, and that’s a good thing. We’re known for catering to guests. I go to the farm when it comes time to make a new dish. I’m there two or three times a week, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to walk around, see what’s coming up, and what will complement the local seafood, for example. Plus, it’s just a peaceful spot to be, in the middle of a hectic day. The must-try dish is the Beach Plum Farm omelet, made with eggs and ingredients from our farm. The Blue Pig embodies the Cape May spirit. We’re one of the oldest properties in Cape May, and there’s a classic feel to the menu, but we’re also relaxed, as a beach town restaurant should be. Comfort food with a touch of elegance. You’re at home, but you’re well taken care of. Food needs to be real.
“There’s a classic feel to the menu, but we’re also relaxed, as a beach town restaurant should be. Comfort food with a touch of elegance. You’re at home, but you’re well taken care of.” — Jeremy Einhorn The Blue Pig Tavern Executive Chef
This page: Prince Edward Island Mussels, Crab Macaroni and Cheese, Tiramisu Cheesecake. Opposite: Grilled N.Y. Pork Strip with HerbMashed Potatoes, Crisp Buttermilk Onions and Port Wine Sauce.
an evening at the brown room It’s known as Cape May’s Living Room for a reason “This room was beautiful before, but the improvements that were made in the spring to the bar and fireplace took it to another level. It’s a place where you just want to linger.”
Steve Augustine, Brown Room bartender, on Cape May’s living room… The seasons dictate our menu. In the summer, people like rum runners, margaritas, mojitos. In the winter, they want Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, martinis. And because our ingredients are coming from the local Beach Plum Farm, the importance of seasonality is magnified. Our ingredients are pure, coming right out of the ground to here. It’s the genuine small town-ness of Cape May that is special. People really do care about one another here. You’re always going to run into someone and have a connection, a conversation. The Brown Room is a microcosm of that. A microcosm of Cape May. It’s learning how to read people that makes a good bartender. It’s knowing who wants to be gregarious and joke and laugh and have a good time, and who wants to come in and have a romantic night by themselves. This room was beautiful before, but the improvements that were made in the spring
to the bar and the fireplace took it to another level. Even more than ever, it’s a place where you just want to linger. Cape May is built on history. That’s why it’s so special that the marble bar top is a relic from the Christian Admiral Hotel. People enjoy sharing their memories of the old days in Cape May, sharing tidbits over cocktails. Some people only come down once a year for vacation, and you remember what that week is. You know when to expect them, you learn what school their kids are in. That’s the beauty of this job. It’s a constant reunion with old friends. Put that up against the really loyal, local, regular crowd… we are all a part of the same family. The chocolate martini is the most popular. People have them all over the place, but ours is the best. It’s made with love. The left side of the bar near the windows is where you want to be. It’s a panoramic view. I am so spoiled. Almost every Wednesday is a highlight. It’s my first day back to work, and it’s the day all my friends and locals come in. It’s like a big family reunion. I have so much fun doing my job. There is a genuine sense of welcome, from the moment you pull up to the valet and make your way through the lobby, to the time you find your seat at the bar. Next to someone you may not know… someone who will most likely become a friend. The Brown Room is… Ernest Hemingway on safari.
a night in the boiler room Don’t miss the mellow, stylish vibe in Congress Hall’s basement nightclub Shane Boyd, Supervisor of the Boiler Room, on Cape May’s underground treasure… The Boiler Room is a VIP lounge with exposed brick, dark red candlelight, and a snappy-casual, Manhattan style. I traveled the States for a while opening nightclubs, and I’ve been here since 2004. I know how important it is that people have a place where they can let their hair down. And this is a place where people can let their hair down. That dance floor gets going and the energy of the place is great. Such a nice vibe. Can a place be mellow AND energetic? The Boiler Room can be both of these things. It has that jazz supper club feel. I’m more of a Scotch guy, personally, but the drink of choice at the Boiler Room is a martini, or maybe a cosmopolitan. Mind you, the Blue Pig Ale is crazy popular, too. Plenty of people come to the Boiler Room
after a wedding, so the mood is pretty partyesque. They keep it going downstairs. Bartending is like being a long distance runner. From the time you start, you just don’t stop, and I love every minute. You have to know how to listen. Sure, a bartender has to have a good wealth of knowledge about alcohol, but you have to be a good listener, too. Am I a good listener? Yes. It’s easy with a great clientele. I’ve made lasting friendships with customers. I went to upstate New York for a Halloween getaway with some of them. Yes, there is a boiler on the wall…a lot of people don’t realize what they’re looking at. That’s it, right in front of you. That old bar and lounge sign? Yes, that gets a lot of comments. People love it. It adds to the old-fashioned, but cool, ambience of the place. I have tons of bar tricks… but you have to come in to see them.
the ebbitt room Cape May’s finest dining experience offers so many ways to savor the moment
LUCAS MANTECA, Executive Chef of The Ebbitt Room, on the merits of trying something different... Farm-to-table is not a trend. It comes down to how much you respect the food, the people you serve and yourself. In the summer, 80 percent of our produce comes from the Beach Plum Farm. This is the way food should taste. It is not just what’s on the plate. Chefs need to be involved in every element because it’s all about the harmony between the elements — service, atmosphere, and staff training. Cooking is like being the pilot of a plane. You have to be focused on what you’re doing but aware of your surroundings at the same time. Cooking makes you smarter. Since the renovation, the dining room is more comfortable and very energetic. Before, it was more about the special occasion. Now, it feels like home. I love this dining room. The outside porch smells like summer.
I support smaller, local business when choosing product. The smaller the business, the more well-crafted the product. Calamari used to be this weird product that no one wanted to eat in the U.S., and people were looking at Italian chefs as though they were insane. But now, people love calamari. I used to think food needed to be superpretty and minimalist, and this has been changing. Rustic-looking food is okay because it’s real. Before, I followed the standard. As a chef, you have to follow your gut.
To see people eating what they want to eat, and feeling happy, that’s real satisfaction. The best seat is at the bar. There is an impressive cocktail list served by an impressive bartender. But it’s the vibe I love. If you’re in a bad mood, it changes that. There’s something special about listening to a piano with good company and good food. Even on the worst days, there is nothing else I can see myself doing. I love what I do. It’s my life. And I love doing it in a place that makes me so proud.
To book a table at The Ebbitt Room, call (609) 884-5700 For more information visit virginiahotel.com.
“The best calamari I have ever tasted.”
Evelyn Dingwall has twice made the 6,000-mile round trip from Glasgow, Scotland to visit Cape May with her husband and two children. “I love Cape May. To us, it’s a magical place. The kind of classic small American town you see in old movies. Our kids love it, too. But I have to say the abiding memory for me and my husband John is dinner at The Ebbitt Room. I can honestly say that it was one of the most memorable meals of our lives, and we’ve eaten at some pretty cool places around the world. It starts with the walk down Jackson Street, which is so beautiful. That sets the romantic mood. Then you have a drink on the porch before dinner, watching the horses go by. And then dinner... seriously, it’s hard to put into words. And the strongest memory is of the calamari. It’s the best I’ve ever tasted. Hands down. I don’t know how they do it, and I don’t need to know. I’m just looking forward to reacquainting with it when we make our next trip to Cape May.”
the ebbitt room bar After a stylish renovation, there’s no better place to enjoy classic cocktails and fine wines Leo Morjakov, Ebbitt Room bartender, on a comfortably classy experience… It is difficult to be in such close proximity to the ocean without feeling like a free spirit. I have two kids — a four-year-old and a six-year-old. Come to think of it, bartending is a lot like parenting. You have to make sure no one is hungry or thirsty, and it becomes very important to you that everyone is happy. Bartending here is like skiing – nice and smooth, and just as fun. Everyone I meet has a story, and they make you want to share your own story, too. Ever since the renovation, people feel at home here, especially around the fireplace. A cosmo isn’t just a cosmo here; it’s a Virginia cosmo, with fresh muddled cranberries. I am looking forward to creating new cocktails this summer with ingredients from Beach Plum Farm. We feel like we’re serving food that was plucked from our own backyard, and that is a source of pride.
“I don’t usually eat burgers. But when I sit at the bar of The Ebbitt Room, I want Char-Broiled Burger, on a housemade brioche bun. And those herbed fries? Ridiculous. Swallow that down with a rich Cabernet Sauvignon — that’s bliss.” — Jack wright, “Exit Zero” magazine
I love the smell of the calamari — it’s mouth-wateringly good. And I love eating it while listening to the jazz piano. I like to sit on the outside porch with my brother and my wife on days off. A cocktail or a glass of water — an order is still an order, and a customer is still a customer. Not everyone likes alcohol; some people just want to enjoy the vibe. Anyway, the mocktails are just as exciting, like the Apple of Eden, with fresh muddled basil and apples. At this bar, conversation comes easily. I’ve introduced couples from New York, Philadelphia, Washington. Recently, a few guests from the city realized they live two houses apart from one another. The winter decorations are my favorite; they make you feel like you’re in the midst of a winter wonderland at holiday time. In November, I’ll go to a bartending show in Las Vegas to learn more techniques. We want to serve the classics, but we pride ourselves on new things as well. This year, we infused a martini with fresh pine needles.
ZAGAT REVIEWS “The most romantic atmosphere in Cape May, with service and food that are out of this world. The Ebbitt Room is among the very best restaurants anywhere.” “Best dinner ever.” “Flawless. Stay in the fabulous hotel and shorten your stumble to bed after being wined and dined beyond description. Wow.” Reviews taken from zagat.com in March, 2012
the rusty nail It’s not just a beachfront restaurant... it’s paradise at the Jersey Shore Jimmy Burton, Executive Chef of the Rusty Nail, on having the passion… They call me Jefe. It means chief or head person, head guy. “Go see Jefe,” my cooks say. I know I’m the executive chef, but I don’t always act like executive chef. If the dish room is full, I wash dishes. If they need me on the line, I’m cooking on the line. You need me to empty trash cans, I take out the trash. You need me to mop the floor, I mop the floor. To me, that’s leadership. Sometimes, I step out of the kitchen just to take it all in. When I feel down, when I feel pressure in the kitchen, I walk outside and look at the ocean, look at the sky. It calms me down. It’s so beautiful; it’s proof there is a God. Screaming and yelling and cursing… you don’t get any respect that way. In my kitchen, we don’t curse, we don’t yell, and we don’t scream. I grew up watching my grandmother cook in the Chalfonte Hotel kitchen. I learned from her. My grandmother never used any recipes, and you know what? Neither do I. You go by flavor. If you let the stress get to you, it’s your own fault. Take the kitchen, for example. A kitchen can be a stressful place, sure, but you can’t let that bring you down. You have to love the food. You have to love what you do. You do that, and you’ll make people happy. I remember one time a guest said that he ate around the world, and mine was the best crab cake he’d ever eaten. It made me feel so good. It made me want to get right back in the kitchen and make sure I season them just right every single time. There’s claw meat in our crab cakes, too, you know. The claws have the best flavor. I wanted to be a state trooper, but my knees were all messed up. Although I suppose being a chef isn’t exactly easy on the knees, either. That’s how you know I really love it. I guess what makes me proud is when we’re doing 700, 800 dinners a night, and the kitchen runs smoothly. I’m proud of the people in my kitchen.
“One time a guy said that he ate around the world, and mine was the best crab cake he’d ever eaten. It made me feel so good. It made me want to get right back in the kitchen and make sure I season them just right every single time.”
Watching the sunset and eating good food and enjoying a cold beer, after coming right off the beach. What’s better than that? The attitude of a good chef is love. He has to love. And he can’t be a crybaby. Seafood fra diavolo, that’s one goodtasting dish. And I love the smell of the charbroiler, the smell of our own barbeque sauce coming off the spare ribs. God, that’s good. I think the omelettes are a good hangover cure for people who were out drinking too late… maybe even at the Rusty Nail. And the home fries. We don’t buy bagged home fries; we take fresh potatoes, boil ’em, cool ’em, and slice ’em up. Those bagged home fries can have chemicals, and we don’t want anything to do with that. I don’t buy canned stuff. You don’t know what’s in there. I don’t buy canned vegetables; our sauces are homemade. It’s important that people are eating real food. Do you really want your mushrooms to taste like a can? I am laid-back, and that’s what the Rusty Nail is all about. It’s a laid-back restaurant, and that’s something this town needs. Local ingredients are very important. That gives people peace of mind. Many of our ingredients are coming out of the ground and onto the plate the very same day. It is an easy step-over from the beach, when you need to cool down. We have a refreshing lobster hoagie… and the coldest beer on the island.
The Rusty Nail does not accept reservations — just turn up and chill out. Visit beachshack.com for more information.
a drink at the rusty nail What makes this place so special? Count the reasons. Andrew Skilton, Manager of the Rusty Nail, on Cape May’s beach bar… If you look to your right around 8:00pm, you can see the sunset over the spot where the ocean meets the bay, just behind the Cape May lighthouse. While people elsewhere are scrambling to see it, you’ve got a front row seat. People love a fire pit. It’s something primal and instinctive inside all of us. There is a sense of community, of camaraderie that goes handin-hand with sitting around a fire. Lifeguards and surfers come here. It has a Beach Blanket Bingo feel. Guys come in after surfing down at the Cove or right out front. They throw their boards on the lawn and have a drink. It’s authentic. I have a board in my office. It smells like cedar, to tell you the truth. The walls are cedar shake and they make the room smell almost… toasty. And it smells a lot like coconut-flavored sunscreen. God, I want to go to the beach. The lifeguarding photos were donated by locals. There are shots from the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, but the Eighties photos are the best. It’s like… mustache, much? Shirts and shoes are optional, and why not? You’re cooped up and cold all winter. Throw on a bathing suit and come on over. You might catch me without my shoes. One of my favorite moments was the Fourth of July, watching fireworks over the ocean with live music in the background. That’s a memory. When people walk outside and see picnic tables and a bonfire and lush dune grass and kids playing Frisbee, their eyes light up, like they’re wondering: “Where has this been?” Sometimes I wonder if there is a dolphin feeding ground directly out front, right off that mini jetty, where the sandbar is. People like to star-gaze here. They look for shooting stars outside, by the tiki bar. Of course, by the time night falls, some people are seeing more stars than are actually in the sky. This is not your typical body-shots-andwhipped-cream-vodka kind of place. But it is a spot to let loose. When you’re here, leaning back in an Adirondack chair with your drink of
“The beer? It’s 36.4 degrees. The lines it comes through are surrounded by ice, and they’ve just been upgraded so we can have even more on tap. Then it’s served in ice-cold frosted mugs from the freezer. It’s the coldest beer in town, scientifically proven.”
choice, enjoying the breezes rolling in off the ocean, you know you’re on vacation. I do it myself. When it gets too hot on the beach in the middle of the day, and you’ve been in the sun all morning, you dip onto the patio, do some people-watching and get yourself a refreshing drink or mocktail, because that’s important, too. Not everyone drinks alcohol. My favorite is the Arnold Palmer, made with fresh-squeezed lemonade, muddled mint, ginger, and candied ginger on top. It’s the most refreshing thing. It is calming, being in the presence of the ocean. It’s healing in more ways than one, mentally and physically. People come from miles around for the healing properties of the ocean, and I believe there’s some truth to that. It can be romantic. Steal away to an empty fireside spot, and be in your own little world. Kids love to build castles and starfish in the sand, they love eating their meals on a Frisbee and they love their kiddie mocktails, like the Pink Princess and Banana Beach Bum. But the best is watching them dance in front of the bands. Boys and girls, four and five years old, they like to boogie. Outside, it’s beachy, folky, Jimmy Buffettlike music. Lots of acoustic soloists. At night, on the main stage, it’s classic rock bands, or the Cwik Brothers from Hawaii. But Sundays are the best — two live reggae bands on the lawn. People dance like they’re carefree. Mahi is what we use in the fish tacos, because they swim right off our coast. It’s important to use local scallops, oysters, flounder and fluke. Eating seafood that comes from 50 miles away or even, you know, 30 miles, you can’t beat that. This isn’t just a place to drink. Is there anything better than eating a super lump crab cake in front of a roaring fire with a view of dolphins splashing across the street? Well, maybe flying would be better than that. If humans could fly. Ingredients come from the local Beach Plum Farm. If you want a frozen strawberry daiquiri, we’re loading it up with fresh strawberries. I miss it when I’m not there. It’s kind of a magical place.
light bites From smoothies to pastries, iced drinks to coffee specialties, we have you covered
tart your perfect day in Cape May at Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop, in Congress Hall’s lobby. Fill a cup with their delicious brew, pick
up a grab-and-go breakfast item from the menu, select a newspaper or magazine from the newsstand, take a seat on the veranda, and watch the early morning sun. Have other plans for the morning? They’ll be there all day, serving La Colombe coffee, espresso and cappuccino. Tommy’s Folly also has a great selection of wraps, paninis, salads and soups from the kitchen of The Blue Pig Tavern. PLUS... bottled beverages, smoothies, cookies, snacks and delicious hand-dipped ice cream by the scoop. Tommy’s Folly Coffee Bar is open all summer, starting at 6:30am.
