Pumpkin spice and everything nice

Happy Monday! It’s hard to believe that it is October! The time truly flies by and we have just a few more months to enjoy 2018. If you are like us and you love everything pumpkin, then this is your season! Although we were ready for the comfy sweaters and warmer clothes, it’s not the time yet… The temperatures are still in the 70’s here in Cape May, and honestly, it feels perfect, plus the town stillhas wonderful events scheduled.

 

 

Victorian Weekend | October 4-8,2018:  This is the 46th annual Victorian Weekend that celebrates Cape May’s Victorian heritage. This weekend has great entertaining activities from history to murder mysteries, historic house tours, and food and wine events.

 

 

 

 

On October 5th, stop by The Carriage House Café/Tearoom and play the parlor games like Charades and Pass the Slipper that Victorians used to play. Dessert is included with coffee or tea! The tickets are only $15.

 

 

 

If you’re looking for something spooky, hop on the Cape Mayhem Trolley Tour to explore some of the strange concepts popular at the end of the 19th century. You can also take the 30 minute Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour to discover what the ghost said to the renowned Craig McManus and where they are “living” now.

 

 

 

 

On October 4th between 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, join Willow Creek Winery for a full course buffet dinner paired with craft beverage tastings from four local breweries, two wineries and a distillery. The tickets are $75 and the proceeds benefit the educational programs sponsored by Cape May Forum and TEDxCapeMay.

 

 

 

On October 6th, stop by Rotary Park on Lafayette Street for the Fall Fest. You will meet local artists and you can purchase anything from handmade jewelry, to linens, artwork, Christmas items and decorations. Also on the 6th, head over to West Cape May’s Wilbraham Park for the popular West Cape May Lima Bean Festival. You’ll meet many of the Cape May locals and you will find many lima bean inspired foods, art, crafts and jewelry. There will also be live local musicians to entertain the crowd. Homestead will also be present at the festival, so please stop by and say hello. You’ll have a chance to win our coveted Lima Bean Beach Chair!

 

 

 

We have a full day of events for you on Sunday, October 7th. Starting at 9:30 am the Kiwanis Club has the traditional Pet Parade at Emlen Physick Estate. If you are here for a girls weekend, stop by at the Lace Silhouettes on Washington Mall for a morning of brunch, bingo and fashion show. You can win great prizes and free gift cards. At 12:00 pm Hawk Haven Winery will feature live music, wine tastings from NJ’s best wineries, a craft beer garden and street food vendors for their Cape May Wine and Music Festival. To end the evening, stop by the Inn of Cape May on Ocean Street for a Murder Mystery Dinner (Part of the Victorian Weekend).

 

 

With this warm weather it’s hard to resist to a weekend getaway. Contact our rental department now at 609.884.1888 and we will help you find the perfect property. Cape May is a beautiful destination year-round, not just summer!

Save the Dates and Set the Clocks! Spring Brings Fun in Cape May this March!

It’s a blustery but beautiful Friday here in Cape May, and while it still feels a bit like winter, spring is undoubtedly in the air. There’s a lot to get excited about here in town over the next few weeks, and you’ll want to be a part of the action. Here’s a few of our favorite events that are on the horizon…

 

 

 

What’s better than a tour of the famous Emlen Physick Estate? A FREE tour! On Friday, March 16th, the 2:00 pm tour of the estate will be free (with requested donation of a non-perishable food product worth $5 or more). Donations are much appreciated and support the Cape May Community Food Closet. So this is a great way to have some fun and support a worthy cause at the same time. This event is sponsored by Friends of the Physick Estate, and you can learn more about them here.

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, March 17th, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Cape May’s second annual Paddy’s Day Polar Bear Plunge! There will also be a 5k run/ 1 mile walk event for those looking for a less chilly outdoor experience!

 

 

 

 

 

March 16th-18th will bring the return of Sherlock Holmes weekend here in town. This is always an exciting event, but tickets are limited. Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking to enjoy a bit of local talent? This Sunday, March 11th, you won’t want to miss “The Squares: From Cline to Cash & Beyond”. Featuring the beautiful voice of Homestead’s very own Debra Donahue, this talented trio is sure to present a fabulous rendition of the best of country music. The “concert only” ticket is $15…but why not make a night of it with dinner and a show at the Blue Pig Tavern? The combination ticket is just $36.99 for adults and $9.99 for children. NOTE: The Squares will also be making an appearance at Nauti Spirits Distillery on Saturday, March 17th, 2018 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to these special events, many favorite local standbys continue to take place and have returned for the season, including Fire Pit Fridays at the Willow Creek Winery, the Winter Beer Garden at Congress Hall, and (for a few more weeks), Roller Skating at Cape May Convention Hall.

