House tours, living history programs, food and wine events and a crafts and antiques show will comprise a long holiday weekend full of events in Cape May, as the city celebrates its 41st annual Victorian Weekend and the 7th annual Cape May Wine Festival.

The Victorian Weekend, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC), will this year honor the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, including a special lecture by a noted Civil War author, a Civil War fashion show, a Civil War canon on wheels and Civil War re-enactors. The weekend kicks off Friday, Oct. 11, and runs through Tuesday, Oct. 15.

“We’re doing some neat tours for this,” says Susan Krysiak, MAC spokeswoman. “We’ve been trying to help mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. As part of that, our (author) will be speaking on that topic and the way Lincoln used words to convey meaning. And all of this is part of the Victorian era as well.”

Victorian Weekend

“Lessons from Lincoln” lecture: Noted author and historian Harold Holzer will come to Cape May and present “Lessons from Lincoln: The Poetry and the Prose of Freedom,” on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m. The talk is part of the second annual Lessons of History Distinguished Lecture Series and will be held at Cape May’s First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St. Admission is $30 for the lecture or $50 for the lecture and a meet-the-speaker reception immediately following at the Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast Inn. For tickets, call 609-884-5404 or go to

Chalfonte Hotel exhibit: Come to the Carriage House Gallery during Victorian Weekend and learn about the historic Cape May hotel, The Chalfonte, in the Carriage House Gallery exhibit “Cape May’s Chalfonte Hotel: A Living National Landmark.” Built by Civil War hero Henry Sawyer, taken prisoner 150 years ago, the Chalfonte Hotel has hosted guests continuously for over 137 years. The hotel’s history comes alive in this exhibit, guest-curated by Karen Fox at the Carriage House Gallery at the Physick Estate, located at 1048 Washington Street. The gallery is open daily for tours. Hours vary. Admission is free.

Civil War fashion show: Look back 150 years and discover what Civil War-era gentlemen and ladies wore during a Civil War Fashion Show and Brunch, held at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 14. Living history presenters from Grand Oak Plantation will present this fashion show with an overview of Victorian clothing and foundations, from day dresses to ball gowns, displayed on live models with commentary, accompanied by brunch. Admission is $25. The Carriage House Cafe is located on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Go to

Victorian Weekend Crafts and Antiques Show: Crafters and antiques dealers from throughout the region will come to Cape May on Sunday, Oct. 13, for the Victorian Weekend Crafts & Antiques Show, taking place on the lawn of the Emlen Physick Estate on Washington Street. The day will also include a display of Civil War memorabilia and Civil War re-enactors. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and free parking is available.

Cape May homes tour: Tour five historic inns, bed and breakfasts and private homes and discover their unique collections during the Cape May Homes & Collections Tour. Owners will explain their private collections of favorite special items, such as silver sets, teapots and figurines. The tour is offered 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 3 to 12. Go to for tickets.

Cape May Wine Festival

Wine, water, food and music. For the seventh consecutive year, Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal will be the setting for the Cape May Wine Festival, sponsored by the Garden State Wine Growers Association, on Saturday, Oct. 12, and Sunday, Oct. 13.

Attendees will be able to sample more than 300 award-winning wines from more than 20 GSWGA wineries, shop craft tables and listen to live music. Watch the arrival and departures of the ferries, walk along the waterfront and boardwalk and enjoy a day of live entertainment, food and wine. Children can also enjoy the Kids Zone, which features face painting and sand art.

The festival takes place from noon to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is $25 for either day or $40 for a two-day pass. The fee includes a wine tasting glass. Tickets can be purchased at the admission tent from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at Large groups and bus groups can call 609-588-0085.

Patrons can park at the terminal until the lot is full and will then be asked to use the alternate parking lot at the corner of Ferry Road/Lincoln Boulevard, and Shun Pike Road. A free shuttle will run between the alternate parking area and the terminal from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Garden State Wine Growers Association participating wineries include Bellview Winery in Landisville, Cape May Winery in Cape May, DiMatteo Vineyards in Hammonton, Hawk Haven Vineyards in Rio Grande, Natali Vineyards in Cape May Courthouse, Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton, Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City and Tomasello Winery in Hammonton.

For more information on the Garden State Wine Growers Association, go to