quintessential cape may {in five}

While exploring Cape May, I sought out five iconic things that make this destination on the Jersey Shore unique.

Victorian homes

After a fire in 1878 ravished 30 blocks of this old seaside resort town, nearly 600 new Victorian homes sprang to life in Cape May.  When there was a push in the mid-1900s to get rid of the old and bring in the new, the town protected its Victorian homes by listing the entire town as a National Historic Landmark in 1976.  Now, these “painted ladies,” decked out in gingerbread trim, vibrant colors, gables, round or octagonal turrets, scalloped shingles and patterned masonry, often topped by steep multi-faceted or flat Mansard roofs, give the town its charm. Because they’re too expensive to keep as single family homes, many have been converted into Bed and Breakfast Inns, guesthouses or restaurants.


The Merry Widow, Cape May, NJ

Beach food

A beach town is always a beach town, no matter the season. In these frigid mid-December days, the town was decked out in Christmas decorations, but that didn’t stop establishments from selling typical beach food: roasted nuts, candy, salt water taffy, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, frozen custard, fudge, and peanut butter.


Sweet House – Roasted Nuts & Candy

Beaches and wetland areas

At this icy cold and blustery time of year, the beaches and wetland areas weren’t the most inviting, but for a person seeking solitude, they made for quiet walks.


an empty stand – purpose unknown

Beach grasses

Any coastal area is full of beach grasses, and Cape May is no exception. At Cape May Point State Park, Stone Harbor and the Wetlands Institute, I found beach grasses aplenty, including wool grass and swamp rose mallow, swaying and dancing in the blustery air.


boardwalk through beach grasses at Cape May Point State Park


beach grasses at Cape May Point State Park

The Cape May Lighthouse

The Cape May Lighthouse is the third lighthouse that has occupied this spot since it was built in 1859 to help mariners navigate the waters off the southern tip of New Jersey.


Cape May Lighthouse


Cape May Lighthouse


Cape May Lighthouse



The photography intention I set for myself BEFORE visiting Cape May was to find five iconic things (in my eyes!) about this town on the Jersey Shore.  I limited myself to 30 pictures of 5 iconic things. I’m still posting more pictures than I’d like, but I used to post 80 or more pictures per post, so I’m working on it! My goal was to focus on pictures, so I kept my word count to 350 words.

I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have recently visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place, photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, whatever!

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post no more than 20-30 photos (fewer is better) and to write no more than 350-words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, April 19, I’ll include your links in that post.

My post will be about 5 iconic things in Nashville, Tennessee. 🙂

This will be an ongoing invitation, the first and third Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!