STARBUCKS... AT THE STAR Across the road from Congress Hall, you can fill up with your favorite coffee
ou’ve left the city behind and all the stresses and strains of the work week. You’re in Cape May, America’s Original Seaside Resort, enjoying the gentle pace of life, glad to have left all of the
trappings of the city behind. Well, maybe not ALL of them. You still need your Starbucks fix, right? So, you will be delighted to know that the Coffee Shop at the Star Inn, that cute little yellow cottage across the road from Congress Hall, proudly brews your favorite blend, and also offers a good selection of juices and pastries for those who like their breakfast in the to-go category, or who like to take their breakfast to a bench on the promenade and watch sleepy Cape May slowly come to life. The Star Coffee Shop is open from 7am in season.
the chelsea The hotel that returned style and luxury to the Atlantic City boardwalk
ust 45 minutes from Cape May lies the seaside playground of Atlantic City... and The Chelsea, Cape Resorts Group’s stunning boutique hotel, the first non-gaming hotel to open in Atlantic City in more than 50 years. Whether you are on your way down to Cape May, or on your way back, stop in for an aesthetically inspiring and irresistibly indulgent hotel experience, right above the beautifully renovated boardwalk... Chelsea Prime: Offers a fresh take on a steakhouse in a setting evocative of a 1940s Hollywood supper club, with entertainment coming in the form of a timeless white grand piano. With a tantalizing menu of prime steaks, fresh seafood, innovative side dishes and classic martinis, Chelsea Prime is the consummate boutique steakhouse. Teplitzky’s: Diner-inspired food in a fun, classic setting that also houses a hideaway cocktail lounge. Serving an eclectic menu of comfort-food favorites and creative specialty cocktails, this is the spot to be in AC. Cabana Club: Chosen by USA Today as one of the top 10 rooftop bars and lounges in America, this is Atlantic City’s answer to a Vegas-style beach club and the only open-air nightlife experience in the city. This summer season, the Cabana Club will feature live DJs and performances nightly.
The Fifth Floor: There are options for all tastes (and hours of the night) at the hotel’s nightlife HQ. Sip champagne and cocktails in the Living Room, lounge with friends at the Cabana Club, and dance until late at C5 nightclub. Sea Spa: Located on the ground floor, The Chelsea’s 10,000-square-foot luxury spa
draws its inspiration from one of the great traditions and original attractions of Atlantic City: the nourishing, soothing, and healing properties of the sea. With services tailored to women, men, and couples, Sea Spa features 10 private treatment rooms, a couples room and the Solarium, comprised of a co-ed Jacuzzi, a sauna, and steam room.
For more information and reservations, call 800-548-3030 or visit thechelsea-ac.com.
New VIP Beach Service
This summer, in addition to our traditional beach service, The Chelsea will offer exclusive VIP Cabanas (upgraded
furniture, beach amenities, wooden floors) with dedicated Cabana servers providing bottle service and delicious food from Teplitzkyâ€™s.
our entertainment lineup All kinds of music for all kinds of taste... outdoors and indoors RUSTY NAIL Outside Mondays through Saturdays, 4:30pm-9:00pm Mondays GREGG CARPENTER Gregg has been entertaining guests region-wide for over 20 years. His skillful guitar playing and soulful voice will have you singing along with selections from the Beatles, Paul Simon, Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison and James Taylor, just to name a few. Tuesdays JOE KOSAK A seasoned veteran, Joe has been writing and recording music for years, winning a Billboard Songwriter Award in 1990 in the Pop/Rock category. Joe can create whatever mood is called for and ably accompanies his smooth vocals with guitar. Wednesdays WESLEY OCHS Vocalist and guitarist Wesley Ochs plays something for everyone and every taste — including classic rock, ballads, alternative and modern rock, island/ reggae, oldies, country, and party favorites. Using request lists and a repertoire of over 300 songs, Wesley always gets the crowd involved. Thursdays (rotating) MARNIE & NATE This acoustic duo plays everything from classic rock to reggae. Marnie and Nate interpret the songs you love most in ways that will leave you wanting more. Marnie’s soulful voice and earthy vibrato shine through while singing the songs of Patsy Cline and Robert Plant alike. Nate’s guitar skills are refined and organic at the same time, filling each song with solid rhythm and intricate fills and leads. GUY PETERSEN Guy’s top influences are the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. His tunes range from classic pop rock to southern rock with jazz and blues undertones. Whether you hear him solo or with his band, Guy is a crowd pleaser. Fridays CARL BEHRENS Carl makes everyone feel welcome with his easygoing music and his friendly manner. Accompanying himself on the guitar, he sings tunes that make you want to sing along, Carl is influenced by his favorite musicians: Jimmy Buffett, Loggins and Messina, the Eagles, the Beatles, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and so many more! Saturdays DELANY & REEVES Accompanied by drummer Andrew Reeves and her own guitar, local favorite Kate Delany mesmerizes
her audiences as her sultry voice recreates songs from the repertoires of Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, the Beatles, and Jewel. Sundays, 12:30pm-9:00pm REGGAE SUNDAYS, with a rotating schedule TRINIDELPHIA This heavily percussive ensemble is sure to keep the island beats and reggae jams going, in addition to keeping the dance floor full. THE RAGGAMUFFINS Fronted by acclaimed Jamaican singer Moses Livingston, The Raggamuffins create a unique blend of reggae, combining traditional roots reggae with contemporary ideas. Their exciting live shows consist of originals as well as classics by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs, Toots & The Maytals and more. CULTUREAL Afro-beat, Jazz, Reggae: Based in the Philadelphia area, Cultureal has played shows from Massachusetts to West Virginia, while hosting monthly events at the Tiberino Sculpture Garden in Philadelphia. Cultureal has developed a unique roots reggae-based sound featuring the diverse improvisational styling of each member while maintaining the spirit of reggae through conscious lyrics in their original repertoire. SIMPLE MINDED BUDZ Simple Minded Budz hail from New Jersey, playing original Reggae as well as covers of legends and popular artists such as Bob Marley, Sublime, and Matisyahu. This young group is one of the Nail favorites! RUSTY NAIL Inside Fridays, Saturdays, and select Sundays (rotating), 9pm-1am TRIBECA GRAND One night only, June 9, for the “Endless Summer” party. Chosen to play for President Obama’s Inaugural Ball, Tribeca Grand brings their electric energy to the Nail for a night you won’t want to miss! Vocalists Andrea Brown and Gary Baylis are joined by the full Tribeca Grand rhythm section to keep you dancing the night away at our Endless Summer Party at the Nail. THE GUY PETERSEN BAND Guy’s top influences are the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix & Led Zeppelin. Ranging from classic pop rock to southern rock with jazz & blues undertones, Guy surrounds himself with the finest singer/players. Dance tunes and sing-alongs dominate the evening, ensuring that the crowd is drawn in and dancing until they drop.
THE BILLY D. LIGHT TRIO Their shows are truly a fun experience. They have crowds of all ages goin’ at any time — doing ‘the swim’, twistin’, or even just downhome shaggin’. Solidly based in good old rock ’n’ roll, the Billy D. Light Trio song list covers tunes from Memphis Blues, to Mississippi song, to rockabilly. TRU BRUDDAHS This popular acoustic duo brings us several nights as a full band 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. It’s always a fun night at the Nail when Tru Bruddahs are onstage. BACK2LIFE Known for their extensive repertoire of 1980s and other classic rock songs, Back2Life’s sound is full of passionate harmonies and tight danceable rhythms that appeal to audiences of all ages. POKERFACE This seasoned trio of musicians from Cape May County deliver a well-rounded list of crowd pleasers featuring classics through today’s top music charts. These solidly skilled musicians bring you multiple lead and harmony vocals, creating a winning hand of fun, danceable party music. THIRD DEGREE Don Shaw can play anything on the guitar after years of working as a studio musician in Nashville. His sense of humor comes through whenever he performs (see if you don’t suddenly catch a bit of The Simpsons theme). Don Shaw and his band play hits from the 70s, 80s and more. Their mission? To keep the crowd dancing the night away. BaNaNa TrIo This is a band ripened in South Jersey, covering all your favorites songs from Island vibe to disco and arena rock. Solo entertainer Wesley Ochs has created a power trio that is a real crowd pleaser. TWELVE: 01 Featuring local favorite Erik Simonsen, TWELVE:01 features a Singer - Songwriter flair while incorporating rock and pop with an acoustic edge. the BROWN ROOM Fridays and Saturdays year-round; 7 days a week from June 22 through September 2, 8pm-12am Mondays (rotating) DELANY & REEVES Accompanied by drummer Andrew Reeves and her own guitar, Kate Delany mesmerizes her audiences as her sultry voice recreates songs from the repertoires of Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Regina Spektor, Janis Joplin, the Beatles, and Jewel.
WESLEY OCHS Vocalist and guitarist Wesley Ochs plays something for everyone and every taste, including classic rock, ballads, alternative and modern rock, island/reggae, oldies, country, and of course party favorites. Using request lists and a repertoire of over 300 songs, Wesley always gets the crowd involved and singing along. ERIK HEITZEL With a broad repertoire encompassing classic rock standards, contemporary hits, crowd singalongs 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. Tuesdays ERIK SIMONSEN Performing vocals with solo acoustic guitar, Erik brings his flair to The Brown Room, incorporating rock and pop with an acoustic edge. Wednesdays MATT SANTRY An acoustic player from the singer-songwriter school, Matt Santry has developed his sound and live-show style in clubs, coffee shops and campuses between New York and LA. Thursdays DARIN MACDONALD With exceptional vocals and captivating piano skills, Darin has been entertaining piano bar audiences around the globe for over 10 years. The premier Piano Bar Entertainer for Carnival Cruise Lines, Darin has entertained international audiences on the high seas since 2003. Fridays (rotating) THE ANN OSWALD DUO Ann teams with her longtime friend, Don Shaw, for some great acoustic music sets, consisting of blues, southern rock, pop and country — by the end of the night, she’ll definitely have you singing along. 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 selections from the Beatles, Paul Simon, Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison and James Taylor, just to name a few. BETH TINNON Beth’s ability to sing every style of music from jazz to country to today’s Top 40 won her the 2009, 2011 and 2012 Atlantic City Weekly Readers’ Choice Nightlife Awards for Best Lounge Act. She has performed with her pianist all over the East Coast area since moving to this area from Nashville, TN. WESLEY OCHS Wesley is a vocalist/guitarist who plays something for everyone including classic rock, ballads, alternative and modern rock, island/reggae, oldies, country, and party favorites, with request lists and a repertoire of over 300 songs.
Saturdays DARIN MACDONALD Darin MacDonald and Saturday nights in The Brown Room have become a Congress Hall mainstay. Folks plan their weekend around getting to hear Darin’s beautiful renditions of their favorite Billy Joel and Elton John tunes as they find their places in front of the fireplace to listen to him play and sing at the Steinway grand. He doesn’t mind if you sing along. Sundays AUDREY SNOW Young Audrey Snow’s musical influences include Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, the Beatles, and Sheryl Crow. She grew up listening to a lot of oldies, classic rock, and blues. Audrey accompanies herself on guitar as she beautifully sings the popular rock classics and pop music that you expect and want to hear, while throwing in a lesser known song — or maybe even one of her own. the BOILER ROOM Fridays and Saturdays as of March 16; five days a week from June 22, through September 2 Wednesdays July 11 to August 29, 8:30pm-10:30pm OPEN MIC NIGHT with DON SHAW Didn’t bring your guitar? Doesn’t matter. Don will provide one for anyone who wants to sing. Come downstairs and experience The Boiler Room’s cool vibe as an entertainer. Stay afterward for the featured guest singer-songwriter of the evening, starting at 11pm. Wednesdays July 11 to August 29, 11pm-12:30am SINGER-SONGWRITER FEATURED PERFORMER With guest artists ranging from local favorites from the singer–songwriter genre, to those who travel from Philly and as far away as Nashville, don’t miss this unique offering in Cape May, where you will hear performances in an intimate setting by musicians who actually wrote the songs they perform for you. Thursdays and Sundays June 28 to September 2 KARAOKE with TERRY O’BRIEN The creator and popular host of Terry’Oke, Terry O’Brien brings us two children’s sessions this year (Thursdays from 6pm to 8:30pm and Sundays 7:30pm to 9:30pm) as well as a full evening of sing-your-heart-out karaoke for the grown-ups (Thursdays only, 9:30pm to 12 midnight). Fridays and Saturdays Year-round (rotating), 9pm-1am THE DANE ANTHONY BAND With hip blaring horns and rollicking rhythms with everything from blues to funk and beyond, the Dane Anthony Band keeps the dance party going all night. One of our favorites — we highly recommend that you not miss this band. EDGARDO CINTRON: TRIBUTE TO SANTANA This Latin jazz specialist and his troupe of skilled musicians bring the music of Santana to life as well
as Miami Latin-style dance dusic with fantastic live sets. You won’t be able to resist getting out on the dance floor! THE BILLY D. LIGHT TRIO Their shows are truly a fun experience. They have crowds of all ages goin’ at any time — doing ‘the swim’, twistin’, or even just downhome shaggin’. Solidly based in good old rock ’n’ roll, the Billy D. Light Trio song list covers tunes from Memphis Blues, to Mississippi song, to rockabilly. FRANK BEY A master of the art of blues, Frank has been entertaining since the tender age of four. He toured with the Otis Redding Review, Archie Jenkins and the Incredible Saxtons, and his own band, throughout the United States, Spain and Canada. Don’t miss one of The Boiler Room’s most popular performers. THIRD DEGREE Don Shaw can play anything on the guitar after years of working as a studio musician in Nashville. His sense of humor comes through whenever he performs (see if you don’t suddenly catch a bit of The Simpsons theme). Don Shaw and his band play hits from the 70s, 80s and more. Their mission? To keep the crowd dancing the night away. BLUEBONE Delivering smokin’ blues and burnin’ boogie, this is one of the best live bands around. Made up of Cape May natives Jay Bethel, Van Burriss of West Chester, PA, and several guest drummers, Bluebone’s last release, Radio, was voted #9 of the top 100 CDs of 2005 by Upstage, New Jersey’s arts and culture magazine. TWELVE: 01 Featuring local favorite Erik Simonsen, TWELVE:01 features a singer-songwriter flair while incorporating rock and pop with an acoustic edge. POKERFACE Pokerface is a seasoned trio of musicians from Cape May County, delivering a well-rounded list of crowd pleasers featuring classics through today’s top music charts. These solidly skilled musicians bring you multiple lead and harmony vocals, creating a winning hand of fun, danceable party music. BACK2LIFE Known for their extensive repertoire of 1980s and other classic rock songs, Back2Life’s sound is full of passionate harmonies and tight danceable rhythms that appeal to audiences of all ages. Sundays June 24 to September 2, 10pm-2am DJ NIGHT with DJ DRAMADIK After Family Karaoke ends at 9:30pm, it’s time for the grown-ups to dance the night away, as DJ Dramadik out of Brooklyn, NY reads the room to find the tunes that keep everyone out of their seats and on the dance floor. Pulling out tunes by rappers Slick Rick, House of Pain, Rob Base, DJ E-Z Rock and R&B singer Montell Jordan, DJ Dramadik calls himself a mixmaster, taking it back to old school.