 

 

 

 

 

Despite our excitement about these upcoming events, remember that there is no specific reason needed to come to Cape May! Often times the best visits are those which are unplanned. The spring season can be a great time to stroll around town and make plans for your summer vacation, or simply refresh your mind and body with a brisk beach walk or a jog along the promenade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring holidays are also a great time to be in town, and we’d like to remind you that here at Homestead we have plenty of off-season rentals to accommodate various budgets and time frames. Unlike the summer rental season-which by design must be more structured-off season rentals offer greater flexibility. The spring is a wonderful time because the slower pace of the season allows for effortless exploring, yet there’s still plenty going on! We hope you’ll join us in being a part of the fun.

 

 

 

REMINDER: Daylight Saving Time begins THIS WEEKEND, Sunday, March 11th. Don’t forget to set the clocks forward one hour and gain that extra daylight! And remember, this is also the time to change those batteries in your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Time at Homestead!

It’s only 3 days until Christmas! And Homestead would like to wish everyone the happiest of holidays. We hope that a visit to Cape May has been part of your recent plans. If not, there’s still time! Escape from the bustle of holiday festivities to the wonder of Christmases past, as no place captures its essence quite like Cape May does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through January 1st, 2018, The Carol Gallery of the Emlen Physick Estate is transformed into a model Dickens Village. There’s even a unique and stunning Christmas tree that allows guests to actually stand beneath it and bask in the beauty of times gone by. Children also have the opportunity to write a letter to Santa, a task for which it’s never too late-or too early-to complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May’s Holiday Trolley Rides will continue in the historic district through New Year’s Eve. Listen to Christmas music, learn about Victorian tradition, and admire the stunning homes in the enchanting light of the season. It’s a beauty that is truly unparalleled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the holiday season, another of Cape May’s incredible landmarks, Congress Hall, transforms its Grand Lawn into a Winter Wonderland. It’s a magical experience complete with gorgeous décor, holiday cocoa and treats, a shopping village stocked with one of a kind gifts, and of course, Santa’s workshop. There, you’ll be greeted by the “Congress Hall Express” train ride as it winds its way through the wonderland. It’s a fun and festive time for all ages!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In these last few days of the holiday season, some of the very best times in Cape May can be had by simply strolling around town and taking it all in. If you’ve been a regular summer visitor, you’ll be struck by the seamless blend of holiday buzz and peaceful tranquility that Christmas in Cape May encompasses. And being as we’re all decked out for the holidays this year; be sure to take a walk (or ride) past Homestead’s offices as well. We’re right across the street from Free Love Bridal…a store that you especially can’t miss, given the sparkling white window displays and massive flocked Christmas tree just outside their door! We love seeing local businesses going above and beyond for the holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much fun as the season has been, alas, it will be coming to a close in just a bit over a week. While some may enjoy the quiet and renewal of the approaching mid-winter season, others are probably mourning the coming end to this most festive season of the year. It’s a polarizing time, and not just because of the incoming polar weather! But whatever your thoughts are about the winter doldrums, remember that once the holidays are behind us, it’s fun to look ahead to the spring and summer seasons that are yet to come. Summer thoughts naturally lead to vacation brainstorming– and it can be a challenge, so let Homestead be a part of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been an exciting year for us, and our rental team has continued to add new properties to our already outstanding inventory. When approving a new rental property, we always do so with YOU, our guests, in the forefront of our minds. We listen to your feedback, we pay attention to the evolving vacation rental industry, and most of all…we never stop striving to be the best we can be as Cape May’s premier real estate company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as you enjoy the remaining days of this holiday season, we invite you to reflect on what you’re most excited about for the coming year. And when those thoughts lead to considerations of a vacation in Cape May, give us a call! We can’t wait to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homestead would like to remind everyone that our office will be CLOSING for the holidays on Saturday, December 23 rd at 1 PM. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 2nd at 9:00 am. Remember that even when we are closed, you may RESERVE A RENTAL PROPERTY ONLINE at anytime. All rental leases for online reservations will be sent during the first week of the New Year. All inquiries to our office will also be promptly answered upon our return on January 2nd.

