Cape May Celebrates Presidents’ Day Weekend with Tours and Events That Will Cure the Winter Doldrums

CAPE MAY — The antidote to that persistent winter chill is to take a long holiday during Presidents’ Day Weekend, Feb. 13-15, in Cape May, the nation’s first seaside resort. Enjoy a two-day crafts and collectibles show, food and wine events, ghost tours and trolley tours and more, all sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).

There are few more enjoyable ways to warm up during winter than by tasting and appreciating fine wines. Expand your knowledge of wine as you learn to discern and appreciate specially selected wines during the Cape May Wine School – Five Regions of French Wine Tasting class at the renowned Washington Inn, with help from a wine expert. Taste wines from Loire, Rhone, Bordeaux, Provence and Jura. The class on Saturday, Feb. 13 takes place at 1 p.m. at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington St., and admission is $40 per person.

Cape May County vineyards are winning awards and their wines are ready for tasting. Spend the afternoon touring Natali Vineyards and Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery and taste wines at each; experience the unique flavors as you sip and swirl at your own pace on the Self-Guided Wine Trail. Admission is $10 and includes a map with the wineries listed. The tour is offered on Saturdays, Sunday, Feb. 14 and daily beginning March 1 from 12 to 5 p.m. Purchase tickets at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, the Hill House office or the Carriage House Visitor’s Center at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., during hours of operation.

What’s brewing in Cape May? Some great spirits, as you’ll find out during the Self-Guided Wine & Brewery Trail, which includes two area wineries, Natali Vineyards, Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery, plus the Cape May Brewing Company. Take a tour at each stop; sample wine at the vineyards and receive a brew mug at the brewery. Admission is $15 and includes a map with directions. Offered from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sunday, Feb. 14. Purchase tickets at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street, or the Hill House office or the Carriage House Visitor’s Center at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., during hours of operation.

Taste while you tour! Learn how the grapes are grown and the process that turns them into delicious Hawk Haven wines during the Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery Tour at the Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery, 600 S Railroad Ave., Rio Grande. The tour includes a souvenir glass and gourmet cheese tasting on the vineyard-view crush pad. Offered at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sunday, Feb. 14. Tickets are $20 if purchased at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

Spend an afternoon at the award-winning Cape May Winery, 711 Town Bank Rd., during the Cape May Winery Tour & Tasting. Tour the vineyard to see how the grapes are grown, get an introduction to the winemaker’s art and enjoy cheese and crackers and a sampling of up to eight wines. Offered at 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sunday, Feb. 14. $20 per person. Purchase tickets at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth or the Hill House office or the Carriage House Visitor’s Center at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., during hours of operation.

Spend the day visiting Cape May County’s wineries and sampling the unique flavors of each during the Cape May Wine Trail. You’ll learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms from 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14. First enjoy lunch at the famous Mad Batter Restaurant, 19 Jackson St., and then board the trolley, which will take you to Natali Vineyards and the Willow Creek Winery. Admission is $60 and includes lunch, wine tastings at each vineyard and a wine tasting glass. This is a limited event, so reserve early.

The region’s most sought-after collectibles dealers and craftspersons come together for a show in Victorian Cape May on Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14. The show features an array of handmade items, unique gifts, country crafts, glassware, silver, furniture and more. Crafts and Collectibles in Winter will be held at the Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

Craig McManus, paranormal investigator and psychic medium, has conducted numerous paranormal investigations throughout the City of Cape May. The Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour is a 45-minute evening trolley ride through the streets of Cape May with a guide who relates the paranormal findings of Ghost Writer Craig McManus. Offered on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children (ages 3-12). Tours leave from the Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street.

The best way to get to know Cape May and its rich history is to take the Historic District Trolley Tour. Knowledgeable guides present entertaining and educational stories about the nation’s oldest seashore resort. Tours are offered on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12). The Emlen Physick Estate Tour at 1048 Washington St., Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, gives you a glimpse into the lives of a Cape May family of the late 1800s. Tour the 18-room mansion with your guide on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 at 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 15 at 1:45 a.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12). See both the Physick Estate and the historic district on guided Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tours on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults and $14 for children (ages 3-12).

The Center for Community Arts (CCA) in association with MAC presents a new exhibit in the Carroll Gallery in the Carriage House of the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St.: “History Speaks: From the Underground Railroad to Segregated Schools to Urban Renewal — Hear the Voices of Cape May’s African-American Community.” It tells the story of Cape May’s African-American community from its earliest days to the present, using the words of people who knew that history best. The voices and stories have been preserved through videos, oral histories and printed documents. The exhibit is open Saturday, Feb. 13 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 15 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

The Cape May Lighthouse will be open during Presidents’ Day Weekend. Climb 199 spiraling steps to the top for a panoramic view of the Jersey Cape and Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, Feb. 13, Sunday, Feb. 14 and Monday, Feb. 15 from 12 to 3 p.m. Tower admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children (ages 3-12). Admission to the Visitors’ Orientation Center and the ground floor of the Lighthouse is free. The lighthouse is located in Cape May Point State Park, Lower Township.

MAC’s two Museum Shops are open during Presidents’ Day Weekend and offer museum quality gifts including jewelry, teapots, books and more at the Carriage House Museum Shop on the grounds of the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. There are selections for youngsters as well, including children’s books, toys, dolls, puzzles and games. Cape May Teddy Bear Co.® bears, Mocha and Champagne, make lovable friends for children and dozens of different outfits are available for them. The fully accessible Museum Shop is open Saturday, Feb. 13 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 15 1 to 3 p.m. You can also delight yourself or your favorite lighthouse lover with something from the Cape May Lighthouse Museum Shop, located next to the Lighthouse in Cape May Point State Park. Here you’ll find Cape May Diamond jewelry, toys, books and clothing for fans of the Lighthouse. The fully accessible Museum Shop is open Saturday, Feb. 13, Sunday, Feb. 14 and Monday, Feb. 15 from 12 to 3 p.m. Parking is free at both locations.

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