This holiday season, venture to the southernmost tip of the Jersey Shore to explore the seaside town of Cape May for a sense of magical holiday nostalgia. The streets of this quaint little town look as if they were pulled directly from the pages of a storybook with every charming restaurant, bar, and hotel serving as its characters. Whether you’re traveling as a couple, family, or in a group of friends, this picturesque destination has plenty to offer.
WHERE TO STAY
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, the 62-acre Beach Plum Farm has five unique cottages on the property that exude a cozy and welcoming vibe.
An array of animals like pigs and chickens live right on the property along with fruits and vegetables that supplies the majority of produce to some of Cape May’s most popular restaurants. Guests can purchase everything from eggs to tomatoes from Beach Plum’s market and use the fresh ingredients to prepare breakfast in the fully equipped kitchens or opt for doughnuts and coffee delivered directly to their front porch.
Book a spot during the holiday season, when garland-lined windows, lights, and a dazzling Christmas tree add a magical touch to the farm.
All decked out for the holidays, the Virginia Hotel is especially fitting for couples looking for a romantic getaway. This intimate spot is located in the heart of the city is surrounded by Victorian homes, highly-rated restaurants, and trendy bars.
Each of the 24 guest rooms is uniquely designed, giving them their own personal charm. A complimentary continental breakfast is offered to guests each morning of their stay to ensure they start their day off right. With so much happening right outside of the door, the Virginia is the place to stay for a complete Cape May experience.
Several of the guest suites at Congress Hall feature seashore views, which are just as magical in the winter as they are the summer. This 202-year-old resort has played host to guests like President Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin Harrison, who frequented so often he referred to it as his “Summer White House.”
Although the interior has been renovated to meet modern day needs and expectations, you’ll fall in love with the historical charm you feel as you walk the colorful, American flag-lined hallways and take in the grand lawn, which is decorated each year with a huge Christmas tree that serves as the focal point of seasonal entertainment in Cape May.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
With fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and live piano music on the weekends, The Ebbitt Room makes for the cozy place to enjoy a Cape May meal. Located inside of The Virginia Hotel, visitors will feel right at home while indulging in deviled eggs and succulent pork chops. Arrive early and enjoy a specialty cocktail, like the Cape May Mule, or stay a while after your meal and have a nightcap on the front porch.
This underground music club doubles as a pizzeria that’s beloved by locals and visitors alike. Gather here to watch the big game while you sip on a cold draft beer or venture over for some late-night dancing. Those looking to let loose will love the Boiler Room’s lively atmosphere.
For a more sophisticated way to raise a toast, head over to the Brown Room. Located inside of Congress Hall, this stylish lounge serves as the center of entertainment. Kick your feet up and enjoy a drink while you sit next to the fireplace and visit with friends. We can’t think of a better way to end your day.
WHAT TO DO
Enjoy a Farm-to-Table Dinner
Whether you’re booking a cottage at Beach Plum Farm or not, you can experience the magic of the property by joining guests during one of their farm-to-table dinners. The location of the dinner and the menu are always a surprise, but previous venue options have included the farm’s refurbished barn as well as under a tent with a crackling fire.
Before your meal, embark on a walk through the twinkle light-adorned Elfin Woodland Marsh Trail with a cocktail.
Scope Out Holiday Decor
Get into the spirit of the season by stopping by to see the decor at Congress Hall. Every Christmas, nearly 10,000 lights are strung around the historical hotel, transforming it into a winter wonderland. Life-like toy soldiers line the perimeter, poinsettias add a pop of color, and cedar hangs from wall-to-wall for a truly magical Christmas experience.
Visit the Carousel
Traveling with kids? Just looking for a bit of nostalgic fun? Wander over to Congress Hall’s festive carousel, which is sure to bring out the kid in any guest.
Shop at the Christmas Village
If you’re hustling to find some last-minute gifts, head over to the shopping village at Congress Hall. Here you’ll find a variety of unique gifts from over twenty vendors while you keep warm with a cup of hot cocoa or specialty holiday cocktail.