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Three longtime Cape May businesses close shop

Like any city, Cape May has its fixtures. And one of them, Cheeks, which stood at 101 Ocean Street across from the Queen Victoria, has closed its doors after 35 years. The clothing store first opened shop in 1983 and evolved into a source for flax clothing. 

“It has been our greatest joy to serve each and every one of you,” reads the message on their website.

The inside is undergoing renovations and will become an expanded dining area for another Cape May icon, the Queen Victoria B&B, which owns the building. Says owner Doug McMain, “Once complete, hopefully early this Spring, we’ll be converting the space we currently use for dining in that building to a new guest room. Both revitalized rooms will be stunning and beautiful.”


Six things to do in Cape May this Valentine’s Day

You might think of Cape May as a summer-only destination, but it’s beautiful here year-round. Our off season is quiet, and there isn’t as much to do during the week like there is in the height of August, but if you’re looking for somewhere less crowded to spend Valentine’s Day, keep us on your list. Here’s our guide to what’s happening this year.


Experience the Chocolate Lovers Feast at the Blue Rose Inn

One morning, my wife asked if I would like to attend a chocolate tasting. Well, being a sweets addict and chocolate lover, there was no way i was passing up the opportunity to satisfy my addiction. We arrived at the Blue Rose Inn on Washington Street and, to my surprise, it was a full house. I was happy to see a local business doing so well on a December day. 


Recent changes on the Washington Street Mall

There are two big changes on the Washington Street Mall that we want to let you know about.

The first is that Coffee Tyme is opening a second location on the 400 block, in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Buongiorno. They will be opening for Presidents Day Weekend in February.

The second change is on the 300 block. That’s Amore is closing its Cape May location. We’ve heard it won’t be replaced by a restaurant and will share the details with you as soon as we have them confirmed!

Is there a change in town we should know about? Email details to jessica@capemay.com

2017 Light Up Cape May Winners

Congress Hall holiday decor 2017

Photo credit: Laura Thistle

The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May held their annual Light Up Cape May contest to determine the best-decorated houses and businesses this holiday season. Awards will be given at the Chamber Social Tuesday, Dec 12th at Elaines Restaurant. Here are this year’s winners:

Business Window
1. Spirit Catcher Photography
2. Fralingers
3. Delaneys

Business
1. Nature Center of Cape May
2. Sunset Liquors
3. FINS

Lodging
1. Albert Stevens Inn
2. Mission Inn
3. Henry Sawyer Inn

Residence
1. DeGroff Residence
2. Cottrell Residence
3. Kirk Residence

Best Display
Zeitler Residence

Best Overall
Congress Hall


Photos from the 2017 West Cape May Christmas Parade

Here is just a sampling of the floats and bands that marched in the West Cape May Christmas parade this year. The parade included everything from the U. S. Coast Guard band to local hero and baseball star Matt Czszur of the San Diego Padres. Dozens of fire fighting units were peppered in with floats and string bands. There were dancers who stopped to perform and even dogs and horses in what may have been the longest and most memorable event in the parade’s 52 year history. It ended with Santa crossing Ocean Street high atop his fire engine being preceded by the LCMR marching band. And the weather?It was just cold enough to be wintry but not as uncomfortable as it often has been in the past..


Where to eat in Cape May this Thanksgiving

Will you be with us in Cape May this Thanksgiving? Leave the cooking to someone else and make reservations at one of these local favorites.

Sit-down dinners

Aleathea’s at the Inn of Cape May is serving up whole turkeys tableside as well as a holiday a la carte menu. For reservations, call 800-582-5933.

The Blue Pig Tavern is offering Thanksgiving Dinner from 2pm to 8pm. For reservations, call 609-884-6542. View Details & Menu

Congress Hall is serving a Thanksgiving buffet in their ballroom from 1-5pm. For reservations, call 609-884-6542. View Details & Menu

The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia is offering a 3-course menu for $65 per person that offers turkey, venison, and tuna entree selections. A whole turkey dinner is available for groups of 6 or more. For reservations, call 609-884-5700.  View Details & Menu

The Grand Hotel is serving a traditional Thanksgiving buffet in their oceanfront penthouse ballroom. $35 adults, $16 children 12 and under. For reservations, call 609-884-5611 ex. 559.

Harbor View Restaurant is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2pm. For reservations, call 609-884-5444.

The Merion Inn is offering an a la carte or 3-course sit-down dinner from noon until 8pm, with live piano music all day. For reservations, call 609-884-8363.

Peter Shields Inn offers a fixed-price, 3-course Thanksgiving menu with choices including free range turkey, venison, and scallops. For reservations, call 609-884-9090.

The Washington Inn will be open on Thanksgiving. For reservations, call 609-884-5697.

Take-out

The Washington Inn & Lucky Bones are offering a Thanksgiving Feast To-Go, including a 20lb turkey, sides, salad, and two pies–enough for 12 people. $330 plus tax. To order, call the Washington Inn at 609-884-5697 by November 20.

Outside of Cape May

Coastal Blue at Icona in Diamond Beach is serving a classic 3-course Thanksgiving meal and an a la carte menu. For reservations, call 609-729-6600. View menu

The Rio Station – located in Rio Grande, about a 10-minute drive from Cape May – offers both takeout and sit-down options. Whole turkey dinners, Thanksgiving platters, and pies available. Advanced orders required for takeout; reservations suggested if you’re dining in-restaurant. Call 609-889-2000.

