Concierge CAPE RESORTS
Magazine Summer 2017 â€“ Spring 2018
Concierge CAPE RESORTS
CONTRIBUTORS PETE DUNNE One of the world’s best-known and most prolific birding writers, Pete wrote an inspiring guide to fall birdwatching in Cape May (page 140). LYNN MARTENSTEIN Lynn, a writer and communications adviser with leading travel and tourism companies, dished the details on Cape May’s under-theradar harbor district (page 26).
Table of Contents 4 Welcome Letter
38 Bounty on the Beach 44 Rules of the Beach
CHAPTER 1 Our Properties 8 All-American Experience 10 Congress Hall 12 The Virginia 13 The Virginia Cottages 14 Beach Shack 16 The Star
46 Private Beach Tents 48 Heroic Horseshoe Crab CHAPTER 4 Campus Activities 54 Planning a Perfect Day 56 A Secret History 58 Activities Guide
DIANE STOPYRA The author of several books based in New Jersey and eco-centric stories for national magazines, Diane paid tribute to the heroic, unheralded horseshoe crab (page 48).
17 Sandpiper Beach Club
MARK WILL-WEBER The author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking, Mark drew on his experience to discuss the drinking habits of the presidents who stayed at Congress Hall (page 110).
26 What a Catch!
68 Entertainment Guide
CHAPTER 3 Beach & Pool
CHAPTER 5 Food & Drink
34 A Day by the Water
72 Beach Plum Farm
36 Summer Book List
82 The Rusty Nail
RACHEL WESTON An award-winning food writer (and trained chef), Rachel is the author of New Jersey Fresh: Four Seasons from Farm to Table. For this issue, she wrote about Beach Plum Farm (page 72) and The Ebbitt Room (page 90). Cover Design Maxwell Moran Photography Aleksey Moryakov, Jessica Orlowicz, Charles Riter, Frank Weiss Published annually by Cape Resorts Produced by Exit Zero Publishing Designed by Jack Wright printed by paramount, hong kong
18 Baron’s Cove CHAPTER 2 Getting to Know Cape May 20 A Magical Land
60 Monday Night Carnival 62 Clambake on the Lawn 63 Dinner Theatre 64 Get on Your Bike 66 Independence Week
90 The Ebbitt Room 96 Prohibition Cocktails 98 The Blue Pig Tavern 104 Good Food Guide 106 What’s for Breakfast 108 What’s for Lunch 110 Drink Like a President 116 The Boiler Room CHAPTER 6 Shopping & Spa 120 Beach Chic 127 What to Wear
CHAPTER 7 Fall, Winter & Spring 136 A City for All Seasons 138 Fall at the Farm 140 Legends of the Fall 146 Winter Wonderland 152 Spring Break 2018 CHAPTER 8 Weddings & Events
READ US ONLINE In the event that a family member, friend or random stranger borrowed your copy of Concierge, or it fell victim to the quicker-than-yourealize incoming high tide, you can read it on your iPad, cellphone or computer. Please visit caperesorts. com/concierge.
156 A Special Kind of Place 160 Rooms for Every Occasion
130 West End Garage
CHAPTER 9 Going Off-Campus
132 Sea Spa
164 Our Activity Partners
134 Beach Boot Camp
178 The Shopping Guide
caperesorts.com Concierge 3
Seeking the Simple Pleasures BY CURTIS BASHAW Managing Partner of Cape Resorts
n behalf of the 1,300 members of our Cape Resorts family, we welcome you to Cape May and our campus. We are grateful that you have chosen to stay with us and look forward to seeing you while you are here. Among the many changes we are excited about this year is the new format of Concierge. While the size is easier to take to the beach, the biggest change is in the content — we now feature in-depth articles that offer more insight into some of Cape Island’s unique offerings. This edition includes a fascinating piece about the horseshoe crab, an exposé of Presidential drinking habits, a field guide to the shells found on our shoreline, a tribute to the wonders of birding in Cape May, and my favorite story, a fascinating history of the Cape May harbor, which is home to one of the most lucrative fishing hubs in the country — only two ports in Alaska and one in Massachusetts stand ahead of us. Here on the island, we are thrilled with the expansion of West End Garage. After acquiring the warehouse next door, we obtained permission to combine the two historic buildings. One was a gas station and the other an original Ford dealership. The garage now boasts more than 50 shopkeepers and a new café featuring fresh-baked goods — plus Cape May’s first draft cold-pressed coffee! The renovation of the guest rooms at the Beach Shack has turned out beautifully — thank you to Colleen Bashaw for the fun, colorful design. With new layouts, furniture, bathrooms, heating and cooling, the Beach Shack is more luxurious, while maintaining its playful informality. Next door, the Rusty Nail is adding an indoor fireplace to complement the outdoor fire pit. All of these changes will enable us to stay open through Winter Wonderland and to reopen earlier in 2018. Our programming team is busy planning some really
The Beach Shack, above, is now open for business through December, as is the Rusty Nail, with the addition of a new indoor fireplace.
exciting fall and holiday activities. We invite you to tour the new rooms and will happily show you one if we have availability. Please inquire at the Beach Shack front desk. Across from Congress Hall, the building at 302 Washington was in sad shape when we acquired it through our investment fund last year. Anchoring the corner of Washington and Perry Streets, across from the garden of the Blue Pig Tavern, the building dates to the 1880s. It was built after the devastating citywide fire of 1878 and originally housed Fleet’s Ice Cream parlor. More recently it was the Cape May popcorn store. After an extensive renovation, three delightful shops now occupy the space — Victorious, featuring estate jewelry, has moved over from Congress Hall after 15 years there, allowing Tommy’s Folly to grow. Victorious is joined by three of Cape May’s young entrepreneurs — Chris and Margaret Cooke of Across the Way and Jessica Cicchitti of Cash and Clive. Their businesses add a welcome injection of youthful enthusiasm to Cape May’s future. Oh, and if you are missing the popcorn, wander down to Cape May Sweet House, located at 321 Washington. Upstairs at 302 we are happy to welcome Congress Place Suites to the family. Located across Perry Street from Congress Hall, these four one-bedroom suites boast full kitchens and living rooms plus wonderful views of Congress Hall plus the shops and businesses on Washington Street. They are ideal for longer stays, two couples or smaller families — and what a perch from which to view West Cape May Christmas Parade! Completing the growth on Perry Street we also welcome Daniel Uffleman and Amanda Adams of Queen May Estate Jewelry and Tom and Anita Roth, who are expanding the Congress Hall Bike Rental to include a bike and accessory store. Both of these shops will occupy space in Congress Hall along Perry Street, across from The Star.
After the enthusiastic response to last summer’s Bicentennial Birthday Dinners, performed by our own cast of characters in Congress Hall’s Grand Ballroom, we decided to produce another show this season. Each Wednesday from July 12 to August 23, the ballroom will once again come alive as we host a lively dinner theatre for adults and children. Called The Third Century, the show will include singing and dancing, delicious food and a rollicking good time. You can reserve with our Concierge team at 609-884-6542. On the western part of the island, Beach Plum farm continues to grow, serving farm-fresh breakfast and lunch daily in summer and each weekend throughout the year. We will also offer special pop-up dinners throughout the year — some will be intimate events for up to 30, while others will be larger, casual, cook-under-the-stars gatherings for the entire family. We pick the menu and location that day, based on weather and food availability. As you can imagine, each one is different — and there is always a surprise! Check our website at beachplumfarmcapemay.com and sign up to get notified, or speak to our Concierge team. Don’t forget that our Cape May campus is busy all year long, each season providing its own bounty. One of the most remarkable times of the year is from Thanksgiving to New Year, when our Winter Wonderland provides a smorgasbord of activities, from a vintage carousel to our Christmas Village. At the heart of this holiday festival is a magnificent 35-foot tree, bedecked with 6,000 lights. Whatever time of year you choose to visit, we hope you have a great vacation or getaway. Please let us know if there is anything you need during your stay.
Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall, below, is a month-long festival that has invigorated the local economy.
An All-American Experience
herever you’re staying with us in America’s Original Seaside Resort, we hope you’ll recognize the distinctive touch that makes your visit memorable and meaningful. Each Cape Resorts hotel has its own personality, but all share the same warm, welcoming spirit and reflect our commitment to giving our guests an authentic, all-American resort vacation. That means beautiful settings — from the Virginia’s quaint spot on Jackson Street to the majestic beachfront location enjoyed by Congress Hall — accompanied by an approachable (and fun) design ethos, an array of wonderful dining options, plus can’tmiss activities for everyone in the family from morning ’til evening. Our newest property, Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor, Long Island, brings you a wonderful harborside location in one of America’s most charming coastal villages. We believe this is why our properties regularly receive acclaimed reviews from both critics and guests. In the 2016 Condé Nast Traveler Top Hotels in New York State and the Mid-Atlantic Readers’ Choice Awards, Baron’s Cove took first place, followed by Congress Hall at #6, the Virginia at #7 and Sandpiper Beach Club at #9. On the following pages, you can get to know the properties that make up the Cape Resorts family. For us, it’s the simple pleasures that matter most. We look forward to serving you.
congress hall [Est. 1816]
Now in its third century, Congress Hall is Americaâ€™s oldest seaside hotel, enjoying a nationwide reputation for its hospitality and amenities. Before and after the Civil War, the hotel attracted some of Americaâ€™s most powerful business leaders and politicians. Four sitting presidents stayed here â€” Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant and Benjamin Harrison, who in 1890 turned the ground floor of the hotel into his Summer White House. This haven of relaxed elegance and historic charm remains the preeminent Cape May landmark and is home to
From the Newspaper Archives
major events such as Fourth of July
baltimore patriot: august 11, 1828 Among the different places of resort
fireworks and Winter Wonderland.
for health and recreation during the summer season, there is no one that
Congress Hall is a destination in
offers more inducements than Cape May... there are at least twenty or thirty
its own right, an oceanfront resort with
houses of various sizes, for the accommodation of visitors. The principal
the feeling of a classic beach house,
establishment, kept by Mr. Hughes, has heretofore been known by the name
while offering all of the amenities and
of the Big House, and is one of the largest of the kind in the United States.
services of a world-class hotel.
During the present season it has been named by the visitors Congress Hall.
NEW! Congress Place Suites
We’re delighted to add Congress Place Suites to our family! Enjoy a perfect location, across Perry Street
ACCLAIMED BY CRITICS AND GUESTS Since 2012, Congress Hall has been honored by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top US hotels in the Northeast, and most recently was awarded the #6 spot on the magazine’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards Top 20 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic and New York regions. It was also named 2016 Best Hotel in New Jersey by Travel and Leisure magazine in their annually released World’s Best Awards.
from Congress Hall, plus great ocean and town views. Inside you’ll be treated to large, airy spaces with the same quality of furniture, fixtures and amenities found in Congress Hall, with the added bonus of full kitchens. For more information, please call 844-499-9815.
the virginia [Est. 1879]
Since 2012, The Virginia has been named by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top hotels in the Northeast and was voted #7 hotel in the Mid-Atlantic and New York in its 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
A Brief History «Like many Cape May hotels, The Virginia was built following the catastrophic fire of 1878 which wiped out 35 acres of prime real estate. «It was originally called the Ebbitt House, a name chosen by its first managers, Alfred and Ellen Ebbitt.
Appealing to today’s most discriminating traveler, The Virginia is an
«The hotel’s initial heyday came in
impeccably restored 1879 landmark hotel on beautiful Jackson Street. It
the early 1890s, when it was regularly
offers luxury accommodations in an intimate environment and a level of
mentioned in the society section of
personalized service that has set a new standard on the Jersey Shore.
the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Virginia offers 24 beautiful guest rooms which were recently given a
«When Cape May slumped, The
refresh (new wallpaper and custom-made furniture) by designer Colleen
Virginia went from a high-class hotel
Bashaw. The Virginia also offers a highly acclaimed restaurant, a chic cocktail
to a rooming house. It was condemned
lounge with live entertainment, top-flight beach service, a complimentary
in the 1980s and then bought in 1986
continental breakfast and valet parking. Reserve The Virginia’s golf cart,
by Curtis Bashaw (Managing Partner
available April to November, which can take you to restaurants, Beach Plum
of Cape Resorts) and his family. It was
Farm, historical sights or on a tour around the leafy streets of Cape May.
renovated and reopened in 1989.
the virginia cottages [Est. 1879]
The Virginia Cottages offer four delightful accommodations along glorious Jackson Street. They are available for rental as a full house or separate apartments and are ideal for families or groups of friends, “girls’ getaways”, and for hosting wedding groups. The location is as good as it gets — Jackson Street is a half-block from both the beach and the Washington Street Mall. Together, the cottages represent a Cape May vacation experience that is equal parts classic and comfort.
the beach shack [Est. 1966] After a winter of renovations, the Beach Shack guest rooms offer a fresh and fun alternative for beachfront vacations. Long, lazy days at the beach and pool flow into nights full of music and laughter at the iconic Rusty Nail bar and restaurant. The mood here is both family AND flip-flop friendly. With the addition of heating, our rooms have also become fall and winter friendly too! Next door, the Rusty Nail has an indoor-outdoor ambiance, live music and a fresh take on beach blanket comfort food. With the installation of an indoor fireplace, you can now enjoy hanging out at the beach all the way through December!
A Brief History «The Beach Shack began its life as The Coachman’s Motor Inn in 1966, established by Philadelphia builder Jules Hober. «In 1976, construction began on the Rusty Nail bar and restaurant, with a style inspired by the chalets Hober found at the ski resorts he frequented. He saw a table fashioned from a tree in Pico Mountain, Vermont and loved the look of it so much he tracked down the table’s owner. The man agreed to make Jules a bar from the same wood — a bar that’s the longest in Cape May. «The Coachman’s and Rusty Nail remained in the Hober family until 2005, when they sold to Cape Resorts, who relaunched the property as the Beach Shack in 2009.
Surf’s Up at the Shack Say aloha to the happy new decor at the Beach Shack. Designer Colleen Bashaw (left) has transformed the rooms at this beachfront gem, with a vibe loosely based on 1970s Hawaii. Think sun, surf, sand, bikinis. “The colors are shades of blue and pale orange and the pineapple motif in the guest room carpets stands as a symbol of welcome,” says Colleen. She also designed the furniture with a retro Americana theme, in white with blue; while the all-new bathrooms carry a grey-andwhite motif. Kids are going to love the new bunk rooms, a popular new design trend.
the star [Est. 2003]
The Star, Congress Hall’s little sister, is a remarkably versatile establishment, consisting of an inn, a motel and carriage house, offering accommodations for every occasion. There is also a coffee shop, where guests can enjoy a morning cup on the porch with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Here’s what The Star can offer you... «Romantic Retreats: The beautifully furnished Star Inn
offers nine en suite bedrooms. «Family Vacations: The motel is outfitted with 10 newly
renovated Star Suites, equipped with kitchenettes, separate living room and bedroom, private backyards or front porches and an imaginative and inspiring decor, which just got a refresh, along with new furniture. This is one fun-and-functional place to stay! «Home Away from Home: Two beautiful Carriage Suites,
each with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and an oceanview balcony, offer the perfect backdrop to a group getaway. So, which Star is right for you?
The Sandpiper Beach Club [Est. 1977]
The Sandpiper Beach Club is a family-friendly oceanfront condominium resort with 51 oneand two-bedroom suites with full kitchens, living rooms and balconies. Most enjoy spectacular ocean views. It features the amenities of a luxury hotel, including a pool, daily housekeeping, beach service, sauna, concierge, expansive fitness center, and an in-house arcade offering popular and classic games. We will even stock your refrigerator before you arrive — just ask in advance. Guests have signing privileges at all Cape Resorts properties. GOOD TO KNOW For the last three years, the Sandpiper has been named one of Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards Top 20 Best Hotels in the MidAtlantic and New York regions.
baron’s cove [Est. 2015]
The exquisitely renovated 67-room Baron’s Cove in Sag Harbor, New York is the perfect base for exploring the wineries, farmers markets, antique stores, shopping and culture that Eastern Long Island has to offer. Family-friendly amenities include a heated saltwater pool, fitness studio, tennis court and complimentary Baron’s Cove bicycles. A private shuttle takes you to the beach, where you are then set up with umbrellas, chairs and towels. Yes, paradise just got a little more convenient. The nautically inspired lounge is the perfect spot to relax with a cocktail or glass of wine, whether it be during a balmy summer afternoon or a chilly fall evening. A breezy outdoor restaurant loft allows you to watch the sun set over Sag Harbor during dinner before returning to your private garden terrace. Locally inspired dishes are created by Matty Boudreau, one of the Hamptons' most acclaimed chefs. The wine list is curated by Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and The Good Life, wine writer for Town and Country, and author of three books about the subject of sipping. And when you feel like leaving the comforts of Baron’s Cove, the quaint streets of Sag Harbor are just minutes away. Note: Dog-friendly rooms are available. Please call (844) 227-6672 for more information.
Number One Choice Baronâ€™s Cove was voted the #1 Hotel in the New York and MidAtlantic regions in the Conde Nast Traveler Readersâ€™ Choice Awards 2016. The hotel has also been honored with Four Diamond distinction from AAA and is rated as the top hotel in Sag Harbor on TripAdvisor.
