- Cape May NJ Travel Guide and Vacation Planner Blog

Year: 2015

Ring in the New Year

Restaurant Hours for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

Ringing in the new year in Cape May? Make your reservations now for New Year’s Eve. We’ll continue to update this list as more restaurant information becomes available. Don’t see your restaurant listed? Email with any additions.

The Black Duck
Now taking reservations for New Year’s Eve. Open January 1 & 2. Call (609) 898-0100

The Boiler Room
Congress Hall’s underground night club welcomes 2016 with the Billy D. Light Trio. Order fresh brick oven pizza and rock out to one of Cape May’s favorite party bands on New Year’s Eve. There is no cover charge.

The Ebbitt Room
Now taking reservations for New Year’s Eve. Seatings from 5pm-7:45pm for $95 per person and from 8pm- 10:30pm for $105 per person; includes Champagne Toast. Visit their website to view the menu and call (609) 884-5700 for reservations.

Harbor View
Now taking reservations for New Year’s Eve. Call (609) 884-5444.

The Merion Inn
Celebrate on New Year’s Eve! 4:30-5pm a la carte seating (kid friendly) or 7pm and 9pm seatings for our prix fixe menu. Barry Miles on piano all night! Call (609) 884-8363 for reservations.

Outside Cape May

The Reeds in Stone Harbor
Now taking reservations for New Year’s Eve. 5–11pm 4-course, prix fixe dinner. Call (609) 368-0100.

Where to eat on Christmas


If you’ll be spending the holidays with us, you’re probably wondering where you can eat on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Blue Pig Tavern at Congress Hall

3-course Christmas menu served Friday, December 25th from 2pm-8pm. Entree price includes choice of first course and dessert. Also serving on Christmas Eve. For reservations please call 609-884-6574.

The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel

Christmas dinner is offered December 25 from 2pm-7pm. $65 per person, $35 wine pairing. Also serving Christmas Eve. For reservations please call 609-884-5700.

Hemingway’s at the Grand

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Buffets. For information, please call 609-884-5611 ext. 550.

The Merion Inn

Enjoy piano music and a 3-course prix fixe meal on Christmas Eve (5-9pm) and Christmas Day (2:30-7:30pm). $65 adults, $35 children. Call 609-884-8363.

Outside of Cape May

The Reeds

Serving Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 5-9pm. Enjoy a special 3-course holiday prix fixe or select from our daily dinner menu. For reservations, call 609-368-0100. Stone Harbor.

Rio Station

Serving 11am to 6pm on Christmas Eve and 3pm to 8pm on Christmas Day, with the last seating at 7pm. 609-889-2000. Rio Grande.

Light Up Cape May winners

Cape May is beautiful at Christmastime, but in recent years there has been a decline in the number of houses decorated for the holidays. Why the drop? In part, it’s because we lose bed and breakfasts every season to the whole-house rental trend, reducing the number of year-round innkeepers to decorate the Victorian houses for the holidays. The summer rentals, many of them once well-loved B&Bs that I still call by name, often sit dormant through the winter months.

But the Chamber of Commerce and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts want to change that. This year, they held their annual Light Up Cape May contest to help re-invigorate our holiday season by awarding prizes for the Best Door, Best Residence, Best Business, Best Block, and Best Overall holiday lights. There were 38 total entries in this year’s contest.

I had the pleasure of serving as a judge in this year’s competition (an actual life-long dream), along with our company president. One of MAC’s red trolleys wound a carefully mapped path through town, driving past the entries, pausing in front of each for commentary and photographs. My fellow judges were Ronnie Town, Atlantic City Electric; City Councilman Shaine Meier; Freeholder E. Marie Hayes; John Allison, The Grand Hotel; John Zappas; and Jack Fichter. Ron Goldstein, Doreen Talley, Tracie Cicchitti, Carolinn Pocher Woody, Eliza Lotozo and Mary Stewart made up this year’s committee. We were proud to sponsor this year’s contest along with Atlantic City Electric and the Grand Hotel.

And now, the winners.

Best Overall

Albert Stevens Inn, 127 Myrtle


Best Business

Dormer House, 800 Columbia Ave


Runners up:
Mason Cottage, 623 Columbia Ave.
Louisa’s Café, 104 Jackson St.

