BACKGROUND: Antique Victorian homes line the streets of Cape May. These colorful houses are some of the chief contributors to the charm and history of the beachside town.

It was tragedy that turned Cape May into a tourist destination. A devastating fire wiped out 30 blocks of Cape May in 1878. When the town rebuilt, the residents did so chiefly in the popular style of the day, Victorian. This period of architecture often involves colorful exteriors, ornate trim, and fancy trusses.

You can see the variety of styles and colors simply by walking or driving along the streets of Cape May. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts offers trolley tours of the historic district.

INSIDER INFO: Admission includes a tour of the Emlen Physick Estate, a Victorian mansion located at 1048 Washington Street.

WHERE: Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street in Cape May.,+cape+may+nj&sll=38.985233,-74.908304&sspn=0.030756,0.046692&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Washington+St+%26+Ocean+St,+Cape+May,+New+Jersey+08204&ll=38.933108,-74.921501&spn=0.008112,0.011673&z=16" target="_blank">CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS.

HOURS AND COST: Cost is $10 for adults; $5 for children ages 3 to 12. A combination ticket, costing $18 for adults and $9 for children. Check the Web or call 609-884-5404 for tour schedules. 

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