Concierge CAPE RESORTS MAGAZINE
SUMMER & FALL 2015
We are excited that you have chosen to stay with us and will do everything we can to ensure that you and your family have a wonderful vacation or getaway. Please make yourselves at home, have fun, relax and enjoy the many experiences that await you in Cape May and at our properties. In this magazine we will share with you everything that our facilities offer, as well as insight on how to enjoy all of Cape Island. We love this place so much and hope that you do as well. Congress Hall, America’s oldest seaside hostelry, celebrates its bicentennial on Memorial Day of 2016. This year we will begin to mark that milestone with special events and surprises here in Cape May. (Please use #CongressHall200 when posting photographs on social media — we appreciate it!). We are also excited to announce the opening of our newest property, Baron’s Cove, in Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York. Like Cape May, Sag Harbor is an historic port town, and Baron’s Cove is right on the harbor, just a short walk to the charming Main Street. We would love to welcome you there as well. Visit baronscove.com for more information. For those who are visiting for the first time and for our many, many returning friends — we look forward to sharing our hospitality with you. Sincerely, Curtis Bashaw Co-Managing Partner, Cape Resorts Instagram @curtisbashaw
Inside the Concierge 2015 what’s new 6
Congress Hall’s Big Year
10 Meet the New GM 12 Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor 14 Around Our Properties 16 Pizza in the Boiler Room 17 Goodbye to John the Valet 18 Myra, Our Music Maestro 20 The Inaugural Ice Ball food & drink 24 Good Food Guide 26 Beach Plum Farm 30 What’s for Breakfast 32 What’s for Lunch 34 Tomato Sandwiches 36 A Night at the Blue Pig Tavern 40 Love Thy Pig 42 Date Night at The Ebbitt Room 46 Prohibition-Era Cocktails 48 A Dreamy Day at the Nail shopping 54 Tommy’s Folly Boutique 56 Perfect Summer Outfits 58 Tommy’s Folly General Store 60 Tommy’s Folly Home 62 West End Garage spa & wellness 68 Sea Spa FAQ 70 Yoga on the Lawn and Beach 72 Beach Boot Camp summer activities 76 Creating a Perfect Beach Day 81 The Congress Hall Pool 82 Ask the Concierge 83 Congress Hall History Tour 83 Biking Around Cape May 84 Carnival Night 85 Time to Square Dance! 86 Family Fun Events 87 Blue’s Clubhouse 87 Rusty Nail Doggie Pageant 88 Fourth of July at Congress Hall 90 Our Live Music Program
fall & winter 94 Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival 99 Pie Time at the Blue Pig Tavern 100 Winter Wonderland Events 106 Winter Packages 108 Spring 2016 Events special events 114 Perfect Wedding Destination 118 A Great Place to Do Business off-campus 122 Getting to Know Cape May 126 Our Activities Partners 140 Shopping Tour of Cape May Concierge magazine is published annually by Cape Resorts Edited, designed and produced by Exit Zero Publishing, www.exitzero.us Articles: Iraisa Ann Reilly Photography: Aleksey Moryakov, Charles Riter, Frank Weiss Illustrations: Martha Kelly PRINTED BY PARAMOUNT, HONG KONG
WHATâ€™S NEW concierge 2015
Happy 199th Birthday, Old Lady! As Congress Hall enters its 200th year and prepares for next year’s BIG celebrations, we take a peek behind the scenes of the 2002 reopening, in this excerpt from “Tommy’s Folly,” the book that tells the history of America’s Oldest Seaside Hotel...
hortly before 4 o’clock on the afternoon of Friday, June 7, 2002, Curtis Bashaw, a 42-year-old real estate developer and hotelier, finished dressing for the biggest night of his life. He tied a knot in his pink striped tie, slipped on the jacket of his tan linen suit, checked himself in the mirror and winked back (as he liked to do in the runup to an important presentation). Then he headed downstairs and asked his younger sister Colleen, an interior designer, if his outfit worked (perfectly, she said). Brother and sister left Bashaw’s three-story Victorian home on the beachfront in Cape May, walked one block west and entered through the oceanside entrance of Congress Hall, which had graced the shoreline of America’s Original Seaside Resort since 1816, and which was now in its third incarnation after twice being burned to the ground. Inside the hotel, which had seen much in its long and often troubled past, there was a buzz. More than a buzz — more like ordered chaos. “To tell you the truth, I remember very little about that day,” said then general manager, Patrick Logue. “But the days and weeks leading up to it? Pretty horrific.” Sandy Montano, who had guided the hotel’s ambitious, highly contested $25 million renovation project from the first day, through a minefield of lawsuits and controversy, says, “I was relieved. There were times when I wondered if we would ever get to this point.” Bashaw, who as joint managing partner of the hotel had coaxed Logue and Montano through the darkest days, made another tour of Congress Hall’s four floors and basement (as he had done earlier that day). He checked that the huge bowls of white and coral hydrangea were properly arranged in the ballroom and the lobby; that there were no rogue hammers or other reminders of Cape May’s largest-ever
construction project lying around; and that the lounge, which hadn’t served a drink in 35 years, was stocked for the busiest night in its 186-year history. Then Bashaw checked in with his business partner Craig Wood. Everything was coming together, said Wood. The two men parted, each eager to take care of business before the 6pm ceremony that both of them had been working toward for the past seven years. For Bashaw, taking care of business meant meeting Christie Whitman’s official car, which pulled up to the main entrance of Congress Hall at 4.30pm, on time. Whitman, who had become New Jersey’s first female governor in 1994 before being appointed by George W. Bush to run the Environmental Protection Agency, had agreed to be guest of honor for the reopening of Congress Hall. Bashaw led Whitman on a private tour, pleased to show her the conference room which bore her name (some guests assumed then, and still do, that the room was named for Walt Whitman, who lived the last two decades of his life in Camden, New Jersey). Then the two crossed the black-and-white diamond floor of the 4,000 square-foot ballroom where Bashaw hosted his 40th birthday party two years before. It was the last function held at the hotel before it was boarded up in preparation for renovation and it was a high-spirited affair, with some 600 people crowding into the ballroom, all of them wearing white, as the invite insisted. Part of the entertainment had been provided by Bashaw. Among the numbers he sang that night was “In My Life” by The Beatles. “There are places I’ll remember/ All my life though some have changed/ Some forever not for better/ Some have gone and some remain,” Bashaw sang. And how appropriate those lyrics were. Cape May’s Christian Admiral, a famous but ill-fated old hotel where Bashaw had spent so many childhood summers,
Opposite page: Hours after the opening ceremony the hotel was buzzing with nearly 2,000 people checking out every corner of the building. Above: The hotel before the great fire of 1878 which destroyed 35 acres of Cape May beachfront. Right: A brochure from the 1940s, when the hotel came under the ownership of Joe Uhler.
had indeed gone, demolished to save Congress Hall in a controversial plan he had helped to engineer. As for Congress Hall, it remained, and it had indeed changed, but definitely for the better. After escorting Whitman to a hotel room on the second floor where she could prepare for her VIP duties Bashaw took another walk around the grounds. His biggest worry all day had been the weather — rain had fallen in the previous 24 hours and had been forecast again for Friday. But it had mercifully stayed dry all day and now, an hour or so before the opening ceremony, the sun began to burn through the light layer of clouds. The temperature was 69˚, a welcome drop from the previous day’s balmy high of 90˚. All in all, Bashaw was feeling pretty good. As 6pm approached, the 600 or so VIPs began gathering on the lawn, which had been delivered and unrolled the previous day. They were joined by locals, whose numbers began to swell by the minute, until a crowd of around 1,500 was mustered, stirred by the music of the U.S. Coast Guard band from Cape May. The members squeezed into the second-floor balconies overlooking the podium, overhung by a huge Stars-and-Stripes. “Does it get any better than this?” Whitman said to the cheering crowd. She cut the white ribbon, declaring Congress Hall open again, as white doves were freed into the warm evening air. “This is all about history, our ties to the past and our hopes for the future,” said Whitman. “Most important of all, this building represents love and
Former Governor Christie Whitman cuts the ribbon on the podium at Congress Hall, watched by Curtis Bashaw and Congressman Frank LoBiondo. “It doesn’t get any better than this,” Whitman told the huge crowd that had gathered on the lawn.
it represents commitment.” After the ceremony, the public mixed with the VIPs as the lounge bar, the nightclub (which had been built in the basement) and two bars in the ballroom dispensed free champagne, wine, vodka and scotch. “It was a madhouse,” Bashaw remembers. “You couldn’t move an inch.” The hotel wasn’t in perfect shape — the pool was still a hole in the ground, there were light switches that weren’t working, and showers were malfunctioning. Yet, says Bashaw, “being surrounded by so many well-wishers totally washed away any stress I had about niggly little things that hadn’t been finished.” For general manager Logue, the day was draining. “People were trying to convey to me how astounded they were by the quality of the restoration. They were shaking my hands and hugging me, and I knew I should have been appreciating it all, when actually I was just walking around with glazed eyes,” he says. “It was a heck of a party — but I couldn’t fully enjoy it because I r ealized that the hotel had opened, and now the work would really begin.” Cape May woke up with a hangover the following Saturday morning (and the VIPs who remained followed up with another on Sunday after the gala dinner), but for Bashaw and Wood, Montano and Logue, it was perhaps the most satisfying weekend of their lives. For Congress Hall, it was simply another special moment in a history that was full of spectacular moments.
A Timeline Of America’s Oldest Seaside Hotel
The Presidents Who Stayed Here Five presidents have stayed at Congress Hall so far (hey, you never know). They are, in chronological, order: Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant, Chester Arthur and Benjamin Harrison. So how well do you know your American presidents? Match up the names with the pictures and look below to see how you fared.
DID YOU GUESS? 1: Benjamin Harrison; 2. Franklin Pierce; 3. Ulysses Grant; 4. James Buchanan; 5. Chester Arthur
1812 A small hotel is built upon the site near the current Congress Hall location. 1816 That building is demolished and Thomas Hughes, a politician and businessman, builds The Big House By the Sea. Locals who think the hotel is too large to make money call it “Tommy’s Folly.” 1818 The hotel is destroyed by fire. Hughes rebuilds, even bigger, with 100 rooms. 1826 Hughes sells his hotel for $3,000. 1828 The hotel is renamed Congress Hall, in honor of Hughes’ ascension to the House of Representatives. 1854 New owner Waters Miller rebuilds, adding two extra wings and incorporating large wooden columns. 1855 President Franklin Pierce is a guest at Congress Hall, followed several years later by his successor, President James Buchanan. 1863 Miller sells to Jacob Cake for $100,000. 1869 Cake extends the wing that runs to the beach, at an estimated cost of $200,000. 1870s Ulysses Grant becomes the third president to stay at Congress Hall. 1878 Congress Hall is destroyed by the worst fire in Cape May’s history. Philadelphia businessman Edward C. Knight heads up a team of investors who rebuild, using brick. 1879 A small extension is added to the west wing and the brick building is painted sage green. Later it would be changed to yellow. 1883 President Chester Arthur attracts a large crowd when he stays at Congress Hall. 1891 President Benjamin Harrison establishes the Summer White House at Congress Hall. 1904 Annie Knight, daughter of Edward, takes over ownership of the hotel, but closes it after a dispute with the city council over the poor condition of adjacent roads. 1920 Knight reopens the hotel after the council announces a $200,000 road rebuilding plan. Knight carries out a major renovation, adding en suite bathrooms. 1934 Congress Hall introduces Cape May’s first post-Prohibition cocktail bar. 1958 Joseph Uhler, a veteran Philadelphia hotelier, sells to Gilbert Ramagosa and his partner, state senator Charles Sandman. 1967 Ramagosa sells to the Reverend Carl McIntire for $350,000 shortly after failing to gain permission to build a ferris wheel on Congress Hall’s beach. 1991 Congress Hall is closed because it can’t keep up with fire codes, though stores are opened on the ground floor. 1995 A group of local businessmen led by a McIntire grandson, Curtis Bashaw, buy the hotel and arrange for the Christian Admiral to be demolished as part of the deal. 2002 After years of legal disputes, the hotel is opened by former Governor Christie Whitman. 2012 Celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of the hotel’s reopening.
Congress Hall’s new general manager, Sam Ackrill
aving forged a successful career in the hospitality business aboard major cruise ships, Sam Ackrill decided to make a change, leaving behind a life on the ocean waves to work at a hotel... overlooking the Atlantic. Okay, clearly, Sam loves the ocean. We sat down to talk with Congress Hall’s new general manager to see how his land legs were settling in after 16 years at sea with Carnival Cruise Lines. Where did you grow up? In the West Midlands of England, close to Shakespeare country — Stratford-upon-Avon. Did you always plan to go into hospitality? Yes. I attended Birmingham College of Food and Tourism. My first job was at a hotel in Solihull called the Hotel St. George by Jarvis International. I was there for my father’s 40th birthday party when I was 15 and we had such a great time that I went back and asked for a job. It is a 400-year-old hotel. I guess you could say that’s where my love of historical hotels began. Did you go right from the St. George to working on cruise lines? No. When I finished college I went into full-time employment with a company called Queens Hotels. I had several positions there, among them duty manager, assistant manager of banquets and events, and bar manager. At the age of 18 I was promoted to the position of assistant operations manager. Because
I wanted to travel and gain worldly experience, I started to investigate the cruise industry. It was a simple suggestion from a colleague to interview with Carnival Cruise Lines and I found myself in Miami a matter of weeks later, walking up the gangway to start my career as a purser. A purser? It’s an old naval term for someone who handles important documents. On a cruise line it’s the equivalent of working at the front desk. Eventually I worked several positions until my last job as general manager of hotel operations. Where did you sail to? Primarily the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexican Riviera, Canada, and more recently Australia and the South Pacific. You obviously love your job as general manager. What are some of your dislikes? I honestly don’t have any. I thrive on the fact that our guests like to meet the new general manager and look to see who is now leading the team at Congress Hall. In my position I have a great opportunity to engage with our guests, understand their love of Cape May and our hotel and ensure that our guests are having the most memorable experience. I get a kick out of hearing the positive feedback from our guests as they enjoy all that Cape May and Cape Resorts have to offer. What were some of your first impressions of Congress Hall? Breathtaking. When I walked inside and saw how close it was to
the ocean, I felt right at home — remember, I was at sea for so many years. It’s not often you see properties like this anymore, and it still hits me every morning as I do my rounds. I take a moment and take a deep breath. Wow! What’s a must-do for you in Cape May? Regardless of the weather, take a stroll along the beach. I love to walk up to the lighthouse. And you have to see Beach Plum Farm — I love how accessible it is to our guests and to anyone who wants to stop by. You started your job here in what is traditionally the off-season. What event at Congress Hall would you recommend to guests who have been thinking about visiting at this time? Winter Wonderland. What a production! I’d seen pictures from previous years, but nothing really captures the spirit of it. It pulls so many people from so many walks of life to join together to share in the Christmas spirit. It’s like something out of a Charles Dickens story. What do you hope to accomplish in your time at Congress Hall? I want to preserve the traditions that are working so well here, while bringing some innovation, whether through exciting new food and beverage concepts or even more exciting programming and events. As soon as you walk through the doors you can sense the memories that have been made here and the traditions that have been built over time. It’s a place you don’t easily forget.
Baron’s Cove Joins Our Family A short walk from Main Street in the historic village of Sag Harbor, New
wood-burning fireplaces, a breezy front porch and a side veranda that
York, Cape Resorts’ newest property, Baron’s Cove, is a perfect base for
all hearken back to Sag Harbor’s proud history as a port and gathering
exploring the Hamptons, the Peconic Bay and all of the beaches, dining,
spot. The grounds have been refurbished with a new pool and fitness
shopping and culture that eastern Long Island offers.
studio, set amidst a classic Hamptons landscape.
The resort, which made its debut this spring, offers vacationers
Enjoy the panoramic views from a table on the deck, or dine by
an inspiring location featuring Cape Resorts’ signature style, which
the fire and choose from beloved classics and original dishes, each
seamlessly blends local history and modern comforts. The 67-room inn
prepared with fresh and local ingredients by one of the Hamptons’ most
features a range of room types, including private garden terraces, loft
acclaimed chefs. Or relax for lunch by the pool, and enjoy delicious and
suites with balconies and town rooms. The lobby is brand new, and
healthy updates of salads, sandwiches and other favorites.
includes a bar and restaurant that take full advantage of the sweeping
We are delighted to offer an exclusive Cape Resorts Friends and
water views. Colleen Bashaw has designed a clubby atmosphere, with
Family package and we hope to see you there. Call 844-227-6672 and
a nod to the nautical. It is the living room of the property with cozy,
ask for the Friends package. For more information, visit baronscove.com.
Acclaim From Conde Nast Traveler
We’re thrilled that our properties continue to be recognized by Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s annual awards. For the third year in a row, both Congress Hall and The Virginia were named Best Hotels in the Northeast by Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The Virginia was ranked at #6, with Congress Hall #11 of 35 hotels named. Debuting at #21 on the 2014 Best Hotels in the Northeast by Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice is Sandpiper Beach Club. We’re especially proud that The Virginia was also named as one of the Top 25 Hotels in the United States by Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards 2014.
The Sandpiper, above, Congress Hall and The Virginia were all acclaimed in the 2014 Conde Nast Traveler magazine awards
AROUND OUR PROPERTIES
Finding The Right Shade Of Congress Hall Yellow Congress Hall’s sunny yellow brick exterior received a fresh coat of paint this year, though it was a job that began in the fall of 2014. The job took took three months to finish and was completed by CORE Painting and Power Washing. They worked closely with Congress Hall’s designer, Colleen Bashaw, to select just the right shade, a Sherwin-Williams blend called Congress Hall Yellow. The hotel has been painted the same shade of yellow since 1881 (originally it was sage green — not quite the same, right?), but finding the perfect shade is tricky. As the chemical make-up of paint materials has changed over the years to make them safer, the colors have changed, too. This year it took more than 500 gallons of paint to make The Big House by the Sea pristine. So how often do we have to repaint it? Every seven years — blame the corrosive effects of salt air, sun and sand.
Rusty Nail Gets A Sandy Replenishment A major beach replenishment project took place in Cape May this year — at the Rusty Nail sand pit! The pit was expanded to provide more room for the important things in life — castle-building, Frisbee-throwing, clamshell pitching and just wiggling your toes in the sand for the heck of it. Another expansion (and this one is probably even more welcome) happened in the Rusty Nail’s ladies’ room.
It’s Soft Underfoot At The Sandpiper Just down Beach Avenue from the Rusty Nail and Beach Shack, life is a little more comfortable at The Sandpiper after an $80,000 interior carpet renovation. The carpet was custom made in Cape Resorts’ signature stripe and was installed in all of the bedrooms and living rooms. Tread softly, people...
Recognize This Little Cape May Gem? Here’s a clue — this is 29 Perry Street in 1911. Half a block from the beach. Across the street from Congress Hall. Yes, it’s the earliest known picture taken of The Star! That’s the original owner, Thomas Hopwood Parkinson, in front of the building. The photograph originally belonged to Mr. Parkinson’s granddaughter and was later sent to the Greater Cape May Historical Society, whose vice-president and resident historian Harry Bellangy obtained the original deed, showing that Mr. Parkinson and his wife Harriet bought the building from a South Carolina man in 1905 for $1,600. Later in life, it became the Perry Street Inn before being acquired in 2003 by Cape Resorts. It was then renovated and became the little sister property of Congress Hall, The Star Inn.
