Bed & Breakfasts in Cape May – Part I
Bed and Breakfasts in Cape May are one of the things that make it such a unique shore destination. Sadly, a few of them have closed in the past few years, but there are still many that are fabulous options for your stay. This was such a fun post to write! There is so much rich history in the B&Bs of Cape May and they each have their own special story and vibe. I decided to focus on larger Bed & Breakfasts this time and cover some smaller one in another post. ‘Large’ is defined having at least 10 rooms and in one case there are as many as 31. If you have never experienced this type of stay in Cape May, I do hope I inspire you to try one. I must also add that many of the B&Bs are haunted… You can learn more about that in my Are there really ghosts in Cape May? post.
Largest – 35 to 24 rooms or suites
The Southern Mansion on Washington Street was originally built in 1860 and is one of the most well-known in Cape May. This stately mansion is the largest Bed & Breakfast in town with 24 grand rooms and suites on one and a half acres. The rooms are richly colored with exquisite furnishings and luxury linens—each with its own private bath, of course. A few of the rooms have two levels and some have access to a shared balcony or sun room. There in an impressive list of amenities including a breakfast menu that is nothing short of amazing with something to tempt every palate. Additionally, beach chairs and towels are provided. Weddings are extremely popular at the Southern Mansion which can accommodate up to 150 guests. I am a sucker for wedding pictures and a peek of their website wedding album is a testament to the fact that this is a gorgeous venue! It is also a great location for corporate events, family reunions and more. The owners also own Willow Creek Winery, which also get high marks as a wedding venue.
Angel of the Sea on Trenton Ave. is one of the most romantic Bed and Breakfasts and just envelops you in Victorian charm. It was originally built circa 1850 as a summer cottage but has a rich and interesting history including being cut in half and moved two times! I could never do the tale justice, so I invite you to read all about it here. There are 27 beautifully appointed rooms all with private baths. Some of them have ocean view and even balconies that overlook the ocean! They’re known for their fabulous breakfast selections, but also offer a wonderful afternoon tea and evening wine and cheese. Yes please! Other perks include beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels as well as bikes for touring around town. This is a perfect destination for someone planning a proposal in Cape May, don’t you think?
The Queen Victoria on Ocean Street boasts the greatest number of rooms for a B&B in Cape May at 35 all with private baths. Some of the suites feature large whirlpool tubs and gas fireplaces. They are all beautifully furnished with amenities such as mini fridges, hair dryers and more. There are actually three buildings: The Queen Victoria, House of Royals and Prince Albert Hall. The Queen Victoria is the main building of course and where you check in for your stay. An all you can eat breakfast is served daily in the various building depending on the time of the year. Afternoon tea is also served accompanied by sweet and savory delights. The wallpaper in many of the rooms and common areas is breathtaking in my opinion. It was designed by William Morris for Queen Victoria to use in Balmoral Castle. You can see examples and learn more about it here.
The Wilbraham Mansion on Myrtle Street was built in the 1840’s and has 10 rooms. The sister property, The Wilbraham Suites has 16 suites and was built in 2008. It is wheelchair accessible with an elevator. They are the only Bed and Breakfasts in Cape May with an indoor heater swimming pool (you read that right)! All rooms/suites have attached baths and are decorated in a more understated and traditional style. The suites also have whirlpool tubs and gas fireplaces. Breakfast and afternoon tea are included for all. There is some onsite and street parking available on a first come basis.
More intimate – 13 to 10 rooms
The Dormer House on Columbia Avenue is a more intimate Bed & Breakfast with 13 rooms which includes an attached cottage. To me part of the experience of a B&B is to meet new people from different places. The Dormer House built in 1899 is one that really lends itself to that type of experience. The rooms as well appointed with private baths and amenities such as a mini-fridges and flat screen TVs. The convenience of beach chairs and towels are also provided. Breakfast and afternoon tea are included as get rave reviews from guests. Visiting the Dormer House at Christmas time is quite the experience. They go all out with décor that will make you truly feel the magic of the season. Parking is on-site and free.
