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Concierge 2013 food & drink {Page i} The Magazine Of Cape Resorts ÂŤ summer 2013

Welcome to your vacation

Dear Guest, All of us at Cape Resorts are delighted to welcome you to Cape May and our resort campus. While each hotel, apartment or cottage has a different personality we are united as a family by our commitment to authentic hospitality, confident that you will create traditions and memories that last a lifetime. Throughout the pages of this magazine you will learn about our amenities and activities and how to find your way around our facilities and our town. But more importantly you will also meet several Cape Resorts team members on a more intimate scale as well as some of our regular guests. There are many exciting new features worth mentioning here. The Beach Shack is now officially a pet-friendly hotel, with certain rooms catering to our animal friends, and the Rusty Nail even has a special doggie menu. At Congress Hall the Blue Pig porch has been enclosed for rain and winter, utilizing the glass from the third-floor oceanside windows that were replaced this year. We are also introducing the Congress Hall History Tour, a lively interpretive guide to the

hotel and grounds hosted by some of Congress Hall’s historic personalities. At the Virginia and Cottages we are honored by our designation in Conde Nast Reader’s Choice poll as one of the best 550 hotels in the world. Our ever-popular cottages now have a pre-arrival stocking service so that your fridge is packed with the goodies you want during your stay. The Star carriage house suites have been completely redone. And at Tommy’s Folly and the Veranda Bar we are now offering the freshest of juices made with produce from our Beach Plum Farm. If you didn’t take advantage of our pre-arrival concierge service, please review the exciting and ever-expanding menu of activities. Monday’s carnival night is sure to delight, as does Kids’ Karaoke, the farm tours and Blue’s Clubhouse. And finally, our concierges can direct you to a host of off-campus activities with our partners throughout town. So please, relax and make yourself at home. We are very happy that you are here. Sincerely, Curtis Bashaw Co-Managing Partner, Cape Resorts

Inside the Concierge

4 our properties 6 Congress Hall 10 The Star 12 The Virginia Hotel 14 The Virginia Cottages 18 Beach Shack 20 Sandpiper Beach Club 24 beach & pool 26 Beach Service 32 Rules of the Beach 34 Congress Hall Pool Bar 36 food & drink 38 Beach Plum Farm 46 Good Food Guide 48 The Blue Pig Tavern 54 The Brown Room 56 The Boiler Room 58 The Ebbitt Room 66 The Rusty Nail 70 Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop 72 The Star Coffee Shop 73 The New Veranda Bar 74 Entertainment Lineup 76 spa & wellness 78 Sea Spa 81 Beach Boot Camp, Lawn Yoga Concierge is published by Cape Resorts « Edited, designed, produced by Exit Zero Publishing /

82 summer activities 86 Congress Hall Bike Shop 87 Clam-A-Rama! 89 Congress Hall History Tour 90 Regularly Scheduled Events 92 Blue’s Clubhouse 94 Fourth of July at Congress Hall 96 Activities Off Campus 115 Churches & Synagogues 116 Summer Packages 118 home away from home 121 Fall at the Farm 122 Fall Packages 124 Winter Wonderland 128 Winter Packages 132 Spring 2014 Packages 134 shopping 138 Tommy’s Folly Boutique 140 Tommy’s Folly General Store 142 Tommy’s Folly Home 144 West End Garage 147 Shopping in Cool Cape May AND FINALLY 150 Weddings at Congress Hall 152 Weddings at The Virginia Hotel 154 Business Retreats Principal photography: Frank Weiss « Contributing photographers: Aleksey Moryakov, Frank Scott

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congress hall [Est. 1816] “I come to Congress Hall with my family — my husband, three grown children and seven grandchildren — every summer. In five years, we have had nothing but pleasant experiences. It is a very special place for us.” — Janet Rosen, New York City

«Congress Hall is a haven of relaxed elegance, fun, historic charm and timeless luxury. «Providing hospitality since 1816, this iconic hotel is the preeminent Cape May landmark. It is home to a number of major local events, including Fourth of July fireworks and Winter Wonderland. «Congress Hall is a destination in its own right, an oceanfront resort with the vibe of a classic, airy (and very large) beach house, while offering the amenities of a world-class hotel.

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A Chat With... General Manager John Daily Where did you grow up? I was born in West Virginia, but I moved to Atlantic City at a year-and-a-half old. As a student there, looking for part-time work, it made sense to get a job in the hotel industry. I had many positions – running a parking lot, lifeguarding at a pool, teaching ice skating… You’re an ice skater? My dad played semi-pro hockey, and I started skating at five. I played on a club hockey team throughout my college years at Saint Joseph’s University. Did you study hotel management there? No, accounting, but I migrated to the hotel business. I was recruited to be a controller by a company that had six hotels, all of them Marriott franchises. Within five years, they’d blossomed to 28 hotels and I moved from accounting to operations. I opened my first hotel in Massachusetts and from there it was a whirlwind; I moved 13 times in 20 years, working for three major companies. But I felt an obligation to move back to Atlantic City, where my extended family was, and I promised my 10-year-old son he would have the opportunity to finish school without moving. I saw there was a position open at Congress Hall. I was hired in March of 2002, so I had the pleasure of opening this hotel after the renovation. Do you remember the very first guest? I do. He was surprised because one of the floors was sloping, but if you were 130 years old, you’d be sloping too. This is part of Congress Hall’s charm and the vast majority of our guests love that quirkiness and character. Let’s hear a piece of trivia about Congress Hall only an insider would know. No two rooms are identical. My favorites are 430 and 432; they have an outstanding view of the ocean. Have any of your sons followed in your footsteps? I have three boys; the youngest just graduated from college, and none of them are involved in the industry! They’re all high-tech guys. Do you still ice skate? Oh yes. I took the grandkids – I have five of them — skating in Florida last weekend… they have an enclosed rink there with real ice. I’m a sports fanatic. And what do the grandkids think of Congress Hall? Well, Isabella recently made a picture of it for an assignment in her second-grade class. She said, “When I grow up, I want to live in Congress Hall, poppy’s hotel.”

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congress hall [Est. 1816]

A hotel truly fit for presidents

In the latter half of the 19th century, Congress Hall attracted Southern plantation owners, Northern industrialists — and some eminent men from Washington, D.C. In all, five sitting presidents stayed in the hotel, including Benjamin Harrison, who made the hotel the first Summer White House in 1891. This year marks the 125th anniversary of President Harrison’s election.

Franklin Pierce was the first president to visit Congress Hall, in 1855

In 1858, James Buchanan enjoyed a presidential break at the hotel

President Ulysses Grant stayed at Congress Hall in 1875

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Chester Arthur attracted huge crowds when he arrived in 1883

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In 1891, Benjamin Harrison made the hotel his Summer White House

History in every nook and cranny


In 2010, on the corner of Broadway and Perry Street, a contractor who’d been widening Cape May’s drainage system spotted a key inscribed with the initials AK. Sensing this might be no ordinary discovery, the man brought the key to Congress Hall, where he learned it had once belonged to Annie Knight, who owned the hotel from 1904 to 1931, and whose father, Edward, was the owner who rebuilt the hotel after the Great Fire of 1878. The man graciously turned over the key, which was incorporated into Congress Hall’s logo.


Another random discovery came while Cape Resorts’ Curtis Bashaw was strolling near disused railroad tracks on land that would later become Beach Plum Farm. He found an old mail bag tag used on the Washington D.C.-Cape May route. Look familiar? It became the inspiration for the tag used for Congress Hall’s room keys.



When Congress Hall was being renovated in 2001, an excavation produced a box containing a stash of original Congress Hall china, creamers and sugar bowls. The dishes were made by the Buffalo Pottery Company in New York, while the sugar bowls came from D. W. Haber and Sons in the Bronx. Both companies are still in business and the china and bowls were reproduced in time for the hotel’s 2002 opening.

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The 1996 demolition of the Christian Admiral was a sad day for Cape May, but many artifacts and fittings from the grand old hotel were salvaged and re-used in the renovation of Congress Hall. The railing that runs from the Blue Pig Tavern to the basement and the chandeliers in the ballroom and hallways are two of the most notable examples.

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the star [Est. 2003]

«The Star, Congress Hall’s little sister, is a remarkably versatile establishment, consisting of an inn, a motel and carriage house, offering accommodations for every occasion. There is also a Starbucks coffee shop, where guests can enjoy a morning cup on the deck with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. «Romantic Retreats: The beautifully furnished Star Inn offers nine en suite bedrooms. «Family Vacations: The motel is outfitted with 10 efficiencies, fully equipped with top-of-theline amenities, kitchenettes, separate living room and bedroom, private backyards, and an imaginative and inspiring decor. This is one funand-functional place to stay! «Home Away from Home: Two beautiful Carriage Suites, each with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and an oceanview balcony, offer the perfect backdrop to a group getaway.

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“At the Star, you get all the amenities of Congress Hall, plus a kitchen in which to cook, which is important to us, since our kids have food allergies. We love the place — if I didn’t bring my family here, I’d have a mutiny on my hands.” — Christopher DeCotiis, Westfield, NJ

A brief history «The site at 29 Perry Street was purchased by Cape Resorts in 2003, and was formerly the Perry Street Inn, which consisted of an inn that was built in 1903 and a motel built in 1984. However, the location was once part of a much grander building, one that played the key part in a pivotal part of Cape May’s history. «On the morning of November 10, 1878, a fire broke out in the attic of the Ocean House hotel, which occupied almost the entire ocean block of Perry Street. The flames were blown across the street to Congress Hall and from there the fire raged out of control, destroying 35 acres of prime real estate, including Congress Hall. «When Cape Resorts was renovating the Star Inn, workers found a layer of scorched earth, a remnant from the 1878 fire.

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the virginia hotel [Est. 1879]

«Appealing to today’s most discriminating traveler, the Virginia is housed in an impeccably restored 1879 landmark building on beautiful Jackson Street. It offers luxury accommodations in an intimate environment and a level of personalized service that has set a new standard on the Jersey Shore. «The Virginia offers 24 beautiful guest rooms, exquisite custom

“My wife and I are not B&B people, but we are boutique hotel people. The addition of the new bar means so much. So does the personal service; «Reserve the Virginia’s golf cart (9am everyone recognizes us, from to 9pm daily, May-November), which the owner to the manager to will take you to area restaurants, Beach Plum Farm, historical sights, or the kids who park our car.” furnishings and design touches, a highly acclaimed restaurant, a chic cocktail lounge with live entertainment, top-flight beach service, a complimentary continental breakfast and valet parking.

just around the streets of Cape May.

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— Gaylord Poling, Lititz, Pennsylvania

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A Chat With... General Manager Justin Mogavero You are a newlywed! How is married life? I’ve been with Katlyn, who I met at Congress Hall, for a while, but being married has changed my perspective. My decisions are no longer about my future, but about our future together. It’s awesome. Where was the honeymoon? Mexico, the Rivera Maya. It was on this trip I learned that the Virginia Hotel had been rated by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top 10 hotels in the Northeast, which was really exciting. Can we expect the pitter-patter of little feet any time soon? Not soon, but not too far away, either. Perhaps in another year or two. But you already have two adorable kids to look after, correct? Ha, Sophie and Lex are our 85-pound Dobermans. They’re doing well. Lex got his tongue stuck in a ball a little while back and that was scary – the vets had never seen anything like it! But now he’s fine. What do you do with your free time? In the summer, I’ll spend a free morning playing catch-up — mowing the grass, running errands, hitting the gym. In the afternoon, it’s the beach or a drink at the Rusty Nail. We also plan a lot of day trips. Katlyn and I will go to Philadelphia to get inspiration from other hotels and restaurants. Did you always want to be in the hospitality industry? As I kid, I wanted to be an archaeologist. But I was also interested in cooking, and I spent a lot of time watching my grandfather in the kitchen. I started working in restaurants at 13. I attended Johnson and Wales and earned my Associates’ degree in baking and pastry, followed by a Bachelor’s in Food and Beverage Management. But it was John Daily at Congress Hall who talked me into making the switch to hotel management. The porch at the Virginia is one of the most coveted spots in town. Do you ever relax there in your off-time? Yes, because I’m a people watcher – I’m the guy who goes to the boardwalk to sit on a bench — and this is a great people-watching spot. What’s the best room in the hotel? 211 is my favorite. I love the way it’s tucked away. What’s it like bearing witness to so many important events in the lives of your guests? Last fall, a couple who’d gotten married at the Virginia were here, because they’d lost their house in Hurricane Sandy. They told me this vacation was just what they’d needed, because the place is so special. That’s not something I’ll soon forget. You grew up in Cape May. Did you intend to stay here, or is that just how the chips fell? I moved away when I was 18 and stayed away for almost nine years. But over my time away, I began to realize how special this place really is. Tell us something few people know about the Virginia. This was the first boutique hotel in Cape May, meaning we were the first to have the amenities of the finest hotels, but the relaxed elegance of a bed and breakfast. Something else people are surprised about is that we also have four other great properties in the cottages across the street. They’re a well-kept secret.

Top 10 in “Conde Nast Traveler” list

A brief history «Like many Cape May hotels, the Virginia was built following the catastrophic fire of 1878 which wiped out 35 acres of prime real estate. «It was originally called the Ebbitt House, a name chosen by its first managers, Alfred and Ellen Ebbitt. «The hotel’s initial 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 high-class hotel to a rooming house. It was condemned in the 1980s and then bought in 1986 by Curtis Bashaw (co-managing partner of Cape Resorts Group) and his family. It was renovated and reopened in 1989.

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The Virginia was rated #10 on the Conde Nast Traveler list of the Best Hotels in the Northeast in November 2012 and was named to the 2013 Conde Nast Gold List. The Traveler article stated, “At the oldest seashore resort in the country, find top-drawer accommodations.” The location in the historic district also impresses: “You can park your car and never use it again until you depart.” As for the interior, there are “beautiful rooms with high ceilings” and “super comfortable beds” with Italian and Belgian linens.”

the virginia cottages [Est. 2000] “My twins are seven, and we’ve been bringing them since they were one. They love the basement of the White Cottage because of the bunk beds; my wife and I love the balconies facing the ocean. Every floor is open, bright and full of classic Victorian charm.” — Anthony Villanova, Watchung, New Jersey

«The Virginia Hotel Cottages offer five delightful accommodations along glorious Jackson Street. They are available for rental by the full house or as separate apartments and are ideal for families or groups of friends, “girls’ getaways”, and for accommodating wedding groups.

A brief history In 1891, Edward Knight, owner of Congress Hall, hired renowned architect Stephen Decatur Button (who also designed the rebuilt Congress Hall) to draw up plans for seven identical cottages, which occupied an L-shape starting on Jackson Street (see postcard above). Over the decades, the buildings changed use several times — three of them are now owned and operated by Cape Resorts Group.

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«The location is as good as it gets — Jackson Street is a halfblock from both the beach and the Washington Street Mall. «Together, the cottages represent a Cape May vacation experience that is equal parts classic and comfort.

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A CHAT WITH... interior designer Colleen Bashaw What is your background? I studied art history in college. After graduation, I moved to New York City and worked for the Parish Hadley design firm. I was there for six years and then, in 1997, I started my own design company. I have designed all of the Cape Resorts properties in Atlantic City and Cape May. And where does the inspiration for the individual properties come from? It really is individual. I try to stay true to the building. For example, Congress Hall is such a stately old building, but at the same time, it has a good sense of humor to it, which is a combination that’s difficult to find. What do you mean by sense of humor? Well, it isn’t a very serious building. The floors are crooked… it’s quirky. It’s been rebuilt three times, and it’s been through a lot, so you could say it has its own sense of humor. People really feel it when they come here; I think that’s why families and kids love it so much. It’s stately, but comfortable and accessible with just a little bit of whimsy. Do your three kids ever influence your design choices? My kids are 16, 14, and five. Of course, the five-year-old doesn’t care much, and the middle child is a boy, so he doesn’t care either, but my oldest girl loves it. She comes to the fabric shows with me in Manhattan. And she has plenty to say… she’ll give her honest opinion, just like she does with my clothes or hair. And I always take it into account… it’s a pair of young, fresh eyes. Do you always stick with the plan? Or will you throw something in that strays a bit from your original vision simply because you love it so much? A good example of this would be paint color for me. I’ll go into a house or hotel or whatever I’m working on at the time

Opposite page: Interior designer Colleen Bashaw has introduced a vibrant, playful palette to the Cape Resorts Group properties. Of America’s Original Seaside Resort, she says, “Cape May is so beautiful and clean, and I try to pick colors that will be complementary to the outside.”

and I’ll think: This room has to be bright green. But once I get to know it a little bit more, I could completely go the opposite way, and say, “No, this has to be yellow.” The color dictates a lot. You speak of “getting to know” the properties. Is this how you think of them… as characters with personalities? I don’t think of them as people or as being alive or anything like that… but these old buildings, because of their history, definitely have more personality. What has been the reaction since you had the Congress Hall lobby painted green? So far, so good. It’s funny, I’ll be down there changing a lampshade or just sitting in the lobby, and I overhear comments from people who have no idea I did any of the design work. That’s always interesting. Do you find that people struggle with change? What’s fascinating is to see how most people get very possessive of the properties. They begin to feel a personal connection to them, and it’s amazing how they notice the changes, even the little ones! I think most people are definitely happy, but there is always the shock of the new. No matter how I prepare my clients — telling them that we’re going to order a certain sofa, for instance, or showing it to them in the showroom — once it’s in their own house, they don’t like it. Until they sit with it for three days; then they love it. It’s like anything that comes into your house — a new child or a new dog — it takes some getting used to. How do you walk the line between your own personal taste and what you think the guests will like? I definitely keep the guests in mind… you don’t want them to freak out, you want them to like it. But I also feel a sense of freedom when I do these hotels. My brother is the owner, and he trusts me so

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completely. I don’t have to go through a dog and pony show to convince anyone that this is the right paint color or furniture or fabric. Have you ever backed away from a design because you were afraid of how others would react? No, I don’t work like that. Once I make a decision, I roll with it and hope for the best. You’d never get anything done in design otherwise. Do you have trouble leaving a job once it’s finished? You’re never done working with these properties, especially because we do try to keep them really fresh. I have to redo the carpets every five years… you’re constantly redoing everything. I shop and I antique a lot. I just found a great old umbrella stand for Congress Hall. I should have found it six years ago, but I just couldn’t find the right one. I finally have, thank goodness. Does proximity to the beach influence your decisions? Definitely. The sun, the light, the air… everything in Cape May is so beautiful and clean, and I try to pick colors that will be complementary to the outside. I love the beach. What’s a good tip for amateur designers working on their own homes? I always try to ask myself: Am I going to like this in two to three years? Then again, I’m not a trendy designer. I’d rather things be classic. What’s something you’d like people to know about you? I feel extremely fortunate to do what I do. Cape May is a really special place; it harkens back to a time before life was so rushed and crazy. Every time I drive over the bridge, I’m grateful for the opportunity to express myself creatively and, hopefully through that, I can contribute to the pleasurable experience of others.

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the beach shack [Est. 1966] «The Beach Shack is a fresh and fun alternative for family beachfront vacations. 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 Nail has an indooroutdoor ambiance, live music and a fresh take on beach blanket comfort food.

“Sometimes, my wife and I have to force ourselves to leave the hotel and go out into the surrounding areas. This place has an island vibe, reminiscent of Key West, and it’s home to one of the best unobstructed views in Cape May. Not to mention, the staff is so accommodating, no matter how busy it is.” — Stephen Brooks, Delaware County, Pennsylvania

Raising the bar... a brief history «The Beach Shack began its life as The Coachman’s Motor Inn in 1966, established by Philadelphia builder Jules 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. He saw a table fashioned from a tree in Pico Mountain, Vermont and loved the look of it so much he tracked down the table’s

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owner. The man agreed to make Jules a bar from the same wood — a bar that’s the longest in Cape May, and one of the most talked about. It also quickly earned a reputation for serving the coldest beer in Cape May... a legacy we have been happy to uphold. «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.

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A Chat With... General Manager Sandy Montano You were born in Germany. How come? My father was in the army, and he fell in love with a German woman. When I was 12, we settled in Willamsport, Pennsylvania. I was in high school in 1977 when I spent my first summer in Cape May. I worked at the Christian Admiral Hotel in Cape May as the snack shop manager and behind the front desk. That is how I became involved with Cape Resorts. As well as managing the Rusty Nail and Beach Shack, you run special projects for CRG properties, including construction. How did you learn this field? My degree is in business management, but I used to stay at the Christian Admiral in the winter, and I got to see the inner workings of the building’s operation. I learned from the engineers and plumbers, and I had my boiler’s license by the time I was 23. You were also the fourth woman in Cape May to obtain your contractor’s license. What’s the secret to succeeding as a female in a male-dominated industry? You need to have the right knowledge and confidence level. Once you demonstrate that you can speak their language, you become accepted. You oversaw the renovation of the Rusty Nail. What was the biggest challenge? When Congress Hall and the Sandpiper were renovated, they were gutted. What people don’t always realize is that, while it may be more costly financially, starting from scratch can be easier. The Nail has a reputation as the lifeguard/surfer/beach bunny bar. Is that because of the beach-inspired decor, or do these people really frequent this place? The bar is a big, beautiful mix – families with newborns, 20-somethings, grandparents, anyone who enjoys a great beach vibe, a ‘no-shower’ happy hour, comforting entertainment, catching a glimpse of a dolphin pod swimming by… and the coldest beer in town. The Nail has two unofficial mascots. Who are they? They’re the poodles! They usually come in wearing their little red booties and sunglasses, but when it gets to be fall, they may sport their Rusty Nail T-shirts, too. Exit Zero magazine captured a picture of them the year we opened, and it just snowballed from there. This year, the bar will be even more dog-friendly, correct? We’ve welcomed dogs at the Nail since the beginning. But now, we’ll offer a doggie menu, and some of the rooms in the Beach Shack will be dog-friendly. I can understand not wanting to leave your pup at home; my own animals are my family. I have three cats, a golden retriever, and an eskimo spitz. What’s the best reaction you’ve witnessed to the firepit? The look of surprise and excitement on a kid’s face (or an adult’s) when the fire comes on… that can be the best part of a night. Probably our most difficult challenge is when we have to extinguish the fire at 10pm; you hear a big groan that echoes across the property. But the party simply moves inside. What is the best thing about your job? Working with historic buildings, I know that 100 years from now, people are going to be able to see the work I did, just as I was able to see the work that Annie Knight did during the first renovation of Congress Hall in the 1920s. But the most memorable thing at the Nail is seeing the enjoyment people feel as they discover this fire pit and this bar. I don’t think people realize how much I love what I do.