The Gray Cottage Gets A Major Renovation
New Hardwood Flooring At The Virginia Hotel
The Virginia Cottages are always evolving, with new appliances, bathroom and carpeting upgrades. Sometimes these changes are noticeable and sometimes not so much. But ultimately, they work towards the goal of making each guest feel perfectly at home on Jackson Street. This year, the Gray Cottage underwent a total renovation — the new upside down layout offers sweeping ocean views from the second floor living area and sundeck. And we have added flexibility — it can be either a two- or threebedroom accommodation. What hasn’t changed? It’s the perfect place to gather with friends after a day at the beach.
The beautiful hardwood floors in the lobby of The Virginia Hotel were refinished, in addition to the mahogany bar in The Ebbitt Room. (Something that hasn’t changed at the bar? It’s still the perfect place to enjoy an intriguing cocktail list, excellent wines and great conversation). The work was completed by Luke Roth, The Virginia’s caretaker. The Virginia is also proud to be operating with maximum efficiency, thanks to a recently installed heating system that’s equal parts reliable and environmentally friendly.
Brick Oven Pizza At The Boiler Room! Congress Hall’s Boiler Room has been the epicenter of night life for Cape Resorts since its debut at the reopening party in 2002. Originally the boiler room, bakery and laundry of the hotel, relics of the past are still on display, including the old rubble walls, made of ballast stone, the front of the old boiler and a vintage laundry press which has been converted to a movable bar. This past February and March, in keeping with the baking heritage of the space, a new Beech gas and wood-fired classic pizza oven was installed right in the stone and brick walls, bringing delicious handcrafted, individual-sized pizzas to the Boiler Room. By cooking at over 700 degrees and blending Neapolitan and New York styles, the chefs at Congress Hall have created a perfectly puffed and charred crust. And by integrating homemade sauces, fresh herbs and locally raised pork from Beach Plum Farm, the menu boasts a delightful and flavorful
variety of six signature pizzas. The concept is as simple as it is irresistible — pizza and salad, served in the casual setting of one of Congress Hall’s most unique spaces. And nothing could complement the new pizza better than our new draft beer tap system, featuring our own Blue Pig Tavern Ale and beers from the award-winning Cape May Brewing Company. The Boiler Room will be open for dinner during the season and on weekends throughout the year, serving the new menu for all our guests. The late-night entertainment roster will continue to start at 9pm. Please check for hours. We can’t wait for you to try our new pizza! (Please note: To ensure quality and service during our first year, we will be unable to offer takeout or room service, or upstairs/downstairs menu swapping.)
AROUND OUR PROPERTIES
The Hilarious “Twelve Dates Of Christmas”
Goodbye To John The Valet
We’re excited to offer a fun holiday show in Congress Hall’s Harrison Room, in conjunction with Cape May Stage, our local Broadway-quality theater company. Twelve Dates of Christmas tells the story of Mary, an actress who must navigate her way through a year’s worth of hapless holidays and luckless romances after breaking up with her unfaithful fiancé. Before you know it, a year has passed and Mary finds herself alone on Christmas. A surprise encounter with a five-year-old boy she has come to adore changes her mood, her day and her whole perspective. The show will be performed from November 28 through December 30 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm.
For more than 10 years, guests passing through the front doors of Congress Hall were greeted by the smiling face of John Chirila. John Valet, as he is affectionately known by colleagues and guests, came to the United States in 2003 and began working for Cape Resorts in August that year. Originating from Cerghizel, Romania, John worked for Congress Hall as a houseman, bell captain, driver, banquet server, doorman, parking lot attendant and maintenance man, and also helped with livestock management at Beach Plum Farm. But mostly John is recognized as the consummate valet, going on to manage the staff who ensure the wheels keep turning. This summer John returned to Romania to help manage his family’s dairy farm. “Since 2007 I’ve had the opportunity to go home twice a year, thanks to Cape Resorts, for weeks at a time,” said John. “I am planning to take over the farm with my brother to give our parents the opportunity to enjoy life after many years of work.” John not only leaves the legacy of an expansion of Beach Plum Farm, but also the satisfaction of training a reliable staff of
valets. John thanked the Cape Resorts team and the guests “for being not only guests, but true friends and part of my happiness. I hear so many times from you guys, ‘John! Just when I see you I realize I’m on vacation’ and this was the part that made me smile all the time.”
The Gentleman’s Shave Comes To Sea Spa
Congress Hall To Host Independence Weekend
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you don’t want to look your best. It only means you shouldn’t have to put in all the effort yourself. There is something new for the gentlemen this year at Sea Spa — the Gentleman’s Shave. Just like the classic barber shop treatment, this service includes everything needed to leave skin smooth and refreshed. The treatment includes exfoliation, toning, pre-shave oil, hot towel treatment and moisturizer. It’s offered Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30 am-12pm, so please make appointments in advance.
For Congress Hall’s 199th birthday, the Fourth of July celebrations will commence on Thursday, July 2 with Independence Weekend — four days of all-American activities, beginning with All-American Idol. On July 3, Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn hosts Square Dancing and a fried chicken picnic. The Fourth of July welcomes all of the traditional Congress Hall festivities, including the annual lobster bake, picnic BBQ, carnival games and, of course, fireworks. On July 5 the weekend wraps up with the Find the Star Scavenger Hunt, a search to find America’s Stars and Stripes across Cape Resorts’ campus. The day is topped off with a patriotic sundae social.
Tesla Charging Stations At Congress Hall As a hotel guest of Cape Resorts, all owners of Tesla electric cars are welcome to charge their vehicles at Congress Hall. In an effort to support environmentally sound and sustainable lifestyle practices, our parking lot now features two Tesla charging stations and one universal charger. As a guest, you may charge your car overnight or while parked in our complimentary valet parking. In the morning you will be ready for up to 265 miles of adventure in Cape May, though you might want to hop on a bike instead.
Myra, Our Music Maestro
t is hard to imagine Congress Hall without all of the special festivities that make it a place for families and friends to gather. Music has always had a prominent place in Congress Hall’s history, from orchestras in residence in the midnineteenth century to John Philip Sousa. After the 2002 renovation, Curtis Bashaw wanted to restart that tradition and asked his good friend and former choir director, Myra Vassian, to join the team as the activities and music director. At that time a community choir, Winter Wonderland and carnivals on the lawn were just a dream, but Myra quickly built the foundation for the many events we enjoy today. Myra is a voice teacher for the Juilliard School Evening Division as well as a private voice teacher in Manhattan, but as Cape Resorts’ Music Maestro and vocalist in residence, Myra has found a second home. Whether creating world-class musical sounds in just four rehearsals with her dedicated team of volunteer singers, wowing audiences annually with her rendition of “O Holy Night” or scheduling all live entertainment at the Cape Resorts properties, Myra’s dedication to quality and authentic music delights guests during all four seasons. “If it has to do with music, I’m involved!” she says, reflecting on her role as the director for the Congress Hall choir at the Tree Lighting Concert, Fourth of July Concert, and this year’s Winter Concert Series. Myra was able to answer a few questions about what makes music at Cape Resorts sound so sweet. How is the music at Cape Resorts so integral to our guests’ experience? I’ve learned that wherever there is good live music, there is an energy that draws people together. Whether it’s vocals with guitar in The Brown Room, or our guitar player on the veranda — the music creates an intimate experience. And for someone sitting outside by the firepit at the Rusty Nail — whether it’s reggae on a Sunday or the SunDogs on a Monday singing and playing the guitar and fiddle, well there’s no doubt in
You might have noticed... there’s a serious amount of musical programming at Cape Resorts. Meet the Juilliard teacher who puts it all together. my mind that the experience of sitting outside and gazing at the ocean is enhanced by the music that is in the air, making it an unforgettable experience for our guests. What would be your ideal musical experience in Cape May? As beautiful as Cape May is in high season, my favorite time of the year here is winter. Yes, it’s cold and you can’t go swimming — but the beauty of the surroundings is unparalleled. To come in to a roaring fire and sit near the Steinway with live music and have a drink with friends — that’s my idea of a good time. Who are the performers in the choir for the Fourth of July and Tree Lighting events? Our choir is made up of community members, employees, guests and a few of my friends who are professional singers from New York. These professionals are so much a part of the family now that you’d never know that they were hired to be here unless you asked. Not only do the choir members think of them as family, they themselves greatly look forward each season to their time in Cape May. It’s very rewarding to be able to come back again and again and share this experience together — we’re blessed.
Music To Your Ears... How Cape Resorts Makes Life A Song And Dance The March of John Philip Sousa Long before Cape May’s favorite bands were setting up amps in the Boiler Room, music was filling the warm summer air from morning until night. The veranda hosted virtuosos from near and far, most notably the famous US Marine Band leader, John Philip Sousa, in the summer of 1882. Sousa composed a song called the “Congress Hall March” for the occasion, which drew a crowd of more than 3,000. A photo from this performance can be found in Congress Hall’s History Hallway, right above the photo of Benjamin Harrison. Earlier, as the nation was recovering from the Civil War, The Hassler Brothers were a famous musical ensemble from Philadelphia which brought sweet sounds of healing to a town caught between the North and the South. Their picture can be found in The Brown Room — they’re gathered on the veranda in the summer of 1866, clutching fiddles, dressed in suits, ties and derbies, staring expectantly into the camera. Music at the Virginia It’s hard to imagine The Ebbitt Room minus the melodies of the baby grand wafting through the night onto Jackson Street. House pianist Paul Sottile has been playing every weekend for the past six years and will continue to entertain guests this summer. This year, The Ebbitt Room will also host acclaimed visiting musicians. Beth Tinnon, who has performed all over the US, from Nashville to The Brown Room, presents The American Songbook on June 26. On October 11, Broadway at the Beach will be presented by AJ Luca, an actor and singer whose credits include Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and The Stella Adler Studio in New York. On November 29, The Jost Project offers its perspective on musical genres with Across the Divide: Rock for the Jazz Head. Finally, nothing says Christmas like a classic holiday revue featuring The Ebbitt Room’s very own Paul Sottile with Paula Johns. On December 10, Paula brings her jazzy flair to all that Rudolph Recommends. Exit Zero Jazz Festival Celebrated twice a year, this wonderful event brings world-renowned musicians to intimate venues throughout Cape May. Cape Resorts is a proud sponsor of the festival, and hosts many of these talented artists. Audiences gather in the Grand Ballroom to hear established musicians and newcomers to the jazz scene. Each year The Ebbitt Room holds Jazz Night, which serves as a kickoff to the weekend full of festivities. The evening
Rusted Root frontman Michael Glabicki headlined Singer Songwriter Cape May at Congress Hall in March, 2014
Famous conductor John Philip Sousa wrote the “Congress Hall March” specially for his concert at the hotel in 1882 features an artist to entertain guests that have come to Cape May for the festival, or just happen to be stopping by for a cocktail. The Grand Ballroom at Congress Hall traditionally closes out these weekends with the Soulful Sunday Gospel Brunch, where everything from the entertainment to the collard greens is infused with gospel and soul. The menu offers classic soul food, complete with fried chicken and biscuits and gravy. Past performers include Steve Green and Friends, as well as Thomas Jennings and the Inspirational Choir Ensemble of Second Baptist Church from Atlantic City, NJ. Fourth of July at Congress Hall It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without lobster bakes, barbeques, fireworks — and a little “Stars-andStripes Forever”. Each year Myra Vassian, director of music for Congress Hall, leads the Festival Choir in a patriotic tribute on the veranda. It is a display that hearkens back to the days of John Philip Sousa’s performance in 1882, echoing a sense of pride, pomp and circumstance across the ages. Winter Wonderland Concerts In December, Congress Hall transforms into Winter Wonderland, as the largest Christmas tree in Cape May is hoisted onto the Grand Lawn and strung with thousands of twinkling lights. The Festival Choir once again gathers in the ballroom to perform a traditional concert of Christmas carols, right before the lights are illuminated, marking the beginning of Christmas in Cape May. Once the tree is lit, people come from near and far to walk around the charming shops, sip on cocoa and enjoy the sights and sounds of
the season. The Winter Wonderland Concert Series takes place every Saturday afternoon, and features local children’s choirs and dance schools who have practiced all year long to perform at Congress Hall. Whether it’s live music and spirits by the pool during holiday happy hour or walking by on a Saturday afternoon during the Winter Wonderland Concert Series, music provides the soundtrack to memories made in Cape May. Winter Concert Series The seeds of what has become the Winter Concert Series started on a Sunday night in January 2014 with an old-fashioned hymn sing hosted by Myra Vassian and the many musicians who regularly play at Cape Resorts properties. The long tables and fried chicken dinner was reminiscent of a church supper. After the apple pie, the capacity crowd of over 200 gathered round and enjoyed a trip down memory lane, singing favorite classic hymns and folk tunes. With that success, Myra and Cape Resorts’ Curtis Bashaw decided to make it a series, which debuted in January, February and March of 2015. The first event this year was another Old Timey Hymn Sing; the second was a concert featuring Myra, entitled “Going Home, Myra Vassian and Friends”, showcasing music from her childhood in the Appalachian Mountains; and the third was a Doo-Wop Night with Dane Anthony and the Sons of Thunder. Their popularity means that yet another series is being planned for 2016 — January 31, February 28, March 13 and April 10. Singer Songwriter Cape May This can’t-miss event invites musicians of many genres to attend music business panels, conferences and demo-listening sessions, while receiving sound advice and instruction from seasoned artists in the industry. These musicians perform in venues throughout Cape May, and the Congress Hall Grand Ballroom hosts performances from the festival’s keynote speakers. It’s a jolt of energy during the first week of spring. The 2016 event will be held on March 18 and 19.
Congress Hall Glitters At The Ice Ball Cape May had never seen a winter event quite like the inaugural Ice Ball. This glitzy occasion, which attracted more than 250 people in the dead of winter, and on a bitterly cold February evening, raised $175,000 for the Fund for Cape May, a not-for-profit organization founded by Cape Resorts’ co-managing partner Curtis Bashaw. The Fund’s mission is beautification, preservation and providing educational programs, encouraging active citizenship in the city’s youth. The first beneficiary of the Fund will be Rotary Park, in downtown Cape May. The event was held both in Congress Hall’s Ballroom and on the Grand Lawn, with a giant tent linking the two areas. The rooms were decorated with beautiful ice sculptures, while gaily-attired staff served themed drinks before the guests sat down for a memorable feast and a night that will be remembered for a long time. Well, at least until the 2016 Ice Ball, on February 5. A special thank-you to our event patrons, Marsh & McLennan and Drinker Biddle. For more information on becoming a Founding Member for a $1000 donation, please contact Tracey Martin at (609) 884-6513. You may also like to visit the Fund’s website at www.fundforcm.org.
FOOD & DRINK concierge 2015
The cape resorts Food Guide
THE Blue Pig Tavern The cozy tavern style is underlined by the wood-tile-copper fireplace. On warmer evenings, reserve a table on the lush garden patio and enjoy Chef Jeremy Einhorn’s classic American fare. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Reservations: Recommended (dinner) Attire: Casual Phone: 609-884-8422
the Ebbitt Room Focusing on a farm-to-table philosophy, Chef Matt Crist’s menu wows customers — the buzzy-yet-intimate vibe helps, too. The bar is a favorite spot, along with the front porch. Location: 25 Jackson Street Meals Served: Dinner Reservations: Recommended Attire: Casual chic Phone: 609-884-5700
the Rusty Nail The hottest beachfront spot in town offers reasonably priced fare from Chef Jimmy Burton with an emphasis on local seafood. Don’t miss Chef Jimmy’s Monday Night Pig Roast. Location: Beach Avenue, near Patterson Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Reservations: No Attire: Flip-flop casual Phone: 609-884-0017
veranda raw bar New! Congress Hall’s breezy veranda is the setting for our raw bar menu. Service is from 4pm to 10pm daily in season (from 6:30pm during weddings). Weekends only in May and June. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Dinner, Small Plates Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: 609-884-8422
Tommy’s Folly Coffee Bar Tommy’s Folly has a full menu of La Colombe coffee drinks, plus freshly made breakfast sandwiches, pastries, soups and salads — grab and go to the veranda rockers 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 New this year! Thin-crust, brick-oven pizza in six tasty varieties, and seasonal salads. Plus six new draft beers. Don’t miss the live entertainment from Thursday-Sunday. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Dinner, Late-Night Snacks Reservations: No Attire: Very casual Phone: 609-884-8421
The Brown Room The twin pillars of Cape May’s Living Room are the spectacular fireplace and the wood-and-marble bar. Enjoy a great cocktail menu, excellent appetizers and live music. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Dinner, Cocktail Snacks Reservations: No Attire: Casual Phone: 609-884-8421
the Ebbitt Room Lounge/Porch There are four cozy nooks as an alternative to the dining room. 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
POOL service A kid-friendly lunch menu, served from 11am, which might be the only way you lure them out of the pool. Available at Congress Hall, Beach Shack and, new this year, Sandpiper! Meals Served: Lunch Reservations: No Attire: It’s the pool!
congress hall Beach service If you don’t want to leave your lounger or beach tent and cross the road to the hotel, we understand. Simply fill out an order card and have lunch delivered right to your beach table. Location: On the beach at Perry Meals Served: Lunch, Snacks Reservations: No Attire: It’s the beach!
the virginia Beach service Indulge in one very classy beach experience. Order from the servers or reserve a superior beach picnic the night before your beach day. Location: On the beach at Jackson Meals Served: Lunch, Snacks Reservations: See front desk Attire: It’s the beach!
the rusty nail Beach service The rustic tent supports and the aquaand-orange umbrellas and shades announce very clearly that you are in a little slice of paradise. Location: On the beach at Patterson Meals Served: Lunch, Snacks Reservations: No Attire: It’s the beach!
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Beach Plum Farm Beach Plum Farm is located about 1.5 miles from downtown Cape May, tucked away in a secluded spot in rural West Cape May. Right: There’s a thriving population of chickens — around 800 at the last count!
ucked away amongst the protected wetlands of West Cape May is 62 acres of beautiful, secluded, wide open space, including 30 acres of tillable land. This makes up Beach Plum Farm, a sustainable operation whose produce can be found in the dishes at The Ebbitt Room, Blue Pig Tavern and Rusty Nail, each of them less than two miles away. Get in your car — or better yet, hop on a bike — and take a ride down Sunset Boulevard. Turn right on Stevens Street and you’ll see the farm sign and wooden gate on the left. In the meantime, here are some facts and figures to whet your appetite for a visit... Farm to Table Five restaurants on Cape Island now feature Beach Plum Farm produce, including the newest addition, Louisa’s Café, at 104 Jackson Street. Visit the Farm Stand Produce and flowers change daily, so stop in regularly to see what’s on offer. It’s a great stop on the way home. Farm stand hours are: Through June 12: Saturdays and Sundays 8am-4pm; June 12 to September 13: Thursday to Tuesday 8am-4pm; from September 14: Saturdays and Sundays 8am-4pm. See map overleaf for the farm stand location. The Chickens Beach Plum Farm is home to nearly
800 chickens of four different varieties. Most are a hybrid of Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rock varieties, in addition to Dutch Egg-A-Days, Easter Eggers, and Turkens. Ever heard of green eggs and ham? Well, Easter Eggers have! Their eggs have a shell with a bluish green tint. Or the Egg These chicks can produce anywhere from 500-600 eggs a day. That’s enough for 300 omelets at the Blue Pig Tavern, or 200 servings of the Ebbitt Room’s famous Deviled Eggs. Or… one really big chocolate cake. Look on the Sunny Side So how can you enjoy these delicious eggs? Check the menu. If it says, “Made with Beach Plum Farm Eggs” you know they came right from the coop on Stevens Street. You can also ask to have your
omelet made with Beach Plum Farm Eggs. Purchase some eggs to take home by stopping at the farmstand or signing up for our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, where you can purchase a fresh-egg subscription. Not-So-Ugly Ducklings In February, 70 adorable ducklings became part of the family. Duck eggs have a larger yolk-to-white ratio than chicken eggs, which makes them excellent for baking. These eggs will be used in various dishes at The Ebbitt Room. The Royal Pig The farm’s porkers are called Berkshire pigs, which were once upon a time raised at Windsor Castle, official residence of the British monarchy, having been very popular with the upper classes for their “marbled meat”. This means that the fat is evenly distributed throughout the body, making the meat sweet and juicy. It also means that when you come to visit the pen, you are required to bow and curtsy to the Berkshires, because they are basically royal. Pork by the Numbers Currently there are 20 sows and one boar. Each sow can have 20 babies per year. Berkshire pigs usually have 8-10 piglets at a time, but some have had up to 16. They give birth twice a year. The sow’s gestation period is about 116 days, and the pigs can grow to be up to 400lbs in a matter of months. Berkshires can gain up to 4lbs per day, especially if they don’t participate in Congress Hall’s Beach Boot Camp and Yoga.
