Cape May New Jersey has always been a place near and dear to my heart. My family and I vacation here at least once a year since I was a little girl, we would go every single summer. When we moved down to Toms River it shortened our 2 hour drive down to a 1.5 hour drive which really did make a difference. We decided to drive down one year during the winter time and instantly we fell more in love with the town. Christmas decor is so pretty and probably my favorite thing to decorate for, I say probably because Halloween and Christmas might be tied for me. But anyway, the whole entire town is taken over with decorations and it is just so beautiful at night time. My family and I normally stay at the Congress Hall in Cape May, it’s a big yellow historic hotel but it just feels like home to me. The people are so friendly and keep the hotel immaculate. I would recommend staying here to anyone visiting the area. Every year, the congress decorates their lawn with crazy Christmas decor, a carrousel, little shops set up around the pool area, and everyone can hang out and drink or eat or just enjoy the beautiful decor. One weekend out of the year they really dedicate to celebrating Christmas by having a tree lighting on the lawn where all of the fun is. The town of Cape May has their parade the same weekend, just the following day. I have been to both of these events, and they are equally special. The tree lighting is fun because everyone gathers in one place and dances to live music while drinking hot coco, but the parade is also amazing to see people throughout the town watching the parade go by with smiles on their faces.
This year, my family wasn’t able to attend so last minute my boyfriend’s family decided they would like to take a ride down. Since it was last minute, we weren’t able to get a room at the Congress. We stayed at a very nice hotel that was a little far from town, called the La Mer. Our room overlooked the ocean and it truly was a very nice hotel, so we were happy with that. We also had to choose between the parade and the tree lighting since my pup was at home with my family. I thought for the tree-lighting might be a little more festive to get into the holiday spirit. We drove down on Friday November 30th and drove right to the Lobster House for dinner (a Cape May staple) at around 5. This was the perfect way to start our little vacay because the food was outstanding! I have always loved this place too, except their bread they bring out first is so good that I get a small meal because I am so full. This year I got the crab cake, my boyfriend got crab legs, his mom got clam chowder, and his dad got flounder. Now that our stomachs were happy, we drove to our hotel and checked into room 327. It was already around 6:30 so we headed right over to the Congress lawn to join in on the festivities. Like usual, I was blown away by the decor. There were so many cute shops to pick up cute trinkets in (I’m a sucker for that stuff) and just good people all around. We got our shopping in and then waited around and listened to some live music on the lawn. At 8:30 they began the countdown to light the tree, from 10 all the way down until the lights went bright and everyone cheered. It is one of my favorite days of the year.
After a good nights rest, we returned back to the Congress for breakfast at the Blue Pig Tavern. Normally my family and I don’t eat breakfast here but we gave it a try and the food was above what we expected. With an array of waffles, eggs benny, pancakes, and donuts we can speak for almost the whole menu. We wanted to shop in town for a little before we got on the road, in town there is a strip of more cute shops that are there all year long (for the most part). I found a pair of shoes at a store there called Cash And Clive, which has the cutest things and now they are my new found loves. We bought a few small things and a surprise for our puppy of course (we love coming home with surprises). We wanted to get home after that because it was supposed to start raining and we wanted to watch some Christmas Movies in bed to continue the holiday spirit.
I plan to keep this tradition and do it with my kids, and hope they will love it as much as I do. It’s a place that feels like home and I could never get sick of the beautiful beach and historic vibes the town of Cape May has to offer. Keep an eye on my insta and youtube later this month for a Winter Wonderland video, from all the winter activities I have taken part in this year. Hopefully you’ll have the desire to go check it out and maybe add some of them to your family traditions. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post because it is something I am passionate about and loved sharing my special tradition with you guys!
With love, Taylor