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the sandpiper beach club [Est. 1977] “We go twice a year for 20 days because it’s incredibly clean and provides so many amenities. And Charley, the manager, is so helpful and accommodating. I have three kids in college, and we all have a great time at the Sandpiper. We usually choose the first floor for its convenience — and even from there, the view is breathtaking.” — Lee Kirsch, Long Island, New York

«The Sandpiper Beach Club is a recently renovated family-friendly oceanfront condominium resort with 51 one- and two-bedroom units, with full kitchens, living rooms and balconies. Most enjoy spectacular ocean views. «The Sandpiper features the amenities of a luxury hotel, including a pool, daily housekeeping, beach service, sauna, concierge, expansive fitness center, and an inhouse arcade, featuring popular and classic games. We will even stock your refrigerator before you arrive — just ask in advance. «Sandpiper guests have signing privileges at all Cape Resorts properties.

A brief history «The original building shows up on maps from 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 the 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.

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A Chat With... General Manager Charley Gaudio How long have you been managing the Sandpiper? Since 2008. Is this your full-time job? My Master’s degree is in health education, so I teach physical education at a high school in Vineland, which I love. Tell us how the Sandpiper’s fitness center measures up. It’s not your typical little hotel gym. The equipment — free weights and cardio — is professional-grade. The space is air-conditioned, there’s a television, and after you work out, you have access to our dry saunas. How do you stay fit outside of the gym? I enjoy running along the promenade, or walking along the beach. And when you feel like being a couch potato? I sit on the beach with my music or my book and simply watch the ocean. Do you have a family? I’m married to a fellow teacher, and I have two children – 18 and 20. They also work for Cape Resorts, as a server and a hostess at the Blue Pig Tavern. When is the best time to take in a sunset from the Sandpiper balcony? September — the skies are incredible, full of brilliant reds and oranges. As manager, what’s your goal? Guests come here knowing what they read about the Sandpiper on TripAdvisor and similar sites. My goal is always to meet those expectations, and then exceed them. What’s special about the Sandpiper? It has a bit of a modern flair in a Victorian town. We’re also unique in that we’re a condominium property with high-end amenities, but we run just like a hotel, meaning we offer daily housekeeping. Each guest also has signing privileges at all the other properties. And who are your guests? I’ve seen college reunions, family reunions, girls’ weekends, romantic getaways, birthday and anniversary and New Years Eve celebrations. This is the place for anyone looking for a seaside escape… almost every unit has an ocean view. It’s pretty spectacular being able to hear the waves crash from your balcony.

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a Day in the life of... gardener David chanudet

Hydrangeas can grow to be seven feet tall, with blooms that are pink, blue or purple, depending on the pH of the soil


he deck of my house — a little 1928 fishing cottage — overlooks the bay, and that’s where I like to drink my coffee in the morning. Because I get up at 6:30am, there’s not a soul awake. It’s still so peaceful. Before I leave the house, I make sure to lather SPF 50 over my head, and I pack my little pen and notepad, which I keep in my back pocket for jotting down garden-related notes that occur to me throughout the day. When I arrive at Congress Hall, I begin where I left off the day before, working my way around in a clockwise manner. It’s a continuous cycle; by the time I get around the clock, I have to start over. There are always a million things that need tending. Everything on the property needs to be sheared and manicured. All of the plants are trimmed with hand shears, which is not the “old-fashioned” way, it’s just the right way. The electric ones may be faster, but their cut isn’t as crisp. Then there’s the pruning and deadheading. You’ve probably noticed the hanging baskets on the gas lights… we need to remove old flowers from those so that new ones might come on. I make sure to take a moment to look out over the ocean. For a horticulturist, there are many places to work, but there aren’t too many gardens on the beach, and none like this. I spent every summer of my childhood at my parents’ Jersey shore home, so I love being here. The whole time I work, kids are running around. They play Frisbee, baseball, wiffle ball… occasionally, a toy plane will buzz by my head. The Congress Hall lawn is their playground. Parents will be happy to know we use horticultural oil to deter insects — no chemicals. After lunch, there is a lot of watering… maybe two hours a day. It’s not just the sun drying stuff out; there is a constant sea breeze to contend with. Once a week, we

If the daylilies at Congress Hall look more vibrant than your average daylily... it’s because they are. How come? That’s top secret.

Ivy-leaf geraniums are the perfect addition to the gas lamps along the Congress Hall veranda in the summertime

There are six varieties of tulips planted each season at Congress Hall, resulting in a “massive” yield, says David

Dave’s Gardening Tips 1. The number one question people ask me is: Why don’t my hydrangeas bloom? Hydrangeas are an odd plant in that they bloom not on new wood, but on “old wood” — the stems that have been around since the summer before the current season. It’s important to keep this in mind when trimming your plant in order to reduce its size. 2. If you’re a novice gardener, daylilies are where it’s at. They’re droughtresistant, and nearly impossible to kill. 3. The number one mistake people make is planting things in the wrong zone. A good resource for all of your sun-or-shade-related questions? Fine Gardening magazine. It’s a good place to learn the answer to another frequently asked question — how much water your plants should receive. Remember… there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The outside temperature, the type of plant, and the amount of precipitation are all variables.

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cut the autumn olive which surrounds the valet parking lot… it’s about the size of a football field. We might tend to boxwood hedges, to make sure they’re uniform as possible; the lilies, which we plant close to the walkways so that guests can smell their aromas; and the spring bulbs – we have at least 20 varieties. Mulching is a project in itself; it takes a week just to prepare the beds. It’s easy to become dehydrated doing this type of work; I drink about three bottles of water a day and do my best to resist jumping in the pool! People come up to me during the course of an afternoon with all sorts of questions. The number one question? Why aren’t my hydrangeas growing? They also want to know how old the fish are in the little pond by the pool — up to 10 years. Sometimes, people just want to chat. The best compliment I ever received was from a guest who said it was the gardens that made their stay at Congress Hall. I leave the grounds of the hotel some of the time because I also take care of Washington Commons, the Virginia, The Beach Shack, The Inn at 22 Jackson, the cottages, and the Sandpiper. No matter where I am, being able to see the fruits of my labor at the end of the day is rewarding. Around 4pm, it’s time to head home, where I tend to my own garden; it’s small but intense. I won’t go inside until I’ve devoted an hour or two to it. I’m constantly changing things around; come to my house every two weeks, and the garden will look different. Then, I head to the beach, where I sit in my chair with a book before hitting the water. I love swimming. At home, I make dinner on the grill — I live on my deck. Finally, it’s off to bed, so I’m nice and rested before another groundbreaking day.

David has to regularly attend to the autumn olive plant, a highly prolific, aromatic shrub that surrounds the valet parking lot at Congress Hall

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beach & pool



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 best possible service. We offer a wonderful mix of salads and lunch fare delivered to your beach chair. The service is friendly AND efficient. When you arrive, tell your server your name and room number, and they will set you up. There are base camps for check-in located at the following beach points... «Congress Street for guests of Congress Hall, the Star and Sandpiper Beach Club « Perry Street for guests of The Virginia 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.

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Rent a private cabana for the ultimate treat


Lounging by the Atlantic Ocean is a relaxing and refreshing experience, no matter how you cut it. But for the ultimate beach day treat, rent one of our gorgeous, classic beach cabanas, which are

based at three locations. The yellow-and-white striped cabanas of Congress Hall are directly in front of our landmark hotel. The Virginia’s elegant red cabanas (pages 28-29) are located on the Jackson Street beach. And the rustic, Caribbean-flavored orange-and-aqua cabanas of the Beach Shack (pages 30-31) are between Grant and Patterson. Cabana 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 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. Whatever method you choose to reserve, don’t forget to bring along your best beach vibe... and watch the magic happen.

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Guests of The Virginia Hotel and Cottages can order a gourmet picnic basket lunch for two, packed in a special cooler. It features a sandwich and snack selection that should please all palates. You can pick the basket up at the Virginia’s front desk (please order it the previous night) or have it delivered to you on the beach.

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From the cabana supports carved from trees to the orangeand-aqua beach umbrellas, Beach Shack guests know they are in vacation mode. And when you have tired of the experience of lying beside the Atlantic, being pampered by our servers, walk across the road to the Rusty Nail, where you can enjoy the island’s coldest beer, Chef Jimmy’s food, and the coolest beach bar vibe.

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How to Play by the Rules of the Beach

The beaches in front of our properties are public and are shared with our neighbors and friends. As a result, we hope you will take note of the following rules so that everyone may enjoy a wonderful day by the ocean... A Place in the Sun Our attendants will set up your chairs, umbrellas and towels once most members of your party arrive on the beach and are ready to occupy their chairs. Attendants are not permitted to pre-set beach set-ups — so please do not ask them to (however nicely

you do it!). Beach attendants will arrange set-ups on a first-come, firstserved basis, once guests are present. This applies to families, multiple families and groups. Please do not put the staff in an awkward situation. We hope that you trust us to try to accommodate your needs while respecting the public aspect of our beautiful beach. Empty NesterS Please notify our attendants if you intend to be away from your chairs for more than 15 minutes. They will

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happily collect your chairs and umbrellas and will reset them upon your return. refreshment Alcohol is not permitted on the beaches of Cape May. We do, however, have a selection of sodas, fruity beverages and water. Alcohol is available at Congress Hall’s pool bar and the Rusty Nail. Alcohol may not be taken off the premises. And finally Please let our attendants know if there is anything you need.

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ape May’s beaches are pretty special, so we

waited on by attentive staff. Surrounded by lush gardens and

know you are going to want to spend a lot of

overlooking our famous Grand Lawn, this is the most desirable

time on them, especially since you’re also being

real estate in Cape May. Serving lunch, snacks and drinks, the

pampered by our beach staff. But a change of

pool bar facilitates long, lazy, self-indulgent days. Not only is our

scenery is always a good thing, particularly on

delicious beach menu offered poolside at Congress Hall, but

vacation. Which is why we created the Congress Hall Pool and

the pool bar is open daily in season from 11am-9pm. The menu

Cabana Bar — simply cross Beach Avenue (look left, look right)

features treats such as a chicken blt, house-made guacamole,

and relax on a comfortable pool lounger, get warmed by the

and the Texas burger. Did we miss anything? Please let your

sun, while dozing and reading, snacking and dreaming, being

server know, and we’ll take care of the rest.

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food & drink



egular visitors to Cape May are likely accustomed to tasting the freshest seafood, given that the harbor here is home to the second biggest commercial fishing port on the east coast (and the fourth biggest in the country). Thanks to Beach Plum Farm, the produce at Cape Resorts restaurants is just as fresh. The Ebbitt Room, The Blue Pig Tavern and the

Rusty Nail are all served by the farm, situated on 62 acres in West Cape May, less than two miles (it’s a pleasant 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 both guided and self-guided tours — see page 42 for more information and a Beach Plum Farm map.

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Above: Ebbitt Room Executive Chef Anthony Micari and Jeremy Einhorn, Blue Pig Tavern Executive Chef, select peppers at Beach Plum Farm. Below, beekeeper Andrew Halbruner harvests fresh honey and, opposite page, tends to the chickens. Below: farmer Jaime Alvarez mans the farm’s produce stand.

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What’s Growing at Beach Plum Farm Asparagus............................................................................................... 2982 pounds Basil.....................................................Cinnamon................................. 40 bunches Basil.....................................................Purple......................................... 392 bunches Basil.....................................................Sweet Italian............................ 1592 bunches Basil ...................................................Big leaf....................................... 185 bunches Beans..................................................Yellow Wax............................... 25 pounds Beans..................................................Haricot Vert............................. 39 pounds Beans..................................................Pole............................................. 139 pounds Beets...................................................Candy Stripe........................... 61 pounds Beets...................................................Red.............................................. 320 pounds Blackberries........................................................................................... 53 pounds Blueberries............................................................................................. 139 pounds Bok Choy................................................................................................ 20 pounds Broccoli.................................................................................................... 1430 pounds Broccoli Raab........................................................................................ 40 pounds Brussels Sprouts.................................................................................. 150 pounds Cabbage............................................White.......................................... 1416 pounds Cabbage............................................Red.............................................. 350 heads Carrots...............................................Orange....................................... 601 pounds Carrots...............................................Purple......................................... 7 bunches Cauliflower.......................................White.......................................... 386 pounds Celery....................................................................................................... 175 heads Chives...................................................................................................... 1592 bunches Chive Blossoms.................................................................................... 75 bunches Cilantro.................................................................................................... 15 bunches Collards................................................................................................... 2063 pounds Cucumbers.......................................Pickling....................................... 90 pounds Cucumbers.......................................White.......................................... 1385 pounds Escarole................................................................................................... 58 heads Eggplant.............................................Black Beauty............................ 2568 pounds Eggplant.............................................Orient Express....................... 70 pounds Eggplant.............................................Long Purple.............................. 2635 pounds Eggplant.............................................White.......................................... 52 pounds Eggplant.............................................Striped....................................... 85 pounds Fennel.................................................Bulb............................................. 90 bulbs Flowers..............................................Hydrangea................................ 550 stems Flowers..............................................Peony.......................................... 200 stems Flowers..............................................Zinnia.......................................... 2060 stems Flowers..............................................Other.......................................... 315 stems Flowers..............................................Zucchini..................................... 1792 blossoms Garlic........................................................................................................ 10 pounds Horseradish............................................................................................ 12 pounds Kohl Rabi................................................................................................. 482 pounds Lavender................................................................................................. 100 bunches Leeks......................................................................................................... 190 bunches Lettuce...............................................Arugula...................................... 410 pounds Lettuce...............................................Iceberg....................................... 100 heads Lettuce...............................................Red Romaine........................... 1958 heads Lettuce...............................................Green Kale............................... 1341 pounds Lettuce...............................................Red Kale.................................... 601 pounds Lettuce...............................................Green Romaine...................... 1961 heads Lettuce...............................................Salad Greens Mix.................. 908 pounds Lettuce...............................................Spring Greens Mix................ 541 pounds Lettuce...............................................Spice Greens Mix.................. 560 pounds Lettuce...............................................Microgreens............................. 72 pounds Lettuce...............................................Leaf lettuce.............................. 8 heads Lettuce...............................................Boston Bibb............................. 45 heads Lettuce...............................................Buttercrunch........................... 105 heads

Lettuce...............................................Curly........................................... 98 heads Melon..................................................Cantaloupe.............................. 895 pounds Melon..................................................Honeydew................................ 1035 pounds Nasturtiums............................................................................................ 3715 blossoms Okra.......................................................................................................... 40 pounds Onion..................................................Scallion....................................... 10 bunches Onion..................................................White.......................................... 30 pounds Oregano............................................Common................................... 709 bunches Oregano............................................Italian.......................................... 185 bunches Parsley................................................Flat............................................... 498 bunches Parsley................................................Curly........................................... 170 bunches Peas.....................................................Sugar Pot................................... 55 pounds Peas.....................................................Snow .......................................... 55 pounds Peppermint............................................................................................ 2611 bunches Peppers.............................................Banana-sweet.......................... 1201 pounds Peppers.............................................Chocolate Bell........................ 210 pounds Peppers.............................................Green Bell................................ 3309 pounds Peppers.............................................Red Bell..................................... 1024 pounds Peppers.............................................Yellow Bell................................ 121 pounds Peppers.............................................Jalapeno.................................... 214 pounds Peppers.............................................Serrano...................................... 10 pounds Peppers.............................................Habanero.................................. 38 pounds Peppers.............................................Poblano...................................... 302 pounds Potatoes............................................White Yam................................ 260 pounds Potatoes............................................Purple Yam............................... 125 pounds Potatoes............................................Sweet.......................................... 335 pounds Pumpkins................................................................................................. 125 pounds Radish.................................................Cherry Belle............................ 747 bunches Radish.................................................French Breakfast................... 927 bunches Radish.................................................Watermelon............................. 199 bunches Radish.................................................Purple......................................... 40 bunches Raspberry............................................................................................... 97 pounds Rosemary................................................................................................ 920 bunches Rutabagas............................................................................................... 480 pounds Sage.....................................................Italian.......................................... 481 bunches Sage.....................................................Pineapple.................................. 98 bunches Spearmint............................................................................................... 185 bunches Spinach.................................................................................................... 940 pounds Squash................................................Butternut.................................. 387 pounds Squash................................................Yellow......................................... 2268 pounds Squash................................................Zucchini..................................... 461 pounds Squash................................................Spaghetti................................... 100 pounds Strawberries.......................................................................................... 177 pounds Swiss Chard........................................................................................... 568 pounds Tarragon................................................................................................... 842 bunches Thyme....................................................................................................... 1298 bunches Tomatoes...........................................Red Cherry/Grape................ 1062 pounds Tomatoes...........................................Red Beefsteak......................... 6269 pounds Tomatoes...........................................Plum--Large.............................. 44 pounds Tomatoes...........................................Plum--Medium........................ 102 pounds Tomatoes...........................................Heirloom................................... 956 pounds Tomatoes...........................................Yellow Cherry......................... 139 pounds Tomatoes...........................................Pink Beefsteak........................ 10 pounds Tomatoes...........................................Zebra.......................................... 10 pounds Turnips...................................................................................................... 935 pounds Watermelon.....................................Red seedless........................... 903 pounds Watermelon.....................................Red seeded.............................. 101 pounds Watermelon.....................................Yellow seedless...................... 500 pounds Numbers refer to the 2012 harvests

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Taking a Tour of the Farm Here’s a special day out that will provide fresh air, great aromas, and give you an inside look at Cape Resorts’ farm-to-table philosophy. Beach Plum Farm is open for one-hour guided tours at 9:30am on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday during the season. Guided tours provide opportunities for discussion and questions. You will be able to rest and enjoy refreshments at our picnic tables. If you prefer to wend your own way through the paths, there are self-guided walking tours between 8:00am and noon from Monday to Saturday. We’re excited to offer a new activity exclusive to our guests — Family Harvest Day. Bring the kids to the farm and work alongside our farmers, picking produce, and even planting too! (And take home souvenir Beach Plum Farm T-shirts.) Family Harvest Day happens at 7am every Thursday during the season, and lasts for nearly three hours (please reserve the day before). To book your farm tour, visit the Concierge at Congress Hall or call 609-884-6542.

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Beach Plum Farm is a short, beautiful bike ride through the tranquil streets of West Cape May — and once there, you can either take a guided tour or take your time and wander at your own pace, stopping to picnic and to take in that special Beach Plum vibe

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A day in the life.of... farmer Jaime alvarez


wake up around 6:30 in the morning, grab my coffee – even on the hottest of days – and head to the farm. First of all, I need to check on the greenhouse, to make sure all the plants there — tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, watermelon — are propagating. I have a son, a daughter, and two stepchildren, but my plants are my babies, too. We start everything from seeds here, and the first 14 days are the most crucial. After this, I drive my pickup truck throughout each section of the 62-acre farm, to make sure all is well. I need to know that the bugs are staying away from the crops, for example. We’re a totally organic farm, so instead of chemicals to repel insects, we use a home remedy — a mixture of garlic, cayenne pepper, and soap. I don’t even spray anything on myself; vinegar does the trick! I also need to see that nothing is wilting; this could mean we need more water. I use a drip irrigation system, which is a sustainable method that ensures all water goes directly to the root of each plant via buried lines, cutting down on waste as much as possible. Throughout the morning, it’s common for some of the chefs to wander through the property. Jeremy Einhorn often makes a habit of it on his day off from The Blue Pig Tavern, and they all very much enjoy doing their own picking. Every spring, we sit down with my growing calendar, which lays out everything I’m capable of producing, and the chefs make their selections. Sometimes, they fight over the same things. I make a point of introducing new crops all the time, so that the selection remains exciting — maybe a hybrid, like a more colorful tomato, for instance. I also make a point of checking in on the sheep and pigs and chickens in the morning. The chickens are especially sensitive; they need to be happy in order to produce eggs! We make sure their coop is clean, that it has the proper ventilation, and that each bird has proper bedding — a blanket of wood shavings or something equally dry does well. If a chicken is sick, I make sure she gets to the incubator, which I like to call the little chicken nursery. It’s important to me that we’re providing eggs of the highest quality; my family eats these, too. By this time, produce has been picked for the farm stand, where we sell asparagus, strawberries, lettuce, baby greens, spinach, arugula, eggs, rutabagas, carrots, turnips, and fresh herbs like tarragon, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano. Everything we offer here has come from the ground the very same day,

which is important, but it’s also important that the area is a calming, peaceful spot for people to come, and it’s my job to make it so. While I work, people on bikes often stop by the farm to check it out. I give 50 percent of the tours, and I love interacting with people. The number one thing I get asked is, “Do you really grow everything here?” You see, the entrance to the farm is deceiving; from there, you can only see the herb garden. But when I take people back through the fields, I watch their mouths drop. Yes, we grow everything here. To round out the day, there are always a million things we could do. Every other week, I check on our bee hives, but the harvesting time is the greatest part. I’ve taken a bee-keeping course so I can be even more hands-on this season with the honey extraction. If it’s the right time for planting a new crop, I drive the tractor, while members of my crew do the planting behind me. On my regular team, I have only two full-time people, and about three or four part-

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“I also make a point of checking in on the sheep and pigs and chickens in the morning. The chickens are especially sensitive; they need to be happy in order to produce eggs! We make sure their coop is clean, that it has the proper ventilation, and that each bird has proper bedding.”