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Homestead. We can’t wait to see you in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!!

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Are You Ready for Cape May’s Winter Awakening?

It’s that time of year again; Cape May is awakening. As quickly as it opened, the door is just as rapidly closing on the coldest and most desolate period of the year here in town. With the impending arrival of Valentine’s Day and President’s Day Weekend, we’re ready to get this season rolling! It may still be February, but remember that in less than two months we will be welcoming spring’s arrival. In the meantime, the remaining winter weekends in Cape May will be buzzing with activity as homeowners prepare their properties for the season. Alongside them will be day-trippers finalizing summer plans while enjoying winter’s lingering tranquility, and local business owner’s sprucing up their establishments. If you find yourself in Cape May over the next few weeks, you’ll be pleased to know that there are already various businesses re-opening their doors and special events cropping up. Let’s take a look at what’s in store…

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend through Valentine’s Day is “Love Cape May” weekend here in town. Enjoy special fixed menu options at select Cape May dining establishments. These include (but are not limited to) The Washington Inn, Peter Shields Inn, and Beach Plum Farm. And if you’re planning to make a long weekend of it, remember that Homestead features numerous rental properties that are available this time of year for partial week rentals.

 

 

Throughout the past several years, New Jersey has gained increasing notoriety for its various vineyards & wineries, many of which are right here in Cape May County. If you’ve not yet visited any of these locations, it’s definitely encouraged. On February 11th and 12th, the place to be is Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery. They will be presenting their Wine and Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend. While this is a perfect Valentine’s Day event, it will also be featured on February 18th and 19th during President’s Day weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the wining and dining options that are on the horizon over the
next few weeks, we also remind you that Cape May is home to numerous unique shopping experiences. The holidays may be long past, but it’s now time to look ahead to graduations, housewarmings, birthdays, and of course…wedding season! The hub of Cape May’s shopping experience is the Washington Street Mall. The mall lends itself to a beautiful winter
stroll, so take a walk and wander into the open shops. The gift options are ideal, and of course it never hurts to pick up a little something for you! With love in the air this weekend, now is especially the time to be thinking about engagement and wedding gifts. Free Love Bridal’s gift market will be OPEN and is the perfect place obtain one of a kind gifts for the couple-to-be. And for the bride-to-be, Free Love carries a stunning selection of wedding gowns. The gift market is open to the public, while gown fittings are completed by appointment. So be sure to check-out Free Love during your Cape May shopping adventure. They’re located right across the street from our Homestead office.

 

If you’re looking for a great way to warm up on a winter afternoon, the Chili and Chowder Cook Off, located in the penthouse ballroom of Cape May’s Grand Hotel, will certainly fit the bill. YOU are the judges and select the winners as you experience chili and chowder prepared by some of the Cape May area’s finest chefs. You’ll also have the opportunity to obtain hand made goods from local Cape May artisans that will be on-site. The panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean awarded by the Grand Hotel penthouse are in themselves worth this event’s $5 admission.

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least, be sure and check out Cape May’s Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities as they too begin to get into the swing of the season. Upcoming events include Crafts and Collectibles in winter, Cape May Wine School, and of course the always popular Historic District Trolley Tours.

 

 

So…now that you’re a bit more informed as to what’s happening right now around Cape May, we hope you’re ready to pay us a visit. And we don’t just mean a general Cape May visit; we also would love to meet you here in our office to discuss real estate rentals, sales, and your Cape May Vacation! Remember that if you haven’t yet reserved, now is the time. In fact, we truly do think this is one of the most exciting points of the year in Cape May, as it’s a turning point towards a new season of fun; one that will be upon us before we know it!