Beach Plum Farm’s Berkshire pigs produce superb quality pork — their breed was a favorite of British royalty. Below: Farmer Ali Moussalli on his rounds.
This Place is a Pig Sty This year, Beach Plum Farm expanded to an 11-acre property on Sixth Avenue to house the new Berkshires. About three acres of the new property are currently used to keep hogs. What the Buzz is About Those white wooden boxes that are all abuzz with activity are the 24 beehives that are currently in operation at Beach Plum Farm. You Say Tomatoes New Jersey is famous for its tomatoes. In 2014, Beach Plum Farm produced over 10,000 lbs, including Champion, New Girl, Green Zebra, Brandywine, Big Beef and Sun Gold. They were featured in several dishes but really took center stage with the introduction of the Blue Pig Tavern’s Build Your Own Tomato Sandwich menu. Few things taste better than a BLT made with Big Beef tomatoes and Berkshire bacon. Cape May’s Cranberry Beach plums are wild fruit that grow in the dunes on the coast of the northeastern United States. They are the official fruit of Cape May County. Beach Plums are tart, with a taste that is described as a cross between a cranberry and a plum. They are often used to make sweet jellies and jams. What’s in the Name Cape Resorts’ co-managing partner, Curtis Bashaw, named Beach Plum Farm in honor of his grandfather, Reverend Carl McIntire. Reverend McIntire owned Congress Hall in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and he was a fan of the fruit. He wrote a pamphlet about them and even had a restaurant called The Beach Plum in the 1960s. The name embraces the
mission of Beach Plum Farm itself — keep it local. A Key Discovery More than a decade ago, Curtis Bashaw was strolling near abandoned railroad tracks on land that would later become Beach Plum Farm when he found an old mail bag tag used on the Washington D.C.Cape May rail route. That tag became the inspiration for Congress Hall’s metal room key tags. Keeping it Sustainable It’s not only a way of farming, but a way of life that works to preserve the environment. “We are environmentally sustainable in several ways,” says farmer Ali Moussalli. “We do not rely on synthetic pesticides or any herbicides with the crops. Same with prophylactic antibiotics, whose use is common in largescale hog and chicken farms. We are biologically highly diversified, which ensures a lively habitat for all sorts of species, not just cultivated ones. Another important part of our sustainability is that we are a part of Cape Resorts, which guarantees us a local market and a place in the community,” says Ali. All of the food from the farm is traveling less than two miles, ensuring that a minimum amount of greenhouse gases are emitted. This will keep the salty Cape May air pleasant to breathe for generations to come. It’s Cozy Inside The Greenhouse at Beach Plum Farm keeps Cape Resorts sustainable during the cold winter months. While the wind is whipping down the promenade in Cape May, it feels like a summer day in June within the insulated walls of the greenhouse. Crops start in there before they move out to the fields, getting a jump on the growing season and staying a step ahead of harmful weeds. There is also a hoop house at Beach Plum Farm where tomatoes are grown. The hoop house is only heated by the sun and helps to keep the tomatoes in a controlled environment. This ensures crops stay
We grow more than 100 varieties of fruit and vegetables at Beach Plum Farm, and there’s a healthy community of bees, too. Shop for fresh produce at the farm stand.
safe from diseases that could potentially spoil them. Hideaway Near the Waves Many times when folks visit Beach Plum Farm they are surprised that this beautiful, 62-acre expanse of land is located just a bike ride away from historic Cape May and its sandy beaches. Its proximity to the water means that as you stand in the peaceful fields, you can hear the fog horn from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry sounding across the marsh. Adding the Salt Cape May has a longer growing season because the salt air allows for a later frost than other places off of the island or further inland. So after you tour the herb and vegetable gardens in the morning, you can spend the remainder of the day in the dolphins’ garden just a couple of miles away. Piling on the Berries While the fruit-or-vegetable tomato debate lingers on, there is no doubt that strawberries are a delicious fruit, and they’re abundant here — there are 1500 strawberry plants at Beach Plum Farm. Strawberries are picked in June and featured in salads and strawberry shortcake at the Blue Pig Tavern. How to Get There Beach Plum Farm is open for both guided and self-guided tours. Guided tours begin on weekends with the Spring Festival in April, and are available more frequently in the summer season. They conclude with our Fall Festival in October. Both festivals are something you won’t want to miss. The spring and fall festivals are complete with hay rides, family-friendly activities, delicious food and refreshments. The guided tour is an hour–long walking tour that provides fun facts and interesting information about the farm and sustainability. Even if you come to the farm just to stroll around on your own, there is nothing like the peace and quiet you’ll find blowing through the trees that surround this little oasis on Stevens Street.
• May: Saturdays at 9:30am • June-August: Saturdays & Sundays at 9:30am • September: Saturdays at 9:30am • October: Incorporated into Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival, on Saturdays from 11am-5pm Guided farm tours are $3 per person. Tickets can be purchased through the Concierge.
• April through June 12: Saturdays and Sundays from 8am-4pm • June 12 to September 13: Thursday to Tuesday from 8am-4pm • September 14 to March: Saturdays and Sundays from 8am-4pm
Held on Saturdays — October 10, 17, 24, 31. See pages 94-98 for more information (and inspiration).
Held on Saturdays — April 16, 23, 30 and May 7, 2016. See pages 110-111 for more information.
What’s For Breakfast
FARM-FRESH JUICE & SMOOTHIES WHAT’S IN IT: Juices are fresh from Beach Plum Farm and freshly juiced into your glass. Flavors include Ultimate Green Juice, and Carrots, Apples and Ginger. Smoothies are made with vanilla yogurt and seasonal fruit purée, in flavors like mango and strawberry.
berries and cream waffles
WHAT’S IN IT: Low-fat yogurt, fresh berries and crunchy granola.
WHAT’S IN IT: Includes seasonal berry compote and whipped cream.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop, Congo Pool Bar, Congress Hall in-room dining.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern and the Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Veranda Bar, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop, Congo Pool Bar, Congress Hall in-room dining. the healthy start WHAT’S IN IT: Two egg whites any style, fresh berry and fruit salad, whole wheat English muffin with housemade honeyalmond butter, plus freshly squeezed Beach Plum Farm juice. WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern.
WHAT’S IN IT: A cholesterol-busting combination of rolled oats, toasted pumpkin seeds, dried fruits and berries, apples, honey and Greek yogurt.
WHAT’S IN IT: Fish for breakfast? Absolutely! The Norwegian omelet is made with smoked salmon, red onion, capers and cream cheese.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop, Congress Hall in-room dining.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail.
the ultimate cape resorts breakfast guide From the simplest, quickest snack to a proper sit down feast, we have everything your stomach desires for the most important meal of the day. Here we present some of our highlights, starting with the superhealthy, lower-calorie choices and progressing to our super-satisfying, take-you-through-lunch options.
EGGS Benedict variations
SANDWICHES & paniniS
WHAT’S IN IT: From banana to cinnamon to red velvet, these delicious pastries go perfectly with a morning cup of joe or are a stand-alone special treat. Also offering scones, gluten-free breads, fruit Danish and pumpkin muffins.
WHAT’S IN IT: Try classic Eggs Benedict or something a little different — Eggs Blackstone on a fresh scallion biscuit, or The Nail, which is poached eggs on a crab cake.
WHAT’S IN IT: There’s the Sunrise Sandwich at the Blue Pig Tavern (eggs and sharp cheddar on a fresh croissant), while the Rusty Nail has sandwiches on bagels, biscuits and everything in between!
WHERE TO GET IT: Tommy’s Folly and Star Inn Coffee Shop.
WHERE TO GET IT: Eggs Blackstone is available at the Blue Pig Tavern and Congress Hall in-room dining. The Nail is available at the Rusty Nail.
CREAMED CHIPPED BEEF
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly, the Rusty Nail, Congress Hall and Beach Shack in-room dining.
WHAT’S IN IT: The ultimate breakfast splurge — two eggs any style, bacon and sausage, pancake or waffle, home fries.
WHAT’S IN IT: Our housemade version of the old-school classic, served with toast and home fries.
WHAT’S IN IT: Classic morning juices with a kick — classic Bloody Mary and Mimosa are among the favorites.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern and the Rusty Nail (where the Bloody Mary is, of course, a Rusty Mary).
creamy, fragrant, sweet little number. La Colombe is offered at The Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop and Congress Hall in-room dining.
What’s For Lunch
burger WHAT’S IN IT: Stop by the Blue Pig Tavern for a delicious Veggie or Turkey Burger. For meat lovers craving the AllAmerican Classic, you’ll find a half-pound grilled sirloin. Make it your own with all sorts of toppings, like mushrooms, onions, avocado or cheddar cheese.
creamy clam chowder
WHAT’S IN IT: The Nail’s creamy Clam Chowder is made with celery, potatoes, clams and delicious bacon. Perfect as a starter, complement to a salad, or as a meal in and of itself.
WHAT’S IN IT: Build your own BLT at the Blue Pig with fresh ingredients from the farm. Even the mayo is homemade, which means this sandwich is home-grown Cape May through and through.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern and beach services.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern.
WHAT’S IN IT: The Nail Wrap is made with fried local fluke topped with cheese and fresh pico de gallo. The Blue Pig Tavern’s Blackened Mako Sandwich is served with tomato-avocado salsa on a toasted Brioche bun.
WHAT’S IN IT: Tommy’s Folly has delicious, healthy grab-n-go picnic lunches. Try the Grilled Chicken Panini, with roasted red peppers and onions, provolone cheese and kale pesto on multigrain bread.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail, the Blue Pig Tavern.
WHERE TO GET IT: Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop.
mac and cheese WHAT’S IN IT: This rich and creamy blend of sharp cheddar cheeses can be enjoyed as a side dish or a full meal. WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, the Rusty Nail.
the ultimate cape resorts lunch guide Whether you like your lunchtime treat to be filling (mac and cheese, anyone?) or light and lovely (we have some great salads), you’ll find something to satisfy your appetite at our restaurants. So, when you’re ready for a break from the beach, here are the best methods for some tasty refueling!
fish and chips
frisbee Children’s Menu
WHAT’S IN IT: Tacos packed to the gills with grilled mahi, corn, salsa, cheddar cheese, black beans and guacamole, served with cole slaw.
WHAT’S IN IT: Fresh fried Haddock, beer battered with a side of French fries — there’s no wonder it’s considered a signature dish.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern.
WHAT’S IN IT: Parents may say don’t play with your food, but no one ever said don’t play with your plate! This kids’ menu is served on a souvenir Frisbee — perfect for the beach and sand pit.
Grilled Baja Fish Tacos
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail. The Blue Pig Tavern also has a great kids’ menu — served on grown-up plates.
salads WHAT’S IN IT: Fresh lettuce and delicious vegetables from Beach Plum Farm. Try the famous Beet Salad at the Blue Pig, or The Nail’s filling Cobb Salad. WHERE TO GET IT: The Blue Pig Tavern, the Rusty Nail and beach services.
WHAT’S IN IT: The Nail’s Boardwalk Cones are the perfect starter for a seaside lunch — from Boardwalk Fries to yummy Conch Fritters. They pair perfectly with a cold drink and warm sunshine.
WHAT’S IN IT: Enjoy this nice cold drink with a kick — The Hammer is a frozen concoction of Gosling’s Black Seal rum, Cruzan coconut rum, passion fruit puree, fresh lemon and pineapple juices served in a souvenir mug.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GET IT: The Rusty Nail.
Perfecting The Tomato Sandwich
You’re in the Garden State, a place famous for its tomatoes. So it makes sense that tomato sandwiches should be special here, right? This is why the Blue Pig Tavern introduced a Build Your Own Tomato Sandwich option, available from July to September, which is when the tomatoes at Beach Plum Farm are at their ripest. Here’s how it works... First, choose your bread — white, wheat, rye, multigrain or sourdough. Whether you decide to build a Classic Tomato, BLT or Caprese sandwich, you can add all sorts of toppings, meats, cheeses and spreads to make it your own. Add house-cured and smoked Berkshire bacon, or try the fresh mozzarella. The pesto comes courtesy of our Beach Plum Farm basil, while the mayo (we offer five homemade varieties) is made from our farm eggs. Welcome back to a classic American sandwich...
Sunrise To Sunset At The Blue Pig Tavern
ocated in the northeast corner of Congress Hall you’ll discover one of Cape May’s quintessential dining experiences, the Blue Pig Tavern. No matter the weather, or your mood, you’ll find a table that works for you here. On sunny days the Blue Pig Tavern’s leafy patio is a delightful spot to start your day with a breakfast of Congress Hall’s Eggs Benedict or a refreshing smoothie. Later in the day, linger over lunch as you sip a cool drink and peoplewatch. In the evening, dine beneath charming strings of lights. Inside, each Blue Pig dining area provides a different feel. One has an airy garden vibe with a large skylight — it’s perfect for larger groups. The second room evokes a classic tavern, with vintage-style mirrors, large banquettes and a magnificent fireplace which comes alive on crisp days or chilly evenings in spring, fall or winter. Then there’s our new enclosed porch, which is perfect for those who want to be indoors while being bathed in the light and the colors of the outdoors, thanks to a wall of windows. Wherever you eat, you will feast on the restaurant’s classic American tavern fare, enjoying the simple pleasure of a meal prepared from scratch — the menu utilizes local seafood as well as fruits, vegetables, herbs, pork and eggs from Cape Resorts’ Beach Plum Farm in West Cape May. Come thirsty! The restaurant offers its own beer — Blue Pig Tavern Ale — and a full list of delicious beverages from the Congress Hall bar. And don’t miss the homemade desserts, especially our own little slice of Americana, Congress Hall’s Classic Apple Pie.
During summer months, we recommend you begin your evening at the Blue Pig Tavern with a walk along the promenade. Then cross Beach Avenue and head for the Adirondack chairs situated at the tip of Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn. A hotel server will take your drink orders, allowing you to take in the breezes drifting off the Atlantic Ocean before strolling up the veranda and taking your seat at the Blue Pig Tavern.
Where to sit? We have so many options! There’s the main room — the tavern — which is warmed on cooler evenings by the glow from a gorgeous fireplace. On balmy evenings, the garden is a hot spot — linger under the string lights and take in the sweet experience of a Cape May evening. For something that’s perfectly in between, our enclosed porch offers a splendid view of the garden, with all the comforts of indoor dining. When you reserve your table, it’s a good idea to specify where you’d like to eat, depending, of course, on availability.
As you peruse the menu, you will notice that a good deal of the produce comes from our Beach Plum Farm, just 1.5 miles away. This can include anything from the meat in your pork chop to the mint in your Caipirinha cocktail. If you feel like starting your evening with a cool beer, we offer our own Blue Pig Ale, and, new this year, we have six new craft beers available on tap.
Many of the Blue Pig’s dishes are inspired by local produce. You won’t taste fresher vegetables or crisper salads. And we think you’ll find our fish and chips is the best in the area. Whatever you choose to eat, we do recommend that you save room for one of our homemade desserts — the classic apple pie is a favorite year-round.
Love Thy Pig From our farm to your plate, here’s how those top-quality Berkshires provide the goods...
THE BUTT This is where ham comes from, used in the Blue Pig Tavern’s ham and cheese sandwich, and also in the new pizzas in The Boiler Room. Ham can be cured and smoked.
THE BACK Also called the loin. Used for tenderloin, pork chops (a signature dish at the Blue Pig Tavern), ribs, and in The Ebbitt Room’s Long Bone Rib Chop, which is a favorite choice.
THE BELLY Used for bacon, to particularly tasty effect in the Blue Pig Tavern’s Build Your Own Tomato Sandwich (the BLT).
THE SHOULDER Also known as the Boston Butt, primarily used for pulled pork sandwiches, which are in plentiful supply during Chef Jimmyâ€™s Monday Night Pig Roasts at the Rusty Nail.
THE PICNIC SHOULDER Primarily used for our pulled pork sandwiches.
THE HEAD Also called the jowl, neck or cheek. Used for sausage, scrapple and braises. The head is also used at The Ebbitt Room to make headcheese for their meat and cheese plate.
7.) Feet â€“ the only thing we use the feet for is at the Ebbitt Room for a stock.
A Night At The Ebbitt Room
alfway along beautiful Jackson Street, a half-block from the beach, sits The Virginia Hotel, home to Cape May’s finest restaurant, The Ebbitt Room. The Philadelphia Inquirer referred to it as “the town’s most beloved restaurant,” while The New York Times raved about a “superb” experience and “creatively prepared dishes.” The beauty of the restaurant is that it offers so many different ways to enjoy the cuisine. Whether you’re enjoying date night (we don’t think there’s a more romantic spot in town) or just kicking back with family and friends, there’s a spot that will perfectly suit your needs. There is, of course, the actual dining room, which exudes an elegant-yet-relaxed vibe. Some people prefer perching on the comfortable (and highly prized) bar stools and sampling the best of our menu while enjoying the sociability of the bar scene and chatting with our bartenders. For a more intimate setting, head for the secluded interior porches. Then there is the outside porch, which is a glorious place to sip cocktails and enjoy either small plates or the full menu. Kicking back while enjoying the breeze from the ocean and the clip-clopping of the horse-drawn carriages — let’s just say that’s one of the most fabulous Cape May experiences. On cooler nights, cozy up by the wood fire in the sitting room. Wherever you choose to dine, the one constant is The Ebbitt Room’s commitment to freshness and quality. The menu, which includes dishes both inventive and familiar, draws ingredients from Cape Resorts’ Beach Plum Farm, as does the drink list, which includes imaginative new combinations as well as our popular list of Prohibition-era cocktails. We’re also proud to offer some irresistible mocktails — on a balmy night, an Asian Pear Sparkler or Pomegranate Lemonade is seriously refreshing.
We believe the classic Cape May evening begins with a cocktail on the porch of The Virginia Hotel. There’s no better place to enjoy artisanal cocktails, excellent wines and a small, curated selection of beers. And if you’re the designated driver, you don’t have to stick with water. Our mocktails, often using ingredients from Beach Plum Farm, are mixed with the same attention given to our crafted cocktails — minus the liquor. The dining room’s red banquette is the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner for two. It’s a stylish interior, but it never feels stuffy. This is a place where you can truly relax. For a buzzier vibe, the bar is the place to go to enjoy The Ebbitt Room’s menu, though the bar stools are hard to snag — people love eating dinner here!
The Ebbitt Room has been included in ZAGAT’s America’s Top Restaurants. Some of the menu highlights include Steak and Cake, Cured Salmon, Berkshire Pork Chop, Caramelized Sea Scallops, and our famous Pale Ale Calamari.
The desserts at The Ebbitt Room are afforded the same care and invention as everything else on the menu. All desserts are handmade, and we’re sure you’ll be able to tell the difference. Pictured are the Sweet Ricotta Doughnuts, with cinnamon sugar, currants and amaretto syrup. Here’s a tip: Enjoy your desserts in the lounge as you listen to the sounds of Paul Sottile on the baby grand. Another favorite that goes particularly well with Paul’s melodies? Steamed Toffee Pudding, with warm toffee sauce and hazelnut gelat0, a combination so tempting it’s almost criminal.
