Day: July 15th, 2007

Jersey Shore — part 2

Sunday, July 15th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Family, Travel

Is Cape May the new Cape Cod? I remember how entranced we all were by the New England seaside resort the first time we visited… enough to commit to the destination as a family Labor Day weekend tradition. Some 20+ years later, though, some of us seemed ready to be lured away by someplace new.

A couple hours closer to New York City, and not yet victim to the contempt bred by familiarity, Cape May seemed like just the place. Once the fashionable resort for upper-middle class Philadelphians and Trentonites, it boasts a quaint small-town feel, pristine beaches, and streets lined with charming, well-preserved Victorian houses — the second largest concentration of such houses outside of San Francisco.

While Mom and Dad explored the area’s abundant antique shops, I toured the 18-room mansion of the late 19th-century Emlen Physick Estate — the year-round home of a nonpracticing Philadelphia-born physician. Physick came into his considerable inheritance, having fulfilled his father’s condition of attending medical school (at UPenn), but declined a medical career for the leisurely life of a country gentleman in Cape May, without ever treating a single patient.

It seems the elder Physick should have been more specific with his last wishes. The intent, no doubt, was to continue the family’s revered tradition in medicine through his son. Emlen’s paternal grandfather, Dr. Philip Syng Physick, was an accomplished and prominent Philadelphia physician, and considered by many to be the “Father of American Surgery.”

Emlen Physick Estate

Emlen Physick Estate

Cape May antiques

Softshell crab lunch at Lucky Bones Backwater Grille, conveniently (but probably not coincidentally) located next door to the Cape May Antique Center.

Lucky Bones softshell crab

Washington Street pedestrian mall:

Washington Street

Check out the rest of the photos on flickr… though I suspect we’ll be back soon.

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