Best Residential

Cottrell Home, 922 Washington St


Runners up:
Kirk Home, 213 Perry St.
Vogelsong Home, 110 Central Ave.

Best Door

Byrne Agency, 917 Madison Ave

Agency door

Runners up:
Cherry House, 637 Hughes St.
Queen Victoria, 102 Ocean St.

Best Block

Victorian Towers

If you’re a local homeowner and you’d like to participate in next year’s competition, visit for details.

We want to know your favorite decorated homes this season! Let us know in the comments or tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, tumblr & instagram) @lovecapemay.


Hospitality Nights and holiday shopping hours


Tonight and tomorrow, enjoy refreshments while you chip away at your holiday shopping list during the Washington Street Mall’s Hospitality Nights!

Parking is free this time of the year, both at the meters and in the Washington Commons parking lot.

Cape May Holiday Shopping Hours

(We’ll continue to update this list as hours come in.)

Across the Way
10am – 7pm Sundays – Thursdays
10am – 9pm Fridays and Saturdays

We are only open 10am – 4pm on Dec 24th and closed on Christmas.

American West
10am – 6pm Sunday-Thursday
10am – 9pm Friday & Saturday

Hospitality Nights and the following Friday and Saturday nights till 9:00 pm

Bay Springs Farm
Farm store: 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday
Boutique at West End Garage: Open every day through December

Cape May Brewing Company
12-8pm daily
12.24 10-4pm
12.25- Closed
12.31- 11-6pm
1.1- 12-8pm

Cape May Peanut Butter Co.
9:30am – 5:30pm Sunday – Thursday
9:30am – 8:30pm Friday & Saturday

Cape May Olive Oil
11am – 6pm Monday – Thursday
10am – 8pm Friday & Saturday
10am – 6pm Sunday

Cape May Gourmet
11am – 5pm Sunday – Thursday
11am – 7pm Friday & Saturday

Celebrate Cape May
11am – 10pm Hospitality Nights
11am – 6pm Monday – Wednesday
11am – 9/10pm Thursday – Saturday
11am – 6pm Sunday

Circa Dee
10am – 5pm Monday – Friday
10am – 6pm Saturday & Sunday

Madame’s Port
Fridays and Saturdays until 9:30pm. Open until 9pm for Hospitality Nights.

Out of the Past Antiques
10am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday through January 3rd

Pink by Victorious
10am – 5pm Friday – Sunday

A Place on Earth
10am – 7pm Monday – Thursday
10am – 9pm Friday – Sunday

Sea Bags
10am – 5pm Friday – Sunday
Closed Mon-Thurs

SeaWeeds by the Sea
10am – 6pm and late nights til 8 Fridays and Saturdays til New Years

Uniquely Yours
10am – 4pm Mon-Thurs & Fri-Sat
5:30pm – 9:30pm Fri & Sat
1pm – 5pm Sunday

Victorious in Congress Hall
10am – 5pm daily

50th Annual West Cape May Christmas Parade

Saturday night at 5pm, the West Cape May Christmas Parade kicked off its 50th year. Well-bundled spectators lined the streets from the West Cape May Firehouse all the way to the parade’s end at the Inn of Cape May. And for the first time, we were excited to ride along the parade route! Cape Publishing president Bernie Haas was crowned Lima Bean King at the annual festival (due to the persuasive efforts of our account executive), so we hopped on board with him and the Lima Bean Queen, Cindy, behind the Coast Guard band and in front of the parade’s Grand Marshall.

grand-marshall king-and-queenfloatmummerskiwanis merrywidow

Holiday season kicks off in Cape May

The holiday season kicked off at the Emlen Physick Estate on Saturday evening with their annual tree-lighting ceremony. Congress Hall and the City of Cape May will both hold tree-lighting ceremonies on December 4th. West Cape May’s annual Christmas Parade will be at 5pm on Saturday, December 5th.

For all holiday events, keep an eye on our events calendar and follow us on Twitter.

Tree-Lighting at the Physick Estate

tree cookiesdrphysick

Decor going up around town

gazebo mall santa

Cape May honors veterans in annual ceremony

A crowd gathered this morning at the monument on Columbia Avenue for the annual Veterans Day ceremony, which included a performance by Lower Township third graders and a presentation from the US Coast Guard.Speakers included the mayors of Cape May, West Cape May, and Cape May Point, and Captain G. Todd Prestige, Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May.