spa & wellness
“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” — thomas carlyle
sea spa at congress hall Think of it as a vacation within a vacation
he Sea Spa at Congress Hall is a full-service spa that offers an irresistible atmosphere of effortless simplicity. One where a gentle touch and a placid scene are the only necessities. 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 utilizes SkinCeuticals products and also offers a fine selection of Aveda products for sale. Here are some of our signature treatments... Beachcomber A full-body massage that employs a clay mask to focus on your lower legs and feet. hot Stones A hot stone massage that allows you to pass the time and reflect on the day’s affairs. Southern Comfort Perfect after a long day in the sun. A full-body massage that uses warm heated towels and cooling aloe to help you ease into the night. Facials Includes Classic, Smoothing Out Rough Edges, The Long Weekend, The Refresher, Gentleman’s, Running for Congress, and Back Facial. Manicure/Pedicure Including French, Shellac, and the Gentleman’s. Waxing services A full menu of services is available. Ask for details.
working out, having fun Yoga and Zumba on the lawn, boot camp on the beach... what a way to start the day!
elaxation at our Cape Resorts Group properties isn’t just limited to the Sea Spa at Congress Hall. The hotel offers a variety
of fitness classes to suit all fitness levels. Yoga on the Lawn 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 every season for the last nine years. There’s a reason why Sharon has private clients all over the tri-state area — she’s one of the best instructors around. This season, we are excited to once again offer Zumba on the Lawn with instructor Desiree Reid. New this year is Beach Boot Camp, hosted by instructor Matt Lucas. If the the weather isn’t playing nice and you’re in the mood to mix a little exercise with your relaxation, Congress Hall features a gym which is available to guests of the hotel, The Star Inn, The Virginia Hotel and Cottages. 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 a well-equipped gym.
Yoga on the Lawn With Sharon Fruchtman Saturdays only from Memorial Day through June 23, 8:30am–9:45am Seven days from June 23 through September 3, Saturdays only September 8 through October 6, 8:30am–9:45am Cost: $20, plus tax “I teach yoga classes all over, but I can honestly say that practicing on the lawn of Congress Hall, breathing in the air from the Atlantic and the scent from the hydrangeas in those beautiful gardens is up there with the best yoga experiences. It’s the perfect combination of environment and exercise.”
Beach Boot Camp With Matt Lucas from North Beach Health Club of Cape May Monday through Friday, from June 25 through August 31 7am-8am $15, plus tax “I’ve done boot camps for other places before, and they can be monotonous. This is more fun than that; there’s more variety. It’s not something you dread; it’s something you look forward to. Being on the beach in Cape May is motivating. But don’t get me wrong, you’re going to work up a sweat, too.” Zumba on the Lawn With Desiree Reid Saturdays only, from June 23 through September 1 8am-9am $15, plus tax “Zumba means having fun for an hour, so that you don’t realize you’re sweating it out. You don’t know you’ve been doing squats and toning movements because it feels more like you’ve been breaking it down at a club for an hour. It’s nice when you don’t have to feel guilty about eating dessert, and it’s also nice spending time outside in the fresh air — how can you beat that view? In between songs, I catch people looking out over the beach.”
«To sign up for our fitness classes please speak with the Concierge or the front desk
IF YOU’RE looking to... stay in shape while still having fun
North Beach Health Club of Cape May
acation is an especially great time to get in shape — there’s no excuse not to do something good for YOU. North Beach offers a variety of classes so that your workout never gets stale, and you can find something that works for your body. Dabble in P90X, spin, boot camp, yoga, extreme body, beach body, non-stop cardio, boxercising, low-impact, Crossfit and hustle muscle classes. Because the folks at North Beach Health Club also believe working out should be affordable for everyone, a daily pass costs only $12. A two-day pass costs $20; weekly, $35 and a 10-pass punch card is $75. For your convenience, you can pick up daily passes at Congress Hall’s front desk.
3845 bayshore road, cape may
IF YOU’RE looking to... enjoy the most fulfilling workout of all
Balance Pilates & Yoga Studio
ape May’s only fullyequipped Pilates & Yoga Studio is a two-minute drive or, better still, a short walk from Congress Hall. It has plenty of free parking and is open year-round. Balance is the perfect place to unroll your yoga mat or to perfect your teaser. Its peaceful atmosphere allows you to practice deeply without distraction. Their experienced instructors guide beginners through the basics, as well as challenge seasoned students with advanced techniques and exercises. Join them for small group classes or private sessions alone or with friends in the studio or on the beach. They specialize in providing unique, memorable activities for celebrations such as bridal parties, family reunions, and girlfriends’ getaways. Balance can also provide you with the relief you need from sore muscle and stress though therapeutic or Thai Yoga massage. Don’t just take our word for it. “The studio is warm and welcoming,” says Jim Finn of Flemington, NJ. Nancy Reilly of Harrisburg, PA, adds, “Each class is like mini massage... my flexibility has increased tremendously Balance Pilates and Yoga Studio is the exclusive provider of Pilates Reformer Classes on the island. Find out what the buzz is about by scheduling a session.
« (609) 600109 park sunset boulevard, boulevard, west cape may may « (609) 884-3001 770-8479 «« balancecapemay.com www.exitzero.us
“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.” — h.g wells
the fun factor Concierge Amanda Romolini has some plans for you...
e are here for one reason only — to take the hassle out of your vacation, so that only the pleasure is left! We can arrange restaurant reservations for you, book theater tickets (there are Broadwayquality shows in this town), or even arrange wine tours. And although we know you’re here to relax, we have also lined up a great range of activities on our campus, from karaoke to ceramics classes. We will also be delighted to book off-campus activities, whether that’s jet-skiing, kayaking, biking, golfing, or improving your serve with a tennis professional. We’ve filled the following pages with activities that will keep every member of your family happy, over and over again. Call our Concierge hotline at (609) 884-8421 or come see us in the lobby of Congress Hall for more information and to make reservations. Personally, I can’t wait to take another paddle-boarding lesson from Jeff at Aqua Trails. It’s such a workout (which is especially important during bathing suit season), but also a great way to feel connected with the beautiful seascapes here in Cape May. And you never know when you’ll catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two.
We know all the ways to kick back on this island as well because let’s face it, being active isn’t always the first thing on your mind. I’m a sun-worshipper myself, so I know heaps of insider tips on how to make the most of a beach day in Cape May. Rent one of our beautiful beach cabanas, if you’d like VIP treatment. Or, if you’d like to be far from the crowds, head to peaceful Reading Avenue. 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. People often ask what I would do on a perfect day in Cape May (and throughout this magazine, some of my colleagues speak eloquently on that subject). First thing in the morning, I grab a cup of my favorite pick-me-up, a Starbucks from Coffee Shop at The Star, before heading to work. Then it’s a full day of planning with my fellow Concierges. We recommend you start your day with a hearty breakfast on the leafy patio of The Blue Pig Tavern (mimosas optional) or on the beachfront patio at the Rusty Nail. If you’re not a big breakfast person, grab something light at Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop. The nature buffs among you might bring a picnic to the nature trails at
Cape May Point State Park. We also know how important fueling up with a good lunch is. There are no shortage of restaurants on this island from which to choose. My own favorite is the Nail — feel free to show up with beach hair or sandy feet; they welcome it. At the outside tiki bar, seafood fanatics will love sampling from the raw bar menu… and later, you get to enjoy an acoustic guitar player providing a laidback soundtrack. As the sun starts to set (an event you won’t need a Concierge to point out… Cape May sunsets are hard to miss), our guests might decide they want to have a grown-up night out. If they’ve got kids in tow, we’re happy to take care of babysitting arrangements. (And your kids will be happy for that too, because we’ve got Blue’s Clubhouse… staffed with seasoned sitters and, of course, Blue.) We’re happy to make you a reservation at one of Cape May’s fine dining spots. It’s something that gets us excited, because we’ve had so many good experiences at these restaurants ourselves. My perfect evening always includes dinner at The Ebbitt Room, but not before enjoying a refreshing Pear Saketini and some jazz piano at the bar. Now that the bar and the dining areas are one free-flowing space, thanks to an amazing renovation last year, it’s easier to people-watch (one of my favorite things to do). But the best part of a night here? The famous sticky toffee pudding. It’s a sweet ending to your sweetest day in Cape May. And remember, as a valued guest of Cape Resorts Group, you have signing privileges across ALL of our properties and outlets. Now, go enjoy your perfect day.
“Personally, I can’t wait to take another paddle-boarding lesson from Jeff at Aqua Trails. It’s such a workout, but also a great way to feel connected with the seascapes, and you never know when you’ll catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two.”
My Perfect Cape May Day Colleen Buckley Vice President of Marketing for Cape Resorts Group Given that I spend half my time in New York City, I appreciate the quality time I get to spend in beautiful Cape May. The minute I cross the bridge I feel relaxed. The most magical time of year for me is December. The tree-lighting ceremony, the decorations, the Winter Wonderland festivities at Congress Hall, and the West Cape May Christmas Parade are some of my favorite activities. But my perfect day would be in spring. After waking up, I’d spend some time in an Adirondack chair on the lawn at Congress Hall, where I’d drink my iced vanilla latte from Tommy’s Folly and get lost in a great book. Then, with my husband Carlos, I’d take a long bike ride along the beach and through town, taking in the beautiful architecture of these tree-lined streets. We’d be sure to stop at Beach Plum Farm, where we’d walk through the lush flower and vegetable gardens. Of course, we’d check on the adorable pigs and chickens… you should see all the eggs! I would spend my perfect afternoon playing in the ocean, feeling the sand between my toes, and indulging in my guilty pleasure — a celebrity gossip magazine. For lunch, I’d grab a hot dog from Tommy’s; they never fail to be delicious. Around sunset, we would head to the front porch of the Virginia Hotel, where we’d enjoy hand-crafted cocktails, mouth-watering small plates, and great conversation with friends, old and new. To end the evening, we’d walk to our favorite frozen custard stand on the Washington Street Mall, Kohr’s — cool and refreshing, just like Cape May.
World-renowned birder Richard Crossley has created the Learning to Look package for our guests
Experience Nature At Its Most Amazing
ape May is one of the world’s most famous birding spots. Its geographic location, sandwiched between the ocean and the Delaware Bay, funnels southbound migrants to its tip. Added to this is a tremendous diversity of habitat, crammed into a very small area. For the birder, this creates great opportunities to find a wide array of birds without having to travel too far. Which is why we are so excited to offer a new Learning to Look Birding Workshop, created by world-renowned birder and author Richard Crossley. The workshop, based from The Virginia Hotel (but with a LOT of outdoor activity), is a 2-night/3-day experience in an intimate group of up to 14 participants. The first event was held in May, when participants witnessed the migration of Red Knots, an amazing spectacle. The next birding workshop will be held at the Virginia on October 19-21, which promises to be a special experience, since fall is the peak migration time for birds. (See page 128 for more details.) Richard moved to Cape May in 1991 after he fell in love with it in the 1980s. His knowledge and love of Cape May are second to none, which will be very evident during your visit. Richard is also revolutionizing the way we look at birds and books. His goal is to simplify the way we see, and identify, birds. Most people come away pleasantly surprised by how much they can really see. Comments such as, “Why didn’t someone tell me this
before?” are not unusual. Throughout your stay, the emphasis will be on learning to look, rather than checking off every box. The goal is to help all participants become better and more independent birders. The more we are able to look and see on our own, the more enjoyable birding becomes. As with all migration spots, the weather determines which birds will be around. Due to this, our schedule will be flexible so that we can take advantage of Richard’s experience to see the highest number of birds. An outline of the trip will be provided, but this will almost certainly be subject to change. Much of the focus will be to not only see the birds, but to better understand and enjoy them. The result will be that you will find them much easier to identify than you imagined. Some of the places we will visit will include Higbee Beach for songbirds. This is typically the best place first thing in the morning. Birds that have arrived in Cape May County overnight remarkably all fly north in the morning (we still don’t fully understand why). There are a number of spots to see shorebirds. South Cape May Meadows is one of the best, and we will be stopping here to see which waterbirds are around. Since Richard is co-author of the critically acclaimed The Shorebird Guide, there is nobody better equipped to show you these birds. Cape May is also a famous raptor migration site. We will have our eye on the skies at all times but will also spend some time at the Cape May Hawkwatch.
The Bike Shop at Congress Hall
There’s no better way to get around Cape May than by bike. The city is flat, very pretty, and, well, you don’t want to be stuck in summer traffic! 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 Group 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 CRG Concierge at Congress Hall can assist you in setting up your rental. Our list of recommended rides? To the lighthouse at Cape May Point, Beach Plum Farm (pictured) in West Cape May, the Emlen Physick Estate on Washington Street, Sunset Beach at the end of Sunset Boulevard and Bay Springs Alpaca Farm, at the end of New England Road. Happy trails!
ACTIVITIES ON OUR CAMPUS Fun and games for all the family, plus a great baby-sitting service, too! Monday Nights Carnival and a Movie on the Grand Lawn Monday nights are the time to be in town. We turn Congress Hall’s lawn into a carnival with booths, carnival hosts, and games for all ages, face painting, balloon twisting, tasty treats and much more! The whole family is invited to take part. After some fun and games you are welcome to find a comfy seat on the lawn and enjoy our complimentary family-friendly movie.
Wednesday Afternoons Ceramics on the Veranda You and/or your kids will be inspired to learn from instructor Miss Brenda, from Island Studio in Stone Harbor. Create your very own masterpiece and she will do the rest. From 4pm to 6pm.
Tuesday Nights It’s a Surprise! Keep your eyes peeled for a special event on the Grand Lawn of Congress Hall on July 10 and 24, and August 7 and 21 at 3pm.
Thursday & Sunday Nights Family Karaoke Fronted by the best karaoke host in town, Terry O’Brien, Family Karaoke will run from 6pm-8:30pm, followed by Adult Karaoke from 9:30pm-midnight on Thursdays. On Sunday evenings, Family Karaoke will run from 7:30pm–9:30pm. Remember the rules of Terry’Oke: 1. We don’t care how bad your voice is – get up and enjoy yourself; 2. What happens in The Boiler Room stays in The Boiler Room.
Saturdays Soccer for Kids, Volleyball for Adults After the success of last summer’s soccer on the lawn, we decided it would only be fair for the moms and dads to have some fun, too. This summer, we are delighted to be hosting volleyball games on the lawn from 11am–noon. Soccer games are from 1:00pm-2:00pm (no games on June 9 or June 23).
« AND REMEMBER: EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY IN CAPE may to GO BIKING...
BLUES CLUBHOUSE SITTER SERVICES Great times for the kids, which means great times for the adults. It’s a win-win.
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 baby-sitting service you can trust. Blue’s Clubhouse is available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 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 patio of the Blue Pig Tavern, or under the stars at the Rusty Nail. Or maybe you get an ice cream, then stroll through the mall, and along the promenade. Whatever you do, you will know that your most precious possessions are in good hands. Available from Friday, June 22 until Saturday, September 1, 5:30pm–9pm. Ask at Congress Hall’s front desk or call (609) 884-8421.
