Ready or Not, Here it Comes…The Holiday Season begins in Cape May!

As we proceed into the final month of autumn here in Cape May, the weather has taken a brisk turn, and the fall foliage is peaking beautifully. There are few things quite so beautiful as a golden autumn sunset, or the seasonal colors of historic tree-lined streets, like Hughes Street or Columbia Avenue, just to name a few. And with Halloween behind us and the cooler weather settling in, the first vibes of holiday spirit are beginning to permeate Cape May’s landscape. Halls are being decked in Victorian Style, tree lightings are being scheduled, and of course, plans are underway for West Cape May’s annual Christmas parade!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it too early to be preparing for the holidays? That depends on who you ask, of course. Here at Homestead, we think mid-November is just about the right time to begin the planning. This year, our beautiful office has been outlined with Christmas lights. The recent chilly nights coupled with the conclusion of daylight saving time have certainly tempted us to let there be light….but we won’t be unveiling the display until Thanksgiving. If you’re planning a holiday visit, be sure to add Homestead’s office to your list of holiday light sightings!

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of seasonal lights, Cape May’s holiday preview weekend is coming up, and we think it’s one of the very best ways to channel the holiday spirit. Kown as the official outset of Cape May’s holiday season, events include an Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit, various themed trolley rides, and holiday tours of the magnificent Physick Estate. The annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony on the grounds of the estate will take place on Saturday, November 18th at 7 pm. Santa will arrive to flip the switch, so you won’t want to be late!

 

 

 

 

 

The holidays are rooted in tradition, and that’s especially true here in our Santa’s Trolley RideVictorian winter wonderland. Traditional, however, does not mean stale! Be on the lookout for Christmas displays that might appear a bit different from previous years; experience trolley rides that shed some new light on fond old memories, enjoy creating new memories by trying out a restaurant you may have never been to or attending a special holiday event. There are endless possibilities for making the season bright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those who might be finding holiday preparations more excruciating than they are exciting…we hope a visit to Cape May will help change your mind! However, there’s plenty going on around town that is not strictly Christmas themed. One such event is the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival. This semi-annual festival is popular among locals and visitors for its stellar lineup of award-winning artists. In fact, we think it’s the perfect way to relax before the hustle of the holidays really takes hold. The Jazz Festival will continue now through Sunday, November 12th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May Beach House Vacation RentalsSo what’s going on at Homestead this time of year? A LOT! Yes, it’s technically the “off-season”, but for us, we’re already utilizing this time to plan for the summer of 2018. We’re working to continue offering our guests the best possible Cape May rental experience. We don’t settle for mediocrity in ANY aspect of our business…and neither should you when you’re looking ahead to your vacation planning. Remember that select Homestead rentals are available for off-season weekends, holidays, and even long-term winter stints. Whichever sort of property you’re looking for; rest assured that we’ve got you covered.

 

 

We’d like to wish everyone a wonderful weekend and a very Happy Holiday Season. Whether you’re keeping it low key or planning the biggest celebration you’ve ever had….we’re looking forward to being along for the ride!

 

We’d like to thank the fabulously talented Jan Bendyna for allowing us use of her work as this week’s blog cover photo! Check out more of her beautiful work!!

 

 

Halloween, Holidays, and Summer! Here’s what’s going on NOW and what to Look Forward to in Cape May…

It’s a beautiful Friday here in Cape May, and we hope you’re as excited as we are for the weekend to begin! While out and about during your daily lives, we suspect you’ve been seeing Christmas decorations creeping in from all directions. We love the holiday season here at Homestead…but we’re not in the habit of rushing it along. Soon enough we will be decking the halls and planning for the Christmas parade…but for now…it’s Halloween weekend! Let’s talk about seasonal events and the continuation of autumn festivities…

 

 

 

This evening, Friday, October 27, 2017, Cape May Point State Park will be hosting a Halloween event. A “fun for the whole family” affair, participants are encouraged to come in costume and bring flashlights. There will be Halloween crafts, a live animal show, and trick or treating on the nature trail. What a fantastic way to begin this festive weekend. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We remind you that “Scarecrow Alley” continues on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. Homemade scarecrows are on display, and you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite. This event ends on Halloween, so this weekend is an ideal time to take a stroll on over and see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, October 28th, the Cape May Zoo presents “Boo at the Zoo”. This annual event begins at 10-am and runs until 2 pm at the Cape May County Park, located just 11 miles north of Cape May. The FREE event is open to the public and visitors of all ages are invited to attend. Costumes are of course encouraged, and a costume contest will take place at 11 am. There will also be a entertainment, interactive games, and of course, candy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We love our pets here at Homestead, so we’re excited that the Rusty Nail restaurant and beach bar has decided to hold their first annual Doggie Halloween Parade. The event will take place on Sunday, October 29th. Registration will begin at noon and end at 1 pm. The parade and subsequent judging will take place from 1 until 2 pm. So dress up your dog and head over for some fun. Numerous prizes will be awarded for the best costumes including the funniest, scariest, and best overall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May cottage rentalsCape May’s Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts has been hosting numerous “Halloween Happenings” through the course of October, and there are only a few more days to take advantage of these exciting events. One of the best ways to experience Cape May in any season is to enjoy a guided trolley tour, and Halloween is no exception! The Cape Mayhem tour is especially fun, as it centers upon an explanation of the traditions, beliefs, and mysteries of the fascinating Victorian Era…an era in which Cape May is deeply rooted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least, mark your calendars for Trick-or-Treating in Cape May. City wide trick or treating will take place on Halloween night, this Tuesday, October 31st from 5 to 7 pm. Culminate the season with this old fashioned tradition. The best part of Cape May trick or treating is that children can enjoy their treats while adults are awarded the bonus of a beautiful walking tour of the area. It makes for an event that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween will be coming to a close this week, but annual festivities remain well underway. Mark your calendars for these exciting happenings that are soon to come:

November 3rd- 5th: Sherlock Holmes Weekend (presented by Cape May MAC)

November 3rd: Fall Arts and Crafts Festival at Cape May Convention Hall

November 9th-12th: Exit Zero International Jazz Festival

November 17th-19th: Cape May Holiday Preview Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

As you enjoy these crisp and gorgeous autumn days, remember to be looking ahead to the summer. 2018 rental bookings are in full swing here at Homestead, and the way to beat the winter rush is to book now! Set your vacation plans in motion before the holidays and you’ll be able to relax this winter knowing that your first choice of vacation rental is secured.

 

 

 

 

We wish everyone a wonderful weekend and a safe, enjoyable Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking about Cape May? Think about Homestead too! Here’s Why…

As we quickly approach mid-October, we hope you’ve had the chance to enjoy some of the wonderful activities that have been taking place in Cape May‘s autumn season. We invite you to revisit our last post for exciting information about fall festivals and Halloween happenings that are continuing throughout the month! It’s truly a wonderful time to be here in Cape May.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the excitement of fall activities, this is always a perfect time of year to look ahead to next summer season. And here at Homestead, we reflect on the summer that has just concluded and discuss ways that we can continue to be the best source in town for your Cape May vacation rental! This coming week, members of our rental team will be attending the Vacation Rental Manager Association’s National Conference in Orlando, Florida. Homestead consistently attends this event every few years in order to maintain our place among the best in the industry…and we’re excited to see what’s in store this year.

 

 

 

 

 

In a world of ever increasing vacation rental options…why choose a real estate company for your rental? Better yet, why choose Homestead? There are lots of reasons. One, as we mentioned, is that we do strive to employ the latest technology in the industry. But…so do many other outlets. What, then, sets us apart? And why should you stay with us if you are tempted to explore other avenues for rentals? Let’s take a look…

 

 

 

 

Our Full Time Rental Staff: We employ a full time, 5 member staff year round and 6 days per week. That means that someone is always able to assist you. Phone calls are answered, emails are returned promptly, and we really listen to the needs of each of our individual clients and strive to meet those needs accordingly. It’s a level of personal service that does not typically exist when rentals are placed through a private source.

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May New Jersey Boat PaintingConsistency: Many of our guests have been renting with us for over 10 years! They may not always rent the same property or time period…but they continue to come back to us. Cultivating and maintaining a base of loyal guests is one of the more important aspects of our business…and we’re proud to say that we have been successful in this task.

 

 

 

 

 

Ease of Payment: While many fantastic things in life are free, we all know that vacations are not…at least not entirely. Homestead offers a wide range of properties tailored to varying budgets. And if you reserve your rental before December 1st, we provide you with a 3 payment plan-a nice convenience especially as the holiday season approaches. We also offer you the ease of making payments with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover). And most importantly, Homestead DOES NOT pass credit card fees on to our guests. That’s right…you can pay for your entire reservation with a credit card and you will be charged no additional percentage for doing so. We also offer a travel insurance option for every lease, ensuring that you have the opportunity to protect your vacation investment.

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Advocacy: If needed, we will advocate for YOU, our guest: There are an exhaustive amount of measures in place to ensure that problems do not occur during or before your stay. Nevertheless, the vacation rental industry consists of a variety of “moving parts”, and the occasional snafu may occur. As rental agents, Homestead team members are legal representatives of our property owners…but that does not mean that we neglect the needs of our guests. If there is an issue at your rental property, our property owners know that they need to fix it, and fix it quickly! We work alongside a trusted property management company that helps us to expedite the repair of any problems quickly and efficiently. It’s a level of service that we feel is unmatched.

 

 

 

 

 

Amenities: Homestead’s state-of-the-art office in the center of Cape May has received many compliments from clients, guests, service reps, staff members, etc. But these are all just the icing on the cake, as the Homestead office was not built to be a showplace. Rather; think of it as the home base for your vacation rental. When you’re in town, we’re right around the corner if you need us. Our building also allows for our ultra convenient drive through check-in service, and our valued linen rental program. Need a conference room during your stay? Come here and utilize one of ours. Have a question about Cape May that’s not necessarily related to your property? We have the answer and we’re happy to provide it. If we don’t know, we will find out for you. We’re not just about rentals; we’re about helping you to have an exceptional experience here in Cape May.

 

 

 

 

As you enjoy the fall, look forward to the holidays, and begin to think about your vacation for next summer, keep in mind that if something looks too good to be true…it probably is! Don’t take a chance on your vacation. Remember to book with the company that cares about YOU. Remember to book with Homestead.

 

 

 

Happy autumn! And happy hunting for your 2018 Vacation.