Getting to Know Cape May
A Magical Land BY DIANE STOPYRA
ape May is the end. The southernmost tip of New Jersey’s 130-mile coastline. Travelers don’t come here as a stopover en route to somewhere else — there is nowhere else. Beyond the peninsula’s shorelines are osprey-dotted skies and white sails on a blue horizon. 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 newly built canal during World War II or when political battles raged over the best way to preserve the island’s history — Cape May’s energy has been one of calm. Of solace. 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. Situated on this harbor is the Nature Center of Cape May, which connects visitors with the pristine beauty of this biologically sensitive area — and all of the fiddler crabs, moon jellies and harbor seals who call it home. From the Nature Center’s tower is a clear view of the American flag flying over TRACEN Cape May, the only Coast Guard training camp of its kind in the nation. At dusk, the sound of the “Taps” bugle call echoes over lapping water. In the heart of the city, children buy milkshakes from old-fashioned ice cream counters along pedestrian-only Washington Street, which includes some of the island’s staple businesses, like The Original Fudge Kitchen, opened in 1972 by two teenage brothers who still run the operation 47 years later. Or the Whale’s Tale gift shop, only a couple years behind and still run by the same family. 20 Concierge
Gurney Street (to the left of the monument) houses Cape May’s famous Stockton Row cottages. Columbia Avenue (to the right) is home to some of the city’s bestknown B&Bs. Charles Riter
There are also new shops and restaurants here, run by a thriving, dynamic community of young, artisanally minded entrepreneurs — like Jessica Cicchitti of the new fashion store Cash and Clive, or Will Riccio of the recently reimagined candy shop Cape May Sweet House, previously Morrow’s Nut House. Surrounding this retail enclave is the historic district, characterized by Victorian cottages with wide porches dotted with wood and wicker rocking chairs. The island is home to a collection of Victorian architecture that’s second only to San Francisco in the nation. These gingerbread houses, affectionately known as painted ladies, sit on gas-lit streets and earned Cape May the unofficial moniker of the world’s bed and breakfast capital. The first of these B&Bs, the Mainstay Inn, was opened in 1972 by a young Coast Guard couple, Tom and Sue Carroll. At the time, only a handful of these accommodations existed in the country, scattered throughout New England and California. The soundtrack to a walk through Cape May’s historic streets is the clip-clopping of hooves from horse-drawn carriages, and perhaps the clinking of ice cubes against cocktail glasses. Nearby — next to the shady, tree-lined courts of the William J. Moore Tennis Center on Washington Street — is the Emlen Physick Estate, an 18-room mansion built in 1878 that became a symbol for Cape May’s preservation movement during the 1970s, a time 22 Concierge
when half the citizens wanted to raze the city’s historic buildings in order to mimic the flashy, Doo Wop culture of neighboring shore town Wildwood. A bohemian set of artists and mom-and-pop business owners stepped in to save the estate from the bulldozers by applying for federal grant money to buy the property. After a long and contentious fight, the group — now known as the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities — was successful, and a movement to celebrate and preserve the city’s aesthetic gained momentum. For locals and tourists, the Emlen Physick Estate, now restored and open for tours, is a beautiful reminder of the island’s renaissance. 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 along 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 — built in 1859 — for an aerial view of the beach. Concierge 23
You’ll see these castiron hitching posts, which date from the Victorian era, throughout Cape May’s Historic District. Charles Riter
On the sand, rosy-cheeked kids still intoxicated by end-of-school excitement jump waves in gentle surf, keeping one eye out for dolphins, while parents help dig castle moats or read magazines under the shade of umbrellas. Families scramble to get their annual photo-op in the beach patrol’s rowboat, or at the base of a lifeguard stand. And on the promenade, teenagers carry surfboards and pray the breeze will soon switch offshore. Near the bayside beaches, where wild sassafras and beach plum shrubs line the way to the secret swimming hole called Davy’s Lake, 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. By the water’s edge, others focus their gaze downward, hoping for a glimpse of sea glass or a Cape May Diamond glittering in the sun. The latter is a type of quartz crystal that’s eroded from the Delaware Water Gap, and been polished by tides for hundreds — or even thousands — of years. Local historians will tell you these shiny pebbles are good luck; the Kechemeche Indians who roamed this area in the 1600s collected them for this reason. From the jetties, even busy fishermen in long waders will shout helpful advice to newbie searchers: “Low tide is the best time!” or “Try closer to the rocks!” 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 or game of mini golf before dinner. Cape May, considered by The New York Times to be the restaurant capital of New Jersey, offers plenty of options. Lifeguards call the last of the diehard swimmers out of the water. Naturalists say goodbye to their gulls and oystercatchers until tomorrow. And, at sunset, everyone pauses to appreciate the orange-colored waves and pinkish clouds that signal the end of another day on Cape Island. 24 Concierge
What a Catch! BY LYNN MARTENSTEIN
ew people driving across the big bridge that overlooks the boats and bait shops on Route 109 as they enter Cape May realize that the harbor is the hub of one of the largest commercial fishing ports in the country. How it became a big fish in a big pond is a yarn about family, renewal and, yes, knowing where the fish bite. “This is a working harbor; there’s a lot of commercial activity down here,” says Keith Laudeman, president of the Cold Spring Fish & Supply Company, the oldest family business and one of the largest fishing operations on the harbor. “It’s cool the way it is because it’s not overdeveloped. A lot of harbor districts are just condos and T-shirt sellers.” Short of T-shirt shops, Cape May’s harbor district is a must-go for recreational fishing, sightseeing tours, dockside dining and water sports. Bike or stroll over to South Jersey Marina in summer and you’re likely to see Miss Chris pulling out on a charter, Tiny Tiki pushing off on a harbor tour, and people at the Lobster House slurping oysters and sipping craft beer. Look far out over the harbor and you’ll get the bigger picture. Commercial fishing is the largest industry at Cape May harbor. It homeports the largest commercial fleet in the state, and trails only tourism in economic impact on the county. “The port of Cape May started at Schellenger’s Landing,” says Josh O’Connor, local port agent for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries sector. “Today it consists of three large commercial seafood fleets and two processing plants, one specializing in bait fisheries, the other in surf clams and ocean quahogs.” Having fish delivered daily to local docks is a boon for Cape May’s finer dining establishments. Chef Jason Hanin at the Virginia’s Ebbitt Room values that proximity. “I’ll get a call from the manager at Dock Street Fisheries, saying, ‘Hey, I got a bunch of tuna coming in today. You interested?’” says Hanin. “That night, it’s served to our guests in the dining room.” 26 Concierge
Three companies — Cold Spring Fish & Supply, Lund’s Fisheries and Atlantic Capes Fisheries — dominate the local market. Their collective catch in 2015 resulted in one of the most successful years for the port in recent history. “This port is the second most valuable port on the East Coast in terms of landings in 2015,” says O’Connor. Only New Bedford, Massachusetts outvalued Cape May in landings on this coast. Alaska ports occupy the top two slots. “There are six ports in New Jersey,” says Diane Wieland, tourism director for Cape May County, “and ours accounted for 52 percent of all the landings in the state.” Companies on or near the harbor landed 77 million pounds of fish and other species valued at $72 million in 2015. Scallops were their major landing, according to O’Connor. They were also the most lucrative. “I’m mainly in the scallop business,” says Laudeman. “All my stuff is sold to processors and our scallops end up all over the world, anywhere from Walmart to the fanciest restaurant in France.” Cold Spring Fish & Supply services a fleet of 20 scallop boats — some its own, other “independents”—at its docks on Schellenger’s Landing. Scallop country is offshore from Virginia to the Hague Line, separating the U.S. and Canada’s fishing waters, with some of the richest beds off of Cape May. The company also lands fluke, sea bass, squid and menhaden (bait fish). Laudeman is a fourth-generation owner in his family’s business. When he joined his dad at the company, though, he veered off in a different direction. “I got out of high school, played around a couple years, and came to work for my father in the fish business on the docks. I didn’t like working on the docks so I quit and started working on the boats. I worked for other people, working my way up to mate, then captain; then a guy building a new boat asked me to come work for him. After that, me and my dad went in as partners on a boat, and I grew the boat business from there.” Laudeman became head of the company when his father died in 2004, and has continued to add strategic business lines such as Tony’s Marine Railway and, most recently, Mayer’s Tavern. Mayer's, a fixture in the harbor district for many years, was a rough-and-tumble bar that was charting online as one of the top dive bars in the U.S. even after it closed. “It was a fisherman’s bar” is how its new owner describes it. Mum on the landmark’s future, he would only share that he is “fixing it up.” It’s hard to believe that America’s Original Seaside Resort navigated three-quarters of its recorded history without a harbor. As late as the early 1900s, the site destined to become that haven was only a handful of piers and boathouses on the south shore of Cape Island Creek. To access them, vessels had to zigzag through a maze of marshlands, a journey subject to tricky tides and shifting sands considered treacherous even by experienced seamen. Meanwhile, on the ocean side of Cape May, the town was flourishing. The influx of a new leisure class smitten with the idea of sea-bathing and seaside vacationing built the town into a highly fashionable resort in the 19th century, resulting in grand hotels, a boardwalk, steamship service from Philadelphia to Sunset Beach and light-rail transport from Cape May Point to travelers’ lodgings. Cape May was in its heyday — until it wasn’t. By the time the country rang in the 20th century, Cape May had begun to show its age, and more modern resorts — those more accessible by new train service — such as Atlantic City and Newport, R.I., had started cutting into Cape May’s guest list. 28 Concierge
The idea of building a harbor was part of a real-estate deal. Two Philadelphia businessmen, Anthony Zane and Frank Edwards, approached Pittsburgh developer William Flinn with a proposal: reinvent Cape May as a year-round international resort by creating a harbor to attract yachts, and construct grand cottages for their owners and families. The actual mechanics involved dredging inland waterways and using the removed sand as landfill to convert east Cape May, then mostly marshlands, into developable property. The Philadelphia Inquirer carried the following account of the project on December 1, 1902, heralding, “Great Plans for a New Cape May.”
The original bridge leading to Cape Island. The Schellenger’s Landing name is often attributed to the area of the Lobster House and commercial
The company intends constructing a lake for yachts with a water surface covering 600 acres. Conferences with government officials at Washington have resulted in promises to deepen Cold Spring Inlet so that the largest ocean-going yachts will be able to enter the lake. Around this lake there will be scores of cottages for yachtsmen and their families, and a substantial marine railway will be built for the benefit of the yacht owners.
docks, but historically the name referred to what is now the terminus of Washington
The big dig began in 1903, and was completed in 1911, its construction paralleling another significant passageway — the Panama Canal. Cape May celebrated its newfound navigability with a parade and ceremony. The Laudeman family’s business predates the harbor. Captain Thomas Johnson, the current company president’s great-grandfather, operated a fleet of party boats on Cape May’s creeks starting in the 1910s. He also built his boats. “He was a carriage builder in Pennsylvania for many years but with all the varnish they used he had to get out of the business for his Concierge 29
Street in the area of the C-View.
health so he moved to Cape May,” says Laudeman. Captain Johnson named one of his boats after his daughter, Vaud, who enjoyed sailing on her namesake vessel. Perhaps it was on the water that she first met Jess Laudeman, another aspiring businessman on the docks, whom she later married. Jess founded a wholesale fish business incorporated as the Cold Spring Fish & Supply Company in 1922. Operating first out of Wildwood, then Two Mile Landing, he set up shop at Schellenger’s Landing in 1939. Cold Spring Fish & Supply grew up fast with the harbor. As commercial and recreational traffic increased, railroad service started between Philadelphia, Schellenger’s Landing and Two Mile Landing, creating an express delivery service from sea to market. By the mid-1940s, Cold Spring Fish & Supply had become the leading seafood packager in the U.S. Recreational fishing got its own bump when Reading Railroad launched daily round-trip train service from Philadelphia to Cape May harbor. Leaving the city at daybreak, the Fisherman’s Special arrived dockside just in time for anglers to catch party boats’ early-morning departures. Most days, boats left full. When Jess died in 1959, his son, Wally, took over. Like his father, he built the business, adding signature features such as the Lobster House, Schooner American, Raw Bar and seafood take-out. Neither Wally nor his wife, Marijane, who worked with him to create the Lobster House, had any restaurant experience other than eating out when they took on the project. The restaurant’s predecessor, Bateman’s, had been a modest 50-seat (including counter space) eatery that was on the property when Jess bought it. Today, the Lobster House is an icon in Cape May, consistently ranked as one of the top 100 independent restaurants in the country. Just around the corner is South Jersey Marina, another family dynasty, just not as long as the Laudemans’. “It’s one of the best marinas in the world,” says NOAA agent O’Connor. “The sport-fishing yachts that fish out of there for tuna, swordfish and marlin are a big part of what drives Cape May’s economy.” Like his father, Rick Weber is owner of the marina. Home to South Jersey’s largest charter
and party boat fleet, it offers full- and half-day fishing trips for occasional anglers and private charters for serious fishermen. What’s biting? “If you’re a kid and you’re here in summer, you’re probably going to catch flounder,” says Weber. “If you’re an experienced fisherman on a charter, then you’re entering the world of marlin and tuna.” Nearly 30 percent of visitors to Cape May County participate in some form of fishing activity during their stay, according to tourism director Wieland. Last year, nature-based tourism, which includes fishing, generated $639 million in revenue. For many years, South Jersey Marina’s fishing tournaments have drawn thousands of people to Cape May who came to fish and stayed to visit. Last year’s Mid-Atlantic attracted 157 boats and awarded $3.2 million in prize money. “It’s the richest tournament in the world if you divide the prize money by the number of boats,” says Mark Allen, marketing director at the marina. Historically, southern New Jersey has been a lure for fishermen. Advantaged by geography, the cape offered abundant fishing grounds, bay and ocean fishing holes and freshwater lakes and streams. Its earliest known inhabitants, the Kechemeche Indians, a sub-tribe of the Lenape, visited the area seasonally. Like many people today, they migrated to the cape in summer and lived off the local seafood. Whalers from New England were the area’s first yearround residents, settling in Town Bank in the 1670s. “Fishing was the reason for our founding,” says author and historian Robert Heinly. “Even though whales are mammals, not fish, I think whaling fits into the larger realm of fishing. When the whalers got here and realized there weren’t enough whales in the bay to make a year-round living, they turned to farming and other types of fishing.” Cape May harbor not only benefited the fishing industry, it also fortified the U.S. Navy’s defense of the coast and Delaware Bay in both world wars. In 1917, the Navy established a base at Sewell’s Point at the harbor’s entrance to conduct enemy submarine surveillance. A quarter-century later, it dug a canal connecting the harbor to the bay to evade German U-boats. Concierge 31
Above: The dredge Pittsburgh works to carve out the new harbor at Cape May. Opposite page: From 1903, boat houses and small row boats at Schellenger’s Landing, now the location of the Lobster House.
Above: The U.S. Coast Guard’s only training camp is here in Cape May. Opposite: The harbor area is full of quaint boathouses from last century.
Today, the base is the U.S. Coast Guard’s training center for its recruits — the only one in the country. Each year, approximately 4,000 new Coast Guardsmen graduate from the program. Wawa, which backs up onto Devil's Reach, an offshoot of the harbor, does a brisk business with the Coastie community. “We see the recruits on their first liberty,” says Pat Slavin, assistant manager of the Texas Avenue Wawa. “They come in and change out of their uniforms into regular clothes in our bathrooms before going out with their families. Usually, their families have never heard of a Wawa before. Our regulars are the employees at the center. They’re here every morning to get their coffee and breakfast sandwich, and they’re back again at lunch.” The harbor has also boosted local real estate prospects. “The harbor or marina district has become increasingly popular as a primary residence or second home,” says Todd deSatnick, owner and broker of record at deSatnick Real Estate. “More and more people are attracted to the lifestyle; there’s also a lot more to do year-round.” The district has about 300 homes in it now, according to deSatnick, who sees a cap on its future development. “Compared to marina districts in Stone Harbor and Avalon, where there’s a lot of waterfront property, there are a limited number of waterfront properties here for new development or redevelopment,” he says. “The charm of our marina district is its historic structures, which are still here and, hopefully, will be preserved.” Keeping the harbor true to its roots is a goal shared by many people who live and work there. At 106 years and counting, the manmade waterway is likely to be shaped in the future as it has in the past by new social trends, emerging industries and unforeseen events. ” It think the area is great now — it focuses on the harbor,” says Laudeman. “It could flow a little better, though, so it’s easier to get around. It would be great if more people could get here walking or riding their bike. I think this area, especially Schellenger’s Landing, is on the verge of something big and we’re nine-tenths of the way there already.” “I think the harbor district hasn’t really changed much and that’s good because there’s still a wide-open future,” says Weber. “The important thing is that it stays authentic.” Mark Nicholas, owner of Cape May Psychic, is a relative newcomer in the harbor district, having moved his practice from the Hotel Macomber only 16 years ago. Even so, he has seen changes over the past few years: more visitors, more foot traffic and more development. He has also seen the district’s future. It’s all for the good,” he said. “I see positive energy. I see people having fun. I see business prospering, and I see Cape May becoming even more of a hotspot than it is now. It’s more of the same, only better.” 32 Concierge
Beach and Pool
A Day by the Water
ape May’s wide, breezy, white-sand beaches are special (they’re routinely named among America’s best in numerous annual surveys), 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. There are reasons why your mind and body crave beach time — studies have shown you get a vitamin D boost from the sunshine (naturally, keep applying that sunblock); the iodine in the ocean is an excellent immune system booster; the sand does a fine job of exfoliating your feet, hands and body; salt water helps remove toxins from the skin; plus, that salty air is relaxing — ever notice how well you sleep after a day at the beach? When you feel like a change of scenery, that’s where Cape Resorts’ pool areas come in — cross Beach Avenue (look left, look right!) and relax on a pool lounger, 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 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 11am-9pm. The menu features treats such as a chicken BLT, housemade guacamole and our irresistible caprese sandwich. Wash all that down with a craft beer or a poolside-appropriate cocktail. 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. Also, 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 A few years ago, NPR ran a poll on the 100 Best Beach Books Ever which attracted 136,000 votes. Below we’ve picked some of our favorites, depending on what mood you’re in. Classics To Kill A Mockingbird The Catcher in the Rye A Confederacy of Dunces The Sun Also Rises Modern Classics The Kite Runner Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café Bonfire of the Vanities Lonesome Dove The Secret History The Joy Luck Club Family Drama The Poisonwood Bible The Time Traveler’s Wife Middlesex The World According to Garp Adventure The Hunt for Red October The Stand Dune The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Ender’s Game Shogun Feelgood & Romance How Stella Got Her Groove Back The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Bridget Jones’ Diary Love in the Time of Cholera Under the Tuscan Sun Like Water for Chocolate She’s Come Undone
Bounty on the Beach BY DIANE STOPYRA
hen he was nine years old, Alexander Smida found a Native American spearhead while playing near the water on Cape May’s Sunset Beach. He put it in the pocket of his denim cutoffs, hoping it wouldn’t get damaged by all of the shells and other treasures there, and brought it to a bunch of fishermen on the nearby jetty. They were not enthused. “We see this kind of thing here all the time,” they told him. Fifty-three years later, prehistoric artifacts are still consistently turning up along Cape May’s bayside beaches, but one thing is different. The level of enthusiasm — even amongst salty fishermen — is at an all-time high. Approximately 1,000 to 1,500 people comb Sunset Beach specifically for Native American artifacts every year. Yes, this is one beach activity that can be enjoyed no matter the temperature. Some collectors report a competitive edge among fellow hunters, who make sure to stay one step ahead during long walks of the shoreline, while stories of local legends, like the late Gladys Bowers of Cape May Point, are passed around. “I heard she found 2,000 arrowheads,” 38 Concierge
While you’re looking for Indian arrowheads...
OYSTER The shape of oysters varies greatly, but all shells are rough, bumpy and bent. The largest of oysters can grow to be the size of a dinner plate, All bivalves can make pearls, but because of oysters’ distorted shape, sand often gets inside to form a pearl. Still, not all oysters create pearls of value.
SURF CLAM These clams are the most common shells you’ll find on the beach and are recognized by their triangular shape. They live in the surf and are used for bait as well as making fried clam strips. Adult surf clams can reach nearly nine inches in length and can live for more than 30 years.
QUAHOG CLAM The quahogs or hard shell clams have shells that are very solid and take on a more rounded shape. They are a very common, edible bivalve and are categorized by size as being littleneck (less than two inches), cherrystone (about twoand-a-half inches) and chowder (more than three inches).
you may hear in a local bar... “I heard it was closer to 5,000...” After his first find, Smida caught the collector’s bug. Today, he keeps a cigar box full of his discoveries, most of them projectile points around 2,000 years old. He’s one of many that will tell you — in Cape May, it’s worth your while to look down. Why Here? A National Historic Landmark City, Cape May has a vested interest in honoring the past. And when it comes to Native American history on the peninsula, the past is rich. Prior to European settlement, access to the Delaware Bay allowed for easy navigation. Access to Lake Lily in Cape May Point provided fresh water. According to Sean McHugh, senior archaeologist with Richard Grubb and Associates of Cranbury, NJ, “Cape May is a sensitive place. In archaeological terms, sensitivity equals possibility. The greater the sensitivity, the better the possibility for finding artifacts.” While many prehistoric groups passed through here, the largest and most wellknown was the Lenape tribe, specifically the Kechemeche division. This was a peaceful group of people. Women planted crops of squash and corn and lima beans. Men caught fish or set fire to natural vegetation in order to smoke out deer they shot with spears tied 40 Concierge
be on the lookout for these familiar-looking shells
RAZOR CLAM Razor clams, also known as Jack Knife clams, bury themselves in the sand of the intertidal zones in bays and estuaries. It is an excellent digger and is difficult to harvest despite being considered a delicacy. The name is fitting — stepping on one of these shells has the potential to cut your foot.
BAY SCALLOP Scallop shells are symmetrical and fan shaped, but the scallop shells you’re likely to find on the beach are not the sea scallops you’d often eat— sea scallops get much larger. Their symmetrical shape is useful because scallops are active swimmers and are the only migratory bivalve.
SPONGE SUBSTRATE The holes covering this shell are telltale signs that a boring sponge latched on and used the clam as a weight. These sponges can be small and only cover a section of the shell, or they can envelop it. Although they don’t eat the bivalve they attach themselves to, the sponge sometimes kills the mollusk.
to wooden shafts via animal tendons. Later, around 1450AD, came the bow and arrow. In each case, projectile points were sharpened, using stones. While these are the most recognizable artifacts, lucky collectors also come across shards of prehistoric pottery and tobacco pipes, jewelry made of the traditional shell beads called wampum, bone whistles, and mortar and pestle devices used for crushing spices. Tommy Peters, the 50-year-old owner of the Tattoo Company in North Cape May, has found more than 50 projectile points and about 25 other prehistoric implements here. The projectile point he found last Father’s Day looks like a banner stone that, according to Grubb, could pre-date the Lenape, possibly dating back 5,000 years. “I go for a walk every day, but I only find an artifact about 10 times a year,” Peters says. “I display them in my tattoo studio. My grandfather was a full-blooded Cherokee and I love giving these items a chance to be appreciated.” For others, the joy is in the search itself. “It’s kind of a poetic avocation,” says 62-year-old David Check, a writer, playwright, and collector of Native American artifacts in Cape May since 1996. “When I started, there were only a few people who even knew to look for these. Now, it’s become an addiction, trying to attach a find to its history and people. Every new discovery is a thrill. Concierge 41
How to tell the difference between a lobed
BLUE MUSSEL Blue mussels attach themselves to rocks and pilings with the thread they secrete. When you find a group of mussel shells on the beach it’s usually because they were covered in sand and suffocated. When the sand retreats, the mussels wash up on the shore.
Where to Look Sunset Beach is the most popular spot for those seeking arrow heads. To get there, drive all the way to the end of Sunset Boulevard. Also try Higbee Beach, at the end of New England Road.
LOBED MOON SNAIL Very similiar to the northern moon snail except that there is a small lobe that covers up the whorl and blocks your view of its inner twists. Both the lobed and northern moon feed on clams and mollusks. They attach themselves to the point of the shell and drill a round hole through which they eat.