Dates for your Diary «Our popular Full Moon Parties feature a summer cocktail party, with live jazz music by the Herb Moore Trio. Here are the dates... June 6: Moonrise at 10:33pm August 1: Moonrise at 7:39pm August 29: Moonrise at 6:13pm September 5: Moonrise at 9:54pm «Throughout the summer, watch out for details of our new Beach Plum Farm Pig Roasts. Hop on a trolley at Congress Hall to West Cape May, then take in the sights and aromas of our oldstyle pig roast, sip delicious wines, and enjoy the ambience of our beautiful 62-acre farm. «The Ebbitt Room will host a Culinary Series designed by Chef Lucas Manteca, inspired by the essence of your favorite wines and spirits such as vodka, scotch and tequila. «Kick off the summer of 2013 at the Beach Shack and Rusty Nail with our Second Annual Clam-O-Rama! We are bringing back a favorite Jersey Shore pastime — clam-pitching. Spend a fun-filled family day at the beach, watching and participating in the tournament, and your night at the Nail, where we will be hosting the island’s biggest, tastiest clam bake, along with some great live music. For our out-of-town guests, be sure to book the Clam Digger Package and you will receive overnight accommodations at the Beach Shack, an order of steamers and four beers in a Beach Shack pail with shovel from the Rusty Nail. And the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Take home your own Beach Shack clam-pitching set for playing all summer long! See page 126 for more details.
THE fourth of july ALL-AMERICAN PICNIC Held on the lawn of Congress Hall, itâ€™s one of the grand events of the season
ecades before its acclaimed 2002 renovation, Congress Hall hosted the biggest Fourth of July party in town. 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 ever. In the daytime, kids enjoy three-legged races, potato sack races, face painting, and balloon twisting, while families indulge in classic BBQ 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 Group and the City of Cape May. Itâ€™s an unmissable Americana extravaganza.
IF YOU’RE looking to... take an enchanting tour of the wetlands
magine paddling through wetlands, your kayak illuminated by dazzling pinks and purples that trail across the skies as the sun makes its slow descent. An osprey flies toward the horizon, and you turn to see what you thought was a black skimmer. Aqua Trails, run by Jeff and Tracey Martin, was established to provide kayak nature tours. They give daily kayak tours in the wetlands, as well as offering full moon and sunset tours. They also run popular ocean paddles, which start at the Cove, go past the lighthouse at Cape May Point and
finish up at Higbee’s Beach. Experienced kayak guides lead the tours... so don’t worry if you need pointers. Or you can rent kayaks and go your own way. Kayaking is a beautiful way to experience the wetlands ecosystem, as well as interact with natural neighbors such as herons, oystercatchers, egrets, sandpipers, and a whole host of other marsh life. Reservations are suggested. You’ll get a bit wet, so in the summer heat, a bathing suit is best. And if it’s cool and breezy, try a windbreaker. Aqua Trails also now rents stand-up paddle boards!
1600 delaware avenue, cape may
IF YOU’RE looking to... see broadway-quality theater
Cape May Stage
ape May Stage, the premiere Equity Theatre in Southern New Jersey, inspires performers, audiences, the local community, and the entire region. The company introduces audiences to great performers and performances through the Cape May Stage Main Stage, and also collaborates with outstanding organizations and theatrical companies to form a vibrant creative community and build a larger constituency for the performing arts with the Second Stage Series. Free concerts and subsidized tickets attract diverse audiences who gather to explore a wide range of artistic possibilities. This season, Artistic Director Roy Steinberg presents Tony award-winning plays, regional premieres, and an exciting Second Stage Series calendar full of celebrity appearances. With plenty of laughs, plus a few tears, audiences will want to see every show in this spectacular season. Main Stage Theatre Series Uncle Jacques’ Symphony May 11-June 15: A tour de force of acting and writing about a Chicago jazz drummer. God of Carnage June 20-August 3: The Triple Tony Awardwinning Broadway comedy about manners... without the manners! The 39 Steps August 8-September 7: A two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning fast-paced whodunit for anyone who likes Hitchcock and Monty Python.
405 lafayette street, cape may
Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker
Time Stands Still September 12-October 13: A moving portrait about a journalist and photographer coping with changes in life and their relationship following the trauma of covering the Iraq War. The Belle of Amherst October 17-27: A play based on the life of America’s greatest woman poet Emily Dickinson. Poe, Times Two October 31-November 16: Twin tales of mystery, murder... and mortar! A must-see for Poe enthusiasts! A Tuna Christmas November 23-December 30: Two actors. Twelve days of Christmas. Twenty-four hilarious characters to put a jingle in your sleigh. Second Stage Broadway Series Anthony Rapp from Rent July 2 Lee Roy Reams in Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance July 16 Faith Prince in Total Faith July 23 Christine Ebersole in Strings Attached July 30 Andrea Marcovicci in No Strings August 13 Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker in Mike’s Shorts August 27 Great theatre is all about the experience, and Cape May Stage’s 2012 season has it all. Throughout the season Cape May Stage participates with many of Cape May’s Zagat-rated gourmet restaurants in money-saving Dinner & A Show package promotions. Call (609) 884-1341 for tickets and information, or online at capemaystage.org.
IF YOU’RE looking to... see whales and dolphins
Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center
stablished in 1987, the Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center invented the concept of whale and dolphin-watching at the Jersey Shore. They offer cruises on their 80-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
1121 route 109, utsch’s marina, cape may
and educational. Plan now – trips often sell out in advance! And please note that the company is now based at Utsch’s Marina, near the bridge into Cape May. There are group rates, private charters, fund-raising trips for non-profits, and a discount coupon available online. «
IF YOU’RE looking to... enjoy fine wine in beautiful surroundings
Cape May Winery & 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 barrel cave. Picture yourself on the second floor deck overlooking the lush vineyard, or on the patio, surrounded by vines as you sip their selection of award-winning vintages. In the cooler months, relax by the living 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.
711 townbank road, north cape may
IF YOU’RE looking to... enjoy family fun on the ocean
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, face-painting, a treasure hunt, water cannon battle (yes, 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.
6200 park boulevard, wildwood crest« (609) 729-3275
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.
6200 park boulevard, wildwood crest« (609) 729-7776
IF YOU’RE looking to... take a high-flying adventure
East Coast Parasail, Jet Ski and Waverunner
ast Coast is the only Parasail and Jet Ski company located on the island. No need to go over any bridges, pay any tolls and sit in summer traffic just to get there. You have to experience the high-flying thrill, panoramic views and adrenalin of parasailing at the Jersey Shore. East Coast Parasail’s professional, friendly and courteous crew is the best in the business and guarantee an unforgettable time for all. You don’t need any skills or experience... the company’s U.S. Coast Guard-Licensed Captains and crew will take care of everything for you. Parasailing is a watersport that is fun, SAFE, and exciting for the whole family. Boats depart every 90 minutes and fill up fast, so book early in your vacation. If you are looking for a cool and refreshing way to enjoy your summer vacation, try renting a personal watercraft, also called a Jet Ski or Waverunner. Jet Ski rentals are a great way to live life to the fullest this summer without breaking your budget. Prior to your adventure, you will be given a safety briefing. Then you will be escorted out to East Coast’s large, safe riding area — their patrol or escort is in the area for the duration of your ride. East Coast was named #1 by the New Jersey State Police for safety in the rental industry for all of South Jersey. Your safety is their main priority! Reservations are recommended for both watersports.
1121 rte 109 @ utsch’s marina, cape may
Meet... The banker FAMILY
illard Banker first discovered Cape May in the 1940s, because his uncle played trumpet in a band here every night at the pier. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that he fell in love with Congress Hall. Three of his cousins worked there — one as a maitre’d, one as a waitress and one as a busboy — and Millard would pick them up after their shifts. Now, Millard and his wife Nancy, who live in Haddonfield, NJ, love watching the younger generation enjoying summer jobs at their favorite hotel — most recently, it was their nephew, David, who worked here — but not nearly as much as they love staying at Congress Hall themselves. Millard and Nancy visit twice a year, once during the summer when they can enjoy the “gorgeous hotel gardens” from a couple of rocking chairs on the breezy veranda, and once during the winter, when the “magnificent decorations make for a magical Christmas.” The Bankers make it a point to hit the Congress Hall beach because the staff does all of the leg work! “They set up the umbrellas,” Nancy says. “They bring lunch, offer towels,
everything.” In fact, it is the gracious staff at Congress Hall that make the entire vacation experience so wonderful. “Our favorite thing has to be the staff,” the couple told us, “From General Manager John Daily to the folks at the front desk, the great kids at the pool, the friendly guys out front greeting us and taking care of the luggage… they genuinely care.” With so many memories made here over the years, it’s difficult for the Bankers to settle on just one favorite, but if they had to choose, it would be their daughter’s wedding. “It was a perfect day,” they said. “The flowers were beautiful and we were surrounded by all our family and friends. Our daughter and sonin-law were beaming all day, from the ceremony to the cocktail hour on the veranda, to the fantastic reception in the ballroom. “Congress Hall made that special day even more memorable.”
IF YOU’RE looking to... enjoy high-quality art in beautiful surroundings
Gail Pierson Gallery
he Gail Pierson Gallery is open all year and welcomes new artists and art lovers from all over to Cape May. Walk just one block off the mall onto Washington Street, where the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages and gas lamps still set the scene. Located in a charming Victorian house at Cranberry Court, in the oldest section of downtown Cape May, the Gail Pierson Gallery is entering its fourth season. The exhibits are first-rate, and always wellappointed, providing an interesting visual edge to the charm of its historic setting. The gallery has a full calendar of exhibits and events, with opportunities to meet
Clockwise from top left: “Big Locomotive”, by Judith Anderson; “Cul de Sac” by Matt Lively; “Need Chiles Fast” by Nancy Tankersley
artists, and to enjoy good food, live jazz and good conversation. The gallery features the original work of artists with varying styles from all over the east coast, and provides access to a growing number of regional artists via painting, photography, pen and ink, collage, sculpture, pottery and video. Among the regularly featured artists are: Matt Lively, Richmond VA; Nancy Tankersley, Easton MD; Judith Anderson, Richmond VA; Jack Bingham, Lancaster PA; Ellen Priest, Wilmington DE; Dressler Smith, Philadelphia PA; Blair Seitz, Reading PA; Joe Rademan, Sewell NJ; Tally Forbes, Boston MA. The gallery is also home to a number of
658 washington street, cape may
southern New Jersey artists, including Linda Chambers, Joan D’Avanzo, Peter Ehlinger, Carol Clark Hammond, Rosalie Hettenbach, Carol King Hood, Frank Smith, Mike Sperlak, Jody Swope, Nancy von Halle, Toni Vosika, and Pat Wenzel. The gallery is dedicated to being an important part of the community. A particular focus is the support of art and education — through lifelong learning opportunities, in the schools, online, and through community organizations, such as the Center for Community Arts (CCA) here in Cape May. The gallery lends its facilities to an annual exhibit of CCA’s student art.
IF YOU’RE looking to... explore the area in a fun and eco-friendly way
Great American Trolley Company
he Great American Trolley Company has been in business for more than 30 years and is the largest trolley transportation provider on the east coast. The company has a fleet of more than 30 vehicles, including Trolleys and TrolleCoaches, Transit Coach Buses, Motor Coaches, Vans and School Buses. The Great American Trolley Company offers a plethora of options of things to do in Cape May, America’s Original Seaside Resort. Here are some of the highlights on offer... Street/Transit Service: This transit service runs in Cape May July through Labor Day to get you around town in a fun and environmentally friendly way. They pick up directly at Congress Hall. The service runs from noon until 11pm seven days per week. Explore the Shore Trolley: This is a new hop-on, hop-off trolley service taking you to some of the most interesting destinations in the Cape May area. Reservations are required, and they can be made directly at Congress Hall’s Concierge. They can also pick you up at Congress Hall. Casino Trips: These trips to Atlantic City run seven days a week in the spring and summer, two days a week in the fall and winter. Reservations are required. Private Rental: Trolleys range in size from 21 passengers to 52 passengers and can be rented for weddings, birthday parties and much more. Add a little class, AND convenience, to your private event or wedding.
821 shunpike road, north cape may
IF YOU’RE looking to... enjoy the sights and sounds of a living museum
Historic Cold Spring Village
istoric Cold Spring Village is an Early American open-air living history museum portraying the lifestyles, trades, crafts and architecture of a small South Jersey rural community. The Village consists of 26 restored buildings on a 30-acre wooded site. It houses a variety of historically costumed craftspersons and interpreters who demonstrate basketry, woodworking, broommaking, tinsmithing, weaving, spinning, blacksmithing, 19th-century farming, printing, bookbinding and open-hearth cooking. In addition to the craft buildings, visitors will find a Country Store, Welcome Center, Old Grange Restaurant, Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor. Special events are held every weekend from late May through mid-September in addition to weekday family activities. Seasonal hours; call for additional information. May 26-27 Free Afternoon Concert June 2-3 Community Open House Weekend June 9-10 9th Annual Celtic Festival June 16-17 Military Timeline Weekend June 23-24 Quilt & Fiber Show June 30-July 1 Independence Day Celebration July 7-8 Antique & Folk Art Show and Sale July 14-15 FunFest Weekend July 21-22 Paranormal Pursuits July 28-29 Railroad Days August 4-5 Down on the Farm Weekend August 11-12 Antique & Folk Art Show and Sale August 18-19 Classic Car Show August 25-26 Seafarers’ Weekend September 1-2 FunFest Weekend September 8-9 Revolutionary War Encampment September 15-16 Civil War Weekend
720 route 9, cape may
IF YOU’RE looking to... take a tour of cape may’s famous landmarks
Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities
here’s more than sunshine to soak up at America’s first seaside resort, and it’s hard to take a step without bumping into this town’s unique history. 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, with a glimpse into the lifestyles of Cape May’s rich and famous on a guided tour. There’s a serene majesty to lighthouses, and 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. The lighthouse welcomes thousands of visitors each year who find it’s worth the 199-step climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the ocean and bay. A little further out on Sunset Boulevard is the recently restored World War II Lookout Tower. “Homeland security” is not just a catchphrase for the 21st century, as you’ll learn as you climb this tower, once used to help protect our shores against enemy invasion during World War II. Today, the tower also hosts two memorials: an inspiring Wall of Honor for local World War II veterans and an All Veterans Memorial for local residents who served their country. All three of these sites welcome visitors and offer ample free parking. 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 that make Cape May such a great place to visit. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.
1048 washington street, cape may
My Perfect Cape May Day Historic District Walking Tour We always recommend this 90-minute stroll around town to those who like their history up-close and personal. You get your own entertaining and knowledgeable MAC guide to lead you through Cape May’s lovely Historic District. Cape May’s churches, bed and breakfasts, and guest houses will never look the same to you again. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Call (609) 8845404, or visit capemaymac.org.
Cape May Family Treasure Hunt Keeping the kids occupied while on vacation is one thing. Keeping them occupied and learning is what we recommend with this educational scavenger hunt from MAC. Packets for the family are available for the wallet-friendly price of $5 at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth or Hill House office during hours of operation. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.
Local Theatre Cape May Stage, based in the beautifullyrenovated Robert Shackleton Playhouse on Lafayette Street, features a season packed with drama, comedy, music and superb performances, often from recognizable names. Call (609) 884-1341 or visit capemaystage. org. East Lynne Theater specializes in Early American Theater and operates out of the First Presbyterian Church on Hughes Street. Call (609) 884-5898.
