Monthly Archives for September 2023

A Guide to Dining in a Cape May

Cape May News - admin - September 18, 2023

Cape May, New Jersey, renowned for its pristine beaches and Victorian charm, is equally celebrated for its vibrant culinary scene. Nestled along the Jersey Shore, this coastal paradise offers a diverse array of dining experiences that cater to all tastes and preferences. In this article, we’ll take you on a gastronomic journey through Cape May, highlighting its exceptional restaurants, fresh seafood, and the unique ambiance that makes dining here an unforgettable experience.

A Coastal Culinary Haven

Cape May’s dining scene is a reflection of its coastal location, with an emphasis on fresh seafood, locally sourced ingredients, and a commitment to culinary excellence. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or crave international flavors, there’s something for everyone in Cape May’s culinary landscape.

1. Fresh Seafood Delights

As a coastal town, Cape May is synonymous with fresh seafood. The Atlantic Ocean provides a bounty of delectable treasures, including succulent crab, plump shrimp, and flaky fish. Local restaurants take full advantage of this coastal wealth, serving up dishes like crab cakes, buttery lobster tails, and expertly grilled swordfish.

2. Farm-to-Table Fare

Cape May’s commitment to sustainability and local agriculture shines through its farm-to-table dining options. Restaurants collaborate with nearby farms and suppliers to offer dishes that celebrate the region’s seasonal produce. Be sure to explore menus featuring fresh Jersey tomatoes, locally grown greens, and artisanal cheeses.

3. Victorian Elegance

Dining in Cape May often carries an element of Victorian elegance. Many restaurants are housed in historic Victorian-era buildings, creating an ambiance that transports you to a bygone era. Dining in beautifully restored dining rooms or on charming outdoor patios adds a touch of romance to your culinary experience.

4. Al Fresco Dining

With its mild coastal climate, Cape May is perfect for al fresco dining. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, allowing you to savor your meal while enjoying the fresh sea breeze and the picturesque views of the ocean or Cape May’s tree-lined streets.

5. International Flavors

While Cape May is celebrated for its seafood, it also offers a diverse range of international cuisines. From Italian trattorias and Mexican cantinas to Thai restaurants and French bistros, you can embark on a global culinary journey without leaving the town.

Notable Dining Establishments in Cape May

  1. The Lobster House: A Cape May institution, The Lobster House offers fresh seafood in a casual yet bustling atmosphere. Enjoy your meal with a view of the fishing boats on the Cape May Harbor.
  2. Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant: This upscale dining establishment in a Victorian mansion offers a sophisticated menu highlighting local ingredients. It’s an ideal spot for a romantic dinner.
  3. The Mad Batter Restaurant & Bar: Known for its creative American cuisine, this restaurant offers a lively atmosphere and an extensive wine list. Don’t miss their famous brunch.
  4. The Ebbitt Room: Located within the Virginia Hotel, this restaurant combines an elegant setting with a seasonal menu featuring farm-fresh ingredients.
  5. Tisha’s Fine Dining: For a taste of international flavors, Tisha’s offers a diverse menu with options ranging from Mediterranean-inspired dishes to classic Italian fare.

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Cape May Lima Bean Festival

Cape May News - admin - September 18, 2023

West Cape May celebrates her farming heritage with the Annual Lima Bean Festival in the Borough’s Backyard Park! The festival is scheduled to begin at 9:00am and is planned to delight locals and visitors alike with a vast array of recipes, crafts and products available.

The Cape May Lima Bean Festival

Nestled on the southern tip of New Jersey, Cape May is renowned for its picturesque beaches, charming Victorian architecture, and vibrant culinary scene. Among its unique culinary traditions, the Cape May Lima Bean Festival stands out as a delightful celebration of both local history and delicious cuisine. In this article, we will explore the origins of this remarkable festival, its significance to the Cape May community, and the culinary delights that await attendees.

A Rich History of Lima Bean Farming

Cape May’s connection to the lima bean dates back to the early 20th century when local farmers began cultivating this versatile legume. The sandy soil and favorable climate of the region proved ideal for lima bean farming, and the crop quickly became a staple of the local agricultural industry. In honor of this heritage, the Cape May Lima Bean Festival was established, and it has since become a beloved annual event.

The Lima Bean Festival: A Community Tradition

The Cape May Lima Bean Festival, held every year in early October, is a testament to the community’s deep-rooted appreciation for its agricultural heritage. It’s a time when locals and visitors alike come together to celebrate the lima bean’s versatility, culinary possibilities, and the sense of community that defines Cape May.

