Thanksgiving in Cape May, NJ: Tonza’s Travel Adventures

I was hoping to convince my family to return to New York for another fun-filled vacation, so when my mother suggested we spend Thanksgiving in Cape May, New Jersey, I was less than thrilled. It had been years since I traveled to Cape May and, there was nothing in my memory bank that made me excited to return. Wanting to be a team player, I reluctantly packed up and headed North for a Thanksgiving “wecation” adventure.

With my sister and two of my daughters in tow, I jumped in my truck and hit the road the day before Thanksgiving, hoping we would not miss the last ferry from Lewes, Delaware to North Cape May.  Laughing and chatting all the way there, we arrived at the ferry station with 1 1/2 hours to spare. Not wanting to sit in the truck the entire time, I reluctantly walked into the waiting area, thinking it would be dingy, dirty, and smelly. Much to my surprise, it was clean, warm, inviting, and housed a full-service bar (let the Thanksgiving vacation begin)! Now a college basketball fan (thanks to my Carolina daughter), I parked myself at the bar and loudly cheered for Duke (Carolina was not playing, and I kinda like Duke’s team) as they tried to make a comeback against Gonzaga.

Even though the wind made the 17-mile ride to Cape May a little bumpy, the ferry was, to my pleasant surprise, extremely warm, clean, and inviting.  The ride from Cape May back to Deleware was much better.

When we arrived at our home away from home, I again was pleasantly surprised. The Icona had clearly undergone a recent design transformation. The bright white rooms and blue carpeted floors gave you a warm beach feeling despite the fact that it was freezing cold outside.

After chatting it up and a good night’s rest, we woke up on Thanksgiving Day in search of food. We decided to check out George’s Place for breakfast. As we sat around the table talking and laughing, Peter made sure our dining experience was nothing less than perfect. And, the food and coffee was pretty good too!

With all of the shops closed for Thanksgiving, after breakfast, we rode around and enjoyed looking at the beautiful homes. We even managed to get a sneak peek inside The Southern Mansion. Currently a Bed and Breakfast, The Southern Mansion was built in 1863 by George Allen for his family.

Not in any rush to go back to the hotel, we headed to the Bucket Brigade Brewery for a little brew tasting until we were ready for dinner.

When we arrived at The Grand for dinner, we were disappointed to learn that reservations were required. We simply did not believe there would be many looking to dine out like us, so we had not bothered to make a reservation. After a brief huddle, we decided that we would put my oldest daughter in charge of making sure we got to eat at The Grand sans the mandatory reservation. Never one to disappoint, after a brief conversation with the host, she returned to the group to let us know that we would be seated at 5:30pm (such a proud mom moment 🙂 ).

The following morning we packed up and headed out to the local shops for a little retail therapy. My plan to shop for Christmas gifts was quickly thwarted by the fact that I kept finding things that I wanted to keep for myself (oh well, I still have time to buy gifts)!

Shopping complete, we decided to end our time on Cape May with lunch at The Lobster House. While the views were beautiful, I must honestly say that the dining experience left a lot to be desired. It does not seem that they have changed one thing since I was last there more than fifteen years ago.

All in all I had a ball!

I would highly recommend you add Cape May to your travel plans.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make a reservation for the ferry if you are traveling during a busy time of the year. We were lucky to catch the last ferry over because the other ferries were booked for the day. You can check the ferry schedule and make a reservation online.
  • Dine at George’s Place for breakfast and ask for Peter.
  • Make a reservation at The Grand if you plan to go there for Thanksgiving dinner. There are a lot of people out there in the world that do not want to be stuck in a kitchen cooking for Thanksgiving.
  • Relax and go with the flow, it will all work out!

Much love,


I am always looking for places to go! If you have any suggestions please share them in the comment section below!

Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

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