Antiquing If antiquing is your thing, it’s a good thing you’re in Cape May, where antiquing is taken very seriously. We suggest the following treasure troves: (all 609 area code): Antiques Emporia, 405 West Perry Street (8983332), Bridgetowne Antiques, Broadway and Mechanic (884-8107), Out of The Past Antiques, 394 Myrtle Avenue, corner of Perry (884-3357), Cape May Antique Center, 1228 Route 109 (898-4449).
Chris Murray Director of Congress Hall Housekeeping I’d start out riding bikes with my wife Shari and our three kids, Gunnar, Keegan, and Skylar. We’d likely end up at George’s Place, because I am totally hooked on the tiramisu waffles. Then we’d hit Steger’s beach. The boys prefer it there because, as they say, the waves are “much fiercer.” We’d people-watch, play ball in the water with the kids and add to my wife’s massive collection of sea glass. But we’d also make time for kicking back and lounging, making sand sculptures and tossing the football. If we didn’t pack our own cooler, we might hit Gecko’s or Blue Moon Pizza for lunch. Then it would be back to the beach for the late afternoon low tide — that’s when everyone starts to leave and the waves pick up. The kids and I would barely leave the water; we’d try to outdo each other body surfing waves all the way into the sand. Shari would move her chair closer to the water’s edge so she might watch — and cringe. As the sun started to sink, we’d ride our bikes to the Rusty Nail for dinner and a few Blue Moon beers. The kids would run around on the grass with their free Frisbees, while Shari and I enjoyed the firepit and live entertainment. After everyone was fed and happy, we’d sing Family Karaoke at Congress Hall. The kids would feel special just being in the Boiler Room; to them, this seems like an adult-only place. After leaving the kids safe and sound with a sitter, Shari and I would enjoy some alone time, just the two of us. We’d hop over to Cape May Winery for the best wine and atmosphere. We’d chat, reminisce and savor the sweet reality: we are super lucky to live in the East Coast’s most beautiful resort town.
My Perfect Cape May Day Jennifer Hubbs Executive Assistant at Congress Hall It would start before most people are out of bed, with a bike ride. I’d make my way through town, taking in all of the beautiful homes, unique architecture and special gardens. I’d be sure to stop at Poverty Beach in order to look for two things: surf fishermen, so that I might give my husband an up-to-date report, and surfers, simply because I so enjoy watching as they gracefully navigate the waves, the early morning sun rising behind them. Then, I’d head off to the beach myself — Congress Street this time — with coffee from Tommy’s Folly. I love sitting close to the waterline, watching as kids notice dolphins playing in the surf for the very first time. As many times as I’ve seen them myself, I look forward to the sight of these amazing creatures. I can easily spend five hours this way, with nothing but a good beach read and my iPod to keep me company. When I’m on the beach, it’s Jimmy Buffett — the perfect soundtrack to summer. When finally sunned-out, my husband and I would head to the Rusty Nail. You know that song “Love This Bar” by Toby Keith? That is the feeling you get here. We’d order the fish tacos, and I would start with a margarita from Shane or Bobby and end with an icycold beer. It’s always the outside bar for me, where I can listen to reggae on the lawn and watch the sunset from my bar stool. Without fail, the lawn and sand pit end up bathed in a glow of hot pink and orange, colors that match the bar itself. At the end of my perfect night, I’d walk home, listening to the sounds of reggae becoming fainter and reminding myself: I live and work here. How perfect is that?
NASW Aviation Museum At its peak during WWII, the building that houses The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum accommodated 222 planes and 17,000 takeoffs and landings per month. The awe factor is still in place, where the building now houses a wonderful collection of planes and helicopters. Located just a few minutes north of Cape May, the museum is open daily from 9am-5pm. Call (609) 8868787 or visit usnasw.org.
Tennis The William J. Moore Tennis Club – named after the first black (as well as the oldest) tennis pro in America – rents rackets, balls, and courts. It’s located next to the Emlen Physick Estate on Washington Street and there are always a variety of local characters up for a game, match, or set. The courts are open to the public daily for just $10 per hour and a half. For more information call (609) 884-8986.
Miniature Golf So there is golf, which must be taken seriously, or miniature golf, which absolutely must not. Cape May Miniature Golf on Jackson Street offers a lush landscape of sculpted greens and sand traps. The tropical-themed ice cream oasis named Cocomoe’s is next door. There’s mini-golf by the ocean at Ocean Putt, on the corner of Beach and Jackson, and another one connected to the shops at Sunset Beach, at the very end of Sunset Boulevard.
Cape May Lighthouse and Museum Shop If you’re looking for a fun way to get your exercise in, jog up the 199 steps of the lighthouse. The view from the top is worth the walk, but feel free to reward yourself for your effort with a stop at the Museum Shop for a souvenir, book, video or other maritime item. Admission to the Visitors’ Orientation Center is free. Tower admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.
Meet... The gilmour FAMILY
t was more than 25 years ago that Christina Gilmour’s parents started bringing her and her sister, Sarah, to Cape May for family vacations. Now, the girls bring their own families here… for one week in the summer, and a long weekend in the fall, when the water is still warm and all the greatest restaurants are still open, but the crowds are not as large. Christina, along with hubby Rich and their two beautiful girls, Isabella and Hannah, from River Edge, NJ, spend all year looking forward to breakfast on the patio at The Blue Pig Tavern, and to playing on the lawn during the Fourth of July celebration. (The face-painting on this night is an extra-special treat.) The beach is always a favorite, too…the kids have spent countless hours jumping in the waves, building sand castles, collecting seashells and — when they’re tuckered out from all that wave jumping — watching for the dolphins that feed directly off this shore. For “date nights” (because the couple knows how important it is to make time for those, too) Christina and Rich spend time on the hotel’s Adirondack chairs, looking out over the ocean and breathing in the salty
air, before heading to The Ebbitt Room, where the food is consistently good… and the vibe is romantic. The family earmarks the last night of their vacation for a horse-andcarriage ride around the historic district. It is a highlight for their youngest, Hannah, who knows the names of all of the horses and eagerly looks forward to seeing which ones return every year. Christina can’t help but look forward to the day when the girls will carry on this tradition of bringing their own children to Congress Hall, for even more dolphin-spotting, face-painting, and, above all, memory making.
My Perfect Cape May Day Krista Ostrander Wedding and Social Sales Manager I would start my perfect day with a morning run with my son, Owen, in the stroller. My husband bought the jogging stroller for me last summer, so that I might run along the promenade; it’s rare to find a place so beautiful to exercise. When I’m there I’m so relaxed, I often forget I’m doing something productive. For breakfast, I’d head to the Blue Pig Tavern with my entire family. Congress Hall offers a family-friendly option that isn’t typical. The garden terrace has a European feel. You’re right in the middle of town, yet you feel secluded. I love that almost as much as I love the Eggs Benedict. Then I’d head to the Washington Street Mall to visit some of my favorite shops: Whale’s Tale, Madame’s Port, and Happy Baby. When feeling a little shopped out, I’d relax on one of the mall’s park benches. I love to sit there with some — what is it called? — Swedish fish ice cream, or maybe one of the chocolate chip cookies from Tommy’s Folly, and I’d settle in for some peoplewatching. I can’t help but wonder where everyone is coming from… I often find myself making up stories. In the afternoon, I’d wind down with a cocktail in the Brown Room, and maybe a second drink on one of the lawn’s Adirondack chairs. But for dinner, I’d move a little further down Beach Avenue, to the Rusty Nail. I love the feel of that outside bar after a long day in the sun. But the inside dining room — so nice and open — is just as inviting. It reminds me of Frankie Avalon, like an old-school surf movie. You can’t help but feel happy when you’re there. And that is, of course, the only way to feel at the end of a perfect day in Cape May.
Nature Center of Cape May The Nature Center offers adult, family and children’s programs year-round, from guided kayaking trips, cycling tours, family hikes, private garden tours, beginner birding field trips and wildlife-friendly gardening programs. Summer brings children’s day camps, Monday through Friday throughout July and August, for preschool through ninth grades. It’s designed with summer visitors in mind — campers may attend just one day or all summer. The Nature Center’s day doesn’t end with the setting sun. Join them for evening family programs, including full moon kayak tours, evening campfires and moonlight beach strolls in search of bats, ghost crabs and other nocturnal creatures. Visit njaudubon.org/centers/nccm.
Horseback Riding At Hidden Valley There’s no view of the world that quite matches that from the back of a horse, and you can take lessons in this pastime of heroes and kings under the watchful gaze of Nancy, the toughest, but ultimately the most lovable instructor you could ever hope for. Call Hidden Valley Ranch, located on New England Road, at (609) 8848205 for more information.
Cape May-Lewes Ferry A trip on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, across the Delaware Bay, can be a fun family diversion for the day. Shuttle service is available between Cape May and the ferry terminal on weekends through June 15, then seven days a week, from June 16 through September. In October, it runs weekends only. Shuttle leaves from the Cape May Transportation Center on Lafayette Street. Cape Henlopen State Park, in Lewes, is worth a trip.
IF YOU’RE looking to... have a fabulous day of family fun
Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks
ide and slide the summer days away with three amusement piers and two beachfront waterparks, located just over the bridge from Cape May on the vibrant Wildwood Boardwalk. Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks continue to consistently receive top rankings both nationally and worldwide. They were voted among the Top 3 seaside amusement parks in the world by Amusement Today magazine, rated the top Boardwalk in the country by FamilyVacationCritic.com, and ranked in the Top 5 waterparks in the country by TripAdvisor. This year, there are two more reasons to visit this classic seaside park, with two fantastic new waterpark attractions. At Raging Waters, float for hours among waterfalls and geysers in River Adventure, and enjoy beautiful rock formations or relax in the grotto. Water was never so much fun! At Ocean Oasis, race friends and family to a wet-and-wild finish on Wipeout, a new six-lane waterslide. This thrilling new addition will give older generations a nostalgic feeling as it bears a striking resemblance to the ride that started it all in 1969 — the original Wipeout slide. Morey’s Piers offers rides ranging from mild to high-intensity, including six worldclass rollercoasters and extreme rides, as well as traditional favorites like the old-
fashioned Carousel, bumper cars, and the spinning Teacups. Ocean Oasis Waterpark & Beach Club features concierge and massage services, the Water Lilies swim-up bar and private cabana rentals to combine premier fun and relaxation. At Raging Waters, careen down the speed slides, experience the one-of-a-kind Sky Ponds slides and let the kids loose in two unique play areas, Shipwreck Shoals and Camp KidTastrophe.
spencer, schellenger & 25th avenue, wildwood
The Giant Wheel got a bright facelift with brand new lights. The entire wheel, including the center sun, will be fully lit, creating a vibrant light show each night for the island. With hundreds of patterns and infinite colors, the new lighting scheme will dazzle the night sky. Create family memories to span generations with more than 100 rides and attractions for the little kids, big kids and the kid in all of us. Call (609) 522-3900 or visitmoreyspiers.com.
IF YOU’RE looking to... play golf on a world-class course
Sand Barrens Golf Club
“It’s a unique, first-class resort layout that’s the closest thing you’ll find to a desert course in this part of the country and [Dana] Fry managed to pull it off without creating a course that feels too gimmicky.” – Joe Logan, Philadelphia Inquirer
nyone who has played at Sand Barrens knows it is something special, but did you know that the course is the creation of one of the nation’s finest golf course design firms, Hurdzan/Fry of Columbus, Ohio? The architects’ diligent attention to detail and love for this beautiful site resulted in the building of one of America’s finest courses. What most golfers talk about after they play Sand Barrens is the personality of the layout, with more than 100 acres of sand, in the bunkers and sweeping waste areas. These sandy stretches, set against luxuriant fairways that could almost be greens, are a dazzling eye-catcher that makes you yearn to grab a club. The course offers a remarkable target experience that you will have a tough time finding elsewhere. All you can see from the tee boxes at times are bunkers and waste areas... but the fairways are very generous, and the traps shouldn’t be difficult to avoid. Located in Swainton, a short drive from Cape May, Sand Barrens offers a spectacular challenge to golfers of all skill levels. Using nature as a backdrop, this picturesque
par 72 layout plays over 6,900 yards from the back tees, and demonstrates the diversity and beauty of the natural terrain. Combining majestic tree-lined fairways, vast natural areas, dramatic scrub bunkers and massive undulating greens, this course requires strategy from tee to green. There are five sets of tee boxes in order to give every player a chance to feel comfortable. All this golfing excitement came to be when the lead designer, Dana Fry of Hurdzan/Fry, discovered a layer of sand while trees were being cleared for fairways in the winter of 1996. A more traditional course had been in the works. But Fry had a new idea. The results were impressive. Although many times you will want to use fairway woods off the tee, drivers can be used as well, depending on how talented you are with the club. Another tip: Pay attention to where the 150-yard markers are
1765 route 9 n, swainton
because they will help show you the way. When you’re considering which nines to play and how to play them, remember that the South Nine is the prettiest, the North the toughest, and the West everyone’s favorite. Each nine of the 27 holes plays from a minimum of 2,500 yards to a maximum of more than 3,500. Each nine plays as a par 36. Total distance for 18 holes will vary between 6,960 and 7,116, depending on the combination of nines played. Off the course, Sand Barrens also boasts a superb, scenic setting for your special event, from birthday parties to bar mitzvahs, rehearsal dinners to special reunions. The dining rooms plus outdoor patio can provide the kind of special place your guests will enjoy, with space for up to 240. It’s a special place in a special setting.
CHURCH AND SYNAGOGUE LISTINGS Worship and service times
My Perfect Cape May Day John Chirila Congress Hall Valet
Allen African Methodist Church 717 Franklin Street, Cape May (609) 884-2626 Beadle Memorial Presbyterian Church 506 Cape Avenue, Cape May Point: Summer worship 10am (609) 898-0536 Beth Judah Temple Pacific and Spencer Avenue, Wildwood: Shabbat service Saturdays at 9am (609) 522-7541 Cape Island Baptist Church Columbia Avenue and Gurney Street, Cape May: Sunday School 9:30am, Worship 11:00am (609) 884-3917 Cape May Lutheran Church 509 Pittsburgh Avenue, Cape May: Sundays 10:00am (609) 884-2181 Cold Spring Presbyterian Church 780 Seashore Road, Cold Spring: Sundays 10:30am (609) 8844065 Cape May United Methodist Church 635 Washington Street (next to City Hall): Sunday School 9:45am, Worship 11am (609) 884-3792 Episcopal Church of the Advent Franklin and Washington Street, Cape May: Sundays 8am and 10:30am, Thursdays noon (609) 884-3065 First Assembly of God 1068 Seashore Road, Cold Spring: Sundays 10am (609) 884-2424 First Presbyterian Church Decatur and Hughes, Cape May: Worship 9am, 11 am (609) 884-3949 Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness 827 Seashore Road, North Cape May: Meeting times Thursday 7:30pm, Sunday 10am (609) 884-8611 Macedonia Baptist Church Lafayette and Franklin, Cape May: Sunday 11am (609) 884-3270 Our Lady Star of the Sea R.C. Church 525 Washington Street, Cape May: Saturday 8am, 4pm, 5:15pm, 6:30pm, Sundays: 7am, 8am, 9:15am, 10:30am, 11:45am, 6pm (609) 884-5311 Notre Dame de la Mer (formerly St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church) 2900 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood (609) 522-5583 Saint Peter’s By the Sea 102 Lake Drive, Cape May Point (609) 898-4318 Seventh Day Adventist Church 1 West 4th Avenue, Mayville: Sabbath School Saturdays 9:30am, Worship service 11am Saturdays, Prayer Meeting 7:30pm Tuesdays (609) 861-2020 Union Chapel (non-denominational) 317 Cape Avenue, Cape May Point: Sunday 5pm, (856) 7852652
I would kick-start my perfect day with a piping hot coffee from Tommy’s Folly. I am an early riser, but a cup of coffee never hurts! Then I’d take a brisk walk on the promenade, so that I might fill my lungs with the clean ocean air. Being near the beach is always relaxing for me; I think it’s the one place where you can dream with your eyes open. For a lazy while, I’d enjoy having no plans. Sometimes, nothing is the best thing to do, and it doesn’t happen often! Then, with my girlfriend, I’d head back to Congress Hall for brunch at The Blue Pig Tavern. In the garden, I’d do some people-watching before ordering an omelet. The eggs come from chickens on the Beach Plum Farm in West Cape May, so you know they are fresh. I’d work off my breakfast playing a game of soccer with friends on Lafayette Street. We’d play long enough to get good and hungry, because we’d want to order take-out sandwiches and salads from the Depot Market afterward. With this picnic lunch, we’d head to the Cape May County Park and Zoo. There’s a wooden safari path there that leads to where the giraffes are feeding. It’s quiet and shaded — the perfect place for reflection on this perfect day. Then, it would be back to Cape May for a beer at the C-View and good conversation with my girl, the ideal happy hour. For dinner, we’d be craving fresh seafood, so we’d make reservations at the Merion Inn or The Ebbitt Room, followed by a nightcap — probably a beer, but maybe a gin and tonic — at the Brown Room. We’d sink into the comfortable chocolate brown couch there, the best place to gear up for a new day.