 

 

We wish everyone a wonderful weekend, a Happy Valentine’s Day, and a fantastic remainder of the winter season. Look ahead to the summer sun, but never lose sight of all that Cape May offers at ANY time of the year. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Christmas in Cape May: Shopping, Sightseeing, and so much more!

christmas-316448_960_720Brrrrr. It’s a COLD start to the weekend here in Cape May! But that’s okay, because we are in the heart of the holiday season, and everything around town looks and feels just as festive as ever. For those of you who had the pleasure of attending West Cape May’s annual Christmas parade last week, we hope you had a great time and had the chance to wave to the Homestead cars! We remind everyone that tonight, Friday, December 9th, is the second night of Cape May’s annual hospitality event on the Washington Street Mall. If you’ve not been to the mall in some time, we especially recommend paying a visit this holiday season. Hospitality night is an ideal time to do so. You’ll find that the offerings have become a bit more eclectic in recent years, and there is truly something for everyone on your list…even if they aren’t a beach or shore decor lover.

 

 

 

With Christmas a mere two weeks away, there will be fervor of holiday events and activities around town. Here’s a look at what to do, where to be, and what not to miss over the next few weeks…

 

 

 

 

christmas-1750978_960_720The always popular Christmas Candlelight House tours continue, and if you’ve not yet experienced a tour you will want to hurry, as there are only two Saturday’s left before Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dscn1924If you’re excited to see Cape May’s Christmas lights but may not be enthusiastic about a full walking tour, a great alternative is the Evening Yuletide House Tour of the Emlen Physick Estate. This is a magical way to step into Christmas past, and it can also be combined with a Holiday Lights Trolley Ride! Relax and stay off your feet in the warmth of the trolley as you view Cape May’s historic district in its full Christmas glory.

 

 

 

 

 

wine-1078605_960_720On Saturday December 10th and Sunday December 11th, check out the Fourth Annual Holiday “Sip and Shop ‘Local Love Drive’” at the Willow Creek Winery in West Cape May. Admission is FREE. This is your chance to sample and purchase numerous local wines WHILE you shop! There will be over 60 vendors at the winery, indoors AND out. It will be cold, but be sure to bundle up and brave the outdoors because you won’t want to miss any of the fabulous selections of gifts crafted by local small business owners and artisans. Offerings will include jewelry, baked goods, and pottery…just to name 10174847_1523205574587789_1135376240108415258_na few! Finish up your holiday shopping and treat yourself while you’re at it. If you plan to attend this holiday event, it’s requested that you bring along a non-perishable food item to donate to the West Cape May Fire Department food drive. You may also bring an unwrapped toy for tots. Your donation will automatically qualify you to win over 50 prizes throughout the weekend. So shop, sip, and support this holiday season!

 

 

angel-8186_960_720Holiday events aren’t just for the weekend. On Wednesday, December 14th at 7:00 pm, Angelus Chorus will be performing a FREE holiday concert at Cape May Convention Hall. Enjoy the sounds of the season as a beautiful selection of traditional and secular music will be performed.

 

 

 

 

 

christmas-1857461_960_720It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without attending a proper ugly Christmas sweater party. Have some fun on Saturday, December 17th at Fins Restaurant for the Ugly Holiday Sweater Ball. Enjoy food, friends, and even prizes! The event will begin at 10:00 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cmlfferrycrossingOn Sunday, December 18th from noon-3:00 pm, the place to be is the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal for a “Ferry Merry Christmas”. Santa will be on site, as well as Christmas games, a hot chocolate/cookie bar, and fun activities for children ages 3-9. This is a great event for the entire family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We hope you are able to enjoy some or all of these wonderful events over the exciting few weeks ahead. The anticipation of Christmas and the joy in the air creates a magical environment in Cape May, no matter what you choose to do! We encourage riding (or walking) around town to view the Christmas lights, dining in Cape May’s decked out restaurants, or maybe even taking a chilly stroll on the promenade while contemplating the beauty of the season and the tranquility of the winter to follow.

 

 

For our rental guests, whether you are planning a return to one of our properties or you’re discovering us for the first time…we thank you for your business and remind you to reserve soon. We know that after Christmas many of you turn thoughts to summer and sun! Everyone seems to have a similar idea, and there is a surge in summer bookings just after the commencement of the new year. So relax and book before the holidays to secure the summer property you want! Homestead also has numerous homes available for weekend rentals OR for the entire winter. It’s not too late to spend Christmas in Cape May, but if that’s not possible, try visiting just for a weekend!

 

 

We wish a joyous holiday season and a very Merry Christmas to our guests, neighbors, friends, and Homestead family. The holiday season will be end just as quickly as it began, so take time to relax and enjoy this wonderful time of the year.