Prohibition-Era Cocktails At The Virginia
hose who frequent the Ebbitt Room Lounge are no stranger to Leo Morjakovs, who has been mixing cocktails there for more than ten years. A native of Riga, Latvia, Leo began his career with Cape Resorts working at Congress Hall’s pool and beach in 2002. His interest in mixology began that summer while tending bar for various weddings, and he was invited to join The Ebbitt Room team. “The best part of my job is how well you learn how to read people. You get to meet a new character every day,” says Leo. “I also like mixing new cocktails, creating new things with lots of herbs and fresh berries from Beach Plum Farm.” Leo recalls when the Prohibitionera cocktails were first introduced to The Ebbitt Room. “It was about four years ago, and I’m sure a lot of people were watching Boardwalk Empire then. Prohibition-era cocktails started after the 18th amendment was passed and it was illegal to drink alcohol for 13 years. People wanted to drink anyway, and they started to use sweeteners and juices to cover up the strong taste of the alcohol. The most popular Prohibition-era cocktail at The Ebbitt Room in the summer is probably The Bee’s Knees, which uses honey from our Beach Plum Farm.” Here, Leo supplies the background (and the ingredients) for The Virginia’s Prohibition-era Cocktails. Enjoy responsibly, and completely without fear of prosecution... Sidecar Cognac, Triple Sec, fresh lemon juice, orange peel
Reportedly created in Paris’s Ritz Hotel during World War One, the Sidecar was generally made with cognac or armagnac. The first recipes for the Sidecar appear in 1922, in Harry MacElhone’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails and Robert Vermeire’s Cocktails and How to Mix Them. The drink was directly named for the motorcycle attachment. Last Word Gin, lime juice, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur
This gin-based cocktail was created in the early 1920s in Detroit,
where it was first served at the Detroit Athletic Club. Sazerac Rye whiskey, Peychaud bitters, raw cane sugar and an absinthe rinse.
This was created at some point in the mid-nineteenth century at the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans. The owner of this establishment, John B. Schiller, was the local agent for Sazerac-du-Forge et Fils, a Cognac which formed the basis of the Sazerac cocktail, along with sugar and Peychaud’s, the bitters synonymous with New Orleans. Old Fashioned American whiskey, bitters, simple syrup, orange, amarena black cherry
The first alleged use of this name was for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail in the 1880s, at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe is said to have been invented by a bartender at the Pendennis, and popularized by club member and bourbon distiller Colonel James E. Pepper, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. A favorite of Mad Men’s Don Draper. Bee’s Knees Gin, honey syrup from Beach Plum Farm, lemon juice
The phrase “bee’s knees” was Prohibition-era slang for “the best.” In that time, the addition of ingredients such as citrus and honey were often used to cover the unsavory taste and aroma of bathtub gin. Improving the taste of an inferior gin may have been the goal back then, but the result was a fantastic concoction that can hold its own today. Blood and Sand Scotch, cherry heering, sweet vermouth, freshly squeezed orange juice
Blood and Sand is a scotch-based cocktail introduced in 1922. The red juice of the blood orange in the drink helped link it with its namesake, Rudolph Valentino’s classic bullfighter movie Blood and Sand. The recipe first appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book.
A Day In Paradise At The Rusty Nail
or decades, the Rusty Nail was the place where Cape May’s surfers and lifeguards hung out. That’s still the case, but the appeal of this iconic bar/restaurant broadened after it joined the Cape Resorts family. Now it’s one of the must-visit establishments in town, a place where beach lovers congregate around the indoor wooden bar rumored to be the longest in Cape May (a statistic that was confirmed by a story in Exit Zero magazine) or the always-popular outside bar. The Nail’s enduring popularity is due, in part, to their draft beer, which is the coldest in town, a fact once again confirmed by Exit Zero in a cold beer test. It’s no wonder Travel & Leisure magazine named the Nail one of America’s Top 10 Beach Bars and it’s one of ZAGAT’s 10 Hottest Restaurants on the Jersey Shore. Something you should probably test out for yourself is the firepit, the only one of its kind in South Jersey. Hanging around the firepit under the stars with friends and family is something you need to check off on your Cape May bucket list. As for the food, Executive Chef Jimmy Burton, who comes from what is probably Cape May’s most famous cooking family, offers a menu full of seaside classics and satisfying salads. The kids are guaranteed to love it — children’s meals are served on a Frisbee. And every Monday from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Chef Jimmy roasts an entire Beach Plum Farm Berkshire pig on the outside grill — you’ll enjoy great pulled pork sandwiches and our Piggy Platter! Day and night, there is often live entertainment — over the years, the Nail has cultivated an eclectic crew of performers who keep the party going. But this is always a mellow kind of party — the kind of vibe that will keep you chilling out all afternoon or night. Just be aware of the dress code — flip-flops are strongly encouraged at this establishment.
You know that question, “What’s your favorite beer?” And the answer, “The first.” Well there’s probably no better place in town to have that first beer than the Rusty Nail. You’ve endured a tough afternoon on the beach (all that sunworshipping really takes it out of you, right?) and you’ve earned that first, ice-cold beer. And here’s the best bit... you can still wiggle your toes in the sand while you enjoy the best beer of the day.
After getting that first beer out of the way, you might want to refresh your tastebuds via the Nail’s fun drinks list. There’s The Hammer — rum, passion fruit puree, fresh lemon and pineapple juices, served in a keepsake coconut cup. For the ultimate bar snacks, try Boardwalk Style Cones, offering goodies like Conch Fritters, Clam Strips and Rusty Nail Fries. Kids will love tasty offerings like mac and cheese and hot dogs that are served on a Rusty Nail Frisbee, which they get to take home (or, more likely, straight to the beach).
For a special, mouthwatering treat, hit the Nail on Monday nights, when Chef Jimmy Burton does his Pig Roast from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Sit back and enjoy a meaty treat that’s fresh off the grill. As one TripAdvisor contributor wrote about eating at the Nail last summer, “That’s real sand between your toes, and a fresh ocean breeze in your hair.” We couldn’t put it any better.
When the sun sets over the Atlantic, head for the buzzy scene in the garage bar, or try and snag a place at the firepit. It’s the place where families and friends go to end the perfect day at the beach.
SHOPPING concierge 2015
Tommy’s Folly Boutique
id you pack a little light for your vacation and need something to freshen up your outfit for dinner? Or maybe you’re searching for the perfect post-beach coverup. Stop by Tommy’s Folly Boutique — with ladies’, men’s and children’s apparel and accessories, this stylish clothing boutique has the whole family covered. Our buyer, Rachel Elvgren, is ever-vigilant in her search to bring the latest styles to Cape May. Every time you visit you will discover our staple lines, mixed with items from emerging designers. For ladies, we carry essentials like Hanky Panky and Coobie Bras. For the beach, we have coverups, beach totes, sun hats, colorful T-shirts and fun skirts. Then there are summer staples from Roberta Roller Rabbit and Chach, plus chic new dresses from Sail to Sable. Going out for the night? We also have dressy items that pair nicely with our sparkly earrings or clutches. Tommy’s Folly Boutique has it all — purses, hats, sandals, scarves, sunglasses and a fantastic selection of jewelry, including Whitley V and Chan Luu. Looking to take home a cool Cape May souvenir? Our 08204 beaded zip pouch is available in a variety of bright colors. For men, we have the essentials — from belts to hats, shorts to polo shirts, swimwear to flip-flops. We are the exclusive local stockist of TailorByrd shirts and we have partnered with Vineyard Vines on custom belts, bowties and neckties made exclusively for Congress Hall. So whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll find it at Tommy’s Folly Boutique... the definitive by-the-sea shopping experience. Turn the page to see some ideas we’ve put together for both daytime and evening wear.
Perfect Summer Outfits From Tommy’s Folly Boutique DAYTIME
Cotton slub dress by Sail to Sable $199 Moonstone earrings by Atelier Mon $95 Leather wrap bracelet by Nakamol Chicago $49 Pompom tote by Kayu $119 Sapphire sandals by Mystique $195
Amazonite necklace by Chan Luu $148 Abalone earrings by Heather Benjamin $195 Kurta by Roberta Roller Rabbit $145 Turquoise sandals by Mystique $165 Bracelets by Lena Skadegard — aquamarine $180, opal $160 Rattan shell clutch by Kayu $168
... And Perfect Summer Outfits For Him
Polo Shirt by Johnnie-O $69 Reversible shorts by Tailor Vintage $98 Needlepoint hat by Harding-Lane $30 Flip-flops by Havaianas $18
Dress shirt by TailorByrd $92 Reversible shorts by Tailor Vintage $98 Congress Hall crest belt by Vineyard Vines $49.50 Jute flip-flops by Sanuk $45
Tommy’s Folly General Store
here are two types of people — those who start planning for their summer vacation six months in advance and have their bags fully packed two weeks before they leave, and those who are still stuffing T-shirts into their suitcase as the car begins backing out of the driveway. If you belong to the latter category, Tommy’s Folly General Store will likely be your savior — there are everyday essentials such as toothpaste, shaving cream and deodorant. Plus, we have you covered with our great Sun Bum sunscreen products. If you belong in the super-organized category, then surely you will still enjoy browsing our comprehensive, high-quality selection of magazines and books. Want to remember your vacation after you leave? We have a kaleidoscopic assortment of branded merchandise — grab one of our Congress Hall T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats or a fleece. Love the Blue Pig? We have our cuddly stuffed Blue Pig, plus our Blue Pig Pillow Friend, which pairs nicely with our piggie PJs! We also have Blue Pig-themed jump ropes, piggy banks (of course), bibs, stroller blankets and key chains. If it happens to be a rainy day in Cool Cape May (perish the thought!), there is a fun selection of children’s toys and games. By the way… in 1816, Thomas Hughes built the original Congress Hall. He called it The Big House, but locals nicknamed the hotel Tommy’s Folly because they never thought the place would turn a profit. You can read the full history of Congress Hall in a beautifully illustrated coffee table book titled, what else, Tommy’s Folly, also available in the store.
Tommy’s Folly Home
ne of the questions we hear most from Congress Hall guests and visitors is: Can we buy the duvet set/pillows/plates/napkins/ mugs.... you get the idea. People want to take home a memento from America’s oldest seaside hotel. Well, the good news is — there are so many souvenirs to take home that you could easily fill a suitcase (or two). All of these goodies are available at Tommy’s Folly Home, located just off the Congress Hall lobby, opposite Tommy’s Folly General Store. Are you a big fan of our restaurant, the Blue Pig Tavern? Everything from our bread board to the Blue Pig Ale that pairs nicely with one of our Blue Pig beer mugs to cast-iron bottle openers and restaurant linens is available. As is our superpopular Blue Pig coffee mug — we recommend adding a bag of our delicious La Colombe coffee to complete the experience. If you’re a fan of the moody lighting in The Brown Room, we sell the votives that supply the special ambience in what we call Cape May’s Living Room. We even sell those delightful striped Congress Hall rugs, which are based on a design that was part of the major 1920s renovation of the hotel. Looking for a hostess gift? Try a serving platter or napkin set. There are plenty of fun-and-useful items to fit any occasion. If you are in need of a wedding gift, how about one of our picture frames or our porcelain plates and trays? Then there are Congress Hall monogram pool towels plus little blue pig salt and pepper shakers. If you are not able to visit us at Cape Resorts quite as often as you’d like, at least you get to take a little piece home with you. And please note that many of the items from Tommy’s Folly General and Home stores are available online at caperesorts. com/gifts.
West End Garage
redictable isn’t always a bad thing. Your favorite restaurant serves predictably good food, and your favorite hairdresser pleases you with a predictably satisfying style. But shopping? That should never be predictable, which is why West End Garage is such a can’t-miss shopping experience. Housed in a building that began life as a Ford Model T auto dealership, WEG was launched by Cape Resorts in the summer of 2009 and quickly established itself as Cape May’s premier one-stop shopping destination. Why? Well, for starters, it’s a pleasant five-minute walk from the heart of historic downtown Cape May to West End Garage, located across from charming Wilbraham Park. You’ll be excited the moment you walk through the door — WEG features more than 70 shops under one roof, with vendors from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. “There is high-quality merchandise from some of the best stores in Cape May and from quality vendors from all over the tri-state area,” says Wendy Guiles, general manager of West End Garage. “We’ve got a terrific variety of handcrafted and estate jewelry, antique, new and upcycled furnishings for the home, collectibles, clothing, body products...” But the best thing? “The inventory changes regularly,” says Wendy. “Which is why it’s such fun to keep coming back.” Check out antique furniture and accessories, vintage memorabilia, framed artwork, candles and bathroom accoutrements, plus the sought-after Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Maison Blanche Vintage Furniture Paint. During the holiday season WEG becomes a shopping experience that can’t be missed. It’s possible to do your Christmas shopping for everyone on your list just by wandering the nooks and crannies of this browser’s wonderland.
West End Garage is a browserâ€™s paradise. Not only are there more than 70 booths on display, but the merchandise changes constantly. No danger of you finding the same old stuff every time you wander in here. Itâ€™s part antique store, part boutique. And 100% shopping paradise.
SPA & WELLNESS concierge 2015
Everything you need to know about Sea Spa What kinds of services do you offer? An enticing selection of ocean-inspired facials and body treatments, including Thalgo’s hydrating marine facial. Plus an array of beauty services including manicures, pedicures and waxing. What kinds of products do you use? Our treatments feature Thalgo and SkinCeuticals. Thalgo is inspired by thalassotherapy, spa treatments that use real seawater and seaweed to effectively treat a range of conditions, from skin problems and eczema to excess weight, low energy levels and fluid retention. SkinCeuticals’ product line is made in the USA and features clinical skincare that is used by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and medi-spas for daily homecare and to complement aesthetic procedures. This product line works to correct signs of aging, protect healthy skin and prevent future damage. What are some specials and packages you may offer? Throughout the year, we offer several different packages and special offers to help you achieve the ultimate sense of relaxation. From facial and massage combinations o couples massages, Sea Spa is always coming up with innovative ways to help you unwind. Just call ahead, visit our website or stop by to see what specials are being offered during your visit. Do you have any services for men? Absolutely. Aside from massages and body treatments, we have special facials and nail services tailored to a gentleman’s needs. The Gentleman’s Facial is for that hard-working man who wants to erase some of those signs of tiredness and stress. Men can also enjoy shaving services, and gentleman’s manicures and pedicures for those tired hands and feet. If I am getting married at Cape Resorts, what do you have to offer for me and my bridal party? We have several package options to get brides, grooms, bridal parties and even moms ready for the big day. Sea Spa offers customized facials, relaxing exfoliation and massage treatments and mani-pedi combinations that will have your hands ready for the ring. All of these have been thoughtfully combined so you feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to begin this new special chapter of your life. Sea Spa’s décor is so whimsical. What inspired it? From the moment you step through our doors, you will find inspiration from the sea. There’s our extensive collection of vintage swimsuits decorating the walls. Our treatment rooms are painted and decorated to reflect the yellow-and-white-striped tents you find on the beach. And new this year, you can visit one of the beach tents for a massage from one of our trained staff. We are a Sea Spa! What else is new this year? Besides the massages on the beach, you can also request a massage in your room. Also, our customized facials and massages will make sure that your treatment is perfect for your specific needs. Whether you have sensitive skin, or just can’t shake that knot in your shoulder, our skilled staff will have a conversation with you to offer a tailored, customized treatment. Also new this year, the sweet sounds of your favorite music. You can now choose from a selection of music or relaxing sounds to enjoy during your treatment so you can feel completely at ease. Whether that comes from listening to the calming sounds of the ocean or the music of Madonna or Mumford, it’s entirely up to you. For more information, call 609-884-6543 or visit caperesorts.com/seaspa
YOGA ON THE LAWN & BEACH If you like your relaxation pursuits to come with a little exercise and calorie-burning included, then you’re going to want to add yoga to your Cape Resorts itinerary. Yoga on the Lawn at Congress Hall (or on the beach, depending on the weather and the preference of the class) is available from Memorial Day through September. Whether you’re a beginning yoga student or a seasoned practitioner, you will find that this restorative practice has an unbelievable way of calming even the most feverish minds. Acclaimed yoga instructor Sharon Fruchtman has been leading classes on the Congress Hall lawn and beach every season for the last 12 years. There’s a reason why Sharon has private clients all over the tri-state area — she’s one of the best instructors around. If the weather isn’t playing nice and you’re in the mood to break a sweat, Congress Hall features a wellequipped gym which is available to guests of the hotel, The Star Inn, The Virginia, Virginia Cottages and the Beach Shack. It is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day — just sign in at the front desk. Guests of The Sandpiper have access to their own gym. YOGA ON THE LAWN/BEACH With Sharon Fruchtman Saturdays only from May 23 through June 20 Seven days from June 21 through September 7 Saturdays only from September 12 through September 26 Cost: $16; sessions run from 8:30am–9:45am
BEACH BOOT CAMP This season we are excited to offer Beach Boot Camp, hosted by instructors Natalie Sudell (pictured right) and Jayne Sudell. Beach boot camps have become one of the faster-growing outdoor exercise classes and it’s no wonder. Working up a sweat on Cape May’s beautiful white-golden sand while breathing in the air from the Atlantic and enjoying the sun on your face beats a gym session any day of the week. Natalie and Jayne will put you through your paces on the Congress Hall beach every Saturday, June 6 through June 20; and Monday through Saturday from June 22 through September 7. Classes run from 8:00am-9:00am and cost $16. To book your class please visit the front desk at Congress Hall or call 609-884-8421.
beach boot camp can burn around 550 calories per hour. how the other activities rate...
This is only seven more calories per hour than actually sleeping (61 calories/hour). We’re thinking it shouldn’t become a significant part of your weightloss plan.
Of course, this is assuming you actually hit the ball around, as opposed to playing a little game of tip-tap a few feet apart from each other as you try to set a paddle ball record. Forget that! Put some energy into it — the results will be worth it.
This is swimming at a moderate rate – at a vigorous rate, you can burn 682 calories per hour. This is a low-impact, high-reward beach activity. Whether you are in a pool, lake or the ocean, swimming is a great way to stay in shape this summer.
200 200 400 475
Normally played on grassy terrain, this game offers a new challenge when it’s taken to the beach. Don’t like bocce? Throwing a Frisbee, playing horseshoes and beanbag tossing all offer the same calorie-burning results.
The beach can get hot, so head into the water and splash around while you ride the waves.
Bump, set and spike your way to some intense calorie burning as you soak up the sun. Beach volleyball is a fast-paced activity that works your entire body in all planes of motion. Note: beach football will offer a similar calorie burn.
As you may have experienced, running on the sand requires more energy. Of course, the best part of running along the beach is that when you are done, you can hop right in the water to cool off. Results are based on a speed of 6mph.
