Perfect Summer Destination
I may be preaching to the choir here, but I couldn’t resist stating the obvious in the intro of this month’s newsletter. Cape May really IS the perfect summer destination.
Not only does Cape May have wonderful beaches, which are certainly an essential ingredient of summer perfection, but it has oh so much more. Think about it ... where else could you wake up to a great breakfast, take a trolley or horse carriage tour, spend a wonderful day on the beach, ride a bike to the lighthouse (and climb to the top of it), visit a winery/brewery/distillery, enjoy afternoon tea on the porch or gardens of a beautiful vintage Victorian home, stroll through the shops lining the quaint pedestrian only street, check out some art galleries, enjoy a free concert in the park, watch the sun set into the ocean (ok, so it is actually a bay), walk to dinner, and then wrap the night up listening to live music? I’ll admit that it might be challenging to fit all of those activities into a single day, but if you take an additional day, then you could add some other fun activities including a dolphin watch tour, kayaking, parasailing, a walk through a world class birding nature trail, and visit an Alpaca farm.
Thankfully, nobody would ever expect you to attempt all of these activities, as it may make a wonderfully relaxing visit to Cape May kind of stressful. It’s good to know, however, that the opportunities for entertainment at your favorite vacation destination are almost limitless.
We’re always happy to assist you
find the best possible room for the dates you want to visit, or the best dates for the room you want to stay in. Call us at (609) 884-8702 to get started.
Greenwich, a third floor room in the Prince Albert Hall building, has always been one of my favorite rooms. In fact, on our website page for the room, it is identified as “Doug’s personal favorite room”.
With all the recent guest room renovations we’ve done over the years, I’m not quite sure that is true anymore, but it definitely is near the top of the list.
We’ve made some modest changes to the room over the years, including the replacement of the solid oak headboard (which blocked a lot of the light coming in the windows behind the bed), with this light, airy canopy bed earlier this year. I think the room is nearly perfect at this point.
So what makes it so great? To start with it is a large room, with a large sitting area. I personally love the gabled roof line, which frames the bed almost perfectly, giving the room a lot of character. Have you ever heard the expression “Happy Wife, Happy Life”? Believe me when I tell you that your life will be happy once your wife (or female partner) sees the bathroom of Greenwich. Women universally love this bathroom, which is very large, very bright, and has more set down space for toiletries than you can shake a hair dryer at. It even has a window bench seat!
I can’t recall ever meeting anybody who didn’t like the Greenwich room, so I’m pretty confident that it would be a good choice for your next visit to The Queen Victoria.
Upcoming (and current) Special Events
Cape May Summer Concert Series
The City of Cape May sponsors a wonderful Summer Concert Series every year. As in past years, I’ve heard of every single performer on this list of big stars. While most of them were big stars before my time, their music still resonates today.
Here’s a list of the upcoming performances to be held at Convention Hall nearly every Wednesday (yep, they switched from a Monday schedule) for the remainder of the summer:
- July 26: Jay & The Americans
- July 31: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (this one is on a Monday!)
- August 9: Aaron Neville
- August 16: Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals
- August 19: Roanoke (another Saturday concert)
- August 23: Mary Wilson of the Supremes (pictured above)
The shows all start at 8pm at the Cape May Convention Center.
Shakespeare at The Estate
The REV Theater Company is returning to Cape May again this summer to perform Hamlet. I just visited MAC’s website to investigate the production and found the following description (it definitely doesn’t sound like something you would expect me to write):
“This contemporary, opulent production will be ‘revved up,’ emphasizing the fusion of Shakespeare’s language and REV’s dynamic physicality, reflecting the intense emotional life of the play. Another of REV’s trademarks is the active involvement of the audiences in our outdoor productions (just as it was in Elizabethan playhouses) as witnesses to and participants in the events, giving the play’s action great immediacy and excitement.”
The 2 hour production is being performed on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, and has a cast of 10, some of which perform more than one part.
If you’re looking for a fun, entertaining, and different experience for one of your evenings in Cape May this summer, this may just be the ticket.
Craft Beer & Crab Festival
Believe it or not, there aren’t many big events scheduled for Cape May during the summer. I suppose that is because traditionally, the big events were scheduled off-season to keep people coming to Cape May, even after the beach was no longer a big draw. This event is the exception, of course. This year marks the 6th annual Craft Beer & Crab Festival being held on the grounds of the Physick Estate.