 

 

 

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Give Thanks for Holiday Fun!

sunflower-187985_960_720Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s to hoping everyone has a wonderful holiday and a relaxing long weekend. The Homestead staff is especially thankful for YOU, our loyal clients. However it is that you’ve come to know of Homestead, we thank you for being a part of our family. We are a constantly evolving company, and this evolution would not be possible without our patrons and followers. So thank you for your business and your support. It’s very important to us and is never taken for granted.

 

 

Here at Homestead, we love to continuously remind our guests that Cape May is a wonderful place to be at ALL times of the year. This is especially true during the holidays. The magical winter wonderland that will take shape within the next week is quite simply an unparalleled experience, and the holiday season just isn’t complete without a visit to Cape May. It’s truly a step into Christmas past! With festivities kicking into high gear this weekend, here’s a look at what you will NOT want to miss this holiday season…

 

 

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By now, your email inbox AND regular mailbox have no doubt been bombarded with advertisements for Black Friday shopping. It’s true that Black Friday is an opportune time to shop for everyone on your Christmas list, and we remind you that many fantastic deals and sales will be available right here in town. Find unique gifts for everyone at the best prices of the season! The Washington Street Mall is the perfect place to begin your Cape May shopping endeavor…but we remind you that there are many other merchants around town that you may not be aware of. One such location is Free Love Bridal. While Free Love offers a lovely selection of fine gifts, they will also be hosting their first ever Bridal Gown Sample Sale. Dresses will be sold on a “first come-first served” basis…so be among the first to arrive on Black Friday at 11:00 am. For the brides to be dreaming of a Cape May wedding…treating yourself to a dress from Free Love is a perfect start. The bridal gown sample sale will continue at Free Love from 2 pm to 8 pm on Saturday, November 26th.

 

 

 

lynnardensSpeaking of which, the day after Black Friday is universally known as Small Business Saturday. Here in Cape May nearly ALL businesses are small, family owned operations, so this day is very important to our town. Once again, local shopping destinations will be open for business with special deals. Additionally, Cape May’s Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts will be presenting the Small Business Saturday Scavenger Hunt. This promises to be a fun way to shop and support our local businesses. To participate, simply pick up a scavenger hunt clue sheet at the information booth located at the Ocean Street end of the Washington Street Mall. Happy Shopping!

 

 

 

 

 

Friday , November 25th marks the return of the alwaysimg_6582
popular Congress Hall Winter Wonderland. Bask in the beauty of fantastic holiday decorations; let the children enjoy a ride on the Congress Hall Express, and shop the open air “shopping village” featuring one-of-a-kind gifts from a wide selection of vendors. The winter wonderland event continues through December 23rd.

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, November 26th, don’t miss the Holiday Crafts Fair at Cape May Convention Hall. This is an especially ideal location to procure unique decorations for your holiday displays, tablescapes, and Christmas trees!

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, December 2nd at 7:00 pm, the place to be is Cape May’s newly rebuilt Rotary Park Bandstand for the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Santa will be paying a visit! There will also be caroling, with a special presentation from the Lower Cape May Regional High School chorus.

 

 

 

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Beginning on Saturday, December 3rd (and also taking place on the 10th and 17th) Cape May will be featuring the always favorite Christmas Candlelight House Tours. There’s no better way to experience the charm of a Cape May Christmas, so be sure to reserve your tour early!

 

 

 

The venerable West Cape May Christmas Parade will be taking place on Saturday, December 3rd. The parade is back for its 51st year! It begins promptly at 5:00 pm from the West Cape May Volunteer Fire Department and makes its way down Broadway to Perry Street, winding up at the end of Carpenter’s Lane. This annual event is sure to bring Christmas cheer to all ages! (In case of rain, the parade will take place on Sunday, December 4th).

 

 

On Thursday, December 8th and Friday, December 9th, be sure to return to the Washington Street Mall for Cape May’s annual Hospitality Night. Merchants will open their doors to sales, refreshments, and fun! This annual event is always popular for Cape May locals and visitors alike.

 

 

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Homestead hopes you and yours are able to thoroughly enjoy these hometown holiday events of Cape May. We won’t say that it’s the MOST wonderful time of the year (because yes, it’s not beach weather!), but it’s certainly one of the very best times of the year here in town. We can’t wait for you to experience all that Christmas in Cape May has to offer. We also remind you that summer 2017 bookings continue straight through the holiday season….and Cape May vacations or weekend getaways make fantastic gifts! So don’t forget to keep Homestead Rentals in mind when planning your holiday shopping this season.