SUMMER ACTIVITIES concierge 2015
Creating The Perfect Cape May Beach Day
or most people, the beach is the centerpiece of the classic Cape May vacation — so it’s important to do it right. At Cape Resorts we believe the beauty is in the details, which is why we expend so much effort in ensuring that your time spent on the beach (and at the pool) will create a feelgood vibe that will endure until the next time you come and visit us. We run multiple beach concessions — for the Beach Shack, Congress Hall, The Star, The Virginia Hotel and Sandpiper Beach Club — on Cape May’s whitegolden sands, ensuring the ultimate in convenience and comfort. Our staff will set you up with umbrellas, loungers, towels and tables and will hand you a menu — we encourage you to fill out your order at least an hour before you want to eat to ensure the best possible service. We offer a mix of salads and lunch fare delivered to your beach chair. When you arrive at the beach or pool, tell your server your name and room number and they will set you up. There are base camps for check-in located at the following beach points... «Congress Street for guests of Congress Hall, The Star and Sandpiper Beach Club «Perry Street for guests of The Virginia and Virginia Cottages — please note that guests of these properties can order a gourmet picnic basket lunch for two, packed in a cooler. Please order it the previous night and we will deliver to you on the beach! «Patterson Avenue for guests of the Beach Shack Beach concessions are open from 8am to 6pm daily during the season, with food service from 11am to 3pm. Now, here is a selection of fun facts, anecdotes and advice to help you make the most out of your Cape May day at the beach... Leave Some Space Researchers have discovered that, except in cases of intimacy, human beings are hard-wired to repel close human contact. In order for the average American to feel totally at ease in a public setting, he needs 12 feet of personal space. Bottom line: Be mindful of where you plant that boogie board, because these invisible boundaries don’t disappear on the beach. Shade Right While every good beach bunny knows
the secret to healthy skin is taking a break from UV rays, it’s equally important to know how to keep one’s shade from going airborne. Tilt your umbrella into the wind, and plant one-third of its pole in the sand. Look for Seaglass Once a broken bottle, window or plate makes its way into the ocean, salt leeches away any lime in the glass, making it more porous. Once near a shoreline, it’s then tumbled in the tides until it becomes worn smooth and frosted in appearance. Some lucky searchers have turned the bits they find into jewelry, others buy the finished product at stores along the Washington Street Mall. Still others have stumbled upon shards of soda bottles from the 1960s, 18th-century gin bottles, and Great Depression-era plates. If you want to join their ranks, stick to bayside beaches or Poverty and the Cove. Fill it in Whether you want your sandcastle to have a moat, or you want to bury your significant other in the sand, you’re going to need to dig. This may seem harmless enough, but the walls of a hole dug on the beach can easily collapse inward. Harvard researchers have been tracking sand collapse-related injuries for over a decade, and they recommend digging no more than knee-deep, and always filling in a hole when you’re done. See Flipper Cape May is a popular calving area, so hang at the shoreline long enough and you’re bound to see bottlenose dolphins leaping, surfing or mating (which they do five or six times a day — clearly that’s why dolphins always look like they’re smiling). Listen to the Guards Cape May lifeguards have a mightily impressive safety record, so pay attention to their whistles, don’t venture too far from a stand and, for goodness sake, stay off the jetty.
Natural wonders... Cape May Diamonds can be found mainly at Sunset Beach, while monarch butterflies are everywhere in fall!
the ultimate beach treat
Hunt for Artifacts When Henry Hudson first sighted Cape May in 1609, it was already populated by Kechemeche Indians. Along our shores, especially on the bayside beaches like Higbee’s, unsuspecting visitors have stumbled across scrapers, knives, arrowheads, beaded necklaces, shards of pottery and ceramic pipes that once belonged to Native Americans. Look up During the 1980s, New Jersey was down to a single nesting pair of bald eagles, primarily because of the pesticide DDT. By incubating and introducing eggs from other areas, the state was able to restore the population; today, there are more than 100 local pairs. While you may think spotting one — and its signature white head and tail on an otherwise dark body — would be easy, it takes five years for an eagle to reach that plumage. To spot one that hasn’t matured yet, keep your eyes peeled for the largest bird in the sky (even the young have a wingspan of six-and-a-half-feet), and one that glides even during powered flight. Late summer and early fall are the prime spotting time. Appreciate the Flutter Every year, monarch butterflies, weighing just half a gram each, make the 2,000-mile journey from eastern Canada to Mexico. The tiny travelers — sometimes tens of thousands of them, sometimes millions — pass through Cape May. If you’re on the beach around mid-September, a few will quite likely float your way. Leave the Pets at Home These may be the dog days of summer, but no animal is permitted between Third Avenue and the intersection of Madison Avenue and the Beach. And your pup must be off the promenade by 10am. Find a Diamond Okay, it’s not real diamonds that turn up on Cape
Rent A Private Beach Tent For The Ultimate Beach Day Indulgence Lounging by the Atlantic 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 tents, which are based at three locations. The yellow-and-white striped tents of Congress Hall are directly in front of our landmark hotel. The Virginia’s elegant red tents are located on the Jackson Street beach. And the rustic, Caribbean-flavored, orange-and-aqua tents of the Beach Shack are between Grant and Patterson. Tent rentals include complimentary water and lounge chairs and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. There are three ways to book a tent (based on availability): 1. At the time of your initial hotel reservation. 2. At the Concierge desk or the front desk of any Cape Resorts property, upon check-in. 3. When you’re on the beach. Half-day rates are available on the same day only, but please note — there are no half-day rentals at the Beach Shack. If you reserve your tent with your hotel reservation, simply check in at the beach service desk and our staff will do the rest! There are a limited number of tents, so we do recommend reserving them in advance. Whatever method you use to reserve, don’t forget to bring along your best beach vibe.
May’s shores, but quartz crystals (although you’re hard-pressed to tell the difference). They travel through the Delaware Water Gap, where they’re tumbled for hundreds or even thousands of years until the tide spits them out here, particularly at Sunset Beach. If you prefer a more refined look, the Cape May Diamonds sold at the Sunset Beach Gift Shops have been cut by professionals, tumbled and mounted on rings, earrings and pendants. Dig for Treasure It’s widely believed that Captain Kidd may have hidden his gold here, because Cape May was a popular stopping point for pirates in need of fresh water in the 1600s. Well, that, and Captain Kidd also had a girlfriend in Cape May… allegedly. At the end of his life, the sailor-turned-pirate was brought up the east coast to New York before being shipped to England where he was hanged. Legend has it he didn’t have the treasure on him in New York, and many contend that’s because it’s hidden beneath the sands of America’s Original Seaside Resort. Play it Safe Enjoying the waves is a favorite pastime, but do so mindfully. Because of the steep drop-off on Cape May’s beautiful beaches, spinal cord injuries are a concern. Be careful out there. But Play Games The beach is your playground, use it accordingly. Every May, we run the Beach Shack Clam-A-Rama contest, which showcases the art of clamshell pitching. This game, a combination of horsehoes and corn hole, has a long, rich history in Cape May. You can buy clamshell pitching sets at the Rusty Nail store. At the Tommy’s Folly General Store, pick up paddleball sets, sand toys and Blue Pig frisbees! Don’t Feed the Gulls A day on the beach is a beautiful thing. Being pooped on is not. Pick Your Plum Because it grows wild on natural dunes from Maine to North Carolina, the beach plum plant withstands seriously depleted soil and harsh gusts of salty air… and it looks that way. Gnarled and windblown, this isn’t the cutest shrub. But for those who’ve gotten a taste of the sweet, tart fruits that bloom on these branches, the beach plum is a thing of beauty. Check them out on the paths that lead to Higbee’s Beach, especially late August. Avoid Tails Horseshoe crab tails, that is. These animals, which have been around for 450 million years, have saved countless human lives via their blue blood, which contains a clotting agent used to test intravenous drugs for bacterial contamination. They’re also essential to shorebirds, which feed on the crab’s eggs during yearly migrations to the Arctic. Since the animals rely on their fragile tails to right themselves after being flipped by wave action, it’s best to avoid handling them at all. Really, it’s the least we can do. Watch for Glow Jellyfish have a bad rap. But the comb jelly (which isn’t technically a jellyfish, but a jelly-filled ctenophore) doesn’t sting human flesh. It does, however, provide one heck of a show… if you’re paying attention. When the comb jelly is disturbed, the result is a beautiful bluish-greenish glow called bioluminescence. Biologists have described as “Fantasia-like,” so keep your eyes peeled. Just Have Fun There aren’t many better places to spend a day.
Our 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...
1. A PLACE IN THE SUN Our attendants will set up your chairs, umbrellas and towels once members of your party arrive on the beach and are ready to occupy their chairs. Attendants are not permitted to pre-set beach set-ups — so please do not ask them (however nicely you do it!). Beach attendants will arrange set-ups on a first-come, first-served basis, once guests are present. This applies to families, multiple families and groups. Please do not put the staff in an awkward situation. We hope that you trust us to try to accommodate your needs while respecting the public aspect of our beautiful beach. 2. EMPTY NESTING Please notify our attendants if you intend to be away from your chairs for more than 15 minutes. They will happily collect your chairs and umbrellas and reset them upon your return. 3. REFRESHMENTS Alcohol is not permitted on the beaches of Cape May. We do, however, have a selection of sodas, fruity beverages and water. Alcohol is available at Congress Hall’s pool bar and the Rusty Nail (alcohol may not be taken off the premises). 4. TIPPING There is no longer an automatic 18% service charge added to pool and beach checks, so please don’t forget to recognize the hard work of our servers and attendants. (And don’t forget to let them know if there’s anything you need to keep your pool and beach experience going swimmingly.)
Happiness Is... A Day By The Pool
ape May’s wide, breezy, white-sand beaches are special (they’re routinely named among America’s best in the annual TripAdvisor awards), so we know you’re going to want to spend a lot of time on them, especially since you’re being pampered by our beach staff. But a change of scenery can be a beautiful thing. Which is where Cape Resorts’ pool areas come in — cross Beach Avenue (look left, look right!) and relax on a pool lounger, getting warmed by the sun while dozing and reading, snacking and dreaming, being waited on by attentive staff and splashing around in our pools with family and friends. Guests of Congress Hall, The Star and The Virginia Hotel are pampered at the Congo Pool Bar, surrounded by lush gardens and overlooking the hotel’s famous Grand Lawn. Serving lunch, snacks and drinks, the pool bar facilitates long, lazy, self-indulgent days. Not only is our delicious beach menu offered poolside at Congress Hall, but the pool bar is open daily in season from 11am9pm. The menu features treats such as a chicken BLT, house-made guacamole and our irresistible caprese sandwich. Guests of the Sandpiper can enjoy poolside food and beverage service from the Blue Big Tavern, while guests of the Beach Shack are pampered by our servers at the Rusty Nail. Please note that we have discontinued adding an automatic 18% service charge to your check, so please tip your server accordingly. Thank you!
YOUR ESSENTIAL SUMMER BOOK LIST We did our research and came up with some of the hottest beach reads this summer. Get ready to download... Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich; Bought by Anna David; The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow; Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster; Perfection by Julie Metz; The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman; Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan; The Wish Maker by Ali Sethi; The Vacationers by Emma Straub. Also see our selection of books and magazines at Tommy’s Folly in the Congress Hall lobby.
At Your Service
ou are here for one reason — to enjoy your vacation. But even a perfect getaway needs some planning. That’s where concierge Amanda Eckel comes in. Call her at 609-884-6542, come see her at the Concierge desk, or visit her colleagues in the lobby of Congress Hall for more information and to make reservations. To help you negotiate the following pages, 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 pit at the Rusty Nail. You will find those on the following nine pages. OFF CAMPUS — we have partnered with area organizations who offer fun and quality activities that will enhance your Cape May experience. You will find these on pages 126-139. From the moment you leave your room in the morning to the moment you hit those crisp white sheets in the evenings, 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, square dancing to soccer. We will also be delighted to book off-campus activities — restaurant reservations, theater tickets (there are Broadway-quality shows in this town), wine tours, golf games, kayaking, paddle-boarding and parasailing, trips to the lighthouse and trolley tours around the historic streets of this National Historic Landmark City. If you are bringing the kids, Blue’s Clubhouse is staffed with seasoned sitters and, of course, Blue, our legendary mascot. He’s a hero among our youngest guests. And remember, as a valued guest of Cape Resorts you have signing privileges across ALL of our properties and outlets.
TAKE... THE HISTORY TOUR
Did you know that Congress Hall is the oldest seaside hotel in America? Did you know that five sitting presidents have stayed there? (If you already read page 9, you do.) And that one of those presidents spent the whole summer here? There’s a lot of history in this old place, which is why we introduced the Congress Hall History Tours. They are guided by highlyinformed actresses who play the part of Annie Knight, the former matriarch of Congress Hall. Annie’s father, Edward, a Philadelphia businessman, rebuilt Congress Hall in 1879, following the Great Fire of 1878 which destroyed it, along with many other downtown hotels. She went on to run the hotel for three decades and was reponsible for a major renovation in the 1920s that served as the inspiration for the $25 million restoration of Congress Hall in 2002. Tour times... June 1 – June 19 Friday-Sunday at 1:30pm June 20 – September 6 Tuesday-Saturday at 11:30am and 1:30pm, Sundays at 1:30pm September 7 – 27 Friday-Sunday at 1:30pm October through May Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm To book your tour, call the Concierge at 609-884-6542.
GO... BIKING on cape island
Is there a particularly good time to ride your bike around Cape Island? Yes. Most of the year, actually. There is no better way to get around Cape May. The city is flat, very pretty and you don’t want to be stuck in summer traffic — ever notice how the bikes usually go faster than the cars on Beach Avenue? We are delighted to be running our own bike rental business again this year, in partnership with Anita and Tom Roth, whose family have been serving the beach community since 1886. A range of singles, doubles, children’s bikes and surreys (along with helmets) are available at the Congress Hall Bike Shop. Guests of Cape Resorts can pre-order rentals and have them delivered and picked up at the property where you are staying. The front desk agents at each property, as well as the Cape Resorts Concierge at Congress Hall, can assist you in setting up your rental. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the handy little map we produced — it’s available from the front desk. In the meantime, here are two highly recommended bike routes... TO THE LIGHTHOUSE Go down Perry, turn right on Beach, then right on Broadway and left on Sunset Boulevard, where you will ride for about 1.5 miles, flanked by phragmites, until you see Lighthouse Avenue on the left. Turn there and follow the signs for Cape May Lighthouse. Climb all 199 steps, then head back — but this time, get hopelessly lost as you cycle through quaint Cape May Point. You’ll find your way back — eventually. THE HISTORIC TRAIL Go down Perry, turn left on Beach, then ride down the street until you see Cape May Convention Hall on your right. That’s your cue to take one of the streets on the left — like Howard. And then, rather than give you specific instructions, we’re going to advise you to wend your way slowly through the streets of Cape May’s Historic District. Make sure you check out the charming Chalfonte Hotel, on the corner of Howard and Sewell. Other streets to hit — Columbia, Hughes and Franklin. Take your time. It’s a wonderful house-watching trip.
EXPERIENCE... CARNIVAL ON THE GRAND LAWN
MONDAY Carnival on the Grand Lawn We turn Congress Hallâ€™s lawn into a carnival with train rides on the Congress Hall Express, games for all ages, face painting, balloon twisting, sand art, tasty treats and more! Mondays from June 22 to August 31, from 5:30-9:30pm.
TRY... SQUARE DANCING
WEDNESDAY Square Dance BBQ Beginners and pros will learn a variety of moves from instructor Glenn Matthew on the Grand Lawn, where there will also be a fried chicken picnic under the carnival lights. So now you really can channel your inner cowboy/girl. We will have picnic blankets for guests and, to complete the western vibe, hay bales, too! From 7-9pm on Friday, July 3 (part of Independence Weekend), and then on Wednesdays â€” July 15, 22 and 29, August 5, 12 and 19.
DON’T MISS... FAMILY FUN ACTIVITIES
TUESDAY Tie-Dye Tuesday Families get to make their own tie-dye shirts! June 23 to September 1 from 1-2:30pm at Congress Hall, and from 4-5:30pm at the Rusty Nail.
WEDNESDAY Crafty Painting Bring the kids to Congress Hall’s veranda for an afternoon of arts and crafts. June 24 to September 2 from 2-4pm.
THURSDAY Family Ceramics Paint your own pottery with Miss Brenda from Island Studio in Stone Harbor. On the Congress Hall veranda from June 18 to September 3, from 3-5pm.
THURSDAY Karaoke It’s like American Idol for the kids! They come to the Grand Ballroom, sing, have their photo taken and get to enjoy the spotlight. From June 18 to September 3 from 6-8pm.
FRIDAY Surprise and Delight Beach Activities Complimentary beach activities for hotel guests, including wiffle ball, water balloon tosses and other fun games. From 2-3pm, June 19 to August 28.
SATURDAY Breakfast with Blue Meet Congress Hall’s legendary mascot, Blue, when you dine at the Blue Pig Tavern on Saturday morning, from 10am-noon, year-round.
SATURDAY Soccer for Kids on the Grand Lawn Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn is like having your own fabulous backyard on vacation. Soccer games for the kids are run from 1-2pm, from June 20 to September 5.
SUNDAY Sundae Social on the Veranda This is how you enjoy dessert! Featuring an ice cream sundae bar and soda floats out on the veranda for families to enjoy. From June 21 to September 6 from 6-8pm.
DON’T MISS... ANNUAL RUSTY NAIL DOGGIE PAGEANT It’s become one of the quirkier, and most popular, of the Cape Resorts events. So mark your calendars, dog-lovers... the Third Annual Rusty Nail Doggy Pageant will be held on Saturday, September 12 to vote for the new Rusty Nail Mascot. The winner will need to demonstrate poise, grace and athleticism to impress the judges. Last year, the winner was Isabella Chiverella of Pennsylvania. Bella, as she was affectionately known, was a beachloving boxer who charmed the judges and the spectators. Bella was often seen riding shotgun in her owner Ron’s Jeep, sporting her pink goggles. Her sense of style was evident as she showed up for the competition strutting her stuff in an adorable pink tutu. Bella was also AKC/CGC certified, a true upstanding citizen. Sadly, Bella passed away last December, shortly before her 11th birthday. She will be immortalized in our hearts and as the face of the Rusty Nail’s Bowser Beer this season. That’s Bella pictured on the top right. Enjoy those beach romps in doggie heaven, Bella.
SPECIAL PACKAGE... PAWS UP! AT BEACH SHACK You don’t have to leave your best friend behind this season. Bring him along with this ultimate doggie package. You can even eat dinner with your pooch at the Rusty Nail! We offer a full doggie menu including dog beer! Package Includes: • Accommodations at the Beach Shack • $20 Rusty Nail dining voucher (per day) • A custom Beach Shack dog leash • Beach Shack Doggie Welcome Kit For more information visit caperesorts.com/specials
Gone but not forgotten... this year we will honor the memory of our 2014 winner, Bella
BOOK... THE ULTIMATE BABYSITTER
DO... POOL PARTIES Come enjoy a magical night at the pool bar, illuminated by just the moon and the aqua lights of the pool. Here are this year’s events... Full Moon Glow Pool Party Wednesday, July 8 and August 26 from 8-10pm Blue Moon Drum Circle Friday, July 31 8-10pm Come join a drum circle out on the Grand Lawn for families to enjoy during the Blue Moon.
We appreciate that a happy family vacation is a beautiful thing, but we also know that sometimes you need some quality grownup time. That’s why we offer a babysitting service you can trust. Blue’s Clubhouse is available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5:30pm-9pm and is designed for children aged 4-12. It’s a fun and interactive program which keeps the young ones stimulated while you enjoy dinner at The Ebbitt Room, on the garden patio of the Blue Pig Tavern or under the stars at the Rusty Nail. Blue’s Clubhouse is available from Friday, June 19 until Saturday, September 5. Call the Concierge hotline at 609-884-6542.
EXPERIENCE... THE INDEPENDENCE WEEKEND Decades before its remarkable 2002 renovation, Congress Hall hosted Cape Mayâ€™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. This year, the highlight, as always, will be an unforgettable fireworks display, organized by Cape Resorts and the City of Cape May. But we have expanded the celebration into a long weekend, from Thursday, July 2 to Sunday, July 5, beginning with All-American Idol. On July 3, Congress Hallâ€™s Grand Lawn hosts Square Dancing and a fried chicken picnic. The Fourth welcomes the traditional festivities, including the lobster bake, picnic BBQ, carnival games and fireworks. On July 5, the weekend wraps up with a Star Scavenger Hunt followed by a Sundae Social. See you on the Grand Lawn!