KNOBBED WHELK Whelks are very commonly called conchs — but they’re NOT conchs. Although similiar, the knobbed whelks are much smaller and the opening whorl is much slimmer on the whelk. Like most gastropods, the opening on a knobbed whelk is on the right side.
No two are ever alike.” Tips for searching Because land on the Cape May peninsula extended 40 to 50 miles further out to sea during the time of the Lenape, those looking for Native American artifacts should search at low tide, along bayside beaches where stones and pebbles have collected. Often, this means searching near jetties, but obviously exercise caution when climbing on top of rock piles, since these can be slick with algae. Searching post-rainstorm may be beneficial, as storms cause sand to shift. There’s no need to dig — what you’re seeking will be at surface level. Keep an eye out for dark colors — projectile points can be a variety of materials, including slate, quartz, quartize, jasper, and argillite. The Cape May Point State Park is home to a collection of locally discovered artifacts, including a huge wooden mask that may have been used in protection ceremonies. It was likely carved after the Lenape met the European settlers who would displace them — the shape of the nose suggests a white man as muse. Janet Hunnicutt, customer service representative for the park, suggests searching for your own artifacts on recently 42 Concierge
moon snail and a knob whelk
SKATE EGG CASING Skates are cartilaginous animals similiar to a sting rays except their tails are fleshy instead of being boney and pointed. These egg casings surround individual embryos and are made of the same material as fingernails. The curved extensions are sticky and attach to objects to anchor the casing.
WHELK EGG CASING Resembling a rattlesnake tail, whelk egg casings are filled with hundreds of baby whelks. When they float up on shore, the miniature whelks work their way out of the casing through a waxy hole on the side of each bulb. Knobbed whelk casings are three-sided, while channel whelks only have two.
SEA URCHIN TEST The test is the shell of a sea urchin. It covers and protects the upper half of the urchin’s body where its internal organs are contained. Almost the entire lower, uncovered portion of a sea urchin is its mouth.
tilled farms, as long as you have permission from the landowner. You can also check out artifacts from the area on display at the Nature Center of Cape May, at 1600 Delaware Avenue, and at the Cape May County Museum and Geological Library, in Cape May Court House, home to the headstone of King Nummy, the last king of the Lenape tribe. “Most of what you see has been donated by local families,” says museum director Donna Matalucci. “We have over 100 arrowheads, and what is fascinating to me is that they represent a wide geological area, as far away as Ohio. Those tribes used to come down here to fish and hunt.” If you find something and you’re not sure how to authenticate or date it, the Archaeological Society of New Jersey has been a great resource for Cape May’s hunters; you can submit photos via Facebook. Online forums such as arrowheads.com have also proved helpful. As for that legendary collection from Gladys Bowers in Cape May Point? Scuttlebutt amongst locals is that her arrowheads may have been released back into the sea after her passing in 2008, per Bowers' wishes. In which case, happy hunting. Concierge 43
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, please 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 all 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 30 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.) 5. GET TAGGED You must be in possession of a beach tag to access any beach in the City of Cape May during the summer season (Cape May Point has a separate tag). Note that hotels are not permitted to sell them. You can buy daily, weekend and weekly tags from your beach tagger. Funds from these tags help to keep the city’s beaches pristine.
Rule #6 DONâ€™T GO HUNGRY You can burn 400 calories per hour playing bocce ball and even 65 calories just sunbathing (see page 134). When you need to replenish, order from our beach service!
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 redand-white tents are located at the end of Perry Street. And the rustic orange-and-aqua tents of the Beach Shack are between Grant and Patterson. All have wi-fi access. Tent rentals include complimentary water and lounge chairs and are reserved on a firstcome, first-served basis. There are three ways to book a tent (based on availability): 1. At the time of your initial hotel reservation or with our prearrival concierge. 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. 46 Concierge
A Private Beach Tent... the Ultimate Beach Day Indulgence
The Heroic Horseshoe Crab BY DIANE STOPYRA
ith their bulbous, alienesque shells and 10-legged underbellies, they’re cute in a just-crawled-out-of-the-primordial-ooze sort of way. But the respect and fascination inspired by the gentle horseshoe crab goes beyond looks. These prehistoric creatures, called “living fossils” by those who study them, have been a lifesaving friend to humans and a great source of awe for those who know where to find them. Now, these marine arthropods could use a little something from us in return. Presenting: five secrets of the island’s coolest (and most under-appreciated) creature... The stuff of legends At 450 million years old, the horseshoe crab species predates the dinosaur. This resilience may come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever watched one get easily tumbled in the surf and deposited at the tideline upside down, its swordlike tail pointed to the sky as if to say, “A little help, please?” And this resilience may also come as a surprise
to anyone who’s watched a horseshoe crab laboriously heave itself toward the water inches at a time via a confounding route of circles and zigzags. But the success of the species is down to a mysterious survival hack — the creature’s body has an unusual way of dealing with bacteria and other unwanted microorganisms. It doesn’t fight them off with antibodies like the human body does. Instead, via a supercharged blood-clotting system, it effectively seals off any invading pathogens before they cause harm. In other words: horseshoe crabs don’t get sick. Imagine if people could isolate this superstar staying power to, say, prevent cancer. Scientists are working on it. In the meantime, the endurance of the horseshoe has made it a key player in mythology. In Japanese culture, Samurai warriors were said to be reborn as kabutogani — or warrior’s helmet crabs. Today, the Japanese phase kabutogani-no-chirigi compares genuine love between a husband and wife to that between a pair of horseshoe crabs. Speaking of...
Horseshoe crabs were widely used for fertilizing on farms in New Jersey and Delaware until the 1970s, when synthetic fertilizers came into vogue. This picture was taken at a farm in Delaware in the 1920s. Delaware Public Archives
Mating madness The shoreline of the Delaware Bay, just 5.3 miles from the porch of the Ebbitt Room, is the nation’s foremost breeding ground for the Limulus polyphemus species of horseshoe crab. For most of the year, these creatures live in the ocean where they burrow into the sand, feed on clams and swim upside down at a pace of 0.3 miles per hour (we said they were cool, not fast). But between the May and June full moons, nearly 200,000 emerge from the water — a glistening, armored herd — to mate and lay eggs under cover of night. How do they know when it’s time? They each have 10 eyes, including one on the tail that helps synchronize activity to the lunar cycle. If you venture onto Cape May’s Higbee Beach after dark during this time frame — especially during a neap tide and when the water is calm — you’re likely to see the spectacle of some major arthropod whoopee taking place. Males (sometimes 13 of them at once) climb onto the back of a female, who will dig a hole in the sand in which to lay about 4,000 of her shiny, emerald green eggs at once. About two weeks later, 50 Concierge
the babies hatch. A friend to birds These soft, fatty eggs are an essential fuel source for nine species of shorebirds, most notably the colorful, medium-sized red knot. This bird makes a more than 9,000-mile migration from the tip of South America’s Tierra del Fuego to the Canadian Arctic every spring (and then back again in the fall). Along this meticulously timed journey, tens of thousands gather along the Delaware Bay in order to feast on what the horseshoe crab has spawned. The red knots are so emaciated by the time they get here that they need to double their body weight — each bird will put back 18,000 eggs per day for a few days before moving on for a direct flight to the Arctic. Using this fat supply once they arrive, they’ll produce and incubate their own eggs. For this reason, the success of the red knot is inextricably linked to that of the horseshoe crab. (Additionally, the hard shell of the horseshoe provides a home for mollusks that may one day end up on a Cape May restaurant lunch menu.) A hero to humans But it’s not just birds who rely on horseshoe crabs. Their blood, which is powder blue, is used to test our intravenous drugs, prosthetics and surgical implants for bacterial contamination — an enzyme in the substance has the power to pick up on (and immo52 Concierge
bilize) potentially fatal microbes at a concentration as small as one part per trillion. If an injectible drug is approved by the FDA, it must go through this process. This means most of us owe a debt to the humble horseshoe. Making things even more sci-fi: this blood is also used by NASA astronauts to test surfaces for bacteria in the International Space Station. While having its blood extracted doesn’t (usually) kill the animal, it does leave the creature a bit lethargic and less likely to mate, so biomedical researchers are attempting to produce the same bacteria-detecting enzyme synthetically, out of yeast. In the meantime, 600,000 horseshoe crabs are harvested for their blood yearly, and one quart of this extracted blood is worth $15,000. Endangered heroes As important as horseshoe crabs have been to us, we haven’t treated them kindly in return. Until the 1970s, they were harvested along New Jersey’s beaches for use as fertilizer. Today, they’re still being harvested for bait by conch fisherman (although New Jersey has a moratorium on the practice). When coupled with habitat erosion, these factors have had deleterious effects on the horseshoe crab population. In response, a collaborative effort between governmental and nonprofit groups called ReTURN the Favor has emerged. Through organized beach walks, volunteers increase awareness, collect data to be used in restoration, and rescue stranded crabs by righting those that have been flipped upside down by tidal action, a position that leaves them vulnerable to pecking seagulls. More than 78,000 were saved over the course of 1,981 hours in 2016 alone. You can register for a walk by visiting returnthefavornj.org, or host one of your own on Higbee Beach. (Early mornings between April and June are a good time.) Just remember never to lift a horseshoe by the tail, as it’s easily breakable. Lift instead by the sides, and gently place the crab in the spot you found it, facing the water. And feel free to let others know the same.
Opposite: Horseshoe crabs mate on Delaware Bay beaches each spring, providing a rich bounty for the red knot bird. Below left: The crabs in the ocean, moving at a not-so-heady pace of 0.3 miles per hour. Below right: An Indonesian fisherman shows how NOT to handle a horseshoe crab.
Planning those Perfect Days
ou are here for one reason — to enjoy your vacation. But even a perfect getaway needs some planning. That’s where Head Concierge Caskia Czworkowski (right) comes in. Call her at 609-884-6542, come see her at the Concierge desk in the lobby at Congress Hall, or chat with any of our front desk agents or pre-arrival concierge for more information and to make reservations. In this book we have organized our favorite activities into two categories... ON CAMPUS This is 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 this information from pages 56-71. OFF CAMPUS We have partnered with area organizations who offer fun and quality activities that will enhance your Cape May experience. And we also offer a curated shopping list because we know a little retail therapy is an essential part of your vacation. You will find this information on pages 162-182. 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 clam bakes to ceramics classes, karaoke to soccer. We will be delighted to book off-campus activities — restaurant reservations, theater tickets (there are some Broadway-quality shows in this town), wine tours, golf games, kayaking, paddleboarding, 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. Now go enjoy your perfect Cape May day! 54 Concierge
The Secret History Tour
Did you know that Congress Hall is the oldest seaside hotel in America? Or that four sitting presidents have stayed there? (If you already skipped ahead to page 110, you do.) And that one of those presidents spent the whole summer here? Thereâ€™s a whole lot of history in this old place, which is why we introduced the popular Congress Hall History Tours. They are guided by highly informed actresses who play the part of Annie Knight, the former matriarch of Congress Hall. Annieâ€™s father, Edward, a Philadelphia businessman, rebuilt Congress Hall in 1879, following the Great Fire of 1878 which destroyed it, along with many other hotels in downtown Cape May. Annie 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.
IRAISA ANN REILLY Marketing & Programming When did the history of Congress Hall grab a hold of you? As an Atlantic County native, I was in awe of the historic properties whenever I visited Cape May. As for Congress Hall, I thought it was just a hotel — if you weren’t there as a guest, there wasn’t much to see. Once I was hired to work at Winter Wonderland, I realized there was a LOT more going on. When the programming department was in the early stages of developing a history tour, they reached out to me because they knew I had a background in theatre and might be interested in working as a tour guide. On my first day of training, I was taken on a tour of the hotel that was supposed to last an hour or two — five hours later, it was obvious there was so much to learn about Congress Hall. What were your first impressions of former Congress Hall owner Annie Knight, the women you portray? I didn’t have any preconceived notions of what Annie was like until I saw her picture and went through microfilm at the library to gain a better understanding of what she was like. The one thing I did surmise was that to be a female owner of a hotel at that time was an amazing feat. I’ve come to see her as unique, tenacious and extraordinary. I’ve heard that some of her journals are floating around somewhere in Cape May and I would love to take a look at them. What do you think surprises people most about the history? I think how old Congress Hall is, how many times it changed hands, and how much it took to make it as beautiful as it is today. Give us one strange little snippet of information that most people would not know. People are always surprised that the reason we are called Congress Hall is because the original owner, Thomas Hughes, was elected to Congress. Also, the close connection between Congress Hall and the old Christian Admiral hotel which was sadly torn down.
BUY THE BOOK Everything you could possibly want to know about Congress Hall (along with a rich collection of Cape May stories) can be found in the new TOMMY’S FOLLY, a beautifully produced coffee table book packed full of historical photographs and anecdotes. Signed copies are available from Tommy’s Folly.
See next page for tour times.
Yoga on the Lawn 8:30am – 9:45am Daily from June 19 thru August 31 saturdays only May 20 – June 17 September 2 – 30 $14.95 per person (please buy at Concierge desk) Beach Boot Camp 8:00am-9:00am Daily (except Sunday) June 17 – August 31 saturdays only June 3 – 17 $14.95 per person (please buy at concierge desk) Carnival 5:30pm – 9:00pm June 19 thru August 28 Congress Hall Lawn Prices vary depending on ticket bundle your family chooses to buy Pig Roast Rusty Nail at 4:00pm Memorial Day thru Labor Day
Yoga on the Lawn
Yoga on the Lawn
Beach Boot Camp
Beach Boot Camp
Guided History Tour Friday – Sunday, June 2 – 18 at 1:30pm Sundays, June 18 – September 10 at 1:30pm Tuesday – Saturday, June 20 – September 9 at 11:30am and 1:30pm Friday – Sunday, September 15 – October 1 at 1:30pm Saturday and Sunday, year-round at 1:30pm $5 adult, $3 child
Guided History Tour
Blue’s Clubhouse 5:30pm – 9:00pm Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays June 20 – September 2 $45 per child, ages 4-12 Tie Dye Tuesdays Congress Hall: 1:30pm – 3:00pm Rusty Nail: 4:30 – 6:00pm June 20 thru August 29 $20 adult, $15 child Clambake on the Lawn Every other Tuesday July 11 – August 22 at 6:30pm Movie Night June 20 – August 19 except july 4 Ballroom at 7pm
Family Ceramics June 21 – August 30 Congress Hall Veranda 3:00pm – 5:00pm Projects start at $8 Full Moon Drum Circle July 9, August 7 Congress Hall Lawn 8:00pm – 10:00pm Complimentary event Dinner Theater: The Third Century Congress Hall Ballroom starting at 6:30pm July 12 – August 23
Yoga on the Lawn
Yoga on the Lawn
Yoga on the Lawn
Yoga on the Lawn
Beach Boot Camp
Beach Boot Camp
Beach Boot Camp
Guided History Tour
Guided History Tour
Guided History Tour
Guided History Tour
Family Karaoke June 22 – August 31 Congress Hall Ballroom 6:00pm – 8:00pm Complimentary event
Beach Activities Fridays June 23 September 1 Congress Hall Beach 11:00am-11:45am Beach Shack Beach 12pm-12:45pm Complimentary event
Soccer on the Lawn Congress Hall Lawn Saturdays June 24 – September 2 1:00pm – 2:00pm Complimentary event
Sunday Swims Congress Hall Pool June 25 – September 3 8:00pm – 10:00pm Beach Shack Pool June 25, July 30, August 27th Cape Resorts guests only
Blue’s Clubhouse Crafty Painting Thursdays June 22 – August 31 Congress Hall Veranda 2:00pm – 3:30pm Rusty Nail 12pm – 1:30pm Prices vary depending on project selected
Monday Night Carnival On Mondays at Congress Hall, the lawn transforms into a carnival with booths, games for all ages, face painting, balloon twisting, food, treats, and more. Snack on kettle corn, while playing skee ball, enjoy droolworthy hot dogs while participating in a pig race, or take a train ride on the Congress Hall Express. The fun runs from 5:30pm until 9:00pm.
Clambake on the Lawn The best backyard summer parties are when the backyard is on the beach. Visit Congress Hallâ€™s Grand Lawn this summer for a good oldfashioned clambake. Share in this family-style feast on picnic tables full of shrimp, mussels and middleneck clams steamed over Allagash Ale and lemon. Enjoy delicious fresh sides of Jersey corn, cucumber tomato salad and plenty of drawn butter. Live entertainment provides the perfect soundtrack to summer Clambakes at Congress Hall, every other Tuesday, July 11 â€“ August 19, starting at 6:30pm.
Dinner Theatre Congress Hall introduced a new form of entertainment in the ballroom last summer — Bicentennial Birthday Dinners that featured a cast of Cape Resorts employees enacting a musical history of Cape May’s famed hotel, which turned 200 last year. People loved the lively mix of comedy, music and history — the dinners were sellouts. Just because the birthday ended doesn’t mean the party has to! This summer, Congress Hall will host a new show, The Third Century, every Wednesday, July 12 thru August 23. The songs may be new and the story a little different,
but once again the audience will be encouraged to sing along to classic American songs like “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad” and “This Land is Your Land,” while learning all about Congress Hall’s fascinating history — plus, of course, sharing a delicious meal around the table with family and friends. Contact the front desk or your Concierge for more information.
Rocking Out on the Lawn After the success of last year’s Labor Day Music Festival, the unofficial end-of-summer party continues in 2017. A lineup of talented musicians, including Virginia-based Little Country plus Cape May favorites, the Bastard Sons of Captain Mey, will perform on Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn. Bring friends and family and gather for great food and great sounds. For more information, contact the front desk or your Concierge. Concierge 63
Get on Your Bike Is there a particularly good time to ride your bike around Cape Island? Yes. Most of the year. The city is flat, very pretty and you don’t want to be stuck in summer traffic — bikes sometimes 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 our beach community since 1886. A range of singles, doubles, children’s bikes and surreys are available at Congress Hall Bike Shop. Guests of Cape Resorts can pre-order rentals. 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. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the handy little map we produced. In the meantime, here are three recommended bike routes, all starting from Congress Hall...
THE HISTORIC TRAIL Go down Perry, left on Beach, then ride until you see Convention Hall on your right. That’s your cue to take one of the streets on the left — like Howard. Then, rather than give you specific instructions, we advise you to wend your way slowly through the streets of the Historic District. Check out the charming Chalfonte Hotel, on the corner of Howard and Sewell. Other streets to hit — Columbia, Hughes and Franklin. It’s a wonderful house-watching trip. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE Go down Perry, right on Beach, right on Broadway and left on Sunset, where you will ride for about 1.5 miles until you see Lighthouse Avenue on the left. Turn 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. TO THE FARM As above, head for Sunset but take a quick right on Pacific, first left on Second and cruise to the end of this quirky West Cape May street before going right where the road forks, then on to Stevens. Go left and you’ll soon see Beach Plum Farm on your right.
GOOD TO KNOW You can ride your bike on the promenade in the summer months, but ONLY before 10am. PS: The promenade is 1.4 miles long.
Fly the Flag at Independence Week
Throughout its 200 storied years, Congress Hall has
hosted Cape May’s annual
Ice Cream Social
Fourth of July party. This
All-American Swim Party July 2 8-10pm
year, we have expanded the
Carnival on the Lawn
July 3 5:30-9pm
celebration into a week-long
Picnic & Carnival
July 4 5pm
soirée. The centerpiece
July 4 6:30pm
will be a lobster bake and
Red, White & Blue Tie Dye July 5 1:30-3pm
family picnic on the Grand
July 5 7pm
Lawn, where there will also
July 6 2-3:30pm
be carnival games and live
July 6 6-8pm
music — later, it’s the perfect
July 7 11:15-11:45am
spot from which to watch the
Ice Cream Social
July 7 6-8pm
Soccer on the Lawn
July 8 1-2pm
All-American Swim Party July 9 8-10pm
66 The Concierge
The Concierge 67
Cape Resorts Entertainment Guide building an ever-greater fan base of those who love Roots/Americana music with shows in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Sag Harbor and beyond. Chris, Max and Dylan bring their youthful energy, gorgeous harmonies, ability to blend multiple instruments and expansive song selection to keep you moving into the sunset hours. TERRY & TIM Terry O’Brien and Tim Joyce have been staples on the Cape May music scene for longer than they’d care to admit. Known for playing the hits and the not-so hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and a few from this century, their musical knowledge is deep, their experience vast, their music is yours.
