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Cape May Victorian Christmas

Program Number: 16451RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/1/2013 - 12/4/2013;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Cape May, New Jersey
Price starting at: $499.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 9; 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Each winter for more than 35 years, the picturesque seaside community of Cape May has transformed into a Victorian Christmas village featuring award-winning holiday programs. Embrace this charming setting to learn about treasured holiday traditions that date to the reign of Queen Victoria.




Highlights

• Learn Victorian etiquette to prepare for a visit to the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, where during lunch you'll take part in the debate over the merits of drink between a local saloonkeeper and a temperance union member. Then cast your vote on the debate winner.
• Later enjoy a visit with the Physick Family as it describes its preparations for the holidays and discusses its neighbors' foibles.
• Be inspired by the historic district’s holiday finery in a hands-on workshop to create heirloom ornaments for decorating your own home.



Activity Particulars

Field trips to historic homes without elevators.




Date Specific Information

12-1-2013

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
A basic Victorian-era hotel with modestly sized bedrooms. Loaded with character and clean, and for people who value the experience of an authentic turn-of-the century hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Inn of Cape May
  Cape May, NJ 3 nights
 Inn of Cape May
Type: Hotel
  Description: Set aside your 21st Century mindset and return to an earlier era. Webster’s defines “quaint” as marked by skillful design, unusual or different in character or appearance, or pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned. The Inn of Cape May is all of these. When it was built, it represented the latest in Victorian style. It is a classic representation of the Cape May of old, a good option for the budget conscious, and the place to feel what resort life was like in a simpler time. Each modestly-sized guest room has a different configuration with unpretentious furniture similar to what you would have seen in 1894. There may be either a queen- or a king-sized bed; few rooms have two beds. Because there were no closets then, there are shelves with clothes hooks. The concessions to modernity are retro-fitted bathrooms with showers, heat and A/C, and cable TV. The Inn of Cape May has a restaurant, bar, and in-ground pool. Public areas feature Victorian knick-knacks and architectural details. The quirky small elevator is original (and can only be operated by a member of the staff). What may be the most pleasing aspect for many is its location in one of the most delightful spots along the beachfront, within walking distance of the main pedestrian area, where you can relax during free time, rock on the verandah, and watch the ocean or the passing parade.
  Contact info: 7 Ocean Street
Cape May, NJ 08204 USA
phone: 609-884-5555
web: www.innofcapemay.com
  Room amenities: Guest rooms are located on 2nd through 5th floor, though Road Scholar participants are generaly placed on 3rd and above to be removed from street noise. Rooms are furnished with double, queen and/or king-sized beds, cable TV with remote control, heat and air conditioning. Every bathroom is equipped with a shower, though some are stall showers and some are in tubs. Some bathrooms are equipped with grab bars. As the bathrooms are a 20th century retrofit, the guest rooms are modestly-sized and differ in lay-out and configuration. Rooms are not equipped with telephones or alarm clocks. The room assignments are made based on needs of the group and can't be changed from one view to another.
  Facility amenities: The family owned and operated Inn of Cape May features fifty one unique hotel rooms, each furnished with wicker and antiques, many featuring views of the Atlantic Ocean. Although the building is historic, it offers modern day comforts such as a lobby seating area with gas fireplace, WiFi in the public areas of the first floor and the front desk that is staffed 24 hours a day. The hotel does have a vintage elevator, which is not self-service. It must be operated by hotel personnel who are available 24 hours a day. There is a first floor restaurant and bar. Free guest parking is available directly across the street. A 15 minute loading space is directly in front of the main entrance and a bellman is available for convenient check-in. There is an in-ground pool, open seasonally. The hotel is on the oceanfront, just a short walk from the main pedestrian shopping area and within easy walking distance of many fine restaurants.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Some rooms have tubs with showers; some only stall showers.
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for rate. Rates vary by season.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for rate. Rates vary by season.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration in hotel lobby 3PM to 5PM. Registration for guest rooms begins 4PM. Wine and cheese reception in dining room 5PM to 6PM. You will be staying at Inn of Cape May that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after lunch at 12pm. Box lunch available for early departures. You will be staying at Inn of Cape May the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free off street parking on hotel lot
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cape May, NJ
  Nearest highway: Garden State Parkway/Rte 47
  Nearest airport:  Atlantic City/Philadelphia
  From End of Program
  Location: Cape May, NJ
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

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 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

If two people are traveling together, it is usually more economical to rent a car, even though you don't need one in Cape May.