The Mainstay Inn also on Columbia Avenue which was built in 1872 is quite the impressive sight. Each room is named for a person in history who had ties to Cape May from the President Harrison Room to the Duchess of Windsor. You can read all about the fascinating history here. The 12 rooms (in the main house and the cottage) each have a private bath and most of them have 12-foot ceilings. If you have seen the Mainstay, you can only imagine how light and bright many of the rooms are with their massive windows. Breakfast is served in lovely dining room spring and fall and can also be enjoyed on the veranda in summer. Amongst the amenities are 24-hour coffee and tea service and their bottomless cookie jar! They also provide complimentary beach chairs and towels and the use of a shower and changing room for early and late departures. Parking is provided for most rooms.
The Bacchus Inn on Columbia Avenue is named after the Roman god of wine, which is a nod to the innkeeper John’s prior profession and continued passion. Each of the 9 en-suite rooms are also named with a wine theme and are decorated in a comfortable and cozy style. Some of the rooms feature whirlpools tubs and there are also some with electric or gas fireplaces. A breakfast as well as afternoon wine and cheese are included. The pool table in the common area makes for a great spot to mix and mingle as does their lovely front porch. Parking is provided for most rooms.
The Mason Cottage also on Columbia Avenue was originally two homes when it was built in 1869. This lovely pink B&B has 10 unique rooms all with private baths and each named for someone with a connection to the home such as the original owners and family members. The innkeepers are known for attention to detail and personal touches like providing plush spa robes and luxurious bath products. In season, complimentary bikes, beach chairs and towels are included. A full two course breakfast is provided daily which alternates between sweet and savory. Only street parking is available for all rooms.
Casablanca on Columbia Avenue as well is elegant and sophisticated. It was built in the 1800’s, but inside it is chic and designed by Evan James Interiors. Each of the 10 en-suite rooms is painted white but are anything but sterile. The furnishings are warm with a tropical feel—some have gas fireplaces, large modern Jacuzzi tubs and more. The Paradise Cottage is two stories and is approximately 600 sq feet of living space. A tropics inspired breakfast and afternoon tea are included. They also provide beach bags, chairs and towels for guest convenience. This is an experience unlike any other in Cape May.
The Mooring on Stockton Avenue was built in 1882 and is a very short one block walk to the beach and promenade. Its size of 10 rooms and cozy layout makes it a wonderful spot to get to know the other guests. Each room is uniquely and gorgeously decorated and have en-suite baths—some have ocean views and outdoor spaces. Breakfast is a really big deal at The Mooring with a savory or sweet main that depending on the day that is cooked to order, as well as a variety of juices, baked goods and more. Breakfast can be enjoyed on the expansive front porch in the summertime. A yummy baked treat is also available in the afternoons. Beach chairs & towels, bicycles as well as outdoor showers are available for guests to use during their stay. The owners and staff consistently get 5 star rave reviews for their hospitality and charm. Parking is provided for most rooms.
The Bedford Inn also on Stockton Avenue (right next to The Mooring so also close to the beach) was built in 1883 in the Victorian Italianate style. The Inn has been lovingly restored and really takes you back to Victorian Cape May, including the hand painted murals on the walls of the dining room. Each of the 10 rooms has a newly renovated attached bath with luxury bath products. Breakfast is made from scratch daily and in the afternoon either cookies and beverages or wine with cheese and charcuterie are available. Complimentary beach tags, beach chairs and an outdoor shower are available for your convenience. Guest reviews (typically 5 star) consistently mention how warm, welcoming, and helpful everyone was during their stay.
Following is a great map to show you each location!
So, when are you booking your Bed and Breakfast stay in Cape May? I decided to forego trying to give pricing information because it varies widely based on time of year and type of room. There are a variety of prices, and each B&B website gives you online booking options. If you want to compare easily, I have a collaboration with Booking.com on my website. One question that is sure to come up is —are children allowed? Each property has their own specific age limit, but all of them do allow young guests. I do not believe any of them on this list allow pets, except for The Southern Mansion which does allow service dogs (documentation required). This is only a partial list and I will be covering some smaller, lovely Bed and Breakfasts in Cape May in another post. Have you stayed in a Cape May B&B? Which one is your favorite? I would love to hear about it!
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I am new to your blog. I am loving all your
Information!!! I am a huge bnb fan and a foodie!
Thank you soooo much for all your efforts as a Good Samaritan and Cape May Enthusiast to offer up all these wonderful insights to beautiful
Cape May!! Looking forward to your next post.
Thank you so very much! I truly do love Cape May and it makes me so happy to help others love it too!!!