The Rusty Nail RUSTY NAIL PATIO 4:30 – 8:30pm, Monday thru Saturdays 12:00 – 4:00pm, 4:30 – 8:30pm, Sundays DOUG KELLEY Doug prides himself on being a Parrot Head so expect to hear plenty of Jimmy Buffett in addition to classic rock, country, beach music, and doses of icons like Johnny Cash and Neil Young. Don’t be surprised if you hear a traditional Irish tune or even a standard from Sinatra. Always presenting the right blend of clean acoustic guitar with outstanding vocals, Doug loves to interact with the crowd. He especially enjoys getting requests from his extensive song list consisting of over 800 covers. BILL CATERINI As a recipient of a 2016 Global Music
Award, Bill is equally at home in both national and regional performance venues. A local favorite in Cape May for many years, Bill plays an extensive mix of music from the classics of the 1960s through the best-loved songs of today. He loves to accommodate your song requests, making the show a truly intimate, personal experience for all. Known as a crowd-pleaser, Bill finds that our guests particularly enjoy his eclectic and festive selection of island/reggae music. WESLEY OCHS Vocalist and guitarist Wesley Ochs plays something for every taste, including classic rock, ballads, island/ reggae, oldies, country and party favorites. Using request lists and a repertoire of over 300 songs, Wesley always gets the crowd involved and singing along. BASTARD SONS OF CAPTAIN MEY This group of homegrown musicians from Cape May has been steadily
DELANY & RUTHERFORD With Kate leading this duo, Delany & Rutherford play an eclectic mix of old and new. Guests enjoy coming straight off the beach to hear their laid back acoustic versions of anything from the Beatles and Van Morrison to Jack Johnson, Colbie Callait, Coldplay and more. Kate’s vocals with her Martin guitar coupled with Ric’s harmonies and seasoned talent on guitar, keys and banjo all make for a performance you won’t want to miss! MADDIE HOGAN Maddie is a 24-year old singer/songwriter who likes to mash up cover songs of her favorite genres: pop, acoustic rock, classic rock, hip-hop, country, 90s rock and more. Maddie plays every week at different venues in and around Philadelphia, including The Legendary Dobbs, Kennett Flash, The Trocadero Theater, Picasso’s, Melodies Cafe, and Hard Rock Cafe. DALE BARTH Dale has been entertaining audiences since the 1980s, performing as a solo artist, in a duo and with the very popular Who Knows Band. On fiddle, guitar and harmonica his musical styles range from rock, coun-
try rock and blues. You’ll hear everything from Amie to ZZ Top! A native of the Pocono Mountains, Dale travels extensively, performing in venues throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York — and, once in a while, Florida. No matter what your taste in music, Dale’s energetic performance will make you smile! GREGG CARPENTER Gregg has been entertaining guests region-wide for over twenty years and has been a part of the Cape Resorts artist roster for over six! His 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, just to name a few. RUSTY NAIL INDOOR STAGE 8:30pm to 12:30am Fridays & Saturdays THE DECK BAND The Deck Band brings all of the best of classic rock, Motown, dance, country and today’s pop favorites to the Rusty Nail — and to you on the dance floor! This high-energy band is known for their amazing vocals and personality. They have made themselves a Rusty Nail favorite! THE BIG RIC REVIEW Big Ric has been one of the top singers in the Philadelphia region for years. Always the consummate entertainer with unprecedented stage presence, Big Ric has been wowing audiences with his dynamic and interactive performances for over 15 years. With over 600 events under his belt, Big Ric is one of the best as a premier bandleader and singer in the Philadelphia area. HEVEE LEVEE This powerhouse trio comprises Gordon Vincent (Billboard rated — best unsigned acts in the USA), Jon Thompson (performed/toured nationally with The Machine, Phil Roy, Pittsburgh Symphony) and Andy Reeves (local hero and veteran on the
Cape May music scene). Featuring unique takes on Tom Waits, Muddy Waters, The Stones, The Band, Prince, Haggard and more! THE DON EVANS BAND Formerly with Eric Burdon, Billy Joel and a list of performers that reads like a who’s who of rock, this guitarist and vocalist is currently playing with Fuzzy Paradise and many others, along with fronting his own Don Evans Band. Get ready for a journey down various musical roads complete with cool grooves, dynamics, and a heck of a lotta fun. DOGHOUSE ROSES With a song list that is longer than you can imagine, this keyboard, guitar and drum trio visits the 70s, 80s and 90s as well as delivering the hits of today. The group is comprised of Michael ”Cuervo” LaGuardia on keyboards and vocals, Mike Rogers on guitar and vocals and Jim Kelly driving the beat on drums and vocals. If you wanna dance, party and have a great time, DogHouse Roses plays music that will keep you on the dance floor all night long. DJ TONY STEFF Tony has been bringing the party to Cape May County hotspots for 25 years now. He has played at nearly every bar and club in Cape May County throughout his music career — Carney’s, The Fairview, The Nile, H2O, Hill 16, The Super Box, Shady O’s, Brownie’s By The Bay, and The Ocean Club to name a few. Playing the dance hits from the 70s through today, Tony is sure to have whatever tunes it takes to keep you on the dance floor!
The Brown Room
8:00pm-12:00am, every night June 23 – September 8:00pm-12:00am Fridays & Saturdays year-round DARIN MACDONALD With exceptional vocals and captivating piano skills, Darin has been
entertaining piano bar audiences around the globe for over 10 years. The premier piano bar entertainer for Carnival Cruise Lines, he has entertained international audiences on the high seas since 2003. Darin MacDonald and Saturday nights year-round in the Brown Room have become a Congress Hall mainstay. Folks plan their weekend around getting to hear Darin’s beautiful renditions of their favorite Billy Joel and Elton John tunes. He doesn’t mind if you sing along! AUDREY SNOW Young Audrey’s musical influences include Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, the Beatles and Sheryl Crow. She grew up listening to a lot of oldies, classic rock and blues. Audrey accompanies herself on guitar as she beautifully sings the popular rock classics and pop music that you expect and want to hear, while throwing in a lesser known song — or maybe even one of her own. 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. MADDIE HOGAN Maddie is a 24-year old singer/songwriter who likes to mash up cover songs of her favorite genres: pop, acoustic rock, classic rock, hip-hop, country, 90s rock and more. Maddie plays every week at different venues in and around Philadelphia, including The Legendary Dobbs, Kennett Flash, The Trocadero Theater, Picasso’s, Melodies Cafe, and Hard Rock Cafe. CRANSTON DEAN Featuring high-energy blues/rock/ funk/alt-country from Atlantic Highlands, NJ, Cranston Dean plays regularly in Asbury Park and throughout the northeast. “Dean’s voice takes you back to a time when the singer/ songwriter played the bars of Asbury
during the heydays of The Circuit, and blew people’s minds with their lyrical poetry,” wrote Bill Bodkin on popbreak.com. 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 seven years in a row for Best Lounge Act, as well as Atlantic City’s Casino Lounge Act of the Year for 2017. Come and hear this award-winning singer! MATT DIVENTI No stranger to the local music scene, Matt DiVenti has been performing in the Philadelphia and South Jersey circuit for over a decade. His sets feature a mix of crowd-pleasing covers and bright original tunes full of cool and inviting vibes! Matt provides a fun, laidback, and professional atmosphere for any event, venue, or occasion. His acoustic stylistics and familiar voice are a perfect hybrid of modern day favorites like Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, to the classics like the Rolling Stones and Steve Miller, and all the way back to the greats like Bill Withers, Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder! THE AARON BURGOS DUO Aaron Burgos and Jordan Stackhouse of the band Weather Channel Music perform as an acoustic duo all over New Jersey. They play everything from the blues to the beloved hits of the 60s and 70s. As a duo they create an intimate bluesy/jazz sound that is enjoyed by all ages. Aaron’s musical influences include Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Steely Dan and The Grateful Dead. Jordan’s influences include The Beatles and David Bowie. BLUEGREEN BlueGreen is an acoustic duo featuring Chad Morales and Sydney Grimaldi. This young pair incorporates many styles of music when performing, including Jack Johnsonesque jams, bluesy soul, stone cold classic rock and roll, reggae, jazz and funk. Chad
is native to Brick, NJ and Sid the Kyd is from Woodbridge, NJ. Everything is performed with an acoustic guitar, three hand drums, a passionate voice and some good vibes! THE HONEYHAWKS The Honeyhawks play an eclectic range of romantic and vintage folk and pop, with lush harmonies and an infectious chemistry befitting the husband-wife duo. Kick back and relax as they entertain you with memorable acoustic covers of such artists as The Civil Wars, The Everly Brothers, Jack Johnson and Nina Simone, to name just a few. DON SHAW Playing all your favorite tunes featuring pop, funk and blues hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond — Don Shaw’s duo keeps your feet tapping! Don can play anything on the guitar after years of working as a studio musician in Nashville. His sense of humor comes through whenever he performs but don’t be fooled — this is one serious musician’s musician. ANDY REEVES Playing folk, rock, blues and pop to liven up your day, Andy Reeves is a Cape May native and multi-instrumentalist playing acoustic songs from the 60s, 70s and beyond. His influences include Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Petty, Jim Croce and many more. ANN OSWALD One of our favorite entertainers (friendliest, too), Ann will serenade you with her songs and guitar. Get ready for some great acoustic music sets consisting of blues, southern rock, pop and country — by the end of the night, she’ll have you singing along!
The Boiler Room
9:30pm to 1:00am Fridays & Saturdays year-round 6:00pm to 10:00pm Sundays – Thursdays from July 3
thru September 3 THE DANE ANTHONY BAND Hip, blaring horns and rollicking rhythms with everything from blues to funk and beyond — the Dane Anthony Band keeps the dance party going all night! One of our guests’ favorites — we highly recommend that you not miss this band! THE BILLY D. LIGHT TRIO Billy D. Light Trio shows are truly a hip experience. They have crowds of all ages goin’ at any time – doing the “swim,” twistin’, or even just down home shaggin’. Solidly based in good old rock ‘n’ roll, the Billy D. Light Trio song list covers tunes from the British Invasion, blues, surf, and rockabilly all the way to the great rock tunes from the 80s and 90s. One thing’s for sure, if Billy D. Light has any say in the matter, rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay! EDGARDO CINTRON & FRIENDS You won’t be able to resist getting out on the dance floor when popular Latin artist Edgardo Cintron and his talented combo return this summer playing pop, R&B and Latin. You’ll move to tunes by Santana, the Miami Sound Machine, Chaka Khan and Stevie Nicks. From rock to R&B all the way to Latin and funk — you’ll want to dance all night as soul meets Latin in the Boiler! FUZZY PARADISE You’ll hear the best of everything from the 60s through today when you come out to hear Fuzzy Paradise, including your favorite 80s tunes, some jazzy grooves and all of the hits in between. Lead singer Lara DeCosta’s powerful but tender voice has been compared to Natalie Merchant, Adele and Martina McBride. With top-notch musicians Gregg Carpenter and Don Evans to back her up, Fuzzy Paradise will keep you dancing all night long. TRIBE Playing all your favorite dance tunes featuring pop, funk and blues hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond
ing borders into Areito, Punta Cana’s most popular nightclub. JOHN BYRNE DUO John Byrne is the former Patrick’s Head front man. A Dublin native and Cape May favorite, his influences range from The Chieftains to Planxty to Bob Dylan. John’s songwriting honors and expands upon the musical and lyrical traditions of his native and adopted homes, keeping everyone tapping along to music both familiar and original.
The Billy D. Light Trio — Don Shaw’s band keeps the Boiler Room dance floor full! Don can play anything on the guitar after years of working as a studio musician in Nashville. His sense of humor comes through whenever he performs but don’t be fooled — this is one serious musician’s musician. With over 10 years of engagements at Congress Hall, Don is part of what makes Congress Hall special! DOGHOUSE ROSES With a song list longer than you can imagine, playing everything from the late 1960s with visits to the 70s, 80s, 90s all the way to today’s current hits. Steve Kyle is the frontman for this classic rock outfit, having formed the Doghouse Roses with partners Jim Kelly and Mike Conti. The band name comes from a Steve Earle lyric. Expect to hear anything from Buffalo Springfield to Tom Petty and from the Gin Blossoms to Neon Trees. Doghous Roses promise to play the songs you love and keep your feet on the dance floor. THE SMOOTH EDGE BAND Hailing from Philadelphia, band found-
ers, identical twins Donald and Ronald Johnson decided to put their years of musical training and performing with various bands to use in creating their own band. The duo was ahead of the curve in reviving an interest in old school funk music, which is currently all the rave. Formation of The Smooth Edge Band has allowed them to embark upon a musical journey that continues to surprise and delight audiences. Featuring funk, R&B, 70s Top 40, disco, jazz with dance tunes by the Temptations, James Brown, Teena Marie, the Four Tops, Diana Ross and Brothers Johnson. DJ HOOKS From his simple beginning as an amateur producer-turned-DJ in South Jersey to currently rockin’ some of the hottest clubs, bars, and lounges in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Southwest Florida, DJ Hooks has routinely captivated his fans for more than 20 years, making them sweat on the dance floor. Drawing influences from old school hip-hop, house, classic rock, oldies, funk and soul, his quest to become a DJ led him from playing at frat parties in New Jersey to cross-
RAY GERVATO Ray brings three decades of experience to each performance having played to enthusiastic audiences for many different occasions and venues. Fronting a tribute act and writing and recording his original music have now given way to Ray performing the many classic covers that inspired him over the years. Blues/rock and pop dominate Ray’s sets as he brings strong unique vocals and guitar skills to every performance. You will hear classics from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and many more on a given evening. ANDY REEVES Playing folk, rock, blues and pop to liven up your day, Andy Reeves is a Cape May native and multi-instrumentalist playing acoustic songs from the 60s, 70s and beyond. His influences include Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Petty, Jim Croce and many more. THE HONEYHAWKS The Honeyhawks play an eclectic range of romantic and vintage folk and pop, with lush harmonies and an infectious chemistry befitting the husband-wife duo. Kick back and relax as they entertain you with memorable acoustic covers of such artists as The Civil Wars, The Everly Brothers, Jack Johnson and Nina Simone, to name just a few.
Food & Drink
Food from Our Own Backyard BY RACHEL WESTON
s soon as Curtis Bashaw discovered that Waters Miller, the 1850s-era owner of Congress Hall, operated a local farm that supplied produce for his hotel, the die was cast. Inspired by his own family’s farming roots, he set out to find a piece of land for a modern operation. He purchased a 62-acre site in West Cape May and named it Beach Plum Farm in honor of his grandfather’s love of the bittersweet little fruit. In July of 1855, the Baltimore Sun raved about Congress Hall’s menu... “We have a most excellent table, supplied with everything the Philadelphia market affords, in addition to the products of a farm belonging to the proprietor, W. B. Miller, in the immediate vicinity, which furnishes us with a profusion of the finest fresh vegetables, an advantage we enjoy over all the other hotels on the island.” Today, vegetables and herbs for the restaurants at Cape Resorts grow on 12 acres, and several more acres nearby serve as pasture for chickens, turkeys and heritage-breed Berkshire and Hereford pigs to roam free. Just two miles from the beach, the mushroom-shaped property boasts varied terrain with wetlands, wooded areas and loamy soil good for growing crops. Each year the output of the farm steadily increases. Among more than 100 crops grown on the farm, a dozen are flavorful heirloom tomato varieties. On any given summer morning, the farm delivers 250 pounds of Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Green Zebra tomatoes for Chef Jeremy Einhorn to use in the simple but elegant tomato sandwich at the Blue Pig Tavern. Often a call will come at lunchtime begging the farm for more tomatoes. Farm manager Ali Moussalli is happy to oblige. This season, Beach Plum Farm will strive to not only meet those demands but to also grow plum tomatoes for the Boiler Room to slowly simmer for its pizzas’ tomato sauce 72 Concierge
Inside the beautiful Amish barn at Beach Plum Farm you’ll find the freshest produce along with a delightful range of food-themed accessories.
and jewel-like Black Cherry and Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes favored for salads by chef Jason Hanin at The Ebbitt Room in the Virginia hotel. Before driving or biking over to the farm, enjoy an omelet with farm eggs at the Blue Pig. The vibrant yolks mimic the color of Cape May’s spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Sandwiches with housemade bacon or sausage and a runny egg can be ordered at the farm. At dinner, treat yourself to the inventive deviled egg appetizer at The Ebbitt Room. Beach Plum Farm’s eggs boast more flavor because their hens are free to roam and peck at will. On a recent visit to the farm, a group of birders carrying telephoto lenses and binoculars rushed past me in pursuit of a rare bird that was sighted there. Personally, I was just as delighted by the fancy white-and-black Hamburg chicken that I spied under the persimmon trees near the cornflower blue henhouse. Built just two years ago, the farm’s impressive two-story, Amishstyle, post-and-beam barn feels as if it has been there for a century. Serving as a community gathering place, it is a bright, inviting space to explore. Pause to join honeybees and hummingbirds while admir-
ing the formal herb beds at the barn entrance. Inside, the comforting smells of wood, herbed sausages cooking and freshly cut flowers intermingle. On a quiet morning, I followed a whirring sound to find Beach Plum Farm’s chef, Todd Phillips, making juices in the cozy kitchen. Carrot and ginger, beet, and green juice blends are stocked daily at the farm market and Tommy’s Folly. If you find yourself thirsty while poolside at Congress Hall, a chilled glass of these flavor-packed elixirs are just a few backstrokes away at the Veranda Bar. They are also poured tableside at the Blue Pig Tavern. Phillips is also proud of the farm’s herbal iced tea bar located in the barn, just steps from where they grow and harvest pineapple and chocolate mints, chamomile and lemon verbena for the infusions. You may recognize the citrusy scent of lemon verbena from the toiletries in the guest rooms at Congress Hall and the Virginia. Browse tables laden with just-picked produce, pickles, hot sauces
Chickens and Berkshire pigs roam, while diners enjoy freshly made dishes from the Beach Plum Farm Kitchen. The farm is open weekends year-round. Spring and fall weekends are can’t-miss events. Concierge 79
Themed dinners, below and right, are held at Beach Plum Farm most weekends yearround. Visit beachplumfarm capemay.com.
COMING SOON The Cottages at Beach Plum Farm will offer all the rustic, rural charm of West Cape May, while still being a short drive or bike ride to downtown Cape May.
and teas. Refrigerated cases hold pork, chicken and turkey meats, stocks, and dozens of eggs that almost always include a blue egg. Venture upstairs to the loft for a delightful selection of cookbooks, housewares and a bird’s-eye view of the action below. During spring and fall, the farm holds a series of farm festivals that evoke a simpler, old-time Americana. Families are welcome to walk the grounds to survey rows of lavender, strawberries and carrots or pile onto wagons for a hayride tour of the farm. Pigs roast over an open fire for platters and sandwiches. Cape May Brewing Company brings in local brews, and bands play. Phillips marvels that all the food served on these festival weekends, with the exception of hamburgers and hot dogs, is produced on the farm. Throughout the year they also hold numerous intimate pop-up dinners in the farm’s greenhouse or in the fields. Once again, the chefs use only what is freshest and available from the farm. It is imperative to Bashaw that what is available at the restaurants and in the farm market is truly coming from the farm. “It is a real farm stand experience. If we don’t have tomatoes, you can’t buy tomatoes,” Moussalli says. “You get a real tomato. A real watermelon. A real chicken. People here appreciate that.” After spending the day on the farm, I returned to town to mull my options for a true farm-to-table dining experience. Would I be wooed by the crunchy fried chicken at the Rusty Nail or the slow-cooked, pulled Berkshire pork at the Blue Pig Tavern? Seated beneath a fanciful portrait of a blue pig, the pork prevailed on this visit. Our server, Alyssa, pointed out that the crisp red cabbage in the slaw served with my pork, the sweet roasted beets and tender greens in my salad, and even the pickle served with my dining companion’s burger were all from the farm. Congress Hall’s general manager, Tom List, explained to me that using fresh produce from Beach Plum Farm is an extension of the level of hospitality expected by families who have been coming to the hotel for generations. This excellence at all turns looks incredibly effortless to guests. The entire staff ’s sense of pride and interest in where the ingredients on the menu are coming from is exhilarating to this ardent supporter of the farm-to-table movement.
Looking for the Perfect Beachside Eatery?
