Friday, October 6 through Monday, October 9

This is the best time of year to visit Victorian Cape May and celebrate the unique heritage of America’s first seashore resort. Enjoy a weekend of exciting and entertaining activities focused on history and Victorian Cape May culture.


architectural drawing of victorian building

Saturday & Sunday, October 7 & 8 from 9:30am – 11:30am

See America’s only National Historic Landmark City up close on this one-hour walking tour that explores Cape May’s renowned Historic District by foot. Put on your sturdy shoes and stroll along the sidewalks of streets such as Hughes Street, Ocean Street and Columbia Avenue, with a knowledgeable guide to show and tell what makes Victorian Cape May so interesting. See where Victorian gamblers won or lost their shirts, where the Great Fire of 1878 burned and more. Tour begins and ends at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Comfortable shoes recommended.


Victorian style porch located in cape may new jersey

Saturday, October 7 from 1pm – 4pm

Visitors have the unique opportunity on this self-guided tour to go behind closed doors and see restored private homes, bed and breakfast inns and guesthouses. Tourgoers can meet the homeowners, managers or innkeepers, see unique furnishings and décor, and find inspiration for their own homes and hearths.


Cape May MAC Trolley filled with people on a tour of the town

Known as the “Queen of the Seaside Resorts” for its quaint Victorian cottages and pristine beaches, Cape May is the oldest seaside resort in the country, and in 1976, the entire city was declared a National Historic Landmark. Possessing one of the country’s largest collections of 19th century seaside wood framed buildings, the historic district features a variety of styles of Victorian architecture. It’s beautiful. It’s charming. Wonderful tour guides will explain Cape May’s history and architecture and how and why it has survived and thrives to this day. This narrated tour travels through portions of Cape May’s historic district. Guides discuss the architecture and history of the area. Offered year-round either separately or as combo tours. Begins and ends at the Ocean Street trolley stop.

Cape May MAC membership ad


ghostly victorian man holding his own head

Cats in ghostly form purr from the beyond. Beloved family members in photographs without their heads. Graves equipped with a torpedo to put off intruders. Victorians of the late 19th century had wild notions about the passage from life to death. Belief in ghosts and spirits was common and superstition abounded. Hear several Cape May ghost stories and more strange stories from Victorian Cape May history that are macabre, mysterious or just plain weird! Begins and ends at the Ocean Street trolley stop.


tour groups on a house tour and a trolley tour

This immersive, 2-hour tour experience combines a guided tour by trolley of Cape May’s Historic District with a guided tour of the Physick House Museum, providing an in-depth look into Cape May history and architecture. Learn why Cape May is the only National Historic Landmark City in the nation as you appreciate the details of Cape May’s unique Victorian streetscapes via trolley. Take a guided tour of the first and second floors of the 1879 Physick House Museum, for a detailed look at Victorian architecture and the period. Built in 1879, the 18-room mansion is an architectural masterpiece built by famed American architect Frank Furness and one of the best examples of Victorian Stick Style architecture in the country. The tour includes a visit to the Carriage House Carroll Gallery Exhibit and begins and ends at the Ocean Street Trolley stop.


emlen physick estate on washington street in cape may new jersey

Take a guided tour of the first and second floors of the 1879 Physick House Museum, for an in-depth look at Victorian architecture and the period, reflecting one Victorian family’s lifestyle, and detailing the way the Physick family and their household lived, worked and spent their leisure time. Built in 1879, the 18-room mansion is an architectural wonder built by famed American architect Frank Furness and is one of the best examples of Victorian Stick Style architecture in the country. In 2020-21 the tour them “This Old House” focuses on the Physick House and the organization, Cape May MAC, that lovingly restored it 50 years ago and continues to do so today.


Beachfront mansions

You’ll hear how the rich lived in the early 1900s in the most elegant part of town on this trolley tour that includes the eastern beachfront. You’ll see the broad streets and massive plots on Cape May’s east side – an area marketed as “New Cape May” at the turn of the 20th century. Today, new, beachfront second homeowners have continued the tradition, running the gamut from the mere wealthy to the fabulously rich. This narrated tour travels along Beach Drive through the early 20th century East Cape May Development areas. Guides discuss history and architecture. Begins and ends at the Ocean Street trolley stop.


Woman giving trolley tour

This is the best introduction to Cape May for first timers and also for those who haven’t been to Cape May in some time. Find the hidden gems and the little-known treasures of this glorious seaside town and learn about natural and cultural points of interest. This narrated tour highlights the many cultural, historical and natural attractions on the island. Begins and ends at the Ocean Street trolley stop.


Harriet Tubman

Cape May was part of the Underground Railroad and this trolley tour tells of those dangerous days. Slaves fled their chains in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia and braved strong currents and stormy seas, guided by the beacon at the Cape May Lighthouse. Hear how legendary anti-slavery fighter, Harriet Tubman, walked these streets, as did prominent railroad businessman and former slave, Stephen Smith, whose railroad cars carried hundreds to freedom. Trolley tour co-sponsored by Center for Community Arts (CCA) and Cape May MAC. Begins and ends at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth and travels through parts of Cape May and West Cape May, with stops along the way, including the Mt. Zion Cemetery.


Ghost like photo of victorian man riding trolley

What was that shadow? Was it the undead of Cape May’s past wandering their beloved haunts? You might scoff, you might shudder, but rest assured: on board a trolley with an experienced guide you will begin to wonder what’s beyond when you hear the tales of hauntings unearthed in Cape May by renowned psychic medium and author Craig McManus. Begins and ends at the Ocean Street trolley stop.


an old fashioned medicine wagon

Quackery: The Age of Questionable Medical Marvels

Step right up! See this exhibit of some of the so-called medical marvels of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of these “curatives” were not just ineffective, they were downright dangerous. Learn about the societal and economic forces that unleashed these questionable treatments on the public, driven by hucksterism, false advertising and get-rich-quick schemes. Open daily.


two masked people riding a golf cart

This 90-minute breezy tour by electric cart departs from the Washington Street Mall and takes you off the beaten track along routes not usually traveled — Cape May’s “back streets and byways.” Discover the fascinating history of Cape Island, from its maritime and agricultural roots to its designation as a National Historic Landmark City, and more, from experienced guides with a professional driver. The cart will make two planned stops for photo opportunities. Tour returns to the Washington Street Mall. A minimum of 2 are required to run the tour.


Crafts and Collectibles show vendor tents at festival

Sunday, October 8: 10am – 4pm
Emlen Physick Estate

Browse wares of crafters and collectibles dealers from throughout the Cape May region. A special appearance by the Wheelmen, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to keeping alive the heritage of American cycling, including promoting the restoration and riding of early cycles manufactured in and before 1932.


Alexander Hamilton: The Man, The Myth, The Musical
Presented by Dr. Robert P. Watson

Sunday, October 8 at 5pm

The life and legacy of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton—from historic truth to musical interpretation, and the role he played in shaping New Jersey as we know it today. Presented by Dr. Robert Watson, award-winning author, professor, historian, and analyst who has contributed to The New York Times, NPR, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the BBC, and more.


People in a room with wine barrels

Cape May County vineyards are producing delicious wines and here is your chance to enjoy them with round-trip transportation via Cape May MAC trolley. Board the trolley at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., and travel to Pier House in Cape May for a delicious lunch. Then it’s back on board the trolley for an afternoon of touring and sampling wine selections by vintners at Jessie Creek Winery and Natali Vineyards. Guests will receive a tour, tasting and souvenir glass at Jessie Creek Winery and a tasting with cheese and crackers at Natali Vineyards. This event is for adults ages 21 and over.