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timers. It’s a small group for a property this size, but we like it this way. All of us enjoy what we do… it’s rare that we’ll even take a lunch break. Instead, we taste from the crops throughout the day. This is a good way to determine that everything tastes as good as it looks. Otherwise, it may need to be moved to a different location. Every once in a while, when I’m working, the whistle from the ferry snaps me out of a daydream. Being surrounded by all of these trees and produce and wildlife… it sometimes takes me back home; I grew up in Mexico, learning from my parents and their 300-acre farm. But I’m so happy to be in Cape May; I love being near the water. And in the evening, when I reunite with my wife and we decide to go for a meal at The Ebbitt Room or The Blue Pig Tavern, I see something on my plate that I followed from a little seed. Being able to say that’s my stuff — it gives me the chills. I can’t imagine a greater feeling. This is a good life.

A special kind of animal


lthough the pig has always reigned supreme in the chef’s world — owing to its varied and wonderful applications, says Ebbitt Room Executive Chef Anthony Micari — it fell out of favor during the 1990s and early 2000s among those on the other side of the kitchen door — the diners. “I don’t know why,” Anthony said. “Sometimes that happens with food, it’s the natural cycle of things. But now we are in the midst of a renaissance. People are once again celebrating the pig and all its quirky goodness.” To ensure that our restaurants

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remain at the forefront of this renaissance, Beach Plum Farm has become home to as many as 40 Berkshire pigs at a time. “They have a good life here,” says head farmer Jaime Alvarez. “From an early age, they make themselves at home by turning up the ground to create little “muck holes” and feeding three times a day on organic produce and the leftovers from the Cape Resorts restaurants. “If you order a steak at The Ebbitt Room that you don’t finish,” Jaime said, “it’s possible the pigs could be enjoying it the following day.” The animals also interact with the people who stop by the farm for a visit, eager to give the pigs a treat from the feed bucket Jaime keeps on hand. If anything should frighten them — the bark of a dog — they retreat to their own little farm house, which is clean and ventilated. There’s practical, as well as humanitarian, reasoning behind this concern for the animals: “When the pigs live a stress-free life,” Jaime says, “the meat is better.” Better, and more thrilling for the Cape Resorts chefs. “This has been my most exciting project,” says Anthony. The Berkshire breed is stout, he explained, and because it’s raised organically, the fat is allowed to penetrate the meat, making for pork that’s marbled, a term which usually refers to steak only. At the Ebbitt Room, Anthony and his crew are serving the highest-end cuts, like the tomahawk, but are also making their own lard and paté and, from the skin, a pork crackling garnish. The braised cheek dish, done Spanish croquette style and served with a poached egg from Beach Plum, “flew out the door,” says Anthony, with 27 orders served in four hours. “We’re using 100 percent of the animal,” he says. At the Blue Pig, Chef Jeremy and his cooks are making their own sausages and smoking their own bacon. This year, the pigs have begun breeding at Beach Plum, meaning the pork will be sustainable AND delicious. “It’s not something that will be here today, gone tomorrow,” says Anthony.

The Good Food Guide

THE Blue Pig Tavern The cozy tavern style is underlined by the magnificent wood-tile-copper fireplace, a huge attraction on cooler nights. On warmer evenings, reserve a table on the lush, secluded patio. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Reservations: Recommended (dinner) Attire: Casual Phone: 609-884-8422

the Ebbitt Room Focusing on a farm-to-table philosophy, Chef Anthony Micari wows customers in this buzzy yet intimate restaurant. The renovated bar is a favorite spot. Location: 25 Jackson Street Meals Served: Dinner Reservations: Recommended Attire: Casual chic Phone: 609-884-5700

the Rusty Nail The hottest beachfront spot in town offers reasonably priced beach fare 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: 29 Perry Street Meals Served: Breakfast, snacks Reservations: No Attire: Very casual

Tommy’s Folly Coffee Bar Tommy’s Folly has a full menu of La Colombe coffee drinks, plus homemade sandwiches, soups and salads — grab and go to the veranda rocking chairs for an extra treat. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, treats Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: 609-884-6522

The Boiler Room Entertainment from Wednesday-Sunday, complemented by a contemporary twist on “pub grub” with a broad drinks list. One of the town’s most hopping dance floors. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Dinner, late-night snacks Reservations: No Attire: Very casual

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The Brown Room The twin pillars of Cape May’s Living Room are the ebony-colored fireplace and the mahogany and marble bar. Enjoy a great cocktail menu, excellent appetizers and live music. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Dinner, cocktail snacks Reservations: No Attire: Casual

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 read, 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 indulge. Location: 25 Jackson Street Meals Served: Small Plates, snacks Reservations: No Attire: Casual chic Phone: 609-884-5700

congress hall Beach service If you don’t want to leave your lounger or cabana and cross the road to the hotel, we understand. Simply fill out an order card, and have lunch delivered right to your beach table. Location: On the beach at Perry Meals Served: Lunch, snacks Reservations: No Attire: It’s the beach!

virginia hotel Beach service Indulge in one very classy beach experience. Order from the servers or reserve a superior beach picnic the night before your beach day. Location: On the beach at Jackson Meals Served: Lunch, snacks Reservations: No Attire: It’s the beach!

rusty nail Beach service The rustic tent supports and the aquaand-orange umbrellas and shades announce very clearly that you are in a little slice of paradise. Location: On the beach at Patterson Meals Served: Lunch, snacks Reservations: No Attire: It’s the beach!

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THE BLUE PIG TAVERN There is one good time to visit Congress Hall’s restaurant — and that’s any time. The outside patio is a great place to start your day with breakfast, to take a break from the beach with lunch under our umbrellas, or end it with dinner under our stringed lights. Inside, you’ll see where the ‘tavern’ part of the name comes in... the centerpiece of this cozy space is our magnificent fireplace, adorned with copper and tiles based on the original Congress Hall dishware design. Whether you are looking for an intimate table for two or a booth for six, we hope you’ll find that our menu of comfort food classics and extensive drinks menu will make you linger.

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Comfort food classics Recent scientific studies show that eating comfort food can reduce stress, enhance your mood, and deliver an overall boost to your wellbeing. We would like to add another benefit — it tastes so good! At the Blue Pig Tavern, cooking comfort food, using the freshest of ingredients, is at the heart of our mission. Here are some of our favorites, pictured clockwise from top left: mom’s meatloaf; fish and chips; bleu cheese and bacon burger; mac and cheese with jumbo lump crab; steak and cake with New York strip and mashed potatoes; and vegetarian pot pie. “There’s beauty in the simplicity of this menu,” says Executive Chef Jeremy Einhorn. And... it really IS good for your soul.

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New event... The Blue Pig drawing contest

First place went to 10-year-old Nixie Strazza. Runner-up (above right) was Abby Nocella, 10; while third place went to Noa Deocampo, 10.

Honorable Mentions, from left, went to: Emma Serrian, eight; Sydney Klepper, eight; Emma Celio, 10; and Andrea Kinzler, 10

When your kids next sit down to eat at The Blue Pig Tavern, there shouldn’t be any problem in keeping them occupied — our new annual drawing contest will be open from July 4 through Labor Day to all children, aged four to 10, who dine at the Blue Pig Tavern. Three winning entries will be selected to receive a $100 gift certificate for the restaurant. And the artwork from the winning entries may be reproduced on T-shirts, which will be sold in our Tommy’s Folly General Store. Pictured above are the entries we selected from our 2012 contest.

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america’s classic dessert at the blue pig

It doesn’t get any more American than apple pie, and this classic dessert takes pride of place on the Blue Pig Tavern’s menu. The Congress Hall Signature Apple Pie is a tantalizing combination of flaky, housemade pie crust and Granny Smith apples baked with brown sugar, butter, raisins and spices, topped off with a mouthwatering lattice of cinnamon-sugar stars.

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A day in the life of... blue pig executive chef Jeremy Einhorn


orning service at the Blue Pig begins at 7:30am… although the preparation begins long before that. We’ve purchased our own smoker, meaning we’re now able to smoke our own meat for breakfast. I’ve worked at other restaurants that have had their own farms, but never at one with a farm producing so many pigs, chickens and eggs! The curing process for the ham from just one of our hogs begins three, maybe four, weeks ahead of time, and about a week ahead for bacon. The most important thing is to get the ratio of salt and sugar right. From there, we can add maple or honey or whatever we like. It’s exciting. Around 10:30, I check in with our breakfast managers to see that everything

To book a table for dinner at The Blue Pig Tavern, call 609-8848422. For more information visit congresshall. com.

has gone smoothly in the dining room. I also make a point to visit Beach Plum Farm at least one or two mornings a week. It’s a relaxing place, and an inspiring one. Just seeing first-hand that, say, all the blueberries are coming up from the ground leads to all sorts of fresh ideas. After that, you can find me setting up for lunch in the kitchen, or downstairs in my office ordering from vendors, which can take up to two hours. Unlike other restaurants, we don’t order for the week, but one or two days ahead, to ensure that everything is as fresh as possible. I also check in with the beach and pool managers to see that all of the guests are happy with their food. I meet with the food and beverage director as well as my sous chefs to discuss special initiatives, tasks and

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goals. I’m comfortable coming up with all the specials myself, but I want my core staff to be involved so that this is a creative process for everyone. We have the benefit of being a year-round restaurant in a town full of seasonal places, and this does a lot for building loyalty. Our cooks want to be here; this isn’t just a job. Around this time, we can expect a delivery of produce from Beach Plum Farm, which can take four hours to clean. We might receive 300 pounds of produce in one shot, 500 pounds if it’s a bumper crop. With my prep cooks, while I go over what we’ll be using this produce for, we talk about the evening’s new dishes. It’s important that I change at least something on the menu every night, which is why the prep cooks have such a difficult job… they don’t always know what’s coming. They might have to slice vegetables, cut steaks and fish, make crab cakes, make stocks and sauces and soups, and grind meat for burgers. Other restaurants might turn to commercial purveyors for meat that has already been cut and vacuum sealed, but this often comes with a chemical preservative that tastes, to me, like sulfur. I’d rather buy raw product and transform it. In the afternoon, I reprint the menus to incorporate the evening’s specials, which always highlight local seafood. I rely on day boat scallops because I know they have never been frozen or pumped with brine to inflate the size. If you ever cook scallops at home, and you notice milky water in the pan, this means they’ve been wetpacked, or pumped up. A tip: buy dry-pack scallops. And I love working with the Cape May Salts, which I think are the tastiest oysters on the market. At 4:30, I have a pre-meal discussion with our servers, where we bring out new items they can taste; it’s important they know exactly what they’re serving, so they can be as proud of the product as I am. During dinner, in addition to cooking, I do the expediting. There are four stations — sauté, grill, fry, and pantry — and it’s my job to make sure they’re communicating. Around 10:30, I head for home, but I’m never really done. I read magazines and use the internet to keep abreast of trends in the industry, and I attend as many trade shows as possible. Even going out to eat is always an exercise — seeing how other chefs do things differently and constantly questioning why. It’s important, because my work is a representation of me. I can’t play any musical instrument — at least not that anyone would want to hear — and I can’t sing or paint. But I can create a meal using my hands and my head and give it to someone else to enjoy. It’s the most gratifying thing I know.

2pm: A break from the kitchen to review menus, liaise with Congress Hall’s marketing department about special events, and email farmer Jaime about upcoming produce at Beach Plum Farm: “The post-it notes are my to-do list.” 4pm: Carrying a freshly made batch of crab cakes for the evening’s dinner service from the kitchen to the storage area downstairs. “Yes, it’s a good workout,” Jeremy says. “I probably go up and down those stairs 30 times a day.”

11am: Jeremy allows his pizza dough to proof overnight, so that it has time to get nice and “relaxed” before he kneads and shapes it. “Pizza sounds so simple, but it’s not something that can be done on the fly. There is a lot of planning involved. You have to work the dough enough to create the right protein structure, but work it too much, and it ends up shrunken and the wrong shape.” Twenty minutes in the Blue Pig mixer usually does the trick.

10pm: After a night of cooking, Jeremy makes sure to inventory his supplies for the following day. 5:30pm: Sautéeing the mussels appetizer, with house-made chorizo sauce. “The biggest mistake people make with their own mussels is overcooking. Be sure to pull them out of the pan as soon as they open.” On the Blue Pig stove, it takes about three minutes for this to start happening.

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The brown room In June of 1934, after the end of Prohibition, Congress Hall unveiled Cape May’s first legal cocktail bar since 1920 — in the same spot now occupied by The Brown Room. And although the place has been through many different incarnations since then, including an imaginative redesign when Congress Hall reopened in 2002, the sense of history remains. That’s partly due to the 1930s-inspired design — on a balmy evening, you might just pick up vibes of old Havana, inspired by the tropical birds adorning the fireplace, the large palms occupying the corners, and, of course, the famous zebra-striped carpet. In cooler weather, the open fireplace creates a warming glow that creates an irresistible ambience — no wonder The Brown Room has become known as Cape May’s Living Room.

“I moved to Cape May from the Princeton area two years ago, and I have to say that The Brown Room has become my second home. It’s comfortable and stylish, the vibe always feels friendly and happy, and the food and drinks are good. Whether it’s the summer or the off-season, I continue to meet a lot of interesting people there. It’s a place where good things happen.” — Viviane Rowan, Cape May, NJ

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A chat with... Brown Room bartender Luci Sav Where are you from, Luci? Romania. I studied computer science and economics there, but in 2002, at the age of 22, I moved to America… first Chicago, then Cape May, where I got a job bar-backing in the Brown Room. What was your first impression of the Brown Room? I knew this was a hotel, but when I walked into the bar, it was late at night, and I thought for a moment I’d stumbled into someone’s private residence. It really does feel like Cape May’s living room. The fireplace is my favorite piece; it reminds me of the ones in the castles back in Romania. Has your family been to see you? My mother came. She loved Congress Hall, especially the large couch in the Brown Room where she’d relax with a book. In 2005, you were promoted from bar back to bartender. How did your first night go? Crazy! I wasn’t expecting to make drinks, but we were so busy, the bartender said, “Luci, start pouring!” Everywhere I looked, customers were waving. It’s my fondest memory. After that, I spent a lot of time watching the bartenders and asking questions and learning. It makes me proud to serve drinks here, because when you know the

product is good, you can count on it, and you can recommend it wholeheartedly. We base so much of the menu on the ingredients — like blueberries, strawberries, and mint — from Beach Plum Farm, and this makes a difference. What’s your best drink? I would say the Blue Pig Margarita; it’s Ketel One, Hypnotic, and a splash of pineapple juice. Of course, ladies love the Congressional Cosmo, too. The Blue Pig Martini, cherry bourbon sour, and mojitos are really popular, even in the wintertime. How do you blow off steam after a hard day’s work? Playing sports, as much as possible… usually tennis, and soccer every Thursday, often with other Cape Resorts employees. Are you any good? Oh, I’m the best. And modest, too. You have a lot of regular customers. Who’s one of the most memorable? A year ago, I waited on a couple on their first date. And then I waited on them the night he proposed. Recently, they came again to Congress Hall, this time for their wedding, and I waited on them a third time. “You’ve been with us since the beginning,” they told me. All of

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“It really does feel like Cape May’s living room. The fireplace is my favorite piece; it reminds me of the ones in the castles back in Romania,” says Luci.

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these relationship milestones happened during my shifts, and that is special to be a part of. But it’s not just couples who connect at the Brown Room. Why is it that strangers have such an easy time making friends here? I think it’s many things… the shape of the bar, the warmth of the room, the proximity to the beach, and the history of the space. The bartop is made from the marble of the old Christian Admiral Hotel. All of this creates this feeling that people love, and that shows. How do you really feel about having to wear a vest and tie to work? It’s nice to feel dapper. It’s a part of the atmosphere. Is it true the room is haunted? I’ve had a few people tell me they’ve seen a ghost by the lamp in the corner… but not to worry; it’s a friendly ghost. The palm trees… real or fake? They’re real; they’ve been preserved, but no one believes it. Do you ever find yourself singing along with the entertainment? Everyone sings along with Darin MacDonald on the piano. He’s so talented musically, but he also knows how to work a crowd. You can’t help but enjoy.

the Boiler Room The Boiler Room isn’t your typical shore town night club (then again, Cape May isn’t your typical shore town). Its exposed brick walls, brushed steel bar and tables, crimson-colored lightshades and industrial aesthetic give it the feel of a big-city establishment. You can either be right in the heart of the action, by taking a perch at the bar, or the tables on either side of it, or snag a cozy spot in the nook beyond the red velvet drapes. Or maybe you’re one of the folks who fills up the dance floor. As for the music, it’s eclectic without being cliquey — a body-swaying, feet-tapping combination of classic rock and pop, R&B, blues and old school DJ. Long-time favorites include The Dane Anthony Band and the Billy D. Light Trio, while this year we are excited to introduce a new ’80s Open Mic Night with live band on Sundays. The bottom line? You get to enjoy the cool vibe of an urban hotspot, but at the end of it all, you step outside and hear the Atlantic Ocean gently lapping at the shore just across the street. Now, that’s what we call a win-win.

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“I love the Boiler Room because the variety of the artists keeps me coming back again and again. I can start a Thursday night with my daughter at KiddieO’ke, end with TerryO’ke and come back over the weekend with out-of-town friends for great live music from bands like Billy D. Light, and a fun vibe. It’s the one place where I really feel like letting go and dancing the night away.” — LISA COSTELLO, Baltimore, MD

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A Chat with... ebbitt room Executive Chef Anthony Micari

Did you always want to be a chef? No, my plan was to attend college for pre-law. I was accepted to Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and I spent a year in the political science program. At the same time, I was working in a restaurant – which I first started doing as a 15-year-old dishwasher – and eventually I realized, this is what I love. So then what? I got a job working under Susanna Foo, who’d won the James Beard Best Chef Mid-Atlantic award seven years in a row, at the Borgata in Atlantic City. We were serving 600 people a night, and I was learning so much. Susanna got me an internship at Morimoto in Philadelphia, where I stayed until I felt comfortable enough to knock on the door of Garmo Pernot of Passion in Philadelphia. I walked in and said, “I’ve got my knives and I’m going to work for you for free today so that, if I do a good enough job, you’ll hire me.’” And that’s exactly what happened. How many kitchens have you worked in? A lot! I’ve been doing this for 12 years. I worked for BLT restaurant group in New York, and I ran the Ritz Carlton dining room in White Plains, New York, and Chelsea Prime in Atlantic City.

Eventually, I made the move to executive sous chef of Revel in Atlantic City. I was managing groups of chefs, who had groups of chefs under them, but I want to be in the kitchen. I want to be cooking. And how much cooking do you get to do as the executive chef of the Ebbitt Room? As much as possible; I’m in the kitchen from 10am to midnight. I love it. What do you eat at home? I follow the Paleo Diet, which is the caveman diet — meats, protein, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. It’s helped me lose 100 pounds. But when I’m at work, I taste everything I make. And everything my cooks make, too. If it’s not right, I’ll have them redo it. I have a very motivated kitchen staff. We bounce ideas off one another. How many of your ingredients come from Beach Plum Farm? A huge amount. Even in the off-season, we’re growing our lettuce in the greenhouse. Our pigs come from there. And our eggs come from Beach Plum chickens. Speaking of eggs, how many different types of deviled eggs have you had on your menu? Hundreds. The preparation for one egg can take up to two days. Recently, we topped an egg

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To book a table for dinner at The Ebbitt Room, call 609-8845700. For more information visit virginiahotel. com.

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with escargot and croque monsieur – it’s a traditional ham and cheese sandwich in France. But even ingredients which aren’t coming from the farm are being sourced locally, yes? We’re using Dock Street and Cold Spring fisheries for our seafood. There’s something about knowing your dinner was caught 20 miles offshore and brought in that morning at 4am, not coming from a warehouse in Nebraska. What’s something you’re passionate about, besides cooking? I love paddleboarding. I experienced it in Hawaii, and I came home and bought my own board. Tell us something few people know about one of your dishes. Even in the offseason, we sell about 30 pounds of duck a week. People love it. Even before it hits the grill, it goes through about 24 hours of prep. How would you describe the menu at The Ebbitt Room? We serve some traditional classics, but it’s always been important for this restaurant to produce more creative, artisanal dishes — that’s why it’s consistently been a leader in this region. With the menu we have created, people can push the envelope or stay in their comfort zone.

In praise of... The Ebbitt Room’s Meat Board Ebbitt Room chef Anthony Micari designed his meat board with a summer evening in mind. “It’s the perfect dish to share with friends at the bar or on the front porch, especially with a sea breeze and a punchy glass of wine,” he said. Originally intended as a way to preserve meats in the days before refrigeration, the charcuterie style of cooking — salting, curing and smoking — has earned a place on gourmet menus for the intense flavors it produces. At the Ebbitt Room, the Meat Board comprises various “aggressive” flavors, meaning your palate won’t grow bored after only a handful of bites. The components change frequently, but there are a few staples Anthony depends on, including prosciutto di Parma, an Italian import aged for 14 months so that the flavor is sweet and rich; the Rosette be Lione, a French duck sausage; and Bresbola, which is like a high-end, supercharged beef jerky. But what diners comment on most, says Anthony, are the 100 percent house-made accoutrements, like the patés and lardos. This season, one of Anthony’s goals is to do even more of his own smoking and curing, using the pork raised on Beach Plum Farm, so that the dish becomes entirely local and sustainable. Add a few olives, almonds, cornichon pickles and maybe a deep cabernet to wash it down and you’ve got the makings for the most savory of summer appetizers.