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 long rumored to be the longest in Cape May (a statistic confirmed by a story in Exit Zero magazine) or the always-popular outside bar. Thanks to the addition this year of an indoor fireplace, you can enjoy the special appeal of the Nail from spring through December (and stay at the recently renovated Beach Shack next door). 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. Then there is the tradition of hanging around the firepit under the stars with friends and family — it’s something you need to check off on your Cape May bucket list. As for the food, Executive Chef Jimmy Burton, who comes from 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 a Beach Plum Farm Berkshire pig on the outside grill. It’s no wonder Travel & Leisure 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. Day and night, there is often live music — the Nail has cultivated an eclectic crew of performers who keep the party going. But it’s a mellow kind of party — you’ll be chilling all afternoon or night. Just be aware of the dress code — flip-flops are strongly encouraged. 84 Concierge
Fun Nail Dates MAY 13 Clam-A-Rama JUNE 16 National Flip-Flop Day JULY 19 National Hot Dog Day SEPTEMBER 9 Doggie Pageant SEPTEMBER 23 Aloha Summer Party
JIMMY BURTON Rusty Nail Executive Chef It must get pretty crazy in the Nail kitchen sometimes. How do you cope with the pressure? I walk outside and look at the ocean, look at the sky. It calms me down. It’s so beautiful. How do you compare to Gordon Ramsay when you work? In my kitchen, we don’t curse, we don’t yell, and we don’t scream. I grew up watching my grandmother cook in the Chalfonte Hotel. I learned from her. What’s the biggest compliment you’ve received? I remember one time a guest said that he ate around the world, and mine was the best crab cake he’d ever eaten. It made me want to get right back in the kitchen and make sure I season them just right every single time. What’s the secret to them? There’s claw meat in our crab cakes. The claws have the best flavor. You come from a family of cooks. Is that what you wanted to be? I wanted to be a state trooper, but my knees were all messed up. Although I suppose being a chef isn’t exactly easy on the knees, either. That’s how you know I really love it. What’s the special appeal of the Nail? Watching the sunset, eating good food and enjoying a cold beer after coming right off the beach. What’s better than that?
more reasons to visit the Rusty Nail
Ridiculously Good Comfort Food Sure, there are some great healthy salads on the Nail’s menu. But sometimes... you just want to indulge. Plus, what combines perfectly with ice-cold beer? These three outrageously I-want-more dishes — the Nail’s famous Loaded Fries, Nachos Supreme and Crispy Strawberry Hot Wings.
Chef Jimmy’s Pig Roast At the Nail, it’s Can’t-Miss Mondays. Chef Jimmy Burton roasts a whole Berkshire pig from Beach Plum Farm, starting at 4pm. This is pork at its most succulent, served with beans, Jersey corn and Jimmy’s family corn bread recipe.
Because Who Else has a Doggy Pageant? Itâ€™s become one of the quirkier, and most popular, of the Cape Resorts events. So mark your calendars, dog-lovers... the fifth annual Rusty Nail Doggy Pageant will be held on Saturday, September 9 to vote for the new Rusty Nail mascot â€” among other things, the winning pooch will be featured on the label of the Nailâ€™s doggy beer! The winner will need to demonstrate poise, grace and athleticism to impress the judges. Last year, the winner was Maci, an adorable goldendoodle who wowed the crowd and the judges with her style, smarts and overall sass!
Celebrating the Art of Eating at The Ebbitt Room BY RACHEL WESTON
s the sun draws down in the late afternoon, Cape Mayâ€™s locals and visitors head in from the beach in search of sustenance and shade. The Ebbitt Room, tucked inside the historic Virginia, is an ideal location to start the evening with drinks and small plates or linger well into the evening for a memorable meal. The menu changes according to what is being grown at Beach Plum Farm, a sister property that supplies produce, eggs, chicken, pork and rabbit to The Ebbitt Room and the other restaurants at Cape Resorts. While dining here you may be treated to the goodness of recently picked heirloom tomatoes or the golden glow of a persimmon martini. As one who is always seeking to celebrate the very best in farm-fresh dining, I made a reservation for a weekend stay at The Virginia to fully take in the Ebbitt Roomâ€™s charms. After entering the hotelâ€™s signature red doors upon my arrival, I noted fragrant blooms from the farm cascaded 90 Concierge
Left: Grassfed New York Strip. Below: Melt-in-your mouth scallops are a seasonal favorite. Right: The roasted half chicken with farm vegetables.
from a silver bowl atop the baby grand piano in the lounge to my left. The intimate wooden bar gleamed in the afternoon sun. Rich, red leather banquette seating in the dining room beckoned me to slide in and get comfortable as I moved past them to the front desk. While settling into my corner room on the third floor, I had a view of the sea on one side and the rooftops of the historic district on the other. Just after 5pm, I returned downstairs to find the bar area had transformed into a lively gathering place. Glasses of red wine swirled and flutes of Prosecco clinked. Outside on the expansive elevated porch, groups gathered on cozy couches to take in ocean breezes while sipping cocktails and nibbling on cheese and charcuterie. The clip clop of horse-drawn carriages on Jackson Street below blended with laughter and strains of jazz from the piano inside. While waiting for a friend to join me for our dinner reservation, I quickly made some new friends in Bill and Barb, a local couple celebrating some good news of their own with a round of drinks and appetizers. We shared a toast with a Dark and Stormy for each of them and a Bee’s Knees for me. The complex flavor of honey from Beach Plum Farm lent this classic gin cocktail gravitas and hinted at more delights to come. The Ebbitt Room’s Executive Chef, Jason Hanin, describes his food as ingredient driven, elegant simplicity. A Cape Resorts veteran, he opened their Atlantic City restaurants in the Chelsea Hotel. After spending the last few years working in Los Angeles, the New Jersey native leapt at the opportunity to move to Cape May to be closer to his family and work where he feels a deep sense of community and teamwork. “Running The Ebbitt Room has been an ambition of mine ever since I first laid eyes on the place 10 years ago,” he says. “To have such a beautiful property and be able to use product from our own farm in the dishes I create — that’s a great gig for a chef.” Special raised beds at the farm are easy to access for the restaurant staff and planted with their favorite herbs, flowers and unusual vegetables. Hanin is inspired by French herbs such as chervil and lavender, peppery arugula blossoms, daikon radish sprouts and the freshness of mint. Leo, The Ebbitt Room’s bartender, often visits the garden beds just before opening for the evening with scissors in hand to snip cherry red sage blossoms, mint and other herbs for his signature drinks. Concierge 93
In the intimate, candlelit dining room, the attentive staff moves beneath the watchful gaze of gilt-framed portraits of The Virginia’s original owners. The refined dishes served here have earned accolades from the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and New Jersey Monthly. The ZAGAT guide has included The Ebbitt Room in its list of America’s top restaurants. Whether you’re here for a romantic weekend or a girls’ getaway, the atmosphere of the room is relaxed and welcoming. “The Ebbitt Room can be whimsical and dreamy. It is about putting a meal in front of our guests and letting their cares of the world drift away for a couple hours,” says Hanin. A must for an appetizer is the trio of deviled farm eggs. Each day the inventive toppings change to reflect what is in season. Salads always highlight tender lettuces, vegetables, edible flowers and herbs from the farm. With vegetables always front and center, vegetarian and gluten-free guests will be well taken care of here. Main courses regularly include pork, chicken and seafood. The tomahawk chop is the signature entrée at The Ebbitt Room. Presented in a glossy, dark pool of pork jus, every tender bite of the bone-in, double pork chop is heavenly. At times, demand outpaces availability for this popular dish when the Berkshire pigs raised at Beach Plum Farm need a few more weeks to fatten up. The wait until it comes back on the menu is well worth it. After years of helming restaurants on the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf and Caribbean coastlines, Hanin has a deft hand with seafood. Locally sourced scallops, tuna and shellfish are treated with a light touch and seasonal vegetable accompaniments. A housemade pasta is almost always on the menu. Sometimes there are tortellini in a brown butter and sage sauce or tagliatelle with lobster, black truffles and freshly made ricotta. Hanin makes gnocchi two ways — either with new potatoes from the farm or with a pate choux dough enriched with the farm’s eggs. After spending many years making pasta, he reckons he can make gnocchi in his sleep. I confess that when I retired upstairs after my meal, I may have happily drifted off to dreams of one more taste of those soft gnocchi pillows finished with a fluffy cloud of parmesan. 94 Concierge
Left: The perfect finish to a night at the Ebbitt Room... the alwayspopular English Toffee Pudding.
So Many Ways to enjoy The Ebbitt Room...
JORDAN ROWAN Virginia Hotel General Manager You took over an award-winning hotel last year. How do you stay on top? We monitor guest feedback closely, whether via online review sites or through comment cards here at the hotel. Example: Our guests say time and time again that they love the front porch, so we added space heaters so guests could enjoy that area earlier in the spring and later into the fall. Name the best three things about staying at the Virginia? Complimentary breakfast in bed, valet service, and The Ebbitt Room! As our guest, we want to remove the headaches of travel so you can enjoy your experience. Parking in Cape May can be a nightmare, so we have removed this burden from our guests by offering complimentary valet and bellman service. Similarly, we want our guests’ experience to be holistic as possible and offer all that they could need right here at the hotel — your day can start with breakfast in bed (try the farm fresh hard-boiled eggs!) and finish with dinner and drinks at the bar with Leo. What more could you need? How do the numbers of regular guests compare with new visitors? We’re fortunate to get a great mix of both. Many longtime guests have children
that are now young adults, and it’s heartwarming to see the torch passed from one generation to the next. Best moment on the job so far? One couple that joins us a few times a year takes the bus into Cape May, then lugs their bags across town to the hotel. When we saw what they were doing, we flagged their future reservations and now pick them up from the bus station in The Virginia’s golf cart. They were nearly in tears, they were so thankful. Favorite dish at the Ebbitt Room? Beach Plum Farm Deviled Eggs. Chef comes up with new, interesting toppings on a daily basis. Always delicious. And favorite spot to eat there? The front porch is the best spot for small plates and people-watching.
It’s rarely easy to snag a stool at the buzzy bar, but that’s okay... you have plenty of options when it comes to enjoying The Ebbitt menus. Hang out in the lounge by the fireside or on the charming outdoor porch.
hose who frequent The Ebbitt Room lounge are no stranger to Leo Morjakovs, who has been mixing cocktails there for 13 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 Prohibition-era cocktails were first introduced to The Ebbitt Room. “It was a few 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, without fear of prosecution... 96 Concierge
COGNAC, TRIPLE SEC, FRESH LEMON JUICE,
GIN, LIME JUICE, GREEN CHARTREUSE,
Reportedly created in Paris’s Ritz Hotel during World War One, the Sidecar was 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.
This gin-based cocktail was created in 1916 at the Detroit Athletic Club, where it was offered for the price of 35 cents, making it the club’s most expensive cocktail at the time. It fell into oblivion after the Second World War before being rediscovered a few years ago.
RYE WHISKEY, PEYCHAUD BITTERS, RAW
AMERICAN WHISKEY, BITTERS, SIMPLE
CANE SUGAR, ABSINTHE RINSE
SYRUP, ORANGE, AMARENA BLACK CHERRY
Created at some point in the midnineteenth 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.
The first use of this name was for a cocktail in the 1880s at a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe is said to have been invented by a bartender and popularized by club member and bourbon distiller Colonel James E. Pepper, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. A favorite of Mad Men’s Don Draper.
at The Ebbitt Room for 11 years. His favorite part of the job? “You never know who you’re going to meet here. It’s such a big variety of people, and it always makes for a great
Blood and Sand
GIN, HONEY SYRUP FROM BEACH PLUM
SCOTCH, CHERRY HEERING, SWEET
around the bar.
FARM, LEMON JUICE
VERMOUTH, FRESH ORANGE JUICE
No two nights
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 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 concoction that still holds its own.
This scotch-based cocktail was 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.
are the same here.”
Sunrise to Sunset at The Blue Pig Tavern
ocated in the northeast corner of Congress Hall you’ll discover one of Cape May’s beloved dining experiences, the Blue Pig Tavern. No matter the weather or your mood, you’ll find a table that works for you here. On sunny days the Blue Pig Tavern’s leafy patio is a delightful spot to start your day with a breakfast of Congress Hall’s Eggs Benedict or a refreshing smoothie. Later in the day, linger over lunch as you sip a cool drink and people-watch. In the evening, dine beneath charming strings of lights. Inside, each 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 the 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 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.
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.
CLASSIC TAVERN FARE Left: Tomatoes from Beach Plum Farm are the centerpiece of the Blue Pigâ€™s summer signature sandwich. Center: Steak and cake, the ultimate comfort food. Below: The fish-and-chips mimic the British classic. Opposite: The mac-andcheese has been a Blue Pig crowd pleaser for years.
The Cape Resorts Food Guide
THE Blue Pig Tavern The cozy tavern style is underlined by the wood-burning 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) Phone: 609-884-8422
the Ebbitt Room Using the freshest produce from Beach Plum Farm, Chef Jason Hanin’s menu wows customers — the buzzy-yetintimate vibe helps, too. The bar is a favorite spot, along with the front porch. Location: 25 Jackson Street Meals Served: Dinner Reservations: Recommended 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 Phone: 609-884-0017
beach plum farm kitchen Breakfast and lunch dishes loaded with produce straight from the farm. And look out for regular pop-up dinners throughout the year. Location: 140 Stevens Street, West Cape May Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch Reservations: No Phone: 609-602-0128
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 Phone: 609-884-6522
the Boiler Room 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 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. Switch it up by enjoying drinks on the veranda rocking chairs. Location: 200 Congress Place Meals Served: Dinner, Cocktail Snacks Reservations: No Phone: 609-884-8422
west end café West End Garage’s new eatery is serving housemade doughnuts, sweet and savory pastries, sandwiches, soups, cold-pressed coffee on tap, classic coffee and espresso beverages, teas and La Colombe Draft Latte. Location: 484 West Perry Street Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch Reservations: No Phone: 609-770-8261
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
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 Phone: 609-884-5700
veranda raw bar 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 Phone: 609-884-8422
Beach service No need to cross the road. From the comfort of your lounger, fill out an order card and have lunch delivered right to your beach table. Available at Congress Hall, The Virginia and Beach Shack. Location: On the beach at Perry, Jackson and Patterson. Meals Served: Lunch, Snacks Reservations: No
The Quick Guide to Breakfast Farm Juices & Smoothies
WHAT’S IN IT: Produce from Beach Plum Farm, 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.
WHAT’S IN IT: Cold-pressed coffee on tap, La Colombe draft latte.
WHAT’S IN IT: Bloody Mary and Mimosa are among the favorites.
WHERE TO GO: The new West End Café at West End Garage. La Colombe coffee also available at Tommy’s Folly Café, Blue Pig Tavern and Beach Plum Farm.
WHERE TO GO: The Blue Pig Tavern and the Rusty Nail (where the Bloody Mary is a Rusty Mary).
WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern, Veranda Bar, Tommy’s Folly Café, Congo Pool Bar, Congress Hall in-room dining, Beach Plum Farm, West End Café.
The Healthy Start WHAT’S IN IT: Two egg whites any style, fresh berry and fruit salad, whole wheat English muffin with housemade honey-almond butter, plus freshly squeezed Beach Plum Farm juice. WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern.
Macadamia Nut Pancakes WHAT’S IN IT: Taste the islands when bite into these three fluffy pancakes with delicious toppings and finished off with your choice of coconut or classic maple syrup. WHERE TO GO: The Rusty Nail.
The Grain Bowl
Yogurt Parfait WHAT’S IN IT: Low-fat yogurt, fresh berries and crunchy granola. WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern, Tommy’s Folly Café, Congo Pool Bar, Congress Hall in-room dining, Rusty Nail.
Eggs Benedict Variations WHAT’S IN IT: Try something a little different — Eggs Blackstone on a fresh scallion biscuit, or The Nail, which is poached eggs on a crab cake. WHERE TO GO: Eggs Blackstone is available at the Blue Pig Tavern and Congress Hall in-room dining. The Nail is available at the Rusty Nail.
Beach Plum Farm Panini
WHAT’S IN IT: Typically includes quinoa, farro, barley and seasonal vegetables.
WHAT’S IN IT: Farm egg whites, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, leeks and American cheese.
WHERE TO GO: Beach Plum Farm.
WHERE TO GO: Tommy’s Folly Café.
Beach Plum Farm Omelet WHAT’S IN IT: Made with our own freerange eggs, spinach, leeks, peppers, eggplant and feta. WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail.
Sunrise Sandwich WHAT’S IN IT: Eggs and sharp cheddar on a fresh croissant. The Rusty Nail has sandwiches on bagels, biscuits and everything in between, while Beach Plum Farm has a breakfast sandwich with farm-fresh eggs. WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail, Congress Hall and Beach Shack in-room dining, Beach Plum Farm.
Classic American Doughnuts WHAT’S IN IT: Homemade doughnuts available in your favorite classic flavors — plain, powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar. WHERE TO GO: West End Café.
The Quick Guide to Lunch Burgers WHAT’S IN IT: Stop by the Blue Pig Tavern for a delicious Veggie or Turkey Burger. For meat lovers craving the All-American 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. WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail.
Frisbee Children’s Menu
Sandwiches & Wraps 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 tomatoavocado salsa on a toasted brioche bun.
Pulled Pork Sandwich WHAT’S IN IT: Slow-cooked Berkshire pork, housemade Carolina-style BBQ sauce, cabbage slaw on a toasted brioche bun. WHERE TO GO: Beach Plum Farm, Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GO: Rusty Nail, Blue Pig Tavern, West End Café, Beach Plum Farm.
Mac & Cheese
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.
WHAT’S IN IT: Build your own BLT with fresh ingredients from the farm. Choose the bread, flavor of mayo, plus add extras such as avocado, mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, grilled vegetables and cucumber.
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 GO: Rusty Nail. The Blue Pig Tavern also has a great kids’ menu — served on grown-up plates.
WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail, Beach Plum Farm, beach services.
Grilled Baja Fish Tacos
Fish & Chips
WHAT’S IN IT: Tacos packed to the gills with grilled mahi, corn, salsa, cheddar cheese, black beans and guacamole, served with coleslaw.
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 GO: Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GO: Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail.
Garden-Inspired Soups WHAT’S IN IT: The freshest of ingredients from Beach Plum Farm. WHERE TO GO: Beach Plum Farm, Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail, Tommy’s Folly Café, West End Café.
WHAT’S IN IT: Fresh lettuce and delicious vegetables from Beach Plum Farm. Try the Barley and Quinoa at the Blue Pig or the Nail’s filling Cobb.
WHAT’S IN IT: The Nail’s Boardwalk Cones are the perfect starter for a seaside lunch — from Boardwalk Fries to yummy Conch Fritters. 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: Blue Pig Tavern, Rusty Nail, Tommy’s Folly Café, Beach Plum Farm, beach services.
WHERE TO GO: Rusty Nail.
WHERE TO GO: Rusty Nail.
Right: Inspired by the sitting presidents who visited Congress Hall, The Brown Room offers a crafted Presidential cocktail collection.