 

 

“Fall for the Fall!” It’s October in Cape May. Here’s why we’re Excited…

Autumn is here in all its glory! As Cape May is located in the Mid-Atlantic region, we are fortunate to experience a very traditional change of seasons. From the sub-tropical summer heat in July to the windswept, frigid beaches of January…Cape May is exposed to a bit everything that Mother Nature has to offer. While weather preferences are typically subjective…it’s hard to deny that October is one of the most gorgeous months of the year here in town. Rarely is it hot and muggy (like the September week we just experienced!)…but it also never gets TOO cold. Nearly every day is full of breezy blue sky, moderate temperatures, and nearly non-existent humidity. In short…it doesn’t get any better for the enjoyment of indoor and outdoor activities. And here in Cape May, there’s LOTS coming up. Let’s take a look…

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, September 30th, Oktoberfest returns to Cape May’s historic Jackson Street! This perennial event is ALWAYS a favorite for locals and visitors. Touted as the kickoff of fall’s arrival, the festival features food, music, and fun for the entire family. There’s no charge either. So stop by for a few minutes, or wallow away the full day. There’s no better way to welcome this wonderful season of bold colors, crisp air, and of course…pumpkin everything!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning Friday, September 29th through Tuesday, October 3rd, experience the SOMA NewArt Gallery’s final exhibition of its 2017 season. The season will conclude with the finest of work from artists Sam Donovan and Stan Sperlak-a venerable Cape May favorite! The gallery is always a nice place to explore, whether you’re just looking around, or you’re in the market for that perfect piece of original art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you experienced Cape May’s Beach Plum Farm? If not, head over to “Fall at the Farm”. This event begins on Saturday, September 30th and will take place every Saturday through the end of October. There will be live music, hayrides, and of course…the freshest of seasonal goodies. It’s a wonderful way to experience the very best of land and sea right here on Cape Island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, October 6th through Monday, October 9th, you won’t want to miss Cape May’s 45th Annual Victorian Weekend, presented by the Cape May Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. Victorian weekend is an annual autumn event that places an emphasis on all things historic. Activities include house tours, living history events, workshops, and more. The weekend-long event effortlessly blends education, fun, and relaxation for an experience that is unparalleled and truly unique to Cape May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the midst of Victorian Weekend, we encourage you to head on over to West Cape May’s Wilbraham Park on Saturday, October 7th. It’s there that you will find the always popular and proudly quirky West Cape May Lima Bean Festival! West Cape May takes this annual event very seriously, and tedious efforts are put forth to ensure that it’s an experience unlike any other. This is a great opportunity to meet many a Cape May local, and you’ll also have your choice of an astounding variety of recipes, crafts, pottery, and other Lima bean themed products that we guarantee you’ve never laid eyes on. Homestead will also be present at the festival, so please stop by and say hello. You’ll even have a chance to win our coveted Lima bean Beach chair! (The actual chair is pictured above/left). NOTE: In the event of rain, the Lima Bean Fest will be held on Monday, October 9th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From October 7th through the 31st, be sure to visit “Scarecrow Alley” on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. You’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite homemade scarecrow. And while you’re there, be sure to check out the estate’s spooky Halloween décor, perfectly setting the tone for this most favorite of fun holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May’s Wine and Music Fest will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 7th and 8th at the Hawk Haven Winery. The festival will feature live music, fine local wines, a variety of delicious food, and even a craft beer garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, it just wouldn’t be October in Cape May without some old fashioned Halloween fun! With a fitting beginning of Friday, October 13th, Halloween Happenings in Cape May will continue up to and including Halloween Night. With its rich history, Cape May also has an abundant “haunted history” that’s both exciting and educational. The Cape May MAC does a wonderful job of presenting this history in a fun, whimsical style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So whether you’re fortunate to be spending a week (or longer) in Cape May this fall, or you’re planning a weekend getaway…there will be something exciting on the horizon throughout the month. Join us in celebrating October-one of our very favorite months-and “fall” for the fall here in Cape May.

We’ve Never been to Cape May…Where do we Stay? Let’s find out!

As we transition into autumn here in Cape May, the September weather has not disappointed. While last week was downright crisp, this week has seen the return of tropical humidity. Temperatures are tolerable though..which keeps the oppressiveness at bay. In short, the weather is conducive to outdoor exploring in and around town. Most restaurants and businesses are still open as well, offering air conditioned relief and relaxation when needed! We hope everyone is ready to enjoy the fall season and explore all that Cape May has to offer. At Homestead, our agents have already been busy with inquiries and reservations for the 2018 summer season. We’re so pleased at the number of inquiries we are receiving from those that have never been to Cape May before. Among such inquiries, a common question centers around the different areas of town and which one is “best”. Well, any Cape May native or habitual visitor will tell you that there are no “best” areas…there’s simply different parts of town that are more suited to specific needs and desires. Let’s take a look…

 

 

 

Cape May Proper: Cross the main bridge into town (sometimes referred to as the Lobster House Bridge” by many a local) and you’re on your way into Cape May. The foot of the bridge splits off into Washington Street or Lafayette Street Lafayette ends at historic Jackson Street., just past Cape May’s beautiful new rotary park. Washington breezes past Cape May landmarks such as the Emlen Physick Estate and the Washington Inn, before ultimately flowing into the venerable Washington Street Mall. The mall and its surrounding areas are typically referred to as the “center of town”. It’s impossible to miss…and once you visit, you’ll want to keep coming back.