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Rave Reviews from ZAGAT The Ebbitt Room has been consistently rated by critics as one of the best restaurants in New Jersey. Here are some recent customer reviews from ZAGAT, which, in its most recent ratings, scored the restaurant as “extraordinary to perfection” in all three categories — Food, Decor, Service. “The food is elegant and served perfectly, and the atmosphere is wonderful.” “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.” “Top notch all the way from the beautiful dining room to the food to the service.” “This is a beautiful spot. Love that you can sit outside on the porch and enjoy either a predinner cocktail or after-dinner coffee and drinks. The service is spectacular.”

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So many great spots to enjoy The Ebbitt Room vibe The irresistible buzz of the bar. The porch overlooking beautiful Jackson Street. The outdoor garden. The piano lounge. Two intimate, enclosed porches. Mix it up every time you go! Something that doesn’t change? Great food, great drinks, great service. Every time. And if you’re on a family vacation and want some quality couple time, enlist Blue’s Clubhouse, our highly creative, interactive kids’ club (see page 92 for details).

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A Chat with... Ebbitt Room Manager Tara Rothberg How did you end up in Cape May? I’m from Philadelphia, but my grandparents had a house in Cape May, and we used to vacation here. My grandparents sold it when I was 19, and ever since, I’ve been trying to end up back here, to begin a life at the beach. One year before I got hired by Cape Resorts, I remember sitting on the rocking chairs at Congress Hall, knowing that I wanted to be a part of this vision and this brand. I told my boyfriend I was going to work here, and now I’m part of a team which has become family. Fondest memory from childhood vacations in Cape May? Because I’m so fair-skinned and can’t stay on the beach very long, my mother used to give me rolls of quarters to play the slot machines and skee ball at the arcade. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was playing mini golf. Why did you choose the hospitality business? Both my mother and father owned restaurants and bars and nightclubs in Philadelphia when I was a kid, so I grew up going to food shows, working in kitchens, sweeping floors. I remember working at my parents’ restaurant, a four-star place with a brew pub attached, on a Mother’s Day for which we were overbooked. My mother came into the

kitchen to tell me we had about 50 more reservations than we could accommodate, and I looked at the pool tables in the brew pub and said, “Can’t we turn those into two extra tables?” and that’s what we did. It was a great day, and an early lesson on the need for being resourceful in the restaurant. How do you spend your days off? The best part about living here is being able to do yoga on the beach. My body doesn’t move like it did in my early 20s, but it’s still the thing that keeps me grounded. I also love horseback riding or taking day trips into Philadelphia and New York City. My boyfriend laughs that he can’t take me anywhere because I’m always observing at other restaurants, getting ideas. You’re also a bit of an etiquette expert, correct? When I was 16, my dad bought me the Emily Post Book of Etiquette and I was hooked. In graduate school, I wrote a business etiquette manual for traveling salespeople. I started a blog and Facebook page, and I’ve been on the radio, too. How is the etiquette of the Ebbitt Room staff? They’re true professionals. To them, this isn’t just a restaurant, and it’s not just a hotel; it’s a place in which they have a vested interest, and they truly are proud. Is it true they call you the “den

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“Eating locally grown food that’s in season is more than stylish, it’s becoming an important way of life,” says Tara. “Every time I pass a table and I hear a child say, ‘Daddy, can I get the clams?’ I just want to hug him. They’re not eating chicken fingers and fries.”

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mother?” It’s because I’m constantly coming up with inspirational quotes. I have a bulletin board, and one month I listed something special about each person. I want them to know they’re part of a family. We’ve heard about a frequent guest of the Ebbitt Room who’s a bit of a genius. Tell us about him. There’s a couple who comes every year to have dinner. Their son — he’s about nine — taught himself Italian, and he’s an artist. One day I received a box from FedEx with a card written in Italian. Inside was a painting the boy had done of the Ebbitt Room’s front porch. It’s hanging on my wall at home, and it’s probably the nicest gift anyone has given me. How important to you is it to work in a place that serves real food? Our farm-to-table menu highlights produce grown on Beach Plum Farm. Eating locally grown food that’s in season is more than stylish, it’s becoming an important way of life. Every time I pass a table and I hear a child say, “Daddy, can I get the clams?” I just want to hug him. They’re not eating chicken fingers and fries. We’re introducing amazing, beautiful, clean food to the next generation of diners. We’re at the forefront of this movement in Cape May, and that’s really special to be a part of.

Some favorite dishes from The Ebbitt Room kitchen

Top: They’re called deviled eggs, but the name doesn’t do justice to these mini masterpieces, which have become an instant classic appetizer. Center: Roasted pork tenderloin with vanilla-scented parsnip purée, apricots, and cherry jus; grilled calamari, which remains one of The Ebbitt Room’s most acclaimed dishes; and hand-cut beef tartare with Dijon, crispy capers, farm egg, country bread and farm greens salad. Above: Oysters Rockefeller, with applewood bacon, gruyere and creamy spinach.

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A Chat with... Jimmy Burton, Rusty Nail Executive Chef Has cooking always been a part of your life? I grew up watching my grandmother, Helen Dickerson, who cooked at the Chalfonte Hotel’s kitchen for 60 years. Some of my fondest memories are of her showing me how to make soups and sauces as a nineyear-old boy. My mother followed in her footsteps and, at 84, she’s still working there. Eventually, I continued my own education at Johnson and Wales culinary school, and now I’m carrying on the family tradition at the Rusty Nail. My clam chowder is exactly the way my grandmother taught me to make it. What does your family think of your cooking? My wife comes here all the time. She’s a critic, too! She’s quick to tell me when a soup is too salty or not flavorful enough. My son had his rehearsal dinner here, and my grandsons — one is almost two and one is almost five – love coming every year for a visit. It’s the corn bread and chicken fingers they want. They play in the sand by the firepit while their dad sits back in his lounge chair. Do you cook at home, or are you sick of it by the time you get done work? Oh, I love it. Broccoli raab and salmon is my favorite thing to make. What do you do with your free time? I love fishing, and I spend a lot of time working with my church. I also make the time to walk over to the beach and simply see the sky. You work 80 or 90 hours a week, and you need that time to just look out over the ocean. Do you ever eat at the Rusty Nail when you’re off? Yes, I do, but I make sure the kitchen staff doesn’t know it’s me out there. I want to make sure the food is consistent no matter who’s dining. You have a reputation as a “nice” chef. Why is that? It goes along with being the head of the kitchen; when you treat someone with respect, you don’t yell, scream or use foul language. Talk to people in a lovely way, you get more out of them. I treat people the way I’d want to be treated. Why is it so important to you to use local seafood? You can smell the difference. Our fish is coming off of day boats, so you know it’s fresh. I’m especially proud of our fish tacos — we sold close to 10,000 last season. Nothing on them is canned or frozen. Even the corn we top them off with comes right off the cob and on to your dish. Of course, we also have plenty on the menu for folks who don’t like seafood… steaks,

chicken, burgers, spare ribs, and pasta. You’ve always been accommodating to dogs at the Rusty Nail. What’s the most unusual thing someone’s ordered for their mutt? They usually want chicken or a burger, but we made broiled flounder for one dog. This year, we’re putting together a whole doggie menu. What is the Rusty Nail’s relationship with Beach Plum Farm? We use as many ingredients from the farm

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The Rusty Nail does not accept reservations — just turn up and chill out. Visit beachshack. com for more information.

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as possible. Our dressing comes from farm strawberries, and the vegetables in our primavera are all from the farm as well. I call the head farmer, Jaime, every morning to tell him what I need — if I could use more broccoli or eggplant or peppers, for example — and that’s what is delivered to me, right out of the ground, the following day. For a chef, it doesn’t get any better than that. And that goes for the diners, too. It’s a win-win.

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The magic of the fire pit


ireplaces or camp fires always seem to entrance and relax people, even in the summer. The Rusty Nail fire pit proves that point night after night, drawing people together for a convivial, relaxed evening. Here are the thoughts of some Nail regulars... “Being from New York City, Cape May is a welcome escape from the concrete jungle. One early summer afternoon, as my friend Diane and I were leaving the beach, we looked at each other and our faces said the same thing… ‘Cocktails!’ We hopped on our beach cruisers without changing out of our bathing suits and headed to the Rusty Nail. Around the firepit, while listening to the live music, we sipped on frosty mugs of frozen lemonade cocktails and Victory Summer Ale… it tasted like summer, and everything that Cape May means to us. On the bike ride home, we giggled and chatted, knowing we had found a new summer ritual. Now, almost every Saturday afternoon, you can find Diane and I at the bar in our bathing suits, in love with Cape May and in love with the Rusty Nail.” — Kate Von Seekamm, New York City

“We had a family reunion in Cape May last summer, and the first place we went was the Rusty Nail. My six-year-old daughter, my sister and her two boys, and my brother and his kids sat around the firepit. The younger children played in the sand with the Frisbees that came with their meal — we have about 50 of them, but each time we go, we have to get a new one — and the adults sipped cocktails and enjoyed the fire… it’s a gorgeous thing to look at while sharing countless stories.”

Every dog has its day at the Nail!

— Kim Kellog, Barrington, New Jersey

“My dad and brother and I have spent many a reggae Sunday sitting by the firepit. There are few things better than listening to the music with an ice-cold Corona in your hand. The sun sets down by the lighthouse, the waves are crashing on the beach, the fire starts up, and it’s your own little piece of paradise.” — Steve Kramer, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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hey’re just about the only ones in town who can pull off the red booties /sunglasses/ no pants look, but they manage to do it well. We’re talking about the two poodles who frequent the Rusty Nail’s outdoor bar on summer afternoons so regularly that they’ve become the unofficial mascots of the property. And they’re not the only doggies to enjoy the sandy haven that is the Nail… the bar has been pet-friendly since its reopening

in 2010. Executive Chef Jimmy Burton says he’s made everything from grilled chicken to broiled flounder for mutts who, along with their owners, get a little hungry while listening to live reggae in front of the firepit. This year, the Nail is taking it one step further, by offering a menu comprised strictly of canine cuisine and puppy treats. In the Nail tradition, the offerings are as fresh and local as possible… you can bet those carrots on the rice dish are coming from West Cape May’s Beach Plum Farm.

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Let your dog strut his stuff and enter for a chance to be on our summer 2014 Dog Beer bottles in our Dog Days of Summer pageant, which is happening on August 25

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There is also a “wrangler roundup” made of lean ground turkey for doggies on a low-fat diet, a hot dog dinner, a frozen raw bone, and several beach-themed doggie desserts made with ingredients like peanut butter and chicken liver. And to quench their thirst on a hot summer day? Dog beer, of course! The Nail is serving Bowser Beer — in flavors like Beefy Brown Ale and Cock-a-Doodle Brew. Gives “the dog days of summer” a whole new meaning.

Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop


ommy’s Folly Coffee Shop is filled with everything you need to get you going all day long. Start your perfect day in Cape May with one of our daily freshly baked bagels with your favorite flavor of cream cheese or one of our tasty croissants. Looking for something a bit lighter? How about biscotti as a perfect

companion for that first cup of coffee? For lunch, grab a wrap or sandwich and a refreshing beverage. Try one of our yogurt parfaits or delicious salads made with produce from our Beach Plum Farm. Satisfy that sweet tooth with a delicious cookie, cupcake, brownie or an irresistible freshly baked fruit tart utilizing fresh fruit from Beach Plum Farm.

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the star coffee shop


ou’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.

So you will be delighted to know that the Coffee Shop at the Star Inn 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 (and tasty) category, or who like to take their food 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.

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the new congress hall veranda bar


y day it’s a juice bar, offering some of the healthiest options you’ve ever seen in a glass, and by night it’s a great place to begin or end your evening, ordering cocktails and then retreating to the rocking chairs on the veranda or the Adirondacks on the lawn. For our juice bar, we are using vegetables freshly picked from our Beach Plum Farm, so you can be assured of the most freshly juiced drink imaginable. Highlights of our menu include Garden State (carrots, beet, apple, celery, spinach, cucumber, ginger)

and Gimme a Beet (beet, apple, pear, romaine, ginger) and Spicy Tomato (tomatoes, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper). The Veranda Bar will be serving juice and cocktails daily in season.

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our entertainment lineup RUSTY NAIL Outside


ACOUSTIC ENTERTAINERS Mondays through Saturdays, 4:30pm-9:00pm Mondays: Guy Petersen, Erik Simonsen and Nate Cwik in rotation Tuesdays: Marnie & Nate Wednesdays: Wesley Ochs Thursdays: Billy D. Light and Gregg Carpenter in rotation Fridays: Carl Behrens Saturdays: Kate Delany Duo

the Eagles, the Beatles, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and so many more.

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.

REGGAE BANDS Sundays, 12:30pm-9:00pm Two bands each Sunday, 12:30 to 4:30 and 5 to 9pm Cultureal Trinidelphia The Raggamuffins Sonni Shine and Underwater Sounds George Wesley

ERIK SIMONSEN Erik brings his singer-songwriter flair to the Rusty Nail, incorporating rock and pop with an acoustic edge. NATE CWIK Nate helps create that summer feeling that you find only at the Nail by singing favorites from artists such as Tom Petty, Bob Marley, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Jack Johnson. MARNIE & NATE Marnie’s soulful voice and earthy vibrato shine through while singing the songs of Patsy Cline and Robert Plant alike. Nate’s remarkable guitar skills infuse each song with solid rhythm and intricate fills and leads. WESLEY OCHS Something for everyone, including classic rock, ballads, alternative and modern rock, island/reggae, oldies, country and party favorites. BILLY D. LIGHT Billy’s roots are in classic rock-n-roll, and his mission is to keep the genre alive. A true showman, Billy’s trio is a favorite at both the Nail and the Boiler Room. GREGG CARPENTER Gregg’s skillful guitar-playing and soulful voice will have you singing along with selections from The Beatles, Paul Simon, The Stones, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison and James Taylor. CARL BEHRENS Carl makes everyone feel welcome with his easygoing music and his friendly manner. He sings favorites from Jimmy Buffett, Loggins & Messina,

Fridays and Saturdays, 9:30pm-1am

KATE DELANY DUO Accompanied by drum and guitar, Kate 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.

CULTUREAL This Philadelphia band has developed a 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. TRINIDELPHIA Priding itself in bringing a Philly twist to the steel drum music of Trinidad, this heavily percussive ensemble keeps the island beats and reggae jams going. THE RAGGAMUFFINS Fronted by acclaimed Jamaican singer Moses Livingston, The Raggamuffins create a blend of reggae and traditional roots reggae with contemporary ideas. SONNI SHINE & THE UNDERWATER SOUNDS The sound has been described as a sort of reggae-funk-jam fusion, alternating between moments of technical precision and psychedelic improv. GEORGE WESLEY (limited engagements) George has been a headliner at many festivals and has played the same stage as a long list of acclaimed artists including The Wailers, Santana, Black Uhuru, Matisyahu, Culture, Mykal Rose, Judy Mowatt, Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia Band, Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews), Jimmy Cliff and many, many more. It’s a rare combination to hear meaningful reggae music performed with an energy that ignites a crowd to want to embrace that musical experience.

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The Guy Petersen Band The Billy D. Light Trio Tru Bruddahs Bare Bonz Twelve: 01 Red Mare The Shots Tribeca Grand Edgardo Cintron & Friends Big Ric Rising THE GUY PETERSEN BAND Guy’s top influences are the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Ranging from classic pop rock to southern rock with jazz and 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 Billy D. Light Trio shows are truly a hip experience. They have crowds of all ages goin’ at anytime — 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. One thing’s for sure, if Billy D. Light has any say in the matter, rock ’n’ roll is here to stay. TRU BRUDDAHS One of our most popular bands returns this year, featuring a mix of folk-rock reggae/blues with a funky acoustic feel. You’ll hear favorites from artists such as Tom Petty, Bob Marley, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Jack Johnson. It’s always a fun night at the Nail when Tru Bruddahs is on stage! BARE BONZ (formerly 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 and his band play hits from the ’70s, ’80s and more. Margie Staples lends her smoky sound to round out this talented group. TWELVE: 01 Featuring local favorite Erik Simonsen, TWELVE:01 provides a singersongwriter flair while incorporating rock and pop with an acoustic edge. This band has been a regular at the

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Nail for several seasons — come and find out why for yourself. RED MARE Red Mare has grown out of a collaboration of seasoned musicians with many ties to the Cape May area. Rose Kelly, Ed Dobbs, Chuck Manich, and Andy Vernon have earned their chops in the Cape May-Philadelphia music scene. Now they have come together to deliver a fresh take on old favorites and revive new picks from the songbooks of some of your favorite artists. THE SHOTS The Shots feature a unique blend of instrumentation, arrangements, presentation and musical styles, all coming together in an unforgettable versatile show. They believe in keeping their audience entertained and provide a great party vibe that you won’t find just anywhere. TRIBECA GRAND One night only, June 8, 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. Edgardo Cintron & Friends Edgardo brings us a new band this summer, featuring pop, R&B and Latin. Dance to tunes by the Miami Sound Machine, Pitbull, Beyonce and more, as soul meets Latin at the Nail. Big Ric Rising Big Ric has been wowing Philadelphia audiences with his dynamic band for more than 15 years, including events for Bill Clinton and Governor Ed Rendell. Big Band, R&B funk, swing and Top 40 hits will keep you dancing through the night.

the brown room Fridays and Saturdays year-round; daily from June 21 through September 1, 8pm-12am Mondays: rotating schedule Tuesdays: Erik Simonsen Wednesdays: Erik Hetzel Thursdays: Darin MacDonald Fridays: rotating schedule Saturdays: Darin MacDonald 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. Darin and Saturday nights in the Brown Room have become a year-round Congress Hall mainstay. During high season, Darin also plays on Thursday nights. Folks plan their weekend around getting to hear Darin’s beautiful renditions of their favorite Billy Joel and Elton John tunes. He doesn’t mind if you sing along! KATE DELANY DUO Accompanied by drum and 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. ERIK HETZEL With a broad repertoire encompassing classic rock standards, contemporary hits, crowd sing-alongs and your favorite eclectic B-sides that you’ll hear nowhere else — Erik keeps you entertained with smokin’ keyboard skills as he sings the songs you love best.

the boiler room

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. 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, The 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. AUDREY SNOW Young Audrey’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 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 have you singing along.

Fridays and Saturdays as of March 15 Thursdays through Sundays: June 27 through September 1

mission? To keep the crowd dancing the night away.

The Dane Anthony Band The Billy D. Light Trio Edgardo Cintron & Friends Kiddie O’ke & Terry O’ke with host Terry O’Brien Bare Bonz Twelve: 01 The Matt Santry Band Banana Trio Bluebone DJ Dramdik The R.O.C.K. ’80s Open Mic Night

TWELVE: 01 Featuring local favorite Erik Simonsen, TWELVE: 01 is known for its singersongwriter flair while incorporating rock and pop with an acoustic edge. This band has been a regular at the Nail for several seasons — come and find out why for yourself.

THE DANE ANTHONY BAND 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. THE BILLY D. LIGHT TRIO Billy D. Light Trio shows are truly a hip experience. They have crowds of all ages goin’ at anytime — doing the “swim,” twistin’, or even just down home 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. Edgardo Cintron & Friends Edgardo brings us a new band this summer, featuring pop, R&B and Latin. Dance to tunes by the Miami Sound Machine, Pitbull, Beyonce and more, as soul meets Latin at the Nail. KARAOKE with TERRY O’BRIEN The creator and popular host of TerryO’ke, Terry O’Brien, brings us two children’s sessions each week (Thursdays 6pm to 8:30pm and Sundays 7:30pm to 9:30pm) as well as a full evening of sing-yourheart-out karaoke for the “grownups” (Thursdays only, 9:30pm to 12 midnight). BARE BONZ (formerly 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. Margie Staples lends her smoky sound to round out this talented group. Their

ERIK SIMONSEN Performing vocals with solo acoustic guitar, Erik brings his singersongwriter flair to the Brown Room, incorporating rock and pop with an acoustic edge.

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MATT SANTRY BAND An acoustic player from the singersongwriter school, Matt Santry has developed his sound and live-show style in over 600 shows at clubs, coffee shops and campuses between New York and LA. BANANA TRIO This South Jersey band covers all your favorites songs from island vibe to disco to stadium rock. Solo entertainer Wesley Ochs has created a power trio that is a real crowd pleaser, and one that will have you “shaking your tree” for hours on end! BLUEBONE Smokin’ blues and burnin’ boogie. This band offers the finest in guitar blues and 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. DJ DRAMADIK DJ Dramadik out of Brooklyn 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 and Rob Base, DJ E-Z Rock and R&B singer Montell Jordan, DJ Dramadik calls himself a mixmaster, taking it back “old school”. The R.O.C.K. 80s Open Mic Jam It will be the place to be on Sunday nights. You get to BE THE STAR as you sing your favorite ’80s tunes onstage with Mike Dempsey’s live band backing you every step of the way! Sign up to sing — or even play — one of the band’s instruments. Or just come to enjoy the music and dance.

spa & wellness

Sea Spa at Congress Hall


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 proudly partners with Thalgo, the first beauty and spa brand to harness the priceless health and wellness benefits of the ocean’s resources to bring you simple pleasures from the sea. Here are some of our signature treatments... Ocean Memory Marine Ritual: A three-step ritual including aquatic scrub, massage with a sea mineral

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stamp, and a tingling algae wrap. Thalgomince LC24Body Wrap: Combat cellulite with this warm body wrap. Featuring an anti-cellulite exfoliation, 20-minute slimming massage and a concentrated body wrap. Hydra Moisture Facial: This ultrahydrating facial combats dehydration lines and improves skin texture for a smooth, radiant complexion.