Drink Like a President BY MARK WILL-WEBER
few years back, when I was finishing up a quirky book on the drinking habits of all the U.S. presidents, people would often ask, “Which president would you most like to have a drink with?” That question invites an interesting array of answers. Would you opt for, say, a morning shot of bourbon — an “eye-opener” — with Harry S. Truman? A splendid glass of French wine with Thomas Jefferson, while waxing philosophically at Monticello? Or maybe a fine mint julep with Teddy Roosevelt, delivered courtside at the White House, after a robustly contested set of tennis with the “Hero of San Juan Hill?” All intriguing potent potables with POTUS scenarios, it must be said. If you want to tailor this fantastical question to the U.S. presidents known to have spent time in Cape May, you can still trot out an impressive lineup — Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant and Benjamin Harrison. All of them were chief executives during the 19th century, a time when Cape May was basking in its original glory as a highly desirable summer resort destination. And, in the event you might need a pinch hitter, Chester Arthur (21st POTUS) vis110 Concierge
ited Cape May, though he didn’t stay at Congress Hall. No teetotaler, Arthur once booted a Women’s Christian Temperance Union representative out of the White House after she implored him to make the executive mansion alcohol free. The former Tammany Hall veteran — red-faced and fuming — thundered, “Madam, I may be the President of the United States, but what I do with my private life is my own damned business!” The perfect place for a drink with any of these presidential gents would be, of course, The Brown Room (cozy bar, fireplace roaring on inclement days) in the historic Congress Hall, where these four presidents lodged and from which Harrison once ran his Summer White House in the early 1890s. The quality of the libations and the skill of the mixologists there dovetails nicely with the historic vibe of what is Cape May’s most famous structure. In the 19th century, cocktails were already well entrenched at establishments where men of influence might gather. Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote about the bustling barroom at Washington’s Willard Hotel, advising... Adopt the universal habit of the place, and call for a mint julep, a whiskey skin, a gin cocktail, a brandy smash or a glass of pure Old Rye, for the conviviality of Washington sets in at an early hour and, so far I had an opportunity of observing, never terminates at any hour. The U.S. presidents who came to Cape May were fleeing the sweltering summer of the capital. The pleasant breezes, blue skies and crashing waves of Cape May were grand attractions, and the presidents did not hesitate to bring their grand social life to compliment the scene. If you want to go hard or go home, James Buchanan (15th POTUS) would be your man. Most historians give Buchanan low marks when judging his presidency (as the Civil War broke across the country like some terrible tsunami, he proved indecisive), but as a drinker, Buchanan was arguably the best of all the chief executives. His drinks of choice were well-aged brandies, Madeira wines, rye whiskey and champagne. Buchanan could apparently joust with John Bar112 Concierge
DRUNKEN THEATRICS This drink is inspired by Franklin Pierce, who was known to have a passion for a nice whiskey during his stay at Congress Hall. Bulleit bourbon, lemon juice, strawberry simple syrup, ginger beer and bitters
WHISKEY SMASH Inspired by James Buchanan, Old Buck and his Democratic cronies sipped on this newly popularized cocktail at Congress Hall’s bar. Woodford bourbon, lemon juice, blackberry simple syrup and mint
leycorn for hours and show only minimal effects. He had decades of practice. As a young lawyer, Buchanan could often be found at a popular Lancaster, Pennsylvania tavern called The Grapes. As an ambassador sent to Russia (during Andrew Jackson’s presidency), Buchanan wrote back about the inhabitants drinking “a species of hot white brandy enough to kill the devil.” Presumably Buchanan was referring to Russian vodka and one must assume that he had an occasional waltz with it. One of Buchanan’s contemporaries, the journalist John Forney, once described “Old Buck’s” drinking capacity in glowing terms, “The Madeira and sherry that he has consumed would fill more than on old cellar, and the rye whiskey that he has ‘punished’ would make Jacob Baer’s heart glad.” (Baer was a whiskey merchant in Washington.) Franklin Pierce, aka “Handsome Frank,” was Buchanan’s predecessor and he also drank with enthusiasm, but unfortunately he lacked Old Buck’s legendary tolerance. In fact — years before he ascended to the White House — Pierce tried to quit and even once embraced the temperance pledge back in his home state of New Hampshire. To no avail, though — Pierce began drinking again as an officer in the Mexican War. That Pierce (our 14th POTUS) had alcohol issues is well established. Forney, no stranger to the bottle himself, wrote to Buchanan, expressing his fears that the stress of the presidency might wreck Pierce. “He drinks deep,” wrote Forney. “My heart bleeds for him for he is a gallant and generous spirit. The place overshadows him. He is crushed by its great duties.” When the Whig party failed to back Pierce for a second term, he reportedly (it perhaps is apocryphal) darkly quipped, “There is nothing for ex-presidents to do but get drunk.” Subdued by his political failures and accusations that he was a “dough face” (a northerner sympathetic to the Confederate cause), plus crushing personal losses (none of his three children lived to adulthood), Pierce continued to drink heavily in his latter years and died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1869. A glance at the burly fellow on your $50 bill Concierge 113
might lead you to believe that Ulysses S. Grant (our 18th POTUS) was an accomplished drinker. But the famous general was, in truth, a bad drinker and — like Pierce — was plagued by low tolerance and a tendency to binge. By the time he was president, however, Grant had moved on from swilling whiskey (the knock against him during the war) and was drinking more wine and brandies. Grant’s secret service agent William Crook termed the president a “lavish host” and noted, “I remember one wine bill that impressed me very much… $1,800 for champagne alone.” Still dogged by his reputation as an unbridled boozer, Grant indulged secretively during his White House years. He drank almost exclusively with his most trusted cronies. Thomas C. Donaldson, a contemporary of Grant’s, told this amusing anecdote, “He had many cronies, and I recall a club room where he used to… play a social game of cards… Sen. [T.W.] Osborn of Fla., once told me that John M. Francis of Troy, N.Y., went up to the White House during Grant’s first term, played poker with a party, got fuddled — was Grant’s partner in this perhaps — did it well, and the next day to his surprise, was appointed Minster to Greece. Is a good hand at poker a qualification for a foreign minister?” Although Grant did stay briefly in Cape May, he actually chose to spend his summers up the coast in Long Branch, NJ. A visiting journalist once described his reluctance to disturb Grant — the general liked to sit out on a bluff overlooking the ocean and smoke his prized cigars. Given that Grant eventually died (in 1885) of mouth cancer, tobacco — and not alcohol — may have been his worst enemy. The lightweight drinker of the Cape May presiidential quartet would be Benjamin Harrison. This might come as a surprise, given that his grandfather William Henry Harrison captured the White House with the besotted Log Cabin and Hard Cider campaign. But as the writer John S. Wise once summed up, “He [Benjamin] did indeed have two prominent traits of the Harrisons, for he was fond of shooting and a religious enthusiast… He 114 Concierge
NEW ORLEANS INCIDENT A tribute to Ulysses S. Grant, whose whiskey drinking prowess was surpassed only by his skill in battle. Redemption Rye, Peychaud bitters, sugar, absinthe wash and lemon peel
SHRUB FASHIONED Inspired by Benjamin Harrison. It is a modern twist on a classic cocktail that was very popular during his time in office, the 1890s.. Dickel Rye, amarena cherry and orange shrub, bitters and club soda
utterly lacked another family trait, for many of the Virginia branch have dearly loved whisky. My father, who knew them all and loved them, but had a way of saying what he pleased, generalized Harrison traits that he never knew a Harrison who was not a gentleman, but some were inclined to run to extremes — some in the love of God, and others in the love of whisky.” Since Benjamin Harrison (our 23rd POTUS) sometimes attended the Cold Spring Presbyterian Church when he was in Cape May, it seems safe to say he leaned away from whiskey. In fact, when he first learned he was elected, he proclaimed, “Providence has given us the victory!” His hard-boiled Republican chairman, Senator Matthew Quay supposedly muttered a snide aside to a journalist, “Think of the man! He ought to know that Providence hadn’t a damn thing to do with it!” Quay then added that Harrison would never know how many underlings had been “compelled to approach the gates of the penitentiary” to get him elected. Perhaps ironically, it was Harrison (and not the drinking presidents) who endured the biggest Cape May scandal. The tycoon John Wanamaker gifted the Harrisons a “cottage” (20 rooms and sweeping porches, so… not a cottage as we picture it today) and the national press raised a fuss. In an effort to put out the fire, Harrison offered to pay $10,000 to Wanamaker for the so-called cottage. Wanamaker wasn’t the only Gilded Age tycoon offering Harrison gifts. Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-born industrialist, once sent a keg of Dewar’s scotch to the White House, suggesting that it might help Harrison cope with an unruly Congress. Harrison — always polite — acknowledged the gift in a thank-you note, but it is doubtful he sampled the contents of the keg. Speaking of which, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, does not drink (though he did once foist Trump Vodka on the drinking public), so there is slim chance of him hoisting anything with clout at Congress Hall or any tavern, bar, or beachside dive on the Cape. So it goes. Where is James Buchanan when we really need him? Concierge 115
Brick-oven, thin-crust pizza at the Boiler Room
Brick-oven, thin-crust pizza and craft beer... it’s a match made in heaven. Add in some farmfresh salads and you can see why the Boiler Room is a favorite new destination. Pizza toppings include Pepperoni, Margherita, Smokey Pulled BBQ, Beach Plum Farm Vegetable, Prosciutto and Arugula, Sopressata and Capicola, Berkshire, and Mushroom.
“There’s nothing like the taste of pizza straight out of the brick oven.” DYLAN RUTHERFORD, THE BOILER ROOM CHEF
Entertainment HQ Situated in the lower level of Congress Hall, the Boiler Room has the flavor of a Manhattan nightclub. The bar and tables are stainless steel, the walls are the original exposed brick from the old hotel’s original boiler room, and the crimson shades add to the moody vibe. But the Boiler Room doesn’t just look good. It has the quality sounds to match. Throughout the season you’ll find more than enough reasons to dance the night away, with top-shelf entertainers providing live blues, swing and vintage rock. There’s a reason why this has become one of the liveliest dance floors in America’s Original Seaside Resort. Twelve flat-screen TV monitors throughout the room make sure that no one misses any sports action. Daily drink specials feature fresh ingredients from Beach Plum Farm.
Shopping & Spa
Beach Chic at Tommy’s Folly
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 preppy classics from Gretchen Scott, day-to-night dresses and tunics from Skemo. For the beach, we have coverups, beach totes, sun hats, and fun skirts. Needing to accessorize for the evening? We offer chic new jewelry from up-and-coming designer Mignonne Gavigan, plus three new sandal brands — Jack Rogers, Cocobelle and Ipanema. For men, we have classic lines such as Tailorbyrd, Johnnie-O and Tailor Vintage, plus swimwear from Hiho and flip-flops from Hari Mari. Welcome to the definitive by-the-sea shopping experience. Turn the page to see some ideas we’ve put together for evening wear.
Right: Crochet raffia sun hat by Flora Bella, striped dress by Lola Australia, wrap bracelet by Nakamol 120 Concierge
LEFT Fringe suede clutch by Shiraleah, bracelet by Chibi Jewels, dress by Julie Brown NYC, necklace by Chan Luu ABOVE Shirt by Bell, Moto jeans by MM Vintage, tote by Brave Leather
RACHEL ELVGREN Tommy's Folly Buyer What’s the best thing about the new expansion and renovation? I am really excited about having a kids’ shop to house all of our Blue Pig items and adding new games and toys to our selection. We have so many families on vacation and parents love to pick up a treat for their little ones. How much do you use your own instincts as opposed to figuring out what the customers want? I buy from the experience of knowing what has worked over these past nine years as well as using my eye and instincts. I love to make sure we have a mix of vendors with a range of prices and items you don’t see everywhere. Congress Hall is such a special place and I want to make sure everyone can take a piece home. What’s your favorite new line at Tommy’s Folly? We are excited to add Jack Rogers sandals to the Boutique. It’s a
classic sandal line that no one else in Cape May carries. We have their little girls’ sandals as well as women’s. Is there a specific look to a night out at the beach, or do these outfits work anywhere? I love to wear dresses at the beach for a night out or a pretty shirt with white jeans to show off the tan. The looks we carry in the Boutique definitely work elsewhere. That’s something I think about when I buy clothes for the store. Most of our customers don’t live here and I want to buy pieces they can take back home and enjoy. You can also bring out the beach vibes with your jewelry — we have bright, ethnic jewelry that can add a beachy pop to any outfit. Your favorite Blue Pig memento? I am beyond excited about our new collaboration with Roberta Roller Rabbit. It’s a line we have offered since the first summer we starting carrying women’s clothing — they’re known for their fun prints and cozy pajamas. We designed a blue pig fabric and are making several different style pajamas out of it. We also had them made for women, so this time the kids don’t get to have all the fun!
ABOVE Faux fur and leather Birkin by Serpui, fringe bracelet by Shiraleah, tweed and feather dress by Sail to Sable RIGHT Wicker fish clutch by Serpui, pearl cuff by Ashiana London, top by Calypso St. Barth, white jeans by Blank NYC
We’ve Expanded! Tommy’s Folly is bigger for 2017. You’ll still find the great branded items and stylish boutique clothing you’re used to... but there is a brand-new layout and more fun, inspiring shopping than ever! Tommy’s Folly Coffee Shop is now Tommy’s Folly Café with tables where you can enjoy coffee and snacks — and browse the comprehensive selection of newspapers, magazines and those everyday essentials. Next door, you’ll find the new Tommy’s Folly, an exciting combination of the old General Store and Home Store. Browse a kaleidoscopic range of Congress Hall-branded merchandise, from caps to belts to yoga pants and tees, including new Blue Pig pajamas for women and kids made exclusively for Tommy’s Folly by Roberta Roller Rabbit, plus new Blue Pig boxers and lounge pants for men. Don’t miss the range of Congress Hall ornaments and collectible snow globes! If you love the china and linen found in this grand old hotel, you can buy them right here, along with a must-have collection of themed ornaments. Tommy’s Folly Boutique is expanding and moving across the hall — here you will find an even larger collection of carefully curated resort wear and accessories. Next door to that is the new Tommy’s Folly Kids shop, where cute meets cool. You’ll find swimwear from Snapper Rock and Sunuva, swim goggles from Bling2O, and mermaid tails! Plus a huge selection of toys for all-day fun.
Summer Outfits from Tommyâ€™s Folly Boutique DAYTIME
T-shirt dress by Whimsy Rose $92 Necklace by Oliphant $55 Basket tote by Buckle Up $75 Raffia fedora by Flora Bella $70 Flip-flops by Ipanema $29
Blouse by Roberta Roller Rabbit $129 White Jeans by Blank NYC $88 Bracelet by Chibi Jewels $52 Earrings by Julie Aylward $240 Sandals by Cocobelle $199
Perfect Summer Outfits for Him DAYTIME
Performance Polo by Johnnie-O $79 Swim trunks by Snapper Rock $78 Needlepoint hat by Smathers & Banson for Tommy’s Folly $35 Flip-flops by Ipanema $20
Linen shirt by Hiho $105 Shorts by Johnnie-O $79 Needlepoint wallet by Smathers & Branson for Tommy’s Folly $55 Flip-flops by Sanuk $45
And for the Boys and Girls, Too! DAYTIME
Ruffle bikini by Snapper Rock $48 Pompom shorts by Snapper Rock $48 Sandals by Ipanema $22
Dress by Roberta Roller Rabbit $75 Sandals by Jack Rogers $75
Striped sun shirt by Snapper Rock $40 Swim trunks by Snapper Rock $48 Flip-flops by Ipanema $20
Blue Pig T-shirt by Tommyâ€™s Folly $22 Shorts by Johnnie-O $48 Flip Flops by Ipanema $20
West End Garage
West End Garage, Cape May’s most exciting shopping experience, has expanded! The former bakery next door has been completely renovated, featuring a coffee shop/bakery with indoor and outdoor seating, along with 12 new shops, including an Artist Annex, where over a dozen artisans will showcase their work including painting, printmaking, glass, pottery, wood, graphics and more. This means that there are now more than 50 vendors offering a dizzying array of things quirky, beautiful and cool. There is extraordinary stuff at every turn. Local photographers and artists display their many wares here, plus there are antiques, home furnishings, books, jewelry, vintage clothing, gourmet food including olive oils, vinegars, sauces, jams, candy... the list goes on. The best thing? “The inventory changes regularly,” says General Manager Wendy Guiles. “Which is why it’s such fun to keep coming back.” 130 Concierge
WENDY GUILES West End Garage General Manager It’s an exciting new season with the expansion of the retail and the addition of West End Café. What can we expect to eat there? I’m excited to be working with Chef Todd from Beach Plum Farm. The menu is fresh and simple... our offerings include housemade doughnuts, sweet and savory pastries, sandwiches on freshly baked bread, soups using the bounty from the farm, and more. What kind of coffees and juices? There will be cold-pressed coffee on tap, classic coffee and espresso beverages, teas, and my personal favorite, La Colombe Draft Latte. We are the only location where you’ll find draft latte on tap in Cape May County. We will also offer fresh pressed juices from Beach Plum. And there’s outdoor seating, too? Indoor and outdoor seating, which we are really excited about! We’re across the street from Wilbraham Park. Shopping and snacking. Sounds like the perfect combination. Are you excited about how this will change the West End Garage experience? If I had a nickel for every time a customer told us we need to serve coffee! Since we opened in 2009, our customers
have been suggesting that we need to serve coffee and food. There’s been an upward trend of hybrid stores for good reasons — one being that it is very convenient. With so much to see and do in Cape May, even people on vacation are looking to use their time wisely. With the expansion, you’ve added how many new retail spaces? There are 12 additional spaces in the new building along with changes in the layout of our existing store. Our new vendors are unique and varied, like White, a local favorite lifestyle store; a super-cool outdoor/woodsy-themed store; and there’s the nostalgic return to Cape May of the iconic Steger Beach Company store. We also have created a section specifically for artisans and locally handcrafted items. What makes the WEG shopping experience so different from anything else in Cape May? With over 55 curated vendors, each with their own narrative, creating retail spaces that burst with flavor, there is no other shopping experience like it. What’s your personal favorite time of year at WEG? Every season has its own character, but I love the holidays. Our customers appreciate the warm, no-pressure, relaxed shopping environment. There is such satisfaction hearing a customer tell us that they found the perfect gift that they couldn’t find anywhere else.
Sea Spa at Congress Hall What services do you offer? An enticing selection of massages (from relaxing to therapeutic) as well as 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 home care 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 to beach 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 hot towel treatments plus 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? 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. Do you cater to groups or other special events? Definitely! It’s the perfect place to relax and indulge with family, friends, colleagues or special corporate guests. Whether you are planning a birthday party, baby shower, employee appreciation day, bachelorette party, treat for business professionals, or are just looking to enjoy some pampering, our spa group sales team is here to help make your day special. The spa considers a “group” to be five or more guests. For more information on Sea Spa, call 609-884-6543 or visit caperesorts.com/seaspa.
Beach Boot Camp This season we are excited to offer Beach Boot Camp, hosted by instructor Donna Valentine. 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. Donna will put you through your paces on the Congress Hall beach every Saturday, June 3 through June 17; and Monday through Saturday from June 17 through August 31. Classes run from 8:00am-9:00am and cost $14.95 plus tax. To book your class please visit the Concierge desk at Congress Hall or call 609-884-8421.
beach boot camp can burn around 550 calories per hour. how the others rate...
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Fall, Winter & Spring Activities
A City for All Seasons
n most seaside resorts, it’s called the offseason or the shoulder season. The time of year when the few tourists who DO visit are only there for bracing walks on deserted beaches. But in Cape May, the offseason only applies to January and February, and even then, there are fun events to be enjoyed. While your typical resort begins to seriously wind down after Labor Day, Cape May is the little resort that just keeps on going. September and October usually offer perfect conditions for hiking, birding and, yes, relaxing on the beach, too. Plus there are SO many activities to enjoy, from the fast-growing Dragon Boat Festival in September to the internationally renowned Bird Show in October to the world-class Exit Zero Jazz Festival in November. Over at Beach Plum Farm in West Cape May, we have Fall at the Farm, running every Saturday in October. And then there is Christmas in Cape May... thanks to the rich Victorian legacy of America’s Original Seaside Resort, the city already has the Dickensian architecture that provides the perfectly charming backdrop to celebrating the most wonderful time of the year. Which is why Congress Hall’s Winter Wonderland has become one of the must-see holiday attractions in the country, as mentioned in Travel & Leisure magazine’s feature, “America’s Best Towns for the Holidays.” At Cape Resorts, spring is a pretty big deal, too — witness the myriad events we organize for Spring Break (see pages 152-155), plus there’s the outdoor fun to be had during Spring at the Farm. Oh, and we did say there were fun events in the middle of winter — in February, don’t miss the annual Ice Ball in Congress Hall’s ballroom (visit fundforcm.org for more details). And then there are the lively fireplace-warmed lounges, bustling dining rooms and lower room rates that lure regular devotees who love the ambience of a weekend in January, February and March. It might snooze occasionally, but Cape May is the resort town that rarely sleeps. 136 Concierge
Fall at the Farm Count the ways to have fun! On weekends this fall, from 11am5pm, Beach Plum Farm hosts Fall at the Farm. There’s a pig roast, 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 award-winning Cape May Brewing Company, homemade pies, cozy fire pits, s’mores roasting, pumpkin and zucchini bread, and live music.