 

 

Once again, we wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a very merry Christmas season full of good cheer. The halls are decked; lights lit, preparations made and stores open. Cape May Christmas memories are ready to be made…don’t let them escape you.

 

 

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Here Come the Holidays!

mumstepsmdAs we move through November in the Mid-Atlantic region, peak fall foliage is upon us, and Cape May is an absolutely beautiful place to be. Because Cape Island was once part of the mainland, it is lush with trees and undergrowth that cultivate a stunning landscape at this point in the year. This is particularly well observed throughout the historic district. We recommended a stroll through Hughes St. or down Columbia Avenue, where you will find that Cape May currently looks as though it is a postcard advertisement for autumn. What you will also find around town are many property and business owners decking the halls for the upcoming holiday season! Yes, we know some might say it’s a bit early to decorate, but remember that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away, and most holiday displays are up and running the day after! So time is needed to prepare, and there’s no better time to do so then right now, while the autumn weather remains mild.

 

 

 

 

Throughout the next few weeks, various events will be taking place in Cape May. And while a number of holiday traditions will begin, there are always options for those not quite ready to head into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season! Here’s a look at what’s happening here in town this November…

 

 

 

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First and foremost, Veterans Day is Friday, November 11th. All are invited to attend a remembrance ceremony located at the All Wars Monument on Columbia Avenue and Gurney Streets. The ceremony will take place at 11:00 am in honor of the brave men and women who have served our nation in the Unities States military.

 

 

 

pipe-37816_960_720The weekend of November 11th through the 13th is home to the Exit Zero Jazz Festival. The Festival will be celebrating its 5th anniversary and will feature 3 days of performances spanning the Cape May beach front, Convention Hall, and Schmidtchen Theatre (located at Lower Cape May Regional High School). We certainly recommend highlighting your weekend by attending this wonderful Cape May event.

 

 

 

 

 

Cape May’s Film Festival will also be taking place during the weekend of November 11th through the 13th. The venue for this event will be the West Cape May Borough Hall and Banquet Hall. Many types of films will be screened, and attendees will be offered the opportunity to interact with directors, actors, producers and more!

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, November 12th, Homestead invites you to join the Sole-Man 5K Run
for Character and Family Fun Walk
. The event begins at 9:00 am at Cape May’s convention Hall. All proceeds benefit the Gene Sole scholarship fund. Mr. Sole was the former principal of Lower Cape May regional high school. Come out on this beautiful weekend and support a wonderful cause, all while keeping fit and having fun!

 

 

 

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November 18t through the 20th marks a special event in Cape May, as it’s Holiday Preview Weekend! The center of this holiday event is Cape May’s historic Physick Estate. The estate will be adorned with thousands of lights, and the property decked out with a plethora of holiday décor. But the pinnacle of the weekend is the Tree Lighting Ceremony. This will take place on the grounds of the estate at 7 pm. Of course we recommend arriving a bit early. Children will enjoy a visit from Santa, and fun for all ages will abound as the estate will offer FREE guided tours between the hours of 6 and 8 pm. It’s a fabulous way to stimulate some Christmas spirit!
218_christmas_5If you aren’t able to be a part of Holiday preview weekend, remember that just walking, driving, or biking around Cape May this time of year gives one a feeling of anticipation and excitement. Our Victorian town offers an incomparable holiday feel that presents the beauty and comfort of Christmases past, and a holiday visit should certainly be added to your to-do list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the approaching holidays, there will be much to do and see for everyone and we know how easy it can be for summer to escape the mind completely. But, we once again would like to remind our rental guests that bookings for 2017 are even stronger than they were at this same time last year. Trends are indicating that our guests are booking early and often to secure their time and property of choice. So don’t delay…secure your vacation now before the new year begins! Bookings placed by December 1st of this year will feature three payment installments, which is of course another reason to reserve sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

SMall Christmastay tuned in the coming weeks as we strive to keep you updated about fun filled holiday events that will continue through the first of the year. We wish everyone a wonderful weekend, and we hope you share in our excitement for the impending holiday season.