IF YOU’RE looking IF YOU’RE to... SHOPPING find a baby-sitting FOR... CAPE MAY service SOUVENIRS you can rely on
Sitters at the Shore
itters at the Shore, Care Aware, Inc. is owned and operated by Christine Marie Meehan, a certified elementary teacher. She started Sitters at the Shore, the first sitting service in Cape May County, in 1998. Along with private babysitting services and group care for weddings, parties, and other special events, Sitters at the Shore has recently added Pamper Parties for girls (manicure, pedicure, painting and more), private tutoring, private swim instruction and pet and house-sitting, too! Visit them at sittersattheshore.com. Christine is a mother of three, including one foster child. She worked as a social director for the Morey family in Wildwood Crest for eight years, at the Pan American Hotel and Seapointe Village. She is also a co-owner, birthday party coordinator and pre-K karate instructor at South Coast Shore Kick Karate in Rio Grande. Christine loves children and, as a parent, she knows how hard it can be for parents to leave their children with someone they don’t know. But with Sitters
at the Shore, the client is afforded time to become acquainted with the sitter before she arrives. All sitters bring along a goodie bag filled with fun activities. They strive not only to give the kids a great experience, but to give parents the peace of mind they deserve. Christine and her sitters pride
themselves on making their customers happy. The company has been serving Congress Hall guests since they opened their doors in 2002, and they’re happy to be part of Blue’s Clubhouse. New this year, the Clubhouse will provide fun, themed activities throughout the summer. Private sitting before and after club hours is also available, along with private or group sitting anytime. Sitters at the Shore has worked with wedding consultants in the area and their kid parties are just as much fun as the grown-ups’. The sitters are certified, backgroundchecked and screened, and are mainly elementary teachers, substitutes, teachers’ aids and college students majoring in education, or related fields. Only those who are energetic, fun-loving, nurturing, creative and playful can earn the title of a Sitter at the Shore. Because you deserve some grownup time away, reserve today! For more information, call Sitters at the Shore at (609) 465-0840, or visit them online at sittersattheshore.com.
« sittersattheshore.com « (609) 770-8479 « www.exitzero.us 109 sunset boulevard, (609) 465-0840 cape may
IF YOU’RE IF looking enjoyFOR... an authentic adventure YOU’RE to... SHOPPING CAPE MAYmaritime SOUVENIRS
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 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 — all you need to do is 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-do. But bring your eye patch. After finishing your walk, stop by the Ships’ Store. Even if you don’t need fishing tackle, gear, rope, bait or fenders, you’ll find apparel from Guy Harvey, AFTCO, Hook & Tackle, and Pelagic, footwear by Sperry and sunglasses from Hobie, Ocean Waves and Costa Del Mar. Folks who’ve been agree: the Ships’ Store at South Jersey is the perfect one-stop-source for all things nautical.
« (609) « southjerseymarina.com 1231 sunset route 109, cape may « (609) 770-8479 « www.exitzero.us 109 boulevard, cape may884-2400
IF YOU’RE looking to... play golf on a world-class course
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
905 route 9 n, cape may court house
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. «
My Perfect Cape May Day Natalie Sudell Senior Programming Manager
Cape May County Zoo When it comes to bargain activities in the Cape May vicinity, it’s hard to beat the zoo. Admission is free, although donations at the entrance are appreciated. And for that bargain-basement price you get 200 species of a total of 550 animals, a reptile room, World of Birds and an African Savanna on 80 beautiful acres. There’s a picnic-perfect park surrounding it, with a jungle gym for the kids. Open daily from 10am-4:45pm, just off Exit 11 on the Parkway. Call (609) 465-5271.
Beachcombing at the Cove This is not just a walk on the beach. See more than you ever saw before in the company of a naturalist from the Nature Center of Cape May as you explore the ocean, beach and dunes of the Cove. It’s a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning, starting at 9am. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and can be purchased in advance at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, or on the day at the Second Avenue Pavilion on the promenade.
Bay Springs Alpaca Farm Cape May has a lot to offer any vacationer, but you may not be expecting an alpaca farm. But we’ve got that, too, and what a great little jaunt it is. Barbara and Warren Nuessle keep their cool creatures near the end of lovely New England Road, and you can visit them between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Get acquainted with the grazing alpacas, or shop the store to see the lovely wares. Call (609) 884-0563 or visit bayspringsalpacas.com.
My perfect day would be right in the heat of summer, when the sun, sand, and ocean are all at arm’s length, and there is so much to do outside. I’d start out with a jog to Sunset Beach or along the promenade. Then, I’d enjoy taking part in one of the all-ages soccer games that happen on the grand lawn of Congress Hall; that’s truly the place to see young stars in the making! After working up a sweat, I’d hit the water. On the weekends, boating and bronzing around Cape May with my husband and close friends is the most soothing activity. We’d leave the Canyon Club Marina and cruise the back bays, or gear up for a full day of fishing. As the sun began sinking lower in the sky, I’d head to the Rusty Nail, where I’d be sure to order the guacamole; it’s the best in town. I’d let the sand sift between my toes, the sounds of reggae music surrounding me. Then, for a night cap, I’d move to the Brown Room. They have every drink you could possibly ask for, but I’d order a specialty mojito, made with fresh fruit from the Beach Plum Farm. In an Adirondack chair on the lawn, overlooking the ocean, I’d enjoy the peace and serenity that comes with having just experienced my most perfect day in Cape May.
IF YOU’RE looking to... take a tour of south jersey wine country
Tastings & Tours
astings and Tours, a Bucks County-based business, started in July of 2009. Linda Jeffreys took a wine-tasting trip to California with her family, where she rode a shuttle from vineyard to vineyard. She loved the idea of offering that service to others who might love wine, but who don’t want to drive after drinking. Since then, she and her husband Glenn, along with their son, Rich, have made the practice of drinking wine in Pennsylvania more enjoyable. Now they’re bringing that business to Cape May. If you’ve ever wanted to visit some of our local vineyards like Cape May Winery & Vineyard and Hawk Haven, or several of the others in the area, now is the time to do it. Tastings and Tours VIP packages will allow tourists, groups, and local residents to experience locally grown wines in an entirely new way. Numerous pick-up and drop-off locations will be offered in the Cape May area, so instead of worrying about transportation, you can focus on your private, guided tastings and tour. Lunch
at a local restaurant and a behind-thescenes tour is also on tap, as are chocolate and cheese pairings. Great wine plus great food, minus the stress – that’s a pretty killer equation. The Jeffreys have always believed in supporting local agriculture and
the local economy, and what better way to do it than by sipping your favorite wines while admiring a gorgeous landscape and receiving a little Wine 101? Taste, tour, and leave the driving to them.
Meet... The swarski FAMILY
n 2002, Ohio residents Ted and Laura Skwarski were looking for a vacation that wouldn’t be too trying with a one-year-old son in tow. “One-year-olds can occupy themselves in sand for hours on end, so we looked for a beach within driving distance,” they said. An acquaintance recommended Sea Isle City — a nine-hour drive — but nothing was available for rent, and the couple had to “settle” for a nearby town they’d never heard of called Cape May. “Once we arrived,” Laura said, “we felt like we’d hit the lottery.” The couple booked a Congress Hall stay for the following year. “It’s stately, elegant, impeccably maintained, and surprisingly familyfriendly,” Laura said. “It’s casual yet sophisticated, conjuring up images of women with parasols and men in top hats; yet, glancing around, you will see everything from ball gowns to bikinis, beer to martinis.” When the couple’s second child, Andriana (or Nani, as she likes to be called) was born, the Star Inn also became a favorite vacation spot. “It offers all of the services available to Congress Hall guests plus a kitchenette, separate bedroom, and porches for relaxing outdoors.”
Ted and Laura usually opt for the end of July for their Cape May vacation. Laura will begin her day at the Star Coffee Shop while Ted relaxes at the beach with Cameron and Andriana. “Our kids enjoy hunting for Cape May Diamonds on Sunset Beach. It’s also a great place to find fascinating sea creatures like crabs and baby sharks.” Then the whole family splashes in the pool, or walks barely a block into town to browse the shops of the Washington Street Mall. In the evenings, Movies on the Lawn are always a favorite. “We saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory a couple years ago, and our kids still talk about it,” Laura said. “My husband and I felt like kids again, too. We lounged on the lawn with pillows and blankets, and the Congress Hall staff made sure we were never wanting for popcorn. It was like an oldfashioned drive-in movie, only better.” Other things to love about Cape May? A horse-drawn carriage, historic home tours, climbing to the top of the WWII lookout tower, a morning jog along the promenade, antiquing. Or… it could just be that when they’re here Ted and Laura “never, never have to hear those two whiniest of words: ‘I’M BORED!’”
“Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.” — dorothy parker
The Tommy’s Folly Family at Congress Hall: Four Great Stores in One! Visit our lobby shops in the lobby of Congress Hall where Tommy’s Folly offers guests an unbeatable combination of the necessary and the indulgent…
TOMMY’S FOLLY BOUTIQUE A stylish collection of designer clothing and accessories for women and men. See pages 106-107
TOMMY’S FOLLY COFFEE SHOP A coffee shop with an assortment of breakfast to-go goodies and delicious afternoon treats. See pages 108-109
TOMMY’S FOLLY GENERAL STORE Tthe best newsstand and book selection on the island. Looking for something to take home with you to remind you of your vacation? Pick up one of our branded Congress Hall items, including our best-selling Blue Pig merchandise. See pages 110-11
TOMMY’S FOLLY HOME If you love the décor and the accessories used throughout Congress Hall, then this store is a must-visit. Customers can purchase our bedding, table linens and china from the restaurant, as well as the pillows that are used in The Brown Room. There is a fabulous selection of gifts for the home, especially wedding gifts! See pages 112-113
YOUR SHOPPING QUESTIONS ANSWERED Everything you need to know, from books and magazines to pillows and cookies! We chatted with Roz Johnson, the Manager of Tommy’s Folly, and asked her to reveal the questions that people ask most. So now you won’t have to… I am always searching for something special from Cape May to bring home to the babysitter, pet sitter and of course Mom and Dad. Any suggestions? In Tommy’s Folly we pride ourselves on having that “something special”. Watch as the sitter’s eyes light up when you hand them a piece of pretty, fun jewelry from our Boutique. Mom would find that cozy, colorful shawl you chose irreplaceable, and dad might love a Blue Pig beer mug with a six-pack of Blue Pig Ale! I love the bed pillows in our hotel room! What is the secret? The secret lies in placing our firm polyester pillow in back of our luxurious down pillow. Consequently, your head gently sinks into the softness of the down, while being supported by the polyester. All of our amazing hotel bedding is available in our Tommy’s Folly Home Store. There is nothing like a great novel or good magazine to enjoy on vacation. Can I find such pleasures in Tommy’s Folly? Nowhere on the island will you find a better selection of New York Times bestsellers, books on historic Cape May, fashion magazines, weekly gossip magazines, and such selections as Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, GQ, and Wired, to name a few. And why not pick up a daily newspaper to enjoy with your morning coffee? Who bakes your delicious pastries in Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop? All of our pastries are freshly baked by our Hotel Pastry Chef Meghan. From our famous Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Peanut Butter Cookies, to our Double Fudge Brownies, Meghan holds a special sweet spot for her Tommy’s Folly delights... indulge! What to-go items can I pick up from the Coffee Shop in the morning before I head down to the beach? We have our signature health bar (made in-house by Meghan), yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit cup, muffins, sweet breads, hot breakfast panini and an assortment of juices to begin your day. When lunchtime rolls around, we are ready with salads, sandwiches, refreshing
“We made some changes this past year to the restaurant, and our Blue Pig Tavern logo has been updated, so all of your old favorites will have the updated logo on them. You can expect to see a Blue Pig piggy bank and pajamas for children.”
brewed iced teas, lemonades, frappucinos, and frozen hot chocolate. I love anything Blue Pig related. What new Blue Pig items are you offering this year? Well, if you noticed the changes we made this year to the restaurant, you’ll probably notice our Blue Pig Tavern logo has been updated as well. So all of your old favorites will have the new logo on them. We also added a smaller Blue Pig stuffed animal to our collection. Additionally, you can expect to see a Blue Pig piggy bank and blue pig pajamas for children. Am I able to buy any Congress Hall and Blue Pig items online? Yes! Through our gift gallery page on the Congress Hall website, congresshall.com, you can view a sampling of some of our most popular items available to purchase online. If there is something you would like to purchase that you don’t see on the website you can call the store directly at (609) 884-6522 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
tommy’s folly boutique Enjoy an exquisite shopping experience in Congress Hall’s lobby
ead into the expanded boutique area and you will discover a sophisticated range of designer clothing and accessories. Here are some examples of what is in store… • Jewelry by Alexis Bittar and A.V. Max • Cashmere wraps by Minnie Rose • Fabulous selection of T-shirts, sweaters and dresses • Beach cover-ups by Letarte and Echo • Assortment of purses, from beach bags to sparkly clutches • Havaianas and Sanuk flipflops for men and women • Thomas Dean sport shirts and Alynn ties for men • Swimsuits for men • Hats for women and men
tommyâ€™s folly coffee shop From quick bites to tasty treats, refreshing cold drinks to a full coffee bar
ommyâ€™s Folly Coffee Shop is filled with everything you need to get you going in the morning, for a midday pickme-up, or even a late-night craving. To start your perfect day in Cape May, grab a cup of our freshly brewed La Colombe coffee or spice things up with one of our specialty lattes or frappuccinos. If you just want a quick bite to take to the beach, try our breakfast panini. Or for a lighter breakfast, grab one of our scrumptious muffins, sweet breads or our
signature breakfast bar, all baked fresh by our Pastry Chef. Just want a quick bite for lunch? How about one of our wraps or sandwiches with a refreshing beverage, or experience our signature mint-infused iced tea, made with fresh mint? Looking for quick, healthy lunch options? Try one of our yogurt parfaits or delicious salads, made with produce from our Beach Plum Farm. In the mood for a sweet treat? Indulge in our delicious cookies or a brownie to go along with a frozen hot chocolate.
tommy’s folly general store Filled with everything you need on vacation, and we DO mean everything!
