This past week I spent some time with family in the historic area of Cape May. The tranquil town is such a beautiful area filled with Victorian homes, restaurants, shops and miles of pristine beaches for one to stroll during the day. The first time I visited Cape May was during my freshman year in college back in 1994 and it was then that I fell in love with this wonderful town. All of these years later the place still holds that special magic for me and I couldn’t be happier having visited for several days.
As much as I was fortunate enough to have visited for just under a week, our trip didn’t start under auspicious circumstances. Having our power and heat go out due to an ice storm, we were forced to leave our Montgomery County home to seek warmer shelter. Cooking meals, sharing laughs, having our cats get used to a new environment and yes, taking strolls along the miles of beach were all very nice to say the least.
The first day that we were here I wanted to take a walk down Cape May Point, past the historic lighthouse, the WWII bunker and through the wildlife sanctuary that I visited way back when. Although it was cold that day we ventured out, I found it to be gorgeous because the sun was shining and the breeze was light. Regrettably I did not capture that walk for you with my camera since we left our home in a hurry, and I really wasn’t thinking in terms of vacationing or recreation. Luckily, however, I was able to borrow a small camera on a subsequent walk and the photos below are just a few that I took over the weekend.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting historic Cape May, New Jersey, I suggest you put it on your to-do list. Book a weekend at one of the many bed & breakfast establishments and walk through this glorious town. Make sure that you have a good hat, some sunglasses, good walking shoes and a camera.
Like me, you’re going to want to stay here.
Here I am taking one of my long walks along the beach. On this particular day the weather was quite cold and blustery with temperatures in the 20s. Even so, there were a few individuals taking their afternoon strolls.
Between Cape May Beach and Cape May Point there is a nature preserve called Cape May Point State Park. Here I am passed it standing right across from the lighthouse. To the left is a summer retreat for nuns and to the right is my dream house along this beach.
This beautiful building is St. Mary's by the Sea. Originally, this was the Shoreham Hotel built between 1875-1890. It is now used as a summer retreat by the nuns of St. Mary's. I'm told that it's best viewed from the lighthouse which is right next door.
This small cottage by the sea has unobstructed views of the pristine beach. Imagine waking up to it every single morning. If only!
As I made my way through this small enclave of homes I decided to take a closer look at the little beach house. Quite small, yet utterly charming in its simplicity don't you think?
To my mind, the Cape May Lighthouse is one of the nicer lighthouses along the eastern seaboard. It's what we all picture when we imagine a lighthouse, with its white foundation, red widows walk, watch room and service room. This structure is simply amazing and at some point I am going to make that climb up to the cupola and photograph it for you to see.
Here is a nice beach house with plenty of windows to soak up the summer sun.
I'm going to date myself when I mention this photograph for you, but growing up, we had Smokey the Bear reminding us every single year that only we could prevent forest fires. Here he is at the entrance to the Cape May Point State Park to remind us once again.
The sign clearly says that the lighthouse is closed for the season and in the meantime we have this pirate keeping guard.
Across these dunes and passed that lake is the State Park. As I said, the day we walked through the preserve I did not have the camera so I wasn't able to photograph it for you. In the future I promise to do so.
This bunker was built during WWII and acted as a gun emplacement. Years ago it was surrounded by the ocean, but the state has since dredged the beach to prevent further erosion, and now many visitors walk around it to photograph its turrets and lookout points. The bunker has a 'sister' across the bay in Lewes, Delaware.
These stately beach houses are on the other side of the Point. The area is Cape May Beach.
If you ever do visit the area you must walk through the mall, which is nothing more than an open air market with restaurants, stores, cafes and yes, antique shops! Don't forget to buy some of that delicious salt water taffy that is famous around here.
One can't help but be in awe at some of the beautiful summer homes here. Along Beach Avenue there are homes and then there are homes! This area is known for its Victorian architecture. Make sure to keep an eye out for the Seven Sisters in Cape May. They are a row of 7 colorful Victorian homes.
The columned house on the left is someone's beach house and the one on the right with its cream-colored walls and green trim used to be a private residence as well. It has since been turned into a bed and breakfast.
Driving along Beach Avenue you can tell that any residents opt for shingle-style cottages. They remind me of homes on Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard.
With its two-story wrap around porches, this residence makes certainly makes a statement.
I love this colonial home!
And yet another beautiful home across from the beach.
It's all about the view. Every single home along this exclusive avenue has some type of porch to take in the views of the beach. Who can blame them?
Taking in this beautiful view toward the beach in historic Cape May, I hope you can understand why I didn't want to leave the area.
Put it on your list of places to visit in the near future and remember to take this long beach walk that I do so love. Don't forget your camera and please, share your photographs with me!