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Discover Victorian Cape May, America’s First Seaside Resort

Program Number: 1672RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/7/2013 - 4/12/2013; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 6/7/2015 - 6/12/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/25/2015 - 10/30/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Cape May, New Jersey
Price starting at: $798.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

With local experts, delve into all things Victorian: architecture and the secrets that old houses hold, literature, decorative arts, antiques and pastimes of a bygone era. Enjoy visits with living-history characters, walk with experts in Victorian interiors like the Frank Furness-designed Emlen Physick Estate, visit the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse and take on issues of the day in a lively Temperance Debate.




Highlights

• Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, step back in time to the Victorian era of America’s first seashore resort.
• Around every corner, experience Victorian architecture and the secrets held within.
• Discover the social customs and traditions that permeate the parlors with the sea as your backdrop.



Activity Particulars

Walk two miles per day, varied terrain, very uneven pavement; standing one hour. Stairs during museum visit.




Date Specific Information

4-7-2013

Choose from two lodging options: the Inn of Cape May or upgraded accommodations at Congress Hall Hotel.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Explore New York, Corp.




Cape May

More than 600 authentically restored Victorian structures make up this National Historic Landmark City on New Jersey's southern shore. Dubbed the nation's "First Seashore Resort," Cape May has been welcoming visitors to its white-sand beaches since the 1800s. Also a birding "hotspot," Cape May attracts more than 400 species of birds a year.



Accommodations
Oceanfront hotel is dedicated to recreating the grandeur of a bygone era while providing all modern comforts and conveniences for a most enjoyable stay.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Robert Heinly

A former college professor, Dr. Robert Heinly is the Museum Education Director for the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. During his career as an educator, Robert served as a curriculum supervisor, administrator and mentor to student teachers. He is also an experienced living history re-enactor, having played roles at Independence Hall National Park. In Cape May, he has become Dr. Emlen Physick, the eccentric doctor who built the Physick Estate and was a civic gadfly in his era.
 
Rich Chiemingo

Rich Chiemingo is a museum educator for the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities, as well as a lighthouse keeper at the Cape May Lighthouse and an observer at the World War II Lookout Tower. As a living history interpreter, he shares his perspective on American composer and band leader John Philip Sousa. Prior to retiring to the Cape May area, Rich has also held a career in the music industry, including a stint as a military bandsman.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Congress Hall or Inn of Cape May
  Cape May, NJ 5 nights
 Congress Hall
Type: Hotel
  Description: Welcome to Congress Hall, a haven of relaxed elegance, fun, historic charm and luxury at the New Jersey shore. Set amid sweeping, landscaped grounds overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Cape May's broad sandy beaches, Congress Hall is just a few steps from the ocean, in the heart of Cape May's famed historic district, just .4 miles from the Inn of Cape May (an 8 to 10 minute walk). Congress Hall's unique character combines the grandeur and elegance of Cape May's most revered landmark hotel with the appeal and convenience of a modern resort. Congress Hall offers a vibrant atmosphere and modern-day comforts within the grand serenity of this lovingly renovated nineteenth-century hostelry. The guest room accommodations offer state of the art amenities in an environment of timeless calm. Congress Hall's L-shaped design, a tradition among Cape May hotels, affords many guest rooms uninterrupted views of the beach.
  Contact info: 251 Beach Avenue
Cape May, NJ 08204 USA
phone: 609-884-8421
web: www.congresshall.com
  Room amenities: Private bathroom with hairdryer, individual climate control for air conditioning and heating, color television with remote, DVD player , complimentary hi-speed wireless internet access, two telephones, including voicemail and data port, daily housekeeping services, Irons and boards.
  Facility amenities: On-site parking with valet. Dining room serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Room service. Elegant cocktail lounge. Night club. 108 guest rooms. 5 luxurious suites. Elevators. Fitness Room. Blue’s Clubhouse for kids. Full-service spa. Lobby shops. Executive conferencing including multiple meeting rooms. Tented beach-front weddings. Banqueting facilities for up to 250. Banqueting/wedding organization and event management services. Beach cabana with food service - seasonal. Private beach cabanas available - seasonal. Beach towels, chairs and umbrellas - seasonal. Pool with towels, umbrellas and loungers - seasonal. Poolside food and beverage service - seasonal.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Inn of Cape May
Type: Hotel
  Description: When the Inn of Cape May began life in 1894, it boasted what were then state-of-the-art amenities: steam heat, gas lights, an electric system, and a wonderful wrap-around verandah to catch ocean breezes. Today, the Inn’s original Otis elevator from 1900 is still in service, operated by hotel staff as available. Guest rooms are basic and modestly sized, featuring retro-fitted bathrooms with showers, heat and A/C and cable TV. Rooms are furnished as they would have been a century ago with wicker and vintage furniture, and may either have two full-size beds or one queen or king-size bed. The Inn of Cape May also offers a restaurant, bar and in-ground pool, and is conveniently located within walking distance of the main pedestrian area.
  Contact info: 7 Ocean Street
Cape May, NJ 08204 USA
phone: 609-884-5555
web: www.innofcapemay.com
  Room amenities: All rooms have the same basic amenities: private bath with shower; heat; air-conditioning; cable television. However, this is an historic inn, so room configurations and outside views differ. Some rooms have a Cape May city-view; while others have an Atlantic Ocean-view. The room assignments are made based on the needs of the group and cannot be changed from one view to another. There are no alarm clocks or phones in rooms.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar on first floor, antiques shop in lobby. Wifi in public areas of first floor. Wrap-around porch with rocking chairs. Outdoor pool in season. Convenient free parking for guests. Directly across the street from the beachfront and a short walk to the main pedestrian mall and gourmet restaurants.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Some rooms have tubs with showers; some only stall showers.
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration begins at 3pm in hotel lobby. Registration for guest rooms begins 4PM. Wine and cheese reception in dining room 5PM to 6PM. You will be staying at Congress Hall or Inn of Cape May that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at hotel after lunch at 1:30pm. Box lunch available for early departures. You will be staying at Congress Hall or Inn of Cape May the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free for hotel guests in the hotel's lot across from the main entrance.. Participants will get a permit for their car at check-in. Street parking is available an free in April.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cape May, NJ
  Nearest city or town:  Atlantic City, NJ
  Nearest highway: Garden State Parkway
  Nearest airport:  Philadelphia International Airport; Atlantic City Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Cape May, NJ
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Philadelphia