Key Attractions at the Festival

  1. Lima Bean Cooking Contest: One of the highlights of the festival is the cooking contest, where both amateur and professional chefs showcase their creativity in crafting lima bean dishes. From creamy lima bean soup to savory lima bean stews, the variety of dishes on display is truly impressive.
  2. Food Vendors: The festival features numerous food vendors offering a wide range of lima bean-inspired dishes and other local delicacies. Whether you’re in the mood for lima bean hummus, lima bean chili, or more traditional fare, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
  3. Live Entertainment: The festival boasts live music performances, adding to the festive atmosphere. Attendees can enjoy toe-tapping tunes while savoring their lima bean treats.
  4. Craft Vendors: In addition to culinary delights, the festival offers a marketplace where local artisans showcase their handmade crafts, including jewelry, pottery, and artwork.
  5. Children’s Activities: Families can enjoy a variety of kid-friendly activities, including face painting, games, and more.

Preserving Local Heritage and Agriculture

The Cape May Lima Bean Festival plays a vital role in preserving the region’s agricultural heritage. By celebrating the humble lima bean, the festival reminds attendees of the importance of supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture. Moreover, it provides an opportunity for local farmers to showcase their produce and connect with the community.

A Delicious Tradition Worth Savoring

The Cape May Lima Bean Festival is more than just a culinary event; it’s a celebration of community, history, and the enduring charm of Cape May. Whether you’re a devoted foodie or simply looking for a fun and family-friendly outing, this festival offers a unique and memorable experience. As you savor the diverse lima bean dishes and immerse yourself in the festivities, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the rich tapestry of Cape May’s culinary traditions. Make sure to mark your calendar and join in the celebration of this delicious and heartwarming tradition.

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Monarch Festival at the Nature Center of Cape May

Cape May News - admin - September 18, 2023

Do you love monarch butterflies? If so, save the date for our 2023 Monarch Festival!  This is a day to celebrate these fascinating insects and wish them well on their migration to Mexico. We will have live music, a food truck, kids activities, educational programs, local artists, and butterfly tagging demonstrations.

The Spectacular Cape May Migration

Cape May, New Jersey, is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts and a sanctuary for one of the most iconic and enchanting butterflies in North America – the monarch butterfly. Every year, millions of these delicate orange and black insects make their way to Cape May as part of their remarkable migration journey, turning the area into a mesmerizing spectacle of nature. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of monarch butterflies in Cape May, exploring their incredible migration, conservation efforts, and the best ways to experience this breathtaking phenomenon.

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are widely celebrated for their remarkable life cycle and incredible migrations. These insects undergo a complete metamorphosis, starting as tiny eggs laid on milkweed plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which then transform into chrysalides and, ultimately, into beautiful adult butterflies. It is their remarkable annual migration, however, that captures the imagination of many.

The Great Monarch Migration

Monarch butterflies undertake one of the most extraordinary migrations in the insect world. Every year, these winged wanderers travel thousands of miles from their breeding grounds in North America to their overwintering sites in Mexico. Along the way, they pass through Cape May, making this picturesque coastal town a crucial pitstop on their journey.

Cape May: A Rest Stop for Monarchs

Cape May’s unique geography and abundant natural resources make it an ideal resting place for migrating monarchs. The town’s lush gardens, parks, and shorelines provide plenty of nectar sources for the butterflies, while milkweed, the primary host plant for monarch caterpillars, is plentiful in the region. As a result, Cape May becomes a vital refueling station for monarchs on their arduous journey.

Best Time to Visit Cape May for Monarchs

To witness the spectacular monarch migration in Cape May, plan your visit during the fall months, typically from late September to early October. During this time, you can expect to see thousands of monarchs as they gather in the area’s gardens and open spaces, preparing for their long flight across the Delaware Bay.

Conservation Efforts in Cape May

Local organizations and conservationists in Cape May are dedicated to preserving and protecting the monarch butterflies and their habitats. Efforts include creating and maintaining monarch-friendly gardens, educating the public about the importance of milkweed, and conducting research to better understand monarch behavior and migration patterns. These initiatives are vital in ensuring the survival of this iconic species.

How to Experience the Monarch Migration in Cape May

  1. Visit Cape May Point State Park: This park is a hot spot for monarchs. Stroll along the nature trails and witness the butterflies congregating in the trees and shrubs.
  2. Take a Guided Tour: Consider joining a guided butterfly tour led by local naturalists who can provide insights into monarch behavior and the migration process.
  3. Visit the Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project: This research initiative is a great place to learn more about monarchs and their conservation. They often offer educational programs and butterfly tagging demonstrations.
  4. Explore Cape May’s Gardens: The town boasts beautiful gardens and public spaces where monarchs gather. Some notable spots include the Cape May Bird Observatory and the Nature Center of Cape May.

Cape May’s role as a waystation for monarch butterflies during their awe-inspiring migration is a testament to the town’s commitment to preserving the beauty of nature. As these delicate insects rest and refuel in Cape May, they provide residents and visitors alike with an enchanting spectacle of the natural world. To experience the magic of monarch butterflies in all their splendor, plan a trip to Cape May during their fall migration, and you’ll witness one of nature’s most remarkable journeys.

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