On behalf of, thank you to all who have served.






The fire of 1878


Today in 1878, fire broke out in the Ocean House on Perry Street. Less than twelve hours later, it had destroyed forty acres and destroyed commercial properties including Congress Hall, Ocean House, Centre House, Columbia House, Atlantic House, and Merchant’s Hotel. The total loss was estimated at $400,000. Arson was suspected, but the suspect was found innocent due to insufficient evidence.

The outlined area above, on this 1878 map that appeared in the Philadelphia Bulletin just days after the fire, shows the extent of the devastation caused by the blaze.

Read more about the Cape May fire

Who’s serving this Thanksgiving?


If you’ll be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with us in Cape May, you might want to forego waking up early to start the turkey and enjoy a full holiday meal at one of these local restaurants. We’ll update this list as more information comes available.

Aleathea’s at the Inn of Cape May

Serving dinner from 2-7pm. Whole turkey carved tableside, and you take home the leftovers! A special a la carte menu is also available. For reservations, call 800-582-5933.

Congress Hall

Start the Holidays in Cape May this year, with two delicious dining options at Congress Hall. Gather around the warm hearth of the Blue Pig Tavern, and feast on traditional holiday favorites like slow roasted turkey breast with mashed potatoes and stuffing. In the Ballroom, chefs have prepared a Thanksgiving feast to rival the harvest of 1621. Enjoy freshly sliced turkey or maple glazed ham from a carving station. Help yourself to seconds from our decadent buffet, complete with favorites like Vanilla-Maple Sweet Potatoes, traditional Herb Mashed Potatoes, and more. For Thanksgiving reservations call 609-884-8422.

Blue Pig Tavern Service: 2pm-8pm $42+ per person, 3 courses

Ballroom Service: 1pm-5pm Adults $45+ per person, $19 per child ages 3-12

The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel.

Featuring family style and private dining options, savor traditional favorites like whipped potatoes and Roasted Pumpkin Soup. This year, the Ebbitt room is proud to feature Beach Plum Farm Heritage Turkey Breast, made with free-range turkey from our very own 62-acre farm in West Cape May.2pm – 7pm. $65 per person, $35 wine pairing per person. For reservations please call 609-884-5700.

Hemingway’s at the Grand Hotel

Hemingway’s is serving from noon to 7pm by reservations only. Please call 609-884-5611.

Peter Shields Inn

Serving a three-course, price-fixed menu from 2-7pm. Prices do not include taxes or gratuity. View the menu offerings. Adults $55; Children $25. For reservations, call 609-884-9090.

The Merion Inn

Dinner 12pm-8pm For reservations, call 609-884-8363.

Union Park

Union Park will be open and serving a 3-course, prix-fixe dinner from 2pm to 7pm. $48.00 per person/24.00 children. Call 609-884-8811 for reservations.

The Washington Inn

Offering a sit-down Thanksgiving dinner and a feast-to-go! A la carte sit-down menu including special appetizers, entrees, and desserts is available from 1pm to 7pm. Call 609-884-5697 for reservations and visit for the menu.

Skip the cooking with the Washington Inn’s Feast-to-Go! Includes a 20lb turkey, fresh mashed potatoes (6 lbs), Lucky Bones sweet potatoes (4lbs), apple stuffing (4 lbs), green beans with almond butter (2 lbs), Mimi’s homemade cranberry sauce (1qt.), Parker house rolls (doz), homemade gravy (2qts), mixed green salad with Cape May beach plum dressing (12oz), Cape May Roasters Pumpkin Spice coffee (1 lbs), one pumpkin pie & one apple pie. Serves 12. $330 (Plus Tax). Order by 11/23/15 by calling 609-884-5697. Pick up at Lucky Bones. 

Uncle Bill’s Pancake House

Serving till 12:00 noon


The Reeds – Stone Harbor

The Reeds is serving a traditional plated dinner from noon to 6pm. $42 per person; 12 & under $19; 3 & under free. Reservations are required. Please call 609-368-0100 for reservations.

Rio Station – Rio Grande

Offering a take-home whole turkey dinner (feeds 4-6 – includes sides, salad, and dessert) or a traditional plated meal from 1pm to 7pm with all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings. Call 609-889-2000 to reserve a take-home dinner or a table.