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A Chat with... sea spa manager Kristy Spiegel

You’ve been managing the Sea Spa since June of 2011. How did you get involved in this business? My mom owns a salon in town. I did study cosmetology, but I worked for her for eight or nine years, so that’s how I really learned the industry. I had always thought I’d like to work in a hospital, so I did move to Linwood for a short time, where I started working as a cardiac technician. But all I wanted was to get back to this, and to get back to Cape May. I was born and raised here. Born and raised here, and yet… you’ve never eaten seafood? Is that true? Not until this year!

To book an appointment at the Sea Spa, please call 609884-6543.

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You have a five-year-old son. Tell us about him. Everyone says their child is intelligent, but Weston really is so aware and alert. He takes in his surroundings and always waits to react. There are so many great things about him. He’s very caring, and he just loves animals. What’s an ideal day for the two of you? We’d start off with breakfast and coffee on my deck, then we’d pack a lunch and hit the beach for a day of digging holes and getting buried. Weston is very much a beach kid. Does he ever come to the Sea Spa with you? He’s so proud of where I work; he tells everyone. He sits in the pedicure

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chair and turns the back massager on, and he thinks that Blue is his own personal pig. Do you offer services for men? About 20 percent of our customers are men. We offer a gentleman’s facial, pedicure, and manicure. The Sea Spa’s décor known for how, well, happy it is. Why is this important? Instead of a muted atmosphere, the walls here are a bright yellow and white. Some of the treatment rooms are beach cabana style. This keeps it upbeat, and adds to the good energy of the space; at the same time, it’s still relaxing. This is important, because even on vacation, people need help relaxing. They may be stressed because they’ve been searching for parking, waiting in lines for meals, and trying to keep everyone busy. Being able to see them completely decompress, that’s what I love. It’s wonderful when they forget to pay… that, to me, is the greatest compliment; you’ve really put that person where she needs to be. You work in an industry that’s constantly changing. How do you keep up? Everyone who works here does continuing education, and we attend trade shows and keep up on the literature and the new trends. We just updated our complete list of services. So what is new for 2013? We introduced a new, marine algae-based line from a French company that harvests from all over the world. Our bodies are made of 70 percent salt water, so this line has the same properties we do. The idea is to replenish naturally. We’re also doing dry body treatments, so you’ll be able to have a body wrap or bronzing treatment without needing a shower afterward. What do you say to guests who might be a little intimidated by the idea of a day at the spa? There are a surprising number of guests who would like to try, but who’ve never before had a massage. I always a recommend one of our 25-minute services for the back neck and shoulders. This way, they don’t feel so exposed, and it’s a great introduction to the service and how passionate and professional our therapists really are. Tell us a well-kept spa secret. We are open to the public, not just hotel guests. And there is free valet parking available to all customers. Do you remember the best compliment you’ve ever received? Someone asked me why I was always so smiling and so happy. I said it’s because I love my job, and they told me, “You can really tell.” I liked that.

Boot camp on the beach. Yoga on the lawn. Fitness CAN be fun!


elaxation at our Cape Resorts 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 10 years. There’s a reason why

Beach Boot Camp With Mike Hanley from North Beach Health Club of Cape May Monday through Saturday, on the Congress Hall beach, from June 24 through August 31 7:30am-8:30am $15, plus tax “For people who have a tougher time getting motivated to exercise during their vacation, Beach Boot Camp is the way to go. You’re on the beach, you’re enjoying the sun on your face, the feel of the ocean, but... you’re still going to get a really good workout. You’re going to work up a sweat.”

Sharon has private clients all over the tri-state area —

Yoga on the Lawn

she’s one of the best instructors around.

With Sharon Fruchtman Saturdays only from Memorial Day through June 22, 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

This season, we are excited to offer Beach Boot Camp, hosted by instructor Mike Hanley. If the weather isn’t playing nice and you’re in the mood to mix a little exercise with your relaxation, Congress Hall features a newly updated 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 their own well-equipped gym.

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“I teach yoga classes all over, but I can 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.”

summertime activities

The A-Z of your Cape May vacation


ou are here for one reason — to enjoy a relaxing vacation. But even the perfect vacation needs some planning (unless you intend to spend every waking minute enjoying Cape May’s beautiful beaches, in which case head straight to pages 24-35). That’s where we come in. Our concierges ARE your planners. We have organized our favorite activities into two categories...

ON CAMPUS — that’s all the fun stuff that happens on Cape Resorts territory — from the Grand

Lawn of Congress Hall to the sand-filled patio of the Rusty Nail. You will find those on the next 10 pages. OFF CAMPUS — we have partnered with a select group of area organizations who offer fun and quality activities that will enhance your Cape May experience. You will find these on pages 96-112. From the moment you leave your room in the morning to the moment you hit those crisp white sheets in the evening, we are full of ideas to help you get the most out of every day. We have lined up a great range of activities on our campus, from karaoke to ceramics classes, stargazing to soccer. We will also be delighted to book off-campus activities — we can arrange restaurant reservations, theater tickets (there are Broadway-quality shows in this town), organize wine tours and golf games, kayaking, paddleboarding and parasailing trips, trips to the famous lighthouse and trolley tours around the historic streets of this National Landmark City. If it’s worth doing in Cape May, we will take care of it! Call our Concierge hotline at 609-884-6542 or come see us in the lobby of Congress Hall for more information and to make reservations. If you are bringing the children, we can 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, our legendary mascot. And remember, as a valued guest of Cape Resorts, you have signing privileges across ALL of our properties and outlets. Now, go enjoy your perfect Cape May day.

A Chat with... Concierge Amanda Romolini

What is it that drew you to the hospitality industry? I love being around people, and making sure they’re enjoying themselves. Before working as a concierge, I spent eight years as activities coordinator for a nursing home. Having a hand in making people happy is what brings me joy. And it’s easy to do at Congress Hall, because we really do offer something for everyone. I can direct guests to a variety of beautiful nature

walks or historic house tours. Families might love KiddieO’ke, Blue’s Clubhouse, or movie and carnival nights… I take my own nieces there. I can make reservations at the Sea Spa for those looking to unwind, or, for those seeking an adventure, for a wakeboarding, parasailing, or kayaking session. For couples in need of a romantic evening, I can book an intimate dinner, a winetasting at a nearby vineyard, or tickets for

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“The This Week in Cape May publication is my bible! Every guest should carry one around,” says Amanda.

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a local theater production. Speaking of romance, you recently became engaged. How did your boyfriend pop the question? He took me to dinner at a restaurant owned by a close family friend, where we ate in the private dining room. When we walked into the room, the lights were off, and I saw 15 pumpkins, all lit up, into which he’d carved “Will you marry me?” I had no idea it was coming; I thought it would be at least another year! You likely have a hand in planning a lot of similarly romantic proposals, right? Definitely. I’ve set up carriage rides and spread flower petals and, for one gentleman, I set up a table in his room at the Star Inn, because he wanted to cook his girlfriend dinner. What did you do with all of your engagement pumpkins? We put them on display in our front yard that night so that people driving by would see them! Was it love at first sight with you two? No, we went to Lower Cape May Regional High School together, but didn’t start dating until our late 20s. Turns out, we’d been living down the street from one another, and didn’t know it. Will the wedding be in Cape May? Absolutely. We want to be looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. I love this town. How do you take advantage of it when you’re not working? I love paddleboarding. At the Cove, it’s a calming respite from the craziness of a summer beach day. I also enjoy kayaking through the harbor and seeing all of the houses tucked away back there. And I’m a big fan of gardening, so I enjoy taking a walk through Beach Plum Farm, getting new ideas for things to grow at my own house and, of course, checking in on the adorable pigs and chickens. Do you have a hard time leaving work at work? Oh my gosh, I can’t stop thinking about guests, even when I’m at home. I wonder what they’re ordering if they’re out to eat, and if they’re having a good time. I might call a restaurant to let them know which parties are guests of the hotel, to make sure they’re getting excellent treatment. And I always encourage people to stop by my desk the following day so I can hear all about their evening out. It means everything that they have a memorable experience. How many of the activities and events you recommend to people do you try out for yourself? I go everywhere and eat everywhere — my fiancé loves tagging along for that — and shop everywhere, so that I can give an honest informed review to our guests. Except for the parasailing… I’m afraid of heights!

Activities On the cape resorts Campus From the Grand Lawn of Congress Hall (scene of so many events across three centuries) to the white-golden sands facing the Beach Shack, we have created family-themed events that will create memories to last a lifetime. And when you are in the mood for a special (kid-free) night out, we can take care of that, too — Blue’s Clubhouse is our premium babysitting service. If you have any questions about any of our activities, please call our Concierge hotline on 609-884-6542.

The Bike Shop at Congress Hall


s there a particularly good time to ride your bike around Cape Island? Yes. Most of the year, actually. There is no better way to get around Cape May. The city is flat, very pretty, and, well, you don’t want to be stuck in summer traffic — ever noticed how the bikes usually go faster than the cars on Beach Avenue? We are delighted to be running our own bike rental business again this year, in partnership with Anita and Tom Roth, whose family have been serving the beach community since 1886. A range of singles, doubles, children’s bikes and surreys (along with helmets) are available at the Congress Hall Bike Shop. Guests of Cape Resorts 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 Cape Resorts Concierge at Congress Hall can assist you in setting up your rental. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the handy little map we produced — it’s available from the front desk.

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Clam-A-Rama... May 11 On May 11 we are excited to host the Second Annual Beach Shack Clam-A-Rama. Last year, our round robin clamshell-pitching contest, which revived a classic Jersey Shore pastime, was a big hit. Never played? It’s a combination of horseshoes and corn hole and is perfect for the whole family to play. To register for the event, visit See you on the beach!

Pictured above, on the left, are last year’s Clam-A-Rama winners, Lou Vito and Rick Lenart, who each won a $100 gift certificate for the Beach Shack. Also pictured are the runners-up, Chad deSatnick and Steve Coon. Will it be YOUR chance to shine on the sands of Cape May this year?

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Meet... The berlangieri FAMILY


wenty-five years ago, Jon Berlangieri would whisk his girlfriend Joanne off to Wildwood for short, seaside vacations. One getaway weekend, the couple decided to day-trip to Cape May and, instead of leaving with a trinket from the Washington Street Mall — okay, in addition to the mall souvenirs — the couple left with a new-found love for America’s Original Seaside Resort. “We didn’t know how much we’d enjoy the quaintness of the town,” Jon said. Now, the landscape and tree service company operator says his 15-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter “know nothing of the Jersey Shore except Cape May.” Based in Caldwell, New Jersey, Jon and his wife have been taking their kids to Congress Hall since before the hotel even opened. “We used to walk through the downstairs while it was being refurbished,” he said. “The kids were infants. I can remember riding bikes in the surrounding streets, my son falling asleep in the back. Now, they know just about everyone at the hotel.” In fact, the family’s built such great relationships with the Congress Hall staff that milk and cookies greet them each time they arrive. And if they ever leave any important cargo behind, the front desk crew keeps it safe until they can retrieve it. “My daughter bought

a hermit crab,” Jon said. “And we were a decent way up the parkway before we realized we’d left it behind. They took care of it until we could get back. It’s a pretty funny memory.” But it’s the time spent with one another that provides for the fondest memories. In the off-season, it’s games of Go Fish played with Jon’s daughter in front of the Brown Room fireplace, or a room service-inspired feast of brownies and ice cream for the whole family in front of the television in their room. “My daughter loves the window seat the most,” Jon said. “She used to sleep there when she was smaller.” During the summer, the family spends the whole day together in the pool, where they’ve met dear friends over the years. “We met a family whose children were seven and eight years old,” Jon said. “Now, one of them is graduating college.” No matter the time of year, the Berlangieris find comfort in the calm at Congress Hall. “It feels like a private island escape,” Jon said. “Where we live, you can’t go more than block without a red light. Congress Hall is a break from the congestion. It’s a hidden gem on the Jersey Shore.”

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the congress hall history tour

New! Congress Hall Tours will be guided by “former owners” Annie Knight and Thomas Hughes and offer a fascinating insight into Cape May’s most famous hotel. Annie is the lady circled in the staff photograph (above) from the 1930s that hangs in The Brown Room. Her father, Edward, a Philadelphia businessman, rebuilt Congress Hall in 1879, following the Great Fire of 1878 which destroyed it, along with many other downtown hotels. Thomas Hughes built the very first hotel on this site, which was called The Big House by the Sea but became known as Congress Hall in 1828 after Thomas, a big man in both stature and prominence, was elected as a Congressman. The tour is available Tuesdays through Sundays at 12:30pm in the summer, and on Saturdays only from September 7 to December 28. We chatted with the Cape Resorts employees who will be playing the part of Annie and Thomas. We’re keeping their identities secret...

Annie, how does it feel to play a legendary figure in Congress Hall history… and what have you learned about her? It’s a lot of fun — Annie Knight was quite a character. She was a loving figure, but she had a job to do and was all business when she needed to be. She was a strong, proud woman. Can you identify with Annie at all? I discovered that she was a die-hard animal lover, and I’m the same way. And I care for Congress Hall like Annie did. I love walking these halls, and I love to see how excited people are when they’re here. What is the most surprising thing about Congress Hall’s history? When it burnt down in 1878, it only took 90 days to rebuild it —that’s surprising. And I think people are always surprised to learn that five presidents have stayed here. How special is it to you that Annie Knight’s key is now a part of Congress

Hall’s crest? That’s one of the coolest things. It’s become a part of our crest because it represents hospitality and welcome, and of course, the history of this building. On these tours, people are going to make the connections. They’ll see the lamps in the hallways that were put in place after the fire in 1879, and they’ll see the railings leading to the Boiler Room that came from the Christian Admiral. They’ll learn how Founders’ Hall and the Boiler Room got their names… it’s going to be fun to see the looks on people’s faces. How have you been preparing for this role? It’s been wonderful learning from Curtis Bashaw; I bring a digital recorder with me when we talk, and then I listen to those notes over and over again, on the six-hour train ride to visit my sons in Boston. Thomas, what have you been reading to prepare for this role? The Tommy’s Folly

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To book a Congress Hall Tour, call the Concierge hotline at 609884-6542.

book we sell is a great history of Congress Hall, and I’ve been to the library many times. Tell us a little bit about Thomas Hughes. He filled a lot of different roles in town — he was an assemblyman, a sheriff, and a councilman. And when he built this hotel, locals thought he was mad. Big seaside hotels just didn’t exist. They called his hotel Tommy’s Folly, though not to his face — he was a big guy! What piece of Congress Hall history fascinates you the most? Juno’s Anchor, on the hotel lawn. It was on the Spanish ship Juno Vera, back to Spain in 1802, when the ship disappeared in a nor’easter. It was hooked in 1968 by Captain John Davies and bought by the Reverend Carl McIntire, who took over Congress Hall in the 1960s. I think people are going to have a good time learning this stuff — and, really, that’s what it’s all about.

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around the lawn and veranda

Monday Nights Carnival and a Movie on the Grand Lawn Monday nights, from July 8 through August 26, we turn Congress Hall’s lawn into a carnival with booths, carnival hosts and games for all ages, face painting, balloon twisting, sand art, 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. And new this year: Train rides on the CH Express!

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Wednesday Afternoons Family Ceramics 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. On Congress Hall’s veranda from 3-5 pm from June 19 through August 28.

TUESDAYS Tie-Dye Tuesday Families get to make their own tie-dye shirts! On Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn at 2pm on July 16 and August 6; and on the lawn at the Rusty Nail at 2pm on Tuesday, July 30 and August 27.

Dates for your diary

Thursday & Sunday Nights Family Karaoke in Boiler Room Fronted by the best karaoke host in town, Terry O’Brien, Family Karaoke will run from 6pm-8pm, followed by Adult Karaoke from 9:30pm-midnight on Thursdays. On Sunday evenings, Family Karaoke will run from 7pm–9pm.

NATIONAL FlipFlop Day: We’re celebrating this landmark, on June 15, at, where else, the Rusty Nail. Full Moon Parties: Featuring s’mores bar, seaside singalong, and flag-lowering. On Wednesdays — June 26, July 24 and August 31

Remember the rules of TerryO’ke: 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 on the Grand Lawn Some guests have remarked that Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn is like having your own fabulous backyard on vacation. We agree. That’s why this summer, we are again delighted to be hosting soccer games there from 1:00pm-2:00pm, from July 6 through August 31.

Doggie Pageant: Bring your pooch to the Rusty Nail on August 25 for day of pet pampering and celebration. 12th Annual Phantom Ball: Congress Hall on Friday, October 25 Winter Wonderland: Starts on November 29 — see page 124 Glitter Ball: December 31 at Congress Hall — see page 128

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Blue’s Clubhouse sitter services


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 from 5:30pm-9pm and is designed for children aged 4-12. It’s a fun and interactive program which keeps the young ones stimulated while you enjoy dinner at The Ebbitt Room, on the patio of the Blue Pig Tavern, or under the stars at the Rusty Nail. Whatever you do, you will know that your most precious possessions are in good hands. Blue’s Clubhouse is available from Friday, June 21 until Saturday, August 31. Call the Concierge hotline on 609-884-6542 for more information.

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A Chat with... Cape Resorts’ legendary mascot, Blue And now... a quick chat with our resident celebrity, Blue. He’s typically one of the busiest creatures around our campus, but we caught up with him while he was reading his morning newspaper. You’re a very busy pig, Blue. What events do you attend at Congress Hall? I’m here for Memorial Day weekend, carnival nights, KiddieO’ke in the Boiler Room, family ceramics classes, and Winter Wonderland — the most magical time of the year. There’s also the Fourth of July celebration — for that, I wear my snazziest American Flag tie — and Blue’s Clubhouse, which is a professional babysitting service open to the public as well as guests of the hotel. The kids do all kinds of engaging projects, and they eat dinner from the Blue Pig Tavern. And what do YOU eat at the Blue Pig? I like the non-pig products… lots of veggies! What types of things do you do for fun? I go to Beach Plum Farm and play

“I go to Beach Plum Farm and play with my friends, the chickens… and I roll in the mud! Sometimes, I enjoy a Mudslide from the Brown Room, but what I would really love to do some day is hang out with the Philly Phanatic or the Hatfield Pig,” says Blue.

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with my friends, the chickens… and I roll in the mud! Sometimes, I enjoy a Mudslide from the Brown Room, but what I would really love to do some day is hang out with the Philly Phanatic or the Hatfield Pig at the baseball stadium on dollar dog day. As long as they’re all-beef hot dogs. We heard about a very special encounter you had recently. I take what I do very seriously, and seeing the joy on a child’s face is the most redeeming thing. Recently, I was walking down the Congress Hall veranda, and a young disabled boy saw me. He said, “OH MY GOD, BLUE,” and he did his best to come running toward me on his crutches. I melted. He told me I’m his best friend, and his parents said he goes to bed with me every night… we sell miniature Blues in the Tommy’s Folly store. They said he loves me, and I was a bumbling idiot. Of course, I don’t speak… I just make pig noises, but I was doing my best to hold back the tears.

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Does Blue have a girlfriend? He wishes! Pigs need love, too. Perhaps Miss Piggy is available. You’ve been attacked by overexuberant children. Have you ever been injured in a take-down? Oh, kids have definitely surprised me. They come running and, well, us pigs don’t have the best peripheral vision. A couple of times, I’ve had the wind knocked out of me. And children love to pull on my tail. I’m constantly having to reattach it! Congress Hall sells the beer which bears your name. Do you drink it? Sure, I like to pig out on a Friday afternoon! How do you stay cool in the summer, Blue? That fur looks pretty hot! Many people don’t know it, but I wear a fivepound ice vest. Why is it so important that your true identity is never, ever revealed? For the same reason no one can know who Batman or Superman really is… it’s top secret.

Fourth Of July on Congress Hall Lawn


ecades before its remarkable 2002 renovation, Congress Hall hosted Cape May’s biggest Fourth of July party. The lawn was alive with the sights and sounds of families enjoying the most patriotic day of the year, and the event would always end with a spectacular fireworks display. The tradition returned a few years ago and is now bigger and better than it ever was. 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 and the City of Cape May. It’s an unmissable Americana extravaganza.

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Activities Off the cape resorts Campus Although we have created a calendar of events at the Cape Resorts campus that should occupy your family over the summer (and beyond), we do, naturally, encourage you to explore this beautiful island (and beyond). Cape May County is a treasure, which is why we have partnered with a select group of companies and organizations that we feel represent the best of this area. Whether you want to go on a cruise to look for whales and dolphins, play a great game of golf in beautiful surroundings, get your adrenaline rushing on a roller coaster, or see a Broadway-quality play, you will find all the information you need in the following pages. To book your activity, please call our Concierge hotline at 609-884- 6542. Enjoy!