ur General Store offers everyday essentials, reading materials, children’s toys and games, plus a large assortment of Cape Resorts Groupbranded merchandise. With the island’s best selection of magazines, newspapers and books to choose from, you can grab something to read while you relax at the pool or beach. Many of the toiletries that are forgotten at home, like razors, shaving cream and toothpaste, are also available, along with a broad assortment of overthe-counter medicines and sunscreens. Looking for a memento to take home? How about a Congress Hall or Cape May sweatshirt? Love the Blue Pig? There is a stuffed Blue Pig available in two sizes, coffee cups, beer mugs and T-shirts. Or if you forgot a game or toy for your kids to play, head to the General Store! 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 Love the pillows and linens in our hotels and properties? The china. The art. It’s all here!
o you love the carpet in Congress Hall, or the tissue box cover and trash cans in the rooms? How about the linens and pillows in our properties? They are available in the Home Store so you can take home part of the Cape Resorts Group experience. Love the Blue Pig Tavern linens and china? How about the Blue Pig breadboard or Blue Pig Ale that pairs nicely with one of our Blue Pig beer mugs? They, too, are all available. Would the pillows used in the lobby and Brown Room just finish the look of your home? If you must have the Brown Room votives or other accents throughout the hotel, then look no further then Tommy’s Folly Home! The store has everything from luxurious linens to framed art, ornaments and candles. Looking for a hostess gift? You are sure to find a great serving platter or napkin set. There are plenty of gift items to fit any occasion. If you are in need of a wedding gift, may we suggest one of our picture frames or our porcelain plates and trays? Welcome to the premier shop for home and gift items in Cape May!
west end garage Cape May’s ultimate treat for discerning shoppers
his is Cape May’s premier shopping destination. West End Garage, housed in a building that actually began life as a garage and gas station, was launched by Cape Resorts Group in the summer of 2009, and is now 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 the WEG, located across from charming Wilbraham Park. You’ll be excited the moment you walk through the door — West End Garage features 50 stores under one roof, with vendors from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Much of the inspiration for this new shopping experience came from the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, which showcases the work of more than 20 local artists, offering work in various media for sale. They also organize the Second Sunday Gallery Walk, which happens twice a month in Cape May. “The work of these talented artisans is complemented by goodies from some of the best stores in Cape May,” says Wendy Guiles (pictured above), General Manager of the WEG. “There is a wide 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 hand-painted glassware, original paintings and prints. This is a gift-shopping mecca — you can find unique gifts for even the most discriminating person. During the holiday season, WEG becomes an enchanting shopping experience. You will be transported to your childhood as you browse vintage ornaments and knick-knacks so festive that even the Grinch would be charmed. Year-round, West End Garage is retail therapy at its most enlightening.
a shopping tour of cool cape may Here’s the proof that hitting the stores can still produce a stress-free, fun-filled day
pending a day shopping in Cape May is not like going to the mall. Not even close. There are no chain stores, no massive electronics outlets, no jostling, impatient crowds. Aren’t you glad?! No, in Cape May shopping is all about the element of surprise. Yes, there are the ubiquitous T-shirt shops and souvenir stores selling plastic trinkets, BUT... there are also some excellent, quirky stores selling products that inspire and delight, which is what a shopping experience SHOULD be all about. By all means begin on the outdoor mall, which benefited from a major facelift four years ago. Brick pavers were installed and trees were removed, allowing for a better view of the charmingly random, brightlypainted Victorian buildings.
Next to the famous mall clock is a local landmark, the Whale’s Tale, which has been in business for four decades. You’ll love the exotic selection of shells from all over the world, the wonderful array of jewelry, the area’s best selection of greeting cards and children’s books and toys. Take your time looking... and don’t forget to check out their sister store, Splash, which on Carpenter’s Lane, a quiet back street that also includes a lovely old rustic wooden cottage which is the home of Caroline Boutique, a byword for designer clothing in Cape May. A short walk from there, on Jackson Street, is Happy Baby, a wonderful store that’s packed with certified organic baby clothes along with a first-class selection of accessories and toys. Although it’s in the borough of West
Cape May, Flying Fish Studio is little more than a five-minute walk from downtown. They design all of their clothes here on the island, offering a kaleidoscopic range of fun clothes and accessories. Just down the street from them is Seaside Cheese, where locals and visitors can get their cheese fix. The quality and selection is first-class. Also in West Cape May is the Exit Zero Store and Gallery. The publishers of Cape May’s peppy weekly magazine sell a range of cool souvenirs, books and an unparalleled selection of gorgeous vintage Cape May photographs from their Sunset Boulevard HQ. Will you get everything you need on your shopping tour of Cape May? Probably not, but you WILL likely stumble across some delights you never even knew you wanted!
IF YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR... clothing and accessories for the fashion-savvy
ou might be distracted on a stroll down Carpenter’s Lane and miss the charmingly weathered 130-year-old carriage house with the flowerlined patio. Shoppers take a break under shade trees while patient husbands catch up with the local papers. This relaxing, tranquil exterior of Caroline Boutique is just what you would expect in Victorian Cape May — but step inside and you’ll discover why this little clothing store has been drawing the fashion-savvy for more than 30 years.
Caroline Boutique Caroline Boutique is as much a social center for returning summer visitors as it is the favorite shopping haunt for season regulars looking for quality contemporary, casual clothing and accessories from designers such as Michael Stars, Three Dots, Eileen Fisher, Ella Moss, Rachel Pally and Sanctuary. Owner Caroline Lacy, a trained interior, fashion and jewelry designer, pairs her knowledge of these lines with a practiced stylist’s eye: “Most people know what they like — with regards to style — but have a
hard time putting it together. That’s where I come in.” Caroline also has stores in Key West, Islamorada and Fort Lauderdale, and her most loyal customers often visit them all, bringing their friends and daughters with them! Be sure you come into the summer hobby that started it all. Caroline Boutique is located just one short block from the beach between Decatur and Jackson. The store is open March through December.
CARPENTER’S LANE, BETWEEN JACKSON AND DECATUR, CAPE MAY « (609) 884-5055
IF YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR... a home, to buy or rent
Chris Clemans Sotheby’s International Realty
hris Clemans Sotheby’s International Realty understands the discerning needs of clients who seek a high level of service. They specialize in finding extraordinary homes for the connoisseurs of life. Founded in 1990 with the goal of providing the best possible service coupled with the highest degree of professionalism, Chris Clemans Sotheby’s International Realty has set the standard for the real estate market in Victorian Cape May, the nation’s oldest seaside resort. All members of the Chris Clemans Sotheby’s International Realty team are actively engaged in community groups, organizations and locally oriented activities, keeping abreast of information
you choose to work. Let Chris Clemans Sotheby’s International Realty earn your trust. Let your needs blend with their expertise to chart a successful real estate strategy. They are willing to stake their reputation on your satisfaction. Whether you are entertaining thoughts of a small flat for a simple retreat or an historic home, Cape May offers an eclectic bouquet of properties. Let the feel of sandy shores, the sound of the ocean or the peacefulness of seaside living be the backdrop to your dream home. Whether you are looking for a summer home, new residence, investment property, bed and breakfast inn or the perfect vacation rental, you need look no further than the professionals at Chris Clemans Sotheby’s International Realty.
important to buyers and sellers of real estate. The Chris Clemans agents live, work, volunteer, socialize, and raise their families here, and are committed to giving back to their community. The most important decision when buying or selling your home is with whom
1159 Washington Street, Cape May « (609) 884-3332
IF YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR... locally designed clothes
Flying Fish Studio
s the Flying Fish folks say, there’s a “little bit of heart and soul in every object we make.” Owner Sue Lotozo designs and handprints each cool, offbeat shirt. You’ll find original, funky, retro designs on really high-quality garments, many of them celebrating Cape May life and some of its traditions. Check out the series that honors the town’s memorable beaches — Steger’s, the Cove, Poverty and more. And for those of us who miss the iconic Voodoo Tree at Higbee’s Beach (which mysteriously disappeared a couple years ago), the Flying Fish has a beautiful gray shirt memorializing the tree. Veggies, lima beans, mermaids, local places of the past, nature and, of course, sea life are also beautifully represented at the Fish. The folks here like to keep a one-of-akind silk-screened inventory that is always changing, based on creative whims and inspired moments. You’ll also find jewelry, hand-sewn skirts made from their recycled T-shirts, dresses, flip-flops and more. If you’re a business owner and want your staff to look comfy and cool, the Flying Fish does wholesale orders. Cape Resorts Group gets most of its merchandise printed at Flying Fish Studio.
130 park boulevard, west cape may
IF YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR... cool CAPE MAY SOUVENIRS
Exit Zero Store and Gallery
he publishers of Cape May’s acclaimed weekly magazine also run a popular retail store, which recently more than doubled its space into a beautifully designed, twofloor emporium packed with irresistible Cape May-themed clothing, accessories, furniture, books and artwork. The store’s dramatic layout actually inspires people to say, “Wow!” when they walk in the door. And the merchandise is just as exciting. This is where you will find Cape May’s coolest souvenirs... a wide range of top-quality, beautifully designed T-shirts, sweatshirts, fleeces, baseball caps, car magnets, coffee cups, travel mugs, various sets of Cape May postcards, greeting cards, plus several different kinds of embroidered tote and beach bags, all of which carry the legendary Exit Zero or the new Cape Mayniac logos. There are also prints of exquisite color Exit Zero covers painted every year by critically acclaimed artist Victor Grasso, as well as ever-popular prints by another beloved local artist, Mike DeMusz. Don’t miss the compelling collection of historical Cape May photographs from the bestselling book, The First Resort. Looking for a picture of the Concrete Ship back when it still resembled a seaworthy vessel? Look no further. And some of those old photographs have been incorporated into an exciting range of coffee tables, nightstands and even dinner tables, all of which are made right here on the island. Not only that, but they will happily personalize a table for you, taking your favorite image and transferring it to a piece of furniture for a very cool and unusual piece that will have everyone talking.
109 sunset boulevard, cape may
IF YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR... designer baby clothes
ou can tell... these guys love babies, the most magnificent little creatures on our planet. Total rock stars who carry a whole lot of magic with them. Happy Baby’s collections and thoughtfully selected accessories are inspired by the seasons. It’s easy to shop here. Stop by, meet their friendly gift gurus and let them help guide you through the organic, gloriously swanky, modern, fun and handmade products that make Happy Baby such a captivating place to shop. You will confidently walk out of Happy Baby knowing you have found the perfect thing! Introducing the store’s personal shoppers... Brittany is an equestrian, honor student, aspiring actuary and expert trendspotter. She has lots of personal experience with babies and loves everything from swanky LA looks to original organic cottons and beautiful traditional designs in the softest Pima cotton and bamboo. Brittany collects modern hand-crafted jewelry and has great tips on where to eat in Cape May. Katie is a chic new momma and merchandiser extraordinaire who can confidently assist you in pulling an entire ensemble together for your little one. Warm-hearted and confident, she’s got lots of experience with babies and toddlers. She is knowledgeable about chic hair accessories and our hundreds of hats, and is Cape May’s go-to wedding hair stylist. Jill is a local rock star. She brings her graphic design training to help you select the most gorgeous gift, and later in the evening you might see her out having fun at a watering hole with her posse. Always connected, Jill knows which celebrities are in Cape May at any given time. Christine, our A-list mommy, has, along with her DJ husband, styled two of the most turned-out little gals in Cape May. Possessing pitch-perfect taste, she is an experienced baby shower shopper who can help you choose from our many different looks. It can be confusing, but Christine knows what young moms are looking for.
106 jackson Street, Cape May « (609) 884-5922
happy baby cape may on facebook
IF YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR... cheese and other treats
Seaside Cheese Company
easide Cheese has established itself in a short amount of time as a must-visit for both locals and visitors to Cape May all year-round. The question is: however did we get by without it all those years? Steve and Barb White’s store is truly a gem. The cheeses (and other various savory snacks) are superb, the service is extremely knowledgeable and super friendly. Whether you’re hosting a party or invited to one, make it easy on yourself and order a cheese plate or two. Your party host (or guests) will love you for it. The selection of cheeses and accoutrements can be a bit overwhelming, but worry not — Steve, Barb and company stand ready to assist you in your decision making process. There won’t be a detail overlooked in your gift basket, which is always a perfect offering. Are you looking for something more substantial to munch on? Seaside Cheese also offers a small but scrumptious sandwich menu... but only the menu is small. The sandwiches are actually quite generous in size. Seaside Cheese is open seven days yearround, from 10-6pm Monday-Saturday and 10-4pm on Sundays. Have you heard about a cheese you must try? In the unlikely event Seaside Cheese doesn’t already carry it, the staff will special order it for you. Now that’s attention to detail.
600 park boulevard, west cape may
IF YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR... beautiful jewelry and locally made handcrafts
elcome to the sister store of Whale’s Tale, a Cape May institution on the mall. Splash, which opened around the corner on Carpenter’s Lane two years ago, culls the finest jewelry and locally produced handcrafts in one irresistible collection. Need a gift with a nautical twist? Check out the extensive selection of handmade jewelry. You’ll find delicate gold filigree earrings and Cape May sea glass necklaces and bracelets by Darlene Eldredge. Want to take home a piece of Cape May? Consider pottery by Susan Ross, a print by Janet Payne, or original designs by Laura McPherson, all of whom live and work in America’s Original Seaside Resort. The walls at Splash are lined with art, including prints and stained glass, the shelves stocked with heartwood boxes and American-made handcrafts for a wedding or any special occasion. Need help? The friendly sales staff take pride in sharing the stories of each artisan and can help you find the perfect gift or jewelry to make a splash!