This festival has become a hugely popular event, a testament to how enjoyable it is. With live music all day, plenty of crabs and other tasty, fun foods, and of course craft beer, it isn’t surprising.
Though our August bookings have been pretty robust of late, I noticed that we still have a few rooms available for the weekend of this festival. If you’re trying to decide when is the best time for you to return to The Queen Victoria this summer, then perhaps this is just the thing you’ve been waiting for.
Lessons of History Distinguished Lecture Series
Featuring Admiral Thad W. Allen (retired)
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is presenting the latest in their Lessons of History series, featuring Admiral Thad Allen USCG (retired), 23rd Commandant of the Coast Guard. He will be presenting “Always Ready: Stories of American Leadership and Unity During Crisis”.
Admiral Allen’s noteworthy Coast Guard career was punctuated by two extraordinary assignments, which are exemplary of the Coast Guard motto Semper Paratus (Always Ready). In 2005, President Bush placed Admiral Allen in charge of Hurricane Katrina onsite search-and-rescue and recovery efforts, due to Allen’s demonstrated leadership capabilities. Given his reputation for successfully dealing with a National crisis, in 2010, President Obama assigned Admiral Allen as National Incident Commander to take charge of the total Federal government response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dickens Christmas Extravaganza
Though I find it incredibly difficult to walk into a Christmas shop before around November of any given year, it is NEVER too early to start planning a Christmas visit to The Queen Victoria. That is especially true if you want to experience this wonderful, festive event. The Dickens Christmas Extravaganza is a 3 day festival filled with tours, feasting, entertainment and fun. It is also a tremendous value!
The value starts with the 3 days of programming and 2 dinners, all for $175/person (1 of the dinners is the “Welcome Dinner” and is not technically part of the event. Anna Marie and I treat our guests to a festive, fun dinner at the Merion Inn to kick-off the event.). The value continues at The Queen Victoria, with the special “234” discount package that we offer, making it incredibly affordable to stay at your favorite Cape May B&B.
This year’s event once again features the renowned and wonderfully entertaining Dickens & Victorian era scholar Dr. Elliot Engel, who has been captivating audiences all over the world with his interesting and unique approach to history and literature for decades.
The Dickens Christmas Extravaganza is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season.
The Repainting of the Queen‘s Cottage Porch
This is a bit of a departure for the “New Stuff” section of our newsletter, as paint is usually not considered “stuff”. Since it is new, however, I thought I would share it with you.
As you can see from this photo, the wall in the front of the wrap around porch of the Queen‘s Cottage is freshly painted, while the side of the house is currently being prepared for painting (which is the hard part, by the way). What you can’t see in this photo is a tremendous amount of work that went into the repainting of the porch ceiling, changing the color from the darker wall color to a more traditional lighter color with dark green exposed joist beams. I am convinced that this porch is one of the best possible places in Cape May to enjoy an after beach (and tea) happy hour before walking to one of our wonderful restaurants. I know that many of you agree with me on this.
Our Beautiful Gardens (again)
Our gardens are so lovely this year that I simply had to share another of them with you this month.
This small little garden is located at the end of the brick walkway that runs the length of the Queen‘s Cottage side yard, just to the left of our new pergola bench seat. The most striking plant in the garden right now is the delicate Lace Cap Hydrangea, which was a gift from one of our favorite guests a couple of years ago, seen here in the upper right of the photo. Also in evidence is a Lenten Rose (Hellebore, for you serious gardeners), which is several months past its blooming cycle, but is a lush, beautiful greet plant none the less. Also present are the vibrant and ironically named “Sun Patiens”, which favor (and thrive) in this very shady location. I believe that they are actually a variety of New Guinea Impatiens.
They’re back! You may remember this handsome beach/shopping tote from a previous visit to The Queen Victoria. If you always regretted not purchasing one before departing, or have worn yours out by constant use (because it would obviously be your “go to” bag for just about any occasion), now is your chance to get one.
These really are about the nicest bags of their type that I’ve ever seen, and not just because of the snappy screen printed image. They are large, and beautifully constructed with metal grommets and nicely sewn handles. I also love the color combination. I really can’t think of how they might be improved.
If you’re planning a summer visit to The Queen Victoria in the coming months, leave your old ratty beach bag at home and treat yourself to one of these incredibly stylish bags. You’ll be the envy of everyone at the beach.