Is your restaurant open on Thanksgiving Day 2017? Call 609-898-4500 or email jessica@capemay.com and ask to be added to this post!


Storm Safety Guide: A Q&A on Preparing for Hurricanes on Vacation

Images from Superstorm Sandy / CapeMay.com

With all of this wild weather lately, we want to equip all of Cape May’s fall and winter tourists with helpful information on what to do in the event of a big storm or hurricane. Keep your family safe and sound while on vacation by using our tips below to prep for bad weather.

We answer five common questions about hurricanes and provide resources for finding out more about New Jersey’s tropical storms and precautions to take when dealing with them.

What defines a hurricane?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone that forms over tropical or subtropical waters. When a tropical storm’s winds reach 74 mph or higher, it is classified as a hurricane. A hurricane’s maximum winds are rated 1 through 5 by weather experts; the higher the rating, the greater the storm’s potential for property damage.

When is the Atlantic hurricane season?

The Atlantic hurricane season technically starts on June 1st, and comes to an end on November 30. However, tropical storms or hurricanes can develop outside of that timeframe. Tune in to our local news stations (Cape May’s 6ABC Action News is a great resource) to stay updated on upcoming storms.

What can I do to prepare for a hurricane on vacation?

New Jersey’s Office of Emergency Management recommends creating a kit of safety and emergency supplies. Items may include:

  • Battery operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight(s)
  • Personal toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Important medications

For a full list of what to put in your emergency kit, click here.

Make a plan with your family about what to do during a storm: have a predetermined meeting place, note the quickest ways to leave your beach house and get everyone to safety, and make sure to have an out-of-state contact your family can check in with and stay with should the hurricane become dangerous. Review these plans your family and practice any drills!

How will I know if it is time to evacuate?

Local county or state emergency management officials will notify Cape May neighborhoods of the need to evacuate via the Emergency Alert System messages on local radio and TV. Officials may also opt to alert areas via community notification systems such as “Reverse 911,” which sends messages to telephones.

What is Cape May’s evacuation route?

Click on this PDF here to see Cape May’s evacuation route; as you’ll see noted on there, you will follow blue circular signs that say “Coastal Evacuation Route” to safety. For a list of other New Jersey evacuation routes split up by county, please click here.

Please remember that all evacuation plans are flexible and could change based on the nature of an emergency. Rest assured though that when Cape May’s law enforcement send out the order to evacuate, they will provide specific information about the roads you should take; authorities will direct traffic and block roads that are hazardous.


Stay safe, readers! Does anyone have storm-preparation advice or practices they’ve used that have been successful in the past during hurricanes? Comment below!


6 Kid-Friendly Activities During Beautiful Fall in Cape May

Fall is one of my favorite seasons in Cape May; the summer crowds are gone, but there’s still just as much to do and see, and the weather is absolutely gorgeous! We’ve rounded up our top six events and activities that are must-dos for you and your kids down the shore this autumn.

Celebrate fall with live music, delicious food and fun activities at Beach Plum Farm. Every Saturday from 11am – 7pm September 30th through October 28th, Beach Plum Farm on Steven’s Street in West Cape May will be hosting its “Fall on the Farm.” Sit in the shade, listen to the SunDogs play, and sip on a local craft beer while your kids enjoy the farm’s hayrides, pumpkin picking and decorating, and face painting.

Explore the exciting 85 acres of Cape May Zoo. The Zoo is open from 10am – 4:30pm all week long and is the perfect place to take your kids for a great day of animal sightseeing. Bonus: donations are encouraged, but admission is otherwise free! Check out the annual “Boo at the Zoo” event on Saturday October 28th, where visitors are invited to wear a costume and partake in games, candy-eating, entertainment, an inflatable obstacle course, a magic show and more.

Bring your family to the 26th Annual Pumpkin Festival. On Saturday October 21st, head to Historic Cold Spring Village for festive games and pumpkin painting while snacking on hot dogs and funnel cake. If you and your kids are feeling brave, test your courage inside the spooky haunted house at the Village Barn before you leave.

Encourage your kids’ inner artist by getting creative at the Cape May County’s Art @ The Library.  After reading a picture book, children are invited to freely draw characters, themes, scenes, animals, anything that stems from the book using a variety of art materials. These events run from 3:30pm – 4:30pm on Thursdays in Cape May at the library.

Walk through Scarecrow Alley at Cape May’s Physick Estate. From October 7th – October 31st, the Estate will be transformed for Halloween; Scarecrow Alley showcases homemade scarecrows, from spooky to funny. Have your kids vote for their favorite; they’re also welcome to submit a scarecrow for display – there may be an awesome prize for them if theirs wins!

Spot dolphins and whales on the Cape May Whale Watcher. Sailing from March until December from the Miss Chris Marina, the Whale Watcher is a great activity for the entire family. Breathe in the fresh ocean air while your kids learn fun facts about the sea life surrounding you while on the water. Children 6 and under can sail for free with a paid adult!

Are there any other activities that you’ve brought your kids to in Cape May during the fall season that we missed? Leave suggestions in the comments!