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Monday, August 23, 2010

The Charms of Cape May

At the very southern tip of New Jersey lies the lovely community of Cape May.

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Cape May has been recognized as America’s oldest seaside resort. It has been hosting vacationers since the mid 1700’s. Charm abounds in every little nook, cranny and fence post.

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Cape May is world famous for its beaches and is second only to San Francisco for its fabulous collection of Victorian homes.

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After a five day fire in 1876 destroyed 30 acres of the town center most of the homes were rebuilt in various forms of Victorian splendor.

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The entire city was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976. It is the only city in the nation that possesses this designation. Even the new building that occurs has old time appeal. 

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Many of the homes are now beautiful bed and breakfast inns such as the Queen Victoria.

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Another charmer is the Angel of the Sea. It has won numerous awards all of which I am sure are well deserved.

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In Cape May large welcoming porches provide a glimpse of a poetic past that sadly much of America is now missing.

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A few of the older colonial homes also remain.

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I just adore the pale French blue shutters on this gem.

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While many of you may be thinking “What a tiny garage!” this charmer is actually a former carriage house.

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The gingerbread accents are no less than spectacular.

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Here is a stunning close up. Look at the trompe l'oeil ceiling!

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The are vast grounds surrounding many of the homes.

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We found the locals to be very friendly and welcoming.

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My heart swelled with pride at the patriotism displayed within this wonderful community.

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Beautiful, secret gardens appeared to grow lushly in many of the homes. 

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What do I love more~ the wrought iron fencing, the hanging baskets or the gingerbread trim? I can’t choose as it is all equally magnificent.

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Who knew a pink and purple home could be SO pretty?

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Even the streetlights were decked out in summertime splendor.

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The downtown shopping area is the perfect slice of Americana.

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Quaint independent shops featured fun store displays.

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When I saw a church called “Lady Star of the Sea” I had to stop in.

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There were two niches on either side of the main altar. The cross barrel vaulted ceilings were painted an ethereal blue.

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I had never seen votives quite like this. They were LED “candles” you turned on. It was a beautiful effect and a smart choice that avoids the risk of fire.

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Perfectly peaceful.

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Lovely stained glass.

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We ended our tour of downtown at Dellas 5 and 10 old time soda fountain.

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Come back on Wednesday for some beach photos that include hunky lifeguards, gratuitous swimsuit shots, sand castles and creatures, as well as the revelation of the origin of my newfound nickname: “Hotpockets”.

Laura

23 comments :

PAT said...

An absolutely beautiful town! You captured it perfectly, Laura.

LuLu Kellogg said...

Ohhhhhh, I am swooning over those homes...especially the one with the striped awnings....Just lovely!

LOL @ "Hotpockets"....you are SO cute!

LuLu♥

Debby said...

I love these pictures. I want to move there.
Americana for sure. Love the homes, rubber duckies and your little Sweet Man.

Handmade Housewife... said...

Cape May is also the home to the US Coast Guard basic training school. I was there 9 years ago when my husband graduated in the dead of winter. Seeing these photos make me wish it had been summer. It's like a ghost town in winter, but the homes are still magnificent!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Laura Sweetie...
Oh how beautiful your share is today. I can't even pick out just one of the homes that I love the most. They were all equally beautiful and what a treasure to see. I thank you for sharing with me this morning.

I loved the local friendlies. Looks like the kids did too. It looks like this town stepped way back into time and stayed there. I love that the most. The colorful homes with the details, loved the church too. How gorgeous were the stained glass windows and the arches. I love, love, love this post.

And what better way to end a tour than going to get a malted at the 5 and dime. I love it sweet friend.

This post is phenomenal. I can't wait to go to the beach on Wednesday. Please stop by and read my post. I would love to have you join in.

Many hugs and much love, Sherry

Pamela Rosenberg said...

My bags are packed. i think I'm moving here.
Great photos - all of them.
The fence with the painted flowers was so unique.
Definite eye candy on this post.
Pam

Linda said...

Wonderful travels!! Enjoying seeing all of the beautiful photos and reading about your adventures.

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Thanks for posting this about Cape May, I just showed my husband, his mother used to take a bus trip to Cape May every year...it's beautiful!

Rondell

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my, what a gorgeous place. I love all the beautiful victorian homes, and the quaint little shops. Fabulous. Hugs, Marty

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, thanks for sharing all those lovely photos. What a wonderful look a beautiful and quaint town.

Ah, have to say your teaser for the beach post has me most intrigued...

the thrifty ba said...

we had a beach house just north of cape may when i was a kid (brigantine) and it was always fun to head over here and just look at all the cool homes. im now in utah and dont get there much...thanks for the reminder of how beautiful it is!

Loui♥ said...

Hi Laura..
another amazing and fun post!
I do love the Victorian homes..
so like grand ladies at the ball..
each in her own splendid and magnificent glory..
thanks for once again allowing me the opportunity to visit a place I've never seen! It was such fun!
warmest sandy hugs..
Loui♥

Everton Terrace said...

I've never even heard of Cape May and I want to move there! How much fun would house hunting be? It almost doesn't seem real. Looking forward to the beach now.

Hollace said...

What a great post! I have added Cape May on my wishlist now.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This is one of my favorite places on the East Coast-one house is more spectacular than the next! Beautiful post.

Our local church switched over to electric candles several years ago. Besides the threat of fire, it is cleaner.

Deanna said...

Dear One,
Love the tour!!!
This is just right up my alley and I never tire of this kind of entertainment.
Fantastic and may you have a sweet life,
d

Kit said...

Oh what lovely pictures! Cape May is such a pretty place and I remember it from my childhood and from 3 years ago when I revisted it. Can't wait to see the ocean picts! Kit

scargosun said...

yay! So glad you are having a good time in the PA/NJ area. Cape May is gorgeous! I hope to stay in one of the B&B's sometime

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I love Cape May!!! GORGEOUS photos as always Laura! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Jennifer said...

Oh what a beautiful old town. Those homes are just amazing! Wouldn't you like a peek at the inside?

Hope you have enjoyed your trip,
J.

fairfieldhousenj.com said...

Now you know why I told you Cape May is my favorite place on earth and why I recommended it to you over Seaside.

Your Friend,
Deborah

Mott said...

What a beautiful town! The picture of the light coming in through the open church door is so inviting!

Jane said...

Hi Laura,
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about Cape May to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you soon!
Jane