LISTEN... TO LIVE MUSIC
Whatever the weather, whatever your mood... we have some seriously good music for you
THE RUSTY NAIL PATIO
Messina, the Eagles, the Beatles, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and more.
THE SUNDOGS Fiddle player Tom Naglee Jr. and guitarist John Nesbitt know how to please a crowd with everyone’s favorite tunes.
KATE DELANY DUO Accompanied by drum and guitar, Kate’s sultry voice recreates songs from Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, the Beatles and Jewel.
4:30pm to 8:30pm, Monday to Saturday Through October 12
NATE CWIK Nate helps create that summer vibe with favorites from artists such as Tom Petty, Bob Marley, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Jack Johnson. BILL CATERINI This local favorite plays an extensive mix of music from the 1960s through the best-loved songs of today. Always one to please the crowd, Bill finds that guests particularly enjoy his eclectic selection of island/reggae music. GREGG CARPENTER Gregg’s skillful guitar playing and soulful voice will have you singing along with selections from the Beatles, Paul Simon, The Stones, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison and James Taylor, to name a few. CARL BEHRENS Enjoy the sounds of Jimmy Buffett, Loggins &
REGGAE ON THE PATIO: 3:00pm-8:00pm
Sundays TRITIDE The tight sound, musicianship and professionalism that this Philly reggae cover band provide are elements that can only be gained by many years spent on the road. HAPPY DOG Each live show can take on an improvisational spirit that may swing between any of their influences ranging from the Talking Heads to Bob Marley to the Beatles to the Dead. The sound is amplified by more modern influences such as Radiohead, Animal Collective, TV on the Radio, etc. JACK LIGHT MOVE A spontaneous variety of funk, acid jazz, hiphop and groove.
SACRED VIBRATIONS This roots reggae band out of Philadelphia knocks out a blend of original music and classic reggae covers. Legendary bass player Doug Grigsby has played with world-class entertainers like Stevie Wonder, Burning Spear, Tina Marie and Rick James. CULTUREAL They’ve developed a unique roots reggaebased sound featuring the diverse improvisational styling of each member while maintaining the spirit of reggae. GEORGE WESLEY George has been a headliner at many festivals and has shared the stage with the Wailers, Santana, Black Uhuru, Matisyahu, Culture, Mykal Rose, Judy Mowatt, Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia Band, Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band) and Jimmy Cliff.
THE RUSTY NAIL STAGE
8:30pm to 12:30am, Fridays, Saturdays and some Sundays TRU BRUDDAHS One of our most popular acts returns this year, featuring a mix of folk-rock reggae/blues with a funky acoustic feel. You’ll hear favorites from artists such as Tom Petty, Bob Marley,
Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Jack Johnson. BIG RIC RISING Big Ric has been wowing audiences with his dynamic and interactive performances for more than 15 years in the Philadelphia area. THE DECK BAND Singing everything from Adele and the Beatles to U2 and ZZ Top, this South Jersey-based party band is known for its high energy and amazing vocals. DYLAN & MAX This duo features homespun harmonies, rendering a sound similar to that of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and The Band, while encompassing a modern, folksy feel. THE SHOTS This band features a variety of instrumentation, arrangements, presentation and musical styles, bringing everything together in an unforgettable show. DON EVANS Formerly played with Eric Burdon, Billy Joel and a list of performers that reads like a who’s who of rock. Get ready for a journey down various musical roads complete with cool grooves, dynamics, and a heck of a lotta fun. DAN BARRY Dan Barry’s musical influences include Van Morrison, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, Alanis Morisette, Pink Floyd and many more. A frequent performer at intimate venues and festivals, Dan’s style melds the genres of jazz, folk, rock and reggae. ED DOBBS His vibrant and technically sound guitar playing has earned him a reputation as one of the area’s best. He has performed alongside such nationally renowned names as Lenny Picket (Saturday Night Live), Mark Pender (Max Weinberg 7) and drummer Tony Beard.
THE BROWN ROOM
8:00pm-12:00am, Fridays and Saturdays yearround; daily from June 19 through August 30 DARIN MACDONALD The premier piano bar entertainer for Carnival Cruise Lines, Darin has entertained international audiences on the high seas since 2003. Folks plan their weekend around getting to hear Darin’s beautiful renditions of their favorite Billy Joel and Elton John tunes. AUDREY SNOW Young Audrey’s influences include Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, the Beatles and Sheryl
Crow. She accompanies herself on guitar as she beautifully sings the rock classics and pop music that you want to hear. KATE DELANY DUO Accompanied by drum and guitar, this local favorite mesmerizes her audiences as her sultry voice recreates songs from the repertoire of Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, the Beatles and Jewel. ERIK HETZEL With a broad repertoire encompassing classic rock standards, contemporary hits, crowd sing-alongs and your favorite eclectic B-sides that you’ll hear nowhere else — Erik keeps you entertained with smokin’ keyboard skills as he sings the songs you love best. WESLEY OCHS Vocalist and guitarist Wesley Ochs plays something for every taste, including classic rock, ballads, alternative and modern rock, island/reggae, oldies, country and party favorites. GREGG CARPENTER Gregg has been entertaining guests regionwide for over 20 years. Skilled in guitarplaying and at the piano, his soulful voice will have you singing along with the likes of the Beatles, Paul Simon, the Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens and Van Morrison. BETH TINNON Beth’s ability to sing every style of music from jazz to country to today’s Top 40 won her the Atlantic City Weekly Readers’ Choice Nightlife Award five years in a row for Best Lounge Act, as well as Atlantic City’s Casino Lounge Act of the Year for 2014. AUDREY & CHRIS This talented duo brings their listeners a mixture of old and new with an energy that has won them a large and devoted following. You’ll hear songs from Mumford and Sons, Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and many more. BILL CATERINI A local favorite, Bill plays an extensive mix of music from the classics of the 1960s through today. Have a request? No problem!
THE BOILER ROOM
10:00pm to 1:00am, Fridays and Saturdays, then Thursdays & Sundays from June 25 to August 30 THE DANE ANTHONY BAND With hip-blaring horns and rollicking rhythms on everything from blues to funk and beyond, these guys keep the party going!
THE BILLY D. LIGHT TRIO This trio has crowds of all ages doin’ the swim, twistin’ or just downhome shaggin’. With cover tunes from Memphis blues to Mississippi songs to rockabilly, you won’t be able to stay off the dance floor. EDGARDO CINTRON & FRIENDS Popular Latin artist Edgardo Cintron brings back his talented combo, featuring pop, R&B and Latin. It’s where soul meets Latin. BARE BONZ Don Shaw and his band play hits from the 70s, 80s and more. Margie Staples lends her smoky sound to round out this talented group. BLUEBONE Bringing you burnin’ blues and smokin’ boogie, Cape May’s own Jay Bethel leads this tight , powerful blues/rock band, playing everything from BB King to ZZ Top with a few popular originals mixed in. BANANA TRIO A band ripened in South Jersey, this power trio covers all your favorites from island vibe to disco to arena rock. Solo entertainer Wesley Ochs has created a power trio that is a crowd pleaser. THE MATT SANTRY BAND From full-time social worker to full-time musician, Matt Santry has made the unlikely transition from playing music for autistic children to rocking audiences of loyal fans. Since 2006, Santry has performed over 500 live shows in clubs, coffee shops and campuses from Los Angeles to New York and has been quickly grabbing nationwide attention. Join Matt’s band in the Boiler Room for a rockin’ good time! THE OVERWHELMING EVERYTHING Local singer-songwriter Gordon Vincent heads this upcoming and popular band. Defined as “real ... soulful ... beautiful ... a poet and a damned fine guitar player,” by the late-great Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, George Mesterhazy, Gordon has also been recognized by Billboard magazine as one of the best independent musical artists in the United States. With roots in the music of rock, blues, soul, funk, early country and jazz, Gordon and the guys will make it a night to remember. FUZZY PARADISE You’ll hear the best of everything from the 60s on, including your favorite 80s tunes, some jazzy grooves and all of the hits in between. Lead singer Lara DeCosta’s powerful-buttender voice has been compared to Natalie Merchant, Adele and Martina McBride.
FALL & WINTER concierge 2015
Fall At The Farm
ape May’s southern location delivers warm, sometimes balmy days often through October. The streets, the beaches and the restaurants have an air of serenity that you wouldn’t normally experience in the summer season. Add the fact that fall is packed with cultural events and fun activities and you may come to the conclusion that, along with many of the people who live here year-round, it’s your favorite season of all in America’s Original Seaside Resort. Fall is a special time to wander the beaches as you look for Cape May Diamonds, sea glass and shells, take time out for fishing or participate in the second-fastest growing outdoor activity in the country, birdwatching (Cape May is one of the world’s most popular birdwatching regions). It’s also the season when Beach Plum Farm, just 1.5 miles from downtown Cape May, becomes a hotbed of fun and activity. On Saturdays in October, the Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival is the venue for a day that’s packed with family-friendly activities — see the following pages for photographs from last year’s events. Kids (and adults) can participate in hayrides around our secluded 62-acre farm in West Cape May, as well as birdhouse painting, honey spinning and jarring, picking sweet potatoes and pumpkins and gathering eggs and herbs. There is always freshly prepared food, refreshments, and beers from the awardwinning Cape May Brewing Company. And every year we host the always messy, always fun pie-eating contest. For more information, visit caperesorts.com and click on the Experiences tab, and then Beach Plum Farm.
beach plum farm fall festival Count the ways to have fun... on Saturdays in October, from 11am-5pm, we host the Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival, complete with a pig roast! There are hay rides driven by our farmers, pumpkin picking and decorating, face-painting, birdhouse painting and a lot more besides. But it won’t just be the kids having a blast. There will be craft beer from the awardwinning Cape May Brewing Company, homemade pies from the Blue Pig Tavern, a bonfire, s’mores roasting, pumpkin and zucchini bread.
SPECIAL PACKAGE... FALLING FOR CAPE MAY Celebrate fall at our 62-acre Beach Plum Farm. Come out to the farm’s Fall Festival and enjoy fun, family farm activities. Package includes: • Deluxe accommodations • To-go lunch packed to take along for the day for up to 4 people • One-day bicycle rental for up to 4 from Congress Hall Bike Shop • Hayride for up to 4 in October For more information visit caperesorts.com/specials
Introducing our FARM TO KIDS program! Bring your junior farmer to our hands-on learning program during our Beach Plum Farm Fall Festival. Kids will learn about a range of activities such as harvesting sweet potatoes, honey spinning and bottling, collecting herbs and eggs, plus crop production and the farm environment. Meet at the farm stand on Saturdays, October 10, 17, 24 and 31 at 11am. The program runs for one hour.
beach plum farm fall festival
Our Third Annual Pie-Eating Contest It’s gonna get messy! The Third Annual Pie-Eating Contest will be held at Beach Plum Farm on Saturday, October 24 at 2pm. The event is sponsored by the Blue Pig Tavern and there will be a special guest appearance by Blue, Cape Resorts’ cuddly mascot (who is partial to a pie or two). The contest is open to kids AND adults. To enter, just turn up and register at the farm on October 24. And here’s some expert advice... you might not want to eat lunch that day. And if planting your face full-on into a blueberry pie isn’t your idea of a great day out, you and your friends and family can enjoy all of the other activities available at Beach Plum Farm. Hay ride anyone?
Home Comforts For The Holidays Come for the holidays in Cape May. The Ebbitt Room and Blue Pig Tavern prepare the perfect meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stay with us and feast on roast turkey with all the trimmings, and try a slice of our signature apple pie. Gather around the warm hearth with family and friends, without having to worry about the holiday hassle. Cape Resorts offers packages and stay enhancements that ensure you and yours will find the perfect holiday getaway. Whether visiting us as a couple or staying with extended family at the Virginia Cottages, The Star Carriage House or the Sandpiper, we have a place to make your holiday merry and bright. Family-style and private dining options are also available. If youâ€™re planning on spending the holidays at home, you can take a taste of the Blue Pig Tavern with you â€” wow your guests with our signature Apple, Pecan or Pumpkin pies. The comforts of home can be found in Cape May year-round.
t has only been a few years since Cape Resorts introduced Winter Wonderland to Cape May... but now locals and visitors wonder how we ever got through the holidays without it. That’s how large an impact the event has had on America’s Original Seaside Resort. During the monthlong festival, which celebrates the magic of Christmas with a childlike joyfulness, Congress Hall is transformed into, yes, a Winter Wonderland as we get the chance to celebrate the spirit of the holidays in a way that we thought was maybe only possible in Christmas movies starring Bing Crosby and Jimmy Stewart. A giant Christmas tree is the centerpiece of Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn along with a dazzling carousel that brings out the kid in every one of us. Next to that is the tented shopping village, filled with booths offering the kinds of gifts that make perfect stocking stuffers. Guests sip fresh-made hot chocolate while they wait for their turn on the Congress Hall Express, and smiling elves wander the grounds, armed with candy canes and other festive treats. Turn the page for more information.
Meet Cape Resorts’ Elf-In-Chief
f you’ve ever snarled yourself trying to wrap lights around your Christmas tree at home, then you’re likely more than a little impressed by the decorations at Winter Wonderland. We spoke to Bob Shepanski, Project Manager of Cape Resorts (that’s him pictured on the tree above), to find out how the plan comes together... When does it all begin? Each year just after our Fourth of July celebration, we begin our process of holiday preparations. A group of managers looks at photos, manager critiques, employee feedback and guest comment cards to see if any areas need improvement or adjustment. We then discuss any new ideas and meet every week. We usually begin to purchase lightbulbs, ornaments and any other new decorations in September. What’s next? Once our season slows down a little, after Columbus Day, we get to work. Every lightbulb has to be replaced on all
our garlands, props and light strings. Many items require touch-up painting. Around November 1, a decorating team of 12 people begins to stage decorations around town, install lights (but not turn them on) and prepare spaces for the coming decorations. How long does it usually take to complete all of the decorating at all of the Cape Resorts properties? About six weeks to prepare and place all the decorations. Generally there are 12 people specifically decorating, but when it gets down to the wire, everyone pitches in. Any stories you want to share about decorating for Christmas? For me, the best experience was the first big tree we put on the lawn at Congress Hall. In previous years we did tree-lightings in the lobby and we tried decorating some trees outside, but I always thought I could do better. So one year we said — let’s do it! Searching companies that provide the service quickly led me to believe we actually couldn’t do it because of the
costs. Some companies wanted more than $100,000 to supply, erect and decorate a tall tree. I couldn’t believe it. So I set out to find a tree and figure out how to get it on out lawn. After three weeks of pacing towns, block by block, and visiting tree farms across southern New Jersey, I had my heart set on one tree in North Cape May. The tree was magnificent but it covered someone’s house, sidewalk and driveway, so they were happy for us to take it. We rented a crane and got it down here with very little damage. Because our lawn is sensitive and a crane cannot reach, the tree must be placed and erected using mostly manpower. When that tree was finally situated, I let out a big sigh of relief. How beautiful it was. And to top it off we had a nice snow storm that Christmas, which provided some of the best pictures of Congress Hall I’ve ever seen. What’s your favorite part of the whole process? The smiles on all of the kids’ faces. That’s what it’s all about.
WINTER WONDERLAND TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY
Scenes from last yearâ€™s event. The 2015 treelighting will be held on Friday, December 4.
Welcome To Winter Wonderland! Winter Wonderland runs from November 27 through December 31 this year. The Winter Wonderland tree-lighting ceremony and choir concert is on Friday, December 4. Then there’s Breakfast with Santa on November 28, December 5, 12 and 19. Other highlights: • Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen • New Kettle Corn • Happy Hour at the Pool Bar • Shopping Village • Brunch with Santa • Gingerbread Decorating with Mrs. Claus • Performances every weekend by local groups • Congress Hall Express • The classic carousel • The Twelve Dates of Christmas in Congress Hall’s Harrison Room from November 28 to December 30. SPECIAL PACKAGE... WALKIN’ IN A WINTER WONDERLAND Hop on a train ride aboard the Congress Hall Express, sip on hot chocolate and take in the spectacle that is Winter Wonderland. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • A 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! For more information visit caperesorts.com/specials
winter packages Sandpiper Sweetness Available November and December The Sandpiper Nothing says the holidays like baking with the family. Gather around the kitchen and enjoy spending time together cooking (and eating) sweet holiday treats. This special package includes everything you need to enjoy baking up holiday traditions in Cape May! • Deluxe accommodations • Two Sandpiper kids’ cooking aprons and chef hats • A baking basket filled with everything you need for a sweet afternoon! • Rolling pin, flour and cookie sheet • Cookie cutters along with colored sprinkles and icing for decorating • Half gallon of 2% milk to enjoy with the cookies Glitter Ball Getaway Available December Congress Hall, Star Inn & Sandpiper Beach Club Congress Hall’s Glitter Ball is the place to be this New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a five-course meal and raise a toast to the New Year with your family, friends and the Congress Hall family. Take the elevator home to your cozy room with this great package. • Accommodations at your favorite property • Tickets for two to Glitter Ball • Breakfast for two each morning of your stay ($20) New Year’s Eve Celebration Getaway Available December Virginia Hotel Indulge in an exquisite menu hand-crafted by our chef. Enjoy a champagne toast at the stroke of midnight with your loved one and delight in the sounds of Paul Sottile, Jr. on the piano. • Accommodations at The Virginia • Celebration dinner for two in The Ebbitt Room • Continental breakfast each morning of your stay • Champagne toast for two My Blue Valentine Available February Congress Hall & Star Inn 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 some special time.
• Accommodations at Congress Hall or Star Inn • Romantic dinner for two in the Blue Pig Tavern • Breakfast for two in bed or in the Blue Pig Tavern • Blue Bubbles champagne cocktail for two • 1pm late checkout From Cape May with Love Available year-round The Virginia Celebrate your next milestone or special occasion at The Virginia. Give the unique gift of a pair of Cape May Diamond earrings. These gems are created from stones found along the sands of Sunset Beach. • Deluxe Accommodations • A silver tray adorned with chilled champagne, chocolate truffles, and a pair of Cape May Diamond earrings delivered to your room upon arrival • $110 voucher for dinner for two in the Ebbitt Room • Continental breakfast for two each morning • Complimentary valet parking • 1 pm late checkout Heavenly Hibernation Available January and February The Virginia When all of the leaves have fallen to the ground and the sky is gray, all you really want to do is cozy up by the fire and dream of warmer days. Start the new year with a visit to The Virginia Hotel this January and February. Warm up with artisan cocktails and the epicurean experience of The Ebbitt Room. • Ebbitt Room dining credit of $110 • Continental breakfast for two each morning • Complimentary valet parking • 1pm late checkout Winter Warm Up available November through February Congress Hall, The Star, The Sandpiper With glorious sunsets, glowing holiday lights, fine dining and relaxing Sea Spa, you’ll find a place to unwind in Cape May when the weather gets chilly. In December, stop by Congress Hall’s Winter Wonderland for the ultimate holiday festival. • $40 daily dining and cocktail credit for all Cape Resorts restaurants and lounges. Plus, kids eat free! • 15% off one Sea Spa treatment • 15% off one Sea Spa item • 1 pm late checkout
Perfect Family Break
hildren love our Spring Break program, and no wonder — it’s packed with fun activities. During the Easter period (visit caperesorts.com/springbreak for confirmed dates) Congress Hall comes alive as kids take part in myriad fun activities... Pirates, Princesses & Pals Luncheon Pirates will get busy crafting treasure chests and pirate hats, while the princesses will be decorating tiaras and wands. Kids Can Cook, Too! Under the tutelage of Congress Hall Executive Chef Jeremy Einhorn, kids learn to make a full lunch! (Could be very useful at home). They’ll toss black beans and chicken into a flour tortilla to bake up a delicious chimichanga. Then they’ll roll out the dough for the best pizza ever made, and mix up some yummy mac and cheese. For dessert? Delicious cookie dough truffles. Paint & Create at Congress Hall Calling all the little Rembrandts, Picassos, Monets and Manets for an afternoon of inspiring creativity. Kids ages six and up are invited for special painting classes, where they will get a canvas, paint and expert instruction — plus, they take home their painted canvas and beret! Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Don’t be late for this very important date! Minietiquette class guided by Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter. Enjoy pastries, sandwiches, tea and a fun activity to take home. Congress Hall’s Candyland Children can take an adventure through the life-size version of Candyland in the ballroom and collect treats and goodies along the way. Congress Hall Scavenger Hunt Where are the mini detectives? Meet us in the lobby for a hunt around Congress Hall. Follow the clues leading to a special treat. Egg Hunt on the Grand Lawn The old lawn is filled with laughter as children head off in search of Easter bounty. As always, the Easter Bunny will be there!