Aqua Trails


EW, faddy workouts come and go all the time… think karaoke spin class and antigravity yoga. But stand-up paddle boarding — in which you take to the water with an oversized, stable surfboard and a long oar — has proven its staying power across the globe. Aqua Trails added the activity to its kayaking lineup, and the response has been phenomenal. Maybe it’s the way stand-up paddle boarding sculpts your core and improves your balance. Maybe it’s the rare connection it allows with the natural world…or maybe it’s the combination that makes paddle boarding a new favorite Cape May pastime, enjoyed by seasoned and amateur paddlers of every age group. If paddle boarding’s not your thing, Aqua Trails’ kayak tours are beloved by locals and visitors alike. Naturalists will lead you on a tour of the Harbor and the surrounding salt marsh, getting you

closer to glowing jellyfish and migrating shorebirds than you ever thought possible. There’s so much beauty to experience during your time on the water—be prepared for gorgeous sunsets ahead and gliding ospreys above. Aqua Trails’ trips can be thrilling…or relaxing, depending on what you’re looking for. Adventurers will love the Cove to

Higbee’s Beach tour, romantics will rekindle the fire during the full moon expeditions, and budding naturalists will learn about the flora and fauna of unspoiled wetlands on a tidal marsh tour. There’s even a camp available to kids between 12 and 18. Or go ahead and venture out on your own; Aqua Trails rents all of their equipment and will even deliver to your hotel or inn.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884- 6542 Aqua Trails 609-884-5600, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May,

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Cape May Stage


Karen Akers

Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway

ape May Stage, the premier Equity Theatre in Southern New Jersey, inspires performers, audiences, and the entire region, introducing audiences to great performers and performances through the Cape May Stage Main Stage, and also collaborating with outstanding organizations and theatrical companies to form a vibrant creative community and build a larger constituency for the arts with the Second Stage Series. In 2013, Producing Artistic Director Roy Steinberg is pulling out all the stops for the theatre’s 25th anniversary season, which includes a world premiere, a Tony Award-winning play, a hilarious farce, a loosely-based biopic on two international scholars, and an annual holiday production. Main Stage Theatre Series How to Make a Rope Swing May 17-June 7: A world premiere production in which a long-suppressed moment in a South Jersey town’s history is rediscovered. Lend Me A Tenor June 12-July 26: A triple Tony Award-winning comedy that tells the story of a fiery-tempered, world-famous Italian opera star who comes to town... and finds himself in a compromising position. Boeing Boeing July 31-September 13: Bernard is engaged to Gloria. And to Gabriella. And to Gretchen. But his supersonic lifestyle hits turbulence in this Tony Award-winning farce from the swinging ’60s when all three invade his swanky bachelor pad. Freud’s Last Session September 18-October 19: Sigmund Freud meets writer CS Lewis, creator of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. On the eve of war, they engage in an electrifying talk. A Walk In the Woods October 23-November 16: This Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama tells the story of two superpower arms negotiators.

Sandra Reaves-Phillips

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol November 29-December 29: This irreverent, funny, and deeply moving story retells Dickens’ classic with warmth and infectious zest. second stage And Broadway Series Bill Bowers performs, with mime and storytelling, his internationally acclaimed tribute to fathers, Beyond Words. June 17. Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, Emmy Award-winners from LA Law, return with a show created for Cape May Stage. July 1. Ron Raines, Tony and Emmy nominee, sings the greatest songs from American Musical Theatre on July 8. The Intern Show, produced, directed, designed, stage managed and performed entirely by Cape May Stage interns. July 15. Karen Akers, Broadway star and cabaret legend, sings Cole Porter. July 22. Anita Gillette, an American Broadway and TV actress with recurring roles on CSI and 30 Rock performs on August 5. Sandra Reaves-Phillips, international blues singer and actress, will blow the roof off with Me, Myself, and You on August 12. Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway, Tony Awardwinning sisters, star in Sibling Rivalry, a musical, on August 19. SPECIAL PRODUCTION The Santaland Diaries This special production, based on author David Sedaris’s real-life (hilarious) experience working as an elf in Macy’s famed SantaLand, is being staged at Congress Hall from November 30 through December 29, Thursdays to Saturdays at 8pm, and 3pm on Sundays. Spend an irreverent evening with Crumpet — one of Santa’s little helpers during the holiday rush at Macy’s — as he copes with thousands of shoppers (and their kiddies). Filled with whacked-out, wicked wit!

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Stage, 609-884-1341, 405 Lafayette Street, Cape May,

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Cape May Winery and Vineyard


ape May Winery opened in 1992. The Craig family, owners of the Washington Inn and Lucky Bones, bought it in 2003. Since then, this delightful site has grown into a must-visit destination, drawing oenophiles to its serene setting. Today, the winery bottles more than 93,000 bottles of wine, has more than 20 varieties, and is the fourth-largest producing winery in New Jersey. The winery houses a warm, welcoming tasting room and gift shop, a huge tank room and 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 awardwinning 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.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Winery, 609-884-1169, 711 Townbank Road, North Cape May,

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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 100-foot vessel several times a day. There is complimentary continental breakfast on morning trips,

or go for the ever-popular dinner cruise, with complimentary pizza and hot dogs. There are seasoned and experienced naturalists on board to enlighten you. So while people-watching is fun in Cape May, don’t forget that from May through November you can treat yourself and your family to an experience that’s

fun and educational. Plan now – trips often sell out in advance! And please note that the company is now based at Utsch’s Marina. There are group rates, private charters, fund-raising trips for nonprofits, and a discount coupon available online.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center, 1121 Route 109, Cape May, 609-898-0055,

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Dark Star Pirate Cruise


as there ever been an activity more suited to kids than a Dark Star Pirate Cruise? The Cicchitti family has created a seafaring adventure that everyone in the family can enjoy. There are SEVEN trips daily aboard the Dark Star, a 50-foot pirate ship that’s

authentically designed, but outfitted with all the 21st-century amenities you may need. This pirate-themed cruise will shiver yer timbers! There are pirate stories, facepainting, a treasure hunt, water cannon battle ( yes, please wear appropriate clothing) and much more.

This is an event that is truly interactive and ridiculously fun. Your only problem might be dealing with children who are desperate to get back on board! The Dark Star is located in Wildwood Crest, a short (and beautiful) drive from Cape May, via the charming drawbridge.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Dark Star Pirate Cruise, 6200 Park Boulevard, Wildwood Crest, 609-729-3275,

Starlight Fleet: Fishing, Dolphin, Whale-Watching


he Cicchitti family has nearly 40 years experience providing top-quality deep-sea fishing trips on the Starlight. The boat is spotlessly clean and has a large enclosed cabin with restrooms for ladies and gents. There is a galley on board, serving snacks, soda and beer. The Starlight

experience is perfect for either the first-time angler (there are friendly mates to help you every step of the way) or the experienced angler. There are four-hour trips three times a day, at 8am, 1pm and 7pm. Another experience you cannot miss on the ocean is a dolphin and whale-watching trip aboard the Atlantic Star, a 100-foot, air-

conditioned boat that has been offering trips like this for nearly 30 years. There are two trips daily, at 10am and 1pm. And don’t miss the Sunset Buffet Cruise, rated #1 Dinner Cruise in the People’s Choice Awards. Cruises, which include dolphin-watching, start every night during the season at 6pm.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Starlight Fleet, 6200 Park Boulevard, Wildwood Crest, 609-729-7776,

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Meet... The silverman FAMILY


pregnant Barrie Silverman and her husband were among the first guests to stay at the Virginia Hotel when it opened in 1989. “It was a romantic getaway after our wedding,” she said. “And I know I was pregnant at the time, because I remember my husband having to push me up the steps.” By 2002, the Silvermans were parents to four children — from five to 12 — and they decided to make the move to the family-friendly Congress Hall, which opened that year after a major renovation, for their summer vacations. “Each summer, we memorialize the visit with a picture slideshow,” Barrie said. “When things get rough, we’re able to look back on those photos and remember with such fondness so many wonderful memories.” Memories like the one of Barrie’s children dancing on the Congress Hall lawn after dinner. “It was right after those portable docking stations for the iPod had just come out,” she said. “So they’d bring their music and have a dance party on the Grand Lawn. It was hysterical.” Or the family’s mandatory walks to the lighthouse. “The first time each child could make it the whole way there, up to the top and back down again without needing to be carried, that was a significant moment,” she told us.

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When they’re here, every night around 7:00pm, the family makes a point of sitting outside in the hotel’s Adirondack chairs, overlooking the Atlantic. “It’s so peaceful that time of night,” Barrie said. “The beach is usually deserted by then, save for a few stragglers, and it’s not quite sunset, but the sun is dipping lower in the sky, and the colors are just beautiful. I guess for us, there’s just a sense of peace when we’re there. The most content I remember feeling is two years ago, on Father’s Day weekend. I was so grateful that we were all together. Our lives are so busy, so when we stay here, it’s time to stop, breathe, relax with our kids, and just reflect and enjoy life.” Now, the visits to Congress Hall are becoming even more enjoyable for the Silvermans, as their oldest son has started bringing along his steady girlfriend from Chicago. “Steven was in my tummy the first time he visited this place,” Barrie said. “And now, here he is, still looking forward to these trips 20-some years later. It’s just thrilling that the next generation wants to share it.”


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East Coast Parasail, Jet Ski and Jet Boat


or years, East Coast Parasail has been bringing you the highflying thrill, panoramic views and adrenaline-filled experience of parasailing at the Jersey Shore. They’ve also been bringing you the opportunity to enjoy one of the coolest and most refreshing activities on the island: Jet skiing. This year, for the first time, they’ll also be bringing you the newest adventure activity in South Jersey and, really, North America: jet boating. It’s a 45 to 55-minute ride on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Cape May harbor that will include enough spins and tricks and speed to get your adrenaline pumping. Experience the historic beaches and tranquil back bays aboard “Get Some,” the fastest and only true New Zealand-style jet boat currently on the East Coast that can operate in open ocean. Plus, it seats 24, so it’s an experience you can share with friends. East Coast Parasail’s professional, friendly and courteous crew guarantee an unforgettable time for all. You don’t need any skills or experience... the company’s US Coast Guard-Licensed Captains and crew will take care of everything for you. Boats depart every 90 minutes and fill up fast, so book early. And no worries! East Coast was named number one by the New Jersey State Police for safety in the rental industry for all of South Jersey.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 East Coast Parasail, Rte 109 @ Utsch’s Marina, Cape May, 609-898-8754,

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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. Voted one of the top seaside amusement parks in the world by Amusement Today, Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks has been family owned since 1969 and has thrilled families for generations! Morey’s Piers offers rides ranging from mild to high-intensity, including six world-class roller coasters and extreme rides, as well as traditional favorites like the oldfashioned Carousel, bumper cars and the spinning Tea Cups. Ocean Oasis Waterpark & Beach Club features 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. New for 2013, put the piers in your pocket! Their NEW app (see photograph, right) adds an interactive virtual layer to your experience on the rides. Kids can

earn badges for achievements, track how many times they’ve gone upside-down, race each other to the top of the ride leaderboards, share photos with their friends and MORE. The new app is free and works with both regular and Season Pass wristbands. To use it, simply download the FREE app, register your wristband and ride.

At Ocean Oasis, drop anchor at the NEW Soggy Dollar Beach Bar. Soak up some sun, a couple of lively libations and get your grub on with a mouthwatering menu that is sure to satisfy every member of the family. 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.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Morey’s Piers, Spencer, Schellenger & 25th Avenue, Wildwood, 609-522-3900,

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North Beach Health Club of Cape May


on’t miss a rep, a stride or a step while you’re here in Cape May. North Beach has 16,000 square feet of cardio, weights and classes (more than 60) in a well-appointed, clean and friendly environment. For nearly 20 years North Beach has been the place vacationers and locals have gone to work out. They are called the friendly, feelgood gym for a reason. Everyone is welcome here and you’ll feel at home. And let’s face it, vacation is a great time to get in shape — there’s no excuse not to do something good for YOU. North Beach offer a variety of classes that are the finest in South Jersey, bar none, so that your workout never gets stale — classes include Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Interval Training, Boxing, Body Bar, Kick Boxing, Low Impact, Boot Camp. Plus they have a CrossFit gym with certified Level One instructors. Because the folks at North Beach Health Club also believe that working out should be affordable for everyone, a daily pass costs

only $12. A two-day pass costs $20; weekly is $40; and a 10-pass punch card is $75. North Beach is a short drive from downtown Cape May, located in the Acme Plaza in North Cape May. For your convenience, you can pick up daily passes at Congress Hall’s Concierge desk.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 North Beach Health Club of Cape May, 3845 Bayshore Road, Cape May, 609-898-3800,

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Meet... The johnson FAMILY


aria Johnson’s oldest daughter, Kristen, was very cautious as a little girl, so jumping off the edge of the Congress Hall pool during family vacation was a daunting task. She wore floaties and her father waited to catch her with arms outstretched. And still, it looked like it just wasn’t going to happen. “But I remember so clearly,” Daria said. “Once Kristen did it, she wanted to do it all the time. It was such an accomplishment.” Daria started coming to Cape May from Sussex County, New Jersey, around 1980. “My husband and I were so happy when someone decided to take Congress Hall on,” she told us. “We used to walk around the boarded-up windows and think what a shame it would be if someone decided to knock it down. And it would have been — it’s become the center of the community.” After the renovation of the hotel, the couple started staying there with their two daughters — floaties in tow — and, as a widow now, Daria continues the tradition every year. “When my girls were teens, we’d be driving down the parkway, on our way to Cape May,” she said, “and I’d say to them, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to try a different town?’ But no one ever did!” Not even during the moodiest of the adolescent years. “I make my girls take a picture in front of the bell on the Washington Street Mall every year,” Daria said. “It’s so funny to look

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back on the series of photos — sometimes they’re rolling their eyes and, in one picture, there’s just one of them, because I guess the other refused that year.” But the moments of embarrassment were always worth it for the girls, because being in Cape May also meant searching for Cape May diamonds and sea glass, riding bikes to the lighthouse and climbing to the top, getting Louie’s Pizza, and attending the flag-lowering ceremony at Sunset Beach. “This is a very special place for us,” Daria said. As adult women — Kristen is now 24 and her sister, Danielle, 21 — the sisters are happy to continue the memory-making here. The Brown Room is where they each enjoyed their “first official legal shore drink” with their mom. “We also love the Fourth of July celebration on the Congress Hall lawn,” Daria told us. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather watch the fireworks than at the beach. And the history of Congress Hall — the fact that presidents have stayed here — just adds so much to the day. The celebration itself is so small-town, USA; it’s all about the simple pleasures.” Then, of course, there needs to be time for a little pampering. “My oldest is very girly,” Daria said, “so we always make sure to have a day at the Sea Spa.” Now, the women are joined by Daria’s nephew Scott and Kristen’s boyfriend Nick. “He was always a Wildwood guy,” Daria said, “but we’ve converted him.”



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South Jersey Marina


ecause it’s situated on a peninsula surrounded by salt water, it’s no surprise that Cape May’s history, economy and culture have always been linked to the sea. The next time you travel down to “Exit Zero,” why not treat yourself to an authentic nautical adventure by visiting the fleet, store and docks at South Jersey Marina? Situated next to the Lobster House and across from Lucky Bones, South Jersey Marina is home to the finest charter fleet in the region. Nicknamed “Murderer’s Row” by locals because of their uncanny ability to “raise fish,” the Charter Fleet Captains at South Jersey represent the most unique gathering of seafarers since Blackbeard sailed up the Delaware Bay in 1716. But the legacy of “Murderer’s Row” is about much more than fishing. For example, have you ever asked yourself the following questions: How can we…” Go dolphin or whale-watching with just our family? Have a small private and intimate party on the water? Take our dogs for a boat ride? Have a private memorial service for a departed loved one? Conduct unique and engaging “teambuilding” 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 here agree: the Ships’ Store at South Jersey is the perfect one-stop-source for all things nautical.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 South Jersey Marina, 1231 Route 109, Cape May, 609-884-2400,

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Stand-up Paddle Board Yoga


egistered yoga teacher Andrea Magda describes her SUP — or stand-up paddle board — yoga class as a sensory experience. There’s a seagull squawking in the distance. The water is lapping against your board and the marsh. The air smells of coconut-flavored sunblock and salt. And the morning sun is dancing across the water. Whether or not you’ve ever been on a paddle board – or in a yoga class, for that matter – no longer matters. From here on out, it’s all about connecting with nature,

engaging the body, and having fun. “It’s exciting and calming at the same time,” Andrea says, “and every day is different.” Each class begins with a warm-up on dry land, which includes some basic paddle boarding instructions, if need be. Andrea gauges the skill level of her participants, so that she might tailor the day’s lesson. Then, it’s into the water, where even taking a spill can be a moment you’ll want to relive. “It’s an encouraging environment,” Andrea says. “Everyone cheers for everyone else. And even falling off can be fun.”

But even more enjoyable? The focus the SUP class puts on the breath. “Connecting it to the rhythms of the outdoors is one of the most pleasurable experiences,” Andrea says. You can attend a scheduled class, which departs from the Harbor View Marina, or book Andrea for a private excursion... sunset is always a popular time for one of these. No matter when you go, you’ll be treated to the rare experience of living fully in the present moment, and doing it against one of Cape May’s most beautiful backdrops.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 SUP Yoga, 956A Ocean Drive (Harbor View Marina), Cape May, 908-578-2628,

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Stone Harbor Golf Club


ooking to add an unforgettable day of golf to your shore vacation? You’re in luck! Since 1988, Stone Harbor Golf Club has been the East Coast’s home of world-class golf. A Desmond Muirhead signature course, Stone Harbor offers 18 uniquely designed holes set against the exhilarating beauty of 350 wooded acres and more than 40 acres of pristine lakes. Muirhead was selected to create 18 original holes at Stone Harbor, each of which is like no other in the world. He carefully considered the strategy of each hole and its rhythm and sequence for the entire course. A million cubic yards of earth were moved and an entire oak and pine forest was painstakingly preserved. Muirhead’s design provides a powerful visual experience. The 18 unforgettable, individual holes challenge the tournament quality player as well as amateurs of all levels of ability. To complement the championship golf course, Stone Harbor features an awardwinning clubhouse and an extensive practice area for driving, chipping and putting. Lunch is served year-round, seven days a week, in

the mahogany-paneled Mixed Grille Room. Their culinary staff offers a variety of menus with a gracious style of service that is not to be missed. Championship golf, superb cuisine and personalized service have drawn families to Stone Harbor Golf Club for more than 20 years. Whether your interest is golf-related or of a social nature, the staff is poised to

offer an unparalleled experience. Because of the private nature of the club, you and your family will enjoy a refined experience in a relaxed, private atmosphere. Set in historic Cape May Court House, and minutes from the South Jersey beaches and Atlantic City, Stone Harbor Golf Club offers world-class golf and gracious hospitality.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Stone Harbor Golf Club, 905 Route 9N, Cape May Court House, 609-465-9270,

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Meet... The markowitz/schwinger FAMILY


eventy-two-year-old Arthur Markowitz is retired now, but he used to hold the stressful position as senior vice president of a New York commodities exchange. For a bit of respite, he started vacationing in Cape May in the early 1970s with his then-wife, Laurie, and their two young children. They stayed at hotels all over town, but they were always fascinated by the “dilapidated” building that was Congress Hall, and they made a point of walking by it on each trip. “We enjoyed seeing the hotel progress,” Arthur told us. Eventually, he and Leslie divorced and both remarried; Arthur proposed to a woman named Jane, who accepted the offer, she says, because a trip to the renovated Congress Hall “sealed the deal.” As for the changing family dynamic… “It was rough at first,” Arthur said, “but we all love each other now.” So much so, in fact, that the entire group — the exes, their new spouses, and their children and four grandchildren — continue vacationing together every year at Congress Hall. “My ex’s birthday is in July, so that’s when we go,” Arthur said. “My new wife thinks she’s fabulous, and I get along terrific with her husband. It’s one big happy family. We start looking forward to the next year’s vacation the day after we leave.” Now, between splashing in the pool with the kids

while the staff make them “feel at home,” hopping across the street to sunbathe on the beach, and tastetesting dishes at the Blue Pig Tavern (it’s an exotic ceviche appetizer Arthur remembers most), the family enjoys reconnecting. It’s here that they’ve celebrated big moments, like the engagement of Arthur’s son, and the little moments, too. “I get choked up every time I see my kids and grandkids together,” Arthur said. “It’s so rare that the entire group is all in one place. We care so much for one another, and our time at Congress Hall has helped solidify this family dynamic, unusual or not.”

Elaine’s Dinner Theater and Haunted Mansion


ne visit, and you’ll know why Elaine’s Famous Dinner Theater has been voted one of the top five dinner theaters in the country by the Food Network. The dinner theater package includes a full-course meal

— including delicious appetizers and your choice of several sumptuous entrées — and a wonderful show put on by some of the area’s most talented actors. For the kids, there’s a tailored menu, and for the adults, a full bar. Or opt for a meal in the haunted mansion restaurant, where funny illusions,

interactive special effects, guest ghosts, music that’s to ‘die’ for, stand-up comedy, and spirits (the ghostly kind AND the liquid kind) will accompany your fine dining meal. The New York Times called the productions here a “must-see” experience, so what are you waiting for? Call for reservations.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Elaine’s, 513 Lafayette Street, Cape May, 609-884-4358,

Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities


here’s more than sunshine to soak up at America’s first seaside resort. One of the showplaces is Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, located at 1048 Washington Street. This 18-room mansion is a perfect

example of Stick Style architecture, and a must-see step back into the past for visitors. Out at Cape May Point State Park, you’ll find the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse, also fully-restored and still a working beacon for mariners that welcomes thousands of visitors each year. A little further out on Sunset

Boulevard is the recently restored World War II Lookout Tower, used to help protect our shores during World War II. These historic landmarks have been restored and are maintained by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), which provides year-round tours and events.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 MAC, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-5404,

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Party Time Charters


othing completes your trip to the Jersey Shore like spending quality time on the water. Party Time Charters is a family-owned and operated service that caters to small groups and families. During the summer, the sunset

cruise is the most popular trip; it is so relaxing to watch the sunset on the Delaware Bay while drifting along the beachfront. Having a porpoise or a whale surface just a few feet away only adds to an already one-of-a-kind trip. In addition to the private sightseeing tours, and sunset cruises, their services

include fishing excursions. A tournamentwinning crew provides you access to the best fishing Cape May has to offer. They take pride in offering you customized trips aboard a clean, comfortable and luxurious vessel. What makes them special? The personal attention you’ll receive while aboard their vessel.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Party Time Charters, New Jersey 109 (Utsch’s Marina), 609-417-5469,

The Original Skimmer Salt Marsh Sarfari


hen you think of going on safari, you might picture the National Geographic folks lugging telescopes and canteens through a steamy savannah, in the hopes of viewing an antelope herd or pride of lions. But safari adventures are just as accessible

in Cape May — only here, they come with ocean breezes. The Original Salt Marsh Safari is the premier wildlife boat tour on the island. It sails seven days a week with some trips co-sponsored by local environmental organizations. With an expert naturalist as your guide, you’ll explore everything from

the salt marsh’s history to its wildlife, plant life, and tidal flows. And because the boat remains on placid inland waters, there’s slim chance of a seasick safari-goer. For the budding marine biologist, there’s even a touch tank on board. They’ll provide the binoculars; you just come ready to have a good time.

