This weekend, the family and I packed up on an hours notice and headed 3 hours down the coast to the Town of Cape May, New Jersey. Exit 0 on the Garden State Parkway in case you were wondering.
Now, before heading there, I had no idea that Cape May is the oldest seaside resort in America… even the Native Americans summered there before the europeans arrived!Cape May began hosting vacationers from Philadelphia in the mid 1700s and is recognized by the United States government as the country’s oldest seaside resort. It became increasingly popular in the 18th century and was considered one of the finest resorts in America by the 19th century. In 1876 a five-day-long fire destroyed thirty acres of the town center. Replacement homes were almost uniformly of Victorian style. As a result of this and of more recent preservation efforts, Cape May is noted for its large number of well-maintained Victorian houses — the second largest collection of such homes in the nation after San Francisco. (This paragraph was lifted from Cape May’s Wiki page. FYI.)
We stayed at Congress Hall. The hotel was built in 1816. Yes. You read correctly. It is almost 200 years old.
It was completely renovated about 5 years ago, and I must say, it was a really well done renovation. The decor is old school seaside glamour.
The huge ballroom is used for weddings… I saw 6 this weekend, 4 of them on the beach in the rain:(
The bar is beautiful… Linen, leather and old black and white photos + palms…
The Blue Pig Tavern at Congress Hall. AMAZING food with farm fresh dinners that use vegetables from their farm a few miles away. YUM. Who doesnt love pink , red white and brown?
We also had dinner at The Ebbit Room, in the Virginia Hotel. I recommend. No food I have had in the state of New Jersey has been as good. Too bad we had to keep taking turns leaving with a nutty Cookie! They are owned by the same group that owns Congress Hall, so they were probably done by the same design team. Kinda has the same vibe, no? I oddly noticed a few West Elm products scattered about both hotels…
I love the color combinations and the feel of both hotels.
Despite the fact that it was overcast for half the day Saturday and rained all day Sunday, we had a great weekend. We just pretended it was nice out. Went to the beach, walked on the boardwalk, played mini golf with Cookie, skee ball in the arcade, road a surrey in the rain, ate fudge and ice cream and pancakes in diners, swam in the pool, collected shells…. What is it about the Jersey Shore that makes me so nostalgic?
I hereby commence a series of blog posts to be written over the summer entitled “The Other Side of The Jersey Shore” where there is nary a “gorilla” in sight.