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May’s East End: Cape May’s east side is not officially named as such, but it encompasses a specific area of the island that is worth a mention. A long time favorite among many rental guests, the east end is home to multiple residential areas. These are quiet enclaves that are within an easy walking distance to the center of town. The most exclusive of such areas is referred to as Poverty Beach, which is home to multiple grandly designed beachside estates. These homes are all 5+ bedrooms and are ideally suited for larger rental groups. Many of the properties feature the “upside down” layouts which are conducive to entertaining, privacy, and views. Continue North on Pittsburgh Avenue and you’ll pass the “state streets” to your left (and the Coast Guard Base on the right). These streets encompass a large residential area of single family homes, before transitioning into a section known as Village Green…a neighborhood with many twin and quad style homes. While it’s a bit of a longer walk to the beach and town, these homes can be ideal for small rental groups, and many allow pets too! Most of the east side streets connect Pittsburgh Avenue to Madison, which is abutted by Columbia, Washington, Lafayette, and multiple side lanes that lead westward to the town center. All streets are worth exploring as no two are the same!

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May Summer CrabbingWest Cape May: Unlike the unofficially branded east side, West Cape May is its own municipality. From the north, head into town via Seashore Road over the locally termed “West Cape May Bridge”. Just past Stimpson Lane (which leads towards the point-more on that below), Seashore Road becomes Broadway…and you’re officially in West Cape May. To the left, various avenues connect Broadway to Park Boulevard. One such avenue is Mechanic Street, which is home to quaint cottages like this one. To the right is the largest area of West Cape May, where avenues with numeric titles connect Broadway to Bayshore Road. Bayshore leads toward Sunset Boulevard and also intersects the popular Willow Creek Winery and Beach Plum Farm. This general area is largely residential, with single family rental homes in varying styles and sizes. It’s a perfect location if you’re in search of a more modern variety of rental, and it’s also home to a number of pet friendly properties. You’ll find 2 bedroom cottages, 5 bedroom spaciousness, and everything in between. From most of its areas, West Cape May does require a jaunt into the center of town via car or bike. The upside though is that its location often awards renters more house for the money…so that’s something to keep in mind as you scope out your next Cape May rental locale.

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May Point: Encapsulating the beauty of nature, Cape May Point containsCape May Lighthouse just one restaurant, and its post office…that’s it. In fact, homes in the Point don’t even have door to door post service…that’s how tranquil of an area it is! Home to the Cape May Bird Observatory, Cape May Point State Park, and the Cape May Lighthouse…this is where to stay if you aspire to be surrounded by nature. But remember that the bustle of Cape May is just minutes away. Residences in the point are often charming and whimsical cottages that are a blend of the beach and the country. But larger, modern homes are available as well. And due to its notoriety as a premier birding destination…the Point typically remains booked straight through the fall season.

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May Beach House Vacation RentalsOffshore: Head offshore via West Cape May, then head west. You’ll be met by the Cape May Lewes Ferry entrance and the Lower Township Bay Front, where a number of beautiful properties feature panoramic views of the Delaware Bay. The surrounding area is an established, heavily shaded community with a wide range of properties. And the bay beaches feature their own brand of tranquility and local flare. The offshore area may not be where you want to stay if you’re experiencing Cape May for the first time…but it’s certainly worth a visit, especially to view the incomparable sunsets of the Delaware Bay.

 

 

 

 

So there we have it, a condensed answer to the question of “where do we stay if we’ve never been to Cape May?” As you may now realize…it’s not an easy question to answer. That’s why now is the time to begin exploring the Cape May area and narrow down your rental selections. Take advantage of this beautiful autumn season and plan ahead! By the time next summer rolls around…you’ll have nothing to do but get in the car and head south.

 

 

 

 

When you’re ready to reserve a rental, remember that Homestead’s agents are available to guide you through the process and make it as easy as possible.

 

 

 

 

Research, reserve, and then… relax!

 

 

 

Hello September! 10 Reasons this is a “Must Visit” Month in Cape May…

Welcome September! It’s no secret that this first day of the ninth month is a favorite among Cape May locals. Everyone loves the buzz of the summer…but the peak season crowds combined with often intense heat & humidity create a longing for a respite. Enter September! With beautiful weather and an even pace…it’s no wonder this month is a local favorite. But it’s not just Cape May natives who should bask in the commencement of the “off-season”, rather; this is also a perfect time of year to visit for a day, weekend, or even a full week. Here are 10 reasons to LOVE September in Cape May…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Day Weekend: Okay, so have you once again let the summer slide by without taking a vacation? Was your last 3 day weekend the 4th of July? If so, you’re not alone! Summer has always been a “blink and you miss it” kind of season, especially in Cape May. That’s why Labor Day weekend is a great time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the late summer atmosphere. If you’re fortunate to have been granted a 3 day weekend, Cape May is the place to be. We’re the perfect locale for impromptu day-trips. Come enjoy a nice change of scenery before “back to school” and planning for Fall begin to dominate your calendar.