Legends of the Fall... Why Cape May is the Epicenter of a Natural Phenomenon Concierge 141
BY PETE DUNNE
elcome to the Autumn Migration Mainline. If your visit to Cape May falls between June 21 and January 1 (autumn by the bird calendar), you are poised to witness one of the planet’s most celebrated spectacles at the place whose name is virtually synonymous with fall bird migration. We’re talking about 50,000 migrating hawks a season (September through November), one million migrating seabirds and hundreds of millions of migrating songbirds — all concentrated along the 142 Concierge
It’s not unusual for 20,000 snow geese to leave Reed’s Beach (13 miles north of Cape May) in the winter, en route for the Arctic, where they nest each spring.
giant land funnel that is the Cape May peninsula. It’s a National Geographic Special at your doorstep. To participate, all you need to do is step outside and look up. If you were visiting Northern California, you’d go see the Giant Redwoods, right? So why wouldn’t you want to savor the special nature of Cape May? One likely answer is, because you don’t know how or where to go. Redwoods are huge, easy to find and they just stand there. Birds have free will and their movement is influenced by winds, weather and habitat. But once you understand the rules of engagement, finding lots of birds is easy as collecting shells on the beach. That’s where we come in, the New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, your local ambassadors to the birds, offering daily field trips, hosting season-long hawk, songbird and seabird counts. Just stop by the Northwood Center, 701 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point, and pick up your free bird checklist, regional birding map, and schedule of events. With nearly 450 possible bird species in Cape May, having a field guide helps sort out the possibilities. You can just go to the Hawk Watch Platform at Cape May Point State Park or attend an organized field trip and avail yourself of the knowledge of local experts. Let them pin the names to the birds. All you have to do is enjoy them. Wouldn’t you love to post a picture of a bald eagle circling the lighthouse to all your Facebook and Instagram friends? Or a shot of 20,000 snow geese lifting off the marshes north of Reed’s Beach? Anyone can post a picture of sea shells or drinks served with umbrellas stuck in them, but here at the Migration Mainline you can be a wildlife photographer and your success might lead to a whole new hobby. Some of the nation’s finest Concierge 143
GOOD READS There are many great birding books for beginners on the market. The classic is The Sibley Guide to Birds, written and illustrated in Cape May Point. Many beginners find Kenn Kaufman’s Birds of North America compact, comprehensive and userfriendly. Also see the fresh approach by Cape Maybased Richard Crossley in The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds.
nature photographers live in Cape May, precisely because of the year-round photo ops. Even if you don’t see an eagle, there is certain to be migrating hawks around. Cape May is called The Raptor Capital of North America for a reason. The platform is also a good place to view migrating shorebirds in July and August or ducks and geese September through January. Sheets of migrating songbirds pass overhead any autumn morning following the passage of a cold front. I recall one spectacular day in October when close to 100,000 American robins crammed Cape May airspace. My own favorite one-day encounter was on October 2, 1977 when 21,800 hawks were counted, though this figure is low. Other people might account the day monarch butterflies were going by at the rate of 100 per minute — the monarch migration is one of nature’s great spectacles, millions of them traveling thousands of miles south to Mexico for the winter. That evening, the trees in town were draped in butterfly wings. A town painted monarch orange. But these spectacles are not everyday occurrences. Hundreds of migrating monarchs a day in late September or early October is more typical. As for hawks, a day with northwest winds any time between September and November should produce flights of 100 to 1,000-plus birds of prey. The species mix depends upon the calendar. Falcons are most common in September. Numbers of large soaring raptors like red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks peak in November. October offers a good mix of early and late raptor migrats. Binoculars are useful and, fortunately, Swarovski Optik has a supply of loaners to be used on the Hawk Watch Platform. The great thing about hawk watching is that you don’t need to be an early bird. Most hawks keep banker’s hours — 9:00 to 5:00. It’s songbirds and seabirds that get up with the sun. In fact, migrating songbirds are up all night. If you step outside you’ll hear their call notes and maybe see their frail forms illuminated by the lights of Cape May. The high, sharp or lisping sounds are warbler vocalizations, the buzzy utterances migrating thrushes, although the flight call of Swainson’s thrush resembles the short, clear whistle of spring peeper, the tiny frog whose chorus is known for heralding the beginning of spring. So if you are walking back from dinner one fall evening and you think you hear spring peepers overhead, don’t blame it on the martini — it’s migrating Swainson’s thrush and probably lots of them. The squealing buzz mixed in is the call of gray-cheeked thrush. Where is this avalanche of birds heading? Many are going to the West Indies, or Central and South America. Where do they herald from? Many from the great boreal forests of Canada, the planet’s greatest bird hatchery. But from June through December, for a few short days, their address is Cape May, the critical link that connects the geographic poles of their lives. Imagine a river of birds flowing overhead and all you need to do to witness the spectacle is turn your eyes and ears to the sky. But, you might be thinking, isn’t birdwatching kind of geeky? No more geeky than going to an art gallery. Like elements in a fine work of art, birds add colorful touches to the natural tapestry and your viewing experience. What’s more, and unlike paintings hanging on gallery walls, birds are animate, they move and hide, bringing an element 144 Concierge
of challenge to your viewing experience. Now you see them, now you don’t. The trick is getting a look that allows you to pin the name to the bird. You name it, you own it — another feather in your cap. It’s like collecting sea shells but you collect them in your mind. No sand in your pockets, no smelly shells to dispose of once you get home. And chances are you’ll never run out of birds to collect. There are 10,000 species on the planet, many tucked away in some of the earth’s other great ecotourist destinations — Papua, New Guinea; Antarctica; the Amazon Basin. But you are here now. A typical two-hour Monday morning field trip to the South Cape May Meadows in the fall will get you 60 species (only 9, 040 to go) — but those first 60 might include such avian treasures as purple martin, brown thrasher, yellow-breasted chat, blue grosbeak, indigo bunting, and orchard oriole, a bird as splendid as any rainforest species and in many ways more gratifying than the penguins you’ll see in Antarctica. Penguins, after all, can’t fly. Orioles and all the other migrating birds that enliven the Cape May landscape can. Different seasons offer different species. Next time you come to Cape May, you will always find a lot to see. But don’t forget to look up.
Thousands of migrating Swainson’s Thrush stop over in Cape May, though you would hardly know it, given their tendency to lurk in thickets. Their call resembles a frog.
Winter Wonderland... the Ultimate Christmas Treat Concierge 147
Your Christmas HQ! A month-long festival which celebrates the magic of Christmas with a childlike joyfulness, Winter Wonderland has turned Cape May into one of the East Coast’s mustvisit holiday destinations — a vacant hotel room in December is fast becoming a rare commodity. Congress Hall is transformed into an impressive festive spectacle with a 35-feet Christmas tree as the centerpiece, overlooking a tented shopping village filled with booths offering the kinds of gifts that make perfect stocking stuffers. Guests sip freshly made hot chocolate while they wait for their turn on the Congress Hall Express or a spin on a dazzling carousel that brings out the kid in everyone, while smiling elves wander the grounds, armed with candy canes and other festive treats. For the kids, it’s a chance to indulge their dreams — from eating breakfast with Santa to learning the art of gingerbread decorating from that rewnowned expert, Mrs. Claus. See next page for more details.
Breakfast with Santa Each weekend of Winter Wonderland, enjoy a delicious breakfast with Jolly Old St. Nick. Buffet includes scrambled eggs with fresh herbs, bacon, fruit, buttermilk pancakes, sweet treats, and much more. Kids will get the chance to tell Santa all of their Christmas wishes, while parents snap a pretty picture for the mantel. Breakfast with Santa is offered on weekends from November 25 thru December 23.
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 • $30 breakfast dining credit PLUS, KIDS EAT FREE!
For more information visit caperesorts.com/specials
Congress Hall Holiday Musical and Dinner Most of Santa’s elves spend 365 days a year at the North Pole, making toys and preparing for one magical night, Christmas Eve. But Congress Hall in Cape May has a very special month-long celebration, Winter Wonderland, which brings Santa south of the Arctic Circle every weekend after Thanksgiving. It takes a special coalition to bring the North Pole to the southernmost tip of New Jersey. The Cape May Clan is chosen by Santa himself, and they are the ones you see with him at breakfast, working in the toy shop and filling the hot chocolate stations at the vendor village. But what happens when the village closes up, the workshop is sealed, and the ballroom is empty? Join the elves for an interactive Holiday Dinner where you will learn all about the life and times of the Congress Hall Elves. Sing along to your favorite Christmas tunes, enjoy a delicious family-style dinner, and celebrate the season at this new event in the Grand Ballroom. Available Saturday evenings on December 9, 16 and 23. The Gift of the Magi... with Cape May Stage Congress Hall is teaming up with Cape May Stage once again to bring a delightful theatrical production to the Harrison Room. The Gift of the Magi tells the classic O. Henry tale of Jim and Della, a young couple determined to buy the ideal Christmas present for each other despite the fact that they have no money. In a characteristic twist of irony, the true meaning of Christmas shines through in this family-friendly production. The play will be performed November 25, 26 and 30, December 3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-23, 26-30. 2018 Winter Concert Series Don’t let Old Man Winter keep you on the couch. Come to Congress Hall for nights full of music and fun. Here’s the schedule — check congresshall.com for ticket information nearer the time. January 21 Old-Timey Hymn Sing February 18 Broadway Musical Singalong March 11 The Squares: From Cline to Cash and Beyond March 25 Bastard Sons of Captain Mey April 15 Doo Wop: Dane Anthony & The Sons of Thunder
Spring Break 2018
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... 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! Never Grow Up Luncheon What’s the quickest way to get to Never Never Land? Through Congress Hall’s Grand Ballroom, of course! This spring break the Ballroom will transform into scenes from J.M. Barrie’s classic story, Peter Pan. Enjoy lunch while you think happy thoughts. Then, take flight with activities to follow. Bring your pixie dust and join us on an awfully big adventure! Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Don’t be late for this very important date! Mini-etiquette class guided by Alice and the Mad Hatter. Enjoy pastries, sandwiches, tea and a fun activity to take home. 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 Grand Lawn is filled with laughter as children head off in search of Easter bounty. As always, the Easter Bunny and Blue 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 three special events. Back by popular demand is our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and our Kids Can Cook, Too! and Never Grow Up Luncheon. Package includes: • Accommodations at Congress Hall, The Star or Sandpiper Beach Club • $30 dining credit at Blue Pig Tavern per night For more information visit caperesorts.com/specials
Weddings & Special Events
A Special Kind of Place
ape May is one of the top wedding destinations in the country and Congress Hall is its shining jewel. The grand old building 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 onsite event coordinators, 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 December. 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! To incorporate a beautifully rustic element to your big day, a dinner and reception at Beach Plum Farm might be the answer. For more information, contact our wedding specialists at 609-884-6553.
Christian Oth Studio
Christian Oth Studio
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!
Traci Arney Photography
KRYSTINA KENNEDY Director of Events and Social What makes Congress Hall such a great place for special events? I have done a fair amount of traveling and I haven’t come across anything like it. The history, the charm, the views, the attention to detail from the staff... If you could be at a glamorous ball at Congress Hall any time since it was founded, what year would you choose? The 1920s. I am thinking of a real Gatsby-style soirée. Can you imagine a more perfect backdrop? And what would you wear? Really elaborate fur and over-the-top sequins, flapper gown, probably some really fantastic headdress to boot. Which is currently what I wear to any event I attend, so no different, I guess. What’s your role in Winter Wonderland and the Ice Ball, two mammoth Cape Resorts events? My sole job during Winter Wonderland is to make sure Santa has arrived from the North Pole for breakfast and brunch. Truth is, I lead an incredibly hardworking and dedicated team to host the most fantastic holiday celebration out there. Winter Wonderland really is such a cool event, it’s also incredible to see how much it grows year over year. I am a huge fan of Christmas, so Winter Wonderland is a favorite event. Ice Ball? Make sure the tent stays put! Ever wish you could attend one of these events without actually being involved so you could just ENJOY it? This is such a nerdy answer... but I actually enjoy every event I work. I love the energy and the buzz during them. Yes, of course I would love to sit back and enjoy — but what fun is that? I think it’s much more fun to be on the other side and then, afterwards, sit back with a glass of bubbles and be really proud of what you just did! I have always said that the day I stop enjoying events, or am jaded about weddings, is the day I need to find a new job!
Rooms for Every Occasion
ongress Hall offers Cape May’s most unique and finest banquet and conference facilities. As a year-round destination, with over 2,000 square feet of meeting space, the hotel may accommodate corporate groups and businesses of all sizes. When combined with the assets of its sister properties, more than 200 rooms are available, with multiple meeting spaces, restaurants, spa, and nightlife. Congress Hall’s grandeur, elegance and historic nature combine with the style and convenience of a luxury hotel. Just a block away on Jackson Street, The Virginia’s Richmond Room is perfect for smaller meetings. Whether your plans are for an executive retreat, corporate meeting, or recognition dinner, Cape Resorts’ amenities and conference services are specially tailored to meet your needs. Corporate group gatherings at Congress Hall provide distraction-free meetings in a beautiful location. Discover how productivity, team-building and relaxation can go hand-in-hand in Cape May. Take advantage of the full-service Sea Spa, enjoy cocktails in the Brown Room lounge and dining in the Blue Pig Tavern and Boiler Room. Ask about our group discount room rates, meeting rooms and full-service catering facilities. Enhance your group’s experience by adding a Congress Hall History Tour or a themed dining experience. Onsite event and conference planners are available to assist in curating the ideal function for your business needs. From team-building and leadership development to group retreats and everything in between. The staff at Congress Hall is dedicated to providing a personalized experience. For more information, please contact our Meetings Specialist, Jill Heim by calling 609-846-4988, or by email at email@example.com.
Activities & Shopping
ith its acclaimed beaches and beautiful collection of Victorian architecture, Cape May isn’t just the country’s oldest seaside resort... it’s one of America’s most appealing vacation spots. And that appeal only continues to grow as a new wave of dynamic young business owners brings a burst of energy and fresh ideas. Every year, new stores, restaurants and activities are sprouting — there’s never been a better time to visit this charming little island. On the following pages you will discover activities that we have partnered with — our Concierge desk will be happy to book a whole range of fun tours, trips and tickets for you. Looking to get out on the water? Choose from paddleboarding, kayaking, parasailing and enjoying the thrill of a jet boat, or the gentler rhythm of a whale and dolphin-watching cruise. If you need to keep the kids distracted, engaged AND inspired, there are plenty of choices, from the world’s best seaside amusement park to a compelling living history museum, pirate and mermaid-themed cruises and ghostly trolley tours. For a cultural fix, there is Broadway-quality theater plus a jazz festival that regularly attracts world-class performers. See why Cape May County is emerging as a serious player in the winery and brewing market when you sample award-winning wines and beers in beautiful surroundings. And when you need to enjoy some fresh air, away from the beach for the day, enjoy top-class golf and organized fishing trips. When it comes to shopping, you’ll find a growing array of quirky boutiques and artisanally minded stores that will get your tastebuds doing overtime (be warned — the quality of candy on this island is premium grade). Add in some irresistible resort wear, high-quality jewelry offerings, cute-and-cool baby merchandise and the kind of T-shirts you won’t find anywhere else, and you’ll see why shopping has never been cooler in Cape May. 162 Concierge
New, faddy workouts come and go all the time… think karaoke spin class and antigravity yoga. But stand-up paddleboarding — in which you take to the water with an oversized, stable surfboard and a long paddle — has proven its staying power around the globe. Aqua Trails includes the activity with its kayaking lineup and the response has been phenomenal. Maybe it’s the way stand-up paddleboarding 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 paddleboarding a new favorite Cape May pastime, enjoyed by seasoned and amateur paddlers of every age group. If paddleboarding’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 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, roman-
tics 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 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 164 Concierge
Cape May Brewing Company
Cape May County’s first microbrewery began with 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. Now one of the 50 Best Breweries in America, according to Yahoo Travel, they’re open daily from 12-8pm (11-9 in the summer) and have as many as 23 beers on tap at a time, a rotation of the 100+ seasonal and year-round varieties they produce. Take a tour of their two production facilities — one, a 15,000-square-foot warehouse with a 30-barrel brewhouse; the other a designated space for experimental brewing (sour beers, barrel-aged brews and whatnot). Get a flight of four beers with a souvenir glass and enjoy it in the expanded and renovated Beer Garden. There are handcrafted, homemade sodas for the kiddies and your faithful designated driver. Then visit The Brewtique gift shop for cool swag, as well as beer-to-go in six-packs, cases or kegs. Check out that growler filler — it fills your 64-ouncer in under a minute with zero spillage. Please note, they do not serve food, but take advantage of their BYOF policy and pack a picnic lunch or grab takeout from your favorite local joint. Here are some of their top brews... The Bog This cranberry wheat ale is blended with lemonade to create the perfect summer shandy. Honey Porter The light body and drinkability will change your opinion of dark beers. Coastal Evacuation Hurricane season hits hard, and CMBC hits back with this Double IPA. Tons of Centennial hops. Cape May IPA A gateway IPA, this beer emphasizes a ton of hop flavor and aroma, but none of the bitterness. Summer Catch Citrusy and refreshing, this light and crushable Belgian-style wheat ale is sure to be your go-to brew all summer long.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Brewing Co., 1288 Hornet Road, Cape May, capemaybrewery.com Concierge 165
Cape May Stage
Many people are surprised to learn that this jewel box of a theatre with 134 seats is one of the most respected theatres in the nation with Tony Award winners and nominees acting, directing and designing plays. This season, PASSION is the unifying theme as Cape May Stage investigates having love for a vocation, for a person, and for thrill-seeking and adventure. It will be a funny, poignant and shocking ride, done with Broadway-caliber artists at the top of their game. Billy Bishop Goes to War By John Gray with Eric Peterson May 24 through June 23 The US declared war on the German Empire in 1917 and Cape May Stage notes the 100th anniversary with a musical comprised of barracks room ditties, Kiplingesque tunes of glory, Gilbert and Sullivan-like patter songs and a bitter brew of Brecht-Weill. The Tale of the Allergistâ€™s Wife By Charles Busch June 28 through August 4 This comedy takes place in Manhattan where Marjorie Taub is looking for meaning in her life. A mysterious figure from her past appears and at first infuses her with life, but soon becomes an unwelcome guest. The Gin Game By D.L. Coburn August 9 through September 22 This Pulitzer Prize winner takes place at a retirement home where irascible Weller Martin meets the prim, self-righteous Fonsia Dosey. Fonsia wins every game... and their secrets become weapons.
Outside Mullingar By John Patrick Shanley September 27 through November 10 This romantic comedy takes place in rural Ireland where an introverted farmer nearing his middle years is pursued by a neighbor who vows to have him at all costs. The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) By Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor November 15 through December 30 When a big storm shuts down the Garden State Parkway, the three presenters are forced to present an ambitious Christmas show at Saint Everybodyâ€™s Non-Denominational Universalist Church entirely on their own. This slapstick pastiche is the perfect way to usher in the holidays. In addition to the Main Stage performances, PNC Arts Alive presents the Broadway Series with five stellar performances. July 10: Constantine Maroulis; July 17: Charles Busch; July 24: Jim Dale; July 31: Jill Eikenberry with Michael Tucker; August 14: Rita Gardner. The box office opens 30 minutes before show time. Tickets can be purchased by calling (609) 770-8311 or at the kiosk in front of the theatre. Tickets will be held at the box office until the time of show, and must be paid for in advance. Visit capemaystage.org at any time to book your tickets directly using the secure online ticketing system. And be sure to find Cape May Stage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and announcements. Ticket prices: $40 adults, $35 seniors (62+), student and military rates available. Performance schedules and times vary. Visit capemaystage.org or call (609) 770-8311 for details.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Cape May Stage, 405 Lafayette Street, Cape May, capemaystage.org 166 Concierge
Cape May Whale Watch & 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. And while this is an activity that should definitely be filed under “F” for fun, it’s also a great opportunity to learn about the wonderful world of sea life. There are marine biologists and marine geologists on board for every trip. Joining them are college interns
enjoying hands-on education. As can you! Check out the touch tank, marine debris station with Clean Oceans Initiative, and learn about Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center’s Cape May Atlantic Bottle Dolphin Catalogue. New cruises this year include Offshore Marine Life & Pelagic Bird Trip, Cape May Teen Cruise & Groove Cruise. To keep your appetite satisfied there is complimentary continental breakfast on morning trips, or go for
the ever-popular dinner cruise, with complimentary pizza and hot dogs. 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 CMWWRC, 1121 Route 109, Cape May, capemaywhalewatch.com Concierge 167
Cape May Winery & 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 168 Concierge
Dark Star Cruises
The Cicchitti family has created seafaring adventures 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. There are pirate stories, face-painting, a treasure hunt, water cannon battle (yes, please wear appropriate clothing) and more. The last cruise of the day is A Siren’s Call — there’s a missing mermaid, a heartbroken captain and a mystery to be solved!
Don’t miss A Mystical Mermaid Cruise for ladies (21-plus). Enjoy an evening of Siren’s Spritzers, light fare and get a makeover! PS: The Dark Star will get “marooned” at Two Mile Landing. Then there’s the After Dark Cruise (passengers 21-plus) — cruise Sunset Lake, Jarvis Sound and Cape May harbor, enjoying music, beer and wine, with a stop at the Crab House at Two Mile Landing. Fun times are ahead, me hearties!
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Dark Star Pirate Cruise, 6200 Park Blvd, Wildwood Crest, darkstarpiratecruises.com
Starlight Fleet: Fishing, Dolphin, Whale-Watching
The Cicchitti family has 40 years experience providing top quality deep-sea fishing trips on the Starlight 101. 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 101 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 fourhour trips three times a day, at 8am, 1pm and 7pm.