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Rapid Rover
phone: 856-428-1500
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$185
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours 

   

If two people are traveling together, it is usually more economical to rent a car. If driving, take I95 North to Walt Whitman Bridge to NJ. Take 42 South to Atlantic City Express to Exit 7 (Garden State Parkway). Take Garden State Parkway to its end. Take Rte. 109 into Cape May (through marina district). Stay in right lane and follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave. (first traffic light). Turn left. Take Madison to Beach Ave., turn right. Take Beach to Ocean St. Turn right. Hotel is on your right.

 

Atlantic City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Royal Airport Limo
phone: 609-748-9777
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$85
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

   

If two people are traveling together, it is usually more economical to rent a car. If driving, take Atlantic City Express to Exit 7 (Garden State Parkway). Take Garden State Parkway to its end. Take Rte. 109 into Cape May (through marina district). Stay in right lane and follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave. (first traffic light). Turn left. Take Madison to Beach Ave., turn right. Take Beach to Ocean St. Turn right. Hotel is on your right.

 

New York City

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
NJ Transit
phone: 973-491-9400

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$33.25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

250 miles

   

The hotel is about 3 blocks from the Cape May bus terminal. Local cab service is available: AArt's Taxi (609-898-7433) and AA Plus Cab, 609-889-9595.

 

Philadelphia

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
NJ Transit
phone: 973-491-9400

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$18.25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

4 hours 

   

The hotel is about 3 blocks from the Cape May bus terminal. Local cab service is available: AArt's Taxi (609-898-7433) and AA Plus Cab, 609-889-9595.

 
Driving Directions
  Altantic City Airport Take Atlantic City Expressway South to Exit 7 (Garden State Parkway). Take Garden State Parkway to its end. Take Rte. 109 into Cape May (through marina district). Stay in right lane and follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave. (first traffic light). Turn left. Take Madison to Beach Ave., turn right. Take Beach to Ocean St. Turn right. Hotel is on your right. Approximate driving time 1 hour
  Baltimore, Washington DC I 95 to Delaware Memorial Bridge, to Rte 40 East, to Rte 55 South, to Rte 47 South, to Garden State Parkway South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. or via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, exit the terminal onto Rte 9, to Rte 109 South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 3 hours from Baltimore and 4 hours from Washington.)
  New York Garden State Parkway South to Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 3 hour drive.)
  Pennsylvania Walt Whitman or Ben Franklin Bridge to Rte. 42 South, to Atlantic City Expressway, to Garden State Parkway South into Cape May. Follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. The hotel is directly ahead on your right. (Approximately 2 hour drive)
  Philadelphia International Airport Exit airport to I95 N. Take Walt Whitman Bridge to NJ. Take Rte 42 to Atlantic City Expressway to Exit 7 (Garden State Parkway). Take Garden State Parkway to its end. Take Rte. 109 into Cape May (through marina district). Stay in right lane and follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave. (first traffic light). Turn left. Take Madison to Beach Ave., turn right. Take Beach to Ocean St. Turn right. Hotel is on your right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: 3:00 PM: Registration. 5:00 PM: Wine and cheese reception. 7:30 PM: Orientation
(Sunday, April 7)
   
 Afternoon: 3:00 PM: Program registration in hotel lobby 4:00 PM: Registration for guest rooms begins. 5:00 PM: Wine and cheese reception in dining room.
 Dinner: 6pm: Dinner in Inn of Cape May dining room. Choice of three menu options including a vegetarian choice.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Introduction of faculty and participants, review of week's programs and menu, orientation to hotel and area.
   