SPECIAL PACKAGE... SPRING BREAK GETAWAY Available March-April Put a little spring in your step with the ultimate spring break experience. Choose your favorite activities from our three special spring break events. Back by popular demand is our Pirates, Princesses and Pals Luncheon, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and our Kids Can Cook, Too! class. Package includes: • Accommodations at your favorite property • Breakfast for two each morning of your stay ($20 voucher) PLUS, KIDS EAT FREE! For more information visit caperesorts.com/specials
beach plum farm spring festival During Saturdays in April, come visit our 62-acre Beach Plum Farm, a beautiful, secluded haven in West Cape May. From 11am to 5pm, enjoy wholesome foods, beers from the award-winning Cape May Brewing Company beers, mason jar sweet tea and lemonade, flower pot painting and planting, hay rides, s’mores roasting and more! A visit to Beach Plum Farm is always equal parts fun and education — for everyone in the family. The farm is located on Stevens Street in West Cape May, 1.5 miles from Congress Hall.
SPECIAL PACKAGE... SPRING RETREAT Melt away the winter blues and let Cape May put a little spring in your step! Experience the Virginia Hotel & Cottages along with dinner, drinks and a relaxing treatment at the Sea Spa. Package includes: • Accommodations at The Virginia Hotel • $30 Cape Resorts Dining Credit, per day • 15% Off One Sea Spa Massage or Facial • 15% Off One Sea Spa Retail Item • 1pm Late Checkout For more information visit caperesorts.com/specials
SPECIAL EVENTS concierge 2015
A Special Kind Of Place
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 post-wedding brunch. As one couple said, “Our guests described this wedding as the BEST they have ever been to!” If you’re looking for a wedding as luxurious as those at Congress Hall, but on a smaller scale, The Virginia is the ideal combination of opulence and intimacy, perfect for weddings of up to 65 guests. Ceremonies can be held on the Grand Staircase or Garden Patio. Packages range from brunch to cocktail receptions and feature amenities such as an event coordinator, ZAGAT-rated menus and private tastings, valet parking for guests, vendor recommendations and a staff and service of superior quality. For a beach-casual wedding experience, the Rusty Nail might be the venue you’re looking for. Our iconic bar and restaurant is now available for wedding receptions from May through October. Soak up the beach chic vibe and enjoy a fun menu, from passed small bites to delicious entrées inspired by Executive Chef Jimmy Burton’s Rusty Nail menu. Your reception will be set up inside the Nail... but if you want your guests to get some sand between their toes and mingle with our guests out on the patio, then feel free to spread your wings! For more information, contact our wedding specialist at 609-884-6553.
Tara And John’s Day To Remember Last year’s Concierge magazine featured an interview with Tara Rothberg, general manager of The Virginia Hotel. In the interview, Tara said she was most excited for her fall wedding at Congress Hall. On November 7, 2014, Tara and her husband John Giordano tied the knot in the Grand Ballroom. Here, Tara gets the chance to reflect on the big day. What made you choose Congress Hall? The seaside location, grandeur, elegance, and farm-to-table philosophy. It was my dream location. John and I had our first date there and he proposed on the lawn so it holds a dear spot in our hearts. Had your families spent time in Cape May previously? Yes, it’s a pretty special place for both of us. My grandparents had a summer home here and I spent every summer in Cape May until the home was sold. I remember playing mini-golf and skee ball at the arcade on the promenade, stopping by The Original Fudge Kitchen for peanut butter fudge and the Dry Dock for banana splits. Once I met John he also mentioned that Cape May was one of his favorite beach towns. Getting married at
Congress Hall felt like I was getting married in my family home. Tell us about the wedding planning process. It was simple. After we signed our contract our coordinator was in touch monthly. We had a tasting and we were able to customize our menu. Chef Jeremy came and spoke to my parents, who are vegan, to discuss options. We used all local vendors and our coordinator reached out to them. She and I met a month before the wedding to review final counts, changes and a rundown of the day. The day of the wedding, the team was so attentive. A room was prepared for me to dress in and get set up — it had coffee, tea, snacks and champagne! It was relaxing and easy — our coordinator had everything we needed from a steamer for my dress to mac and cheese for my flower girl. She kept me calm and collected. I never once had to worry about the details. What was your favorite part of it all? Being surrounded by so much love, family, friends and my work family. I was humbled looking out at a sea of faces from abroad and throughout the States. We’re lucky to be able to call Cape May home.
From the magnificent splendor of Congress Hall to the glamorous intimacy of The Virginia and the casual beach chic vibe at the Rusty Nail, Cape Resorts has a venue for every kind of wedding experience. In Cool Cape May, you will make memories that will last a lifetime. And we can help! concierge 2015
Rooms For Every Occasion
or more than 150 years, Congress Hall hosted group meetings, social gatherings and weddings. The renovated Congress Hall continues that tradition, offering some of Cape May’s finest banquet and conference facilities. When combined with the assets of our sister properties, it offers more than 200 rooms with multiple meeting facilities, restaurants, spa and nightlife. Congress Hall’s character combines the grandeur and elegance of one of Cape May’s most revered landmark hotel buildings with the style and convenience of a modern hotel. The Virginia’s Richmond Room is perfect for smaller meetings. Whether your plans are for an executive retreat, corporate meeting or recognition dinner, our amenities and conference services are specially tailored to meet your needs. We also offer team-building programs, which range from fun group retreats to intensive team interventions — and everything in between. Our leadership development programs target basic supervisory skills as well as higher level competence needed by senior executives. By integrating training sessions with one-on-one coaching, individuals achieve maximum results. Our programs are engaging, memorable and create lasting results. Our team-building program helps individuals, teams and organizations gain a clear perspective of their strengths and challenges. We can help your group transition from a set of skilled individuals to people who cooperate and work as part of a team! Our event and conference planners are available to ensure your function runs without a hitch. For more information call our Meetings Specialist on 609-8846594.
ACTIVITIES OFF CAMPUS concierge 2015
Getting To Know America’s Original Seaside Resort ARTICLE BY DIANE STOPYRA PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLES RITER
ape May is the end. The southernmost tip of New Jersey’s 130mile coastline. Travelers don’t come here as a stopover en route to somewhere else — there is nowhere else. Beyond the peninsula’s shorelines are white sails on a blue horizon and osprey-dotted skies. It’s a peaceful kind of nothing as far as the eye can see. As the oldest seashore resort in America, Cape May has been beckoning vacationers since the early 1800s. Even in troubling times — when navymen took shelter from German U-boats in the town’s canal during World War II or, shortly thereafter, when political battles raged over the best way to preserve the island’s history — Cape May’s energy has been one of calm. One of solace. One of simple American pleasures and rejuvenating ocean breezes. On the way into town — called Exit Zero by in-the-know locals — is the bridge that rises over a 100-year-old harbor. Here, kayakers share the water with fleets of boats manned by weathered seafarers. Cape May is home to the second-largest fishing port on the eastern seaboard, and the restaurants in town reap the freshest benefits. Near the heart of the city, where children buy milkshakes from old-fashioned ice cream counters along an outdoor mall, are Victorian cottages with wide porches that smell of lemon verbena. These gingerbread houses, affectionately known as “painted ladies,” sit on gas-lit streets, and they’ve earned Cape May the unofficial title of the world’s bed and breakfast capital. The soundtrack to a stay here is the
clip-clopping of hooves from horse-drawn carriages, and perhaps the clinking of ice cubes against cocktail glasses. On the other side of town are wide expanses of farmland that tell of a storied agricultural past. While tourism may now be Cape May’s most important industry, the humble lima bean was once the ticket of the town. In fact, the Lima Bean Festival is just one of several food-oriented celebrations — the tomato and strawberry festivals are highly anticipated as well — that mark the calendars of Cape May regulars. Often spotted weaving beside the produce fields are couples on tandem bicycles. With picnic baskets of wine and cheese, they make their way to Cape May Point State Park, where they’ll navigate beautiful nature trails, or climb 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse for an aerial view of the beach. Below them, rosy-cheeked kids still intoxicated by end-of-school excitement jump waves in gentle surf, keeping one eye out for dolphins, while fathers help dig sand castle moats and mothers read magazines under the shade of an umbrella. Eager young men from the town’s bicycle courier service deliver lunch from HotDog Tommy’s or the Rusty Nail. Teenagers carry surfboards along the promenade, praying the breeze will switch offshore soon. And eager birdwatchers prepare their scopes and binoculars for a day of exciting sightings — Cape May is one of the most respected birding locations in the world. At dusk, the pace slows. No longer is anyone rushing to set up camp on the sand or find an open space on the bike rack. Sun-kissed beachgoers head to their respective outdoor showers, leaving enough time for a happy hour drink before dinner. Naturalists say goodbye to their gulls and oyster catchers until tomorrow. And at sunset, everyone pauses to appreciate the orange-colored waves and pinkish clouds that signal the end of another day in paradise.
New, faddy workouts come and go all the time… think karaoke spin class and antigravity yoga. But stand-up paddle boarding — in which you take to the water with an oversized, stable surfboard and a long oar — has proven its staying power around the globe. Aqua Trails added the activity to its kayaking lineup and the response has been phenomenal. Maybe it’s the way stand-up paddle boarding sculpts your core and improves your balance. Maybe it’s the rare connection it allows with the natural world… or maybe it’s the combination that makes paddle boarding a new favorite Cape May pastime, enjoyed by seasoned and amateur paddlers of every age group. If paddle boarding’s not your thing, Aqua Trails’ kayak tours are beloved by locals and visitors alike. Naturalists will lead you on a tour of Cape May Harbor and the surrounding salt marsh, getting you closer to glowing jellyfish and migrating shorebirds than you ever thought possible.
There’s so much beauty to experience during your time on the water — be prepared for gorgeous sunsets ahead and gliding ospreys above. Aqua Trails’ trips can be thrilling…or relaxing, depending on what you’re looking for. Adventurers will love the Cove to Higbee’s Beach tour, romantics will rekindle the
fire during the full moon expeditions, and budding naturalists will learn about the flora and fauna of unspoiled wetlands on a tidal marsh tour. There’s even a camp available to kids between 12 and 18. Or go ahead and venture out on your own; Aqua Trails rents all of their equipment and will deliver to your hotel, inn or rental.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884- 6542 Aqua Trails, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, aquatrails.com
Birding By Boat
Cape May is a world-famous location for both the birds and the birding that are found here. Thousands of people come here every year to experience the natural spectacles that take place. While you are visiting Cape May there is no better way to see the birds up close than on the Birding By Boat cruise on the Osprey. Depending on the season you may see dozens of species of birds, including bald eagles, osprey with young chicks, herons and egrets, migrating shorebirds and many more as the boat explores the coastal salt marsh of Cape May. Whether you are an expert birder or simply want to see whatâ€™s out in all of that grass you were seeing from the Parkway, this is the way to go. Birding by Boat supply high-end ZEISS optics for their passengers to use on the cruise. Make sure to bring your camera as the Osprey, a stable pontoon boat, is an excellent platform for photography. All of the cruises also include a tour of the historic Cape May Harbor, including the US Coast Guard Base. Birding By Boat cruises have been running from the Miss Chris Marina since 1995. The Miss Chris Marina is located right in the entrance to Cape May, just across the main road from the Lobster House. Captain Bob has been exploring these back bays for over 35 years and is knowledgeable in the history of Cape May as well as the wildlife. Naturalist David Lord has
worked on the boat for the last six years and is an Associate Naturalist with the Cape May Bird Observatory. The Osprey is a 37-foot pontoon boat that is ideal for birding. There is a front deck with a railing for close-up viewing and the boat is fully covered. There is a rest-
room onboard. Snacks and beverages are available. The Osprey is also available for group charters. In the summer, cruises are at 10am and 6pm. In spring and fall, cruises are at 10am and 1:30pm. There is plenty of free parking available at Miss Chris Marina.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Birding by Boat, Miss Chris Marina, 1212 Wilson Drive, Cape May, birdingbyboat.com
Cape May Brewing Company
Cape May County’s first microbrewery began with only three guys and a passion for brewing. Most of their equipment was homemade, and tastings were held for a couple hours on Saturdays. Much has changed since those early days. Now open daily from 12-8pm in the industrial complex of Cape May Airport, just a 10-minute drive away, Cape May Brewing Company has as many as 24 beers on tap, a rotation of the 100+ seasonal and year-round varieties they produce. There you can enjoy a four-sample tasting with souvenir pint glass, with guided tours of the adjacent brewery available on a regular basis. Once you find a beer you love (and we guarantee you will) they offer take-out beer in 32- or 64-ounce growlers, six packs, and retail kegs. Sure, they have grown out of using homemade equipment, and sure, their brews are now sold in more than 200 (and counting!) bars, restaurants and liquor stores throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There’s a lot about Cape May Brewery that has not changed, though. They have stayed true to their roots, and despite tremendous growth in the last couple of years you can expect to see any one of the owners working hard — pouring beers, giving tours, and chatting with customers. Cape May Brewing Company also produces root beer, flavored sodas and malt vinegar. Here are some of their top brews... The Bog A tart, cranberry wheat beer blended with lemonade to create an uber-drinkable summer shandy. Honey Porter Not too roasty, with a subtle smokiness balanced by a faint sweetness from Jersey Fresh honey. The drinkability will change your opinion of dark beers. Coastal Evacuation Double IPA Copious amounts of Centennial hops dominate the flavor from start to finish. It’s time to evacuate — are you prepared? Cape May IPA Emphasizes a ton of hop flavor and aroma, but none of the bitterness. It will make hopheads happy, without being too aggressive for the casual beer drinker. Devil’s Reach This strong Belgian Ale, coming in at a whopping 8.4%, will creep up on you with its deceptively light body and easydrinking finish.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Brewing Company, 1288 Hornet Road, Rio Grande, capemaybrewery.com
Cape May Stage
Christine Andreas... July 6
Emily Bergl... July 20
Voted the best live theatre venue in southern Jersey by New Jersey Monthly magazine, Cape May Stage has been wowing audiences and achieving artistic excellence for more than 25 years. Committed to telling stories that are both entertaining and enlightening, captivating and thought provoking – Cape May Stage sets the standard for high-caliber entertainment. Consistently earning accolades and distinctions from local and national press, its professional, Equity productions boast a New York standard in an intimate and scenic beach locale. Deeply beloved by both visitors and locals alike, it is well worth the trip. MAIN STAGE SERIES Red Hot Patriot By Margaret Engel and Allison Engel May 20 June 12: The unsinkable Molly Ivins, Austin’s no-holds-barred newspaper columnist and best-selling author, tells it like it is in this side-splittingly funny play. “Absolutely wonderful, entertaining and illuminating... and fiercely topical to today’s helter-skelter events.” –The Huffington Post Mary Mary By Jean Kerr June 17-July 24: A warm and witty portrayal of a marriage gone hilariously awry in this Broadway hit that was the longest running comedy of the decade. “An urbane, witty, and sophisticated light comedy.” — Women’s Wear Daily Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe By Jane Wagner July 29-September 4: Trudy, a bag lady, takes us, along with a group of intergalactic visitors, on a magical journey of discovery. “One of the funniest, most visionary, and original works ever produced on Broadway.” – The San Francisco Chronicle Dead Man’s Cell Phone By Sarah Ruhl September 9-October
Will and Anthony Nunziata... August 10
9: A story about memory, redemption, connection – and disconnection — in a technology obsessed world, Ruhl’s comedy is a mesmerizing reflection of today. “A beguiling comedy in which the surface illogic of dreams is made meaningful by the deeper logic of human feeling” – The New York Times Trying By Joanna McClelland Glass October 14 - November 15: The story of Sarah, a young secretary from the Canadian prairie, who finds herself working for Judge Francis Biddle. “Comic and touching.” – The New York Times A Cape May Christmas By Marlena Lustik November 27, 2015 January 2, 2016 Santa and Mrs. Claus visit our seaside resort. This is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. Be the first to see this world premier. BROADWAY SERIES July 6: Christine Andreas and Martin Silvestri Originally conceived for a command performance at the White House in the intimate setting of the presidential living room, a sophisticated romantic evening crafted to show the power of brilliant lyrics set to unforgettable melodies. July 20: Emily Bergl “Emily is a natural stage entertainer who suggests a multiple exposure of Carol Burnett, Bette Midler and Madonna, without really resembling any of them.” — The New York Times August 10: Will and Anthony Nunziata Will and Anthony bring their soaring tenor voices and fresh takes on timeless Broadway classics to Broadway Our Way.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Stage, 405 Lafayette Street, Cape May, capemaystage.org
Cape May Whale Watch And Research Center
Established 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 non-profits 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, capemaywhalewatch.com
Cape May Winery And Vineyard
Cape May Winery opened in 1992. The Craig family, owners of the Washington Inn and Lucky Bones, bought it in 2003. Since then, this delightful site has grown into a must-visit destination, drawing oenophiles to its serene setting. Today, the winery bottles more than 93,000 bottles of wine, has more than 20 varieties, and is the fourth-largest producing winery in New Jersey. The winery houses a warm, welcoming tasting room and gift shop, a huge tank room and port cellar. Picture yourself on the second-floor deck overlooking the lush vineyard, or on the patio, surrounded by vines as you sip their selection of award-winning vintages. In the cooler months, relax by the tasting room fireplace and sip a superb port, along with a bite (or two) of chocolate. Tastings are offered every day, year-round. The wine tour, explaining the process from grape to bottle, is also offered throughout the year, and special tours can be arranged for larger groups.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Winery, 711 Townbank Road, North Cape May, capemaywinery.com
Dark Star Pirate Cruise
Has there ever been an activity more suited to kids than a Dark Star Pirate Cruise? The Cicchitti family has created a seafaring adventure that everyone in the family can enjoy. There are SEVEN trips daily aboard the Dark Star, a 50-foot pirate ship that’s
authentically designed, but outfitted with all the 21st-century amenities you may need. This pirate-themed cruise will shiver yer timbers! There are pirate stories, facepainting, a treasure hunt, water cannon battle (yes, please wear appropriate clothing) and much more.
