A visit to the Victorian beach town of Cape May, New Jersey would not be complete without a stroll around the Emlen Physick Estate. There are guided tours of the house and museum available, as well as combination tours of the house and a trolley tour of Cape May. You can also enjoy the thrill of a Physick ghost tour, the perfect experience when visiting this Victorian town filled with tales of the macabre. Tours used to only be available on the weekends, but now you can tour the estate by appointment during the week. The cost of weekday group tours is $75, and you can include up to five people in the group. Inside you will see Victorian architecture, decorative arts, and get a glimpse into the lifestyle of Victorian beachside living.
The construction of the home was completed in 1879 and the wealthy descent of a Philadelphia family. Emlen Physick, Jr. moved into the home with his mother and aunt. Physick's grandfather is considered the father of American surgery, and many of his surgical inventions are still in use today. Emlen attended medical school but never practiced medicine. Upon his graduation, he moved the Cape May and became a farmer, keeping livestock at two tenant farms and the Physick property on Washington Street.
The home and museum are currently maintained by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). This group was formed in 1970 in an effort to save the Physick estate from destruction. They are also responsible for the restoration of the Cape May Lighthouse, and the World War II Lookout Tower. They also organize programs in Cape May like the Spring Festival, the Cape May Music Festival, as well as Victorian Week, a Halloween Celebration, and Christmas tours and events. They will assist visitors to Cape May with travel and tour plans. Area dining establishments work in conjunction with MAC to create a unique Victorian dining experience. Visitors to the town can enjoy the well-loved Chocolate Fantasy Buffet, or arrange to enjoy dinner accompanied by a Murder Mystery Adventure. There are also wine tours available for diners as well as a traditional English Tea in Victorian style.
Cape May is filled with activities for visitors to the town to enjoy. Aside from touring the Physick estate, you can visit the lighthouse and walk up the 199 steps for a great view of the Delaware Bay, browse the charming shops along the beachfront and in downtown Cape May, relax on the beach under an umbrella or beneath the warm summer sun, enjoy a bike ride along the beach and around town, dine at one of the beachfront restaurants that offer a variety of seafood fare, or relax on the porch of your Victorian style bed and breakfast while watching tourists stroll by. Cape May is also a popular destination for weddings. A number of hotels and B&B's host wedding ceremonies and receptions, or you can speak with a representative at the MAC about having your wedding on the grounds of the Physick estate. For a quaint beachside experience, visit Cape May, New Jersey and tour the Emlen Physick Estate.