Accommodations: Congress Hall or Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lectures/Cape May Historic District Walking Tour
(Monday, April 8)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast at Inn of Cape May includes choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Yogurt, toast basket and fruit available by request. Participants staying at Congress Hall receive a $20 voucher to use in that hotel.
 Morning: 9:45am: Overview of MAC with Mary Stewart. A brief description of the activities of MAC and how they have contributed to Cape May's Renaissance. 10:45 AM: Introduction to Victorian Era and Cape May with Bob Heinly. Overviewf of highlights of the history of Cape May and Vic Era with emphasis on how the Victorians history and culture contributed to both CM's becoming the Victorian Era Queen of the Seaside Resorts and its modern Victorian Renaissance.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: All participants eat at the Inn of Cape May. Two lunch options available.
 Afternoon: 1:45pm: Lecture: Cape May's Victorian Architecture Talk. Richly illustrated Powerpoint presentation about the elements of Victorian architecture, focusing on Cape May's rich collection of Victorian era buildings. 3:30 PM: Field Trip: The lecture is followed by 45 minute guided walk through Cape May's primary Historic District to see examples of the various styles.
 Dinner: 6pm: Dinner in Inn of Cape May dining room. Choice of three menu options including a vegetarian choice.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Lecture: Impact of Inventions, Innovations and Technology on Victorian Era. Learn how inventions and innovations, especially in transportation and communications, changed the way people lived during the 1800s.
   
Accommodations: Congress Hall or Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lecture/Field Trip/Carriage House Café and Tearoom/Living History Presentation
(Tuesday, April 9)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast at Inn of Cape May includes choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Yogurt, toast basket and fruit available by request. Participants staying at Congress Hall receive a $20 voucher to use in that hotel.
 Morning: 9:45am: Lecture Victorian Etiquette & Manners: Learn the Ps and Qs about etiquette and manners before traveling to the Emlen Physick Estate so you know how to comport yourself with the Physick Family. 10:45am: Welcome to Cape May Trolley Tour: Board MAC's trolley for a guided field trip through Cape May's Historic District and to the Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May's only Victorian House Museum. Trolley shuttle transportation provided to and from hotel.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Enjoy a traditional Tea Luncheon at Carriage House Tearoom and Cafe on the grounds of Emlen Physick Estate. Lunch includes homemade tea breads, salad, sandwiches and dessert. Following lunch, take part in the temperance debate raging in Cape May in 1899. Listen to Women's Christian Temperance advocate Jennie Wales as she battles with saloonkeeper Patrick Collins and then exercise your right to vote. This living history presentations features costumed characters from the past who welcome you into their world.
 Afternoon: 2:30pm: Meet The Physick Family - Dr. Emlen Physick, his mother Mrs. Frances Ralston and Aunt Emilie Parmetier -come to play a call on you at the hotel. They are prepared to share with you the news of what's happening in the Cape May of the Victorian era, including choice bits of gossip. They welcome questions about their world. 3:30 PM: Meet President & Mrs. Benjamin Harrison. Eight presidents have resorted in Cape May. None more often than Benjamin Harrison. He had hhis own cottage in Cape May Point and made Cape May's Congress Hall Hotel the summer White House for 2 years during the 1890s. President Harrison and his wife Caroline recount their lives and times especially in Cape May.
 Dinner: 6pm: Dinner in Inn of Cape May dining room. Choice of three menu options including a vegetarian choice.
 Evening: 7:30pm: A Evening of Victorian Music: an audio and visual presentation on the top tunes of the Victorian era, including historys of the most influential musicians of the day. Presented by a retired professional musician.
   