This is an event that is truly interactive and ridiculously fun. Your only problem might be dealing with children who are desperate to get back on board! The Dark Star is located in Wildwood Crest, a short (and beautiful) drive from Cape May, via the charming drawbridge.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Dark Star Pirate Cruise, 6200 Park Boulevard, Wildwood Crest, 609-729-3275, darkstarpiratecruises.com
Starlight Fleet: Fishing, Dolphin, Whale-Watching
The 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 fisherman. 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 whalewatching 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, jjcboats.com
East Coast Parasail, Jet Ski And Jet Boat Adventures
For years, East Coast Parasail has been bringing you the high-flying thrill, panoramic views and adrenaline-filled experience of parasailing at the Jersey Shore. They’ve also been bringing you the opportunity to enjoy one of the coolest and most refreshing activities on the island: Jet skiing. And then there’s East Coast’s most recent innovation — the newest adventure activity in South Jersey and, really, North America: jet boating. It’s a 45 to 55-minute ride on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Cape May harbor that will include enough spins and tricks and speed to get your heart pumping. Experience the historic beaches and back bays aboard Get Some, the fastest and only true New Zealand-style jet boat currently on the East Coast that can operate in open ocean. Plus, it seats 24, so it’s an experience you can share with friends. East Coast Parasail’s professional, friendly and courteous crew guarantee an unforgettable time for all. You don’t need any skills or experience... the company’s US Coast Guard-Licensed Captains and crew will take care of everything for you. Boats depart every 90 minutes and fill up fast, so book early. And no worries! East Coast was named number one by the New Jersey State Police for safety in the rental industry for all of South Jersey.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 East Coast Parasail, Rte 109 @ Utsch’s Marina, Cape May, eastcoastparasail.com
Exit Zero International Jazz Festival
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL For a relatively new music festival, the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival in historic Cape May pulls in blockbuster jazz, soul, R&B and blues icons, NEA Jazz Masters, Grammy-winning legends and crowd favorites, as well as a solid, loyal fan base every year. The spring edition of this festival features live music at several choice stages: Jazz at the Estate in the afternoons at the Estate Outdoor Stage, Jazz Under the Stars Series, Cape May Convention Hall Main Stage Concerts, and 30-plus shows at clubs all over the city. Organized by a resident of Cape May, Spy Boy Productions’ Michael Kline, a veteran in the jazz business, Kline seeks to have Exit
Zero Jazz seen as on the level of iconic festivals like Monterey and Newport. “With Cape May as our setting, we already have an iconic location. It’s our goal to produce Festivals twice a year that match the beauty of Cape May,” he says. With such an exclusive access to jazz celebrities under his international booking agency, Kline found a great way to hook his festival up. The 2015 spring edition family friendly lineup includes two big New Orleans artists in six-timeGrammy winner Dr John & the Nite Trippers performing their salute to Louis Armstrong, and the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band, award-winning gypsy jazz singer Cyrille Aimée, 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone
winner Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio, DownBeat’s Rising Star trumpeter Sean Jones, Wynton Marsalis/Herbie Hancockapproved child prodigy, pianist Joey Alexander, all-star Cuban singer Ernesto “Gato” Gatell, and 2010 Thelonious Monk first runner-up Charenee Wade. The 2015 spring dates are May 29-31; fall dates are November 6-8. Congress Hall is the official hotel partner of Exit Zero Jazz and offers special festival hotel packages providing the best value for fest-goers. Spy Boy Productions produces the Exit Zero Jazz Festival presented by Beach Creek Oyster Bar & Grille, Motema Music, and Exit Zero magazine. For ticket and Festival information call 609-849-9202.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Exit Zero International Jazz Festival, exit0jazzfest.com
Historic Cold Spring Village
The 1800s come to life when you visit 26 historic buildings on a 30-acre site where guides in period clothing demonstrate blacksmithing, pottery, printing, basket weaving and more! Visit an Early American schoolhouse, take part in hands-on activities and crafts and enjoy history games, cos-
tumes and free horse-drawn carriage rides on weekdays. The Village is also home to an organic farm complete with a horse, chickens, sheep and more. Visitors will also find a Welcome Center, Country Store, Bakery, Ice Cream Parlor and Cold Spring Grange Restaurant.
Historic Cold Spring Village is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm, from late June through Labor Day. Special events are held every weekend from early June through late September. Purchase discounted tickets at the Congress Hall Concierge Desk.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Historic Cold Spring Village, 720 Route 9, Cape May, hcsv.org
Mid-Atlantic Center For The Arts And Humanities
There’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 MidAtlantic 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, capemaymac.org
Morey’s Piers And Beachfront Water Parks
Follow the screams, laughs and the scent of Curley’s Fries and head towards the bright glow of the Giant Ferris Wheel just over the bridge into Wildwood. Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks were voted one of the Top 10 Piers in the country by Coastal Living. With three HUGE amusement piers packed with more rides than Disneyland and two of the world’s LARGEST beachfront water parks, this is not your parents’ amusement park! Morey’s Piers offers THREE piers packed with WILD rides ranging from mild to high-intensity, including six world-class roller coasters and extreme rides as well as traditional favorites like the old-fashioned Carousel, bumper cars and the spinning Tea Cups. Surfside Pier mixes family fun with thrills in an environment fueled by neon colors, bright lights and music. Get ready for high energy with thrilling attractions like “it”, The Great Nor’Easter coaster and AtmosFEAR. New this year, KONG returns in an epic way to Surfside Pier! Over 60 feet high, the reincarnation of this classic attraction features the Eighth Wonder of the World in an “I love WW” T-shirt and shaking a tramcar as he swings from a lighthouse. Fly around in the airplanes as they circle KONG and then take a trip through KONG & Co. under the ride for skate apparel, KONG gear, Morey’s Piers merchandise and a comfy seat to relax. Mariner’s Landing Pier brings your childhood memories back to life with the atmosphere of a traditional seaside amusement park full of classic rides like the Tea Cups, Bumper Cars, Carousel and the Giant Wheel. Swing high in the sky on the new Wave Swinger featuring 72 vignettes of art depicting Wildwood’s colorful history creating a spinning art gallery on Mariner’s Landing. Adventure Pier is the pier that ROCKS, packed with high thrill extreme rides, our world famous wooden coaster and the 3-Point Challenge Basketball Game. Soar through the air over the beach on
the SkyCoaster, feel the G force of the SkyScraper or shoot your way to the moon on the SlingShot. A brand new stage will feature School of Rock and live entertainment all summer long. Plus 98.7 The Coast and 106.3 WJSE will liven up the pier that ROCKS with a brand new onsite Boardwalk studio. Got game? Visit the all-new World Cup Soccer Challenge and compete like the pros. Raging Waters Water Park pulses with wet and wild adventure! The park is packed with treasures for the whole family to uncover, whether it’s floating in River Adventure, plummeting over Shot Gun Falls or the water cannons at Shipwreck Shoals. Ocean Oasis Water Park & Beach Club moves to the beat of its own tropical rhythm with an atmosphere of tranquility next to the most exciting collection of waterslides like the 6-lane WipeOut!, where you can race your race friends to the bottom for bragging rights!
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Morey’s Piers, Spencer, Schellenger & 25th Avenue, Wildwood, moreyspiers.com
South Jersey Marina
Because it’s situated on a peninsula surrounded by salt water, it’s no surprise that Cape May’s history, economy and culture have always been linked to the sea. The next time you travel down to “Exit Zero,” why not treat yourself to an authentic nautical adventure by visiting the fleet, store and docks at South Jersey Marina? Situated next to the Lobster House and across from Lucky Bones, South Jersey Marina is home to the finest charter fleet in the region. Nicknamed “Murderer’s Row” by locals because of their uncanny ability to “raise fish,” the Charter Fleet Captains at South Jersey represent the most unique gathering of seafarers since Blackbeard sailed up the Delaware Bay in 1716. But the legacy of “Murderer’s Row” is about much more than fishing. For example, have you ever asked yourself the following questions: How can we… Go dolphin or whale-watching with just our family? Have a small private and intimate party on the water? Take our dogs for a boat ride? Have a private memorial service for a departed loved one? Conduct unique and engaging team-building exercises? The Captains down on the “Row” have the answers — you just ask the question.
They invite you to walk the docks and meet the captains and their crews. A visit to “Murderer’s Row” is a Cape May must. Few things make you hungrier than a day near the water, and there is no finer place to satisfy every appetite than the Saltwater Cafe. Situated next to the fleet on the first floor of the marina building, the Saltwater serves breakfast and lunch, offering indoor and dockside seating. Locals and visitors agree that the Saltwater Cafe has established itself as a Cape May must-visit by offering a superb selection in a setting that is unmatched.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 South Jersey Marina, 1231 Route 109, Cape May, southjerseymarina.com
Spirit Of Cape May
The Spirit of Cape May was established in 2007 by Captain Jeff Stewart and his wife Mary, who have been owners of Cape May Whale Watcher since 1993. Captains Jeff or Jeff Jr., with combined experience spanning over 80 years, pilot the many cruises available. Spirit of Cape May offers their signature Dinner Cruise, with a full prime rib buffet featuring delicious, homemade delicacies. This excursion offers top-quality food,
along with a Sunset Dolphin Watch around the island of Cape May. Guests will enjoy a family-style meal and dolphins are guaranteed to please AND sightseeings are guaranteed by this local family business, or ride again free. Since 1994, Captain Jeff has carried 10,000 patrons on his Grand Lighthouse Tour. This adventure takes guests around Delaware Bay on a 100-mile journey to discover nine lighthouses. The excursion
includes a catered breakfast and lunch. For a special treat, try the Sunset Lighthouse Cruise, which includes three lighthouses, each with their own wine pairing. Wines will be provided by Cape May Winery and heavy hors dâ€™oeuvres are served. The bar serves wine by the glass along with draft beer and cocktails. The boat also hosts daily whale and dolphin-watching excursions and is available for private events.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Spirit of Cape May, 1218 Wilson Drive, Cape May, spiritofcapemay.com
Stone Harbor Golf Club
Looking 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 tournamentquality 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, stoneharborgolf.com
A Shopping Tour Of Cool Cape May
CAPE MAY HONEY FARM
CAPE MAY OLIVE OIL CO.
Artisans Alcove helps the past meet the present in a big way, with an incredible selection of vintage and estate jewelry. Gemologist and appraiser William Scott heads the Artisans Alcove team, and they have consistently earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau in their 20 years of operation. One visit will confirm why — their selection is exquisite, and high quality is paramount. 523 Lafayette Street, Cape May, 609-884-4499 artisansalcove.com
Cape May Honey Farm is a specialty honey shop, offering local raw honey from their apiary. Their store offers more than 40 honey varieties from around the world; supplements; beeswax candles; cosmetic products and more... it’s a great experience for the whole family. Their motto is: COME, TASTE AND LEARN WITH US! 135 Sunset Boulevard, West Cape May, 609-425-6434 CapeMayHoneyFarm.com
Cape May Olive Oil Co.’s tasting room offers an exciting new culinary experience to this historic city. When you visit, you can taste more than 50 different imported olive oils and balsamic vinegars, dozens of spreads and tapenades, sea salts, spice blends, mustards, sugars, jams, pasta, spiced chocolate and more. 324 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May, 609-898-4441 capemayoliveoilcompany.com
CAPE MAY PEANUT BUTTER CO.
Cape May Peanut Butter Company is a fun place for the kid in all of us. Freshly ground nut butters, baked goods, candies, sandwiches... and even sushi made with peanut butter! And don’t forget the 50 different jams and jellies. Add in a wonderful courtyard to enjoy your sandwich or snack, and you can see why this is a must-see stop on your Cape May itinerary. 516 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May, 609-898-4444 capemaypeanutbutterco.com
The 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 fashion-savvy 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
Purveyor of all your island needs, Cotton Company’s philosophy embraces “style for all” and carries men’s and women’s activewear, outerwear, clothing and swimwear — x-small through 3x. Designer labels and unique boutique pieces all in one shop with expert stylists on staff to interpret the trends to fit you, your look and lifestyle. It’s a refreshing approach to fashion. Check out their new outdoors shop, featuring Columbia and Patagonia, as well as the Vineyard Vines shop! 517 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-884-1434 cottoncompanyforall.com
A Shopping Tour Of Cool Cape May
EXIT ZERO STORE & GALLERY
FLYING FISH STUDIO
Cape May’s peppy periodical has a large, spacious, beautifully designed store that’s full of their famous branded merchandise (T-shirts, sweats, mugs, caps and hats, magnets and more), along with a great selection of nautically themed artwork, home accents (from pillows to mugs) plus staff artist Mike DeMusz’s gorgeous sea life wooden sculptures, forged from reclaimed pallets. And don’t miss their cool store on Beach Avenue, near the corner of Jackson. 109 Sunset Boulevard and 316 Beach, Cape May 609-770-8479, ezstore.us
Want to get something high quality and unique that is made locally? At the Flying Fish they design and hand-print each and every one of their cool, offbeat garments — guaranteed, you WON’T find them anywhere else! The Fish staff have created an entire line celebrating Cape May life and traditions... this along with their Beach Series is sure to provide something for everyone. There is a bit of heart and soul in everything they do, so go visit them to see what’s new! 130 Park Boulevard, West Cape May, 609-602-2760 theflyingfishstudio.com
They still make all of their candy the old-fashioned way, using only the finest ingredients and adhering to strict quality standards. Fralingers’ famous salt water taffy comes in at least 35 flavors (plus chocolate-dipped)! Other highlights include seafoam fudge, macaroons (almond and coconut), creamy mint sticks, peanut butter chews, housemade chocolates, nuts, molasses and peanut butter paddles. Plus sugar-free taffy and chocolates! Open 9am-11pm daily in season. 326 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-5695 fralingers.com
GIRLS’ DAY OUT
1. Complimentary mimosas, bra fittings and a bra wardrobe intervention at Lace Silhouettes Lingerie; 2. Accessories of the Season trunk show at Sunflowers; 3. Denim fittings featuring Not Your Daughters Jeans at Signatures; 4. Lunch and a fashion show; 5. Personal stylist’s style-out at Cotton Company; 6. Tasting featuring the Fudge Kitchen treats, paired with our favorite wine; 7. For your active lifestyle, featuring Patagonia and Vineyard Vines at Cape May Outfitters. For parties of 10 or more. Contact Lace Silhouettes at 609-898-7448 or by email at Lace03@LaceEmail.com.
It’s easy to escape the outside world when you step into the great vibe of this cool, calm little store in the heart of the Cape May shopping district. Good Scents has been a favorite for jazz, blues and world music, hand-crafted jewelry, local art, quirky books and cards, irresistible accessories and hidden treasures from around the world since 1986. Open all year. 327 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May, 609-884-0014 goodscentscapemay.com
Cape May’s landmark jeweler brings decades of experience to its selections, offering unique designs of uncompromising quality and matchless value. That’s why Henry’s has been selected as one of America’s Top 50 Designer Retailers. Discover an array of distinctive creations you won’t find in other stores — from inexpensive, fun accessories to museum-quality colored gemstones and diamonds — in a casual, no-pressure atmosphere. Stop in and see the latest from Pandora as well as Alex and Ani! 407 Washington Street Mall, Cape May 609-884-0334, henryscm.com
A Shopping Tour Of Cool Cape May
LACE SILHOUETTES LINGERIE
LACE SILHOUETTES PAJAMAS
Welcome to a store where real women can shop for intimate apparel with personalized, knowledgeable service in a comfortable environment. Be sure to stop at the sleepwear shop, featuring PJ Salvage, UGG, Karen Neuberger, and Carole Hochman. Then visit the bra boutique, featuring Wacoal, Natori, Chantelle, and Cosabella. Book an appointment with a bra therapist to see what an incredible difference the right fit makes! 429 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-898-7448 lacesilhouetteslingerie.com
The PJs and Jammies shop at Lace Silhouettes offers sleepwear for the family, including pajamas, nightshirts, gowns, robes, and slippers. Whether you’re looking for a classic gown from Karen Neuberger or an updated pajama from PJ Salvage, there’s something for everyone. Check out new UGG loungewear for truly stylish comfort. Lace Silhouettes also exclusively sells the Wish Wrap — a plush, one-size wrap that has become a fan favorite. 429 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-898-7448 lacesilhouetteslingerie.com
Welcome to Cape May’s newest, coolest place to shop. In this Magical Little Maritime Store you will find an irresistible assortment of nautically themed goodies. There are stunning wooden sculptures from Mike DeMusz, delightful jewelry from all over the world, flasks and mugs you will need to take home, a super-cute selection of kids’ toys and T-shirts and even PJs and sleepwear enhanced with beautiful nautical designs. Neversink is located in the old Louisa’s Chocolate Bar (which moved next door). 108 Jackson Street, Cape May, 609-770-8479
THE ORIGINAL FUDGE KITCHEN
OUT OF THE PAST ANTIQUES
PATRICIA JACKSON JEWELERS
For the best in fudge, you be the judge… The Original Fudge Kitchen is the clear winner. All of their fudge is hand-whipped in small batches, using the finest natural ingredients. They offer samples of their fudge so you know you are getting the most delicious and creamiest fudge this side of heaven. 513 Washington Street Mall and 728 Beach Avenue, Cape May, 609-884-2834, fudgekitchens.com
Come browse for hard-to-find antiques and priceless memories. This is Cape May’s best antique shop for experiencing vintage memories at a reasonable price. Located just a short walk from Congress Hall, this is the antique shop for a tremendous variety of hard-to-find treasures to suit every taste, interest — and budget. 394 Myrtle Avenue, Cape May, 609-884-3357 outofthepastantiques.com
Welcome to a gem among local institutions. Patricia Jackson has been Cape May County’s Jeweler since 1980 — featuring original designs in platinum, 14K and 18K gold and sterling silver. Patricia Jackson is the only store in town with onsite bench jewelers — we’re talking serious craftsmen here. They specialize in custom designs, engagement rings and wedding bands. They also carry out all fine jewelry repairs. 414 Bank Street, Cape May, 609-884-0323 patjacksonjewelers.com
A Shopping Tour Of Cool Cape May
PETE SMITH’S SURF SHOP
Patricia has painted just about all of the most inspiring buildings and landscapes in historic Cape May. Basically self-taught, she paints beautiful, realistic oils and watercolors that are available as matted or framed prints, notecards, placemats, coasters, as well as an annual calendar. Her work can be seen at various shows and exhibitions around town as well as finer gift shops and galleries. To view the originals for sale, visit her website, or call to visit the studio. 1325 Emerson Avenue, North Cape May, 609-886-4863 patriciaraineystudios.com
Pete Smith’s is the premier location to find the latest sandals, sunglasses, boards, and all of your beach needs! Choose from Billabong, RVCA, Reef, Quicksilver and more. Find the entire line of Tommy Bahama for both men and women. Pete Smith’s has everything the entire family needs to leave stoked. 714 Beach Avenue, Cape May, 609-884-1010 petesmithsurfshop.com
The oldest seashore resort in America proves once again to offer the newest ideas. Red Oak Trading offers a new spin on fashion and accessories for women, proudly supporting products made in the USA as well as handmade items from all over the world. 324 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-827-8320 Facebook: redoakcapemay
If you like Whale’s Tale (see right), you’ll love Splash… Whale’s Tale’s upscale offshoot! Find a gallery of the finest jewelry, handcrafts, local art and unique home décor. Stop in for their local sea glass jewelry. They’re tucked just behind the Washington Mall on Carpenter’s Lane. 513 Carpenter’s Lane, 609-846-7100 whalestalecapemay.com
Sunset Beach Gifts, Golf and Grille is a onestop, family fun place! Shop for distinctive gifts in three gift shops, play 18 holes on the mini golf course, grab a bite to eat at The Grille, and scour the beach for Cape May Diamonds! Don’t miss the evening Flag Ceremony, held nightly Memorial Weekend thru September, which honors an American veteran by lowering their casket flag as the sun sets and Taps plays in the background. End of Sunset Boulevard, 800-757-6468 sunsetbeachnj.com
A Cape May tradition since 1974! Locally owned and operated for over 40 years, Chuck and Hilary Pritchard continue to surprise customers with their eclectic variety of creative, carefully chosen gift items, jewelry, cards and nature themed toys and books that you won’t find anywhere else in town. Plus Whale’s Tale is open all year! Follow them on Facebook. 312 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-884-4808 whalestalecapemay.com
“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach — waiting for a gift from the sea.” ANNE LINDBERGH