513 Carpenters Lane, Cape May
HOME away FROM HOME
“Sometimes the cure for
restlessness is rest.” — colleen wainwright
SUMMER PACKAGES Because the fun starts now! This Little Blue Piggie
Offered at Congress Hall year-round This little piggy went to market and this Blue Piggy went to Congress Hall! The Big Bad Wolf won’t be able to huff, puff and spoil your fun in Cape May. Enjoy overnight accommodations at Congress Hall, breakfast in the Blue Pig Tavern, a stuffed Blue Pig to take home and cookies and milk at turndown in two keepsake Blue Pig mugs. Includes: • Overnight accommodations • $20 breakfast credit to the Blue Pig Tavern • Stuffed Blue Pig — up to two • Cookies and Milk at turn down • Two keepsake Blue Pig Tavern mugs
Offered at the Sandpiper Nothing says family vacation like a bike ride along the Atlantic Ocean and round of mini-golf! Enjoy overnight accommodations at the Sandpiper, bicycle rental for four from the Congress Hall bike shop, round of mini-golf for four at Stockton Golf on Beach Avenue and $50 dining credit to be used at the Rusty Nail or Blue Pig Tavern. Includes: •Accommodations at Sandpiper •Four bike rentals •Round of putt-putt •$50 dining credit at Rusty Nail or The Blue Pig Tavern
The Clam Digger
Offered at The Beach Shack Make the days of Summer last forever at the Beach Shack and Rusty Nail! Reminisce of summers past and present over two drinks and two cone appetizers at the Rusty Nail. Relax by the firepit or listen to the band from longest bar in Cape May! Take home your Endless Summer T-shirt as a reminder of your stay in Cape May. Includes: •Accommodations at The Beach Shack •Two cone appetizers •Two drinks at the Rusty Nail •Two Endless Summer T-shirts Available: June - September
Offered at The Beach Shack Join us for our first annual Clam-A-Rama as we kick off the summer at the Beach Shack! We are bringing clam pitching back to Cape May in a big way and you can be in on the fun. Sign up for our First Annual Clam Pitching Tournament on Saturday, May 19 for your chance to win some great Beach Shack prizes. All registrants receive a commemorative T-shirt. As part of the Clam Digger Package you will receive overnight accommodations at the Beach Shack, an order of steamers and four beers in a Beach Shack pail with shovel from the Rusty Nail. And the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Take home a Beach Shack clam pitching set for playing all summer long! Includes: •Overnight accommodations •Four beers in Beach Shack Pail with Shovel •Order of steamed clams •One Beach Shack Clam-Pitching Kit
Life’s a Beach Offered at Congress Hall, The Virginia, The Beach Shack, Sandpiper Summer in Cape May is meant for the beach! Spend the day with your toes in the sand and lunch with a view while relaxing in one of our beach cabanas. Escape to the sandy white beaches of Cape May and enjoy the best beach in South Jersey. Don’t just take our word for it… Cape May beaches were voted one of the top beaches in the country by TripAdvisor! Includes: • Overnight accommodations • Two-day cabana rental • Two-day beach lunch services Available: June - September
Girls’ Getaway Offered at Congress Hall, year-round Spend a weekend away with the girls for any occasion! Unwind with two cocktails and two appetizers in the Brown Room, breakfast in the Blue Pig and services in the Sea Spa. Take the relaxation home with you with a 25% off coupon good for retail products from the Sea Spa or a Sea Spa robe. Includes: • Overnight accommodations • Two cocktails and two appetizers in The Brown Room • $20 Breakfast credit in the Blue Pig Tavern • $200 Sea Spa credit • 25% off on retail at the Sea Spa or a Sea Spa robe to take home
Opposite: Experience the magic of Endless Summer at The Beach Shack and Rusty Nail, available from June to September.
fall packages For some, it’s the best time of year in Cape May Fall at the Farm Offered at Congress Hall Spend your day at Beach Plum Farm, our 62-acre farm that supplies ingredients to our restaurants. Pack up a picnic lunch and take a leisurely bike ride there, then ejoy a day of activities like getting lost in a corn maze and pumpkin patch picking. Includes: • Overnight accommodations • Tommy’s Folly picnic lunch • Two bicycle rentals • Corn maze and pumpkin picking Available: October
Creepy Cape May Offered at the Virginia Enjoy two bewitching cocktails in The Ebbitt Room Bar and dinner in The Ebbitt Room. Then, explore the ghosts of Cape May with two tickets for a Haunted Trolley Tour. Creep back to your room to find a goodie basket full of Halloween favorites! Includes: •Overnight accommodations •Continental Breakfast •$110 credit to The Ebbitt Room •2 drinks in The Ebbitt Room Bar •Halloween Goodie Basket Available: October
Phantom Ball Getaway Offered at Congress Hall Take a journey through the dark enchanted forest in the Congress Hall Ballroom and celebrate Halloween at the best party in Cape May. Watch out for crystal balls and magical mirrors as you dance the night away. Includes: • Overnight Accommodations • $20 Blue Pig Tavern breakfast voucher • Two tickets to Phantom Ball • Two tickets for Ghost Trolley Tour Available: October 26–27
Southern Hospitality Offered at the Beach Shack For many, fall is the best time of year in Cape May. And nothing says fall like comfort food. Enjoy Chef Jimmy’s take on Southern classics as temperatures begin to drop in Cool Cape May. Includes: •$40 dining credit to the Rusty Nail
•Two specialty cocktails Available: September and October
Learning to Look Self-Guided Birding Offered at Congress Hall and the Virginia Discover why Cape May is one of the world’s most famous birding spots. Our Learning to Look self-guided birding package created by world-renowned Cape May-based birder, Richard Crossley is the perfect way to experience birding on your own. Grab your birding backpack and hop on a bicycle and head on out to Beach Plum Farm, the Cape May Hawkwatch or Higbee Beach to see the southbound migration. Includes: • Overnight accommodations • Use of Birding Backpack, which includes binoculars and birding guide book • Souvenir copy of The Crossley ID Guide • Tommy’s Folly lunch voucher • Two bicycle rentals
Learning to Look Workshop Offered at the Virginia This is a two-night/three-day experience in an intimate group of up to 14 participants. Spending quality time with worldrenowned birder, Richard Crossley, you will experience the special world of Cape May birding and perfect your birding skills. One of the most special elements of this workshop is that you will experience the migration of the Red Knots as they stop to feast on local horseshoe crabs. This once a year migration is one of the most magical and can only be experienced on this side of the Delaware Bay. The workshop includes hotel accommodations, afternoon reception with Richard, breakfast each morning, picnic lunch delivered on site, a signed copy of The Crossley ID Guide, binocular use and a late check-out. Includes: •Overnight accommodations •Use of Birding Backpack •Souvenir copy of The Crossley ID Guide •Picnic Lunch from the Ebbitt Room •Daily Continental Breakfast Available: October 19 - 21
Opposite: World-renowned and Cape May-based birder and photographer Richard Crossley recently released a new book, The Crossley ID Guide, which revolutionizes the way we look at birds, as illustrated by this photograph. Richard has put together a package, Learning to Look, exclusively for Cape Resorts Group.
winter packages From indulgent dinners to hauntingly good fun Winter Wonderland Offered at Congress Hall Step out onto the Veranda and into our Third Annual Winter Wonderland to see what the Congress Hall elves have been working on all year long. Enjoy train rides on the Congress Hall Express, and hot cocoa for four and a special holiday goodie bag to kick off the holiday season. See Santa and take care of some of your shopping in our Holiday Shopping Village. Includes: •Overnight accommodations •Train ride for four •Hot cocoa for four • Holiday gift bag • Breakfast for two (two kids eat free) Available: November 23, 2012 – January 1, 2013
Yuletide Offered at Congress Hall and The Virginia We have stacked the logs and the fire is aglow. Let Congress Hall or The Virginia be your respite from the holiday hooplah. Share some time away during the most magical time of year. See Santa, do some holiday shopping and enjoy a tasty holiday treat. Includes: •Overnight accommodations •$50 dining credit to the Blue Pig Tavern •Two cocktails in the Brown Room •Two MAC Holiday Trolley Tour tickets Available: November 23 – December 23
Glitter Ball Offered at Congress Hall and Sandpiper Ring in the New Year with your friends and family at Congress Hall or the Sandpiper. The staff here has handcrafted a menu that will surely have you saying hello to 2013 in gourmet style. At the stroke of midnight toast to a great year and dance the night away to swinging big band sounds. Includes: •Overnight accommodations •Two tickets to Glitter Ball •$20 Blue Pig Tavern breakfast voucher Available: December 28, 2012 – January 1, 2013
champagne and enjoy first-class entertainment. Includes: •Overnight accommodations •Dinner for two in The Ebbitt Room •Continental Breakfast •Two glasses of Champagne Available: December 28, 2012 – January 1, 2013
My Blue Valentine Offered at Congress Hall Blue is the color of love this Valentine’s Day. Share your love and all things Congress Hall with your sweetie! 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 check-out. Includes: • Overnight accommodations • Romantic dinner at The Blue Pig Tavern • Breakfast for two in bed or in The Blue Pig Tavern • Blue Bubbles champagne cocktail in The Brown Room for two • Blue Pig stuffed animal • 2pm late check-out Available: February 10 – 14, 2013, with special menu February 1 – 29, 2013, with $40 dining credit
Savor Romance Slowly Offered at The Virginia The Virginia and The Ebbitt Room have set the stage for love... by the gentle glow of candlelight you and your sweetheart will dine on a menu specially selected by Executive Chef Lucas Manteca. Sip champagne and enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries. Extend your romantic interlude into the next day and keep the romance alive with continental breakfast in bed and a late check-out. Includes: •Deluxe accommodations at the Virginia Hotel •Four-course dinner for two in The Ebbitt Room •Continental breakfast for two in bed •Chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries Available February 1–29 (Special Menu 14th only)
New Year’s Eve Offered at the Virginia Enjoy an exquisite menu handcrafted by the Virginia’s Executive Chef Lucas Manteca, and at the stroke of midnight, toast with
Opposite: Enjoy the historic Virginia Hotel at a magical time with the Yuletide package
winter wonderland Congress Hall is the place where the festive magic happens!
oin us at Congress Hall for a fun-filled Winter Wonderland. To commence the festivities, a tree-lighting ceremony offers holiday cheer to both residents and guests of the hotel. Then, Congress Hall brings the North Pole to the beach. A variety of activities for all families to enjoy on Saturdays and Sundays includes Breakfast with Santa, Story Time with Mrs Claus, Family Holiday Ceramics, festive train rides for kids, a holiday shopping village and a hot chocolate bar. Here is the fun-filled festive schedule... 11/1: West Cape May Parade Fundraiser 11/23: Winter Wonderland opens â€” through December 30 on weekends 11/30: Grand Lawn Tree-Lighting Ceremony 12/1: Breakfast with Santa (every Saturday and Sunday through December 23) 12/1: West Cape May Christmas Parade
Come the holiday season, Congress Hall is transformed into a satellite of the North Pole. Everywhere from the lobby to The Brown Room and The Boiler Room to The Blue Pig Tavern is festooned in festive fashion. The tree-lighting ceremony, on the beautifully decorated Grand Lawn, attracts the whole town, with a performance from the Congress Hall Festival Choir
Congress Hallâ€™s annual Winter Wonderland extravaganza includes events such as Breakfast with Santa, Story Time with Mrs Claus (which, as you can see from our photograph, also includes a visit from Blue, our big, cuddly mascot), and magical train rides around the Congress Hall property, which are a must-do for kids of all ages.
spring packages Let your loved ones know you care with these special getaways Easter Getaway Offered at Congress Hall Get hopping to Congress Hall to celebrate Easter. Enjoy Easter brunch in the ballroom and participate in the egg-celent adventures of the Easter Bunny and his sidekick, Blue! There will be no shortage of things to do this weekend as we kick off our Spring Break activities. On Saturday, April 7, participate in a scavenger hunt at 2pm and a Family Pajama Party from 6pm–9pm. On Sunday, April 8, take part in all the Easter fun and then join us on the Grand Lawn for Family Lawn Games from 1pm–2pm. Includes: •Overnight accommodations •Two tickets to Easter Brunch Available: March 29 – 31, 2013
spots. Our Learning to Look self-guided birding package, created by world-renowned Cape May-based birder Richard Crossley, is the perfect way to experience birding on your own. Richard has created an agenda which is designed to show you a wide variety of birds in the beautiful surroundings of Cape May. Grab your birding backpack (complete with binoculars, guide book, and map), hop on a bicycle and head on out to Beach Plum Farm, the Cape May Hawkwatch or Higbee Beach to see the southbound migration. Includes: • Overnight accommodations • Use of Birding Backpack • Souvenir copy of The Crossley ID Guide • Tommy’s Folly lunch voucher • Two bicycle rentals
Family Fun Package
Learning to Look Workshop
Offered at Congress Hall Put a little spring in your step by spending Spring Break at Congress Hall. Participate in a host of activities for kids and parents alike. Includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn – kids stay free! • $20 credit to the Blue Pig Tavern for breakfast – two kids eat free from kids’ menu • Spring break activities including Blue appearances, family movies, game room and more. (Does not include Princess & Pirate lunch or Easter Brunch.) Available: April, 2013
Mother’s Day Getaway Offered at Congress Hall Show Mom just how special she is with an overnight stay at Congress Hall and delicious Brunch in the Ballroom. Enjoy the sights and scents of spring with a walk along the Veranda and spend some quality time with that special Mom in your life. Includes: • Overnight accommodations • Mother’s Day Brunch • Late check-out Available: May 10 – 12, 2013
Offered at The Virginia The Learning to Look Workshop held at The Virginia is a twonight/three-day experience in an intimate group of up to 14 participants. Spending quality time with world-renowned birder Richard Crossley, you will experience the special world of Cape May birding and perfect your birding skills. One of the most special elements of this workshop is that you will experience the migration of Red Knots as they stop to feast on local horseshoe crabs. This once a year migration is one of the most magical and can only be experienced on this side of the Delaware Bay. The workshop includes hotel accommodations, afternoon reception with Richard, breakfast each morning, picnic lunch delivered on site, a signed copy of The Crossley ID Guide, binocular use and a late check-out. Includes: •Overnight accommodations •Use of Birding Backpack •Signed copy of The Crossley ID Guide •Picnic Lunch from The Ebbitt Room •Daily Continental Breakfast Dates in May, 2013 to be confirmed
Note: All packages are based upon availability and subject to change. To learn more about these packages and many others call our hotline on 888-944-1816.
Learning to Look Self-Guided Birding Offered at Congress Hall and The Virginia Escape to Cape May to enjoy the gentle spring breezes and discover why Cape May is one of the world’s most famous birding
Opposite: The magic of Easter is experienced on Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn, when the Easter Bunny joins his special friend, Blue, to lead children in the annual Easter Egg Hunt
Meet... The girone FAMILY
Chuck Girone, from Bucks County on a wonderful wonderland…
hat’s the right word? Wonderment? It’s the look in the children’s faces when they see everything, how nice it all looks. Besides the beautifully decorated Christmas trees, there are life-size candy canes in the halls, giant wooden soldiers in the courtyard. When you’re a kid, that’s just fantastic. There’s the smell of hot chocolate, of the fireplace and evergreens. And nutmeg is a smell I remember, too. My grandkids — they’re three and six — they rode the train. It went around the patio, over the grass, around the pool, behind the cabana. My wife and I rode it with them. During breakfast with Santa, at the base of a huge poinsettia tree, Santa had a conversation with my grandsons, while elves traveled from table to table. The picture taken of my grandsons speaks a thousand words — the looks on their faces. The tree-lighting happened on a beautiful starry night. People were excited, the energy was high. The emotion was building in the courtyard.
Being at Congress Hall is kind of like being in the eye of the storm. It’s very calming to be there, even though all manner of things are occurring around you . To me, it’s calming. It takes you away from your troubles. It’s full of romance at Winter Wonderland. But I can’t talk about that without embarrassing my wife. Being there brings back memories. I can remember a Christmas with our own children, who are grown now, getting everything ready the night before, after they went to bed. And I can remember being a child myself on Christmas, carrying a Douglas Fir down the streets of Philadelphia. We shop for wreaths and tree ornaments from the vendors. Then we sit in those white Adirondack chairs, look out toward the sunset and listen to the sounds of the ocean. It is a busy world. You’re working and there’s a lot of issues that take you away from the enjoyment. But when you see the children so happy, it brings you back to the reason for the season. When we got home from Congress Hall, someone in the family said that Christmas is over, it’s all done until next year. My grandson turned to say, ‘Christmas is not over, pops. It’s always in your heart.’
a wedding day at congress hall We have the amenities and the ambience to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience
ape May is one of the top three wedding destinations in the country, and Congress Hall is its shining jewel. As the flagship of Cape Resorts Group, 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, â€œOur guests described this wedding as the BEST they have ever been to!â€? Contact our sales team at (609) 884-6549.
a wedding day at the virginia The ultimate intimate experience at a very special boutique hotel
f youâ€™re looking for a wedding as luxurious as those at Congress Hall, yet more intimate in scale, the Virginia Hotel is the ideal combination of opulence and intimacy, perfect for daytime weddings, vow renewals and civil ceremonies for 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 more information, contact our sales team at (609) 884-6549.
A ROOM FOR EVERY (BUSINESS) OCCASION Our properties combine style, character – and all the amenities your company needs
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 – all within the confines of historic downtown Cape May. 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
Let us host your team meeting
ur team-building programs 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 to 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 together as part of the same team! Team building programs include: Adventure Series – Battleship Adventure, Deep Water Adventure, Jungle Adventure Team Samurai Wheels for the World CSI – Agent for a Day Improvisational Comedy Movie Mayhem And more.... for more information please call our sales department at (609) 884-6549.
of a modern hotel. 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. Our event and conference planners are available to ensure your function runs without a hitch.
At The Virginia, the Richmond Room offers an intimate yet fully-loaded conference room facility. For more information, contact our sales team at (609) 884-6549.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — albert einstein