Another experience you cannot miss on the ocean is a dolphin and whale-watching trip aboard the Atlantic Star, a 100-foot, air-conditioned boat that has been offering trips like this for nearly 30 years. There are two trips daily, at 10am and 1pm. And don’t miss the Sunset Buffet Cruise, rated #1 Dinner Cruise in the People’s Choice Awards. Cruises, which include dolphin-watching, start every night during the season at 6pm.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Starlight Fleet, 6200 Park Boulevard, Wildwood Crest, jjcboats.com Concierge 169
East Coast Parasail, Jet Ski & Jet Boat
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 ocean and harbor that includes enough spins, tricks and speed to get your heart pumping. Experience the historic beaches and back bays aboard Get Some, a riproaring New Zealand-style jet boat. 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 170 Concierge
Exit Zero International Jazz Festival
Twice a year, this historic seaside town transforms into a mecca of blockbuster jazz, soul, R&B and blues icons, NEA Jazz Masters, Grammy-winning legends and crowd favorites. Experience firsthand how the transcendent power of music, the energy of the ocean and the famed light of Cape May create some unforgettable moments. Both the spring and fall editions boast major headliners performing in the 1,170-seat Schmidtchen Theater and the 800-seat Cape May Convention Hall. This April’s fest celebrated two icons of American music as legendary funk saxophonist Maceo Parker joined forces with the Ray Charles Orchestra and the Raelettes in The Ultimate Ray Charles Tribute. Crossover star Robert Glasper blew into town with his Experiment — the most prominent band blurring the lines between acoustic jazz, hip hop and contemporary R&B. If you’re reading this, you’ve missed April’s festival — but
be sure to check out the 2018 lineup! At the fall festival (November 10-12), Exit Zero welcomes the most critically acclaimed and accomplished male vocalist of his generation, Grammy winner Gregory Porter, and the soulful Lizz Wright. Festival producer Michael Kline, a veteran in the jazz business, seeks to have Exit Zero Jazz seen as on the level of iconic festivals like Monterey and Newport. The soul of the festival remains the Cape May Brewing Company Hops Pass club series, which allows festival-goers to stroll from club to club along the beachfront, soaking up the exhilarating sounds — all for an affordable price that will leave you feeling jazzed. Congress Hall is the official hotel partner and offers festival packages. For ticket and festival information, call 609849-9202.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Exit Zero International Jazz Festival, exit0jazzfest.com Concierge 171
Historic Cold Spring Village
The 1800s come to life when you visit 27 historic buildings on a 30-acre site where historically clothed interpreters demonstrate blacksmithing, pottery, printing, basket weaving and more! Visit an Early American schoolhouse, take part in hands-on activities and crafts, and enjoy history games, costumes and free horse-drawn carriage rides on weekdays.
The Village is also home to an organic farm with a horse, chicken, sheep and more. Visitors will also find a Welcome Center, Country Store, Bakery, Ice Cream Parlor, Cold Spring Brewery and Cold Spring Grange restaurant. The Village is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm, June 27 through September 1. Buy discounted ticket at Congress Hall’s 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 & Humanities
Breezy 45-minute trolley tours by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities tell Cape May history daily on relaxing rides. Told in entertaining fashion by knowledgeable guides are stories about ghosts, dramatic blazes, Victorian bathing costumes, strange Victorian customs and more. Discover why the town’s architecture is nationally famous. Don’t miss a visit to the 2017 Cape May Designer Show House, featuring the work of dozens
of talented local and regional designers — open June through November. The 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, an 18-room mansion, is a perfect example of Victorian Stick Style. The 1859 Cape May Lighthouse is a working beacon you can climb for a spectacular view, while the World War II Lookout Tower is a preserved landmark. These historic sites are restored and maintained by MAC which provides tours and events year-round.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 MAC, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, capemaymac.org 172 Concierge
Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks
Follow the screams, laughs and the scent of Curley’s Fries to GO WILD at the World’s Best Seaside Park! Morey’s Piers was voted best seaside amusement park in the world by Amusement Today in 2015. There are more than 100 rides and attractions spanning 18 acres, with THREE amusement piers and two water parks. Morey’s Piers and Morey Resorts combine the joy of an amusement park, the sights and sounds of a classic boardwalk and outstanding accommodations with the rhythm of beach life. The rides range from mild to high-intensity, including six world-class roller coasters and extreme rides plus traditional favorites like the Carousel, Bumper Cars and Tea Cups. Surfside Pier mixes family fun with thrills in an environment fueled by neon colors, bright lights and music. High-energy, thrilling attractions include “it”, The Zoom Phloom and AtmosFEAR. The Great Nor’Easter got a super-smooth upgrade in 2017. Mariner’s Pier brings your childhood memories back to life with an atmosphere of a traditional seaside park filled with
rides like Bumper Cars, Carousel and the Giant Wheel. Swing high in the sky on the Wave Swinger featuring 72 vignettes of art depicting Wildwood’s colorful history. Adventure Pier is packed with highthrill extreme rides, a wooden coaster and the 3-Point Challenge Basketball Game. Soar over the beach on the SkyCoaster, feel the G force of the SkyScraper or shoot your way to the moon on the SlingShot. A stage will feature live entertainment all summer long. Visit Jumbo’s on Mariner’s Pier for seafood, steaks, giant pizzas and a raw bar. Grab a slice at the service counter or sit down for a family meal inside or on the deck. Joe’s Fish Co., on Surfside Pier,
offers savory seafood with a twist. Joe’s also offers unique salads, fish-n-chips and landlubber favorites. Enjoy a selection of beer, wine or mixed drinks at Jumbo’s & Joe’s. At Ocean Oasis, get your grub on at Stubborn Brother’s Beach Bar & Grille with lively libations and a mouthwatering menu. Behind Raging Waters Water Park, Wrecker’s Beach Grille offers lunch and snack items including cheesesteaks, wraps, burgers and salads. Visit both locations from the beach or the water park. Swim up to Trader Sam’s in River Adventure to enjoy a refreshing River Float. Turn breakfast into an adventure aboard Morey’s Pier’s 156-foot-high Giant Wheel. Breakfast in the Sky is an incredible mix of delicious food and stunning views. Guests will be whisked away on a dream-like journey, leisurely soaring high above Wildwood on Morey’s Pier’s Giant Wheel, while indulging in a unique culinary experience complete with fine china, white linen tablecloths, and a wheel-side service. It’s a must-visit!
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 Morey’s Piers, Spencer, Schellenger & 25th Avenue, Wildwood, moreyspiers.com Concierge 173
South Jersey Marina
South Jersey Fishing Center Deep-sea fishing on the Jersey Cape is some of the best on the East Coast and the South Jersey Fishing Center, located at South Jersey Marina, is right in the heart of it. The South Jersey Fishing Center offers you the quickest run to the productive fishing grounds of the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay. Their party boats run on a daily schedule and offer you the option of a four- or eight-hour inshore (ocean or bay) fishing trip for mackerel, bluefish, flounder, tautog, sea bass, striped bass, drum and other seasonal species. The charter boat fleet offers you a personalized private fishing adventure and gives you the option of either inshore trips or offshore trips for big
game such as shark, tuna, marlin and swordfish. If you are interested in enjoying some of the best deep sea fishing around, the South Jersey Fishing Center is the place to be. All boats have US Coast Guardlicensed captains, are competitively priced and are outfitted with the latest safety, navigation and fish-finding equipment. For further information please call the charter hotline 609-884-3800. Saltwater Cafe If you prefer to have your food served instead of catching it yourself, you can enjoy a dockside seated breakfast or lunch at South Jersey Marina’s Saltwater Cafe. This cafe has been a growing seasonal hotspot here in Cape May since its new ownership in 2013. The canopied outdoor seating is available to enjoy the views of the water as well as the inner harbor hustle and bustle. Don’t let a little weather change your decision, though. Indoor seating is available as well with a casual but elegant feel. Fathoms – Coastal Clothing and Gifts After your meal, pop in next door to Fathoms, South Jersey Marina’s clothing, coastal gifts and accessories store, offering the latest casual resort wear for both men and women. Brands include Barba Gerwit and Veronica M for women to Salt Life and Guy Harvey for men.
To book, contact our Concierge on 609-884-6542 South Jersey Marina, 1231 Route 109, Cape May, southjerseymarina.com 174 Concierge
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 Concierge 175
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 tournament-quality player as well as amateurs of all levels of ability. To complement the championship golf course, Stone Harbor features an award-winning 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 176 Concierge
Willow Creek Farm and and Winery Winery
Seasoned wine drinkers and newbies newbies alike alike will will delight delight in in the the beauty of this vineyard, farm and winery. winery. This This isis 50 50 acres acres of of stunning, unadulterated nature — the the roaming roaming gamecocks gamecocks as as well as the lush gardens, designed by by owner owner Barbara Barbara Wilde, Wilde, are a reminder of that. It’s the Garden Garden State State at at its its best. best. Then, of course, there’s that other other reason reason to to go go —— the the wine! In a 12,000-square-foot, post-beam post-beam winery winery built built by by Mennonites from Lancaster, PA, both both groups groups and and private private parties of up to 400 guests can experience experience fun, fun, educational educational wine and sangria tastings, vineyard tours, tours, wines wines by by the the glass glass and bottle as well as a delicious small small plates plates menu. menu. Or Or opt opt for for a farm-fresh wine cocktail like a Sauvignon Sauvignon Blanc Blanc apple apple mojito mojito
or orblackberry blackberrywine winespritzer spritzeratatthe theoutside outsidewine winebar. bar. From FromPinot PinotNoir Noirto toCabernet CabernetSauvignon, Sauvignon,wine winecocktails cocktailsand and more morethan than35 35different differentsangrias, sangrias,there’s there’ssomething somethingfor foreveryone. everyone. Throughout Throughoutthe theyear, year,the thewinery wineryhosts hostsvarious variousevents eventsand and activities, activities, from frompainting paintingclasses, classes,jazz jazzand andpiano pianonights nightstotoyoga yoga in inthe thevines, vines,plus plusfavorites favoriteslike likeFire FirePit PitFriday, Friday,stand-up stand-upcomedy comedy nights nights and and Pasta Pasta Sundays. Sundays.Don’t Don’tforget forgettotopick pickup upfarm farmeggs eggs and andvegetables vegetablesgrown grownatatthe therecently recentlyacquired acquiredLeGates LeGatesFarm. Farm. Call Callbefore beforeyou yougo gosince sincereservations reservationsfill fillup upfast fastyear-round year-round for for tastings tastingsand andtables. tables.AAcall callalways alwayspushes pushesyou youtotothe thetop topofof waiting waiting lists. lists. Please Pleasecheck checkthe thewebsite websitefor foraalist listofofclosed-toclosed-tothe-public the-publicevents. events.
To book, contact contact our our Concierge Concierge on on 609-884-6542 609-884-6542 Willow Creek, 168 Stevens Street, West Cape May, willowcreekwinerycapemay.com Street, West Cape May, willowcreekwinerycapemay.com TheConcierge Concierge 177 177
A SHOPPING TOUR OF COOL CAPE MAY
THE BLENDING ROOM From the culinary minds that brought you Cape May Olive Oil, Cape May Peanut Butter, Cape May Gourmet and the Spice Cellar — the perfect adventure for foodies. Go behind the scenes and learn about, taste and blend single varietal olive oils from the many distinctive regions of the world. You’re invited to be a master blender for a day and take home the fruit of your labors — with your own 750 ml bottle of your signature blend. 505 Terminal Drive, Cape May Airport 609-898-8500, theblendingroom.net
CABIN FEVER Imagine you could design the ultimate cabin in the woods — this is what would be in it! If you love hiking or skiing, are fond of foxes, bears, deer, moose, and you dig the idea of camping (even if you don’t actually camp), this is the place. You’ll also find coats, tops and accessories from brands such as Woolrich and Pendleton. You’ll love handcrafted furry stools, accessories for the nursery, plus an irresistible range of portable grills, which are perfect for a picnic! West End Garage, 609-770-479
CAPE MAY GOURMET A purveyor of quality, out-of-the-ordinary fine food items, Cape May Gourmet is here to please your tastebuds. Whether you’re planning a dinner party at the shore, or decide on a spontaneous beach picnic, this is the place to visit! Among the highlights are fresh ravioli, long-cut pastas, small-batch sauces, condiments, freshly baked breads, spices, cheeses and much more. They offer catering services, too. Washington Commons, 609-898-8500 capemaygourmet.net
CAPE MAY HONEY FARM A jar of Cape May Wildflower Honey is a great take-home gift for family and friends. It is collected right here on the island, made by their hardworking bees. The store also offers over 40 honey varieties, sourced from all over the country. Not sure what to get? There is a Tasting Bar! An expansive selection of candles, supplements and cosmetics will help you incorporate other hive products into your life. 135 Sunset Boulevard, 609-425-6434 CapeMayHoneyFarm.com
CAPE MAY OLIVE OIL CO. Cape May Olive Oil Company’s tasting room offers an exciting culinary experience in this historic city. When you visit here, 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, 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, 609-898-4444 capemaypeanutbutterco.com
A SHOPPING TOUR OF COOL CAPE MAY
CAPE MAY SWEET HOUSE For over 100 years this building has held a candy shop — the last one being Morrow’s Nut House. The tradition continues with the Sweet House, offering freshly roasted nuts made in-house, traditional candies and chocolates. The shop has been completely redesigned with a colorful, happy and whimsical design. Get ready to start making some new candy-filled memories in Cool Cape May! 321 Washington Street SweethouseCapeMay on Instagram
CAROLINE BOUTIQUE Welcome to an island store with urban sensibilities, situated in a weathered 130-year-old carriage house. Featuring contemporary, casual clothing and accessories, this hip boutique is the kind of store you’ll be surprised to find in Victorian Cape May. Some popular lines you’ll see here are Johnny Was, Michael Stars, Velvet and James Perse to name a few. Carpenter’s Lane between Jackson and Decatur, 609-884-5055
COTTON COMPANY Purveyor of all your island needs, Cotton Company’s philosophy embraces “style for all” and carries men’s and women’s clothing, activewear, outerwear and swimwear from XS to 3X. Labels and boutique brands include Tribal, Vineyard Vines and Jag. The expert stylists on staff will interpret the latest trends to fit your look and lifestyle. Check out the outdoor shop featuring Columbia and Patagonia. 517 Washington Street, 609-600-2923 cottoncompanyforall.com
COTTON COMPANY SWIM SHOP Cotton Company is your go-to store for this season’s newest swimwear collections. The swim shop offers men’s and women’s suits, board shorts and coverups from all your favorite brands. Stop in today for personalized service and all the latest vacation styles from Vineyard Vines, Tommy Bahama, Southern Tide, Patagonia and Columbia. 517 Washington Street, 609-600-2923 cottoncompanyforall.com
EXIT ZERO STORE & GALLERY Cape May’s peppy periodical has a 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. 109 Sunset Boulevard, 609-770-8479 ezstore.us
FLYING FISH STUDIO Want something high quality and unique that is made locally? Here they design and screen print every one of their cool, offbeat garments — 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, 609-602-2760 theflyingfishstudio.com
A SHOPPING TOUR OF COOL CAPE MAY
GIVENS Offering a curated selection of finely crafts goods and inventive design in downtown Cape May. The gallery mixes talented local makers with artists and designers across the US and beyond. From distinctive jewelry to clever notecards, beautiful pottery to handmade wooden bicycles, the shop is full of unique gifts and future heirlooms! 418 Washington Street givenscircle.com, Instagram @givenscircle
GOOD SCENTS 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, celebrating its 31st year, is a favorite for jazz, blues and world music, handcrafted jewelry (see the Cape May Find Your Way Back line above), local art, quirky books and cards, irresistible accessories and hidden treasures from around the world. Open all year. 327 Carpenter’s Lane, 609-884-0014 goodscentscapemay.com
HAPPY BABY Stylish, earth-friendly apparel can be found in modern and bold patterns and prints. And there is more than clothes on offer — decorate your little one’s space with Happy Baby’s chic nursery decor. While your baby gurgles happily (and dressed oh-so-chic), you can be contented by the fact that so many of the beautiful products in this store are handmade by artisans in the USA. 405 West Perry Street, 609-884-5922 happybabycapemay.com
HENRY’S JEWELRY Cape May’s landmark jeweler brings decades of experience to its selections, offering designs of uncompromising quality and matchless value. That’s why Henry’s is 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. Stop in and see the latest from Pandora and Alex and Ani! 407 Washington Street, 609-884-0334 henryscm.com
LACE SILHOUETTES LINGERIE BRA BOUTIQUE BY THE SEA Welcome to the lingerie store for real women! Lace Silhouettes invites you to shop the best selection of bras and panties, including summer styles perfect for the beach! Brands include Wacoal, Natori, Cosabella, Hanky Panky and Chantelle. Book your appointment with a Bra Therapist today for personalized, knowledgeable service. See what difference a good fit can make! 429 Washington Street, 609-898-7448 lacesilhouetteslingerie.com
LACE SILHOUETTES LINGERIE The PJs and Jammies shop at Lace Silhouettes offers sleepwear for the family, including pajamas, nightshirts, gowns and robes in sizes XS to 3X. Whether you’re looking for a classic gown from Karen Neuberger or a pajama set from PJ Salvage, there’s something for everyone. Check out UGG loungewear for stylish comfort. Lace Silhouettes also exclusively sells the Wish Wrap, a plush onesize wrap that has become a fan favorite. 429 Washington Street, 609-898-7448 lacesilhouetteslingerie.com
A SHOPPING TOUR OF COOL CAPE MAY
LOUISA’S CHOCOLATE BAR An amazing product line is loaded with a variety of chocolate bars made with cocoa beans grown around the world. Whether you’re looking for a bar made from beans grown in Peru, or Bequet caramels from Bozeman, Montana, this place is like a cathedral and a market combined. Louisa’s beats out the competition for a couple of reasons: their chocolatiers’ use of fair-trade beans, and their courteous service. 106 Jackson Street, 609-884-5519 louisascapemay.com
THE ORIGINAL FUDGE KITCHEN For the best in fudge, you be the judge… The Original Fudge Kitchen is the clear winner. All of their fudge is handwhipped 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 and 728 Beach Avenue, 609-884-2834 fudgekitchens.com
OUT OF THE PAST ANTIQUES 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, 609-884-3357 outofthepastantiques.com
PATRICIA JACKSON JEWELERS 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, 609-884-0323 patjacksonjewelers.com
PATRICIA RAINEY Patricia has painted just about all of Cape May’s inspiring buildings and landscapes. Basically self-taught, she paints realistic oils and watercolors available as matted or framed prints, notecards, placemats, coasters, as well as an annual calendar. Her work can be seen at shows and exhibitions around town as well as in finer gift shops and galleries. To view originals for sale, go online or call to visit the studio. 609-886-4863 patriciaraineystudios.com
PETE SMITH’S SURF SHOP 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, Johnnie-O, Southern Tide and Olukai 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, 609-884-1010 petesmithsurfshop.com
A SHOPPING TOUR OF COOL CAPE MAY
RED OAK From the people behind Good Scents, one of Cape May’s best-loved stores. Discover an eclectic selection of handbags, jewelry, clothing and accessories, many of them handcrafted in America, along with a fun-and-fashionable range of imports, such as Balinese jewelry and handprinted tees from Thailand. As a bonus, their quirky selection of on-trend books will entertain the guys! Red Oak is a must-stop on your Cape May itinerary. 324 Washington Street, 609-827-8320 Facebook: redoakcapemay
SEASTAR BOUTIQUE Make this petite boutique one of your must-see shopping spots. Located next to Louisa’s Café, this tiny shop appeals to those looking for something different. With an assortment of handcrafted and unique jewelry, handbags and resort wear, Sea Star carries something for women of every age. Because of the small size, they carry limited quantities so grab your size when you see it! Also visit their sister store at West End Garage. 108 Jackson Street Instagram, Facebook & Twitter
SIGNATURES BY KAREN THOMPSON Signatures offers a carefully curated selection of designer and unique boutique brands, as well as casual clothing. A fabulous team of stylists assist guests in creating outfits for any occasion — whether you’re shopping for a work wardrobe, that stand-out dress for a special event, or treating yourself to a pick-me-up. 429 Washington Street, 609-884-1434 signaturesstyle.com
SPLASH 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. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. 513 Carpenter’s Lane, 609-846-7100 whalestalecapemay.com
WHALE’S TALE A Cape May tradition since 1974! Locally owned and operating 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 naturethemed toys and books that you won’t find anywhere else in town. Plus Whale’s Tale is open all year! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. 312 Washington Street, 609-884-4808 whalestalecapemay.com
WHITE In this historic storefront, engage your senses and transcend the clutter. White carries elegant home furnishings, unique gifts and sophisticated accessories. Antique and modern blend beautifully, and gorgeous glassware and jewelry entice the discerning shopper. There are candles, frames, mirrors, lighting, linens, garden and bath products to tempt you. 605 Hughes Street, 609-884-5061 whitevivianerowandesign.com
“Today was about chasing sun rays, beach waves and sunsets. All things beautiful that give you peace are worth chasing. Everything else isn’t.” april mae monterrosa
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