 

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 

 

Distance:

 

100 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 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:

 

 

Distance:

 

90 miles

   

If two people are traveling together, it is usually more economical to rent a car, even though you don't need one in Cape May.

 
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. For the Chalfonte Hotel, turn right at Howard St. The hotel is two blocks up on your right. For the Inn of Cape May, follow Beach Drive to Ocean St. Turn right and 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. See specific directions for each hotel above. (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. For the Chalfonte Hotel, follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Columbia Ave., turn right. Follow Columbia Ave. to Howard St., turn left. The hotel is ahead on your left. For the Inn of Cape May, follow Lafayette st. to Madison Ave., turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. Follow Beach Dr. to Ocean St., turn right. The hotel is 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. For the Chalfonte Hotel, follow Lafayette St. to Madison Ave.(first traffic light), turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Columbia Ave., turn right. Follow Columbia Ave. to Howard St., turn left. The hotel is ahead on your left. For the Inn of Cape May, follow Lafayette st. to Madison Ave., turn left. Follow Madison Ave. to Beach Dr., turn right. Follow Beach Dr. to Ocean St., turn right. The hotel is 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. Approximate time 2hours.
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: Registration and Orientation
(Sunday, December 1)
   
 Afternoon: Registration from 3pm to 5pm in hotel lobby. Guest rooms are guaranteed to be ready at 4pm. If ready earlier, participants may check in. Welcome reception from 5pm to 6pm with self introductions.
 Dinner: 6pm: Dinner at hotel. Participants will have the choice of two dinner options.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Introduction of faculty. Orientation to program and city. Review of menu and program materials.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Victorian Holiday Traditions and Dickensian Christmas Past
(Monday, December 2)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast served in hotel dining room. Choice of hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Fruit, yogurt and toast basket on request.
 Morning: 9:45am: Lecture & Workshop: Victorian Holiday Traditions: Richly illustrated lecture about Victorian Christmas customs, most of which have their origin during the Victorian era. Learn about the origin of the Christmas crad and how Queen Victoria and Prince Albert forever influenced the future of the holiday. Workshop: Holiday Traditions Workshop: Learn how to create heirloom ornaments including Victorian "scraps" and cornucopias as well as greeting cards. All materials and tools supplied.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Lunch at hotel. Plated meal with choice of two menu options.
 Afternoon: 1:30pm: Lecture and Movie "Introduction to Cape May and the Victorian Era" is a richly illustrated lecture tracing the developemnt of Cape May into the "Queen of the Seaside Resorts" during the Victorian era. Enjoy a screening of a vintage version of Dickens' Christmas Carol and then join in a spirited discussion about the ghosts of Christmas past, present and to come.
 Dinner: 6pm: Dinner at hotel. Participants will have the choice of two dinner options.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Holiday Lights Trolley Ride. A guided experience through the charming gaslit streets of beautiful Cape May to see the festively decorated homes and Bed and Breakfasts.
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Victorian Manners, Libations and the Emlen Physick Estate
(Tuesday, December 3)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast served in hotel dining room. Choice of hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Fruit, yogurt and toast basket on request.
 Morning: 9:45am: Learn the importance of etiquette and manners to the Victorian world in this illustrated program. Enjoy a guided trolley exploration of the historic district decorated in its holiday finery followed by a behind the scenes exploration of the authentically decorated Emlem Physick Estate, an 1879 landmark building.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Enjoy an elegant luncheon at one of Cape May's fine restaurants.
 Afternoon: After lunch, witness a living history debate on the topic of temperance by a local saloonkeeper and a member of the WCTU moderated by Dr. Physick, who will try his best to maintain decorum. Vote for your favorite at the close of the debate.
 Dinner: 6pm: Dinner at hotel. Participants will have the choice of two dinner options.
 Evening: 7:30pm: Enjoy a visit from the Physick Family as Dr. Physick, his mother, Mrs. Frances Ralston, and his Aunt Emilie pay a call. Listen as they describe their preparations for the holidays, family history and their neighbors' foibles. Nothing is off limits to these ladies!
   
Accommodations: Inn of Cape May
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Seasonal Music and Farewells
(Wednesday, December 4)
   
 Breakfast: 8:30am: Breakfast served in hotel dining room. Choice of hot breakfast, oatmeal or cold cereal. Fruit, yogurt and toast basket on request.
 Morning: 9:30am: A Morning of Holiday Music Who better to present a program of Victorian holiday music than the March King himself, John Philip Sousa. Learn about seasonal music including cherished carols.
 Lunch: 12:30pm: Lunch at hotel. Plated meal with choice of two menu options. A boxed lunch is available for early departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
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.



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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