 

 

 

 

Wondrous Weather: Of course there are exceptions, but generally speaking, September features some of the most gorgeous weather of the year here in Cape May. The oppressiveness of midsummer gives way to sun drenched, calm days with crystal blue skies. The air is still quite warm though, and the evenings typically remain balmy-mostly due to the mild autumn waters of the Atlantic. In short, it’s not too hot and not too cold, not yet “crisp”, but no longer scorching. If there’s such a thing as “perfect” weather…September in Cape May is about as close as it gets.

 

 

 

 

The Best of the Beach: Tying in nicely with the beautiful weather is the fact that September on the beach is a wonderful experience. First, the beaches do become FREE after Labor Day and no tags are needed. The crowds also thin out considerably…especially during the week. It’s that time of year when you can get lost in a book by the shoreline and feel as though you are on a private beach. And as mentioned, the water is often still very warm too. We do remind you to be EXTREMELY careful when enjoying the beach in September, as the beach patrol vacates for the season just after Labor Day.

 

 

 

 

Weekday Wanderlust: The lighter crowds of September aren’t just confined to the beach. The inevitable start of the school year has a direct effect on the number of people that are in and about town during the week. But if you DO plan to take a September vacation week, be assured that businesses, restaurants, and attractions are open an average of about 5 days per week. In fact, most remain open 7 days until the end of the month. If a business does choose to close for one or two days per week as the off-season begins, typically those days are Monday and/or Tuesday. Still, you can be certain that your September stroll around Cape May will be met with open doors and plenty of fun.

 

 

 

 

Weekend warriors: Not quite ready to leave the summer behind? Enjoy the fast paced feel of the seashore at its peak? Well, September weekends in Cape May are certainly for you. The lighter crowds of the weekday give way to bustling weekends that are reminiscent of mid July. If you’re here for a full week this month…you’ll truly get the best of both worlds with a quieter “work” week followed by a lively weekend.

 

 

 

 

Wedding Wonderland: Cape May is one of our nation’s premiere wedding destinations…and September is a popular (and ideal) month for weddings! It’s impossible to be in town during a September weekend and not come across a wedding party on the beach, in a horse and carriage, on the trolley, or sometimes just strolling through town. Weddings large and small are held throughout town, and they consistently enhance Cape May’s storybook charm. And if you’re planning your own nuptials, this is a fabulous time to shop venues, accommodations, gowns, & gifts.

 

 

 

 

“Wine” down your Summer: Cape May County is home to some of New Jersey’s finest vineyards, including the Cape May Winery, Hawk Haven Winery, and Willow Creek Winery. You should most definitely visit one (or all) of these establishments. From the last of Sangria Sunday’s at Hawk Haven, to exciting events at Willow Creek such as Yoga in the Vines, Wine & Paint, and Fire Pit Fridays (a local favorite)…there’s always something fun happening at one of our hometown wineries.

 

 

 

 

Shop Away the Season: Everyday is a good day for shopping in Cape May…especially when it comes to the unique offerings found throughout the beautiful Washington Street Mall. September brings an extra special shopping experience with the mall’s semi-annual Sidewalk Sale (9/14-9/17/17). You’ll discover bargains you won’t believe on products you can’t find anywhere else! This Labor Day weekend, stroll up to the promenade and experience the “summer send-off Craft Show”. It’s the place to stock up on holiday gifts, home decor, jewelry, and much more. There’s something for everyone, topped off, of course, buy the panoramic view of the Ocean just steps away.

 

 

 

 

Reduced Rates Rule the Month: That’s right…most rental properties experience a significant price reduction now that the prime season has concluded. There’s also far more flexibility for your rental time frame. Enjoy two and three night minimums at many properties, and even stay for a full week without being confined to the Saturday-Saturday summer rental model. The possibilities are endless…all you have to do is ask!

 

 

 

 

Look Forward to Fall Fun: Autumn is a favorite season of many, and it’s time to begin getting excited about it. Cape May is not a place where the seasons are rushed…so don’t expect to see Christmas lights and Santa just yet. What you will find though, is that many homes and businesses will become beautifully decked out for Fall over the next few weeks. There will also be festivals & foliage, golden sunsets and crisp days for birding. It’s all coming up, and we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.

 

 

 

 

As Labor Day Weekend 2017 descends upon Cape May like a late summer sunset, remember that a new season of fun has just begun. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable weekend, and we sure do hope that we will see you in September!

 

 

 

 

As Summer Slowly Fizzles…Here are 4 Types of Cape May Rentals to be Planning NOW…

You can feel it in the heavy air, shorter evenings, and lush overgrowth of many gardens, trees, lawns and shrubbery. Summer is heading towards its finish line. It’s been a wonderful summer here in Cape May. And for many, there are still a few weeks of rest remaining before school begins and autumn activities commence. The reality though is that prime season is winding down. Weekly summer rentals are already heating up for 2018…but they’re just about out of steam for the current year. What does that mean? A few things! For one, now is the time to plan ahead and reserve your 2018 Cape May vacation. And secondly…if you’ve been waiting to plan that impromptu autumn getaway, holiday escape, or tranquil winter weekend…there’s never been a better time to get started. Don’t miss out on the Cape May time you’ve been longing for. Let’s get started in taking a look at the next steps for booking your escape…

 

 

 

 

 

 

