The iconic details of the Victorian era such as gingerbread trim, turrets, and gables can be seen almost everywhere in the seaside town of Cape May, New Jersey. Cape May is home to the highest concentration of Victorian homes (second to San Francisco), which lure in visitors from around the world each year. With so many to see, it’s hard to know where to begin. So, here are our favorite Victorian houses in Cape May.
History of Cape May
After the Cape May fire in 1878, which destroyed most of the town, Cape May was on a mission to quickly re-build itself. At this time the opulent Victorian era was at its height, so the much-needed rebuilding of the town included many Victorian homes.
Over the years, efforts were made to preserve these beautiful structures, resulting in Cape May being named as a National Historic Landmark in 1976. With this title, the restoration and preservation of these historic homes soon became a focus. Some of the homes remained residences while others were converted into bed and breakfasts and hotels like the Stockton Manor.
Where to start
The best places to start are along Perry St., Jackson St., Ocean St., and Decatur. Northeast of the Washington Street Mall, Hughes Street, and Columbia Street are also great places to spot some of our favorite Victorian houses in Cape May.
Emlen Physick House
Address: 1048 Washington St.
Perhaps one of the best-known Victorian houses of Cape May is the Emlen Physick House. As Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, visitors can tour inside. View unique Victorian furnishings, intricate architecture, and soak up a bit of Cape May history. The house is also home to many annual events and offers a variety of tours of Cape May, including one of the house itself.
Christopher Gallagher House
Address: 45 Jackson St.
Built in 1882, the Christopher Gallagher House has been fully restored to its original beauty, inside and out. Currently, a residential home, the story of its restoration can be read here.
Franklin Street Church
Originally built as the First Baptist Church in 1878, the church offers beautiful details such as corner wooden buttresses and an exquisite wood frame around the door. The church currently resides as a condo building.
Our Lady Star of the Sea
Located at the corner of the Washington Street Mall and Ocean Street, the Our Lady Star of the Sea is a beautiful representation of Romanesque Revival style.
1286 Lafayette Street
A private residence, this unusual home was built in an octagon shape. The house features a flat roof with a beautiful front porch and colorful trim.
Formerly Poor Richard’s Inn
Address: 17 Jackson St., Cape May, NJ 08204
Currently a residential home, this home known as Poor Richard’s Inn used to operate as a bed and breakfast. Located along Jackson Street, near Congress Hall, it is one of our favorite historic Victorian houses in Cape May.
The Pink House
Address: 33 Perry Street, Cape May, NJ 08204
The Pink House is said to have the fanciest porch trim in town, which is what probably makes it one of the most well-known Victorian houses in Cape May. Built in 1892, the house is decorated with a two-story porch, intricate trim, round-arched windows, and a brightly painted pink exterior.
J. Stratton Ware House
Address: 655 Hughes Street
Built in the 1860s this colorful home is a beautiful representation of Gothic Revival architecture. With its matching fence, brightly hued trim, and fancy details, it’s hard to miss.
Stay in one of the Victorian houses of Cape May at the Stockton Manor. As Cape May’s only oceanfront Victorian Inn with a pool, the Stockton Manor is a restored 1876 Victorian guesthouse. Our manor offers the perfect place for couples looking to enjoy a romantic weekend in Cape May.
Many of Stockton Manor’s rooms boast ocean views, and the large two-bedroom suites come with fully outfitted kitchen areas to easily accommodate your next family gathering. Spend a tranquil afternoon watching the ocean from the rocking chairs on the wrap-around porch or seek quiet solitude in the first-floor parlor.
At Stockton Manor, outdoor amenities include a refreshing onsite pool, ocean-view veranda, lounge chairs, and a barbecue grill. Best of all our convenient location places you moments away from numerous attractions that offer fun for everybody.