Gingerbread Victorian Mansion a Half-Block From the Beach
There are few houses that have been picked up and moved in their entirety—let alone twice. Even fewer that make the claim that they've been completely cut in half. The Angel of the Sea has endured all of these over its 163-year history. The pink gingerbread Victorian mansion was once situated in downtown Cape May, but its original owner, William Weightman, Sr., decided he'd like ocean views instead; he hired local farmers to move it, who chopped the house in half to make it more moveable and pieced it back together. When the mansion was on the verge of being turned into a parking lot in 1962, it was bought and moved again, this time on flatbed trucks, to its current location—one half-block from the beach.
Now fully and meticulously restored, the Angel of Sea has racked up awards for years, even garnering mentions on Oprah, the Discovery Channel, and the Food Network. It has a romantic elegance, with antique velvet couches and period decor. Every space in the mansion is unique, including the premier and Angel suites, some of which feature ocean views and balconies.
A full breakfast is served each morning, and tea and pastries are laid out for guests from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. When the weather's nice, the Angel of the Sea loans out complimentary white bicycles to guests, along with chairs and umbrellas for the beach. If you're interested in learning more about this fascinating inn, you can take a 30-minute guided house tour at 12:15 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, which gives the full history of the inn and allows you to take a peek into other guest rooms.
Cape May, New Jersey: Historic Resort Town and Local Vineyards
The Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean right at the city of Cape May, a tiny 2.8-mile stretch on the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula in New Jersey. Known for its cool summer temperatures and clean, pretty beaches, Cape May has hosted travelers since the mid-18th century and is said to be one of the oldest seaside resort destinations in the United States. Gingerbread-house-like Victorian homes line the streets of the historic district, and quaint shops and restaurants are just a short walk away.
Several award-winning wineries make their home around Cape May, and many are open for tastings and tours. Another spot worth touring is the iconic Cape May lighthouse, which you can climb to get a sweeping view of Delaware Bay.
Aside from attracting wealthy Southerners, Cape May has famously been a stopover for more than 400 migrating bird species. That makes it a top destination in the Northeast for bird watchers and marketing strategists trying to test hip, new birdseed brands.