First and foremost…there are numerous rental properties with full weeks remaining available. Saturday, August 19th is the LAST week of prime season here in Cape May. Believe it or not, there is still time to book that week if a very last minute rental should come onto your agenda. Please contact Homestead and speak with one of our rental agents directly, as they would be glad to check on availability for you. At this late date…final availability would be subject to each property owner. Moving forward, rates for full week rentals gradually begin to decrease starting with the week of August 26th. And by the time we reach September, MOST properties that are renting through the fall are in a reduced status. September and October are absolutely gorgeous months in Cape May. There is always lots going on, and generally perfect weather. If you’ve missed out on the summer…don’t fret…as the fall is ready to welcome you with warmth, relaxation, and fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up on the rental agenda…it’s winter rentals. You may have heard this term before and wondered just what it meant. Generally speaking, a winter rental is a long term monthly rental that offers flexibility, value, and convenience if you need or want to stay in Cape May through the entirety of the off-season. The pricing structure for winter rentals is entirely different than it is during the summer resort season. It’s based on a monthly rate that generally falls between about $900 up to about $1500. At times, some utilities are included! Homestead does have a selection of winter rentals that we advertise…but sometimes our property owners will consider a long term, off season rental even if they don’t specifically advertise for one. So if this sort of rental is what you’re looking for…the best way to begin is to select your budget, time frame, and desired monthly rate. Utilizing that information, we can match you to an ideal property for your off season Cape May stay. Experience our town in the golden crispness of the fall and the sparkling serenity of the winter season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICape May Beach Sunsetf a long term winter rental is just not practical (or needed) at this time…maybe a short term weekend rental would fit the bill! Weekend rentals are all about fun. Whether you’re going to be in Cape May for a wedding, special event, or just need a getaway…there are plenty of options to suit your needs and budget. Often times the cost of renting an entire home or condominium is LESS than staying in a hotel for the weekend. It also awards you more space, more privacy, and the ability to bring your pet! (to one of our pet friendly rentals). Some upcoming great times to be here in Cape May include Columbus Day weekend (and its accompanying Lima Bean Festival!), Halloween, Thanksgiving, the Christmas Parade, etc.* Again, the best way to plan your weekend rental is to research the properties that interest you, and then contact our rental team to finalize the booking process. Don’t forget to add linens to your rental! In the off season, linen packages for our rentals are offered at a 50% discount for short term reservations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, we know this is the time of year when excitement begins to build around the coming of autumn. Therefore, summer of 2018 may seem too far in the future to be of consideration. BUT…if you know that you would like to come to Cape May next summer, and if you know the week(s) that you want to be here….NOW is the time to book! For one, any reservation made between now and December 1st will be placed on a 3 payment schedule for your convenience. And as the dust settles on our re-booking season, this is also the time that availability for 2018 falls into place and the selection of available properties is at its largest. Remember that Homestead does offer Travel Insurance on ALL of our leases. Add the insurance for your early booking to increase your piece of mind should the unexpected occur between now and next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you’re a habitual visitor to Cape May, planning to vacation here for the first time, or find yourself required to be here for a special event…Homestead has you covered. Enjoy the remainder of your summer and the coming of autumn. And remember that anytime is a good time to visit Cape May.

 

 

*Although we encourage the rental of our properties for accommodations, please remember that rental homes cannot be used as “event homes”, and must be for accommodations only, or small events that adhere to the property occupancy.

 

 

Cape May’s August Offerings…Here’s why Summer is far from over!

August is officially upon us, and with it comes the usual talk about the end of summer, the advent of fall, and “back to school” time. We know that fall is a wonderful season, and that the summer heat can be a bit oppressive….but it’s also important to enjoy each season to its fullest extent. Don’t let August pass you by as you a anticipate the autumn to come. There is simply too much going on that you don’t want to miss. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to enjoy Cape May throughout the next few weeks….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, August 5th, the place to be is the Emlen Physick Estate for the 6th Annual Craft Beer and Crab Festival! Presented by Cape May’s Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities…this all day event will include local craft beers and summer delicacies, including steamed crabs and crab cakes. There will also be live music & crafts for the ultimate in summer fun. The Emlem Physick Estate is located on Washington Street; one of the two primary routes in and out of Cape May. So this is the absolutely perfect event to stop off at on your way into town. Kick off your vacation and indulge in a summer lunch before picking up the keys to your rental property.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Saturday, August 5th and Sunday, August 6th at Historic Cold Spring Vilage, it’s “Down on the Farm” weekend. Interactive actives will allow you to experience what life was like in Early American South Jersey. Although Cape May is a bustling seashore resort…many areas of greater Cape May County are actually home to working farmlands. Experience the farming lifestyle and enjoy the charm and history of beautiful Cold Spring Village. The Village will also be holding a Dog Show this Saturday between 11 am and noon! All are welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday evening, August 5th (and every Saturday through Labor Day), experience Jazz Night at the gorgeous Willow Creek Winery. Admission is FREE. This Saturday is scheduled to feature the relaxing sounds of the Erik Marley Trio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SOMA New Art Gallery will be kicking off it’s fourth art exhibition of the 2017 season. Featured artists will be Greg Bennett, and local favorite Victor Grasso. The exhibition will begin at 10:00 am on Sunday, August 6th. Stop in, cool off, and enjoy a bit of Cape May culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As if there weren’t already a laundry list of reasons to visit the Cape May Point Lighthouse, here’s another one: Monday, August 7th is National Lighthouse Day! Cape May’s Lighthouse will be celebrating with games, music, and craft vendors. Activities will all take place at the base of the lighthouse, and are sponsored by Cape May’s Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts. Take this opportunity to explore Cape May Point State Park and the surrounding area as well. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, August 9th, enjoy the mid-point of your Cape May vacation week with a FREE summer concert at the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal Lawn. This week’s concert will feature the smooth music of the Soul Cruisers…perfect for a midsummer’s evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Thursday, August 10th, the always exciting “Movies on the Beach” presents “JAWS”. We can’t think of a better film to watch while sitting on the beach and listening to the roar of the ocean in the background. Talk about adding to the suspense! The film will begin at 8:00 pm on Stockton Avenue beach (just next to Cape May’s Convention Hall). This is a FREE event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, August 12th and Sunday, August 13th, your Promenade stroll will be enhanced by the semi-annual Promenade Craft Show. This is a great opportunity to pick up a few wonderful Cape May souvenirs before you head out of town. You’ll find handmade crafts and artwork that are truly one of a kind. And there’s nothing like browsing and shopping in the open air while listening to the seaside as it beckons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the events that we’ve mentioned, perennial favorites that will continue through the month include Fire Pit Fridays at the Willow Creek Winery, Sangria Sundays at Hawk Haven Winery, Rotary Bandstand Concerts, The Nature and Wildlife Show at Convention Hall, and the West Cape May Farmers Market (where Homestead is always a presence!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By now, we’re sure you’re realizing that there’s more to see and do in Cape May than we could ever mention…and we’re only talking about the month of August! So while you anticipate the fall-with its crisp air and crystal blue skies-enjoy the rest of the summer and the multitude of events that it has in store.

