I had the pleasure to be in Cape May for a few days just recently, right before Halloween. As it is the habit of the town to get all done up for holidays, so it was for that special spooky October date! Public areas, such as the famous Washington Street Mall and the new Convention Hall area up on the promenade were festively decorated with cornstalks, pumpkins and other squash, and a fall rainbow of mums and similar flowering plants. Many home and shop owners had done the same, with some adding a skeleton or a witch hat here, a mummy there, all to help visitors get in the spooky mood.
It was stunningly beautiful fall weather, with clear blue skies and bright sun but with enough chilly snap in the air to complement the season wonderfully. The town was quiet, though plenty of shops and restaurants were still open for browsing or for lunch or dinner. I happened to be there for Thursday and Friday and I did note that several establishments were shuttered at least earlier in the day, opening later when more people were around. That behavior is common for a tourist town in the off season.
The fall is a great time to visit Cape May. You won’t find the long wait for a restaurant table that you might in July or August, yet you will still have a substantial variety of eateries and watering holes to choose from and most of the shops will still be open. On any visit to town, the wife and I love to just walk around and stop here for a coffee, there for a pastry, or maybe the next place for an afternoon glass of wine.
Delany’s Irish Pub (formerly Jackson Mountain café), and the famous Ugly Mug tavern are two of our favorite spots for a meal or a drink. Both have first class pub food and fancier fair, as well as good drinks and an inviting small-town atmosphere. The Ugly Mug of course has been known for decades for the hundreds of mugs hung from all over the ceiling. These mugs belong to the super-secret Ugly Mug Club. Oh well, I guess it’s not all that secret but I do believe that the club is currently closed to new membership. There are only so many mugs you can fit on the ceiling you know! The mugs are numbered, but over the years and through various cleanings and restorations they have gotten out of order. Mine just happens to be # 007. Hmmmm – what a coincidence! If you find it don’t try to steal it!
Completed in 1971, the Washington Street Mall is the center of Cape May’s shopping and dining activity and is a very busy attraction in high season. “The Mall”, as many refer to it, is certainly the main destination in town. On any summer night, thousands of strollers, locals and tourists alike, will head to the mall for their after-dinner ice cream cone or maybe some fudge from Morrow’s Nut House or The Fudge Kitchen. It is a summer shore institution that many have grown up with. (The Working Stiff included.)
Here is a link to a pretty good Cape May website for general information.
Also, here is a link to the excellent Exit Zero website.
Enjoy the pictures!
The Working Stiff