To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 The Original Salt Marsh Safari, Cape May Inlet Marina, Ocean Drive, Cape May, 609-884-3100,

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Roundup... other area activities worth considering

Antiquing We suggest: Antiques Emporia, 405 West Perry Street; Bridgetowne Antiques, Broadway and Mechanic; Out of The Past Antiques, 394 Myrtle Avenue; Cape May Antique Center, 1228 Route 109. And, of course, our own West End Garage!

Cape May County Zoo Voted one of the best zoos in America by TripAdvisor. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Set on 80 beautiful acres. Open daily from 10am-4:45pm, just off Exit 11 on the Parkway. Call 609-4655271.

Historic District Walking Tour Get your own entertaining and knowledgeable MAC guide to lead you through Cape May’s Historic District. Churches, B&Bs, and guest houses will never look the same again. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Visit

NASW Aviation Museum At its peak during WWII, the hangar accommodated 222 planes and 17,000 takeoffs and landings per month. It now houses a wonderful collection of planes and helicopters. At Cape May Airport. Open daily from 9am5pm. Visit

Bay Springs Alpaca Farm Barbara and Warren Nuessle keep their cool creatures near the end of beautiful New England Road, and you can visit them between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Call 609-884-0563 or visit

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 available between Cape May and the ferry terminal. Cape Henlopen State Park, in Lewes, is worth a trip. Visit

Horseback Riding 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 609-884-8205.

Nature Center of Cape May Offer guided kayaking trips, cycling tours, family hikes, private garden tours, beginner birding field trips, full moon kayak tours, evening campfires and moonlight beach strolls in search of bats and ghost crabs. Visit njaudubon. org/centers/nccm.

Beachcombing at the Cove In the company of a naturalist from the Nature Center of Cape May, explore the ocean, beach and dunes of the Cove. Sundays at 9am. Tickets from Washington Street Mall Information Booth, or on the day at the Second Avenue Pavilion on the promenade.

Cape May Lighthouse 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. Tower admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, call 609-8845404 or visit

Miniature Golf Cape May Miniature Golf on Jackson Street offers a lush landscape of sculpted greens and sand traps. 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.

Tennis The William J. Moore Tennis Club 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. For more information, call 609-884-8986.

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Meet... The blum FAMILY


t was on vacation in Cape May that Ed Blum turned to his girlfriend Rebeca and asked, to her complete surprise, “Would you like to pick out your engagement ring, or should I surprise you?” Over 20 years later, the happily married couple is still traveling here from their home in Maryland twice a year, only now, they’ve got their two children — 12 and 16 — in tow. The surf vibe of the Beach Shack, adjacent to the Rusty Nail’s sand-bottomed tiki bar, full of lifeguards and ocean breezes, is a perfect fit for the Blums — if you call Rebeca’s voicemail, you get a message that says she’s probably out catching waves. But that’s not the only reason they come. “We stay at the Beach Shack because of the set-up,” Rebeca told us. “The kids have their own room, so we get our own space.” Which means the couple is free to take in memorable ocean views from their private balcony in peace — with a lobster roll, pina colada, and “yummy, fresh salad” from the Rusty Nail. The children? They’re too busy hanging around the firepit, or playing a game of catch or shuffleboard. “It’s a safe and small enough town that we don’t have to worry about them going off on their own a bit,” Rebeca said. But there is plenty the group enjoys doing together in Cape May, too… like waiting in a well-worth-it line

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at HotDog Tommy’s, riding bikes along the beachfront, attending the Rusty Nail’s Reggae Sunday (the couple plan their meals around the event, at the request of their son), or taking a surf lesson (“I have hundreds of pictures from the last one,” Rebeca said). But the biggest draw for the Blums is mini-golf. “My kids know all of the putt-putt workers by name in Cape May,” Rebeca said. “One day last summer, they were determined to play, even though it looked like rain. Eventually, it was pouring, but they wouldn’t stop putting. People eating lunch at Carney’s next door were laughing their heads off. Finally, we were able to pull them off the course. Then we had to go buy new clothes.” But after a day on the town, the family is always happy to return to the Beach Shack. “It’s perfect for all ages,” Rebeca said. “I’m 50, but I don’t feel old at the bar. I feel the right age. There are clearly people older, and clearly people younger. It’s a place to let your hair down.”

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Church and Synagogue Listings Allen African Methodist Church 717 Franklin Street, Cape May. Call for worship times. 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 10am. 609-884-2181 Cold Spring Presbyterian Church 780 Seashore Road, Cold Spring: Sundays 10:30am. 609-884-4065 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, 11am. 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 Notre Dame de la Mer (formerly St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church) 2901 Atlantic Avenue, Wildwood. Call for worship times. 609-522-2709. 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 Saint Peter’s By the Sea 102 Lake Drive, Cape May Point: Sundays 9am, 11am; Saturday evening prayer, 5pm. 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) 785-2652

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Summer Packages Date Night Package Available year-round Congress Hall, Star Inn, Virginia Hotel, Sandpiper Beach Club Spoil yourself with the best of both worlds — wonderful accommodations and dinner at The Ebbitt Room, located in the historic Virginia Hotel, where artisanal cocktails, farm-fresh classic American cuisine, and a sophisticated, yet casual vibe create the perfect setting for a special night. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • $110 Ebbitt Room dining credit Life’s A Beach Available June-September Virginia Hotel Enjoy the beautiful Cape May beaches to the fullest this summer with the ultimate relaxation getaway. Nestle into your own personal cabana and let our beach servers do the rest. The Virginia Hotel package includes: • Accommodations at the Virginia Hotel • Two-day beach cabana rental •Lunch for two, served seaside each day The Beach Shack package includes: • Accommodations at the Beach Shack • Two-day beach cabana rental • Kids eat free off the kids’ beach menu • Beach Shack sand toys for the kids PLAYcation Available June-September Congress Hall, Star Inn, Sandpiper Beach Club Stay and play this summer with the whole family! Keep the kids busy with your souvenir beach toy sets while you soak up some sun. Let our beach servers deliver lunch right to your chair — kids eat free. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Kids eat free off the beach kids’ menu • Congress Hall beach toy sets

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Opposite: Experience the magic of the Life’s A Beach package, available from June to September at the Beach Shack and the Virginia Hotel All packages subject to availability and change. For complete details, terms and conditions, please visit our website or call 888-944-1816.

Indulgence Package Available year-round Congress Hall, Star Inn, Virginia Hotel & Sandpiper Beach Club Our luxurious, full-service Sea Spa is the ultimate spa experience. Relax and unwind in our wonderful yellow-and-white striped cabana-style treatment rooms and escape your daily stressors. Use your spa credit to treat yourself to the best of the best treatments. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • $200 Sea Spa credit • Thalgo Comfort Travel Kit Summer White House Available June-September Congress Hall Congress Hall has played host to many dignitaries and socialites, including five U.S. Presidents. In 1891, Benjamin Harrison set up office in the ground floor of the hotel, calling it his Summer White House. Make Congress Hall your Summer White House with this package. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall • A copy of the Tommy’s Folly history book • Presidential cocktails for two in The Brown Room • Lunch for two served beachside or poolside • Congress Hall’s History Walking Tour for two Paws Up! Available May-October Beach Shack Bring your dog on vacation with you on this ultimate doggie package. You can even eat dinner with your pooch at the Rusty Nail — we offer a full doggie menu! Package includes: • Accommodations at the Beach Shack • Beach Shack dog welcome kit, which includes use of dog bed and food and water bowl. • Beach Shack frisbee • Beach Shack leash • Special doggie treat

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home away from home

all year long



f you ask the locals, many will say that fall is the best season in Cape May. The city’s southern location delivers warm, even balmy days often through October. The streets, the beaches and the restaurants have an air of serenity that you wouldn’t normally experience in the summer season. Add to this the fact that fall is packed with cultural events and fun activities and you may come to the conclusion that it’s YOUR favorite season, too. We have created a series of themed packages that will help you get the best out of this special time of year in America’s Original Seaside Resort. This year, you might want to wander the beaches as you look for Cape May diamonds, sea glass and shells, take time out for a spot of fishing, or participate in the second-fastest growing outdoor activity in the country... birdwatching. And you couldn’t find a better place in the world to experience it. Just ask Richard Crossley, a world renowned birdwatcher and author of The Crossley ID Guide series. After graduating from university with a degree in environmental science, Englishborn Richard traveled the globe. “I wanted to see the world,” he says, “but my goal was always to end up in Cape May. With the Delaware Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, all migrating birds are funneled to this, the tip of New Jersey,” he told us, “which makes it the best place in the world for birders.” Richard is the leader of the annual Learning to Look program hosted by Cape Resorts. The package includes overnight accommodations at Congress Hall or the Virginia and participants will receive a copy of The Crossley ID Guide, use of our World renowned birder Richard Crossley has created the Learning to Look program for our guests special Birding Backpack (which includes binoculars), a lunch voucher for Tommy’s Folly and two bicycle rentals. And then off you go and explore this beautiful area! “Many people look at things superficially, and wonder why they can’t understand them,” Richard told us. “The goal of Learning to Look is to help birders comprehend what they’re seeing. I encourage people not just to identify the birds, but to observe their behaviors.” Plus, if nothing else, Learning to Look is a great excuse to go outside and visit some beautiful places — Higbee’s Beach, South Cape May Meadows and Cape May Point State Park to name a few. To begin your birding adventure in Cape May, please call 888-944-1816 for the Congress Hall package; and for the Virginia, please call 800-732-4236.

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Fall at the Farm Even if you’re still having trouble getting your kids to eat their greens, you won’t have much trouble getting them excited by a visit to the farm. Every Saturday in October, from 10am4pm, Beach Plum Farm hosts hay rides, driven by our farmers,

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pumpkin decorating, a Facebook Scarecrow Building Contest, a Hay Bale Maze for Little Kids and a Corn Maze for Big Kids. But it won’t just be the kids who have fun. There will be farm-fresh pumpkin pies, pumpkin and zucchini bread, and some seasonally appropriate food and drink treats, plus entertainment, too.

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fall packages Falling for Cape May Available September & October Congress Hall, Star Inn, Virginia Hotel & Sandpiper Beach Club Fall is the most beautiful time of year here in Cape May. Join us as we celebrate at our 62-acre Beach Plum Farm. Enjoy all of your fall favorites including corn mazes, hayrides, farm fresh refreshments and much more! With over 100 varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, and our own chicken, sheep and pigs, our farm is the perfect place to spend your day. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Tommy’s Folly picnic lunch for up to four people • Bicycle rentals for up to four people • Hayride for up to four (Saturdays in October) • Lots of other fall farm activities Creepy Cape May Available October Virginia Hotel Enjoy a creepy getaway in the heart of the historic district of Cape May. Hear all of the spooky tales of the ghosts of Cape May with your tickets to a Haunted Trolley Tour. Then, creep back to your room for some special Halloween treats! Package includes: • Accommodations at the Virginia Hotel • Continental breakfast each morning of your stay • Two cocktails at the Ebbitt Room Lounge • Special Halloween treats from Fatwitch Bakery Sunset Serenade Available April-June & September-October Virginia Hotel Sunset Beach is the perfect setting for a romantic evening for two. Take a ride out to this beautiful beach where the sunset is breathtaking. Cuddle up and enjoy a gourmet picnic basket to munch on while you take in the scenery. Package includes: • Accommodations at the Virginia Hotel • Transportation to Sunset Beach via the Virginia Hotel • Ebbitt Room picnic basket filled with gourmet

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Opposite page: 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. Richard has put together a package, Learning to Look, exclusively for Cape Resorts. All packages subject to availability and change. For complete details, terms and conditions, please visit our website or call 888-944-1816.

meats, cheeses, seasonal fruits, sparkling cider, a sweet treat, and a cozy blanket to cuddle up on Phantom Ball Getaway Available October Congress Hall & Star Inn Don’t miss the 12th annual best Halloween party in Cape May! Don your best costume for your chances to win prizes and dance the night away while you munch on our delicious array of light bites and Halloween treats. There’s a reason this bash is welcomed back and anticipated by locals and guests every year. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • $20 Blue Pig Tavern voucher each morning of your stay • Tickets to our 12th Annual Phantom Ball for two •Ghost Trolley Tour for two Learning to Look Self-Guided Birding Available year-round Congress Hall & Virginia Hotel Come to Cape May and discover why this is one of the world’s most famous birding spots. Our Learning to Look self-guided birding package has been created by world-renowned Cape Maybased birder, Richard Crossley. This is the perfect way to experience birding on your own. Grab your birding backpack filled with all of the essentials, hop on a bicycle and head on out to Beach Plum Farm, the Cape May Hawkwatch or Higbee Beach to see the southbound migration. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Virginia Hotel • Use of birding backpack, including binoculars and birding guide book • A signed, souvenir copy of The Crossley ID Guide • Tommy’s Folly picnic lunch for two • Bicycle rental for two

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wishing for winter wonderland

Traveling on the Congress Hall Express


oin us at Congress Hall during the holidays for a tradition-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

Saying hi to Blue the pig, our resident celebrity

shopping village and a hot chocolate bar. Here is the schedule... 11/7: West Cape May Parade Fundraiser 11/29: Winter Wonderland opens — through December 31 on Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11/30: Breakfast with Santa (every Saturday and Sunday through December 22) 11/30: Special production in Congress Hall ballroom of The Santaland Diaries, based on author David Sedaris’s real-life

experience working as an elf in Macy’s (through 12/29). 12/6: Grand Lawn Tree-Lighting Ceremony 12/7: West Cape May Christmas Parade

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Breakfast with Santa is a treat for the kids

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Enjoying the Grand Lawn, and capturing the magnificent Christmas tree for posterity

Shopping for holiday gifts and special treats at the outdoor shopping village

The beautifully decorated Congress Hall hallway

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Storytime with Mrs. Claus in the lobby

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The Journey of the Congress Hall Christmas Tree John Gerolstein, a semi-retired aide at Richard Teitelman Middle School in Cape May, moved his family into their home in Cape May 18 years ago, when the blue spruce on the front lawn was six feet tall. It became the family’s “picture tree,” the place where they documented birthdays, holidays, graduations, and the wedding of John’s daughter, Heidi. This past winter, they decided to donate the tree, now an imposing 34 feet, to Congress Hall’s Winter Wonderland. On November 19, it was transported to the hotel’s Grand Lawn, where it was decorated with 9,000 lights. “I’m just glad people got to enjoy and appreciate it the way we have all these years,” said John, who made a point of jogging by Congress Hall every evening so that he could see the picture tree “in all its glory.”

9am: Matt McFadden climbs approximately a third of the way up the tree to attach a nylon strap from the ball of a 75-foot crane, operated by Rip Shaw of Shaw Cranes. The boys cut through the stump with a chainsaw (after Matt returned safely to the ground).

7:00am: As the Congress Hall crew arrives at the Gerolstein property in West Cape May, John Gerolstein, daughter Heidi and husband Garrett Belnay take a final picture in honor of the tree.

9:30am: Rip Shaw of Shaw Cranes swings the crane 60 feet to the street, where the 2,000-pound tree is laid onto a 20-foot trailer, ready for the short journey to Congress Hall.

10am: The tree is en route to Congress Hall via Beach Avenue. A cradle built by the Cape Resorts crew braces the tree so that the branches aren’t injured on the trip. Trailer ratchets, complete with 2,000-pound test straps, keep it in place. “It was a just a little nervewracking,” says project manager and driver Bob Shepanski.

11am: The tree arrives at Congress Hall, ready for the stand to be attached. Ten men are stationed on two second-floor balconies, manning the four guide wires that allow the tree to be pulled upright and secured. “I thought it would be a little sad,” John said, “but it was great that hundreds of people got to see it looking so beautiful.”

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Congress Hall’s Christmas tree takes center stage for the tree-lighting ceremony, which kicked off a month of Winter Wonderland celebrations

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winter packages Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland Available December Congress Hall, Star Inn, Sandpiper Beach Club Step out the doors of Congress Hall into a magical Winter Wonderland. The Congress Hall elves are working hard all year long to provide the fourth annual month-long festival. Hop on a train ride aboard the Congress Hall Express, sip on hot chocolate and enjoy some tasty treats. See Santa for photos and Breakfast with Santa in the Ballroom and get some holiday shopping done at our amazing shopping village — you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • A train ride on the Congress Hall Express for up to four • Hot cocoa for up to four • A special holiday gift • Breakfast for two each morning of your stay ($20 voucher) PLUS, KIDS EAT FREE!

Glitter Ball Getaway Available December Congress Hall, Star Inn & Sandpiper Beach Club Ring in 2014 Cape May style! Congress Hall’s Glitter Ball is the place to be this New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a five-course delicious meal and raise a toast to the New Year with your family, friends and the Congress Hall family. Take the elevator home to your cozy room with this great package. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Tickets for two to Congress Hall’s Annual Glitter Ball • Breakfast for two in the Blue Pig Tavern each morning of your stay New Year’s Eve Gala Getaway Available December Virginia Hotel Ring in the New Year with the ultimate dining experience with an exquisite menu hand-crafted by Executive Chef Anthony Micari. Enjoy a champagne toast at the stroke of midnight with

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Opposite page: Enjoy the historic Virginia Hotel at a magical time with the Yuletide package All packages subject to availability and change. For complete details, terms and conditions, please visit our website or call 888-944-1816.

your loved one and delight in the sounds of Paul Sottile, Jr. on the piano throughout the evening. Package includes: • Accommodations at Virginia Hotel • Celebration dinner for two in the Ebbitt Room • Continental breakfast each morning of your stay • A champagne toast for two My Blue Valentine Available February Congress Hall & Star Inn Blue is the color of Valentine’s Day this year. Share your love with your sweetie at Congress Hall. Let our menu, prepared with love, set the tone as you share a romantic dinner for two in the Blue Pig Tavern. Sip on Blue Bubble champagne cocktails in the Brown Room and enjoy time with your special someone. Extend the holiday of love into the next day with breakfast in bed and a late checkout. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Romantic dinner in the Blue Pig Tavern • Breakfast for two in bed or in the Blue Pig Tavern • Blue Bubbles champagne cocktail for two • 1pm late checkout Savor Romance Slowly Available February Virginia Hotel The Virginia and Ebbitt Room have set the stage for love this year. You and your sweetheart are invited to dine on a menu carefully selected by Executive Chef Anthony Micari. Sip champagne and enjoy chocolate-covered strawberries. Extend your romance into the next day with continental breakfast in bed and a late checkout. Package includes: • Accommodations at the Virginia Hotel • Romantic four-course dinner for two in the Ebbitt Room • Continental breakfast for in bed for two • In-room chilled champagne and chocolatecovered strawberries • Late checkout

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SPRING BREAK 2014 ACTIVITIES Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Enjoy tea, scones and other tasty treats while you practice your best behavior with our mini etiquette class. Paint and decorate your own ceramic teacup and saucer to take home. Pirates and Princesses Luncheon Back by popular demand! Admission includes lunch, crafts, music and photo opportunities with our characters. Our little princesses will be making tiaras and wands while our little pirates will be making a treasure chest, eye patch and pirate hat. Kids Can Cook, Too! Join Congress Hall’s chefs and learn how to cook like the pros. And… you get to eat all of your creations in the Blue Pig Tavern! Congress Hall Spring Break Scavenger Hunt Bring your favorite little detectives and meet us in the lobby for a hunt around the old hotel. Easter Egg-stravaganza Join the Easter Bunny and his sidekick Blue for Easter egg hunts, potato sack races, touch football, and more. Visit for more details and dates

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Meet... The mazotta FAMILY


or their 25th anniversary, Mary Mazotta’s husband Tom planned a surprise party at Congress Hall. When Mary showed up for her annual vacation — a tradition for the Mazottas since the hotel opened in 2002 — 20 family members were already checked in and waiting to celebrate. The group enjoyed a dinner out on the town and, afterward, Mary and Tom indulged in a luxurious couple’s massage at the Sea Spa, courtesy of the extended family. The memory that really stuck with Mary was the thoughtfulness of Congress Hall housekeeper Josessa. When she noticed champagne and strawberries in the couple’s room, Josessa became aware of the special occasion and the next time she came by, she had a small gift of her own. “She’s always taken perfect care of us,” Mary said. “She gives my daughters a big kiss when she sees them. The staff here make us feel like family.” Congress Hall, said Mary, gives her family the opportunity to reconnect. Which is something the family does every year at the hotel’s Fourth of July celebration. “It’s a beautiful memory for all of us,” Mary said. “My oldest is a junior in college and my youngest is a freshman in high school, and we’ve been mesmerized by the gorgeous fireworks at this event since the days when the girls were still enjoying the face painting! The

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games, the corn on the cob… we love it all. My sister and her family often join us, and it’s a cherished reunion.” But it’s not just blood relatives whom the Mazottas reunite with on this day. Every year, they make sure to coordinate their vacation with that of the Flood family, friends they met while sitting around the Congress Hall pool years ago. “When you have children about the same age who are splashing around, you can’t help but strike up a conversation,” Mary said. “To this day, my youngest daughter probably talks with the Flood girls three or four time a week.” After a long day of riding waves and spotting dolphins on the beach, the families always meet up for dinner by the rocking chairs on the Congress Hall veranda. “Sitting in one of those chairs overlooking the water, sometimes with a good book in hand, is just so wonderfully peaceful,” Mary said. Now, her girls talk about how they might one day like to be married on the Grand Lawn, the site of so many memories. “Who knows?” Mary said. “Congress Hall could be a part of some very big family events in the future. For me, being there has always been blissful, from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. It doesn’t feel like a big chain hotel where everything is cookie cutter. It feels like coming home.”