Accommodations: Congress Hall or Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cape May Lighthouse Field Trip/Lectures on women's role in the 19th century
(Wednesday, April 10)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast at Inn of Cape May includes choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Yogurt, toast basket and fruit available by request. Participants staying at Congress Hall receive a $20 voucher to use in that hotel.
 Morning: 9:45am: Seminar on Victorian Women - What were Victorian women like? Find out if they were frail, fragile hothouse creatures swaddled in the cocoon of their society, their home and their clothing or independent thinkers ready to fly the cocoon in this afternoon seminar on Victorian women. Richly illustrated Powerpoint presentation, supplemented by artifacts and objects from the past.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: All participants eat at the Inn of Cape May. Two lunch options available.
 Afternoon: 1:30pm: Lecture and Field Trip The Keeper of the Cape May Lighthouse shares his knowledge and love of the structure in a richly illustrated lecture about lighthouse history, legend and lore. The lecture is followed by guided field trip to Cape May Lighthouse at Cape May Point State Park, where you may climb the 199 steps to the watchroom. If you choose not to climb, a fully accessible visitors center is available. You will also explore Cape May Point State Park and Sunset Beach, where you can look for "Cape May Diamonds." Trolley shuttle transportation provided to and from hotel.
 Dinner: 6pm: Dinner at the Inn of Cape May. Choice of 3 menu items, including a vegetarian option.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Lecture: The Impact of Industrialization on Victorian America: a richly illustrated presentation outlining the advances caused by industrialization and the changes it created in daily life.
   
Accommodations: Congress Hall or Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lectures, dinner at Merion Inn
(Thursday, April 11)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast at Inn of Cape May includes choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Yogurt, toast basket and fruit available by request. Participants staying at Congress Hall receive a $20 voucher to use in that hotel.
 Morning: Free morning to explore Cape May and surrounding area.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: All participants eat at the Inn of Cape May. Two lunch options available.
 Afternoon: 1:45 pm: Victorian Spiritualism: an illustrated lecture on how and why the people of the Victorian era were so fascinated by ghosts and spirits. 3:00 PM: Ghosts of Cape May: Cape May has long been famous for its ghostly activity. Learn how the presence of spirits is detected and some of Cape May's hot spots. 4:00 PM: Tales of Old Cape May: a story-telling session finishes off you afternoon. Learn about the pastimes and habits of former residents of the Queen of the Seaside Resorts.
 Dinner: 6pm: Dinner at the Merion Inn, Cape May's oldest operating restaurant and favorite music spot. Choice of three menu items available.
 Evening: Free evening
   
Accommodations: Congress Hall or Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Performance/Graduation
(Friday, April 12)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast at Inn of Cape May includes choice of either a hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Yogurt, toast basket and fruit available by request. Participants staying at Congress Hall receive a $20 voucher to use in that hotel.
 Morning: 9:30am: Graduation Speaker - John Philip Sousa is the graduation speaker and will talk about his fascinating life and his times. The presentation is richly illustrated and full of interesting information about America's March King. John Philip Sousa is a living history reenactor and life long musician, who even plays the helicon, the forerunner of the Sousaphone and today's tuba. 11:00 AM: Afterwards, review final exam questions, collect evaluations and distribute diplomas. Open forum with participants to discuss program, review additional offerings.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Lunch at hotel. Box lunch available for early departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Cape May, NJ Cape May County Historical Museum
(609) 465-3535 For additional information, visit www.cmcmuseum.org
  Leaming's Run Gardens
(609) 465-5871 For additional information, visit www.leamingsrungardens.com/
  Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts
(609) 884-5404 or (800) 275-4278 For additional information, visit www.capemaymac.org
  Naval Air Station Wildwood
Aviation Museum Phone (609) 886-8787 For additional information, visit www.usnasw.org
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


American Home Life: 1880-1930


Author: Foy, Jessica and Schlerth, Thomas


Cape May: Queen of the Seaside Resorts


Author: George Thomas and Carl Doebley


Description: This is a wonderful reference and souvenir of your stay in Cape May with an introductory historical essay and an extensive section of photographs of the most historic buildings of Cape May. This fine book is available at the Museum Shop of the Emlen Physick Estate and can be ordered online from the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts or call 609-884-5404 ext. 117 for mail order.



Sentinel of the Jersey Cape


Author: John Bailey


Description: John Bailey's best selling book tells the complete story of the 141-year old Cape May lighthouse. A remarkable mix of technical exposition, historical observation and personal sentiment. Available from the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts' Museum Shop, 609-884-5404, extension 142



Summer City by the Sea


Author: Emil Salvini


Description: This is the story of the rise and the fall and rise again of the country's first seaside resort - a fantasy city created by whalers, river pilots and speculators and molded by fires and storms. Its two-hundred year roller coaster ride resulted in Cape May regaining the title of Queen of the Seaside Resorts. Available through the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts' Museum Shop, 609-884-5404, extension 142



The Confident Years


Author: American Heritage


The First Resort


Author: Ben Miller


Description: Coffee table book with great, rare archival photos and articles about Cape May's past.



Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life


Author: Schlerth, Thomas




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