Hotel at a Glance: Summer Cottage Inn
Summer Cottage Inn's roots can be traced back to just after the Civil War, when the Italianate home was built as a summer getaway for Philadelphia elite Samuel Harrison. Nearly 150 years later, the bed and breakfast still has that old-fashioned, homey feel.
- Bountiful breakfast options include housemade scones, waffles, and vegetable-egg strata, washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Afternoon tea is available daily, and wine-and-cheese receptions are held on Friday and Saturday evenings.
- Victorian charm: The nine guest rooms are decked out in antique furnishings and romantic floral-print wallpaper.
- Complimentary bike rentals make for a scenic ride to Cape May's waterfront, roughly a block away.
- Music to your ears: Guests can play the inn's piano or guitar on request.
- Horse-drawn-carriage rides: Tour Cape May's historic district (additional fees apply).
Cape May, New Jersey: Seaside Resort Town with Victorian Architecture
Long billed as America's oldest seaside resort, Cape May sits at New Jersey's southernmost tip. The setting is so idyllic that Travel Channel named the town’s coastline 1 of the top 10 beaches in the country. Aside from beachcombing, popular pastimes here include fishing, whale watching, and bird watching. In fact, the New York Times called Cape May "one of North America's hottest birding spots." You might see bald eagles, herons, and woodcocks. In the spring, keep your eyes peeled for the latter’s intricate mating dance.
After a fire ravaged most of Cape May in 1878, residents rebuilt in the contemporary style of the time, and dozens of their stately Victorian homes remain standing today. Consequently, the Cape May Historic District has earned the distinction of being a National Historic Landmark. Horses and carriages tour the colorful, cottage-lined streets, which have been deemed off-limits to chain stores in order to preserve the classic small-town atmosphere. Along Delaware Bay stands the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse. Those who climb the tower’s 199 stairs are rewarded at the top with an unbeatable view of the Atlantic Ocean.