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

 

*Homestead does not manage any of the events that have been listed. All are subject to change without notice.

Cape May’s Natural World: Beautiful Beaches, but so much More! Here’s what to see…

Here in Cape May, it’s the season of beach days, barbecues, bike rides and the boardwalk. We’ve reached peak summer…and there are so many ways to enjoy the season. It’s simply a given that most Cape May vacations include the beach, dining, shopping, and sightseeing. But have you explored Cape May’s natural world? It’s so much more than just the beach…and you won’t want to leave here without taking it all in. While the barrier island resort communities are naturally more barren, Cape May is instead rich with vegetation and wildlife. Our heat and humidity can be a bit oppressive at times…but it does wonders for the growth of many perennials, annuals, trees, and grasses. Even Magnolia trees are in bloom here…like the ones that grace the gardens of our very own office! So if you’re in the mood to explore nature at its finest, here’s a look at some of the locales you won’t want to miss…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May Point:
Even if you are staying in Cape May Proper or West Cape May….a visit to The Point is absolutely essential. Home to only two businesses (The Red Store restaurant and the U.S. Post Office), Cape May Point is about as natural as it gets. No two homes are the same, and many of them are flanked by colorful gardens and beautiful beach grasses. In the center of the point is scenic Lake Lily. Have a seat by the lake shore or take a stroll around and watch the swans, ducks, dragonflies and butterflies as they drift gracefully around the lake. Head over to Cape May Point State Park (just near the lighthouse) and enjoy various nature trails, birding platforms, and of course, the Cape May Point Lighthouse. If birding is on your agenda, you likely know that The Point is a prime destination…especially in the spring and fall seasons. So it’s a great excuse to book an off season weekend jaunt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May’s Nature Center:
Located on the east end of town just near the Cape May Harbor, The Nature Center of Cape May is a wonderful experience for the whole family. The center includes numerous children’s activities, an observation deck perfect for birding (or just taking in the panoramic harbor views), themed gardens, a picnic area, and much more. Don’t let your vacation escape you without a trip to the nature center….and be sure to inquire about the family birding cruise! It takes place daily through the end of September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May New Jersey SpringCox Hall Creek Wildlife Management Area:
Just a quick ride over the bridge into Lower Township…this is one of Cape May County’s natural hidden gems. Formerly operated as a golf course, the area has long since been fully returned to nature and contains over 200 acres of land. Miles of walking trails (formerly golf cart paths), a fishing lake, and bike paths make this an ideal area for relaxing, exercising, or both. And if your pet has come along with you for vacation, they will love walking the paths here too! Cox Hall Creek is the perfect place to spend some time on a not so great beach day, or to unwind if you find yourself needing a respite from the bustle of a summer vacation at the shore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May County Zoo (and Park):
If you’ve vacationed in Cape May before, there’s a good chance you’ve been to our local zoo. Located just off of the Garden State Parkway (at Mile 11), the zoo is a perennial favorite for locals and visitors alike. It’s an ever changing experience with the constant addition of new habitats and exhibits. In fact, in the past week the zoo has welcomed two adorable snow leopard cubs-which in itself is reason enough to visit. Adjacent to the zoo is the Cape May County Park, complete with a fitness course and maintained hiking trails. It’s another wonderful area to take in a leisurely walk…or challenge yourself to complete new fitness goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bike Paths:
Cape May county features a bike path that winds its way from the Cold Spring area of Lower Township all the way north to the County Park and Zoo. Some parts of the path are still under construction….but most of it is complete and ready for use. The path is a perfect place for walking, biking, and exploring nature at its finest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Produce:
Last but not least, New Jersey (and Cape May County) is home to some of the best produce in the country. After all, they don’t call it the garden state for nothing. Be sure and stop off at any of the numerous produce stands in the area for tomatoes, blueberries, corn…and just about any summer staple that you could imagine. Your summer barbecue at the shore is simply not complete without a taste of Jersey’s finest fruits and vegetables. We recommend visits to Beach Plum Farm and the West Cape May farmers market (where you can visit our weekly information booth too!) just to name a few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you’re already looking ahead to your 2018 Cape May vacation, planning an off season visit, or anticipating an arrival in Cape May during the remaining 2017 season…schedule some time to explore our natural world. Combined with the beach, it’s the ultimate experience of summer tranquility.

