CAPE MAY’S ANNUAL VICTORIAN WEEKEND

October 7 – 10, 2022

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.

LESSONS OF HISTORY LECTURE SERIES

Headshot of a man

Is War with China Inevitable?
Presented by Dr. Steven David

Dr. Steven David, Ph.D., professor at Johns Hopkins, an authority on international relations and three-time winner of the university’s “Outstanding Teacher Award,” presents “Is War with China Inevitable?” in Cape May in this year’s annual Distinguished Lecture Series.

LEARN MORE

VICTORIAN WEEKEND
CRAFT & COLLECTIBLES SHOW

Crafts and Collectibles show vendor tents at festival

Sunday, October 9: 10am – 4pm
Emlen Physick Estate

Visit the Emlen Physick Estate for this open-air show featuring wares of local vendors and crafters.

2022 Craft Shows

CAPE MAY’S FORGOTTEN SPORTS HISTORY
TROLLEY TOUR

vintage postcard of golf course

Cape May’s history includes some fascinating stories about sports, such as baseball, tennis and golf, during the 19th and early 20th century. Take this trolley tour around Cape May and see where audiences once cheered on their favorite players of yesteryear. Learn about the teams, ballfields, courts and greens that were a vibrant part of America’s First Seaside Resort.

Purchase Tour

Cape May MAC membership ad

SPIRITS & ODDITIES TROLLEY TOUR

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.

Purchase Tour

HISTORIC DISTRICT TROLLEY TOUR

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.

Purchase Tour

EMLEN PHYSICK ESTATE TOUR

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.

LEARN MORE

MANSIONS BY THE SEA TROLLEY TOUR

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.

Purchase Tour

WELCOME TO CAPE MAY TROLLEY TOURS

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.

Purchase Tour

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TROLLEY TOUR

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.

Purchase Tour

GHOSTS OF CAPE MAY TROLLEY TOUR

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.

Purchase Tour

CARROLL GALLERY EXHIBIT

antique illustration of tools

The Victorian Toolbox:
Necessities, Curiosities, Frivolities

May 27 – October 31, 2022

See this exhibit of the tools that Dr. Physick and his staff would have used on the estate in the 19th and early 20th century, along with some of the luxury items the family used. Learn about the realities of working life for those who worked here to earn their living. Free admission. Open daily

LEARN MORE