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spring 2014 packages Easter Egg-stravaganza Available March Congress Hall & Star Inn Get hopping to Congress Hall to celebrate Easter. Enjoy a delicious brunch in the ballroom and participate in all of the fun with the Easter Bunny and his sidekick, Blue! Stay busy all weekend with all of the festivities, including Easter egg hunts, scavenger hunts, and our many spring break events. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Easter brunch for two Spring Fever Available March-April Congress Hall, Star Inn, Sandpiper Beach Club Put a little spring in your step with the ultimate spring break experience. Choose your favorite activities from our three special spring break events. Back by popular demand is our Pirates and Princesses Luncheon and new this year we are featuring a Princess Makeover event and a kids’ cooking class. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Breakfast for two each morning of your stay ($20 voucher) PLUS, KIDS EAT FREE! The Queen Bee Available Mother’s Day Weekend Congress Hall & Star Inn Treat mom with an overnight stay at Congress Hall and a delicious brunch in the ballroom. Enjoy a late checkout so you can spend some quality time with the mom in your life to show her just how special she is. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Mother’s Day brunch for two in the Ballroom • Special honey bee treat • Late checkout Spring Back to Cape May Available April & May Congress Hall, Star Inn, Virginia Hotel & Sandpiper Beach Club

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Opposite page: The magic of Easter is experienced on Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn, where kids indulge in the Easter Egg Hunt All packages subject to availability and change. For complete details, terms and conditions, please visit our website or call 888-944-1816.

Spring is such a wonderful time of year here in Cape May. Join us as we spring back into action at our 62-acre Beach Plum Farm. With more than 100 varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, and our own chicken, sheep and pigs, our farm is the perfect place to spend your day. Grab a bike from our bike shop and enjoy a picnic lunch from Tommy’s Folly as you check out all of the plants as they come back into bloom. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Tommy’s Folly picnic lunch • Bicycle rentals for up to four •Cape May Lighthouse tour for two This Little Blue Piggy Available January-May Congress Hall & Star Inn This little piggy went to market and This Little Blue Piggy went to Congress Hall! Bring your family down for an oinkin’ good time and even take home keepsakes of our favorite pig, Blue. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Breakfast for two at the Blue Pig Tavern each morning of your stay ($20 voucher) PLUS, KIDS EAT FREE! • Stuffed Blue Pigs (up to two) • Cookies and milk in Blue Pig keepsake mugs Meet the Farmer Available April, May and June Virginia Hotel Enjoy a true farm-to-table experience at our own Beach Plum Farm, a short ride from the hotel. Spend the morning with head farmer Jaime Alvarez and Ebbitt Room Executive Chef, Anthony Micari. Learn about the farm and help select the produce and herbs for your own farm-to-table dinner that evening. Take home your own produce bag. Package includes: • Accommodations at Virginia Hotel • Farm-to-table dinner for two, handcrafted by Chef Anthony • Transportation to Beach Plum Farm via the Virginia Hotel

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The Tommy’s Folly Family at Congress Hall: Four Great Stores in One! Visit our 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 138-139

TOMMY’S FOLLY COFFEE SHOP A coffee shop with an assortment of breakfast to-go goodies and delicious afternoon treats. See pages 70-71

TOMMY’S FOLLY GENERAL STORE The best newsstand and book selection on the island. Looking for something to take home to remind you of your vacation? Pick up one of our branded Congress Hall items, including our bestselling Blue Pig merchandise. And grab some reading material with our wide selection of books and newspapers. See pages 140-141

TOMMY’S FOLLY HOME If you love the décor and the accessories used throughout Congress Hall, then this store is a mustvisit. 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 142-143

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A chat with... tommy’s folly manager Roz Johnson You have two strapping young boys. How are they? They are the loves of my life. One is a director of IT at a large pharmaceutical company in Boston, and the other does mergers and acquisitions in the financial district there. I usually take the train to visit, which is wonderful, because it’s five hours of relaxation. You came to Cape May via Atlanta, Georgia. Why did you move? I taught elementary school, which I loved. But after I retired and my sons moved to Boston, I thought, ‘Which place has the most family memories?’ That’s Cape May. We’ve been coming here for 35 years, because my sister has a beach house in Cape May Point. I wanted to be where the memories are. And also where the ocean is? I love the ocean. It has a rhythm and we do, too — the rhythm of our heartbeats. It’s so easy to lose yourself just watching the waves. In winter, it’s the beautiful vastness that’s calming and tranquil. In the summer, there are the children playing and digging on the shoreline. You’re a a nature lover. How else do you indulge in that? After I park my car in the morning, I walk to work, I look at the water and can’t believe I live and I work in this beautiful place. There are mornings on Perry Street where the fog will run up the road, which is hauntingly beautiful. I would like to get more into birding, and I love the monarch migration in the fall. At Tommy’s Folly, you infuse your tea with mint from Beach Plum farm. Mint has special meaning for you, yes? My mother, who was in her nineties, passed away recently. Toward the end, her eyesight was going and I would bring her sprigs of mint. She would rub it, then bring her fingers up to her nose, because that wonderful smell stays for such a long time. She’d spend the whole day with a piece in her hands. What else do you offer in Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop? We use as many ingredients from Beach Plum Farm as possible. We have increased our breakfast choices, sweet and savory, because people love our grab-and-go options. We also have a new pastry chef who is making fresh Danishes every day, plus bagels, muffins, and sweet breads made with seasonal ingredients, like pumpkin in the fall and strawberries in the summer. There are three other sections of Tommy’s Folly. What do those offer? We have our general area, full of branded items, including new Blue Pig pajamas and the cutest little Blue piggy bank; our boutique, which sells designer clothing, jewelry, accessories, belts, and handbags;

and our home store, which is tapping into the rich history of Congress Hall. All of the bedding, sheets, pillows, blankets, comforters, are available as well, anything that people enjoy as part of their Congress Hall experience. We also have a wide selection of books and magazines. I always recommend the rocking chairs on the veranda as a nice, breezy place to read The New York Times on a hot Sunday afternoon. Do you ever tire of people asking why the store is called Tommy’s Folly? No, it’s a valid question! You know why it doesn’t grow old? Because people think

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“We have increased our breakfast choices, sweet and savory, because people love our graband-go options,” says Roz. “We also have a new pastry chef who is making fresh Danishes every day,” says Roz.

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you’re not going to know the answer, so it’s almost like being a little schoolgirl with my hand in the air. It’s called this because the man who built Congress Hall was called Thomas Hughes, and he built the place so large, the town referred to it as Tommy’s Folly. See? I really do know the answer! Is it true you play Mrs. Claus during Winter Wonderland? Yes. I read to the children, and on Sundays, we make gingerbread houses. I love looking into the children’s eyes. There is such a genuine goodness there… something that’s very real and alive.

Tommy’s Folly Boutique


here are few more pleasurable shopping-by-the-sea experiences than Tommy’s Folly Boutique. Our staff regularly scour the New York city fashion trade shows to bring you the hottest new styles in apparel and accessories, which means that every time you visit, you will discover a sophisticated range of designer products. Some of the highlights include women’s clothing by Calypso, sandals by Mystique, and jewelry by Miguel Ases, Chan Luu and

Meg Carter. For men there are Johnnie-O polos, Thomas Dean and Tailorbyrd shirts, and Island Company swimwear. Concierge 2013

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Tommy’s Folly General Store


ur General Store offers everyday essentials, reading materials, children’s toys and games, plus a large assortment of Cape Resorts-branded 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 over-the-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!

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Tommy’s Folly Home


een making eyes at the carpet in Congress Hall, or the napkins and plates in The Blue Pig Tavern? How about the linens and pillows in our properties? They are available in the Home Store so you can take home an unforgettable part of the Cape Resorts experience. Everything from the Blue Pig breadboard to the Blue Pig Ale that pairs nicely with one of our Blue Pig beer mugs — they are all available. As are those irresistible pillows used in the lobby and Brown Room. Looking for a hostess gift? Try a serving platter or napkin set. There are plenty of gift items to fit any occasion. If you are in need of a wedding gift, how about one of our picture frames or our porcelain plates and trays? Welcome to the premier shop for home and gift items in Cape May.

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West End Garage


elcome to Cape May’s premier shopping destination. West End Garage, housed in a building that began life as a garage and gas station, was launched by Cape Resorts in the summer of 2009, and 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 more than 70 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 founded the Second Sunday Gallery Walk, a monthly celebration of art in conjunction with other Cape May galleries. “The work of these talented artisans is complemented by high-quality merchandise from some of the best stores in Cape May and from quality vendors from all over the

tri-state area,” says Wendy Guiles, General Manager of the WEG. “There is a great variety of handcrafted and estate jewelry, antique, new and upcycled furnishings for the home, collectibles, clothing, body products... the inventory changes regularly, which is why it’s such fun to keep coming back.” Check out antique furniture and accessories, vintage memorabilia,

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framed artwork, candles and bathroom accoutrements, plus the hard-to-find, sought-after Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. 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 that cannot be missed.

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A Chat With... west end garage’s Wendy Guiles How did you end up in Cape May? I’m from northern New Jersey, but after school, I made my way down here. What was your first impression of Cape May? That it’s a very beautiful beach town, so different from the rest of the Jersey Shore. I love the city because it has that small-town feel, along with some wonderful arts and music and theatre you don’t normally find in a small town. Plus, it’s safe, which is important when you have three children. What makes you most proud as a mom? My girls are so strong and independent, and my son is such a creative kid. What was your first Cape May job? When I was 17, I worked in the kitchen of the Chalfonte, where I’d listen to the late Miss Helen Dickerson and her daughters Dot and Lucille chattering back and forth… the Dickerson women have been cooking there for 90 years. What do you do with your free time? I love the beach; Steger’s is probably my favorite. And I love to travel… especially to New Orleans. I enjoy the music there, and it’s such a welcoming place. Speaking of welcoming places, West End Garage has that reputation. Why? Our vendors, I think. There are 70 of them, and they have been hand selected, not just for merchandise, but for personality. It adds to the charm. They’re all invested in the West End Garage. They care, and that makes a huge difference. The selection is not a first-come, first-serve basis. We take into account what’s needed. This makes it an interesting place to shop and helps keep things fresh. Who started calling the cooperative WEG for short? The vendors came up with that name. And some of them refer to themselves as “weggers.” Why is it important to you that each vendor spend time working onsite? It’s important that they know how things work in a cooperative, and important that they see who the customer is and what they are looking for. It’s helpful also if they see what other people are selling; we don’t want a lot of cross-over merchandise. What’s it like seeing people’s excitement after they discover a special piece? It’s fantastic. We strive to make sure everyone finds what they’re looking for — whether that’s an antique, vintage clothing, or a piece of jewelry. It’s a challenge, and it’s also great fun. You’re a collector; what is your most prized antique? That would have to be my wooden doll’s head from the early 19th century. I treasure it so much, I keep it packed away. Are there any misconceptions about WEG? It was originally a Model-T dealership, and this was their showroom, which is why we have all of the beautiful pressed tin and molding, but I still have people calling to ask if they can get their brakes fixed! The biggest misconception would have to be that this is a small store. It’s 4150 square feet, and people just can’t believe how big it is. Do you have a favorite vendor? Maybe. But I wouldn’t say which!

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A shopping tour of Cool Cape May

artizan salon and spa



Beauty doesn’t go on vacation, so come where the locals go. Artizan is less than a mile away from Congress Hall, with plenty of free parking. Trying to get the most out of your vacation time? Let the Artizan staff keep you looking and feeling your best. A guest at Congress Hall is a guest at Artizan! 600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May, 609-884-4499

Looking for something different? Come visit this charming farm in Cape May and get acquainted with Bay Springs’ colorful herd of fleecy friends. Shop in the farm store for unique gifts and accessories: alpaca yarn, luxurious alpaca sweaters and blankets from Peru or hand knits by Barbara. Also, visit the Bay Springs booth at West End Garage! 542 New England Road, Cape May, 609-884-0563

A modern trousseau is composed of a few special pieces. Often, it includes the lingerie that a bride wears under her wedding gown. Some brides may also include a going-away outfit in their trousseau, or fun lingerie for the honeymoon. Lastly, no trousseau is complete without the accessories, including garters, a handkerchief, shoes, or silk boxers for the groom. Lace Silhouettes has specialized in bridal collections for 25 years, and is a one-stop shop for brides. 429 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-898-7448


caroline boutique


Cape May Olive Oil Co.’s tasting room offers a unique experience. When you visit, you can taste more than 50 different imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars, dozens of spreads and tapenades, sea salts, spice blends, mustards, sugars, jams, pasta, spiced chocolate and more. 324 Carpenters Lane, Cape May, 609-898-4441

This relaxing, tranquil exterior of Caroline Boutique is just what you would expect in Victorian Cape May — but step inside and discover why this little clothing store has been drawing the fashionsavvy for more than 30 years. Caroline Boutique is as much a social center for returning summer visitors as it is the favorite shopping haunt for season regulars. Carpenter’s Lane b/w Jackson & Decatur, Cape May 609-884-5055

See what everyone is talking about! It’s a refreshing approach to fashion. Cotton Company’s philosophy embraces “style for all”, with sizes from x-small through 3x. Cotton Company brings together the best of the best in every fashion category. Designer labels and unique boutique pieces all in one shop with expert Stylists on staff to interpret the trends to fit you, your look and lifestyle. 429 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-898-7448

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A shopping tour of Cool Cape May


flying fish studio


Cape May’s famous weekly magazine also has a beautiful, 2,500-square-feet store which carries some of the coolest Cape May souvenirs on the island — a full range of merchandise, from baseball caps to beach towels, T-shirts to coverups, mugs to wine glasses. They also have the biggest selection of Cape May art prints and photographs, plus a fantastic range of locally made furniture featuring imprinted vintage Cape May scenes. Open seven days, year-round!

At the Flying Fish, there’s a little bit of heart and soul in every object they make. Owner Sue Lotozo and her staff handprint each cool, offbeat shirt. You’ll find original, funky, retro designs on high quality garments, many of them celebrating Cape May life and traditions.

The Gail Pierson Gallery welcomes new artists and art lovers from all over to Cape May. In a Victorian house in the historic downtown area, exhibits are first-rate and well-appointed, providing visual edge to the charm of the historic setting. The gallery features original work by artists from all over the east coast, via painting, photography, pen and ink, collage, sculpture, pottery and video. Meet the artists, and enjoy good food, live jazz and great conversation.

130 Park Boulevard, West Cape May, 609-884-2760

109 Sunset Boulevard, West Cape May, 609-770-8479 and

658 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-2584




Find the perfect newborn gift here! Happy Baby’s on-trend clothing for babies is designed by the coolest new designers in Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Barcelona. This delightful store specializes in organic cottons, one-of-a-kind hair accessories and hats galore. Happy Baby is HQ for Jellycat plush animals and blabla dolls. Peace love and babies! 106 Jackson Street, Cape May, 609-884-5922 Happy Baby Cape May on Facebook

Celebrate the history and charm of Cape May with these elegant Henry’s exclusives. Also discover sophisticated collections of classic and contemporary treasures. Henry’s — Cape May’s Landmark Jeweler — brings decades of experience to its fine jewelry, offering unique designs of uncompromising quality. Henry’s is also the area’s exclusive dealer for Pandora.

Here’s a store where real women can shop for intimate apparel with personalized service in a welcoming environment. Featured brands include Wacoal, Natori, Cosabella, Hanky Panky, Le Mystere, PJ Salvage, Karen Neuberger, and Carole Hochman. Here, every woman deserves to indulge, regardless of age, size, or price range. All staff are trained to perform bra fittings. Book a private appointment with a bra therapist today, or walk in. 429 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-898-7448

407 Washington Street Mall, 609-884-0334

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A shopping tour of Cool Cape May

Louisa’s Chocolate Bar



Come and sample the most amazingly delicious, prize-winning chocolate bars being created in the USA today. How does an organic deep dark chocolate filled with hickory smoked almonds sound? Well, it tastes even better. Then there is the Original Bacon bar, handmade Celtic Sea Salt caramels, salted chocolate edamame crunch, pistachio dark chocolate toffee, and a whole lot more besides. Enjoy a gourmet chocolate experience in this delightful little store. 104 Jackson Street, Cape May, 609-884-5882 @louisascapemay on Twitter

The mother-daughter team behind Miss Demeanor loved shopping together but often had trouble finding things they both liked (or could afford!) in the same store. Since the store opened in 2010, they’ve assembled a collection of brands and designers to represent their individual styles and provide a place where mothers and daughters can shop together. 223 Jackson Street, Cape May, 609-770-7613

This absurdly cheerful boutique is definitely worth a visit. Owner, illustrator Perianne Richmond, offers her collection of “giddy and gleeful” artwork for children and a treasure trove of bespoke jewelry. Discover Red Iron Chimp, her addictive new collection of accessories, hats and jewels. “Beaucoup de glittery fabulousness!” Carpenter’s Square Mall, 31 Perry Street, Cape May




Sitters at the Shore has been called upon for the past 15 years for private babysitting, weddings, special events, pet, grandparent and house sitting too. The Jersey Shore’s premium sitting service provides you with the peace of mind you deserve with professional, screened childcare supervisor specialists. Licensed, registered and insured.

If you like Whale’s Tale, you’ll love Splash... Whale’s Tale’s upscale offshoot! Find a gallery of the finest jewelry and handcrafts produced from Cape May to Honolulu. They’re tucked just behind the Washington Street Mall on Carpenter’s Lane. 513 Carpenters Lane, 609-846-7100

Sitters at the Shore, 609-465-0840

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A Cape May tradition since 1974. Meander through three rooms of surprises and something fun for all ages. Jewelry, books, children’s toys, greeting cards, sea shells, and much more! Visit them anytime — Whale’s Tale is open all year! Visit from anywhere by logging on to their online store. 312 Washington Street Mall, 609-884-4808

a day to remember


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, 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 postwedding brunch. As one couple said, “Our guests described this wedding as the BEST they have ever been to!” For a beach casual wedding experience, the Rusty Nail might be the venue you are looking for. Our iconic bar and restaurant is now available for wedding receptions from May through October. Soak up the beach chic vibe and enjoy a fun menu, from passed small bites to delicious entrées inspired by Chef Jimmy Burton’s Rusty Nail menu. Your reception will be set up inside the Nail... but if you want your guests to get some sand between their toes and mingle with our guests out on the patio, then feel free to spread your wings! For more information, please contact our sales team at 609-884-6553.

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Š Laura Eaton Photography,

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a wedding day at the virginia


f you’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, Zagatrated 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 609-884-6553.

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A room for every (business) occasion


or more than 150 years, Congress Hall hosted group meetings, social gatherings and weddings. The renovated Congress Hall continues in that tradition, offering some of Cape May’s finest banquet and conference facilities. When combined with the assets of our sister properties, it offers more than 200 rooms with multiple meeting facilities, restaurants, spa and nightlife – 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 of a modern hotel. The Virginia Hotel’s Richmond Room is perfect for smaller meetings. Whether your plans are for an executive retreat, corporate meeting or recognition dinner, our amenities and conference services are specially tailored to meet your needs.

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We also offer team-building programs, which range from fun group retreats to intensive team interventions — and everything in between. Our leadership development programs target basic supervisory skills as well as higher level competence needed by senior executives. By integrating training sessions with one-onone 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! Our event and conference planners are available to ensure your function runs without a hitch. For more information, call our sales team at 609-884-6549.

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Opposite page: The Harrison Room is fully loaded and multi-functional. Above: The Ballroom offers an elegant and versatile space. Right: At The Virginia, the Richmond Room offers an intimate yet fully-loaded conference room facility. Top: Founders’ Hall offers the ultimate flexibility — it can host anything from a girls’ weekend to a board meeting.

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“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau

M e e t Our Fa m i l y BEACH SHACK 877.SHACK.07 Beach Shack | The Rusty Nail

CONGRESS HALL 888.944.1816 Congress Hall | Sea Spa | The Blue Pig Tavern The Brown Room | The Boiler Room | Tommy’s Folly


THE STAR INN 800.297.3779 Inn | Motel Suites | Carriage House Suites | The Star Coffee Shop

THE VIRGINIA HOTEL & COTTAGES 800.732.4236 The Virginia Hotel | The Ebbitt Room | White Cottage | Gray Cottage Brown Cottage | Pink Cottage | Red Cottage

Please follow us on Facebook. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

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The Concierge 2013  

The annual magazine of Cape Resorts

The Concierge 2013  

The annual magazine of Cape Resorts