 

 

 

 

 

Swing through Summer in Cape May with Music, Movies, Crafts and Contests! Here’s how…

Every now and again when the fourth of July rolls around, it is said that “summer is almost over”. However, here in Cape May we know different. In reality, the summer has just begun! The Independence Day weekend has come and gone…and what a weekend it was. Throngs of visitors and locals alike enjoyed our beaches, promenade, restaurants, shopping, and so much more. It’s at this time of the year that Cape May truly becomes a fantasy in which time stops, days of the week are interchangeable, and there is a near constant hum of activity and excitement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this season of long days and scorching sun (save for the occasional summer T-storm) it’s easy to adopt a sort of tunnel vision for the beach. Sure, marathon beach days lingering into sunset are a wonderful experience that we would never discourage…but remember not to lose sight of the multitude of activities offered in and around town, all throughout the summer. Here are some highlights from the next few weeks…

 

 

 

 

 

 

-This weekend, 7/7 thru 7/9, you won’t want to miss the art show on Cape May’s promenade. There’s something truly magical in the experience of strolling the promenade and viewing fine arts and hand made goods to one side, and panoramic beach/ocean views on the other. This is a fabulous opportunity to obtain souvenirs, home decor, and even holiday gifts. The weekend-long event awards you multiple opportunities for browsing and shopping, no matter your arrival or departure date.

 

 

 

 

-In the mood to be out on the water? Of course you are! Every Friday from now through 8/25 is the “Rock the Boat Cruise” at the Cape May Lewes Ferry. A different artist will provide entertainment every week…all while you cruise the Delaware Bay. Reservations are suggested for this event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-A reminder that every Thursday from now through 8/24, Cape May presents “Movies on the Beach” at Beach Ave and Stockton Place. This perennial event is always a crowd pleaser that the whole family can enjoy. There’s a good chance you’ve seen many (if not all) of the movies featured…but the combination of the big screen, the beach, and the roar of the ocean is an experience like nothing else, and chances are you’ll enjoy the films in a whole new light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Enjoy “Music in the Park” at Cape May’s Rotary Park bandstand. Concerts are presented every Friday through Monday at 7:00 pm through mid September. The newly designed rotary park bandstand is located in the center of Cape May and is within a short walk to many rental homes, restaurants, and the Washington Street Mall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sangria Sundays are back at the Hawk Haven Winery! House made sangrias, wine tastings, and live music are a perfect way to kick off your vacation and experience a bit of our local culture. Venture just off-shore and enjoy this relaxing tradition from now through the end of the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Also every Sunday through the end of August, it’s the Nature and Wildlife show at Cape May’s convention hall (7:30-8:30 pm). This event is FREE for the whole family. Take a walk through as you stroll the promenade in the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-On Wednesday’s throughout the summer season, venture down to Cape May Point and enjoy Family Fun Days at the Cape May Lighthouse, sponsored by Cape May’s Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. You’ll experience entertainment, local crafts, activities for children, and of course the beauty that is Cape May’s Lighthouse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Last but not least, head offshore to Clubhouse Drive (just off of Townbank Road) and check out the Whale of a Day Festival! This quirky local event is always a fun time. And the best part? Homestead will be there! Be sure to stop by our tent and say hello. You can even enter for a chance to win the 2017 Whale of a Day beach chair. Not just any chair…ours is a beautiful shade of marine blue outfitted with a white whale. It’s truly one of a kind (and comfortable too!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beach chair might be a fun prize, but it’s not the only thing we’d like you to win this summer. In our largest contest every…Homestead wants YOU to help us “welcome home” our guests. Submit a high resolution photo of your Cape May experience and it will be entered to win a featured place on our billboard…which welcomes guests to Cape May just as they “exit zero” at the foot of the Garden State Parkway. Photo submissions will be accepted from current Homestead guests, local residents, part time vacationers…basically anyone who enjoys Cape May as much as we do and doesn’t want to contain their excitement! (Only one photo per person will be accepted for consideration, photos will be presented on the billboard for approximately 6 months. Entries or questions may be submitted to jpowers@homesteadrealestate.net).

Our current Billboard:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we move swiftly through the summer, we hope you will take time to stop and enjoy everything that Cape May has to offer. Whether you’re beginning a new vacation tradition, taking part in a long standing one, or simply passing through on a summer day trip…we want you to have a wonderful time. And remember, when you inevitably decide to return to Cape May…we’ll be right here waiting to assist with all of your real estate needs. Because you too, can be a local.

 

 

 

Happy Summer!

 

 

Cape May Beach Vacations